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Posted by Crash Override | Nov 26, 2015 @ 02:36 PM | 18,668 Views
NOTE: Failsafe no longer functions properly with this modification. If signal is lost, failsafe engages with motor going to full throttle instead of throttle off regardless of throttle setting.

NOTE: The low voltage cutoff feature (LVC) does not work with this conversion. The plane will continue to fly until the battery can no longer power the receiver, causing it to go into failsafe mode. The motor will then go to full throttle until the battery can no longer power the motor. Bench testing shows that programming the ESC LVC to 3.2V closely matches the RX low-voltage failure point (similar to loss of TX signal). Once the RX fails, the ESC powers the motor at full throttle for less than 30 seconds before cutting power to the motor. Observed behavior also shows that as the failure point is approached, the RX will switch in and out of failsafe causing sudden left rudder. After the motor fails, power to the receiver is restored, ESC enters programming mode, and the plane can be landed ONLY as a glider as throttle is now inoperative. Lower throttle and land. Failure to do so upon observation of this behavior can result in a failsafe-induced crash. Set timer for four minutes. Reduce throttle and commence landing immediately upon the timer running out to land under power.

NOTE: After installing this conversion with the Emax BLHeli ESC, the throttle needs to be re-calibrated ESC attempts to enter programming mode with each battery change. Power up TX, set throttle and throttle
...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Nov 16, 2015 @ 08:19 PM | 16,644 Views
NOTE: I consider this modification to be a failure for several reasons. I keep it so others will know that it does NOT work well in most ways.

NOTE: Failsafe no longer functions properly with this modification. If signal is lost, failsafe engages with motor going to full throttle instead of throttle off. However, if throttle is already off at signal loss, motor does not engage.

NOTE: After installing this conversion, the ESC will not fully arm and must be manually armed with each fresh battery. To arm the ESC: Turn on transmitter, ensure throttle lever is at its lowest position, connect battery to plane. Receiver will arm, ESC will generate tones. After receiver arms and ESC plays tones, move throttle lever fully up and then fully down ONCE. ESC will play three tones, indicating it is now fully armed.

NOTE: The low voltage cutoff feature (LVC) does not work with this conversion. The plane will continue to fly until the battery can no longer power the receiver, causing it to go into failsafe mode. The motor will then go to full throttle until the battery can no longer power the motor. Bench testing has shown that in this particular case, the motor cannot achieve full RPM due to low battery state and motor fully shuts down in under 30 seconds. Based on a 150mAh battery, do not fly longer than 5-6 minutes per flight to avoid over-discharging the battery.


NOTE: This conversion will not work with the RTF version, as the supplied transmitter cannot be adjusted as necessary....Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Aug 20, 2015 @ 06:57 PM | 15,159 Views
Since crashing two of the new Horizon Hobby P-47s to the point of being scrap, I've decided to be a bit adventurous and take advantage of my disasters at the same time. I managed to find a Snortin' Bull airframe NIB at my LHS for $85.00 USD (quite some time after being discontinued), so I bought that and some spare parts (including the flap links and horns). I imagine it qualifies as either ARF or kit, as it has all the mechanical parts included, but none of the electronics/electrics. I have two scrap airframes with all the electronics/electrics still in them.


16 Aug 2015

I started by getting out one of the broken birds and pulling all the electronics: motor, ESC, receiver, and servos. Starting with the wing, I cut the flaps free, put hinge tape on the flap undersides, finished the raw edges, and installed the horns and push rods. I then installed the salvaged retracts and struts, wired everything up, caulked in the servos, and taped the wires and servos into their slots. A little silver Testors Model Masters Acryl for touch up, and let it dry overnight. I also installed the elevator and rudder servos in the fuselage, and caulked those into place as well.


17 Aug 2015

Inspiration strikes, and I heat up my soldering iron. One of the things I salvaged from the scrap unit was the OneClik five-lead servo harness (to make wing installation and removal a little easier). It needs space between the wing and fuselage, so I used the iron to melt a depression in the wing to...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Apr 20, 2015 @ 06:19 PM | 15,345 Views
The title says it all.

I bought this helo/TX combo a little over a month ago. Now, I'm the kind of person who not only reads the manuals and instructions, I actually follow them. This works out well for me 90% of the time. This is about the 10% that it doesn't work so well.

So I open the boxes, get out the bird and radio, charge and install batteries, and bind the bird to the radio. Then, I follow Blade's recommended settings in the DX6i for the nCPX. Oops. It doesn't occur to me that these settings are for pilots more experienced than I am in CP flight. Yep - less than 30 seconds to a crash.

I replaced broken parts as they happened, and since I knew the main motor would wear out (sealed brushed motor), I went ahead and bought the brushless motor upgrade kit and used that when I finally wore out the stock main.

I start working my way through settings, and trying to learn to control this little bird. Of course, I get stuck, and start looking around for help. I found that here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1901484

With their help, I finally start getting some control over the bird and manage to hover better and longer than I ever did. That help came in the form of advice regarding my TX settings to "dumb down" the helo enough to where I could actually fly it indoors. I was also working on tail wag, which began after I installed the brushless motor. The gyro settings did the most, although I did have a bent feathering shaft.

I'm satisfied with...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Mar 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM | 16,334 Views
I think it's time the world met the fleet. So here they are, left to right, front to back:

Gina (WLToys V912)
Traci (Blade Nano CP X)
Ratchet (red WTT Phantom)
Buzz (Silverlit Nano Falcon)
Vortex (Sky Viper X-Quad)
Fitz (yellow Estes Proto X)
Limerick (green Syma S9)
CT (blue Syma S107P)
WhiSC (Syma Sky Thunder S5, CG version; name == whistling can)
Bee (yellow WTT Phantom)

Not pictured:
Firefly (red/black Dromida Ominus FPV)
Prime (blue WTT Phantom)
Jemma (green Estes Proto X)

The SO has just announced that we need a heliport. I'm inclined to agree...

Added a new photo of some old and some new helos.
Left to right:
Buzz (Silverlit Nano Falcon)
Ratchet (red WTT Phantom)
Traci (Blade Nano CP X)
Gina (WLToys V912 with yellow V915 blades)
Leonidas (Blade 300 CFX)
Posted by Crash Override | Feb 06, 2015 @ 05:56 PM | 28,206 Views
The mod journey begins...

After my last crash (something I'm still waiting on stock parts for) when I shattered the blade grip and lost one of its pivot pins, I ordered a blade grip, rotor head, and swash plate from Heli-Factor.
http://www.heli-factor.com/shop/index.php?main_page

The aluminum parts are direct drop-in replacements for the stock parts, with some improvements over the stock design as well.

Helo:
Stock V912 with new PCB and base plate (with mounting and connections for video, bubble blower, etc. - Bang Good calls it the videography version)

New parts list:
Predator 7.4v 1300mAh 2S 20C battery (2) @71g weight (25g increase over stock)
Heli-Factor aluminum swash plate
Heli-Factor aluminum rotor head
Heli-Factor aluminum blade grip
Battery alarm w/extension cable for 2S

Recycled parts list:
Blinking red tail LED extracted from an Auldey Exploiter S
Canopy studs extracted from an Auldey Exploiter S
N50 2826 motors

3 February 2015:

I removed the battery retainer clamp and cut off its screw posts from the base plate to make room for the larger battery. Since the battery goes inside the canopy, I used Velcro Extreme to secure the battery to the base plate.

I used the same Velcro to secure the battery alarm vertically to the base plate directly under the tail boom. The advantage of this is that the alarm display is readily visible from outside, and it can be quickly and easily disconnected from both battery and helo as needed. I connected and then routed the 2S...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Jan 23, 2015 @ 09:26 AM | 15,988 Views
I ordered one of these, and it arrived 1/16/2015 (a week after ordering it). It's intended to be our next step up in the hobby, as we're progressing from 3ch/coaxial helos to 4ch/SR/FP helos.

The words of warning I read about the difficulty of going from 3ch to 4ch are not as bad as some made it out to be, but it isn't a walk in the park, either. Just like starting out in 3ch, you have to again think about what the sticks do - and this time you're changing your learned responses to a helo's behavior as well. I'm flying Mode 2, so throttle and yaw are on the left stick, and pitch and roll are on the right in 4ch. In 3ch, the left stick is throttle only, and the right stick is pitch and yaw. Hence the new (un)learning curve.

That said, we're learning it, and getting better with each flight. I will say that a quad with its excessive stability is mostly an excellent training tool for this type of helo. The sticks are usually exactly the same as I described for Mode 2 flight. However, you'll have to fly the helo to learn to lift off, hover, and land - because that is different between a quad and a helo, and each helo handles differently as well.

Put training gear on it - this will save everything from the main rotor blades to the swash plate at liftoff/landing and some crashes by preventing the helo from tipping over, and it really doesn't interfere with flight. Believe me, you will crash. (Get LOTS of spare parts. Really.)

The V912 hovers almost effortlessly (something some...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Dec 26, 2014 @ 02:33 PM | 18,534 Views
The SO gave me a Nano Falcon for Christmas.

We had a lot of fun with it - until it suffered a hard crash. So I figure I'll give the world a heads-up on what not to do with/to one of these amazing little things.

First, I think anyone flying one of these should have some stick time with other larger coaxials like the Syma S107 series so they know how to fly and can stay oriented properly.

While it's always a good idea to go easy on the sticks, this little guy is very touchy. The instructions tell you to lift off slowly, but this doesn't work all that well in this case. I've done good by spinning up the rotors with just enough throttle to get them going and stable without liftoff, and then giving it enough gas to get it to jump straight up. Be careful doing this, because this little guy is a quick little guy and you have to be ready for it to blast straight at the ceiling and let off the gas pretty quickly to avoid a crash and then achieve a hover.

Once it's trimmed, it's a surprisingly graceful flyer with very smooth movement. It does exhibit forward drift, so tail-weighting it is in order if you want (and you like to tinker). The drift isn't that bad, but you do need to watch it while trimming the heli or you'll drift into something you don't want to, like a Christmas tree (I would never do that).

Liftoff from a smooth hard surface is a good idea (the manual got that right) because the slightest puff of air will send it all kinds of almost out of control, and...Continue Reading
Posted by Crash Override | Dec 23, 2014 @ 05:23 PM | 16,252 Views
So the SO and I are out grocery shopping a few weeks back, and her son's birthday is getting close. We're at Aldi, and we see these micro coaxial helis for $20 USD. Inspiration clubs us over the head, and we pick up a World Tech Toys Phantom for his birthday.

Oops.

I open it at home to inspect it and test its basic functions, and charge it so he can fly it right out of the box. I managed to not crash it at all, and everything seemed to work properly (after whacking the remote against my hand once to get it to power up). I recharged and repackaged it minus the remote batteries so he wouldn't know I had opened it already.

We all know what happens next. He opens it up, takes it out, starts crashing. Before long, we're all taking turns flying it (and crashing), and I did manage to break the tail decoration (which has since been removed).

$200 USD later...

We now own three Phantoms (one of each color), a SkyViper X-Quad, and an Auldey Exploiter. (Obviously, these choices were made before I came here.)

The X-Quad is an absolute blast, and we're slowly getting better at flying it. Trimming it was tricky, and while the trim still isn't perfect we can really fly it now (sort of - flying it isn't anything at all like flying a normal heli, and we are rather happy it has blade guards for noobs like us). We're looking forward to a calm day outdoors or some indoor place/event we can visit to fly it with enough room to really fly.

I'm currently the only one flying the Exploiter -...Continue Reading