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mnemennth's blog
Posted by mnemennth | Dec 13, 2014 @ 03:14 AM | 2,109 Views
Overheard in the ZMR250 Forum... or perhaps the darker recesses of my mind.

Originally Posted by RS2K View Post
Get the HQ 6x3s and 6x4.5s.
+ 1 bazillion!

Originally Posted by bulesz View Post
Dude, the 6x3 is for efficient cruising... If you want power, pick the 6x45!
...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Dec 13, 2014 @ 02:38 AM | 2,783 Views
AliExpress "Mystery" LHM149 250 FPV Quad Frame


Originally Posted by mnemennth
AliExpress actually has a $5 coupon for new member sign up; so you could still get these for close to the same price I did.
Awww, HULLNUTS! It appears I was mistaken about the $5 off coupon for new customers; the only one they have right now is a $5 off $100 coupon.

Sorry about that guys; I can only blame sleep deprivation at the time I posted this.

Still a good deal for $20 clams delivered, though...

Okay... so.


This quad was on sale a couple-three weeks ago. Another RCG member said they take forever to get here like everything else off AliExpress, but they're genuine so I took a chance and got 2 of them for $32 with a $5 coupon I had for other purchases... I figured I'd wind up with a couple "China Fiber" CF Veneer quad frames; at that price, I really didn't care. Now I wish I'd bought a Lotto ticket that day, too!

And now the nitty-gritty.

They're GENUINE, 100% CF. "Branded" Mystery on the little Xeroxed assembly sheet. They have pretty good QC; thickness of arms varies from 3.1mm to 3.2mm; surface is very smooth, semi-flat finish.

I have done continuity test on every piece in both kits; they conduct top to bottom and end to end on all sides, even the feet.

Weight of all CF parts (...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 18, 2014 @ 12:26 AM | 2,330 Views
...and had myself a little adventure over the weekend. *Flashie-backie noises*

Saturday I took the kiddles with me back to San Antonio to visit friends and do some shopping; found some excellent deals and gave the boy a Lego Brain Blast by giving him money to spend at the Lego Store. All he had to do was be "Better than Green face" good all day; and he was! Even got through dinner with my old flying club buddy Rick without spoiling it.

So, after the Lego Store closes we head back home; about halfway, in the middle of this long stretch of nowhere and not a house in sight for miles... ZIPPP! a flash of white feet and THUDDD! I hit something. At first I thought it was a dog but it turned out to be a housecat; for sure it was somebody's pet, because it was too big and too well fed and groomed. I turn the car around and my son asks "Why are we turning around daddy?"

"Because I just hit someone's pet with the car, and nothing deserves to die alone, son. It's the right thing to do."

"Well, Socks or Mittens, it looks like you picked the wrong night to chase cars..." I say, picking up the battered body from the pavement and laying it in the ditch by the roadside. In the yellow glow of my headlamps, I watch the light fade from the poor creature's eyes; only a few moments really, but it seemed like forever. I say a brief prayer for its soul, then turn my collar to the cold and damp and climb back into the car.

I drive into the night and as I...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 16, 2014 @ 10:51 PM | 2,369 Views
So, since MultiRotorMania.com was so efficient in getting my order out, I actually had it waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday; now it's time to do something with all that multirotor goodness!

The RCX arm are really only drilled for the 2204-2208 size motors that use a 3mm screw (the 2mm slots are 45° off and leave the motor wires hanging off the side rather than going straight down the arm), so I had to find washers to be able to use the 3mm slots.

This is the CORRECT way to "washer out" 2mm screws going through 3mm slots; ordinary 2mm washers are usually not near wide enough and they will usually deform around the shape of the slot when you tighten them down. The cup shape on these makes them much more rigid and resitant to this deformation. The original m2 x 6mm screws that come with your DYS 1806es will work with these.

Fellow members who fly helis will recognize these; they're 2mm frame washers for TRex 450. I have oodles left over from crashed frames; if you don't have any, you can get a "TREX 450 Frame Spacer & Washer Kit" that has 30-50 of these and another dozen or assorted aluminum spacers for $6-ish from eBay.

Don't forget to LockTite the screws!

I'm doing another "sandwiched ESC" build but this time I need more space than my 4mm AL spacers will give; the stiffening caps are 8mm diameter. I'm using these Hillman # 880427 because they're cheap and readily available from any local Homeowner Hell for about 0.40 a package....Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 16, 2014 @ 11:18 AM | 2,065 Views
Nothing really exciting here; just passing along something I've been using for years and everybody who sees it says how awesome they are:

Here's my solution for Prop Management (and for managing pretty much anything else that'll fit inside 'em):

It'll hold approx 24 6" props packed loose enough to not risk warping them if the props are the only thing in the box.

Awesome that they're free on top of being so useful; this is the kind of recycling I love best! Drink tea, save a tree!

The labels are just printed on plastic shrink-wrap. All you have to do to free the box is push up from the bottom while squeezing firmly on the sides; the box will slide up & out of the wrapper.

The drink mix comes in little sealed tube mylar packets, so unless you're silly and put partial packets back in the box, they're clean and ready to use as soon as you use up the mix.

Here's my current flying-time carryall setup. Note that the boxes are just short of "1 Taranis wide"; I could stack them two deep if I lay them flat.

It's not just tea that comes in these; the Peach Iced Tea is just the flavor I like. All kinds of sugar-free instant drink mixes come in these containers:

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 02, 2014 @ 07:08 PM | 2,775 Views
RCX H250GF-P1 Quad Mini-Review


So... I had some free space in an order from MyRCMart; and they had this H250 'glas Quad kit advertised for $9.99. "What the heck..." I said. "Might be worth a laugh." and added it to my order. I'm not paying for shipping, so worst case I get some nice black hardware for my Silver G10.

Order arrived yestersday; shipped via ePacket it took 8 days. Maybe MyRCMart doesn't suck as much as I remember... what about that $9.99 quad? How much does IT suck?

Turns out... not much at all. In fact, unless you're allergic to kerosene, I'd definitely recommend it as a first microquad build because it has a pretty good design and you know... ten bucks.

So... here's the deal; 1 little anti-static bag that weighs in at 187.30 grams. Fiber-riffic!

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:57 AM | 4,165 Views
Taranis TOO EASY™ RGB Backlight Mod - Rev 1

So you've got your Taranis, and you've done all the usual speaker, Haptic & Sliders Mods; maybe even a 6-Position Mode Switch. But you're still stuck with the original contrast-killing BLUE backlight. If you're lucky, maybe you have a Plus and get to add some Dusty Grey™ to that, making some color in between. Yay!

If, like many of the Taranis faithful, the display isn't important to you, then it's probably time to flip the channel. But if you like the idea of having all THESE COLORS:

and pretty much anything in between then you're in the right place, dear Modder.

What if I told you you could have this, and add a remote control (we all know that whatever you're Modding, it's not fully "Blinged-Out" until it has a remote ), and still keep your original backlight controlled by the TX the same as ever, so all your flashing warning programming will still work?

What if I told you that you could do it all in an afternoon with no microsurgery on your beloved Taranis' Mainboard, and that this is a low-risk procedure with only two solder connections to the actual TX for power, and total All-Up-Cost is in the vicinity of $20-ish US ?

If that sounds good to you, read on.

"Okay... what's the catch?" you ask. "There has to be a catch."

I won't lie to you... there is a catch. In order to make the Mod this easy, we have to avoid disassembling the original backlight; this is a...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 11, 2014 @ 07:10 PM | 3,157 Views
Taranis How-TO: Rotate SH (TRAINER) Switch 90° for other Applications

While helping another RCGer working on an alternate switch setup, I realized just how inconvenient the SH switch really is if you want to use it for anything else besides a Trainer toggle. My immediate reaction was to rotate it 90° clockwise, so it becomes a PUSH easily used by reaching over the RH slider. But... the design of the connector PCB and the case gets in the way of that. However... this can be resolved.

First remove the switch. This is the way you want to orient it to make it a "PUSH" that is easily reached with INDEX or MIDDLE fingertip. Note the two active solder pads on the RH side of the PCB; we need to make sure those are still soldered to the same tabs on the switch.

Unsolder the connector PCB then solder it on partially flipped as shown so it's still connected to the correct solder pads. You can insert the tabs on the switch partially into the holes in the PCB; this mounts the PCB at approximately a 35-45° angle. This will allow you clearance to rotate the switch pretty much any way you like.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 09, 2014 @ 12:16 AM | 3,296 Views
Turnigy 9XR / 9XR Pro RGB LED Backlight Mod - Transmitter BLING! (4 min 35 sec)

Custom RGB LED Backlight assembly replaces OEM; controlled by RGB LED Strip lighting controller.

TX Has both LCD Backlight and [READY!] LED converted so overall "look" is complete; IR remote controls Color selection and Brightness, but controller is integrated so that software is still able to switch backlight ON & OFF as usual.

Controller has 15 pre-programmed colors plus White; it also offers four cyclic lighting effects to complete the "Bling!"

I am currently in the process of writing up a photo how-to in my Blog; I will update here when it is completed.

And yes, I will soon be working on a version for the Taranis/Taranis Plus!!!

Thanks for viewing,

Posted by mnemennth | Sep 02, 2014 @ 10:06 PM | 3,445 Views
The name pretty much covers it; if you want to change the color of your 9XR/9XR Pro's LCD backlight, then you're in the right place.

You will need:

5) 3020 size BRIGHT WHITE LEDs, 3500mCD or higher

1) 1206 size 22Ω SMD Resistor (Or 2 0805 size resistors totaling 17-22Ω in series or parallel)

A decent, temperature-controlled soldering station with a 0.1mm fine tip

Very fine solder (I prefer Radio Shack # 64-035 0.015" Silver-Bearing Solder for this type of delicate work)

Fine-braid Solder-Wick or equivalent desoldering braid

An X-Acto Knife with a halfway decent # 11 blade

Some patience and a little technical ability.

First, we need to get some new LEDs. The ones I used came from this vendor: www.ebay.com/itm/350349379262

No ePacket shipping, so they arrived in about 12-13 days.

Your other option is to go to eBay, type "3020 White LED" in the Search box and wade through the 7-10 pages of hits, looking for the one or five listings that AREN'T some sort of idiotic mood lighting for that kid with the saggy pants to put in his Hoopty.

If you want another color besides the ones in that listing, I'm afraid you're going to have to brave that tidal wave anyways. Sorry.

Don't bother with the "Purple" ones; most of their emission is in the UV range. Unless you want to see that mustard stain on your shirt glow in the dark, they're useless as backlights.

Remember that different color LEDs have...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 02, 2014 @ 01:33 AM | 3,369 Views
9XR Pro DIP Switch Mod

So now you've got your shiny new 9XR or 9XR Pro, and you want to start adding goodies. Maybe a Bluetooth module, maybe you need to switch some inputs to something else, maybe you want to add a light or buzzer or thingamabob. But you need to be able to turn it on and off. Jumpers are too much hassle, but you don't really need to dedicate a switch on the front panel to it; what to do?

This is a great job for an 8-position DIP switch in the Battery compartment. Common DIP Switches can carry current up to 500-1000mA ; this makes them great for enabling small loads and redirecting signals. A reminder: It is best to make sure you do NOT switch them under load; always change DIP Switches with the Radio OFF.

You will need:

1) 8-Position DIP Switch, "Piano-Style"

1) 16-Pin DIP Socket

2) Pieces of 3/16" (4.8mm) Square Plastruct 3/4 inches long; glued side x side to make spacer

1) Sharp X-Acto Knife and/or a Dremel tool


CA & Accelerant (Recommended but not absolutely necessary)

"NO FEAR!" Attitude towards sawing and cutting on the insides of your 9XR or 9XR Pro.

First, remove the back of your TX.

If you're not afraid to, remove the RF board and the speaker and the bracket it sits on. If you're planning to do a speaker Mod like the one I posted previously, now's a good time to get it all done at once. This job CAN be done with the bracket in the TX; it just means you need to be extra...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Aug 12, 2014 @ 07:01 PM | 3,638 Views
Like the Taranis, the speaker on the 9XR Pro is somewhat anemic. This can be blamed on both the fact of using a small Mylar pancake speaker, and the fact of trying to use said speaker in "free-air" mode with no soundbox in front and no resonating chamber behind the diaphragm.

I'm working on a couple of Mods; this is my first one:

This Mod is to build a sealed soundbox. I cut a 15mm wide strip of plastic from a Drink Mix box like so.

Trim it to fit against the upper bulkhead of the TX and cut a notch out for the back of the [READY!] LED indicator, then commit some Hot Glue Abuse to seal it all in place. Also, remove the brace on the upper bulkhead for room for the speaker.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 21, 2014 @ 11:50 PM | 4,018 Views

After over a year of wanting, and proselytizing, and saving for a Taranis... I finally bought one. That's right; mere weeks after buying a 9XR Pro. I hadn't managed to tell my wife until this morning; so I didn't dare say anything lest the horrors of all sitcom television be visited upon me. But I've fessed up, and now I can rejoice! It should be here Thursday. *wibble*

It all started innocently enough... After fiddling around with my new 9XR Pro for a while, I noticed that the backlight was very dim compared to my 9XR. I mean REALLY dim. For all the ergonomic and cosmetic design evil visited upon me by the original 9XR, the one thing that kept me coming back to it over my much more extensively modded 9X was the display. The 9XR display is a joy to behold; deep, luscious blue, incredibly crisp, laser sharp contrast, black blacks and enough brightness that even bright sunny daylight doesn't wash it out. The 9XR Pro display was... bluish grey. Dull. Not even as nice as my 9X.

After discovering that this was NOT merely a matter of the screen brightness turned down by default (see my Blog post below this one) and that I had all the money from selling my 9X in my PayPal, I got mad; my brand new 9XR Pro... and the ONE thing I loved about the old 9XR they screwed up.

In a fit of pique decided to sell the Pro; and since I wasn't going to have to replace the FRSky module I sold with my 9X, that money could go towards the Taranis. Perfectly logical I told myself; $...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 20, 2014 @ 06:29 PM | 4,027 Views
After receiving my shiny new 9XR Pro and having some time to fiddle around with it, I found myself struck my how dim the LCD seemed; at first, I simply assumed it had the brightness turned down by default. Once I found the brightness control in the menu, I was very disappointed to find it was in fact at 100%.

Side-by-side comparison* with my other Turnigy TX showed I wasn't mistaken; even my venerable old 9X was brighter, and the Pro was no where even CLOSE to the same crisp, bright display that was one of my favorite things about the 9XR.
*I know it's hard to see in this photo; but in real life, the difference is HUGE. This photo is the best of dozens I took trying to document the issue; evidently it is just one of those things that's very hard to photograph.

Questioning Mike & Brent revealed that the Pro uses the same LCD and Backlight array as current 9XR production; so clearly something else had to be at fault. A little poking around with my multimeter yielded an answer; there was something awry in the design of the LED Backlight power circuit.

Location of R56 and Q3 - Backlight Control Circuit

The 9XR takes power direct from 12.6V battery voltage at the power switch; it drives the LCD backlight array at 55ma total through a 150Ω ballast resistor. It has 5 LEDs in parallel; dividing that current by 5 yields 11ma per LED.

The 9XR Pro takes it's power from the main 5V switching regulator; it drives the entire array at 11ma. 11ma/5 LEDs in parallel = 2....Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 17, 2014 @ 02:12 AM | 3,971 Views
There is an issue with the Multi-Port used in the Turnigy 9XR Pro, which I discovered when removing the main board to inspect my LCD.

The original 9XR had the Multi-Port housing made so that it pulls straight up away from the board for removal, allowing access to a screw underneath. The way my Pro is made the plastic molding traps the assembly under the power jack, and blocks access to one of the screw holes underneath. In the case of my TX, they omitted said screw in manufacture. I do not feel that 3 screws is adequate to retain the mainboard properly; the [EXIT] button is not firm as a result.

One has to remove the audio jack and disassemble the housing to remove it from the mainboard as it is; clearly this is not feasible with the board in the TX.

I've modded the Multi-Port Housing on my 9XR Pro to address this issue; details are shown below:

Once completed, the Multi-Port assembly will easily slide around the power jack and pull straight up off the board while assembled in the TX. This makes for easy access to that 4th screw.

Hope this helps a few folks get this issue sorted,

*At some unfixed point*
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 11, 2014 @ 02:37 AM | 4,197 Views

I'm working with both HC-05 & HC-06 modules on more than 1 project, so I decided to actually make the programming socket I've been meaning to do for years. It's loosely based on the schematic in the HC05-HC06 Datasheet; PC breadboard is Radio Shack # 276-158B, everything else is scavenged from my junk drawers and parts bins. I decided to use through-hole parts cuz I'm tired of needing tweezers for everything. :P

Jumper configurable between HC-05 + HC-06, it connects via FTDI or equivalent Serial/USB adapter.
I recycled one of my old BT Serial carrier boards for 3.3V Reg and buffer resistors, but moved LED1 offboard along with LED2.

I've included breakouts for KEY (With momentary switch & jumper), LED1 & LED2, USB DATA (-), USB DATA (+)

LED Ballasts are 470Ω, KEY Pulldown Resistors are 10KΩ, KEY Pullup Resistor is 470Ω.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 01, 2014 @ 04:11 PM | 4,696 Views
6/3/2014 - Added updated diagrams for MPU-6000 and Barometer in their subsection; also a full Schematic with these revisions.

Nothing fabulous in today's update; I found myself troubleshooting a couple APMs that connect, but respond with the dreaded "Failed to Boot MPU6000 5 Times" error.

In the course of this work, I found the APM_v252_Release schematic to be a bit counter-intuitive due to poor arrangement of the pinouts, particularly around the TXB0104 Level Translators. So I made updated schematic.pngs for the two TXB104s at the DataFlash and MPU/Pressure locations; I've also made a complete schematic with those updates.

When I used to do this for a living, it was a matter of pride to make sure your schematic reflected the pinout of the actual part being used; nowadays we just let the computer do all that. It doesn't care that the pinouts are out of sequence; it just tries to make the neatest diagram possible.

This is how we wind up with errors like the reversed pair of inputs on the the TXB0104 at the DataFlash; they aren't nearly so glaring when your brain is already trying to deal with a jumbled mess due to out-of-sequence pinouts.

So if you're troubleshooting failures in these areas, hopefully this will help... I may find myself attacking the other IC pinouts in those areas as well; if I do, I'll update here with those revised schematics.

Please feel free to double check my work against the original and let me know if you find any errors; a second set of eyeballs often catches something originally missed.


Posted by mnemennth | May 29, 2014 @ 10:42 AM | 5,709 Views
This has been a weekend of back-breaking misery and fixing breakdowns, which have all converged on me at once. My simply fabulous pants-free Monday couldn't go unpunished; Murphy HAD to make sure I paid for it in utterly convoluted, contraptious, ironic fashion.

First, wife's car kakks a battery at her school on Friday AND she locks herself out of it. I go and rescue her with the battery out of my old Saturn. We spend Saturday and Sunday with Mom-in-Law visiting and hoe-ing out of the kids' room to make room for their new bed, which Mom-in-Law brought with her.

Over the holiday weekend, she parked my car in the back yard and I didn't realize it until after it had been pouring rain all night; it was sunk into the sandy loam we have here right up to the axles. I take wife & kids to work at the buttcrack of dawn so I can have her car, and when I get home the washer's pissed out a lake all over the floor. Admittedly, this I was expecting because it for a while it had been howling like a banshee every time it spin cycled, but of course the timing was perfect.

So I swap out the washer with an old Whirlpool I picked up a couple years ago as a spare and stored in the garage, and the auger doesn't work. I know how to fix it, and the kit's only $15, so I get in my wife's car to go pick them up, and it won't start. No dimming of the lights, no click, just nothing but the usual lights on the dash when I turn to start.

At this point, I have my old car with no battery, my wife's...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 24, 2014 @ 12:05 AM | 5,364 Views
JJ RC 1000A MicroQuad Mini-Review

JJ-1000A Micro-Quad graciously provided gratis for review by TMart.com. See it here: http://tinyurl.com/JJ-1000A-at-TMart

As of 5/24/2014:

1000A (RTF With LCD Transmitter) $33.99 FREE SHIPPING
1000B (RTF With NON-LCD Transmitter) $32.99 FREE SHIPPING
1000A BNF (Bind-N-Fly with YOUR WL Toys V2x2 Family Transmitter) $25.19

First Reactions:

This morning I'm home today with a sick baby grrl, working on my FPV Quad.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!! at the door.

It's the Lone Star Overnight delivery woman with another package from TMart. "Another one Mr Paul?" she asks. "Yeah... another toy quad for me to review. Evidently they like my material; they keep sending me stuff." I answer with a smile while I sign then take it inside.

This time it's the Jian Jian Toys JJ 1000A MicroQuad; it arrived in a box that looked like it had been through a war; however, the contents appeared unscathed.

"Oh great;" I say to myself. " not another Hubsan X4 clone that costs almost as much and flies half as well." Little did I know; that is EXACTLY what it ISN'T.

I take the battery to my bench and plug it in; it uses a little USB cable with a charging circuit in the head like the V272 and V292 came with, only this has the small white battery connector like the Walkera micro helis and the V202 use.

While it charges, I take some pictures & measurements:

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 17, 2014 @ 02:47 PM | 44,447 Views
SJ 4000 Action Camera Tech Teardown

As promised, here is my teardown of the SJ4000 Action Camera. We will explore the hardware, Waterproof Case and insides of this camera.

Camera graciously provided by TMart.com for review. See it here: http://tinyurl.com/SJ4000-at-TMart


We'll start with the box; it's nice, upscale retail packaging which definitely shows off the goods.

The back of the box lists all the usual specifications...

...Continue Reading