We've launched the Massive Acro Blackbox FCB with 2MB (16mb) of onboard SPI flash. Thanks to TheNickDude and the rest of the Cleanflight crew, this feature will allow you to record flight data to memory which you can play back for tuning or troubleshooting. If you record video at the same time you can sync the two and see data playback overlaid ontop of your video playback.
Examples of Dominic's and TheNickDudes Blackbox\flight recordings:
If you've come here via this link: http://drone.lifebuzz.com/nighthawk-quadcopter/ I want to clear up any confusion. The Nighthawk 250 Pro is an FPV racer and while it's possible to do acro flying with it, it's not going to defy physics like the quad in that video, which is purpose-built for extreme LOS acro, similar to the Warpquad or BPQ Acro. If you want to do LOS (Line Of Sight) flying with extreme acrobatic maneuvers like that video, the Emax 250 is not going to give you that. What the Emax 250 Pro is going to give you is this:
Official MassiveRC Team Pilot Joel flying the MassiveRC Emax kit. Only addition are the canted motor mounts. We cannot wait to get him on OneShot and 4S:
Dying Dyeing nylon parts is nothing new and there are plenty of YT vids out there on how to do this but some of you new to the RC hobby may not have heard of it before. An added benefit of boiling your nylon parts to dye them is that it makes them stronger\more flexible as Nylon can dry out.
The only drawback is that the nylon may swell a little bit, which could be good in some cases as the thread tapping job on some of these standoffs leaves them with loose clearances. In addition you don't want to use too much heat as you can warp the nylon. Finally be ready to clean up any overspill as the dye can do its job too well and dye your hands, white sink, clothes, etc.
To dye your Nylon parts you can use RIT, food coloring, or my cheapest solution: a $.29 pack of Kool Aid (I used sugar free as it should be less messy\sticky):
Green Apple is what I used but you can probably find flourescent green if you look hard enough and may have better success of finding whatever color you want as a food color dye.
I brought a pot of water up to boil, dumped the KoolAid in and then removed the pan from the burner and waited a minute for the water to cool down a little bit to prevent warping while stirring the mixture.
I then put the nylon parts into a strainer and the dunked the strainer into the pot agitating it every so often. I left the parts in there and let the batch cool naturally to room temperature and then pulled the strainer and rinsed the parts.
You can buy nylon standoffs in black and other places sell other various colors and those probably will come out looking deeper\richer in color. We'll probably sell them too but if you like the results you see in my attempt you can DIY on the cheap.
Many of us have struggled trying to make our own anti-vibration mounts from foam, zip ties, surgical tubing, ear plugs, etc. A lot of these solutions are either bulky and require a lot of clearance above and\or below as well as take a lot of time to glue and engineer them. That's not to say they aren't good and this isn't meant to put down the ingenuity of those solutions.
The 'professional' mounts all use damping balls so why not use those? How do you mount them and what to? Well you have those old credit cards or spam advertising cards you get in the mail, why not put them to good use?
You'll need a standard 1/4" hand hole punch available at any office supply or crafts store and 2 credit cards. While you're there an 1/8" hole punch also comes in handy.
I suggest using some worn out cards you have laying around so you can experiment with making holes and testing. Once you've settled on pattern and determined if you need more or less dampening balls, you can punch your design into fresh plastic blanks. Here I'm using the mounting bracket off a Diatone frame:
Place your template over the card:
Punch your holes, don't worry if they're a mm or 2 off:
This should be part of your daily checks, especially after a crash. As you can see the left boom is tweaked:
To make sure it's the left boom and not the right, compare the prop tips with the props in front. The left prop should be pointing down when compared to the front left red prop. You should also check that your prop is true by spinning it 180 degrees and you should see the same amount of offset compared to the other prop.
To bring it back into alignment, loosen all four boom screws and GENTLY twist the boom (you obviously just want to twist the boom in the holders and not bend the plastic frame) , in this case, clockwise, which will bring it back in alignment, and then re-tighten your screws.
Here is the same boom after tweaking. As you can see, it's still 1-2mm off but much better than before:
Thanks to LMahesa for the reminder. Also check your motor mount for being twisted at the clamp. By reclamping the motor mount so it clamps straight, you can get some additional straightness in the alignment.
Failsafe check using LemonRX or other PPM receiver
So there's no confusion, these aren't pre-programmed flips but manually-induced.
I think this is a pretty significant find in the V2X2 series quads. You can perform manual flips without haven't to change modes or go to 100% to do the autoflip. It's much more satisfying and I've never done manual flips in acro mode on other quads that have this feature but I wonder if it's the same technique.
I don't know if any other 'toy' grade quad can do a manual flip without having to go to acro mode or use a button, but I'd like to hear of any that can.
The benefit of doing it with full accelerometers is that after the flip you have the safety net of full stabilization without having to do anything.
I've tried it on my V212 and Jefte was able to perform It on his V202, although they're harder to do. The V252 does them best.
This was my first real attempt so I concentrated on forward flips but you can do them in any direction and keep going FFF after doing the flip as shown in Steve O's video:
FRE (Filipino Redneck Engineering) brings you another great WL Toys-based Frankenquad. This latest monster consists of a V252 Gumby board and upper frame mounted to a lightened V212 chasis. The result is a mini quad that's super accro when you want it to be with plenty of yaw rate and can go back to stable flight like it's bipolar.
Here we cut the booms off just past the LEDs
We secure to the frame with my favorite fastener of late, wire ties.
Here's a quick tip to make your micro and mini LiPos slide into your battery bays easier. Simply smooth the folds over by running them against a smooth surface such as your table top. Fold the sides over first and then fold the ends over at the corners:
Video transmitter: 5.8 Ghz 200 mW 58000 can run off of 3.3\5V
Video receiver: 5.8 Ghz RC 305
Flight Battery: Turnigy 950 mAh 25-50C LiPo
Both are fitted with cloverleaf antennas from Banggood
The VTX is powered by a standard 1S LiPo. I soldered a servo jumper on the VTX so I can transfer it and power it from my Walkera QR X350 and then made a servo-to-micro losi adapter for when I have it mounted on my V262. I took an H36 frame, trimmed it and mounted it upside down to the front of the V262 mainframe using wire ties. The VTX itself is Velcro secured to a cut piece of credit card that I screwed into the mainframe.
I've stripped the Mobius TV out cable of its outer jacket in order to save some weight. The Mobius is held on via wire ties using the holes in the Mobius chasis.
You'd think with a name like MassiveOverkill I would be anal about keeping my props balanced and with them being so cheap and getting scuffed up so quicky\easily you say to yourself "What's the point?". In addition you look at all the techniques and say to yourself "I don't have a prop balancer and it seems like a hassle to set up a CD and laser".
That was with micro quads. Playing more with mini's you don't crash them as much and balancing props the lazy man's way is actually easy to do.
The instructions I'm going to give you is for the RTF mini brushed quads such as the V929\949\959\212\222\262 series and not brushless hobby-grade ones where spinning up the props with the quad in your hand could be more dangerous.
All you need is some transparent tape.
To determine which props need balancing, simply hold your quad FIRMLY in your hand and point the boom with the prop you're checking down so when you apply throttle it spins up (almost exclusively) in response to the self leveling feature (this is important if you don't have a self-leveling quad you can still check for vibrations but not one by one).
Look at the gear guards for vibration. You should also be able to feel the vibrations transmitted to the mainframe as you hold it. Once you've noted which props vibrate badly tear off a 1/2" piece of tape and place it on the prop loosely near the tip on the top side of the blade. It doesn't matter which side you choose......you have a 50\50...Continue Reading
The 808 and Mobius cameras will run fine off the Turnigy 600 mAh batteries. The micro quad batteries didn't have enough voltage stabilization, especially if you were doing video out, but the larger mini quads larger LiPos seem to have enough juice for at least 6 minutes worth of video.
I soldered on a battery lead in parallel to the main for powering the Mobius:
It runs underneath and extends to the front:
I butchered a V212 landing gear housing, keeping only the mounting bracket. you can see the stock frame\landing gear assembly on the left:
OK here's my V212 FPV setup using an 808#16 camera's video out feature. I stripped the video out cable down so it only weighs 1.5 grams. I'm using a T58000 200mw VTX. I'm pretty happy with the setup but clover leaf antenna is definately in the future.
You can save considerable weight just from removing the landing gear skids as well as the sub-frame used to mount it. Removing those will shave 4.6 grams alone. In addition you can shave .8-1 gram from butchering the frame. I feel by cutting it in strategic places you can still maintain structural integrity:
UPDATE: I'm no longer using 3 LiPos. The 808 will run fine off the Turnigy 600, so now I only run a separate battery for the VTX.
The quad with 808 camera (A lens), VTX, cabling, and 2 808 LiPos weighs about 85 grams. I'm using a Turnigy Nanotech 600 35-70C LiPo for the main battery which weighs an additional 16 grams. For comparison, a fully-outfitted V959 with camera module weighs about 82 grams without LiPo.
When James told me this my immediate reaction was: "You have to be sh***ing me!!! Can this be the solution to the V202\V212\V222 front left trimming issues? I immediately got my V202 and V212, tried it, and it freaking works!!!
Quote from Helipad's thread:
Gyro Initialization and Calibration
The beauty of having a 6-Axis gyro is that it doesn’t require you to set the V222 on a level ground to initialize. You could initialize it on an uneven plane, or even do what I do: initialize it upside down, so you could easily see what the on-board LED is doing! The 6-Axis Gyro couldn’t care less. It will stabilize itself. Amazing! But in the rare event that the gyro is confused, you could perform a calibration and reset it. Again you could do this part with the V222 completely upside down, so that you could see the on-board LED.
1.On the Tx, select rate to be either 80% or 100%
2.Pull BOTH control sticks to the LOWER-LEFT corner and hold them there until the on-board LED begins to flash.
3.Let go of the sticks, and the Gyro will be reset within 2 seconds, and the LED will stop flashing.
Thank you Helipad for finding this and to James for bringing it to my attention!!!!
Pretty easy and effective way to make your mini quad brighter at night. Simply cut some clear or opaque straws and mount them between the canopy and the top of the gear housing. The gear housing even has a plastic channel to help hold the straw. Mount your favorite color LED and secure with hot glue. The light saber illuminates the bottom side of the propellor making night time orientation easy to tell at distance.
Using clear or opaque straws as crude fiber optics isn't new and this idea isn't original, although it may be as far as using it to light up as much of the area that the spinning props on a quad create.
Here are instructions for taking a V202 receiver board and mounting it onto a V959 frame. You can probably do the same for other WL Toys mini quads.
First thing you need is an H36 frame and remove the bottom battery tray. You'll also need to cut the outermost bottom support tabs to clear the V959's mounting posts. Once this is done you can super glue the frame in place on top of the V959 frame:
Left is stock, right is tabs and battery tray removed.
Next thing you need to do is notch the V959 frame boom holders on both left boom holders for additional wire clearance. Simply use a hobby knife to cut away the material:
Here you can see the wire getting more clearance because of the notch: ...Continue Reading
It's obvious that not all batteries are created equal, but sometimes their dimensions, most importantly length can cause problems as the battery won't make proper contact because it's too short. I've noticed the problem more prevalent on rechargeable batteries.
Stretching the springs doesn't always work because the battery stop on the transmitter prevents the postive (+) terminal from reaching the flat plate. To fix this you need to pry the plate out a bit.
Here's a stock battery plate:
Simply insert a screwdriver or better yet I'm using some pointy scissors:
I figure I'd go into more detail on getting those Micro Losi \ Walkera battery connectors to work better as many still have problems with them.
The first thing to address is the pin angles on charger\RX connector. Typically the pins are pointing the wrong way as pictured below. The pins are pointing downwards which will make it hard to insert the connectors as well as cause bad electrical contact if they're that way on your charger:
You want to get a small flat head screwdriver and slightly pry them upwards. You'll notice the connectors will go in easier and make better contact. The first time you insert the battery, it may go in rough, but the the angle of the pins will self-adjust and subsequent insertions will go much more smoothly:
We've been offering a service on our Lipos to remove the little nubs on the batteries in order to make it easier to take the connectors apart. You can see the nub in the picture below:
With our flagship V202 selling so well that we're temporarily out of stock, I thought I'd blogify a post I made about beefing up your Mini Pet's weak spot, the battery tray. Also shown is fitting the V202's canopy to the Mini Pet:
If you don't have access to carbon rod, just find a toothpick, cut to size and super glue it in place: