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Posted by hifinsword | Dec 09, 2014 @ 09:13 AM | 1,759 Views
When I helped "aspoon" set up the initial Excel spreadsheet for the "Transmitter Compatibility and Protocol" at
I thought that would help me sort out all the confusion. It has certainly helped but I need a small cheat sheet I can look at for quick reference so I created this BLOG entry to help me get info quickly.

Another helpful data sheet is the "RC Model database" developed by and is found here:

For starters let me state that Spektrum uses TAER vs AETR by Futaba on the first 4 channel assignments. This was my first rude realization when I learned about the different choices. I have no idea what other protocols use but believe they follow Futaba for the most part.

T - Ch1 Throttle - Spektrum
A - Ch2 Ailerons - Spektrum
E - Ch3 Elevator - Spektrum
R - Ch4 Rudder - Spektrum

A - Ch1 Ailerons - Futaba
E - Ch2 Elevator - Futaba
T - Ch3 Throttle - Futaba
R - Ch4 Rudder - Futaba

This is not an engineer's, programmer's or geek's thread. The use of the term protocol is not necessarily accurate when used in this thread. What I believe are protocols in some cases turn out to be message formats or some other property of a protocol that is far beyond my knowledge level. This thread is for me to understand the choices available and sort out the differences in terms of ease of use, upgrades, functionality, price,...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Oct 04, 2014 @ 09:41 AM | 2,864 Views
Disclaimer, etc. I received these parts independently and am not employed or compensated in any way by Heli-Factor or Hobby-Direct or anyone else to review these products. I have not had any direct or indirect contact with any interested party to promote these products. This is a completely independent review by me and hope it may help anyone interested in them.

Anyone interested in the V913 should visit the V913 forum here:


This is a review for the new Heli-Factor CNC aluminum parts for the WL Toys V913. They are sold by The H-Factor team has manufactured new V913 parts using 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, and stainless steel linkage balls.

V913 CNC Aluminium Rotor Hub
Model : HFV91301 - $9.80

V913 CNC Aluminium Main Blade Grip
Model : HFV91302 - $11.80

V913 CNC Aluminium Swash Plate
Model : HFV91303 - $14.80


The total weight of the new CNC aluminum mast assembly is 88.5 grams. It weighs 88.1g with the ends of the main hub arm guides removed.This includes the main shaft collar, swashplate, mixing arms and set of links to the swash and balance bar, the rotor hub, the main blade grips and the ‘Jesus’ bolt to hold it all on the main shaft. It does not include the main shaft.

The total weight of the stock mast assembly is 91.3 grams. The picture shows 85.9 grams but my stock assembly has trimmed blades. Each blade weighs 2.7g less than the stock blades on my new CNC aluminum assembly, so it is 5.4grams more if adjusted for the difference in trimmed blades.
Posted by hifinsword | Sep 30, 2014 @ 09:52 AM | 2,224 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I am in the process of consolidating all my V913 related blog entries to this thread as a reference for the V913. It will probably take a month so in the meantime information found here may be chaotic until it is finished.

I have arbitrarily named 3 versions of the V913. Why? Because it has gotten so confusing as to which model parts are compatible with each other. Hopefully I can help sort out the differences in the models offered.


VERSION A: First there was the original BRUSHED version of the V913.

VERSION B: The BL version available with the model 1612 BL main motor.

VERSION C: The BL version available with the model 2625 BL main motor. It uses the same motor and ESC that comes in the Main Motor BL kit, including an ESC.

It is made by a Chinese company, WL Toys. The ORIGINAL version of the V913 is a 4 channel FLYBAR helicopter. The 4 channels control Throttle, Pitch, Roll and Yaw. The FLYBAR helps stabilize the helicopter. Unlike a coaxial helo, the V913 only has 1 main rotor.

Rotor diameter = 530mm (20.87in)
Length = 690mm (27.16in)
Width = 110mm (4.33in)
Height = 200mm (7.87in)
Weight = 478.3g (16.87oz)

Stock Battery = 2S (2 cell) 7.4V (volts) 1500mAh Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery
Stock Battery = 68.6x 36x 20.25mm (2.7x 1.42x 0.8in)
Stock Battery weight = 86.4g (3.05oz)

Main Shaft = 6mm diameter (same diameter as the Blade CX-4, MJX F45)
Tail Boom diameter = 10mm
Tail Boom length = 285.75mm
Main blades, hub 3.6mm thick, 5.85mm diameter hole
Posted by hifinsword | Sep 25, 2014 @ 07:02 AM | 2,278 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I trimmed the trailing edge of my main blades which left them unbalanced. The 1st step was to make sure the trailing edges matched up and the weights were close. I held them one on top the other and could see some spots on one were wider than the other. I took the one with the wide spots and weighed it and then weighed the other. As expected the one with the wide spots weighed the most.

I set up a sanding wheel on a vise and sanded off the wide spots. I had to go back and forth between the 2 blades till they weighed the same. Then I mounted them on a hand balancer and aligned them in a straight line using the reinforced blade shank ridge as a LOS guide.

I used some soup cans to place my blade balancer. I hand sanded the blade that fell till both blades stayed horizontal. They ended up within 0.1 grams of each other. Ideally you should adjust the tracking of the blades but these are so stiff, it would be hard to adjust the tracking the traditional way of bending and twisting the blades longitudinally while applying heat.
Posted by hifinsword | Sep 25, 2014 @ 06:57 AM | 2,283 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

This Mini-HowTo assumes you know basic soldering, wire trimming skills and have a soldering iron/station. I'm no expert but thought how much I didn't know about soldering 4 years ago. And thought this might help a beginner get started. It's no expert setup but will do for most small basic jobs.

PARTS: Some sources are listed at the bottom.
In addition to the 3.5mm bullets, male and female, you will need 1/8th and 3/16ths inch heat shrink and some wooden clothes pins, or something to hold the bullets while soldering.

You will be cutting the 1/8th HS about 1/4". You will be cutting the 3/16th in HS about 3/8" - 1/4". Remember the larger diameter HS will need to cover the FEMALE bullet (all exposed brass) from the edge of the open end, out to cover at least 3/16" past the end of the bullet and on to the wire, which will already be covered in the 1/8" HS.

Presolder the ends of your motor wires. After the wires are cool, slide 1 piece of each size heat shrink on the motor wires before soldering the MALE bullets onto the wires ends. Keep them away from the heat as you solder the bullet on to the motor wires. The 1/8th size won't go over the bullet but will provide the 3/16th HS a larger diameter area to grab on the wire....Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Sep 15, 2014 @ 08:01 AM | 2,974 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I'll start at the end rather than the beginning with this review. I did not use the model 2625 BL motor found in the Main Motor BL kit (BG SKU138359 $38.99). Link here:

I used the model 1612 BL Main Motor. After installing it, I believe it is not as powerful as the model 2625 BL motor. That is based on others' reviews of the model 2625. It seems the 2625 also mounts better from the top, which may be an advantage over the bottom mount of the stock motor and the model 1612 I used in my BL conversion. The motor mesh is still not as correct as it should be and that may be contributing to the lack of performance.

DISCUSSION: I have used the following NEW parts (with some exceptions noted that I did not buy or use) to convert my original V913 over to a BL Main Motor. I do not know if they are interchangeable with the BL Version of the V913 RTF sold at as SKU132652 ($119.99) or the BL Version BNF sold as SKU164666 ($99.99).

Link to BL V913 BNF BG's SKU164666 - $99.99:

Link to BL V913 RTF BG's SKU132652 - $119.99:

Link to New Version Tx (with camera functions) BG's SKU059576 - $25.35: Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Jul 22, 2014 @ 11:58 AM | 2,959 Views
This is a short description of types of foam used in the RC hobby. I've also included a link to a great forum for foam suppliers.

Foam suppliers.

Types of Foam

Depron - very light weight, brittle; NOTcontact cement safe. DO NOT use Welders Adhesive or forms of contact cement with Depron.

Elapor - blended EPS & EPP

EPO (Expanded Polyolefine) - Horizon Hobby (HH) calls their form of EPO, Z-foam.

EPE (Expanded Polyethelene)

EPP Expanded Polypropylene - (pool noodles) low structural strength; covers with low temp coverings; shipping tape does NOT stick to very well; use a spray adhesive or FoamTac with blemderm, fiberglass tape (drywall type), NexCare, clear surgical tape to reinforce surfaces; breaks clean, high compression strength, poor tension strength; comes in 1.3#, 1.9# densities; Compatible with Epoxy, Regular CA or Goop glues and Acrylic paint;

EPS Expanded Polystyrene - high structural strength; sensitive to heat, CA, polyester resins; Compatible with Epoxy or Polyurethane glues; comes in 1#, 1.5#, 2.0# densities; HH uses EPS on most or all of their UMX airplanes. Do not use CA on EPS unless it is foam-safe.

XPS Extruded Polystyrene

FFF - acronym for Fan Fold Foam (more commonly used as an acronym for Fast Forward Flight)

Z-Foam - (Horizon Hobby) does not require Foam-safe glue; regular CA is OK.
Posted by hifinsword | Jun 10, 2014 @ 03:45 PM | 3,010 Views
Recharging LiPo batteries - the 80% rule applies to the storage capacity or AMPERAGE of the BATTERY, NOT THE VOLTAGE of a battery. For a 1500mAh battery that means it should not be discharged more than 1200mAh (0.8x1500 = 1200, or 80% of 1500mAh). You won't know that until you recharge the battery. A good charger will tell you how many mAh it took to completely recharge the battery back to 4.2 volts per cell. It should then be at the full capacity of 1500mAh.

A good rule of thumb to use for how far to discharge or fly a battery, is the nominal voltages associated with each cell, i.e. 3.7 volts per cell. If you don't go below 3.7 volts per cell, you won't hit Low Voltage Cutoff (LVC) and damage your LiPo battery. Go below the LVC and you will most likely be putting back more than the 80% amp carrying capacity of your battery - NOT GOOD!

If you think you will be staying with this hobby, I recommend buying a quality BALANCE charger and stop using the cheap stock chargers that come with most RTF, ARF & BNF combos. They are OK in a pinch or on a trip where you don't want to carry a full blown charging setup. I won't recommend a charger or brand. New ones come out all the time but a good place to start is searching RCGs, or go to sites such as John Salt's for suggestions.
Posted by hifinsword | Jun 03, 2014 @ 03:29 PM | 3,206 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

If you've tightened all the screws involved in the V913 Main Blade Holders, and it looks warped, you've probably mixed up the aluminum plate parts of the main blade holder.

One of the aluminum plates on the V913 main blade holders has an extra hole each side of the opening that lines up with a plastic pin on the corresponding plastic parts of the blade holders. When changing the main blades, it's easy to put the wrong aluminum plate on the blade holders.

Swap the aluminum plate with the extra hole over the plastic parts that attach to the main blades over the proper part. They will fit flush when tightening down the screws.

Or you could buy the new aluminum bling Main Blade Holders/Grip at

Posted by hifinsword | May 28, 2014 @ 03:41 PM | 3,181 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I am using the FX052 tail motor and assembly rather than the stock V913 motor and assembly on both my V913s currently. One is on a raised and extended CF tail boom. The other is on a stock metal V913 tail boom.

The FX052 tail main and pinion gear sizes, and gear ratio allows the tail motor to work more efficiently than the stock V913 tail motor gears. I'm hoping it will last longer than the stock motor. I have 31 and 12 flights on each as of 12 June 2014.

I feel the FX052 tail motor gives me better tail control. The V913 tail boom is 10mm and the FX052 tail boom is 12mm so the replacement assembly needs to be shimmed onto the 10mm boom. Steve_ discusses the FX052 tail motor and assembly more here on Page 161 Post 2404:

To use the FX052 tail motor you must also use the FX052 tail gear assembly. The tail motor mounts (screw holes) and the pinion gear are different from the stock V913 gear assembly. The FX052 tail motor pinion gear is too large to fit thru the opening of the V913 gear housing.

The FX052 tail gear assembly fits on a 12mm tail boom and the V913 uses a 10mm tail boom. Before you shim the FX052 tail gear assembly onto the V913 tail boom, you must melt a hole in the left side of the gear assembly to match the...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | May 13, 2014 @ 06:08 AM | 4,218 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

These are the mods made to my #1 V913.

1) Swashplate mod. Hot glue and paper clip mod discussed in detail here:
The new Heli-Factor aluminum swashplate (and main rotor hub & main blade holder) are discussed in my blog here:

2) A new extended carbon fiber (CF) tail boom with raised tail motor mount was installed to be parallel with main motor shaft.
Boom and reinforcements to angle are CF tube and strips. The tail boom was extended about 1 inch, has 1mm thick sidewalls and is 10mm in diameter. The CF reinforcing strips are 4mm wide and 0.6mm thick. Horizontal stabilizing rods and vertical fins were removed initially but were reinstalled after about 5 months. The torque from the tail motor twisting the CF boom resulted in stress fractures starting to show up.

The details are discussed in my "Mini How To" blog here:

3) Tail motor and gear assembly are from the Feilun FX052 helicopter. Some more info here:
and here Steve_'s post here:

With the conversion to a BL main motor, the torque is at the...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | May 13, 2014 @ 05:30 AM | 3,893 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

This CAUTION is about removing and reinstalling the shaft collar upside down. When you replace the main shaft bearings or any part on the main shaft in most of these RC model helos, you may end up removing the shaft collar too. It's very easy to put the shaft collar back in upside down. One side has a small ridge and the other is flat. The ridge side goes down against the upper bearing in the upper part of the frame. When I say a small ridge, I mean very small, like about 1mm. If installed the wrong way, you will get too much vertical play in the main shaft.
Posted by hifinsword | Apr 23, 2014 @ 02:47 PM | 3,795 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I used carbon fiber (CF) tubing with 1mm sidewall thickness to make my V913 tail boom lighter and at the same time raise it to the same level as the main rotors. This should give the tail motor more authority because of more leverage against the main motor torque. Due to both rotor shafts being at the same level, the right lean has been eliminated. Less work for the tail motor means longer motor life as well. In flight the tail motor actually torques the tail assembly to a slightly left angle, similar in appearance to a H-60 tail inflight. At a hover the torqued angle is not there. With the bracing it would go away I think but I like it with the angle inflight.

I used the FX052 tail motor and assembly rather than the stock V913 motor and assembly. The parts for the FX052 tail motor and gear set are becoming hard to find. Here's a link to my post on where to find them as of June 2014.
The FX052 tail assembly main and pinion gearing allows the tail motor to work more efficiently. I'm hoping it will last longer than the stock motor. I already feel the better control the FX052 tail motor gives me. The V913 tail boom is 10mm and the FX052 tail boom is 12mm so the replacement assembly was shimmed onto the 10mm boom. Steve_ discusses...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Apr 04, 2014 @ 08:03 AM | 5,077 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

Discussion: These mods or ideas to improve FF (or FFF) in the V913 can be applied to most helos. They fall into either adding movement to the servos, or moving the Center of Gravity (CG or COG). Either the servo movement is enough to force movement in the intended direction or adjustments can be made to bias the movement in the intended direction. It can be done by adjusting, modifying or replacing servos that do not have enough force or movement to do the job, mechanical adjustments elsewhere, or by moving the CG.

1) Push the rate button on the upper left shoulder of the Tx. This will give the servo arms more movement. Pushing the TURBO button on the upper right shoulder of the Tx also gives the servos more travel but it is only as long as it is pushed. It can be modded by making it a switch thereby enabling it ON permanently as long as the switch is in that position. See the post here on modifying the V912/913 Tx.
Paragraph 5 (c) below applies.

2) MECHANICAL TRIMMING: Adjust (extend/lengthen) the ELE servo connecting rod for a forward bias of the elevator travel. This is my favorite method for improved FF. This can be done with the trim switch electronically or mechanically by adjusting the servo connecting rod or both. To...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Apr 04, 2014 @ 07:03 AM | 4,989 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

Update: As of August 2014, Heli-Factor has the aluminum upgrades to the V913 swashplate. It is available thru HobbyDirect. Also available are an Aluminum Main Blade holder and a Rotor Head or Hub.
Aluminum upgrade swashplate link:

If you haven't modded the V913 swashplate, the odds are you will sooner or later, or give up flying the V913. This is a "MUST DO MOD" in order to fly the V913. I've tried to consolidate the most popular ones here for future reference.

1) The ever popular paper clip + hot glue mod by nmemennth

2) The copper tubing and wood screw mod by dan2pkheli

3) The CX4 CNC swashplate mod by fuzzyguy. This link is to his post in modding the V913 top frame plate and the anti-rotation bracket.

Two aluminum swashplates are available for fuzzyguy's swashplate mod.

Link to the aluminum swashplate

Or if you prefer, a link to the aluminum swashplate

Any questions on the swashplate can be better answered on the Main V913 thread at RCGs by those with much more knowledge than I have. The link is
Posted by hifinsword | Mar 30, 2014 @ 03:53 PM | 4,176 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

I wrote down some notes earlier thinking it would help when using a 3S batt on the V913. This blog entry is for using a main motor that is designed to run on 3S batts instead of the stock 2S batts, the stock motor and the F45, etc. replacement motors we have been using. If a 3S designed motor can be made to work with the existing PCB, it should provide more power and hopefully longer flight times than the stock motor provides.

If a tail motor designed for 3S voltage could be found, the ideas should also work for it. In my limited search for 3S tail motors capable of handling 11.1 volts, I've found these candidates. One is the Heli-Max N60 tail motor for the Heli-Max Axe CP.
But at $24.99 each, it's too expensive for my taste. The other is the N60 tail motor for the Blade BSR at $9.99 but it has terrible reviews.
If anyone knows of a better tail motor that might work, please post here.

I got these tips from FlyingTape and Vicio911. I have no electronics knowledge to know if this will work. But from their posts, I have no reason not to believe that it won't, so I'm giving it a try.

Link to FlyingTape's posts on the V912 forum:
...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Mar 30, 2014 @ 08:03 AM | 4,324 Views
Although your comments here are welcomed, anyone interested in the V913 should post questions about the the V913 on that forum here:

This is a post of "hard-to-find", uncommon parts and the new Aluminum Bling for the V913.

1) The V913 locking collar or which calls the "V913 helicopter parts Aluminum sleeve on the hollow pipe". There are some cautions when installing this item here.

2) A V913 basic "set of screws" for the V913.

3) The V913 Flybar pin. Which calls "the small iron bar for fixing the top bar".

4) The V913 main blade grip sleeves and feathering shaft, which calls the "Copper sleeve on the main blade grip set and main shaft + Iron stick in the blade grip set".

5) The V913 front LED with wires, also called at "the small light in the head".

6) The V913 Main Blade Nuts and Bolts.

7) The new aluminum V913 Main Blade Grip/Holder.

8) The new aluminum V913 Swash Plate.

9) The new aluminum V913 Main Hub or Head

You can find the 1st 6 of them here: also carries them but the shipping charges may be a little higher.

Items 7-9 can be found at Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:46 PM | 3,724 Views
To parallel charge any batteries, you will need a charger with a power supply (can be included or added on) and a parallel charge cable/board. I don't remember where I bought my ready-made parallel charging cable but should have them. A balance cable won't do you any good until you start using multiple cell batteries. A parallel charge cable is all you need for 1S batteries since there is no balance plug on 1S batteries.

When I charge multiple 1S or any batteries for that matter, always bring them up to the same voltage first before plugging them in. For instance, if I have 3 batts, 1st is at 3.71volts, 2nd is at 3.80volts and the 3rd is at 3.94volts, I put the 1st one on and charge to 3.8ish (within 0.1 volts). At that point I stop the charging and add the 2nd battery. When the 1st and 2nd are close to 3.94volts I stop the charging and add the 3rd battery and charge to 4.2volts.

If all the batts are 500mAh batts, I can charge at 1C using 1.5Amps or 1500mAh on the charger. I usually charge less than 1C to keep the heat down and extend the batt's life. But if doing the above procedure and starting with the 1st batt alone, I start at 300 or 400mAh until the 2nd batt is added. Then you can increase the amperage to whatever you calculate the rate you want. With 2 x 500mAh batts, I would charge about 700mAh and after adding the 3rd batt I would bump up the amps to about 1200mAh. The total at 1C would be 1500mAh or 1.5Amps but I prefer less than 1C.

Higher rated...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:01 PM | 4,051 Views
Discussion: This procedure is intended for Fixed Pitch (FP) helos pilots to set up their helo to fly a stable hover relatively hands-free. It is for helos with only 2 servo links to the swashplate.

Generally Collective Pitch (CP) helos must have a level swashplate. Many first time FP pilots make the mistake of trying to level the swashplate of their FP birds. A level swashplate may, or may not allow your FP bird to hover hands off. What is important is whether or not you can enter a stable hover hands-free with your helo, regardless of the swashplate position, level or not.

There are FP conversions helos that have FP heads on CP frames, and have 3 servo links to the swashplate. This procedure does not apply to them or CP helos.

Step 1: Zero out any trim to the Aileron (AIL) and Elevator (ELE) on the transmitter (Tx) controls. If the Tx has sub-trim in a menu or sub-menu setting, zero that out also.

If you are only adjusting for drift, skip to Step 3. This assumes servo arms are already adjusted at 90 degrees to direction of travel on all servos.

Step 2:
(WARNING: If replacing servos, do not attach servo arms to servos, or links to servo arms until the 90 degree position is determined. A servo arm moving against another part may cause jamming and break the servo.)

(WARNING: Do not move servo arms with power applied to servos. It may damage the servos by inducing a overcurrent situation.)

Turn on the helo and bind. Note any servo arms not at 90 degrees to the...Continue Reading
Posted by hifinsword | Feb 20, 2014 @ 04:28 PM | 4,129 Views
This is my favorite link for a 'how-to' when it comes to a cheap method of balancing main blades on a helicopter. It is a blog entry on Chap1012's blog.