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New Landing Skids

I want to share the landing skids I design and cut out by hand using a dremel. Guess where I got the inspiration. ;)

I had some leftover .8mm CF I used for the mSRX brushless mount so I cut my first one out of that. I need to find some thinner, probably .5 or .6mm CF and it’ll be perfect.

It’s mounted to a MicroHeli mSR lipo cage.

Nano CP X Goblin Inspired Carbon Fiber Landing Skids

The upper horizontal brace is designed to help stiffen the stock Nano frame, as well as obscure the main gear to give the look of a 450+ class heli. It’s also angled to give nicer line once the fuselage is on. Together, it’s almost like it’s ready to pounce into the air. LOL The lower proportion and curves are very similar to the heli that was the source of inspiration.

I will install it on my Nano with the Wild brushless Nano CP X. So plenty of raw power. Muahahahaha

What do you guys think?

Categories: Blade Nano CP X
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Traxxas QR-1 is the Hubsan X4

Many hobbyist on the forums have been enjoying the Hubsan X4 micro quadcopter. Now that Traxxas is bringing that quad to the US market under then guise of the QR-1, many more people will get to enjoy this tiny little quad copter.

We all have seen photos of how small the X4 is, but check out the X4 spare replacement canopy/fuselage on top of a business card. ($4.99 on BangGood or just $6.00 from a US source: MassiveRC)

Hubsan X4 and Traxxas QR-1 Replacement Canopy Fuselage

It weighs 8.23g and is a direct fit on the Traxxas QR-1 for those of you who like the black/white look of the X4 fuselage.

Some reference links.

Categories: Quadcopters
6 Comments on Traxxas QR-1 is the Hubsan X4

GWS EP5443 Props

I just got some GWS EP5443 props in from Banggood. Users on the HeliFreak thread mentioned that it improved performance of their mQX. RCGroups also has a couple of threads (New GWS props for mQX and EZ v929 Performance Prop Upgrade) about these GWS props, and most say it’s an improvement over the stock props.  So, I have been wanting to try these for a while now.

I got mine in from Banggood for about $1 a piece when ordering 3 or more.

The first users of this prop on Helifreak said the prop did not have an inner ridge that prevents binding on the bearings. However, the version I got from Banggood does have this inner ridge. That’s a good thing, because it allows the prop to properly ride on the bearing.

It has a pretty aggressive looking pitch angle, that changes as it moves from the center to the tip. So some waviness that I thought the props may have been damaged during it’s journey to me. But once compared to the other 16 I purchased, it was evident that the waviness is intentional.

I like the fact that the GWS EP5443 prop weigh 1.68g versus the stock WLToys prop weight of 1.91g. So it’s more similar to the mQX props, weighing in at 1.62g.

Profile view of the WLToys prop versus the GWS EP5443 prop.

Top view of the WLToys prop versus the GWS EP5443 prop.

From reading the thread, the general consensus is the EP5443 prop is a vast improvement over the stock WLToys prop. However, I see mention that you must  balance them first before using. It was refreshing for me to find that they flew fine out of the package. The prop tracks well. I also took off the gear so the shaft can spin freely on it’s bearing when held horizontally. The balance of the prop seems good when tested that way as well. Not certain if the ones carried by BangGood are better than the ones people are buying from GoodLuckBuy.

Anyways, enough of all that. What is my subjective opinion after flying with the new prop? I put them on my v949 and took it outside to put a couple of lipo through it. It was breezy and cold for San Diego, but the prop performs really well. It seems to be all improvement without any negatives that I can see. I didn’t crash the quad at all so I can’t comment on their durability. The v949 with these props on feels very connected to my transmitter stick movement. I like them a lot. And I will put these on my quads of this size.

I also like how different it looks. The props looks very aggressive. The only thing I wish for is the props in red. Advantage Hobby listed white versions. That means one should be able to dye the white props to any color. :) We’ll see when they get them in stock.

Edit to add:
I do find some of my GWS props can use a little balancing. I just pull off the gear and see which side is heavier. I put Kapton 1cm tape in the middle of the lighter blade. On the topside. So far, it seems like 3pieces of tape is perfect.

Categories: Quadcopters
8 Comments on GWS EP5443 Props

Blade Nano CP X Brushless Guide

I just finished putting together a step by step guide to upgrade your Nano CP X to brushless. Using the Dozuki software available for free on MakeProjects.com. It’s the same software that iFixIt uses, which allows you to generate a PDF, or XML of the guide at anytime. It’s also a living document, so anybody can add to it to improve it.

Best of all, you can download the Dozuki app for the iPhone or iPad, and it’s formatted like a manual. So one can be at the workbench and have the iPad mounted on the wall to refer to as you’re modding.

Update 2013-03-09:
Well, that’s unfortunately. MakeProject is going through a makeover. So the guide is down. Doesn’t seem like they will be using Dozuki’s platform so it’s uncertain what the guide will look like once it’s ported over to their new system. Will update once I get more info.

Categories: Blade Nano CP X
2 Comments on Blade Nano CP X Brushless Guide

Syma X1 Flight Controller

Just received my Syma X1 flight controller. Ordered from Banggood on November 26th and it just got here. If you need things right away, either pay for express shipping or find an alternative source. But Banggood’s price is usually pretty good on stuff you don’t need right away.

Syma X1 board on the left and the WLToys v929 board on the right.

Weight between the two board…

Categories: Quadcopters, v929
4 Comments on Syma X1 Flight Controller

Blade Nano CP X Square Tail Boom Mod

If you’ve flown Blade helis, you would know that they often use 2mm round CF tubes for their tail boom. To keep the tail rotor aligned to the main shaft, each end of the boom is keyed. In the shape of a D.

The tail boom is one I often fracture or break. Horizon Hobby does not sell replacement CF booms by itself. One has to buy the entire tail assembly for about $15. Many of us hobbyist simply purchase 1 meter CF tubes or rod, and cut to length. This is much more economical and keeps more money in our pocket.

Since learning to fly 3D with the Nano CP X, I have fractured more booms than I care to share. And I am sick of needing to carefully file the D shape, making sure not to remove too much material from each side. On top of that, one have to ensure that the flat part is on the same plane on each end of the fabricated tail boom to ensure the tail rotor lines up with the main shaft. It was a nightly ritual that I am done with.

I know some people have solve the issue of broken tail boom by using a 2mm round solid rod. Then they wrap the tail wires on the outside. I personally don’t like the wires wrapped on the outside. During crashes, the enamel coating can be rubbed off and the resulting short will burn out your tail FET. Using solutions like CAT5 wiring just seems to be heavy and clunky on the Nano.

Personally, I wished the Nano CP X uses the 2mm square boom that the v911 uses. It has more meat to it and there is no need to make the key at each ends of the boom to keep the boom from getting out of plum with the main shaft. Plus, it’s easy to purchase replacement boom for the v911 heli on the cheap that is already in a good length. In fact, when the v911 first came out, I purchase a bunch at $0.50 each but have not fractured the tail boom of the v911 yet. It’s the only heli I own that I can say that about.

Noticing that the Turnigy FBL100 and HiSky FBL100 heli both uses 2mm square boom, I purchased a spare FBL100 frame. Cut the rear portion and epoxied it onto the Nano CP X frame. It was actually very easy to do and line up since the flat surface mates to each other securely with epoxy.

Here’s some photo of the result. I am so happy I can simply put in a new tail boom or fabricate one by cutting to length.

16 Comments on Blade Nano CP X Square Tail Boom Mod

Blade Nano CP X Canopy Revisited

Previously, I posted on using v911 and Solo Pro canopies as alternatives to the pricey Blade Nano CP X ones Horizon Hobby sells for $13/piece. On HeliFreak, some Nano CP X owners experimented with Walkera canopies and found that they can be fitted on the Nano CP X with little modifications. One good thing about the Walkera canopy is they are the same weight as the stock canopy, once trimmed to fit the Nano CP X. Plus, it has the added advantage of being molded out of one piece of plastic and is very durable. See the video below for proof. And they are about half the cost of the stock Nano CP X canopies, with a few different colors to choose from.

I found that the following Walkera canopies are the same shape, with just difference in color and decals.

Isn’t it hard to decide on which canopy to order when it’s often hard to get a clear, large photo of the canopies? HacksMods to the rescue…

Here are the Walkera models and the primary canopy colors…

First off, we got the Genius CP, in a very easy to see Orange-Yellow paint scheme:

Next, we got the Mini CP in it’s metallic red/burgundy scheme. Looks nice and has a white under belly:

If you want something blue, kindda along the lines of the alternative Nano CP X canopy that Horizon Hobby has available for the Nano, here is The Walkera Super FP option:

Finally, for those who wants a bright green…you can purchase the Genius FP canopy:

And for those of you who dislike the Walkera branding, you can do what I did. I scrape off the decals with my fingernail. But later found that I can lift it in one piece with an xacto knife. Any sticky glue residue, you can use CA accelerator to remove. (You did know that CA accelerator does a good job of removing sticky adhesive residue right?)

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section.

Update: After using the canopy for longer. They aren’t as durable as the video below makes them out to be. I get cracks where it impacts the battery cage on my Nano. And the cracks gets longer if you don’t tape it. It’s still more durable than my stock Nano canopy. However, it’s not as indestructible as I had hope.

The v911 canopy on the other hand, is thus far indestructible. And I’ve put it through much more crashes than these Walkera ones. :)

Here’s the YouTube video someone made, attesting to the durability of these canopies.

5 Comments on Blade Nano CP X Canopy Revisited

1s LiPo Gentle Discharge Curve

Got brand new cells and starting to wake them up from slumber. So cycling them a few times at a gentle .6A discharge. Here are the graph so far…

I heard some brands such as Hyperion, if properly cared for, takes 40+ cycle to break in. Wow. I think I have been killing mine in less cycles than that. :)

Will test pulling 1A discharge to 3.8v next.

Categories: Test
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Hobby King’s New Turnigy 9xr Transmitter

Many of us in the hobby know that Hobby King has a new transmitter they designed inhouse that is due to be released any day now. Looks like we finally got some high res photos of the upcoming Turnigy 9Xr transmitter.

What’s exciting about this new transmitter is that it will utilize open source firmware, or be flash with one. Hinting at er9x compatibility down the line. Has the programmer plug built in and available inside the battery compartment. Has DSM2/DSMx compatibilities. And, to top it all off… they are aiming it at a $50 price point. The people’s radio they bill it as.

Supposedly the POTs are better too. Not sure what that translates to. All based on rumors for the past year. We’ll see once they start shipping and reviews fills up the forums.

Anyways, a post without photos are boring.

This beautifully lit and captured photo makes the radio look very professional indeed.

Here’s a closer look at the center area.

And here’s a look at the rear connectivity and glimpse of the module bay. Hobby King is working with FrSky to release a compatible module that makes use of the popular FrSky protocol.

Here’s the render of the rear module and the connectivity necessary so you can use the built in antenna. Much better thought out than the coaxial cable on the Turnigy 9x.

Categories: New Gear
7 Comments on Hobby King’s New Turnigy 9xr Transmitter

Blade Nano CP X Canopy Post Reinforcement

I find that it’s easy to break the canopy mount on the Blade Nano CP X. So, I think reinforcing them is a wise preventative measure. I know some people like to use a carbon rod and spiral wrap thread around nice and tightly. Then wet the thread with CA glue. I find this method is effective, but the CA and thread mixture looks rough.

Here’s a similar idea, executed a different way.

I have a bunch of split hollow, square carbon tail boom used on the v911, 9958, Solo Pro and other FP Heli. I like using these broken pieces to splint broken parts to add strength to the repair.

Here, a square hollow boom split down the middle, has a nice groove. 29.74mm is a perfect length. Take your micro round file and a couple of passes in the middle create a nice recessed point for the RX mount.

Fits perfectly. Some CA glue to fill the filet between the carbon and canopy post will strengthen the entire assembly with negligible weight gain.

I like to slip on a shrink tube to make the entire mod look finished.

Here’s a look at the front canopy mounts. One continuous reinforced mount. You can feel it’s much more sturdy.

Similar concept should be done to the two rear canopy post to reinforce those too.

This mod is a good preventative measure. However, it’s also good for those of you, like me, who already broke their canopy post. Simply gluing the broken post back together usually doesn’t work too well without lots of epoxy. The best method is to glue and reinforce with carbon like shown in this mod. The broken piece will fare much better than just glue alone.

Categories: Blade nCPX, Repair
3 Comments on Blade Nano CP X Canopy Post Reinforcement
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