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Posted by mnemennth | Jun 24, 2015 @ 10:26 PM | 1,066 Views
UPDATE: Issues with Discharge Circuit: PLEASE HELP US COLLECT SOME DATA!

It appears there may be a fault with the Discharge Circuit; it reads much higher on the X120 than actual on my two chargers. See Post #14 below.

If you can help, please take measurements and report here so I can collect data.


THANK YOU!




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.



I bought two from here which I expect to be a drop-in/plug-in replacement: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261449024664

I recommend taking the perfboard screen out of at least the side where you put the fan, and install the fan to blow air out of the case, as there are vents on the bottom of the shell as well.

Good luck!


mnem
I void warranties.
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 21, 2015 @ 08:16 PM | 1,043 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
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 07, 2015 @ 02:33 AM | 1,808 Views
A few weeks ago I did a Tech Teardown on the BOSCAM BOS600 VTX:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2406190

In which thread I outlined a few mods I'd like to try. As I was working on this Blog, I realized that the techniques presented here are NOT all specific to this VTX; so I changed it up to be more universally applicable.

We have a whole new crop of micro-sized 600mW VTX out now; the complaints I'm seeing nearly universally are:

1) Tiny size, big power = LOTS OF HEAT!

2) The BLEEP!ing RF connector breaks off JUST AS BAD AS EVER!!!


If you cut the heat-shrink off, then peel the label off the tin can on the RF module, you can apply all these basic technique to ANY "Bare-PCB" VTX. These mods can all be completed in 2 hours or less with only a small vise and a pair of tin snips being the only uncommon tools (for this hobby) needed besides some patience and a willingness to rework your electronics to make them better.


If you're tuning in to mod another VTX, you should make a reality check before actually cutting the heat-shrink off and voiding your warranty, if you have any. Lay the "tin can" side of the RF module against a flat surface & be sure the RF connector (or anything else on the PCB) doesn't protrude above the tin can, preventing it from lying flat against the plate we're about to make. If it's less than 1-2mm difference, you can expect the blue thermal pads to offset that (but they now just became required, not optional);
...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 20, 2015 @ 12:25 AM | 2,785 Views
So... It's been a few months since this arrived; I've been a bit busy. You know, that whole "Real Life" thing.



http://www.amazon.com/Colorcross-Vir.../dp/B00PFEPQ78

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 | 6,387 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.



http://www.ebay.com/itm/251893409459


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:

http://www.boscam.cn/Default.aspx

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 | 2,935 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!


mnem
*The return of Dr. Blingenstein*
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 02, 2015 @ 11:53 PM | 4,560 Views
TURNIGY REAKTOR 300W x 2 HACKAGE - GET YOUR SERIAL DATA & TEMP SENSORS BACK!




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 | 4,574 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 | 9,271 Views
DIY - SAVE YOUR ELECTRONICS! BUILD A SmokeStopper!

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 | 11,593 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 | 5,369 Views
Overheard in the ZMR250 Forum... or perhaps the darker recesses of my mind.

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

Quote:
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 | 6,896 Views
AliExpress "Mystery" LHM149 250 FPV Quad Frame





[EDIT]

UPDATE: ON SALE US $24.29 / FREE SHIPPING NOW TIL 4/20/2015

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

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/2012236461.html

[/EDIT]



Okay... so.


http://www.aliexpress.com/item/LHM14...012236461.html

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 | 5,499 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 | 5,635 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 @ 10:18 AM | 5,216 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 | 6,291 Views
RCX H250GF-P1 Quad Mini-Review



http://www.myrcmart.com/rcx-h250gf-f...me-p-8052.html

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 | 8,138 Views
Taranis TOO EASY™ RGB Backlight Mod - Rev 1


OVERVIEW:
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 | 6,296 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 | 6,484 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,


mnem
"DR. BLINGENSTEIN!"