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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.

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Blade Nano CP X Canopy

Do you need a new canopy for your new Nano CP X without having to pay the $12.49 Horizon Hobby charges for a replacement? Well, you’re in luck because the Solo Pro and V911 canopies fit perfectly on the Blade nCPX. You can find these replacement canopies for as low $0.99 at oversea retailer. Or check eBay for dealers in the states.

The top mounting position fits perfectly. Then you can leave at is and punch a new hole for the lower mount, or trim the lines for a custom look.

This mods pros and cons list:

Pros:

  • The v911′s canopy is much, much, much more durable over the stock nCPX. Weighs ~2.25g. The Solo Pro canopy weighs ~1.85g. (Depending on how you trim.)
  • very affordable. MyRCMart carries them from $0.99. Or order from Banggood.com
  • alternate look, lines to your nCPX.
  • Easy, simple mod!
  • No leftover holes that says, look…I re-purposed a canopy from another model.
  • Paint scheme and words removable with nail polish remover so you can repaint as you like.
  • Bonus: A good way to hide your new purchase from the significant other. Disguised as a cheap $20 chinese FP heli.

Cons:

  • Heavier than stock (1.58g)
  • No Blade/nano CPX branding on the heli.

Here’s a red v911 canopy as it is.

Very easy, moderate trimming and you can reshape the canopy to your liking. Here’s one variation. I didn’t punch the hole yet. You can angle the canopy up or down before you punch that second hole. It fits over the battery tray perfectly, and you can still insert the battery all the way forward.

An alternate view.

Here’s what it looks like with yellow Nine Eagles Solo Pro styling. It’s very vibrant and actually matches the nCPX yellow tail better than the nCPX’ own canopy does.

The Solo Pro’s canopy material is similar to the nCPX’ stock canopy. The v911 canopy however, is a very durable plastic. That’s the one to get for durability. Or get them all. It’s cheap!!!

Here’s the Solo Pro in blue. Also known as the Soars in some parts of the world.

The blue v911 canopy looks like this:

The v911 also comes in it’s default Black and Orange pattern that reminds me of Trex RC helicopters.

There’s also the yellow and white version of the clone v911 heli, which doesn’t have the intake scoop at the top.

Anyways, hope those are good leads to finding cheap canopies that fits your new Blade Nano CP X. They take a much better beating than the stock nCPX canopy. Important if you’re going to be doing 3D. :)

Additional Resources:
Link to discussion thread on HeliFreak.

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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
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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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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, Uncategorized
3 Comments

Charging Clip for Nine Eagles, Trex 100 and v911

If you fly micro helis such as the Solo Pro, Trex 100 and v911. You’ll quickly find that they each employ their own proprietary battery connector. What is an easy way to be able to hook these battery up to your programmable charger?

Simple. Take a clothespin and insert two tiny screws 5mm from each other. Then wire it up like the photo below to create a charging clip.

You can make more than one and wire them up to parallel charge. It’s easy to clip on and off and works great.

Pertinent Links:
RC Groups forum post

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Xieda 9958 Heatshrink Tail Motor Holder Mod

Here’s an easy mod for those of you who fly with the tail fin removed because it requires heatshrink where the tail fin normally sits. The goal is to prevent the tail motor holder from sliding up the boom and severing your tail motor wires. Securing the tail motor holder is important on the 9958 because the tab molded into the tail motor mount isn’t very strong. On hard impact, this stopper tab will break away and the motor holder will slide up the tail boom and nick or severe the motor wires. It is one of the biggest weakness to the 9958. The resulting cut wire is obvious, but when it’s only nicked through the insulation, the bare wires can short and cause the RX to reboot or weird tail behavior during flight. It can be hard to see the nick wires.

This is one of the first things I do to my 9958. Desolder the tail motor wires so I can remove the boom. Then slip on a 3/16″ heatshrink tube in my choice of color. On one end of the heatshrink tube, I use a pair of tweezer to prestretch the heatshink tube to the max it will allow without tearing. This allows me to fit over the plastic motor mount.

Then slide the heatshrink tube as far as you can get it on and use a hair dryer on high settings to shrink the tube. You can put a tinsy amount of glue at one end of the heatshrink tube if you so desire to strengthen this mod even more. The final result is a highly decrease risk of nicking or cutting the tail motor wire while still allowing easy future repair should the boom become damage.

 

Heat shrink used to keep the tail motor holder in place

Categories: Xieda 9958
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v911 Battery Tray Adapter

WL Toy’s v911 is a fun micro RC helicopter. But because of it’s unique battery connection, you are limited to the factory 120mAh LiPo or recently released 130mAh LiPo. Here’s a mod that takes the battery connector part and turn it into a battery tray so that you can use the popular 1s LiPo with the Parkzone/E-Flite ultra micro connectors.

First, use a wire cutter or nail clippers to cut along the yellow line. Use a file to get everything smoothed out. It should look like the piece on the right when you are done.

Use a pair of wire cutters to cut where indicated. It should look like the piece on the right when done.

Then you can slip into the existing battery slot on the v911 skids. You will also need to solder on some ultra micro plugs.

The new adapter fits right in to form a battery tray. Solder on some ultra micro leads.

For those concern with the stock center of gravity. The fit is tight enough that you can position the battery where you like.

Here, you can see the battery position at about the stock location. Personally, I prefer the Solo Pro location. Fully forward, and into the canopy. :)

Battery seated at about the location of the stock LiPo.

You can make the battery tray more secure if you glue it to the skid. I have tested and found that ThunderPower 160, Hyperion 160, E-Flite 120 fits perfectly. I can also fit Turnigy 160 battery as well. Though I have had one where it was too thick to fit. The NanoTech 160 are definitely too thick for this mod. I recommend getting a Solo Pro skids if the battery you run are the NanoTech 160.

Categories: Helicopter
2 Comments

Video of 9958-BSX

Here’s a video I made of the Xieda 9958 with Bravo SX head. The Bravo SX and Solo Pro head are the same. You can use either one. See this post: http://www.hacksmods.com/2011/12/xieda-9958-with-solo-pro-head/

Categories: Helicopter, Xieda 9958
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Link Guides O-Ring Mod

How many of you are breaking off the link guides like I am prone to doing during hard crashes? I put some 9958 canopy grommets on them and hopefully they reduce the breakage rates. Give it a try and let me know if works out for you.

I use tweezers to open up the o ring so they easily slip over the link guides.

Left: Example of the link guides breaking off on the rotor head. Right: Using tweezers to open up the o ring so it easily go onto the link guides.

Adjust the o ring so they don’t rub against the linkage.

Get the o ring as close to the linkage as possible, but don't allow them to rub.

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