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Old Oct 18, 2012, 01:17 PM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
Blade mQX kit update!

I finally found the time (and desire) to buy a Blade mQX kit and play around with it. I not only updated the wire lengths to better suit the mounting of the LED's, I also made a BEC Y harness that avoids having to splice the kit into the 4-n-1 unit. I still need to work on the Y harness design a bit but I hope to offer it when I re-open in December, assuming I can find an affordable supplier - folks out there are crazy with what they charge for R/C connectors! Once I find a supplier I'll be able to estimate the new cost for a Plug-n-Play mQX light kit. I hate the idea of splicing the kit, hence the reason I didn't splice mine in yesterday!

The new kits will ship with 6-1/2" wire lengths for the Red/White/Green LED's and 4-1/2" wire lengths for the Blue LED. I mounted the R/W/G LED's to the outer motor housings and mounted the Blue LED to the top back of the canopy. I had the white LED's up front and the Red/Green "NAV Lights" on the back.

I flew around at night without any issues re: orientation. I never flew a quad-craft before and thought the light set-up was fine as is. For those curious, I flew around in X configuration.

I'll update the website when I can catch my breath from all of the orders. THANKS EVERYONE for the POSITIVE feedback and the business.

Although I hate to bring it up, I'll be closing again in less than 2 weeks but will be open after Thanksgiving and remain open until the ~3rd week of January.

SEMPER FLY! Jeffrey
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 09:32 PM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
Uploaded a short night video of the mQX flying around.

6-1/2" wire lengths on the red/white/green LED's with the LED's mounted on the outer motor housings. Blue LED on a 4-1/2" wire leads mounted on the top of back on the body.

SF Design Solutions Blade mQX 5-LED Light Kit (1 min 51 sec)

___________
Semper FLY!

SF Design Solutions
"Taking the ultra-micro to the dark side"
www.sf-design-solutions.com
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 10:55 AM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Oct 2012
638 Posts
Ordered me some MQX lights and waiting for them to arrive. Debating on whether I'm brave enough to try and solder to the board of if I'll go the splice route.

Am I correct that if I do a three way connection of the power lead from the kit, a male jst, and a female jst (http://www.ebay.com/itm/JST-connecto...item337e4c88c6) that I would then plug the board into male, the battery into the female, and all be happy? This would keep my soldering to just the 3 way connection (totally way from my happy MQX? Am I off base here?

Also, would love a picture of those that have mounted their lights on the front of the pods - to see how you cleanly routed the wires. I've seen lots of pics of them mounted on the booms - but not on the pods.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:04 PM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Oct 2012
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Lights arrived but my plugs for the 3 way have not yet arrived. Next question, on a board that I know as bad, I was able to take my fingernail and split the insulation on the plug wire. Could I affectively solder the led to the gap without cutting the wire?

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10086689/RC...2019.53.00.jpg
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:17 PM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr00ejr View Post
Lights arrived but my plugs for the 3 way have not yet arrived. Next question, on a board that I know as bad, I was able to take my fingernail and split the insulation on the plug wire. Could I affectively solder the led to the gap without cutting the wire?

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10086689/RC...2019.53.00.jpg
You could solder in the gap but getting heat shrink or another insulator on a T splice can be difficult so you'll need to use liquid tape, large(r) heat shrink, or other type of material to prevent a short. The SMD LED's don't take kindly to shorts (especially the red LED) so be sure seal the splice well. SFDS
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Does the splice make better or worse sense than wiring a jst Y into the lights?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 06:08 AM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr00ejr View Post
Does the splice make better or worse sense than wiring a jst Y into the lights?
Splice is lighter but a more permanent option. A Y pigtail allows you the option of unplugging/removing the light kit without "solder surgery". I have a Y pigtail on mine but do not like the bulky mess under the canopy. If I can get a less bulkier version made, I might offer one in the future but for now, splicing is the "stock option".
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 11:16 AM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Oct 2012
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Soldered the lights to a Y (saved some weight by not plugging the lights into the Y. So basically I have lights, female plug, male plug Y'ed together. Ran my lights and used electrical tape to secure them to the pods. White lights on on the front pods facing straight forward. Red and Green lights are on the rear pods on the upright that's between left/right and back - so they are basically at an angle. Blue light is on the board frame facing back. I think I'll like this set up but we'll see after I fly it.

Experienced an oddity though - lights were flickering on and off and I found if I held tight the shrink wrapped bundle I could make them either stay on or stay off. I cut open the bundle, separated the positive pairs and the negative pairs. Wrapped a thin layer of tape around each pair - then shrinked over the pair again. Lights haven't flickered since. :-/
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 03:27 PM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Oct 2012
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Had the lights mounted and flying though it seemed maybe with my Y I had thrown off the balance. Wouldn't think that little bit o weight would throw things off, but just doesn't fly as well. Then I crashed and the red light burnt out already. -> Not saying anything bad about the seller, think the lights are great. I think I crashed on the red light. Think my choice of installation wasn't right for me. I'll put them away and revisit later.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 08:32 AM
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United States, MA, Sutton
Joined Aug 2006
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The MQX can have an issue with initialization. It needs to be steady and flat while it init's and then the blue bind light gets lit. I have had my MQX list to a side and I land it and then unplug the batt (cycle the TX) and then plug the batt back in and let it init again. Usually fixes any trim issues.

I have flown my MQX with an extra 2 cell batt, FPV camera and VTX without disturbing the gyro. It's a LOT more weight than the lights. BTW taking my daughter for a ride in the MQX around my yard while she wore the glasses was too much fun.

Try looking for a break in the red lights wire. Solder it back together and give it another try. Make sure the MQX init's while its motionless.

I was one of the earlier adopters of the lights on the MQX and I fly this at night with no moon and at quite a distance. (about the same I would fiy it away from me by day)
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Old Jan 09, 2013, 09:55 PM
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Joined Aug 2011
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I've been out of action for quite awhile and finally went outside the other evening just to hover my mQX around and cycle some drowsy batteries. The lights are very bright in a clear body and pretty at night.

I was sort of invisible in the dark by a tree but the helo was over by the street. Had to chuckle when a car stopped and sat there for 2-3 minutes until I landed.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 07:17 AM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
The weight of the kit, no matter how you mount it, will not through off the balance. I agree with Ducati's comments. Initialization seems to be the key - especially after a "hard" landing.

If anyone has an issue with one of my kits please feel free to call or write. Normally, if you pay return shipping, I'lll be glad to fix your kit and get it back to you. Although the warranty doesn't cover crash damage or problems when folks have altered the kit, I'll usually work with you and get the issue resolved.

I've had VERY FEW kits returned in the past 2-1/2 years and I stand by my product. If you have an issue, PLEASE let me know and I'll work with you to get it replaced or repaired at very little cost (return shipping) to the customer. I've read a couple posts lately about folks having an issue, but the only reason I knew about it was catching up on the News Groups. I can't help you if you don't ask. I don't spend a lot of time on the Forums, so again, if you have an issue, just let me know - I will work with you the best I can.

Although I will have admit the timing of this post is pretty bad as it will be hard to rectify any issues until April as I close <again> today. SORRY for the continued inconvenience but family, church, and work are my priority. SFDS is a part time business and as such, takes a back seat until my schedule works itself out.

Thanks for all the positive feedback I've received via e-mail!!

SFDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr00ejr View Post
Had the lights mounted and flying though it seemed maybe with my Y I had thrown off the balance. Wouldn't think that little bit o weight would throw things off, but just doesn't fly as well. Then I crashed and the red light burnt out already. -> Not saying anything bad about the seller, think the lights are great. I think I crashed on the red light. Think my choice of installation wasn't right for me. I'll put them away and revisit later.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:54 AM
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South Africa, GP, Midrand
Joined Feb 2012
7 Posts
MQX Alternative Installation

I received my MQX kit from SF Design Solutions a while ago. They donít ship to South Africa so I had to use an intermediary which tripled the price. I am extremely happy with what I received; it was exactly what I wanted. The components and workmanship are first class, wish I could solder like that.
I made two attempts at installation as advised by others in this thread. I had the following problems:
  • The wires running along the booms need to be protected. This means taping them to the booms which means you will be removing and re-doing it every time you need to service any part they are attached to. It also thickens the boom which puts more stress on the (sloppily-punched) canopy holes. Be aware that the booms conduct electricity so the back of the LEDs and all wires need to be properly insulated.
  • The direction of the LEDs was never quite right. Not being able to permanently fix the LEDs so as to keep the parts serviceable meant that every time I picked the quad up I had to bend one or two slightly Ė like that picture on the wall that is never quite straight. I tried epoxying on little 45deg rubber wedges onto the booms so that the LEDs could be firmly pressed against them and then point directly forward and back but they were never straight.
  • There was a messy, floating bundle of excess wire under the board and always play in the boom wires and a splattered mountain of solder and on the board.

For my third attempt Iíve done the following:

I aligned the LEDs in the inside centre of the + configuration canopy holes and held them in place with tape. I chose this tape because it is VERY sticky and could be adjusted without ruining the glue. I made the front hole slightly wider and put the two white LEDs next to each other and the blue at the back.



I then put a big drop of two-part clear epoxy glue on the outside of the hole and kept it level until it had set (3 mins). This bonds well to the canopy, holds the LED in place, gives damage protection and diffuses the light.



I then soldered a female jst onto the LED kit and could test the lights. My heart sank when they were dead but I was lucky to quickly notice that the resistor was getting hot. I determined that the two front LEDs were touching so dug them apart with a blade and inserted a sliver of plastic between them and filled the back with another big drop of epoxy. The close-up isnít pretty but doesnít look too bad when on.



The lights then tested all OK.





I then cut the power wires and soldered on a male jst for the lights and chose to extend the battery lead with a longer female jst.





I also took the opportunity to cut the battery slide off and cyano a flat piece of plastic with super-velcro on the bottom. The canopy lead could then be connected and the canopy reattached.







I can now test the lights separately, remove the canopy without any stress and fly without the lights on or without the canopy and I find the diffuse light more pleasing. I think it is a bit heavier but hard to notice and flying time is at least a minute shorter.

Someone mentioned in this thread that you shouldnít put tape over the LED lens as the LED would blow. Is this likely to be a problem?
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 12:33 PM
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3flyguy3's Avatar
United States, IL
Joined Apr 2012
1,393 Posts
Need some light

Bumping this thread. I just got my MQX and want to install lights. Is the current version still holding up?
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 04:10 PM
"I'd rather be flying..."
LtColSpit's Avatar
United States, SC, Beaufort
Joined Mar 2004
259 Posts
SFDS Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3flyguy3 View Post
Bumping this thread. I just got my MQX and want to install lights. Is the current version still holding up?
Never had a non-switched light kit returned. And no complaints once I extended the length of the wire leads. I'll let customers chime in but it will be interesting if they had problems with this kit as I haven't gotten any calls or emails. I'll be closing (again) ~ October 5th, or when supplies run out.
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