mnemennth's blog View Details
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 04, 2019 @ 10:59 PM | 7,590 Views
SmokeStopper™ Questions? Find the Answers HERE!

If you've come here looking for information on the SmokeStopper™ and are a little confused that you can't find it, don't worry. You are in the right place, it's just buried a little because I started that project a few years ago.

The actual thread is here:

I do still stop in from time to time; I haven't abandoned the project. I just have "stuff" like everybody else.

Where has the ol' TinkerDwagon been lately?

I've been a bit busy the last couple years with raising two beautiful kids, and the dog-eat-dwagon world of life in the middle of the Energy Corridor. The last year or so I've been hoeing out the house, trying to reduce the "Stuff" of 3 lifetimes, and now we're in the process of packing up and moving over the next 2-3 months.

I've been tinkering a little with my Flight Sims, and have been doing some consulting work, so the whirry little flying things have gotten a little dusty, but still not forgotten. I hope that once we're settled in our new home much further North, I'll be able to get back to the model aviation I still miss and love.


The Three Laws of Thermodynamics:
1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't even get out of the game.

Posted by mnemennth | Jul 19, 2018 @ 04:23 PM | 32,825 Views
Archiving and Decommissioning 10 years of Old Hard Drives... a Timeline:

I just spent the last 4 daze in a sleep-deprived haze deliberately destroying my 4th order data backups and turning them into modern art as they had reached critical mass. Much hilarity ensued.


"I love the smell of angry pixies in the morning..." ~ me

Originally Posted by mnemennth on: July 17, 2018, 03:06:36 pm

I've been consolidating pics, videos, documents and music from various old hard hard drives from the last 10 years into a single contiguous archive (hopefully with minimal file duplication) so I can decommission the hard drives. I've been at it for two... sh**... three days, and I'm about half done.

I'm so feeling my inner CodeMonkey right now... have consumed nothing but caffeine & leftovers since Saturday. Gauging from razor stubble, been similar time since last shower. Sleep is a stranger to me.

Please shoot me now.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jul 11, 2018 @ 09:03 PM | 32,688 Views
In other news...

I just found out one of my old flying buddies from San Antonio passed away this morning; I was just talking with a mutual friend of ours yesterday and intended to call him this afternoon. Weird thing... I contacted that mutual friend out of the blue after not speaking with him for over a year because I'd found some old analog camera lenses and thought of him; guess I should've been thinking of ol' Rick. I've spent all afternoon looking through my videos from the time; it's crazy but all I could find of him was a few off-screen comments and a brief blurry pan where he's on screen for half a second.

He was a good friend whose great joy was flying big gliders for hours on end; he was kind but fearless, soft-spoken and a true christian, and a proper, unabashed liberal. A rare thing here in Texas; his company was well-met and the world feels much smaller knowing he's no longer in it.

Wishing you clear skies and plenty of thermals, my friend. You've earned it.

"There's a bird on the wing;
flying high, flying high.
From a place, to a place...
Changing skies, changing skies..."

Posted by mnemennth | Jun 25, 2018 @ 01:54 PM | 35,796 Views
In other news...

BEHOLD! Gaze on in awe and terror; at the amazing CLEAR SPACE ON MY WORKBENCH! I've been working my tuchus off all week to make this hole; it's for a special project.

$325.99 Now at Banggood US Site

My father's day present to myself was this; a Tevo Tornado 3D printer. It is based on the popular Tevo Tarantula basic design; with a number of bug-fixes and twice the build volume (I know, I know... everybody says it's a clone of the CR-10. You can argue over who copied who til you're blue in the face... fact is, the Tarantula was the first 3DP with this geometry to gain widespread acceptance). More importantly, unlike the Tarantula, there are no acrylic parts and the thing comes 95% assembled out of the box.

This is how it looked 3 minutes after I took it out of the box; only a few screws and brackets to attach the two main assemblies together and supposedly it is ready to print.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 03, 2018 @ 07:01 PM | 33,147 Views

She was not amused.


But she didn't make me take it off until after she'd gone to school and all her coworkers saw it and giggled.
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 31, 2018 @ 10:10 PM | 33,491 Views

Time for a change. Some of you will recognize the new avatar... good times.


Does this tail make my ass look fat?

Posted by mnemennth | Feb 07, 2018 @ 02:50 PM | 36,276 Views
RaceDayQuads "SmokeStopper": No!

Not mine, not endorsed, Fraudulent Use of My IP!


I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but as Tyler Brennan continues to refuse to do the right thing, I'm making public notice here:

The RaceDayQuads "Smokestopper" is NOT Endorsed by me, it is not equivalent in any way to a real SmokeStopper™, it will NOT provide the same kind of protection that a real SmokeStopper™ does, nor is it usable as a diagnostic tool in the way the real SmokeStopper™ is.

This device substitutes a polyfuse (PPTC) and an LED for the dynamic ballast of the lamp filament; it is NOT an equivalent device, it allows excessive current to flow for far too long before tripping, and it is in most ways as useless as the HobbyKing "Boom Stopper" which I've already debunked and refused to endorse.

A little history here: I spent quite some time experimenting with PPTCs back when I still had only the high-current version; I could not find a value that would properly initialize 4 ESCs at once while still limiting inrush current to 400-500mA as the Low-Current version of the SmokeStopper™ does. This is why I went with the HI-LOW current design I updated with instead of a PPTC.

PPTCs have a steeper response slope than a filament on a 1157, etc light bulb; they ultimately open circuit similarly to a fuse. However, they are SLOW; and they can permit much higher inrush current than the bulb and for much longer.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 20, 2017 @ 11:36 AM | 35,534 Views
Sorry for taking so long to update; I recently reworked my entire workbench, only to immediately have to downsize pretty much everything. It WAS glorious while it lasted, though.

Familiar Chaos

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Posted by mnemennth | Aug 28, 2017 @ 12:29 AM | 36,105 Views
Armageddon 2017: Houston, TX 8/27 3:00PM Flooding From Hurricane Harvey (2 min 3 sec)

Flooding outside my house from Hurricane Harvey Aug 27 approx 3:00 PM. Son playing in the rain.

We're weathering it okay... I stocked up a fridge full of provisions on Friday & Saturday (still not enough milk and butter), and amazingly, we still have electricity. *Knock on Wood*

Water got up to ~6" from the bottom of the mailbox before it started to recede; maybe 6 feet down the driveway from the garage door. I spent most of the afternoon fighting a roof leak that of course had to manifest as water dripping from a light fixture in the closet to my office/workbench. This leak CAME FOR ME! Went straight for my heart; all my RC transmitters (Taranii OK, but now I have both my 9XRs apart and drying out) and my Tektronix 'scopes in the closet.

Next door neighbor tells me he hasn't seen water this high in the 42 years he's lived here; kids were supposed to go back to school tomorrow, but they've pushed that back to NEXT Tuesday.

Aaaaand as I post this (Approx midnight), another storm front is bringing more torrential rains; just as the water got below 1 foot.

Best of luck to all my RCG Family,


"May you live in interesting times." ~ Ancient Chinese Curse
Posted by mnemennth | Jun 10, 2017 @ 06:57 PM | 39,555 Views
FPV Modded B-03 BWHOOP Less Than 30 Grams - I DID IT!

Those of you who frequent the same circles as I do have probably seen my 2.8 Gram All In One Cam/VTX blog; this build leverages that to bring in the BoldClash B-03 BWHOOP right at at less than 30 grams, including all-band FPV video AND dual battery connections for both Losi/MOLEX and JST-PH/PowerWhoop equipped batteries.

This may sound heavy for a Whoop, but remember the B-03 BWHOOP is not your usual 0615 Whoop build. They're an interesting variant of the "Chiny Whoop" phenomenon; 0716 motors, rubber frame and built-in JTAG/SWIM port to make flashing to SilverWare plug & play easy. They weigh in at right around 30.5 grams in stock form, and come in Blue/White and Orange/White versions with full canopy for $15-19.

Here she is with my brand new Taranis Plus SE.

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Posted by mnemennth | May 29, 2017 @ 12:45 AM | 39,924 Views

Oh, yeah... I killed my shiny new SE. I remember reading about this boobytrap in the Plus ages ago, so have religiously unplugged the battery in every Plus I've owned before unplugging/replugging the ribbon cables.

But this afternoon I got ahead of myself doing some side by side testing with my original Plus and unplugged the battery in the WRONG TARANIS , then I removed the ribbon cables and now I'm paying the price. It's just annoying that it's my shiny new Plus SE, which I've already started to Mod.

Afterwards I plugged it into USB and confirmed I have 3.3v on Vcc but no signs of life, so I knew it was the STM32 immediately; I already have the mainboard out & prepped. My preferred method when there are tiny components right next to the CPU is to forget the Hot Air and ChipQuick; they're messy and don't allow you much control.

Before we start we're going to put a slip of paper under the coin cell on the mainboard for safety's sake, then pop it back in the holder. I've learned the hard way; a coin cell loose on the bench is as good as lost, and if you put it in your parts bin, it invariably gets shorted out against something metal and gets dead.

The safest place in the world for the coin cell is right back in the holder.

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Posted by mnemennth | May 14, 2017 @ 02:29 PM | 41,878 Views
TARANIS PLUS SE MOD - Routing The M9 Gimbal Wires Correctly

With the delivery of my new Taranis SE I've had a chance to revisit some of my favorite mods, and have seen opportunity to devise some new ones. One of the most pressing ones... which I completed before I even wrote up my Tech Teardown... was to get the wires on the M9 Gimbals routed correctly. This Mod applies to ANY Transmitter with M9 Gimbals, even if you're modding them into a QX7 or other transmitter for experimentation.

Why is this an issue? One, for reliability; the default routing of the wires concentrates all the stress of movement right at the fixed end of the X-Axis sensor wires. This is a recipe for failure due to metal fatigue.

And two, because we've had issues from day one with the M9 Gimbal wires being VERY short. So short that it's very difficult to route them such that they don't hang up during normal operation. The folks at FRSky have addressed the hanging-up issue with some zip-ties to hold the x-axis wires off to one side; however, this doesn't address the issue that the wires for the X-axis, particularly on the right hand stick, pull at excessive angles as shown above.

And finally, this mod also counters the issues many have expressed over stiff wires; routing them in this "S-curve" manner makes the stick feel much more supple, especially if you like a nice soft spring to your pitch-roll axes.

Ideally, you want to have moving control wires routed so that...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 09, 2017 @ 05:50 PM | 54,707 Views
Taranis Plus Special Edition TECH TEARDOWN

Taranis plus SE provided by Banggood for Review; available here: [LINKY]

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... No wait, it IS a plane... but what's he flying it with?"


A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to review the new Taranis Plus Special Edition; after much anticipation, (and wibbling, and nail-biting) it finally arrived. A few minutes with the video camera went by for an unboxing and initial impressions video, and it was time to tear it apart and see what was new compared to my 1st Gen Taranis Plus.

The first thing you notice is the Semi-rigid Ballistic Nylon Case shown above; it's lighter and smaller than the old aluminum hardcase, and it comes imprinted with SPECIAL EDITION right on top, so everybody knows and you can feel... SPECIAL.

And... it IS special; it comes with Custom Paint, High Performance Exhaust, Aluminum Mags and Radio Tuned Suspension!

OK... maybe that should read Hydro-Dipped Graphics, High-Performance Antenna Mod, CNC Aluminum Thumb Crowns and Slinky-Smooth Hall-Effect Gimbals... but you get the idea.

It's a custom TX, with lots of the most popular Taranis mods already built-in. Think of it as FRSky's Special Vehicle Operations.


I chose the Carbon Fiber version; it comes in a matte finish that is attractive and has a textured surface with a nice dry, tactile feel. As soon as you...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 04, 2017 @ 10:52 AM | 40,746 Views
Making an AIO Cam/VTX That is ACTUALLY Less than 2.8 Grams - The AKK S2/BS2: Shave it DRY!

NOTE: AKK S2 is on sale again in the AKK AliEx Store, only $16.19 EACH!

A couple weeks ago I Stumbled across the AKK S2 on flash sale; it was half price on AKK's AliEx Store. That is a camera advertised at 2.8 grams for $US12.70!!!

Really amazing, I thought... until one of my friends in the WHOOP community pointed out that weight was without antenna. Somewhat disheartened, I waited for my cameras to arrive; and sure enough, when they got here (pretty quickly, though... AKK ships via ePacket) they weighed in at 4.2 and 4.28 grams each. Hoping to get somewhere close to the advertised weight of 2.8 grams, I started taking parts off and weighing them.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Apr 19, 2017 @ 09:18 AM | 42,960 Views
BoldClash B-03 BWHOOP - Raising the Bar For All The Whoop Clones

BoldClash B-03 BWHOOP - Raising the Bar For All The Whoop Clones (17 min 24 sec)

BoldClash B-03 BWHOOP

Orange BWHOOP:



Big-Block power: 0716 Size 53,500 RPM Motors

260mAH Battery = 5-7 Min Flights

ST-Link Programming header good for "Silverized" Acro Firmware pre-installed on bottom of FC

See silverxxx FW Thread on RCG here:

Plug-in Header good for AIO Cam/VTX on Top of FC

29.8 grams AUW, 28.3 28.3 grams W/O Hood

Big 17.5mm x 8.3mm x 32mm Batt Compartment

Baro Altitude Hold

Return to Home

Headless Mode

More fun than you should be able to have with your clothes on!

Yes, the TMart links above contain my affiliate code. If you buy through these links it costs you nothing, and I get points to use on stuff I can review. Full disclosure, etc.


After a few flights I think i have this thing figured out; it does NOT fly like most of the toy-grade quads I've played with.

Take-off: Quad initializes by itself; no throttle up/down to arm required. It will jump up about a foot in the air once you raise throttle for 1 second; then altitude will climb, but pretty slowly.

Flight: LH Shoulder button engages "Headless Mode"; no matter what the YAW orientation, the right...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Apr 11, 2017 @ 07:26 PM | 43,606 Views
E010 / F36 Transmitter Mod for "Pinch Flying"

So I just got myself a EACHINE E010 "Chiny Whoop" quadcopter because it seemed the thing to do at the time... and with points I needed to burn anyways, it was 9 bux & change. The quad itself is actually a lot of fun for a "Level Mode" only quad; it's quiet, stable and I can even fly it around my little girl without her freaking out.

But the stock controller is a tiny thing; its design & layout make it pretty much "Thumb Twiddle" only. Guys like me who "Pinch" either have to bind it to a Devo TX or a TX that will run the "4-in-1" TX module and fly it with a "real" TX, or live with the suck that is these tiny little thumbsticks.

I do have a 4-in-1 and I can bind this to my Taranis; but one of the great things about this quad is that it's literally pocketable... the quad and the stock controller fit in a box the size of a sandwich. Perfect for a quickie on lunch break. Yum.

Yes, the links above contain my affiliate code. If you buy through them it costs you nothing, and I get more points to use on stuff I can review. Full disclosure, etc.

The Good Stuff

So I decided to mod my tiny TX so that even with my great big Shrek hands, I could still "pinch" fly. I often find myself flying the E010 one-handed now; this TX literally fits like a glove.


As you can see here, the materials...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 26, 2017 @ 10:27 PM | 40,974 Views
UPDATE: Taranis Model Profile and FC CLI Dumps attached below as promised!

Getting to Know the EACHINE EX120 Brushed FPV Hexacopter (16 min 10 sec)

EX120 Hexacopter provided by Banggood for review; available here: EX120 PNF/BNF $64.99-$72.99

EACHINE EX120 2S Brushed Hex: A Budget Powerhouse!

With 2S power and F3 Flight controller, this hex proves you don't need brushless motors to be a "real" racing 'copter!

It is crazy nimble like the Whoop, but Hex configuration gives it the stability and "bite" the Whoop often lacks. While not as fast, it handles better than my Tarot TL130 and has much "snappier" response.

The included AIO Cam/VTX is quite good for CMOS; this latest generation has a much faster rolling shutter. No, it doesn't totally eliminate the artifacting endemic to this family of cameras, but it does greatly reduce jello and motion-induced blur. While still not as good as even an original HS1177 CCD cam, if you can't afford the weight of a proper racing cam, these are about as good as you can get right now.

The only real downsides I see are less than zero degrees camera angle that really can't be easily adjusted, not preloaded with ßetaƒlight as advertised, and it should have a D-ring battery strap included.

EACHINE EX120 WS2812 LED/Buzzer LightBar $3.80 at BG

Charsoon 2S/450mAH LiPo for EX120 with D-Ring Strap $6.99 at BG

Charsoon 2S/450mAH LiPo 5-pack for EX120 with D-Ring Strap $29.99 at BG

Overall it's an excellent little brushed FPV 'copter; with good power, good speed, and excellent agility thanks to the SPR F3 Evo family brushed FC and some shiny bling lighting standard. It is available in PNF and in BNF Versions compatible with Spektrum, FRSky, and FlySky.

Binding FRSKY Version EACHINE EX120 to Taranis Transmitter (3 min 18 sec)

Check back, as this blog will be updated with links to my other EX120 videos and will be expanded with all-new content on Getting it Flying and Mods/Upgrades mention in the above video.


Posted by mnemennth | Feb 28, 2017 @ 09:59 PM | 41,525 Views
EACHINE EX120 Initial Impressions (5 min 47 sec)

Part 1 of my review of the EACHINE EX120 120mm Brushed FPV Micro Hexacopter. Video is part of my EX120 Tech TearDown; coming soon.

EX120 Hexacopter provided by Banggood for review; available here:

Advertised Specs:

120mm 0820 Brushed Hexacopter

56mm Blunt Profile Props

~80 grams AUW

SPRacing F3 Clone W/Brushed ESCs All-In-One FC

450mAH 30C 2S Battery

ARF or BNF with FRSky, FlySky, Spektrum DSM2 Compatible RX

Built-In buzzer/LightBar with 6 WS2812 LEDs controlled by FC


3½-4 min Flight Time

Comes with ßetaƒlight 1.3.1 Cleanflight 1.3.0 Preinstalled

I had misgivings about the CF frame/grommet motor mounting; however once I got it in my hands I could see the mounts hold very tightly. Nice extra in the Buzzer & LED LightBar; it is available here separately:

I see the USB 2S LiPo charger being useful for other things as well; like charging a 2S transmitter or Goggle LiPo from a USB power brick or car.

I also like that it comes in a foam insert that is good for carrying in a backpack.

BG Recommended 2S/450mAH 25C LiPo with D-Ring strap is here:

Same LiPo in 5-Pack with strap is here:

Above links contain my affiliate code; if you use them it costs you nothing and I get points I can use for more stuff to review.

I'll be doing my Tech Teardown here shortly; Hopefully we'll find some more interesting surprises!

mnem out!
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 27, 2017 @ 03:37 PM | 40,907 Views

So after puttering around a bit with a Tarot TL130H, I decided to get into "indoor-able" quads again. I have an Eachine TX120 on the way for review; but the QX is an "old friend". I wanted to have it back in my lineup, only as an FPV version.


NanoQX 1st Gen

Stock FC rotated 180°
Stock 0615 Motors & Props
Modded 22ga & JST-PH Power Connectors
BoldClash F-02 NanoCam & VTX
NanoTech 160mAH/25C For Nine Eagles MicroHeli modded with JST-PH

Original build was just stuck on a bone stock QX and balanced very well due to separate cam with VTX siliconed down to top of FC. AUW 23.15 Grams. Rotating FC 180° allowed me to make the "back" of the quad the front, and Cam/VTX fits under stock hood like it was made for it.

However flight was only decent for first 30 seconds or so, after which it just got progressively more squirrely until LVC at ~1½ minutes, even with new Nano-Tech batteries. Did some research, found out about the issues folks in the Tiny Whoop / Inductrix threads were having with the stock power connector.

Modded FC with 22ga wire and JST-SH (PowerWhoop) connector, and now getting 4 minutes on the nose to LVC out of the same 160mAH NanoTechs. (I bought a couple dozen of these a few months ago for my AXE CP because they were ~$1 each; you guys in OZ can still get them) After this mod AUW was 24¼ grams, and that included properly hot-gluing the cam and reinforcing antenna wires, etc.

IMAGE...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 05, 2017 @ 11:38 PM | 41,697 Views
Make Connecting to Your Quad EASY! Moizen Magnetic Micro-USB Cable!

2 for $5.32 delivered in 10 days:

I recently purchased a couple of the Moizen Magnetic Micro-USB charger cables for my phone... when I found out how convenient they were to connect, I started outfitting my quads with them.

There are a lot of this sort of cable available right now, at hugely varying prices and quality... however, after scouring various Android User Groups, there was only one that was generally agreed to be both good quality and cheap: The MOIZEN M1 and M2. I don't like the raised connector pad of the M2, so I went with the M1.

This cable supports BOTH charging AND Data connection... many ONLY do charging.

I bought my first two from the vendor shown above for $5.32 with shipping; they arrived 10 days later even in the middle of the Christmas rush. After using them on my phone for a few days, I decided to get a few more from the same vendor to use with my quadcopter builds.

I know that several suppliers are carrying the little slug by itself for like $1, but I wasn't certain they'd be compatible, and I didn't mind having a few extra cords to use elsewhere for my phone.

...Continue Reading