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Hobby King Spektrum DSMX Module

What an exciting day for micro R/C hobbyist. Hobby King just introduced a new module that is compatible with Spektrum DSMX and DSM2 technology for your Turnigy 9x and other radio that accepts JR style module.

OrangeRX DSMX/DSM2 Transmitter Module

It’s a full range system too. So you can fly all the Horizon Hobby DSM2 and DSMX BnF system with your Turnigy 9x.

Price is decent at $30.

New Hobby King OrangeRX DSMX and DSM2 Transmitter Module for the Turnigy 9x

Thanks to Julian for giving me the heads up on it’s availability. :)

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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!!!

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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
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