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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 on Brushless mCPX Tail from 120SR Mount

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 on Repair non-connecting v911 5-in-1 RX

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

12 Comments on Carrying Case for Micro Helicopters

BLHeli Flashing Setup

There were some confusion on what’s the minimum things to plug in to properly flash BLHeli onto the the ESC. I know I had the same questions when I started out and when you run into a problem, there are too many variables to contend with.

An overhead view of how I have mine set up. You don’t need anything more than this to properly flash the ESC.

The minimum setup to allow BLHeli flashing.

And for completeness, here is the order of how I hook things up.

  1. First, I connect the ESC to the USB Toolstick.
  2. Next, I connect the USB Toolstick to the computer.
  3. Finally I connect the battery to the ESC to power it up.

I then open up the BLHeliSuite program that user 4712 from HeliFreak wrote.

I click on the “Flash BlHeli Hex File” button. Then select the proper firmware I want to flash over and hit the “OK” button to flash the new firmware onto the ESC. (You’ll get prompted with a couple of dialog boxes warning that you’re about to overwrite the original firmware on the ESC. I just answer ok to dismiss them and continue on.)

Let me know if that helps you or if I need to clarify any steps.

Categories: Brushless
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Evolution of the mSR X Brushless Mount

Just wanted to share the evolution of my mSR X brushless mount.

I find it’s easier to design on the computer. A digital caliper is a great tool to transfer the measurements into your graphics program. A CAD program is ideal. I am more familiar with Illustrator, so that is what I used. If you can scan your object, you can use that scan as an overlay to trace it’s physical dimensions. Doing it this way allow you to make precise changes on the computer. The low tolerance and need for higher precision is very important at the size of these micro helicopters.

Here’s a previous design for the AP-03 motor. Unfortunately, this motor wasn’t enough power for the mSR X.

Prototype of the mSRX AP03 brushless motor mount. The AP03 doesn't have enough power for the mSRX.

Then print and cut out some on paper. Or you can print onto label paper that you can peel and stick to a plastic credit card. This allow you to cut out the prototype with a xacto knife and scissors. You’ll find you need to do a few to narrow down the design.

Various mSR X AP03 prototypes on paper and plastic

Once you’re happy, you use the same method of printing onto a label paper and sticking it on top of the material you want to make the mount out of. I used 0.8mm weaved carbon fiber sheet. I used a dremel and freehand the cut out and a file to clean up the shape. It wasn’t too difficult work, and didn’t take too long at all. However, if you have access to a CNC router, the prototyping stage goes by so much faster and easier.

Here’s a couple of photo of the final result. I consider it a prototype, but it could qualify for production work. It’s very polish and wowed the owner of the mSRX and friends who have gotten to see it in person.

 

I felt that the stock mSR X was very underpowered the first time I got to fly it. Because it was underpowered, I couldn’t bail out of bad situations. The positive quality of the mSR X is quickly the flybarless heli respond to your cyclic command. It was near instant. It’s a pity that it lacks power. On top of that, there seem to be a huge problem where the stock brushed motor tend to die very early deaths. There’s a whole thread from owners tracking the issue.

After the mod to a brushless motor, the mSR X finally has the pop I like to see in my micro heli. I personally think it should have came this way from the factory. It is definitely worth it for those with mSR X. The brushless ESC, motor, mount and wires all weigh less than the stock brushed motor. Isn’t that amazing?

Stay tune for the rest of the how to’s on this series. Until then, take a look at preparing for flashing the ESC here: Silicon Labs USB Toolstick Mod for BLHeli Flashing

Categories: Brushless, Helicopter, mSR X
4 Comments on Evolution of the mSR X Brushless Mount

Xieda 9958 er9x Settings

Just a quick post. Some people who have flashed their Turnigy 9x to use the er9x firmware can load my Xieda 9958 model into their radio using the eepe (EEPROM Editor for er9x FW). You can get a copy of eepe for Windows, Mac and Linux here: http://code.google.com/p/eepe/

Then use the eepe program open up my Xieda 9958 model and save it to yours.

Link: Daryoon’s Xieda 9958 settings for er9x

Some info about the settings…

Two primary flight modes:

  • The FN switched to ID0 will put your heli in a more aggressive mode. Negative expo to make your cyclic controls more sensitive in the middle. The throttle curve is a little more aggressive. Uses curve 1.
  • The FN switched to ID1 has zero expo and a more “gentle” throttle. Uses curve 2. If you want a linear throttle curve. Set your throttle stick to use curve 3.

Flip the rudder D/R switch to add more negative expo to the rudder. If find it’s good to have the head of the heli whip around quicker using the negative expo.

POT3, which is labeled as “PIT TRIM AUX.2” is a mix that adjust endpoint. Fly with that POT at 100% for full throw. Rotate it slower if you need to go into “junior/beginner” mode. Same function as the factory transmitter junior/senior mode, but with more choices in between. :D

The flight timer is set to 5mins and will beep at the last one minute and each of the last 10seconds of flight. It is link to the throttle stick so the timer only counts down when the thottle stick is move away from zero.

Lastly, the throttle cut function works. Just activate the throttle cut switch and your main motor shouldn’t spin. Good safety.

Let me know if you guys have any difficulty and I can write up a more thorough guide. Also, remember you need to calibrate not only your sticks, but your POTS as well. It’s all done in the same location. I do it each time I flash the firmware.

Categories: Helicopter, Xieda 9958
1 Comment on Xieda 9958 er9x Settings

Silicon Labs USB Toolstick Mod for BLHeli Flashing

This is part 1 of my series on the Blade mSR X Brushless Conversion using Steffen’s BLHeli firmware for the XP 3A ESC. The information in this post is also applicable for those of you doing a brushless conversion on the Blade mCP X and will be flashing the XP 7A and XP 12A ESC. All those ESC, along with the DP 3A and Supermicro 3.5A uses a Silicon Labs based chip, so you will need to do the following modification.

Step 1: Obtain the SiLabs USB Toolstick:

The USB Toolstick can be purchased from Digi-Key or from Silicon Labs themselves. Digi-Key ships it out fast and there was no order minimum.

Step 2: Open the USB Toolstick:

Using a guitar pick or a folded over piece of plastic from toys/food packaging, you can insert between the halves like so and twist to pop the halves apart. Then work around the perimeter to easily open the plastic case to get into PCB board. This prevents any damage to the plastic housing which we will reuse later to reassemble the USB Toolstick.

Wedge a piece of plastic to open up the USB Toolstick

Step 3: Soldering Points – Wiring:

Here’s the solder points you need to be aware of. We will use red, black and white wires to match Steffen’s original post.

  • Side A: Here is where to solder the white (C2Data) wire. It also shows the two pins (2 and 4) that will need to be soldered together. (Alternatively, if you need to be able to use the USB Toolstick for other projects, you can simply wire up a switch that when enabled, bridges those two pins.)

The white wire solder point and the two pins you need to solder together.

  • Side B: On the reverse side, you can solder a red (C2CLOCK) and black (GND) wires to these two legs.

Solder the red and black wires to these pins.

I run the red and black wires through the holes so all three wires are on one side like so.

SiLabs USB ToolStick all wired up.

 

Step 4: Drill holes for the connector:

I wanted to add a connector. So I drilled 3 holes into the USB ToolStick’s case. This was easily accomplish by temporarily taping the connector I am using to the case to act as a template. Then used a 1mm drill bit to drill at each point of the connector legs. Simply insert the connector through the Toolstick housing and soldered up the red, black and white wires to it. The connector should be held in tightly if done right. The connector I used came with my XP 3A ESC.

Alternatively, you can simply drill a single hole to pass all three wires through the case. Then solder up a connector to them outside the case.

Here is a photo of the result of this step. I can see the position for the black, red and white wires to help me orient the mating plug that goes to the ESC.

USB ToolStick with connector

 

Step 5 Final: Reassemble USB ToolStick Case:

Once the wiring is done, it’s easy to snap back on the case you took apart in step 1. Here is a look at the modified USB ToolStick with the connector installed into the case. We are ready to use the modified SiLabs USB Toolstick to flash the ESC with BLHeli firmware. This will be outlined in Part 2 of the mSR X Brushless Conversion series.

SiLabs USB ToolStick modified for BLHeli Flashing.

 

Categories: Brushless
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Hobby King’s XP 3A Brushless ESC

For those looking to upgrade the MOSFET on the XP 3A, here are the location of the N-Fets and P-Fets.

Location of the N channel and P channel MOSFET on the XP_3A

You can replace the N-FET with the DMN2041. This takes the resistance of the original FETs from approximately 30 mOhms down to 26 mOhms or even 13 mOhm stacked as mentioned below.

The P-FET can be replaced with the DMP2035. The P-FETs original resistance is approximately 60 mOhm. Replaced with the better quality FETs, you take it down to ~30 mOhm or 15 mOhm stacked. Quite a difference. Less resistance means less heat and more power going to the motors.

As alluded to above,  stacking two or three of them together effectively lowers the resistance and basically “upgrade” the ESC so it can handle more current through them. Here’s a great tutorial from AtomicMods that demonstrate how to stack FETs.

Tutorial 1:28 XMODS Generation 1 Stacked FET Installation

See this awesome thread and work by Steffen, author of BLHeli brushless ESC firmware code where I gleamed much of this information. Look for more post on the subject as I attempt to convert a mSR X and Xieda 9958 to utilize a brushless motor.

Categories: Brushless, Helicopter
2 Comments on Hobby King’s XP 3A Brushless ESC

WL Toys V911 Charger Mod

Ever want to use the popular Eflite/Parkzone style batteries with your v911? Here’s a mod that uses the Hobby King mini extension plugs (Only $0.52 using BuddyCode) and fit it nicely into the V911 charger to enable you to charge both types of batteries.

Simply cut the dividing bars. Easily done with an xacto knife. I cut one bar from the front and two bars underneath. It’s obvious when you open it up.

Then the connector fits in really tightly. Just perfect. If you find it too tight a fit, just sand/file off a little bit of plastic off the charger.

Then I glued down the plug and wires from underneath to ensure it won’t move.

As for wiring, just solder the wires up appropriately. Red to + terminal and Black to – terminal.

Categories: Mods, Test
3 Comments on WL Toys V911 Charger Mod

Brushed Main Motor Micro Heli

Looking at the three motors I happen to have apart, I noticed the winding is so different between them. The Xieda 9958 version 2 motor, the v911 and the mSR are all slightly different. I don’t know how this relates to the power these brushed motor is able to produce. Anybody know?

I saw that the mSR, v911 and 9958 had similar can diameter…that was off by 100th of mm. They are 8.42mm to 8.46mm to 8.55mm respectively. All seems to fit each other’s frame…though it can be a little lose if you don’t put some glue or tape as needed.

The 9958 and mSR both have very tightly wound wires. It was densely packed and thickly wound. The wires themselves may be ever so slightly smaller gauge than that used by the v911. The v911 had lots of gaps where you can see through. Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

You can see the v911 versus the mSR’s in the follow photo:

Here’s the various component of the brushed, coreless main motor.

The various components of the brushed motor. This is the Xieda 9958 version 2. I call it version 2 because the first version was black/white wires and the can had holes in them.

Here’s a photo of the brushes themselves.

8520_motor_brushes_CCW

Categories: Helicopter
10 Comments on Brushed Main Motor Micro Heli
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