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Old Mar 09, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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Anyone ever upgraded a mini-z to Spektrum 2.4?

I have an old Kyosho Mini Z that I'd like to get running for some custom plastic model bodies. The newer MR02/03 2.4 Kyosho chassis are way too much money for a novelty car I'll only drive occasionally. I'm trying to get everything on Spektrum and sell all my 75MHZ gear. Do they make any kind of DSM2 ESC/RX combo for something this size?
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Old Mar 12, 2011, 08:28 AM
We can rebuild it!
djdavies83's Avatar
United Kingdom, Wales, Swffryd
Joined Apr 2010
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Not that I know of, I'm planning a similar thing. I want to upgrade my old Xmod using a OrangeRx with my MCX type remote.
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Old Jun 19, 2011, 02:27 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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Well, finally figured it out, here it is for archives sake. Yes, you can use any radio you like with the Mini Z and still maintain the stock steering servo. Pretty cool! Anyway, you take the car apart, open the stock steering servo case. Next, heat up a pencil type soldering iron, then locate the potentiometer. Unsolder the one orange wire from the middle post, but resolder it to the outboard post it was on. Next, unsolder all the wires from the stock board. Then, get another wire, solder it to the center post of the potentiometer. Now you need a donor servo from elsewhere. (I used a servo with stripped gears I had removed from my Parkzone T-28 airplane, since the board was still good.) Take it apart, you're only going to use its circuit board and lead, so unsolder that servo's motor/potentiometer. Now solder your stock Mini-Z servo motor to the donor servo's motor terminals, and the three wires you now have on the Mini Z potentiometer to the donor servo's board. Plug the new servo lead into whatever RX you're using (I'm using a Losi Micro Rock Crawler combined 2.4 RX/ESC), and turn everything on, but don't install the motor into the gear case yet. It will probably start spinning, so dial the potentiometer by hand until it stops. Ensure you can turn the wheel on the TX and get proportional motor control. Test the motor/gearbox- put everything back together and make sure it now works like a servo. If you turn the wheel and it zips over to one side- the end posts on the potentiometer are probably reversed. Unsolder them and switch them. Check it again. If the potentiometer isn't centered, remove the thin plastic film cover from the front, and bend the wiper until it's centered (motor not running, dead neutral) Put it back together and test. When satisfied, put everything back together. The drive motor for the Mini Z is pretty self explanatory- just wire it to the ESC like you would any other vehicle. Enjoy not having to spend $300 on a 2.4 Mini Z or having a crappy glitching AM car!
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Old Jun 19, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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Here's the TX/RX I'm using- donated courtesy of Losi Micro Rock crawler. Everything can easily be unplugged and put back into the truck at any time though.
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Old Jun 19, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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Almost forgot, you can maintain use of the stock battery holders too. Just solder mini JST or whatever connector you like to the black and red wires coming from the battery case, and plug this into your new ESC/RX combo. Or, go with a LiPo, either way....
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Old Jun 19, 2011, 05:45 PM
We can rebuild it!
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United Kingdom, Wales, Swffryd
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Nicely done! I installed the "tight turn" upgrade on my Xmod, this is putting a fixed reistor on each leg of the potentiometer to trick the control board into thinking it's not gone far enough.

When I did this I did wonder if the motor and pot could be connected to a servo board as you have done, thanks for proving and sharing!
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Old Jun 19, 2011, 11:12 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
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No prob. Yeah, apparently all potentiometers are very similar. I even did this to a very old Sears/Taiyo (early proportional) R/C car, using a more modern Futaba standard servo donor board, but maintaining the 1983 vintage stock steering servo/pot. The stock steering servo was had 4 wires originally, but after some soldering and adding a wire to the unused center pot terminal- it worked like it should. Certainly something to consider prior to junking that old R/C with fried main board, or if you just want to put everything on one modern TX.
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Old Jun 20, 2011, 05:41 AM
We can rebuild it!
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Kinda offtopic for this thread but here goes......

I have a 19.2V Beetle.....

yep that is the S022 BIG chinook not the S026 mini Chinook, the car really makes it look small.

The 19.2V NiCd pack is next to useless and the proportional throttle and steering ain't too clever either, I'm planning on upgrading it to 22.2V 6S LiPo with DSM2 2.4Ghz radio, I was going to buy a "winch/blimp ESC" which can handle 30V, I had stumble upon a number of vids and tutorials on making massive servos out of car windscreen wiper motors and using the inputs for the servos own HBridge to dirve a mauch larger one while still using the servo pot for possition feedback.

Do you think I could give the drive motor's Hbridge the signals from the servo Hbridges inputs? a busted servo is cheaper than a ESC that can handle 30V.
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Old Jul 02, 2011, 06:10 PM
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Burlington, NJ USA
Joined Apr 2001
426 Posts
No idea. I actually just started looking at the topic of large servos/ESCs because I'm interested in R/Cing a Powerwheels car. That is an interesting idea you have on the windshield wiper motor, but for your application it may be tough since from everything I'm reading it needs a 6v lead acid battery for just the steering. Easy with a Powerwheel, I don't know about the Beetle. Check out the Powerwheels RC conversion forum- lots of good ideas for large scale stuff- http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/f...sp?FORUM_ID=15
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Old Nov 17, 2014, 09:27 PM
to live and let fly!!
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Jul 2013
203 Posts
anyone do this with a xmod car??
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