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Minibichus's blog
Posted by Minibichus | Aug 23, 2010 @ 09:51 AM | 6,430 Views
MB generations.

This is a timeline of all the RC stuff that I've owned. I had to revise a few of the early dates b/c they were wrong.

I tried to find some pictures of the very early stuff.

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1986 - Nikkez - My first real RC car. Nikko Venus Buggy. Ran over by a car.
1988 - Nikkez 2 - Dictator JR 7.2 volt Nikko. Electronics fried.
1992 - Nikkez 3 - Dictator AWD by Nikko. Still runs to this day.
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1995 - Static dive submarine, German Type VII Uboat. Never finished it due to funds. Left the submarine behind at the Universidad Politecnica de Navales in Madrid.
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2001 - Sep - Tank - Tamiya Early Production Tiger I - has a night vision camera and a video transmitter. It still runs to this day.
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2002 - Aug - GranBichus was born. Full sized 2002 Corvette Z06. Still runs and I still own it.
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2003 - May - MiniBichus - The first official Minibichus. Kysoho Mini-Z racer, Corvette C5-R body. Heavily modded, 30 mph top speed. Static model.
2003 - Sep - MiniBichus 1/12 - Yokomo MR-4TC Mini, Corvette C5-R body. 38 mph top speed. Rolling chassis, static model.
2004 - Feb - MiniBichus 1/10 Nitro - Nitro TC-3, which ended up heavily modified into my own designation as GTC-3.5N. Corvette C5-R body. Top speed is 60 mph. Still runs to this day.
2005 - Nov - MiniBichus 1/10 Electric - Custom built hybrid between TC-3 and TC-4. Ended up as GTC-3.5E. Corvette C5-R body. Top speed 68 mph. Still runs to this day.
2006 - Apr - MiniBichus 1/10 Electric - Another GTC-3.5E. This was...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Apr 07, 2010 @ 10:48 PM | 6,223 Views
== UPDATE: June-10th-2010

The SK-720 is finally installed and tested. It is a great piece of hardware for sure. It is noticeable better than the SK360/Spartan combo it replaces. This weekend if weather holds I'll film a video and lose the X in its name. This will probably be the last entry in the xMB-8 blog since it is no longer a prototype which needs fixing, tuning or new components to fly.

G.

== UPDATE: June-6th-2010

The new components for the xMB-8 have been steadily arriving. By the end of this coming week it should be ready to lose the X and be called as the MB-8. The new SK-720 will be at the heart of the 8th generation, replacing the true and tested SK-360/Spartan combo that powers the two previous generations. A new DELight controller has arrived but it was DOA so I'll have to wait to get a new one.

G.

== UPDATE: May-13th-2010

This is how I hinged the grips on the Century Diamond rotorhead.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...3&postcount=63

G.

== UPDATE: May-12th-2010

Even after the rebalacing of blades, the vibrations kept coming, which made me wonder why I am havng vibrations on a perfectly tracked head (used a laser guide this time) and blades that are balanced to 1/100th of a gram with less than 1 mm CoG difference... so I grounded the xMB-8 for three days to track down where the vibrations were coming from in its airframe form before sticking it back inside the fuselage.

Turns out that the root of the problem was a...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Apr 07, 2010 @ 01:02 PM | 5,532 Views
== UPDATE Aug-23-2010

The wait is over. The MB-6E took back to the skies on the night of August 22. It still needs some work and probably new blades (as these scale blades for 450 are not that great in the flying department) but it flies. Batteries are officially done too, with over 8.0 mOhms internal resistance after 10 months without being used they barely keep the charge above half capacity now. So it is time to buy new batteries as well. The 6E model for now is a stripped down version of the mighty 6D, no lights, no accessories and lightened. It retains the Spartan/SK-360 configuration but it goes back to the HS-65MG servos used in the early 6A model after 1 year and a 3 model run using the crappy DS410M Align Digitals ... what a joke of a servo.

I am planning for a full return of the MB-6E to the flight time race within the next few weeks, because after finishing the MB-8 (and almost killing my wallet on the process) the budget for helis is now as close to zero as its ever been.

== UPDATE May-26-2010

Looks like the MB-6E will become operational again. Estimated time now will be around the first week of June.

===

After a few months of mostly flying the MB-7/UAV, I decided it was time to say farewell to my 450 class scale adventure. It was a hard decision for me to make but I've chosen to decomission the MB-6E to redirect funds and certain components to future projects. The MB-6E was going to be a striped down version of the 6D, lightened and equipped...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Dec 15, 2009 @ 01:04 AM | 6,873 Views
== UPDATE: Apr-4-10

The MB-7/UAV has been flying uninterruptedly and without a hitch since the last update in Dec-31st. No crashes to report to date (knock on wood) and it hasn't required any repairs or maintenance either (more knock on wood). I am extremely pleased with its outstanding reliability and flight characteristics. After flying the MB-7 for this long I can safely say that it has outperformed and outlasted, by an ample margin, the 6th generation series in pretty much every department.

I foresee a long operational life in the MB-7/UAV future, much like its smaller sibling the MB-3.

The MB-7/UAV is now scheduled to participate at the Orlando TORCHS funfly in May 1st.

See you there.

G.

== UPDATE: Dec-31-09

One last update for the last day of the year. The MB-7/UAV new video TX got lost in the mail, not sure when I'll get it, or if I'll get it but I had time to work on the turret mechanics and the turret now rotates with the camera inside. I did some weathering, added grilles, started doing all the rivet work and replaced the DELight controller with the one from the MB-6D which got one that was damaged from the 7 so now the front light works and can act as a landing light as well.

Added a video of the turret rotation.

G.

== UPDATE: Dec-20-09

Got to spend some time flying at the field this afternoon and after some modifications I got the OSD/GPS mostly dialed in. I did record a 34 minute session on the TX since first spool up using the...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Nov 25, 2009 @ 12:33 PM | 6,903 Views
Around early July 2009, just about the same time the MB-6C's ongoing initial flights I decided it was the time to start planning for the next MB generation helicopter. The 7th generation is the most ambitious, most formidable and most expensive MB helicopter I've built to date.

After nearly 4 months in the works, the XMB-7 took off to the skyes on the night of November the 25th of 2009 at 3:34AM. A short first flight for doing systems check, calibration and tuning but the first flight nonetheless, the first of the many more to come.

Cheers.

G.

==

** UPDATE: Nov-26-09

Added a pic of the XMB-7 right next to its smaller twin: the MB-6D.

** UPDATE: Nov-28-09

New pic of the XMB-7 right next to the MB-3, with the Helicommand module.

** UPTATE: Dec-01-09

Finally got around to edit the maiden flight video from the camera.

** UPDATE: Dec-07-09

Last week before the Orlando helicopter funfly. Everything is coming along quite nicely. The only thing left is the stabilization system and it will be ready to lose the X.
More pictures with the new scale blades from Smartmodel. Very nice I have to say.

** UPDATE: Dec-09-09

Well, I had to sell the Helicommand Rigid so I settled for a more familiar approach based on the success of the 6 series setup: The XMB-7 will initally use an SK-360 coupled with one of these new Spartan Quark tail gyros.

** UPDATE: Dec-10-09

Installed the SK-360 and the new Quark and all I can say is WOW, it flies beyond awesome. I just need to acquire some extra packs tomorrow at the LHS and it should be ready to go for this Saturday.

** UPDATE: Dec-15-09

The Orlando funfly is finally behind and the MB-7 finally lost the X.


== MAIDEN FLIGHT ==
XMB-7 (maiden flight ) Hughes 500D TOW Defender (1 min 15 sec)

==
Posted by Minibichus | Oct 23, 2009 @ 03:06 PM | 7,293 Views
** Last and final update: Apr-07-10

The MB-6E was never finished and the 6th generation is now decomissioned and it will become a nice static model on my gallery of RC stuff.

** Update Nov-11-09

I started this journey back in January '09, it all began with a quick and dirty sketch on a piece of paper and an idea of what I wanted it to be. Piece by piece, part by part, slowly but surely it all came together to be. From the early XMB-6 days to what it is today. It is indeed ironic how life has a way to change things around: the numeral 6 was meant to become a pod/boom TREX-500 ESP to keep me flyng 3D stuff, but instead destiny chose that the 6 was to become a scale machine and that I will no longer fly 3D anymore...
Building the MB-6 has been a lot of experimentation, hours of R&D on my own simulation programs, trial and errors, lots of problems to solve, and yeah, most importantly lots of fun. However, with the latest and greatest D model, it also comes the end of the MB-6 development era. Farewell.

** Update Oct-24-09

After 300 cycles on my July TP packs, I've started noticing shorter and shorter flight times. It can do now around 16 from what used to be almost 18 before, its been in the last 20-30 flights that's been slowly declining. The Thunder Power packs that I've used were purchased in July and have over 300 cycles on them. When comparing datalogs from back then I can see they don't hold the voltage as good (still pretty good tho) as they did when...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Sep 03, 2009 @ 01:08 PM | 7,292 Views
** Update Sep/15/2009 **

Added the last tweaks and it is basically a done deal. Aside from the optional OSD which might make it in, the rest of the helicopter is complete.

http://static.rcgroups.com/forums/at...uarterview.jpg

Cheers.


** Update Sep/08/2009 **

Flight performance demonstration video.

MB-6C/UAV Hughes 500MD TOW Defender (5 min 8 sec)



** Update Sep/07/2009 **

Added some pics in daylight. Enjoy.

**

Here it is, at last:

Maiden UAV flight.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Jul 09, 2009 @ 01:47 PM | 7,586 Views
UPDATE (Aug-17-2009) Its all finally put together, no electronics tho, and sitting on the shelf until funds and time become available.

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UPDATE: Finally shipped, so it will probably arrive sometime next week.

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Thats right folks, I just couldn't pass the brand new HK-500 (TREX500 clone) for 50 bucks so I got one. WOOHOO. After 1 year into helis I am finally going big. I'll probably put the airframe together and leave it alone for a while, most likely that will be until I am done with the MB-6C. This will be the 1st time I've ever had three fully operational CP helicopters.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | Jun 16, 2009 @ 02:05 PM | 8,609 Views
*UPDATE* (sep-3-2009)
This is it: the MB-6C/UAV model is now complete and flight tested. First flight was recorded on camera and it will be available shortly. It was really fun. Now I'll have to re-learn how to fly the thing from the camera view.

*UPDATE* (sep-2-2009)
Video camera arrived yesterday with the wide angle lens and today all the A/V equipment is installed and tested OK. At this point, the heli only needs to be put back together for a maiden UAV flight, most likely this afternoon. The entire video system added roughly 90 grams which will probably reduce the flight time by a bit, but not worried about it.
Which OSD to go with is still in the air, or at least, for now, that is. I have to say that I am quite happy to have working video/audio links on the heli. I can't wait to see the area from the air!

*UPDATE* (aug-29-2009)
Well, its almost done. I didn't get the camera yet but the video is all installed and all cables and gear is in, awaiting for the camera I just need to solder a couple more cables and this should be good to go! Audio is already hooked up and tested, I just need the video to complete the job.

*UPDATE* (aug-27-2009)
After almost 1 month on vacation, I am back into it. The UAV project should be coming together real soon. The camera its been ordered already, so it should arrive in the mail any day now. The MB-6C is completely apart right now, awaiting for all the video equipment to go in. I might have the 1st UAV video this weekend......Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Jun 07, 2009 @ 09:09 PM | 8,368 Views
Well, its finally here, after 8 months in the making, lots of changes, dozens of different configurations, huge setbacks like the one during the Orlando Funfly, the latest revision model, the MB-6B has successfully gone through the most gruesome flight testing program I've ever done to any of my helicopters before.
The newest MB-6B offers excellent flight characteristics which allow it to excel at a wide range of maneuvers, from the relaxing hover and slow cruising around the backyard to the to heart pounding aerobatics at the flying field. All this with average flight times of around 16 minutes, so chances are you'll get bored before the batteries are done.

There are substantial changes between the MB-6A and the MB-6B. Some of those changes are a quad tail rotor and upgraded electronics, amongst others. I also tweaked the SK-360 settings further and for the 1st time ever it uses my own tail gyro settings (I was using Bert Kammerer's 3D settings for the tail gyro since the numeral MB-6 was originally meant to become a TREX500 for 3D, not a scale 450!).

Tail rotor reliability factor has been drastically improved with the revised tail setup. Most likely a 100% reliability factor as no failures ever happened during the exhaustive and gruesome testing in crosswinds (what ruined the tail of the MB-6A) and several complete packs doing hard piros left and right. Since I didn't want any ugly surprises like the MB-6A fiasco, this time I've flight tested it to destruction.

Video is finally uploaded to Youtube since back in 2009 didn't allow for videos longer than 10 minutes...

MB-6B Flight endurance demonstration 16 minutes. (16 min 9 sec)


Here is the picture of the MB-6B

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | May 14, 2009 @ 12:10 PM | 8,211 Views
After a catastrophic blade grip failure (blade grip/blade shooted out of the helicopter) the original MB-6 fuselage was damaged beyond my repairing skills so the spare fuselage I had needed to be put into active service.

The MB-6A shares a lot of components from the original MB-6 but there are a few new things, amongst these upgrades are:

-new Align TOW Defender fuselage.
-new CF main blades.
-updated SK-360 settings for CF blades.
-added a feathering bolt locking mechanism (prevent blades from flying off)
-stubbier and slightly wider landing gear than the original MB-6.
-navi lights now on the landing skids (vs. under the doors on the MB-6)
-improved location of electronics and sensor arrays. RPM sensors, light controllers...
-different olive drab color scheme vs. the original MB-6's medium field green.
-interior cockpit is now painted flat grey vs. unpainted on the MB-6

Video.

MB-6A Hughes 500MD TOW Defender (3 min 18 sec)


Here are some pics of the MB-6A Let me know what you guys think.


Cheers.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | Apr 15, 2009 @ 12:21 PM | 8,379 Views
The sixth generation of the MB family is finally out of the assembly line... and this time as a Hughes 500MD TOW Defender scale helicopter. It all began back in 1985 when I first saw Blue Thunder, and since then I've always wanted to have a scale Hughes 500, and now, after 25 years, the wait is over.

Here is what the MB-6 is made out of...

-EXI-450 Airframe.
-Align 500MD Tow Defender fuselage painted and weathered in olive green.
-Lightning Heli 5-Blade rotor head modified for 'flapping hinges'
-Changed rotation direction to be CCW like the real 500MD.
-RCT-450 Skyshark gray CNC tail case.
-Align 325mm plastic blades (painted black with white tips)
-Align TREX450 Pro tail rotor blades.
-Spartan DS760 gyro & Futaba 9257 tail servo.
-Skookum SK360 flybarless stabilization system.
-Scale lighting system: 2 nav lights, 2 red strobes and 1 landing light.
-Spektrum AR6100 receiver. (soon to be AR7000)
-3x HS-65MG cyclic servos.
-Upgraded all philips screws to hex heads....Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | Apr 15, 2009 @ 11:57 AM | 8,261 Views
After a lot of effort and considerations, the MB-4 (SJM-180) wasn't really working out for me, too much trouble with it, too unreliable, not enough support for parts, too heavy and somewhat expensive to maintain so I decided to take it apart and put it up for sale. I took all the electronics out and left the airframe most in one piece. While it was fun to fly for a while, in the end it didn't measure-up to the superb performance the MB-3 has to offer.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | Oct 01, 2008 @ 02:44 PM | 9,422 Views
Well, it kinda went backwards, this probably should've been my 1st heli, but I guess is never too late to get a Coax to have fun around the house.

The MB-5 is now a Blade mCX micro coax, AUW is 1 oz. It flies superb and its a true 4CH

The only mod so far is the optional flybar. no other mods at this point.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | Sep 19, 2008 @ 03:24 PM | 9,448 Views
UPDATE: *DECOMISSIONED*

After waiting for the pre-order to arrive, the new MB-4 is an SJM180(215) While the MB-3 remains intact and fully operational, the MB-4 is the prefered flying heli for now.

The MB-4 builds based on the experience with the components on the MB-3, so MB-3 and MB-4 are pretty much identical helicopters as far as electronics go but different frame architecture/size.

Here is the MB-4 latest configuration.

MB - 4

- SJM180(215) Frame.
- Widened stock landing gear.
- Blade CP paddles and longer flybar.
- Spartan DS760 Gyro & Hyperion DS09GMD servo.
- Kontronik Jazz 40A ESC.
- Scorpion HK2208-28 motor.
- Pinion 9T.
- 3x Hyperion DS09SCD servos for cyclic.
- AR6100 Rx.
- T.P. 1320 3S Prolite packs.
- Outrage XP 800mAh 4S packs.
- CF main blades.
Posted by Minibichus | Jul 21, 2008 @ 10:44 PM | 9,996 Views
UPDATE: MB-3 still fully operational. Replaced all the analog HS65MG servos with Hyperion Atlas DS09SCD and DS09GMD for tail.

**More updates coming!.
The MB-3 has undergone a few more mods in order to achieve a 21:42 minute flight time on 1 pack. I am using a hybrid configuration running 3S and 4S packs depending on what I feel like. I use the 3S mostly for practice and the 4S for going all out.

Here is the MB-3 latest configuration.

MB - 3

- RCT-450 Skyshark.
- Spartan DS760 Gyro & Hyperion DS09 GMD
- Kontronik Jazz 40A ESC.
- Scorpion HK-2213-16 motor w/ Ceramic Bearings.
- Rhino Hardened Steel Pinion 11T.
- Align CF Tail Boom.
- TREX 1-piece ball links/ball joints.
- New Align TREX450 PRO Tail blades.
- Mavrikk Tail Belt.
- BEAM E4 Washout Base
- BEAM E4 pitch slider.
- BEAM E4 Tail case.
- BEAM E4 Swash plate.
- Microheli V2 Washout Arms.
- Microheli Titanium Tail Shaft.
- Microheli Front Shaft & Belt Pulley.
- Ceramic Boca Bearings all around.
- Trueblood red V1 dampeners.
- 3x DS09SCD Cyclic servos.
- AR6100 Rx.
- T.P. 2200 3S Extreme V2 packs. => Flies for 15 minutes.
- T.P. 2100 4S Prolite packs. ==> Flies for 18 minutes....Continue Reading
Posted by Minibichus | May 29, 2008 @ 03:57 PM | 9,822 Views
* UPDATE 06/Jun/2008

Since I didn't really own the MB-2, I knew that at some point it had to go so I decomissioned the MB-2 the 23rd of May 2008 in favor of the newest MB-3.

MB-3 is basically an RCT-450 Skyshark with some upgraded stuff but there was no real need to change anything as the heli flew great out of the box.

The mods are:
-Align Carbon Fiber tail boom
-Align 1-piece ball links/ball joints.
-Align Real Carbon Fiber tail rotor blades.
*-Align tail rotor belt.
*-Kontronik Jazz 40 amp ESC.

Cheers.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | May 08, 2008 @ 04:11 PM | 10,230 Views
ANOTHER UPDATE. *DECOMISSIONED*

After the short success of the MB-1 I decided to decomision it and move onto something bigger and better.
The chosen candidate for this was an Axe CP that my friend had collecting dust on his garage.

Th Axe helicopter airframe provided a robust platform and a true 120 degree eCCPM setup. The only drawback of this helicopter was the FP tail that required constant attention and it wasn't very good. We set out to change that and the XMB-2 was born.

The XMB-2 received its final MB-2 designation on May 6th, 2008 when it was officially found to be an airworthy helicopter when it hovered perfectly straight in >15 mph crosswinds.

Here is what the MB-2 is made out of:

Frame:
-Axe CP unibody frame with battery tray setup identical to TRex450 style.
Main rotor:
-Microheli CNC center hub. silver.
-Microheli CNC flybar assembly. silver.
-Microheli CNC swash plate. silver.
-Heli-Maxx bell-hiller upgrade. de-anodized.
-Microheli 250mm carbon fiber blades.
-Replaced bushings with solid aluminum collars.
Boom:
-Carbon fiber tube, enlarged 1/2 inch over the stock purple boom.
-T-Rex 450 boom support and horizontal stabilizer.
Tail rotor:
-T-Rex 450 variable pitch tail system driven by a brushless motor.
-T-Rex carbon fiber tail blades.
-T-Rex silver carbon fiber vertical fin.
Receiver/Radio:
-Spektrum AR6100.
-Spektrum DX7.
Main motor/ESC:
-HiMaxx 2025-4200KV brushless motor.
-E-Flite 20amp BL-ESC.
-12T pinion.
Tail motor/ESC:
-Medusa Afterburner 12x30mm 5300KV brushless motor.
-E-Flite 10amp BL-ESC.
Cyclic servos:
-3x Hitec HS-65HB
Gyro/Tail servo.
-Logictech 2100T gyro.
-Logictech 3100G tail servo.
-ESky servo tester to adjust gyro gain thus freeing the gear channel.
Battery:
-2x ThunderPower 1320 mAh packs.
Landing gear:
-Axe CP braces widened and color dyed in silver.
Navigation lights:
-MPI lightweight LED kit.

The final configuration with the 2025-4200 kV motor is awesome for scale flight and for serious 3D aerobatics.

Cheers.

MB.
Posted by Minibichus | Mar 25, 2008 @ 02:08 PM | 10,324 Views
UPDATE: *DECOMISSIONED*

The final setup is as follows:

The MB-1

-Losi 8750 kV brushless main motor.
-Micro 3.5 grams outrunner brushless tail motor.
-2x Feigao 6A ESC
-Main ESC => brake OFF, soft cutoff, softest start, low timing.
-Tail ESC => brake OFF, soft cutoff, normal start, highest timing.
-Spektrum AR6300 Rx without the plastic wrap.
-ESky Heading Hold Gyro.
-HH mode: Set at 65% gain in the DX7 pitch channel as STUNT 1 & 2
-Rate mode: Set at -49% gain in the DX7 pitch channel as NORMAL
-Fully CF reinforced 4#3 frame with strenghtened swash guides.
-130mm x 3mm Aluminum tail boom.
-Custom fabricated tail motor holder.
-3 blade, 50mm EDF Fenestron/Fantail propeller.
-CF reinforced and metal ball links blade holder.
-Flybar made with 1mm piano wire.
-Custom fabricated landing gear (0.65 mm piano wire) welded front support.
-Small.Planes. Aluminum rotor head, fully balanced and aligned.
-7T parma slot racing car pinion 64 Pitch. (this could change...)
-Custom fabricated battery tray and straps.
-Upgraded swash plate bearing for increased rigidity.
-Full Spainman's spring mod for the rotor head.

I think this is the entire setup as far as I know. I'll post some pics of it tonight.

Cheers.

MB.