HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Jun 28, 2009, 08:59 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
Build Log
Replacement for X-Port Aerial Drop Module

UPDATE: If you're looking to do this, consider the EZ-XPORT instead. My work required gutting of the aerial combat module, whilst the EZ-XPORT requires no modifications.


My Hobbyzone Aerobird Xtreme is soon to go under the knife and get converted to stock electrics and 2.4ghz AR500 receiver. However, my kids (and mates) love the X-Port bomb-dropper.

Now the X-Port "Aerial Drop Module", as it is called, is an electromagnet taking battery voltage via the custom Hobbyzone Rx. The way it arms the magnet or drops a bomb is by the radio either enabling or cutting power to the magnet based on X-Port signals. This uses a special switch on the Hobbyzone transmitter which I assume is classified as a "channel" and does different things depending on what kind of X-Port device you have attached (like the night lights, for example).

I'm working on a solution for using, say, the AUX channel on an AR500 to somehow enable and disable power to the electromagnet in the Hobbyzone drop module. I suppose a funky servo-firing-a-switch solution could be used, but I've never set one of those up.
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Last edited by Kaldek; Jul 21, 2009 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Changed from a "Help" to a "Build Log" thread.
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Jul 02, 2009, 08:01 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
I found the Picoswitch, and the Turnigy RC Switch . Both look perfect for my needs.
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Last edited by Kaldek; Jul 21, 2009 at 07:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 05, 2009, 01:29 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
OK so I've ordered the Turnigy RC switch. I had a tinker with my existing X-Port bomb Aerial Drop Module and found that there is a bit of "brains" in there to control the electromagnet based on X-Port signals. I got heavy handed with some pliers and a soldering iron, and removed all components from this circuit board except for the electromagnet itself.

I've test this with direct battery voltage and it's fine, so once my Turnigy RC switch arrives, I'll just build a mount for the plugs so that I can use the existing X-Port hole on the Aerobird to connect the drop module.

This technique will work for any other conversion of a Hobbyzone/Parkzone plane from custom electrics to stock electrics when you want to keep the drop module function, so once the job is complete I'll post instructions.

P.S. The Aerobird conversion to stock electrics went smoothly. Still flies like an Aerobird though - twitchy as hell yet gutless. Next mod will probably be a brushless outrunner and LiPo...
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Last edited by Kaldek; Jul 21, 2009 at 07:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 08, 2009, 12:04 PM
Go Navy!
maverick06's Avatar
USA, PA, Media
Joined Apr 2005
906 Posts
cool, i have a drop module just sitting around, wasnt sure what to do with it as I dont have the aerobird anymore.

Thanks
maverick06 is offline Find More Posts by maverick06
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 09, 2009, 06:02 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick06
cool, i have a drop module just sitting around, wasnt sure what to do with it as I dont have the aerobird anymore.
Excellent! Well I should have this all done in a week or so, once the Turnigy RC switch arrives. FYI, I tested the current draw on the magnet tonight at battery voltage (8.6 volts on the NiMH pack) and it was only 80 milliamps. This is reassuring as I really had no idea how much it was pulling and didn't want to find myself draining batteries.

Once complete this will be usable on any aircraft with a spare channel (like gear for example), as long as you have both the dropper and the RC switch.

I'm also looking forward to hooking this up to my Radian, as it will be a hoot to just go vertical to 400 feet and then let that parachute go!
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2009, 11:46 AM
Registered User
MalcolmS's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, London
Joined Jul 2007
96 Posts
Hi Kaldek

I am thinking of doing the same thing as you for an upgraded Super Cub. Before you ripped out the electronics in the drop module did you try powering it from the rx? I was wondering whether the drop module might interpret the signal from the rx as a drop command. Alternatively if the power is ok but the "copmmnad" not you could use the picoswitch "in line" with the power feed to the drop module with the switch controlling the +ve feed to the module so that rather than sending signals to it you are effectively just turning it on or off with the default mode of on when the rx is powered up.

Would be very interested in your final design.

regards

Malcolm
MalcolmS is offline Find More Posts by MalcolmS
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2009, 01:50 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalcolmS
Hi Kaldek

I am thinking of doing the same thing as you for an upgraded Super Cub. Before you ripped out the electronics in the drop module did you try powering it from the rx? I was wondering whether the drop module might interpret the signal from the rx as a drop command. Alternatively if the power is ok but the "copmmnad" not you could use the picoswitch "in line" with the power feed to the drop module with the switch controlling the +ve feed to the module so that rather than sending signals to it you are effectively just turning it on or off with the default mode of on when the rx is powered up.
Hi Malcolm!

I did try that - and it doesn't work. I recall reading elsewhere that the RX signals for a channel are PWM and the X-Port system is PCM. There is a small chip in the drop module which takes the X-Port signal and provides or cuts power to the magnet based on these signals. So unless the X-Port signal is provided to the right pin on the chip, it will not power the magnet.

My next post explains the majority of the build, so stand by!
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Last edited by Kaldek; Jul 21, 2009 at 07:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2009, 02:03 AM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
Results of X-Port modification

Well my Turnigy RC switch arrived today, and it's tiny yet will switch up to 10 amps at 30 volts. Fitment was pretty simple, as shown below:



I even used the stock X-Port mount, wiring it into the power supply from the battery and Turnigy RC-switch. The RC switch itself connected to the Gear channel of my AR500. In combination with my gutting of the aerial drop module, the solution works perfectly!



Only the servo output possibly needs reversing depending on what switch position you like to use for off and on. It has many fail safe options too - "OFF", "ON", "Last state" or "Flashing". The last one would be great if hooked up to some lights - you'd know if your radio lost contact for sure!

I must admit the only scary part of the work was splicing into the lines from the battery connector. Given the low current draw of the magnet, you could possibly pull current from a spare port on the AR500 but it's only 5 volts and is just another drain on the BEC.

I think the only real downside to this installation is its lack of portability. To do that, I would need to use connectors rather than solder-splicing into the power from the battery. The RC switch is so cheap though it's probably better to just buy one for each plane you plan on using it on!

Wiring diagrams for the switch are here.
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Last edited by Kaldek; Jul 21, 2009 at 02:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2009, 08:06 PM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2009
39 Posts
Ooops.

I just found the threads regarding the "EZ-XPORT" module, which allows you to use any *un-modified* X-Port module on any receiver with a spare channel.

Details are here.

I suppose my entire post is a bit of a waste now, except for someone looking for a higher amp draw!
Kaldek is offline Find More Posts by Kaldek
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 2009, 02:06 AM
Registered User
MalcolmS's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, London
Joined Jul 2007
96 Posts
Hi Kaldek

Thanks fro your reply. Looks like the EZ-XPORT will make it easy but your route was interesting - I have always wanted to know how to get a switch output from a rx anyway as sometimes you do not need a servo if you just want to swith on a light!!

Good luck with your mod - I am sure you had fun doing it!!

Malcolm
MalcolmS is offline Find More Posts by MalcolmS
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2009, 10:36 AM
Registered User
johnpcunningham's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Mar 2007
59 Posts
Wow - totally impresses gentlemen. Good work. But geese, all you had to do was email me

Yes, the X-PORT modules (sonic, drop, lights) do have "smarts" built into them to properly transmit and receive commands. It is not as simple as ON/OFF on a pin or even like a standard servo drive timing.

Albeit, when we left the Aerobird world and went into bigger and faster planes, my buddies and I missed the dogfighting with those sonic xport modules. I guess necessity is the mother of invention and the EZ-XPORT was born. Now we put them on all of our Parkzone, E-flight, and Hanger-9 warbirds. I've sold over 1800 in the past 2 years....so far so good.

Check it out:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1089084

JC
johnpcunningham is offline Find More Posts by johnpcunningham
Last edited by johnpcunningham; Aug 03, 2009 at 04:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Remote pyro igniter for x-port Cub hyperdyne Parkflyers 11 Apr 18, 2010 11:03 PM
Discussion Creativer uses for the Hobbyzone X-PORT? Smokescreen38 Parkflyers 8 Aug 01, 2009 01:41 PM
Discussion Sonic Combat Module for X-Port Mr Krinkle Foamies (Kits) 1 Nov 01, 2008 04:49 AM
For Sale Digital Camera Controller for HobbyZone X-Port Mr.RC-CAM Aircraft - General - Radio Equipment (FS/W) 0 Feb 17, 2006 06:25 PM
For Sale FS: CamMan-XP camera shutter controller for HobbyZone's X-Port equipped R/C models Nik-rc Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 5 Jul 15, 2005 09:46 PM