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mnemennth's blog
Posted by mnemennth | May 20, 2015 @ 12:25 AM | 1,478 Views
So... It's been a few months since this arrived; I've been a bit busy. You know, that whole "Real Life" thing.

I have no idea what it says; but nobody Asian has slapped me while I'm wearing them, so probably nothing about anybody's parentage.

Here you can see one of my mods: I replaced one of the RCA Jacks with a RCA plug so I could plug directly into my VRX; this I moved to Input 1 inside the goggles. Only because I ONLY had a white RCA plug that I could use here.

Mechanical Details:

Front cover is 82mm x 154mm inside, or 6" x 3 - 3/16" not counting the rounded corners. The 5" Diagonal 800x480 widescreen below fits with about 5mm clearance vertically; you might be able to cram a 5.6" inside but it'll be close. I think you could use one of the 7" ones off eBay and have about 95% of the active matrix of the screen inside the goggles, but you'd have to lose the front cover and hot glue abuse, etc. It would look like hell on the outside.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 03, 2015 @ 07:42 PM | 3,126 Views
BOSCAM BOS600 VTX Tech Teardown:

Strong, well thought-out design with lots of features & lots of potential but QC issues that could be fatal. This unit has the potential to be one of the best or one of the shortest-lived VTX in your stable.

I recently ordered one of the new BOSCAM BOS600 VTX to go with my HeadPlay HD Goggles when they get here; I found the VTX for $37.68 from GadgetInfinite, GoodLuckBuy's eBay storefront.

GoodluckBuy Product Page

It arrived double-boxed in apparently good condition 10 days later; no injuries to the box inside except a couple scratches on the security sticker. The security code under the scratch-off validates against the "product anti fake inquiry" page linked to at the bottom of the BOSCAM WebSite:

Curiously enough; even though this individual unit verifies as genuine in their system, BOSCAM still doesn't have a product page up for the BOS600, despite releasing the product officially in December. I know, they're just TOO busy.

This does not Bode Well...

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 23, 2015 @ 12:46 AM | 2,220 Views
250 Quad With RGB Orientation Lighting (1 min 51 sec)

Took my old Silver G10 H250 and added some 5050 RGB Bling; I found this tiny RGB controller on eBay that gives me ON-OFF with 8-stage dimming, various color mixes and a bunch of "blinky" functions.

I was going to just hardwire the orientation lights; but this module (All over eBay for less than $2 from China; $3-4 from US vendors) was just too cheap and too easy not to!

*The return of Dr. Blingenstein*
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 02, 2015 @ 11:53 PM | 3,609 Views

One of the best ideas the folks at HobbyKing EVER had was to hook up with the folks at Junsi and start selling their world famous iCharger line of products. Even BETTER was taking the awesome iCharger 206B and stuffing it in an extruded aluminum box with one of its brothers; this is how the Turnigy Reaktor 300W x 2 was born.

Unfortunately, at the same time, they decided to eliminate TEMP SENSOR input and the USB port for Serial Data out to your PC. I'm not sure why; maybe it was due to space restrictions, maybe they didn't want to do support for those functions. But... they're gone.

Well, not entirely. The temp sensor circuit is still there; it's just lurking inside the box. They even left the plug-in header!

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 22, 2015 @ 11:50 PM | 3,713 Views
The build is finished; I'm too tired to explain it all, so I'm just gonna leave y'all with some eye candy fer now.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 18, 2015 @ 08:24 PM | 7,126 Views

We've all been there... Working all day on a new build, you finally finish, you give your new beast one final look-over and don't see anything wrong. So you plug it in and TZZZT! SNAPP! POP! and instantly, your plans for new-found aerial bliss disappear literally in a puff of smoke.

You tear it down and find a blown ESC caused my a motor with a too-long screw into a winding or a little blob of solder that you SHOULD have caught before you put the new shrink-wrap on, but DIDN'T.

Now you have to tear it apart and replace the toasted ESC before you can even see if the motor is salvageable. You already know you're going to be ordering a new one shortly; the only difference is whether you're going have to wait for it to come in the post or if you ordered enough to have a spare and will need to replace it.

Enter the SmokeStopper -

Nothing exciting; quite the opposite.

This is a little gadget that hobbyists have been using for nearly a century; a light bulb as a current-limiting device to provide power to a device under test. The wattage of the light bulb is chosen such that if there's a dead short in the device under test, instead of allowing massive current to flow and letting out the Magic Smoke, the bulb will glow and only the amount of current needed to illuminate the bulb will flow. This only needs to be enough to allow the device to initialize; not enough for it to operate at full power.

This can prevent fatal...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 03, 2015 @ 02:54 AM | 9,376 Views
Programming the Sunrise 20A Slim ESC (Atmel Version) Revision long-20_V1.1

The Sunrise Slim 20A ESC is becoming very popular among the 250 FPV Quad crowd; its unique footprint, 20A capacity and 5.5gram bare weight is a promising package. Add 500Hz speed and Active Braking (and now, even experimental 1-Shot/125) to the legendary BLHeli mix of adjustments and you have quite an impressive little ESC for $8-11.

On the ZMR250/H250 generic FPV quad, that unique footprint allows one to set up the ESCs between the lower frame plates like so for a super-tidy build; just as if the ESCs were MADE for it...

...and if you're using a full-plate PDB like the OverCraft PDB shown here, the wires exit EXACTLY where you want them to.

Recently; Sunrise released a new version of the Atmel-based 20A Slim; long-20_V1.1 . This How-To focuses on this version, as I found myself forced to reverse-engineer mine a little to make it work.

Here is the BLHeli "Supported Atmel ESCs" page for the Sunrise Slim 20A:

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Dec 13, 2014 @ 02:14 AM | 4,670 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 @ 01:38 AM | 6,094 Views
AliExpress "Mystery" LHM149 250 FPV Quad Frame



ALSO NOTE: US $21.86 ea in lots of 10!


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 (Less feet) : 99.51 gr

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 17, 2014 @ 11:26 PM | 4,805 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 @ 09:51 PM | 4,945 Views
So, since 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 @ 10:18 AM | 4,538 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 @ 06:08 PM | 5,537 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 28, 2014 @ 11:57 PM | 7,282 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 @ 06:10 PM | 5,598 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 08, 2014 @ 11:16 PM | 5,806 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 @ 09:06 PM | 6,015 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:

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 @ 12:33 AM | 5,898 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 @ 06:01 PM | 6,185 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 @ 10:50 PM | 6,472 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