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Old Dec 30, 2010, 09:10 AM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
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For what it's worth, stamped aluminum is much cheaper than decent injection molding. It certainly influences my buying decisions.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbjbasdw View Post
Forgot to ask SC10...

Where are you based and what toy store did you get your heli from ?

Steve
I purchased my 5888 from the Pacific Mall, a Chinese shopping center in the North-East of Toronto, Ontario.

You would not like the price, $80 (Canadian dollar is at par with US).

This "toy" is full of surprises (good ones).

I attempted to change the LiPo cell with an E-flite 250 mAh cell to try to get more flying time. I used a Parkzone battery connector with leads to connect to the main PC board. Soldering was tricky, but not too difficult with a good fine-tip soldering iron.

The E-flite cell weighs about 8g, while the stock unit is 5g. To make up for the extra weight, I removed the "inner" metal frame, the tail reinforcing struts, and the canopy LEDs. According to my kitchen scale which reads to 1g, I came out even.

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Description: Inner metal frame removed, outer frame is required to hold landing gear and LiPo cell.

However, the new cell did not perform as well as the stock cell, it would start strong and immediately throttle back, so that it was not possible to maintain a hover. So the stock cell must have a better C-rating than the E-flite cell.

Recharging the cell turned out to be a disaster, the cell nearly blew up.

Here is the E-flite cell after I re-installed the stock cell.

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Description: 250mAh E-flite cell after failed recharge.

You can see that the E-flite 250mAh cell is only slightly larger than the stock 180 mAh cell.

It turns out that the stock cell has a built-in charging circuit hidden behind the terminals under the gold coloured Kapton tape.

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Description: Stock LiPo cell showing terminal board after removing gold-coloured Kapton tape. Name: ChargingCircuit.jpg
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Description: Bending back the terminals reveal the built-in charging the circuit.

The E-flite cell at the LHS was quite expensive, about $15 with the connector leads, before tax, so the lesson was fairly costly. I will wait until the stock cell is dead before trying again. But next time, I will salvage the charging circuit and re-use it with the new cell.

For stripped threads on the blade grip, follow the advice posted earlier by xlcrlee about using CA glue to repair.

However, I lost mine and I was not able to find replacements at the LHS, so I am showing more details of my work-around for the lost blade grip screws.

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Description: Lost blade grip screw replaced with #14 Cu wire, lost sleeve bearing replaced with 2-3 turns of #24 Cu wire. Name: BladeGripDetails.jpg
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Description: Replacement blade grip screws.

The heavy #14 wire comes from normal house wiring, while the fine #24 wire is stripped electronic hook-up wire. The 3-turn of fine wire replaces the lost sleeve bearing and is held with CA glue (zoom in to see details) on the left blade, the replacement blade on the right does not come with a sleeve bearing.

I still keep crashing into things, but the blades have never come off again, even though my replacement are not even threaded.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 03:51 AM
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think > putting in a coin to replace an electric fuse .... ;-))

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC10 View Post
I still keep crashing into things, but the blades have never come off again, even though my replacement are not even threaded.
Don't take this the wrong way .... but the blades are supposed to come off in a severe crash, to prevent irreparable damage, especially to the PCB!!

Lee
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 04:06 AM
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my view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
For what it's worth, stamped aluminum is much cheaper than decent injection molding. It certainly influences my buying decisions.
This aircraft was designed to compete in a very competetive market. Further, the design reflects both the passion and pride of this MODEL company. Besides being a physicist & engineer (with lots of experience in this particular field as well), my design ability has won me and Boeing an industrial design award (we each got one!), and among other things, the first order for my Delta YoYo/Top went to MoMA/NYC. That is not to say that your taste should coincide with mine.

Anyway, since I am of European descent, I was immediately drawn to the G.T. Model 9008, which is a beautiful Western-like design (my Italian designer-friends love it!), but then came to realize the beauty of this distinctly Chinese design. The way the white cheeks flow with the elongated strut-formed rear triangle, how the silver stripe flows into the rear boom, etc. The way they created a stylized bird with a beak and EYES! The modern Chinese love simple geometries and stainless steel: it is in all their public buildings, train stations, etc. .... and they LOVE lots of lights. The LEDs light up the name of the company: they are proud of their work.

I am thus impressed by this excellent example of modern Chinese industrial design ......


Lee


[EDIT: b.t.w., there are more than 60 tiny bolts and screws in this "toy", and one should know that every time a human touches something in the assembly process .... the price climbs! There are 20 little bolts just holding the plated aluminum cladding, and, personally, I happen to like both the bolts AND the shiny metal look! ]
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Nederland, Noord-Holland, Krommenie
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Lee, now it all makes sense: You're an physicist / engineer, and you can't help yourself!

One of the things I love about rcgroups is the wide variety of contributors: From total n00bs with *zero* experience (such as myself) to perfectionist professionals (such as yourself).

Despite finding your tips kind of intimidating, I'm sure I speak for many readers/contributors when I say: "Thanks for sharing!" The 5888 (and G.T. Model in general) is lucky to have you in their corner.

Now, if only we could convince you to post some step-by-step photo tutorials...

@SC10 Thanks for the report - very clear and informative!

I'm in the market for my first 4 channel, and I've seriously considered the 5888. My lack of experience means that I'll probably end up going for the "safe" option, a Nine Eagles Solo (for more or less the same price as the 5888). Nevertheless, I find this thread super interesting!
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Old Jan 01, 2011, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bowman11 View Post
Bought the 5888 for my boy for Christmas, great success, but now he has broken the on/off switch on the bottom of the helo.(The moving part has fallen out). Any suggestions on how to repair would be gratefully received.
This is a fairly difficult repair because of the small size of the board.

Read completely through and the captions to the pictures before starting!

I offer these instructions as suggestions only and you are responsible to review and accept ALL risks especially since a LiPo cell is permanently attached to the circuit. There is a definite risk of fire and even explosion! Be very deliberate with your movements to avoid touching and shorting unintended contacts.

You need to solder to very tiny pads with a very fine tip soldering iron.

You should use a temperature-controlled iron set to about 375C / 750F. Uncontrolled soldering iron won't be able to maintain a high enough temperature to ensure a good joint which will lengthen the time heat is applied to the circuit board.

I use fine rosin-core soldering wire with 60% tin and 40% lead. I am aware that this has become illegal because of the new restriction on lead content, but I am not sure what you can buy today. However use a lower lead content for a better soldering joint. Hopefully the melting temperature has not gone too much higher. Keep the soldering tip well tinned, and frequently remove oxidized solder on a wet sponge. These used to be standard soldering techniques in my days. The principles should still be valid today.

You need to work quickly as even a low temperature held for too long can destroy the adhesive and lift the copper foil from the printed circuit board resulting in a destroyed board. The old guideline was to keep TOTAL soldering time at less than 10 seconds. The effect of heating is CUMULATIVE and will eventually destroy the adhesive under the copper foil and any nearby components, in this case, the plastic power plug on the opposite side.

Try to avoid breathing in the fumes, and keep young children away.

Here is what I propose as a repair.

It's not advisable to unsolder the switch because you would need to simultaneously heat the three terminals and the four mounting pads which is not possible without a special soldering jig.

Instead I propose to use a set of 0.1" headers (commonly used in computers) and a shorting plug as a replacement for the power switch. It`s lighter than any easily available switch and should be able to handle the current which I estimate at 1 to 2 A.
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Description: Black plug in ON position on both pins. White plug in OFF position, on only one pin to avoid losing it.

Wrap tightly about three turns of #16 enamelled copper wire to the base (short) side. Strip the enamel off first, or use the kind that melts at soldering temperature.
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Description: Three tight turn to mechanically secure wire. Test by pulling before soldering.

I suggest enamelled wire because the space is so tight and you want to keep the leads as short as possible. Plastic insulation on a short wire will melt off before you can finish soldering. You want as short a length as possible to keep the resistance low and minimize the voltage drop across the leads because you are carrying 1 or 2 A through a fairly thin wire.

You need a good mechanical fit because you don't want this side to become loose while you are soldering the other end to the board. Test that the wire is secure before soldering. Then solder the other end to the board, one wire to each terminal of the switch.

Here is a picture of where the power switch terminals are:
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Description: You need to solder to these two pads, you can verify by carefully bridging with a very small screwdriver blade, if correct, the LED on the board should light up. Be careful to not touch anything else, or you may damage the board.

I highlighted the two terminals, you may want to scratch off the green insulation off the right side terminals to give yourself a larger pad to work with. Be careful not to scratch right through the copper foil.

If you are careful, you may attempt to attach the other wire to the B+ terminal, just don`t dislodge the power lead.

I think the wire leads should be kept to 1 cm or shorter if you can manage it.

I also suggest you somehow mechanically secure the header to the bottom of the landing gear frame so that the force from inserting or removing the shorting plug is not transmitted directly to the soldering joints which will eventually break or worse loosen the copper foil from the board. Since the frame is metallic, you need some electrical insulation between the header and the frame.

An alternative is to connect a female power plug similar to what is used to connect to a battery and make a short to bridge across the two terminals.

There is a saying that experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined. You may get a lot of experience with this repair!

I suggest practicing first on a scrap bare printed circuit board to get the rythm right then attempt the repair on the actual board. You don`t want surprises and delays when working on the actual circuit.

I would approach this repair as a learning experience and welcome a successful outcome as a bonus.

I haven`t done any work on electronics in the past ten years so I am giving suggestions based on what I remember from long ago. I have just retrieved my soldering station from storage this past week when I started working on the 5888 helicopter.

Good luck and happy New Year!
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Old Jan 01, 2011, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlcrlee View Post
Don't take this the wrong way .... but the blades are supposed to come off in a severe crash, to prevent irreparable damage, especially to the PCB!!

Lee
Thanks Lee.

Actually this is a good reminder to describe the thinking process behind the repair.

Yes, the goal is definitely to sacrifice the screws or blades in order to protect the more precious shaft, swash plate, and links.

Thus, I have deliberately used only a single bend in the heavy wire. The bend is to keep it from falling through. The straight bottom end is to allow it to easily come off in a crash. Initially, I had considered making a crimp or a second bend to keep it in place, but I decided against it for the very reason you pointed out. The fit should be just snug, mostly relying on gravity to keep everything in place. As shown in my pictures, the length should be just long enough to protude slightly at the bottom, again to facilitate ejection in case of a crash. Actually, the blade has come off once after the repair: while I was taking the pictures and turned the helicopter upside down. This is how loose the connection should be. I am actually just a little surprised that it has not yet come off in a crash.
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Description:
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Description:

Again, this repair is a last resort, for people who have already lost the screws and can't find a replacement which is my situation.

Obviously, with this repair, you can no longer make fine adjustments to blade tracking, but at least you can still keep flying.

One observation: the lower set of blades have never come off in any crash, while the upper set use to pop off every time. Any idea why they react so differently?

This is the first helicopter I have been actually flying and I enjoy it tremendously. I had a Walkera 22 about five years ago but never managed to get enough practice time to get it off the ground. The first time I tried after many attempts at getting it to just hover resulted in a crash and some broken links which I can't get replaced at my LHS. So please be easy on a first time flyer.

Also, has anyone tried the recharger plug on the transmitter? Please describe what you see when you plug it in. Do you need to power up the transmitter? What indication, if any, that the charge is under way or has completed? Does the LED light up and/or change colour? My transmitter appears to be defective in this function.

Thanks everyone for the many posts and suggestions on this forum.
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Old Jan 01, 2011, 06:12 AM
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Medford, New Jersey
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I love this little bird.. let me say one thing, its not as complicated as some portray!

This is a great little 4 channel heli flyer.. you really can take it right out of the box and fly it! its not as complicated as some would make it seem!

While all the advice and fixes mentioned in this thread are welcome, please keep in mind that this is a wonderful helicopter and a very satisfying flyer right out of the box!

Please dont take these in depth instructions as the norm!
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Old Jan 01, 2011, 04:01 PM
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USA, Ripley, WV
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New to RCGroups and the 5888

I just joined RCGroups because of this thread. More importantly, I now have a 5888 on its way because of this thread ($48 from Texas, now sold out). My brother got a heli with a camera for Christmas and, once again, my addiction to helis reared it's ugly head. So when I had to return one of my Christmas gifts, (got a rod carrier to small for any of my fishing rods) I decided to get a new heli instead of more fishing gear.

I love fishing, but not as much as I love flying. Usually I combine the two. I go down to the dam, fly till the batteries are dead and fish till the batteries are charged back up again. It's a real treat the first flight of spring when all the birds return and see my heli for the first time. I always have an entire flock of birds following, screeching, and diving at my CX2 (they only dive close enough for the sound of the blades to scare them away). It's just nice to be in control of the whole flock.

It's too bad my CX2 has seen it's last flight. Got caught in an updraft, carried up out of sight, and found broken beyond repair on the far side of a hill. Some day I may buy a new CX and have spare parts, but not if the cheap helis turn out to be more fun For now indoor flight is the right flight for me, and the CX2 was always a little to big for that. I vow never to fly outdoors again unless the wind is completely dead (an addict just never knows when to quit).

When I first saw the 5888 I wrote it off because of the cheap look of the remote, but just before I bought an inferior Lanneret 6, Falcon 8911, or MJX F27 I found this thread. WOW! What a thread. Found out the Lanneret and the Falcon have dummy trim controls that are just for looks, and the MJX (at 2X the weight of the 5888) is so heavy and slow that it needs full throttle to stay up after the 2 min mark. Thanks to this thread, I now know that the 5888 is going to give me the most bang for the buck. Even though the remote doesn't look like much, at least it has fully functioning trim at such a low price.

I don't know what I'm more excited about: flying this heli or tinkering with it. I've got a vague idea of what you're talking about, Lee, when it comes to maximising this little heli's performance, and I believe you have already given enough information in this thread for me to do my own research and figure it all out. Also, my wife has a cousin that owns everything from 2 channel helis to the big gas behemoths (planes, trains, and automobiles) and I'm going to take him up on the invite to come out to the local RC air club with him and glean some more information on the specifics. Just thinking about all the knowledge I'm about to unlock and all the tweaking I'm about to do makes me want to buy a whole pile of these helicopters, fly 'em like a mad man, and bash 'em up just so I can mix and match and put 'em all back together again.

Be assured, I have every intention of assaulting this thread with a barrage of pics and vids along with any little piece of information I can come up with concerning the gray area's in Lee's brilliant instructions on how to master the universe with a simple twist of a blade here and the occasional use of a hair dryer there (not to mention the taping, and lubing, and tracking, and pitch lowering, and blade-holder adjusting, and coning, and woe unto you who neglect to execute the seductive European art of pressing ones lips to the smoldering metal cladding that covers the scant foil heat sink being pressed between the exposed motor and skin as it struggles against the intense heat of a weak-link-motor that's all-wound-up and on the verge of bursting into a fit of flames)

But I digress. Can I use my Daiwa Needle Nose Reel Oiler to lube the moving parts of my new heli, or would that lube ruin the plastic? It's a light machine oil I normally use to lube my Daiwa baitcasting fishing reel. Instructions state it can be used on fine moving parts, lures, and line guides.
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Old Jan 03, 2011, 07:07 PM
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Just looking at the parts list...



The alternate canopy looks to be a beast!!!

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Old Jan 04, 2011, 12:34 AM
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My 5888 I ordered from Texas arrived this morning. Three day transit time from order to delivery.

No need to put off spending a few dollars to get one of these little birds in your hands on the cheap. One touch of the trim to keep it from slowly drifting forward and it hovers in place right out of the box. Let go of the controls and this little heli stays fixed in mid air right where you left it. I can fly it over the floor vent with the heater on and, besides altitude, it doesn't even flinch. I keep checking the motor temperature on a regular basis, but they don't even get warm, let alone hot.

After I buy about three more of the 5888 I'm saving up for the 5889 to take on my outdoor expeditions.
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Old Jan 04, 2011, 06:35 AM
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cool heated discussion ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy_D View Post
I keep checking the motor temperature on a regular basis, but they don't even get warm, let alone hot.
It may well be that they fixed the problems causing heated motors, however you may notice early in this thread about users complaining of quickly dying motors, and I know for a fact that mine can easily get hot if the rotors are not quite correctly adjusted.

Further, I never noticed how hot the motors were till I started using my lower lip as a sensitive temperature guage
(since my fingers obviously did not detect that!!), and my nose to smell the burning motors (I have had MANY burn out quickly and my posts have reflected how I've learned to avoid that).

Lee
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Old Jan 04, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlcrlee View Post
(I have had MANY burn out quickly and my posts have reflected how I've learned to avoid that).
I have to admit, one of the main reasons I bought the 5888 is because of Lee here dishing out all the goods on maintenance, performance boosts, and even offering technical support to anyone in need of a little direction.

Luckily I trusted Lee's advice on continually giving the motors a rest.

Today I noticed the smell of burning motors and used my lower lip to find the heat source. The aluminum casing has never heated up (probably because I never fly more than a min. or two, as prescribed by Dr. Lee), but the tops of the motors do get quite warm.

I don't want to do anything to damage my new little friend, so a few quick questions:

1. Can I charge immediately after a flight? (I always wait to fly 10-15 min. after charge)

2. Can I leave plugged into wall charger overnight?


I love this heli. Can't recommend it enough.

*FYI, the general charging directions are on the bottom of the box, not the instruction sheet like you would expect.

Thanks for the tech support.
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Old Jan 04, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Joined Dec 2010
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Im still a noobie to Rc copters but here is my flight plan.

Fly 2.30mins
Leave 5 mins
Fly 2.30 mins
leave 15 mins
Charge ( charge time )
take of charge and again leave for 10 mins. But i rarely fly back to back as i dont have the time lol
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