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Helicopter

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Comparision Pictures of HiSky FBL80 and Blade Nano CPX

Someone on RCG wanted photos of the two 80-class CP heli, so I took these quick photos for reference.

In photography, the object closest to the lense generally looks larger. Despite that position, the photo of the FBL80 still shows that it’s a slightly more compact heli overall. Both are about the same height.

About the same rotor span distance.

The FBL80 is not as long. Without the canopy, both FBL80 and Nano CPX are almost the same length. The Nano CPX has a slightly longer tail boom.

Not much parts are compatible or interchangeable between the two. Only the tail motor would work perfectly. 6mm x 15mm CCW. So the FBL80 tail motor would be an ideal replacement for the Blade Nano CPX.

Categories: fbl80, Helicopter, ncpx
5 Comments

v911 Fixed Pitch Micro Heli Night Blade

I have always thought the night blades of the larger R/C helicopters were cool. But they aren’t available for the micro helis that I fly. Coming up with a way for getting the micro blades lit up without adding too much weight to the head took me awhile to think of. But here’s a sneak peek at the result.

My friend’s y911 (what some of us call the v911 clone). I nicknamed it ‘Spook.’

I have a 0603 LED on top and one below the blade. (I now like the brightness of the 0805 even more) I don’t know what color is the best for this. I chose white because it’s hard to go wrong with that. Initially I had a UV LED on the bottom, but it was so dim…it didn’t work out very well at all.

Copper foil tape, cut into 1mm width strips.

The copper traces and both LED added a mere 0.05g to the blade. I put tape on the other blade to balance it out. However, I think it’ll look even better if both blades has the LED. :)

Here’s a video:

And here’s a shocker that surprised me…with night blades and the rotor disc plane being so visible…orientation is actually easier at night than in the day. The feedback is that great. Because at the size of these micro, even in full sun…you can easily lose the orientation. This is even more enhanced on the new version I have where I got red LED on the bottom, and white one on the top.

Let me know what you guys think.

And here’s the RCGroups discussion thread on this topic:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1748394

Update: 01/30/2013

Check out what Nine Eagles and Helimax RC is bringing. The Axe 100SSL (Nine Eagles 126a) with build in LED lights in the main blade that draws power from the main battery. Nice. I am curious how it’s done. No details at the moment.

Categories: Helicopter, v911
13 Comments

Nano CP X mTDR Canopy

The following is a paper canopy I just folded, based on CyLLiKA’s work.

Paper is a blue cardstock with a nice sheen/texture. Got it on sale from Michael’s craft store for $0.12. Each 12×12 can make at least two canopy.

The core of the paper is the same as the surface. So your cut lines are hidden and looks very finished.

Here are some photos:

Eyes are cut out of vinyl and I tried place over the seam to further strengthen it.

You can see the sheen the paper has. Looks nice and gives enough texture and pop that makes the canopy appear like it’s, well…not made out of paper. :) I shot the flash directly on it to try and get the sheen to show through on the photo.

A close up for the panel lines. The core of the paper being the same color as the surface helps to hide the paper edge. Plus, I modified CyLLiKA’s template so the gluing tabs all comes from the lower panel. This allow the edge of the top panel to always be facing down. Makes for a more clean look on the finish canopy.

A slightly different angle.

Thought up a hidden mount system to allow for no canopy mount holes and also to ensure the canopy clears the servo and servo rods.

A peek at the component of the hidden canopy mount system. Weight penalty of 0.08g per mount piece. Still need field test and crash/durabilities testing done.

And a bonus…

Carbon Fiber pattern printed on semi-gloss photo paper and then cut out, used chisel tip black sharpie to quickly go over the white edge. Then folded and eyes and side decals to finish. Looks pretty nice despite some bad gluing at a couple of spots.

 

 

Categories: Helicopter, ncpx
2 Comments

Blade nano CP X porn

Some people are still waiting on their package to arrive. What better way to past the time than to look at some heli porn? Uploading some clean shots of the new Blade Nano CP X for your viewing pleasure.

Categories: Blade nCPX, Helicopter
2 Comments

Night Flying Colors

Each time the local flying group meets, it’s under the cover of darkness. No, we’re not spies, secret agents or drug dealers (inside joke) or anything like that. It’s just the best time to meet at the park for some flying is when the kids are down for bed and daddy duties are over. I have some of my micro FP heli modded with lights. It helps with night time orientation tremendously.

So, it was on once I learn about the availability of UV LED. I just placed an order for some rated at ~365nm wavelength and som at ~395-400nm. We’ll see how well they work to light up the fluorescent paint.

Here’s a photo I took under a black light compact fluorescent bulb.

The paint was so bright it felt like it was a light source.

Here are the colors I have so far. Fluorescent blue and green are on it’s way. So far, the yellow is the brightest and most vibrant.

 

I’ll create a new post if this experiment pans out. :)

 

See updates in the comments section below.

Categories: Helicopter
8 Comments

Magnet Wire Tips and Tricks

In almost all aspect of life, having the right tool makes the job much easier. When flying micro helicopters and quads, everything has to be micro sized in order to avoid adding unneeded weight that may robs the motor of it’s performance.

For wires, magnet wires, also known as enamel wires, are a must have in your tool kit. The bigger brand names such as Horizon Hobby with their Blade lineup of heli, uses magnet wires for their antennas and for the tail motor. Nine Eagles is another manufacturer that uses magnet wires to extend to the tail motor.

I find that a good gauge for these wires are about 30-32 AWG, measuring about 0.0085in or 0.02mm. You can find magnet wires if you search for them online. Locally, my Fry’s Electronics and Radio Shack have them in spools that will last you a long time.

Alternatively, you can find the right gauge magnet wire in small motors often used in toys. Also, fans used in computers is often another source, though I find they can sometimes be thinner than 32ga.

Perfect 32ga magnet wire for these small motors

Simply take apart the motor and unravel the wire. Taking care not to rub against the rough armature and accidentally nick the enamel coating of the wire. One motor yields a lot of wire. After taking them off, you’ll see they are wavy and kinked.

A trick I use is to simply hold a section of the wire between each hand and running them back and forth against the edge of a a cutting mat, metal rod, or any edge that will not nick the wires and will not get damage if the wire start to cut into it. This trick will quickly straighten out the wire with a couple of passes. See the photos below…

Rubbing the wires back and forth along the edge of a table, metal rod or cutting mat will straighten out the kinks of the wire

To solder these magnet wires, you have to remove the enamel that coats the copper of the wire. The enamel is to prevent the wires from shorting out while wound up in the motor. Some people may scrape the thin enamel coating off. The trick I learned is that the enamel coating can be quickly burned off and the wire tinned at the same time using solder.

I put a blob of solder on the tip of my iron and touch the end of the magnet wire to it.

Touch the end of the magnet wire to a solder blob for a second to strip the enamel and tin it at the same time

It takes but a second and you get a perfectly tinned tip, ready to be solder. Easy peasy. :)

Perfectly tinned magnet wire without any hassle

Another tip for you. If you want to lower the overall resistance and thicken up the gauge of the wires, you can twist a few strands of the magnet wires together. I do this by putting one end into the power drill and hold the opposite end. The hand held power drill will make a perfect twisted bundle of magnet wire.

Put a few strands or more of magnet wire to a power drill and it will create a perfect twist

Here, you can see that three 32ga magnet wire twisted together has more copper than the original stock wires that feeds through the v929 boom. Because each wire has the enamel coating, despite having more overall copper, the twisted bundle is equal to the thickness of the original wires with it’s insulation. Which means you can still feed a positive and negative pair through the carbon fiber boom.

Three strands of 32ga magnet wire to replace original stock v929 boom wire

I like to use the magnet wire because it’s cheap, lightweight and it’s coating looks like anodized metal.

One final trick, for aesthetics, I will use the same color for positive and negative. To keep track of the polarity, I simply mark the each ends of the negative wire with a black sharpie so I properly solder it to the negative terminal. Twisted togther, they looks like an performance “upgrade.” :D The cooler looking it is…the faster it goes. ;)

That’s all there is to it.  Hopefully this post helps you guys. Happy modding!!!

6 Comments

Faux Anodized Motor

I am pretty certain I am not the first to take a sharpie to the surface of a motor, but I’ll share this technique anyways. My wife gave me a bag of Sharpies last night and this was the first idea that came to mind.

I find that the large, wedge shaped Sharpie, stroking in one direction gives a nice even coverage. Here’s a comparison of the larger, wedge shaped Sharpie versus the standard conical shaped Sharpie on the right.

Wedge shaped/chisel Sharpie on right versus standard medium tipped Sharpie

Using the larger Sharpie, I find going in one continuous direction gives a nice even coverage.

It dries to the touch and can be handled without bleeding onto your hands once it’s dried. Unlike paint, the Sharpie allow the lustre of the metal to come through and simulates that anodized aluminum look. And because it’s such a thin layer of dye, it still allow the motor to cool off properly.

However, the drawback is that the faux anodized finish can easily be scratched or scrapped off. Luckily, it’s easy to retouch the scratched up parts. I think the results speaks for itself. It looks pretty nice when all is said and done. Very little effort and zero cost versus the bling, bling anodized CNC parts we hobbyist are always drooling over.

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Brushless mCPX Tail from 120SR Mount

A bad mCPX brushed tail motor prevented the test flight of a brushless mCPX. So I had to get creative with the stuff I had on hand. No store to run to at 12AM. Here’s the result. A Hobby King AP-03 brushless motor and a Blade 120SR tail boom.

Worked really well too with a XP 3A ESC flashed with BLHeli tail code.

Mated a Hobby King AP-03 Brushless Motor to a 120SR tail boom and motor mount.

7/9/2012 Update:

I saw that there are some people who do view my post…and so perhaps some more thoughts on using the HobbyKing AP-03 motor is needed.

It works good…but obviously you gotta mod a mount for it.

I like that it’s relatively cheap from Hobby King ($15). The negative thing is, the shaft size is 1.5mm. Which means you gotta bore out that size on the prop you wanna use. I like the RRC 65mm Tail rotor blade because it has a larger center hub so you can enlarge the default 1mm hole to fit the 1.5mm shaft. Also, with the AP-03 as it comes from HobbyKing, you have to reverse the shaft. It’s easy to do with a drill press and a small socket. I’ll try and do a post on it if there’s demand. I also recommend you get a 1.5mm to 1mm replacement shaft and replace the shaft that comes on the AP-03 motor. That way, you don’t need to bore out holds on the tail prop. Fabricating a tail mount may be too much work, so if you don’t have the motor laying around to use…I’d just grab a Oversky HP03T motor and be done with it. :D

1/16/2013 Update:

I have flown the mCPX with this tail more, as well as crashed it more. And everything is still great. Had to replace one broken Plantronics tail rotor. Other than that, solid so far. I replaced the 1.5mm shaft with a 1mm shaft from Astroid-Designs so now changing props is not a hassle.

Categories: Brushless, Helicopter, mCPX
1 Comment

Repair non-connecting v911 5-in-1 RX

Every now and then, I see a flurry of post about v911 RX that refuses to reconnect or rebind to the transmitter. Often times, this occurs following a crash. The symptom is upon plugging in the battery, the RX LED immediately turns solid without blinking, or sometimes, it does a series of rapid blink and then turns solid much quicker than normal.

A number of us learn that the cylindrical crystal that is responsible for the timing of the circuit has gone bad. Replacing it usually fixes the issue. I’ve had this happen on three RX already, and solding on a new one have fixed the issue all three times. So it’s worth a shot instead of throwing the RX away.

For the repair, you need a working 16mhz crystal. You can purchase some on eBay or DigiKey. Or grab one from a non repairable, broken RX board.

The ones I got from Ebay is actually smaller than the original. Whether it’s more dedicate and prone to getting damage as a result, I can’t say yet. Time will tell.

Here’s the two side by side. The original on the left and the Ebay version on the right.

Comparision of the stock v911 16MHz crystal versus the replacement one.

It was easy for me to solder on the new crystal from EBay. And it works like a charm. Here it is soldered to the same location on the v911 RX. It doesn’t dangle past the RX edge like the original one. Just need to glue it down to secure it in place.

Replacement 16MHz cylindrical crystal soldered in the proper location on the v911 RX.

I purchased 50 of them, so let me know if you need one in a pinch.

Categories: Helicopter, Repair, v911
17 Comments

Carrying Case for Micro Helicopters

I took this photo to share on RCGroups. I figured I’ll post here as well.

RCGroups forum member Heli Pad gifted me this Harbor Freight Tools case and I configured it to hold 5 micro heli.

From top to bottom:

  1. Blade mCP X with extended tail boom
  2. WL Toys v911 (HobbyKing FP100)
  3. Blade mSR
  4. modded 9958MSR
  5. Xieda 9958 (HobbyKing HK-190)

Perfectly fits five micro helicopter and full size transmitter.

All those brands and model of helicopter are flown with the Turnigy 9x modded for DSM2 capabilities.

Behind the foam on top are pockets for the tools and extra parts. You can see how those pockets looks like over at Harbor Freight’s site.

I pulled out a block of foam, keeping them intact. Then cut a 1/4 off the bottom and reinserted back into place. It makes a nice little recessed compartment for my 1s LiPo battery.

1S LiPo compartment recessed.

Can anyone guess what this little momentary switch is for?

Little pressure switch hot glued into place.

If you guess that the switch is connected to the LED light strip at the top, you’d be correct. It gets toggled when the case is close, turning off the LED. We usually fly at the local park after my kids are put down for bed, so the light strip is great. I rigged up a 3S LiPo to power the LED light strip. The strip of LED was like $5 bucks at Hobby King, and has adhesive on one side. You cut it to the length you need. Then I used a 3S 2200mAh LiPo to power the LED because that’s what I had handy. You can probably go with something less. However, I intend on putting in a charger that will pull power from the same LiPo in the future. So that 2200mAh LiPo should work out pretty well.

Strip of white LED lights hooked up to a 3S 2000mAh LiPo.

Here’s the configuration…

And a charger powered off the same 3S LiPo pack that powers the LED

Categories: Helicopter, Turnigy 9x
10 Comments
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