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Posted by mnemennth | Feb 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM | 1,741 Views
Quad Building 101 : Drilling Carbon Fiber

About every other day I see a discussion on "Drilling CF" to enlarge a motor screw or make a hole for an antenna. I hear the usual "Oh, just get a drill and drill real fast" and "Oh, just tape it and you'll be OK" etc, but the bottom line is that dust from Carbon Fiber and the resin in it can be VERY dangerous if inhaled.

Aside from large, high-production CNC operations with high-velocity dust collection, cutting CF cannot be done dry with any level of safety, even with a mask.

Cutting CF & 'glas dry is a bad idea not just because of the likelihood of inhalation while cutting, but also because the microfibers float for a long time, so they get EVERYWHERE and contaminate your entire workspace and your clothing.

You can easily contaminate your own face and eyes with the dust by wiping sweat away while working; even hours later as the dust migrates from your clothing long after you've forgotten about the drilling you just did.

You can get slivers in your hands & arms arm from dust on the workbench a week or a month later that will itch and get infected and sting like a MoFo. I know from personal experience.




http://www.harborfreight.com/diamond...-pc-69653.html

Diamond bits $8

I use a cordless Dremel and diamond bits like these to drill or cut under a trickle of water in the sink. Cuts quickly and very clean, just like the original manufacturing, and the water washes...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 17, 2016 @ 02:23 PM | 1,788 Views
The Mailbox was kind to me last night; inside was an unassuming grey mailer of unknown origin, arriving to me from China via Sweden.

I've been waiting on a number of packages, so I really didn't know what it was until I got it in on the bench. Christmas in February!!!



RoboCat 270 Kit - $30.27 at Geabest.com

Initial impressions:

Very good quality kit; clean, smooth cuts, very snug fit on interlocking parts. Nice quality Molded ABS canopy & side covers with glossy finish; neat openings and easily paintable unlike vacu-formed polycarbonate bodies.


All plates 100% CF confirmed with continuity on multimeter.

All blocks & spacers made of machined aluminum.

205.50 grams total weight for bare kit.

Weight of all 3 cover pieces 19.65 grams.

Allright... Now I'm done with the initial impressions, time to get onto the build!


Cheers!


mnem
*Building the perfect beast*
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 10, 2016 @ 09:08 AM | 1,717 Views
My son needed a Recycle Robot for school. We made Recycle2D2!








...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 03, 2016 @ 02:55 PM | 1,713 Views
FTDI Heads-UP:

FTDI RELEASES WINDOWS UPDATE DRIVER THAT IS BREAKING PEOPLE'S STUFF... AGAIN!


Why do you care? Because pretty much every hobbyist micro-computer (Like those in our FCs, ESCs and OSDs) connects to our PCs via the chips these drivers use, or a similar chip from another manufacturer.

FTDI is the largest manufacturer of the least expensive versions of these chips, and, as a result, also the most counterfeited product.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...tag=TRE684d531

Maybe it's time to just say NO! to FTDI... start using other brands of USB-RS232 converters.


mnem
If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!!!
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 31, 2016 @ 03:47 PM | 2,663 Views
MAD SCIENCE! Converting My Dremel to Li-Ion Power!!!


So... my beloved Cordless Dremel has finally chugged its last... or at least, the 9.6V NiCd pack has gotten so weak it won't run 3 minutes on a charge. Time for a new pack!

But wait... Dremel has abandoned this model. Replacement packs are no longer available, having been replaced by... Li-Ion versions.

Well, I usually have a few Laptop packs to rob cells out of... I buy NOS ones off eBay that are being blown out due to being for unpopular models.



While the laptop packs cycle, I begin modding the pack. I disassemble the outer shell, then find this plastic tree that supports the battery contacts.

A Little work with my corded Dremel and Hot Glue Gun gets me to this point. Charge & Balance Connectors modded in place; after cycling a few 1S2P subcells, I find one that yields approx 4600mAH. This will probably produce a decent pair of cells I can turn into an 8.4V pack. Not the full 9.6V, but I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten 9.6V under load out of my NiCd pack in at least a year anyways.




Now that I have some good cells, time to solder it all up. A little foam, an insulator... already looking pretty tidy.


...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 23, 2016 @ 12:49 PM | 2,707 Views
Gearbest Heads-Up: Robocat 270 $24.94 / FREE SHIPPING - ALL COLORS!



http://www.gearbest.com/multi-rotor-...pp_270254.html

I'f you've been thinking about the RoboCat 270, and were waiting for it to come down in price... now's your chance!

Gearbest is offering all colors of this popular frame right now for $24.94 DELIVERED!

Integrated camera mount allows for use of the cheaper board cams, integrated XT-60 holder and included frame spacer kit is designed around a nice tidy "Between the lower plates" build with generous battery cavity right in the middle for best weight distribution that can fit up to a 4S/2200mAH pack.



Supports 18xx or 22xx power plants, recommend 35mm x 35mm PDB or FlyCat 260 PDB for easiest build.

RoboCat Video Manual (2 min 4 sec)


I'll be doing a Tech Teardown/Build Log of one in the near future... check back soon!


mnem
*Bigger, Faster*
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 16, 2016 @ 07:07 PM | 2,197 Views
In other news:




3000 posts and I didn't even realize. Time for a change. };=)~~~~<


mnem
I'm not sure.
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 04, 2016 @ 03:57 PM | 2,384 Views
I MADE THIS; YOU CAN TOO:

I finally got around to building myself a proper Radio Tray; I'd been getting by with a horrible bodge made of 1/4" lauan plywood and long eyebolts. It was good enough for me to decide I really do want to continue my efforts at unlearning all my bad "Stick-banger" habits and going "Pinch-Style" all the way; but I really wanted arm rests. Nice solid ones for my great big "Popeye Arms" and "Shrek Hands".

Well, yesterday while unpacking I found 3 pieces of aluminum angle left over from dismantling a server; an idea popped into my head.






A quick trip to the Hobby Shop for an 8-32 Tap and to Homeowner Hell for some 3/8" aluminum Rod and I was ready; I'm dead chuffed with the results.

812 grams with straps.







My original plan was to just keep it simple; two angles as armrests held together by 200mm long pieces of 3/8" aluminum rod, which would also support the radio. Then I got to thinking...

Before long, I had contrived to use the 3rd angle to make the filler panel here. One of the other things I hated about most radio trays I've seen is how close they hold the radio against your body; this arrangement puts my arms at a very uncomfortable angle.

Instead of just a couple posts sticking up to clip to a neckstrap like most trays, the U-shaped arm allowed me to make a harness that criss-crosses behind the back, taking the weight off my neck and putting it across my shoulders.



...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 01, 2016 @ 07:41 PM | 3,598 Views
HobbyKing is running a Flash Sale on the 9XR Pro; Only $69.99 this week!





In stock at the International Warehouse, but also available for Back-Order from the USA East Warehouse (Cheaper Shipping):

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

Or, if you can't wait and don't mind a little work, they have the Mode 1 version IN STOCK in the USA West Warehouse:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

For those looking to get into a slightly better TX but can't afford a Taranis; this and an XJT module will get you almost everything the Taranis offers; there's even a version of OpenTX for it!

https://alofthobbies.com/frsky-xjt-j...ry-module.html

The DJT is $12 cheaper, but it doesn't support the latest Smart Port Telemetry or the X-Series receivers; these are both important for little quads like the ZMR250.

https://alofthobbies.com/frsky-djt-j...ry-module.html


mnem
SuhWEET!!!
Posted by mnemennth | Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:21 PM | 2,911 Views
First, let me start out by saying that I support the AMA in their continuing fight against across-the-board registration of all model hobby aircraft. I know some folks feel that they threw the multirotor user base under the bus, but the reality is that the majority of those people are NOT members.

The AMA is NOT a government agency. They exist to serve their members, NOT THE PUBLIC, in the pursuit of safe model hobbyist flight. Their duty to the public is to do their best to make sure their members take reasonable care in the pursuit of the hobby, and as a part of that responsibility, they provide insurance in case of mishap for those members who DO fly responsibly.

The fact that they are the largest such recognized club, therefore the defacto point of contact for as many of said hobbyists as the government can easily reach, doesn't make it their responsibility to fight for every dumbass who can buy a turnkey quad, or to promote the idea that they should be able to do so without some level of responsibility.

The AMA has stood toe-to-toe against the Fed EVERY TIME they've tried to start proceedings like this. The ONLY thing they've done to the hobby is try to get everyone to fly responsibly.

When I first got into model RC aircraft almost 30 years ago, I was astonished to find that some government agency hadn't ALREADY mandated registration of ALL RC model aircraft.

I was out there with folks flying 80" planes with half-gallon tanks of 40% nitro; these...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 20, 2015 @ 08:12 PM | 3,405 Views
UPDATE: PRICE DROPPED TO $179.99 THRU 1/4/2016


ZMR250 RTF $179.99 DELIVERED WITH TRAVEL CASE


Sonuvacrap... a ZMR250 RTF that doesn't just plain suck bunge at a price that doesn't suck bunge. Certainly not race-ready, but aside from the unnamed 12A ESCs, (Which I STRONGLY suspect as EMAX12A, so eh~eh), certainly not "all the cheapest crap thrown into a box with no instructions" either.

If I had the money and time to spare with the move, I'd buy it just so I could review it and the RadioLink TX.



http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-EC25...p-1008943.html

CAVEATS ARE:

NOW LISTED IN STOCK; DELIVERY in 7-21 Days

Comes bundled with a "Gift Accessory" prop freebie you can't remove listed as part of a "Discounted or Wholesale Price" product class so that no coupons work. You HAVE to pay advertised price... Wah.



...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 17, 2015 @ 03:07 PM | 3,276 Views
Received this AMA Sponsored video in today's AMA Newsletter:

Astronaut Hoot Gibson has a message for you about Drone Safety (1 min 37 sec)



mnem
yo.
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 03, 2015 @ 08:51 AM | 3,702 Views
Well, we survived our first night in the new house; unloaded just enough of the truck to put the fridges in place and get to our beds. Having a little coffee-milk while I formulate a battle plan for the rest of the day.

I was at "Oh, I'm gonna be sore in the morning..." a week ago. Right now I'm operating in siege mentality; spending energy on NOTHING that isn't absolutely necessary at the moment.

The scary part is there's still another truckload to move, and most of that still needs to be packed in boxes.

I have no idea how all that will materialize; it is an objective so far in the future as to be purely academic at this point. Right now, the grunts in the trenches (me and my fat belly) have to concentrate on THIS skirmish and worry about later stages in the campaign... later.

*wibble*


mnem
I am too old for this sh
Posted by mnemennth | Oct 23, 2015 @ 10:54 PM | 3,745 Views
We all know how awesome the Yi is by now; everybody and his grandmother is sticking these things on pretty much anything that flies to get their own awesome 60FPS HD footage.

Of course we all want to protect the lens; even if our little green beast costs only 60-something dollars, we want to invest a few dollars to keep that electronic eyeball scratch-free.

Problem is, a large number of the UV filter/Lens protectors being sold nowadays JUST slip on, and have almost zero holding force.

I bought two for my Yi; one would just fall off, while the other held a little bit, but would actually pop off if you thumped the side of the camera with a finger!

After reading of many other member having the same sort of problem, I realized I wasn't just "Lucky Contestant Number 3"; this was a widespread problem.




If you place 2 small dots of hot glue as shown in this pic, then press the UV filter on quickly while it's still hot, the hot glue will not get inside the lens and it will disappear under the UV Filter.

It holds VERY well, but you can still remove the UV filter by slipping a thin bladed paring knife between the filter and the body of the camera and twisting a little.

Yeah, I know... you don't want to put hot-glue on your brand-new camera. Me either. But come on; it's a $60 camera we buy BECAUSE it's $60, and it saves us risking an actual GoPro. Once you're in the air not worrying about the lens, you aren't going to give a flying fig about a invisible dot of hot-snot on your little beast.


Cheers!


mnem
7 out of 10 Disco Frogs prefer a Velcro Fly.
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 13, 2015 @ 09:55 PM | 14,739 Views
New RCX H2205/2350 : 22xx Power for the 18xx Weight Class!


I recently received 4 of the new RCX H2205/2350KV motors for my Tech Teardown; thanks to MyRCMart for providing them for review.



RCX H2205-2350 Promotional Price $8.99

Specifications:

Model: H2205-6
KV: 2350KV
Weight: Approx. 24-25g
Cable: 150mm, 22AWG Silicone
Prop Shaft Diameter: 5mm (CW)
Stator Diameter: 22mm
Stator Length: 5mm
Shaft Diameter: 3mm
Configuration: 12N14P
Internal Resistance: 0.109Ω
Suitable ESC: 10-20A



H2205 Mechanical Draft


...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 03, 2015 @ 10:45 PM | 8,038 Views
Diatone Power Distribution Board for ZMR250/H250 : Entirely Too Good For The Price!!!

I recently received a package from Banggood containing 2 of the Diatone PDBs; my thanks to Aaron Qin for providing them for review.


NOTE: Banggood has discontinued the V1 Diatone PDB, and their replacement, the V2.1, is widely regarded as an utter POS. Therefore, the only link I'm going to publish at this time is the direct link to the V1 Board at multirotormania.com.

http://multirotormania.com/power-dis...mr-frames.html


What's In the Box (Or Baggie)




The PDBs arrived in an unassuming grey bubble mailer; inside were two clear baggies labeled DIATONE on one side. Inside the baggie is the PDB itself and a smaller baggie containing auxiliary LED lighting.




The PDBs I received are the V1; they are made to fit the majority of "ZMR250" and "H250" quad frame kits. Here you can see it fitted against an RCX H250 frame; I know it's hard to tell from this photo, but what looks like mismatched holes is actually just shadows from the flash. I PROMISE you all the arm screw holes and standoff holes line up perfectly. I've used it successfully with a number of different generic "ZMR250" frames from eBay and AliExpress.


...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Aug 29, 2015 @ 11:29 AM | 5,381 Views
Full-Frame Camera Mount for Yi - Good and Cheap from Amazon!



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YQYKKHE

I just received THIS in today's mail for my Yi. Only $13 and eligible for free shipping via Prime; I picked it because it came with a UV Filter/Lens Protector and I was willing to pay more to have it quickly.

OVERVIEW:



Overall weight with Yi is 100 grams, plus 5 for the UV Filter

The frame is injection molded ABS and reasonably thick; it doesn't feel a bit flimsy at all. When attached to the base and tightened down, it feels VERY firm. I still don't think it can stand up to Kernow Quad, though.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 24, 2015 @ 10:26 PM | 7,437 Views
UPDATE: Fans came in; FULL DIY POSTED!

X120 Charger: Killer Deal for $22. Don't let the fan they left out kill it.


I just received my new X120 charger from hobbyKing; as I suspected, it is 100% a rebrand of the iMAX X100/X120. It even has "iMAX X100 V1.5" printed on the PCB and iMAX molded int the inside of the case.



iMAX originally designed this charger to have a fan; the circuit is there and even the plug is present on the PCB.

Only 4 screws hold it together, but to get it open you'll need to peel the blue stickers off the vents and the black sticker around the charge ports.

I'm guessing they omitted it to save cost or maybe to make the charger quiet; the entire circuit IS present, even down to the switching transistor and a 2-pin JST-SH connector still on the board.

Fan measures 35x35x10mm; the circuit provides 5V power.




DIY: Add a Fan to the X120

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 21, 2015 @ 08:16 PM | 5,858 Views
Some time ago I was contacted by Adam at Gearbest; asking if I'd like to review a quad for them. After some consideration we picked the HT-F801; it has become a very popular quad for both beginner & experienced pilots alike due to sporty performance, rock-stable attitude control, and reasonable price.



1MP Camera/720P DVR Version, as Reviewed: HT F801C(1.0 MP CAM): http://goo.gl/Q9IU74

WiFi-SmartPhone Based FPV version: HT F801C(FPV): http://goo.gl/7OGSBD


Well, a first-day encounter with The Kite-Eating Tree and the demands of a new job have kept me from fulfilling my obligations to this good fellow until now.

Thanks again Adam, for hanging with me all this time. You've been far more patient than I deserve.


What's in the Box:



Like most of the current crop of China-Direct toy quads, it comes in a cardboard box with carry handle that is intended to serve as a "field box"; molded pockets in an easily pulled out tray carry the quad, battery and TX safely and securely.

Included are the fully assembled quad itself, TX, 650ma battery, 720P CMOS camera, extended landing legs to protect the camera, optional prop guards, a spare set of props, USB-Powered battery charger, and a little baggie with a screwdriver, the hardware to attach the prop guards, and two optional "crown-style" joystick ends to replace the game-controller style thumbpads on the TX.

...Continue Reading