|Feb 27, 2012, 12:58 AM|
Massive Overkill's V911 mods
Announcement: James and I have gone into business together and formed MassiveRC. Check it out here: James + Massive = MassiveRC
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I want to thank James Chen for introducing us all to this excellent micro from WL Toys. I also want to thank Chris from WL Toys for listening to your customers and implementing some of the requested improvements.
UPDATE: Guys, while the V911 is an excellent FP micro heli and awesome bang for the buck, I haven't touched mine in almost a year. I've moved onto micro quads. If you guys have any questions about my mods or troubleshooting the V911, I'll be happy to answer, but bear in mind that this thread is probably more up-to-date than I am as having not touched my V911 in a year, I have cobbwebs:
If you're wondering which two mods made the biggest difference in my enjoyment of the V911 when you read this blog, they are the paddle mod and resistor mod (resistor mod probably won't be necessary for newer stock as WL Toys has now implemented this in their TXs). I'm labeling these two as must-haves.
I thought I would preface this with some advice about going from coax to 4 channel. JUST DO IT. The V911 is extremely stable and easy to get to hover, probably easier than a Syma 107 in my experience (I couldn't keep my Syma in the air for any real length of time due to the lack of control). There are two things to remember:
1) When about to crash, reduce throttle to zero. The heli is tough enough that it can handle just about any crash to ground with throttle powered off. It's actually not a bad idea to turn your transmitter off if your heli crashes while you go to rescue her as you don't want to accidentally apply throttle when she's down and risk breaking something or burning up a motor.
When flying outside don't let her get too high unless you have PLENTY of room. Some have lost their precious 'Corter' due to an unexpected wind gust taking it away from them. If you get caught in this situation, don't try and save her by trying to bring her back........cut throttle immediately and let her drop.
2) When flying towards you, point the stick in the direction of danger.
When you transition from 3 channel coax to 4 channel the hardest thing (and the biggest surprise if you're not expecting it) is having your rudder control (turn left/right) on the opposite stick, which is the left stick (assuming Mode 2), which is combined with throttle.
Initially it will be hard for you to do throttle and rudder control on the same stick whereas before with your coax you were use to doing throttle on its own stick. It only took me two days to retrain my brain, but it can be frustrating at first as you'll go sideways instead of turning while you retrain your reflexes.
Onto the mods:
Custom, portable case 15$ from Harbor Freight:
If you guys want to lubricate your ball links, gears, or any non-bearing or motor part, simply grab a #2 pencil and start shading the parts you want to lubricate. It's dry, won't attract dirt, and won't restrict movement like some viscous lubricants can.
You can also get it into places where it won't sling off, like between the mixing arms and blades.
My scale isn't as accurate as others but here's the stock V911 shaft:
and the Solo Pro stock shaft:
Stock V911 head on left vs the Solo Pro head on the right (thicker blade shafts on V911):
I got some SP spares (metal servo rods, ball links, and mixer arms). All but the metal rods work fine:
Bravo SX motor vs V911 (V911 on right, Bravo SX on left):
Front view (V911 on left, Bravo SX on right):
Back view (Bravo SX on left, V911 on right):
My quick connector (salvaged from old laptop):
Hot glue on tail motor wires (also keeps motor from turning in cradle):
You also want to check your tail rotor. I noticed I had to start adding a little more trim. On a whim I looked at my tail rotor and noticed that it had worked its way down the shaft so it was butting up against the motor. I pulled it out so that it was flush with the shaft end and it turns alot easier. It has probably been this way all along as I would flick the tail rotor blade and it would only turn a few revolotions. I would say it turns 3 times as many revolutions now when I flick it. I'm wondering if this could be the cause of burnt tail motors. Check yours before every flight.
Hot glue RX ant. support:
More hot glue on wires for protection\securing. An added benefit is that my canopy no longer vibrates:
A note about the Solo Pro stock shaft. It's prone to splitting, and is no where as easy to get the screws in as the stock metal shaft, so be careful.
Noise..........listen to my original video vs the 2nd with the additional upgrades. Now since I did the Bravo SX motor and carbon fiber shaft at the same time, so who knows, but my guess, is the hollow carbon fiber shaft is adding some ting.
Bravo SX motor and SP CF mainshaft:
At this point, I really need the medium flybar weights as she really wants to do FFF all on her own. Both videos taken above were on basic rates.
I'd say I have a good minute extra flight time with the lighter weight.
Got some additional upgrades in:
Stock gear vs delrin:
You can see the delrin is thicker, which may help with the brass pinion wear as well as transfer of torque. The stock nylon is .4 grams, and the delrin is barely .5 grams. .1 gram is worth it to me.
The CF flybar is installed, what a PITA. I added heat shrink to help prevent the weak plastic from coming apart during crashes, we'll see if it helps any:
UPDATE: My carbon fiber flybar finally broke near the fulcrum. It broke right at the end of the carbon rod where it inserts into the plastic. It took alot of abuse before it finally broke, but my suggestion is to shorten the length and I'm looking at a possible dampner similar to what EQMODS has done for the Solo Pro.
I weighed the stock shaft and it's 1.2 grams. I have the stock solo pro mainshaft on the way, which is supposedly CF, so I'll weigh it when it comes in. Stock flybar weighs 2.0 grams. The extreme CF without weights weighs .4 grams with the heavy weight set weighing 1.3 grams and the light weight set weighing .6 grams. I have the light weights installed despite the screwed up offset.
It's been said before, but I'll say it again. The Extreme CF flybar isn't a simple drop in for the V911. I had to sand both sides for clearance with the V911 head and enlarge the hole to fit on the stock V911 screw. That took me a good couple of hours.
The ball joints were loose, so I must have received the updated CF flybar.
If wind cooperates I'll see how it flies outside........inside........I no longer have room, she seems to zip from one end to the other too quickly now.
I also picked up the stock T Rex 100 swash, which has shorter arms, but I have an idea about re-using the pivot ball on some spare V911 swashes I have coming in from Banggood.
So I got my medium weights in for my Xtreme carbon flybar. The story about the 3 bears..........well do yourself a favor and order the carbon flybar alone and order the medium weight set. I can't believe the difference that .1 gram makes. I flew her earlier this AM outside (heavy weights installed inverted) and then just again with the medium flybar weights. The diving is reduced so much it's amazing. I can't wait to see how paddles will affect her.
My neighbor came out to talk to me and I as able to talk to him and take attention away from the heli, just letting it hover. I also got confident and took her to a higher altitude and while she climbed just as easily as before, this time she was climibing straight up vs in the direction of the wind......now granted I had to adjust direction a little......BUT IT WAS CONTROLLABLE, and I didn't have to use full throw, unlike when she was stock.
Controller stick mod:
My tanks were getting jealous of being neglected and were about to take matters into their own hands:
So I told them they could play too:
Transplant complete, and now every time I play with my heli, my tanks will also be involved:
Paddle mod (MUST HAVE):
Paddles for the MSR blade Xtreme carbon flybar fit perfectly on the carbon fiber flybar for the Solo Pro without modifcations, but you'll probably want to CA them as when I crash, the paddles will twist on the shaft. MAKE SURE YOU BALANCE YOUR FLYBAR!! You can do this by spining the flybar on a needle loosely.
Here are the paddles on stock flybar. I had to sand down the shaft after cutting the weights off. (Blue/White for comparison to stock flybar). I also slid some hollow CF tube over the wet noodle to help prevent sagging, it doesn't seem to impact performance too much.
UPDATE: I have since removed the CF tube as the flybar really doesn't sag with the paddles, nor do I get flybar strikes.......head speed has improved a little as a result.
Weight differences between stock fly bar and stock flybar with paddles is about the same.
She flies outside much nicer, despite that I installed the paddles in a rush and they weren't fully balanced. I'll try her again tommorrow after work. The paddles are actually heavier than the medium weights .5 vs .7 grams for each weight/paddle. I have to go back to basic rates flying inside again as advanced now has the best FFF I've had with her, and I have to constantly change directions to prevent putting her through a wall. Video below was on partial battery (alot more crashes until I adjust to the added speed) and basic rates.
Well guys, I can unequivocally say: "paddles, paddles, paddles, paddles, paddles, paddles, paddles!!!"
Not one crash with 15mph gusts on two batteries, no lofting to the clouds. Very controllable in fighting the wind and heading into it. Diving greatly reduced. I even fought a couple of brave dragonflies. I was able to do a very controlled landing on both batteries, which I couldn't do before outside with wind. If you want to fly your V911 outside, this is the one mod that made the biggest difference in outside flight.
I just got a notice for USPS delivery, so I'll pick it up tommorrow. I'm hoping it's my 9958 that I can test run and compare to.
I got my new Flip mino HD camcorder in today, so you all won't have to suffer anymore low def 4:3 from my camera.
Today was even more windy......19 mph steady winds with higher gusts:
Today's flight wasn't graceful compared to yesterday's (wish my camera came in yesterday so I could prove it), but I think that keeping her afloat for the most part in 19mph winds is quite an accomplishment as well as keeping her within the basketball court area. Wind was blowing in the direction of the camcorder view. Look at the trees in the background (sorry I took her out of frame, I did a bit of fighting with the gusting):
I still like the paddles on the Xtreme flybar better than on the wet noodle stock flybar.
Bracing the chasis:
Added some carbon fiber rod braces to help reduce tail and canopy vibration:
2 other members have performed this mod and you'll get less canopy vibration as well as the tail responding more accurately to TX commands. One has taken it a step further and formed a pyramid by adding another piece on each side as follows (see red line):
Here's my thrust test:
About 45 grams of thrust by my scale. She's probably capable of a little more if I had new batteries. I know I could have just done the test from 0 calibration, which I actually did after this video was taken and came up with -45 grams of thrust, so it's all the same.
I'll do the same test once my dad's stock heli when it comes in.
Forgot to add the weight of my bird.......she's a porty 33.4 grams with battery.
For those of you who are patching your canopy, it eventually adds up. The stock canopy is 2.6 grams and my patched one put on nearly 2 grams of weight.
Another use for grommets (because we're all using wire insulation to hold our canopies on now right?): take up slack in the end servo links
(I've removed this as the newer blade design has fixed the sloppiness)
MSRx Swashplate mod:
Adapting the MSRx swashplate to the V911. The MSRx swashplate has a pivot ball, which removes all slack in the swash, and in addition the shorter control arms give additional leverage for cyclics, despite the fact that the ball link stalks on the upper swash are shorter than stock.
To use the MSRx swash, you'll need some pre-requisites:
Solo Pro mainshaft, which has the shaft split at the end vs a hole in the stock V911 mainshaft. You need this as you need to secure the head a little higher on the mainshaft to make clearance for the mainshaft collar to prevent binding.
You need to cut off the screw boss on the mainshaft collar. The screw will still have plastic to bite into to secure the collar.
You'll need longer servo arm links. I used stock Solo Pro links and cut off the threads and screwed the ends back on.
Finally you'll need to cut off the stock MSRx guide pin and drill a hole in the swash to accomodate a new giude. I used a piece of plastic cut from a broken skid and CA'd it in place. It did require a bit of sanding to make it fit the swash guide.
You don't want to relocate the swash guide to match the stock MSRx pin because the MSRx pin is too fat, and the stock location of the V911 swash guide allows for unrestricted movement for forward and backwards motion. The swash guide limits left/right movement, which you don't really need full throw for.
The left is the stock V911 swashplate, the middle is the modded MSRx, and the right is stock MSRx.
Here's the first vid (inner holes on servo arms):
2nd vid (outer hole on forward/reverse)
The majority of slop has been elminated in the head\swash setup, making the bird very responsive and stable. Stay tuned for another outdoor flight test.
I've had requests for the size of carbon rod I'm using. The solid rod used for bracing the chasis is .070" or 1.8mm. The hollow carbon tube that I use to stiffen the stock flybar, which the previous rod fits perfectly inside as well is .02"x.12" or .5mmx3mm. The hollow tube can also be use to make your own custom carbon mainshafts as it's the same dimension.
Resistor Mod for less twitchy rudder control (MUST HAVE):
Thanks to Wasp09 for coming up with the resistor mod.
WL Toys has implemented this fix so I'm removing it to satisfy the max 40 picture\link count.
I'm linking my original post with pictures:
Inverted tail motor mod
My tail motor was starting to get weak, so with the new tail motor, I decided to install the new motor inverted and the tail fin mounted more forward so it doesn't block the rotor thrust. The motor has to be soldered in reverse on the circuit board with this mod. I like how she handles with the motor below the boom, helping her stay on heading.
E-Flight-style battery connector
Picture of the Daryoon battery mod, allowing more forward weight bias by inserting the battery into the canopy, once again helping with FFF:
Back view of modded vs stock tray:
Front view of modded vs stock:
Closeup of battery inserted:
Newer blade design compatibilty issue
There also seems to be updated blades coming out that take out much of the slop in the pivot pin lateral movemnt, helping to prevent TBE and imbalance. You'll notice that if you put the newer-designed blades on the older head, it's too tight, causing binding. Simply sand the pivot ends on each side just enough so that when you put the newer blades on, they don't bind.
|Feb 27, 2012, 10:45 AM|
Joined Feb 2012
First of all, thank you; you've put together a very helpful v911 overview/support page.
With respect to gross upward lift (thrust), you were correct the first time; being about 45g; as the lift represents the difference between its dead weight, and that under full power. (Thereby giving you a max net payload capacity of roughly 11g best case; being 45g lift - 34g bird's mass.)
With respect to your photo showing the glued paddles on the stock fly-bar in place of its weights; they seem to be glued on backward, as I would have thought that they should be positioned so the leading edge was the fatter of the two, like in the photo with the CF fly-bar?
And lastly, did you find any benefit to various pitches for the paddles, or were they best mounted with no pitch, and simply used to resist any change in their axis of rotation?
|Feb 27, 2012, 05:54 PM|
Thanks PWS. The paddles were indeed on backwards as I did a rush job just to take pictures. I've updated the blog with them in the right direction (next to a White\Blue V911).
I haven't experimented with different pitches yet, but they are mounted with zero pitch. I still have to do some research (open to suggestions) on how paddle pitch will affect flight, but I suspect some pitch downwards would probably help some.
It looks like some others are going to try the paddle mod, so maybe I'll pass the torch to them
|Mar 05, 2012, 10:11 PM|
|Mar 06, 2012, 06:11 AM|
You would have to use the Combat Twister RX board and TX to get the IR functionality and feedback for hits. Unfortunately, unless Nine Eagles makes a single-blade version, you're going to have a hard time adapting it. There's a thread about adding IR battle functionality to non-equipped models, but it doesn't seem to be having much success:
|Mar 28, 2012, 10:02 PM|
Joined Mar 2012
First, thank you for the taking the time to write something up. I am for the first time getting into the RC Helicopter world and have made the decision of picking up the V911. I've done extensive research and it seems like this is an excellent model for beginners. After reading about your mods done to the v911, I have a couple of questions.
Where would you buy this upgraded paddle bar for the heli? And how would you install it?
I have never done any kind of soldering work, so what is required to do the resistor mod? Also, how would this be accomplished.
I plan to do mods after a couple of months (maybe even a month) of use with my new V911 just so I can get used to flying. Thanks for your time.
|Mar 30, 2012, 08:04 AM|
I got my paddles off the Xtreme carbon flybar for the MSR from Miracle Mart. They've been out of stock for awhile but here's the link:
You might be able to use these instead:
To mount them on your stock flybar, simply cut your stock flybar weights off, sand the flybar ends slightly and then carefully push the paddles on, making sure they are equidistant from the center and push on as far as they'll go (near the securing screw). Obviously don't try this mod without a few spare flybars on hand in case you screw up.
You won't use the stock mounting hole, but the larger diameter hole next to it (there are multiple holes drilled the length of the paddles in order to make them light weight), which the secure screw will still provide tension against. Make sure the paddles are flat with no pitch, and make sure the flybar is balanced and tighten the screw down. You'll have a nice interference fit that will help prevent the paddles from twisting on axis on a crash.
I don't recommend using the Xtreme Solo Pro carbon flybar for this mod unless you buy plenty of spares or are willing to brace it against breakage, which isn't something I recommend for beginners to try and mod. The Solo Pro carbon flybar also has to be modded to fit your V911's head. While the Solo Pro carbon flybar will give you better performance in the wind, putting paddles on the stock flybar should be good enough for most while retaining the V911's indestructible nature.
If you haven't soldered before then I recommend you have a friend do it for you, but really, it's an easy skill to pick up and a soldering iron doesn't cost a whole lot. You don't need to be an expert to do the soldering required for this modification like you would for soldering surface-mounted components or anything like that.
If you use around 2K ohm resistors, you probably won't need to install a switch. I haven't used my switch to turn off the mod for indoor or outdoor flight (other than for demonstation videos) because I like how the V911 performs so much with it enabled.
Basically you need two 2K ohm resistors as a bare minimum and the necessary soldering tools. Higher value resistors will reduce the affect of the mod, making the rudder action more sensitive, while lower value resistors will increase the effect of the mod, making the rudder less senstive to input at the stick.
If you want to install a switch to turn it on/off at will, you can get a two-pole switch and some wire if the switch doesn't come with leads. That's it. Hope this helps and good luck.
|Apr 01, 2012, 10:19 PM|
Joined Sep 2010
That MSR flybar paddle set you mentioned above is in stock here: http://tmkarc1hobby.com/carbon-flybar-set-msr005
Did you know the silver button on top of the remote (left) puts it in high performance mode? By switching to high performance mode, the swashplate throws are increased which makes the heli much more agile and gives it faster response. I just learned this today.
|Apr 05, 2012, 05:46 AM|
|Apr 08, 2012, 07:11 PM|
Joined Sep 2010
What is the distance from the center of the flybar to the end of the paddle for best performance? I did a paddle mod using the paddles from an e-flight flybar. I cut the weights off the 911 flybar right where it gets to its skinniest point. Drilled holes the length of the paddles and pushed them on about a quarter inch or so. When I tested it outdoors it flew but when I go to move forward it really noses down and starts heading towards the ground quickly. Here are some pictures of my mod. Next when I get this straightened out I'm going to do the resistor mod. The first pic is the e-flight flybar before I cut the paddles off. The other two are my bird with the paddle mod.
|Apr 09, 2012, 08:04 AM|
I'll have to go back and measure the length of the Xtreme carbon flybar, but yours is probably a litte more outboard than paddles installed on the stock flybar, but not as far out as they could be if installed on the Xtreme carbon flybar. The further out you put the paddles, the better it will perform in windy conditions. Putting them farther out also adds some gyroscopic affect making it more stable but less aggressive and is equal to installing heavier flybar weights.
When you go forward, it's important to increase throttle with the paddles. Before the paddles, increasing throttle only made you loft to the clouds. You should now be able to apply more throttle without as much loftiness being observed, and instead that being translated to more forward speed while maintaining altitude.
You'll actually do a balancing act with throttle and forward cyclic depending on whether you want to maintain position, go forward, or gain\lose altitude.
|Apr 09, 2012, 08:29 PM|
Joined Sep 2010
Okay, did some more flying and managed to keep it off the ground alittle better. I think I need a bigger 6 acre field! I did move my paddles in farther. They are now 49mm from the outside edge to the center of the flybar. It's too dark now to try so hope its not so windy tomorrow evening. One other thing is the top half of my swashplate has popped out two or three times. The gyro goes crazy trying to straighten the little bird out. Talk about screwing up a flight.
|Apr 10, 2012, 07:38 PM|
If you have some CA, remove your swashplate and glue the upper swash to the inner bearing race with a drop of CA applied to a toothpick, being careful not to get any CA on anything else. It doesn't take much to do the job. You only need to apply it at the very bottom of the swashplate where the lower lip of the upper swash goes past the bottom of the bearing.
|Apr 17, 2012, 08:18 PM|
Do you have any more pix of your eflite battery mod for the V911? I'd like to see what you did to the skids. Besides that, do you need to do anything else save for soldering on an Eflite-style battery connector to the RX?
|Apr 26, 2012, 06:19 AM|
I simply left that part off when I rebuilt her. That's the only thing I did. Others have used a zip tie to help secure the battery, but I saw no need for it. The battery sticker casing gives enough friction that my battery stays in place. Sometimes it will pop out on a hard crash, but it easily pops back in. It does not shift position while in normal flight though.
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