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Posted by neven | Feb 13, 2011 @ 11:55 PM | 3,436 Views
Hi guys, here are the blueprints I made to build my rc camera mount. Each square side is 1cm long, so it's broken up in two CF sheets 10 by 30 cm. This works best if you print it on sticker paper, then stick it to cf or whatever you are cutting. Caution, carbon fiber looks great but creates a lot of harmful dust, this is no joke and u should use a Niosh approved respirator mask or better and safety goggles that totally cover your eyes. It is also messy, so you may be better off looking into some materials that are easier to handle but will do the job, and let me know Also, this blueprint is only enough to get you well on your way. I have improvised with most of the joints on this mount, mainly using pieces of crashed helis. You will have to use your own judgement in how you will put them together, and what servos you will use. I was recommended super high speed and torque servos by a professional, but he did not see the kind of mount I was making, so that may not be the way to go here. I will post more as I test slower servos on it. Hope this helps!
Posted by neven | Feb 07, 2011 @ 10:23 PM | 2,390 Views
Hi, I have 3 Hobby King 401B heli gyros, I'm using them for a camera rig I put together. These gyros have two plugs that go in the receiver, futaba style, one is normal, positive, negative, signal, for normal gyro operation. The other plug is just a signal, so you can switch the gyro from normal to AVCS with a switch on your radio. Now with 3 gyros, after I plug their normal plugs in their proper channels, can I just connect their extra signal wires together into one, and switch them into AVCS at once like that? Figured I'd check here before I fry something. Thanks!
Posted by neven | Feb 07, 2011 @ 04:36 PM | 2,466 Views
Here's a video of the rig put together, checking the movements, just need to tweak it so it's not quite as jittery and then add gyros. And mount it on my heli.

Homemade RC camera mount.MOV (0 min 33 sec)

Posted by neven | Jan 22, 2011 @ 05:21 PM | 3,873 Views
This is where I'm at with the camera rig I'm building. The camera mount's done, the rounded rails are done for the side to side movements, just the mounts for those will need some tweaking as the little pulleys don't hold them in place as well as I thought. The main mount with two 450 booms is getting close as well, the servo is not mounted yet in the pic. I have all my electronics, everything seems to work, now I just need another transmitter, a bit low on the cash at the moment, it will have to wait. Carbon fiber is really bad for dust, even cutting and sanding this few pieces. I had a respirator on and swept my basement every time, but there is still cf dust everywhere. If I do this again, I'll need to use a glovebox or something to contain the dust hehe. Hope to have it going by the summer. It's still in the early stage, so any advice or comments I'd appreciate, thanks!
Posted by neven | Dec 03, 2010 @ 12:48 AM | 3,058 Views
So far I've been successful at drawing cartoons for a living, pay's not steady but we're getting by. I thought to myself, I like flying heli's, why not try and make some money with it, even if it's just a couple of bucks to buy replacement parts. Well, I'm no amazing 3d pilot so there is no way I can wow money out of anybody with that, but aerial footage, that is something I can do. I went through a few designs, I think I finally have a pretty good grasp on what I am going to make. I want to put it on a 500 size heli, and it should weigh no more than 500 grams. I basically looked online and grabbed whatever I liked out of a couple of gimbals, and combined it into one. It will be 3 axis, and gyro stabilized. If I manage to pull this off, I will be very proud of myself. Just waiting for hobbyking to get some carbon sheets in stock now.
Posted by neven | Nov 21, 2010 @ 07:57 PM | 2,788 Views
You know the links that adjust the main blade pitch when you are setting blade tracking? How you can only adjust them by a full turn? I made a linkage that can be adjusted very accurately. I used the regular plastic links, then I took the tail blade holders from a 450 size heli, took one off, dremelled the steel ball holder off on the other one and assembled what's in the picture, reinforced with loctite and superglue. The bearing in the blade holders allows for the minutest of adjustments, I don't need to take the plastic link off the ball anymore. The big downside, stock linkage weighs less than a gram. My linkage weighs a little over 4 grams. That is why I had to add weight to the other linkage, to balance the head. I have tested this in flight, seems to work ok. Hasn't blown up in my face yet. I have not seen anything like this around, does it exist as an aftermarket upgrade? What I made is bulky and heavy, did anyone ever make a connecting rod with reversed threads for the two plastic linkages? This would work in the same way, but would be safer than my redneck fix. Could the centrifugal force rip the link off the head? It's pretty tight on there....
Posted by neven | Apr 05, 2010 @ 10:45 PM | 3,265 Views
Hey everyone, I was hoping you could help me again. This Christmas I bought an exi 500. I fit it with Turnigy electronics. Turnigy BEC, Turnigy 60 amp ESC, and a turnigy 3648-1450kv motor. I am running it on 2200mah 3s x 2. I flew it about 20 times and was amazed at the motor's strenght(it is a plane motor but people have been using it in 500's 550's and boats). I have been having problems with blades tracking now and then, I fix it but it keeps coming back. I heard this could be due to motor vibrating off balance? (head assembly and tail is solid) Anywho, I hovered it and noticed the blades weren't tracking. Landed, adjusted linkages, and tried to spool up again, and the motor would just chug at even intervals: on- off- on- off. about three times a second. It would not be enough power to spool up the head, it looked kinda like a gear that would move inside an old wind-up watch. Any idea what this could be? servos work, gyro works, batteries are ok... Makes sense to me it's either the motor or the esc? Is there any way to know for sure without ripping apart the esc and motor? I don't have any spare esc and motor of this size on me.

I appreciate any help, thanks!
Posted by neven | Jun 01, 2009 @ 07:17 PM | 2,932 Views
About a month ago, I was playing with the pitch of the tail blades on my heli, and i forgot to put loctite on the bolt that holds the pitch arm to the gear case. Only a tiny amount of the threads of the bolt actually grip the tail case L bracket, so the bolt had no problem unscrewing and putting my heli out of comission for a week. I fixed this problem by taking a spare bolt and nut from a main shaft, and using it instead of the stock bolt(which dissapeared in the crash anyway). I treadlocked the nut onto it as well just in case. At least now I feel a little bit safer. I included a pic to better explain what I mean, hope this helps somebody as much as people's tips on this forum have helped me!
Also, I took appart an old VCR (remember those?) and found all sorts of great junk inside of it, gears, springs, belts, motors...etc. I took one metal piece out of it and made myself a gyro mount! It looks tip top... from about 10 feet you get closer... nooot so much. But hey, it works! And it was free!
Posted by neven | Jan 14, 2009 @ 10:36 PM | 3,459 Views
Hey everyone, I just thought I'd share a tracking tip for anyone that may be interested. I have read in many posts and also experienced myself the sometimes finicky blade tracking of the mx 400 line of helicopters, especially the mx 450. Some nights I would spend hours trying to get the blades to track by hovering it in my basement, only to find out next morning that the blades are out of track again. very frustrating.
I think I figured out a simple way to do a quick blade tracking flight check before the heli is in the air. It's worked for me so far.

1. connect the battery to the heli to make sure servos are in proper position.
After they align to their position, I disconnect the battery so the motor doesnt start suddenly while I do the following.

2. in the first picture, looking at the heli from top down, rotate the blades in their blade holders towards the side their leading edge goes, so it looks like the second picture(rotating them in this direction makes them pull on the linkages as they would in normal flight, making it easier to take a more accurate pitch measurement). make sure the blades are over the paddles.

3. then in the third pic, put the heli on a table on its skids and look at it from the side, compare the distance between the blade and paddle on both sides, I just eyeball it. Then, rotate head 180 degrees to check if gaps are the same still. if gaps are the same I fly the heli and blades track good. if gaps are off, I adjust linkages, and I am able to see the effect of those changes almost instantly, before I even connect the battery to the heli again.

hope someone found this helpful, it is by no means a replacement for a pitch gauge but it works for me for a quick pre flight check.
Posted by neven | Oct 17, 2008 @ 09:27 AM | 3,733 Views
winter's coming, time to put some studded tires on my rc jet :P
Posted by neven | Oct 14, 2008 @ 10:52 PM | 4,241 Views
after laying on the primer, I found some silver spraypaint and thought what the heck? sprayed that sucka silver. wasnt too impressed with the final result at first. however, when in the air and far away, the silver would reflect the color of the sky, it would turn into a cool blue, and the ridges (imperfections) bent the light in interesting ways. so not bad I guess. then I got an idea from some guy that had his lamborghini sharpied. you can see that here:

and decided to try and copy him. the result, nowhere nearly as impressive as the lamborghini, but not bad for a first! it only cost me $3 for the glue, and spent about 10 hours in total on it. not planning on making money off of it or anything :P would love to try to make some fiberglass canopies. as well as a fiberglass body for the warhead, some sort of classic car maybe... just dreaming for now
Posted by neven | Oct 14, 2008 @ 10:38 PM | 4,158 Views
after smoothing it as best as I could, and laying some thick craft glue over the surface, I decided to spraypaint it with a primer
Posted by neven | Oct 14, 2008 @ 10:30 PM | 4,399 Views
Hello everyone, I was actually looking for a place to start a little rc blog. A little bit about me, I was always into any form of rc ever since a little kid. mainly cars tho, and then off road trucks. my first "serious" purchase was a
tamiya tnx truck, great machine, but I traded it in for a duratrax warhead.. I know I know... but it has reverse and tnx doesnt.. and I dont mind the lower speed. then I got a heli max axe.. that affair lasted about 4 months til the tail rotor burnt, made a plane out of that one, but that calls for another post. after that I decided I needed to settle down with something more reliable, so I blew my budget and got a heli max mx 450, awesome machine, and remarkable at taking abuse :P I crashed it 3 times, every time replacing only the blades. the last time was the worst, it damaged the battery, and the beautiful canopy, which sadly was a major determining bying factor for me...yah. so I tried a little experiment, I looked around on forums all over, and managed to find people that make their own canopies out of carbon fiber, fiberglass, paper mache... well I gave paper mache a try. I have plenty of newspaper already, I bought a bottle of elmer's glue, used the broken canopy as the mould, and got something half decent and only little bit heavier than the store bought canopy. below are some pics after letting the mold dry and cutting/sanding with dremel. used some CA superglue to harder canopy mount holes, and the edges.