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Posted by Slider2732 | Oct 08, 2018 @ 10:05 AM | 5,710 Views
All parts used are from 2x JJRC H67 'Santa' quad
8 motors, with differential thrust on 4 of them
2x RX that both bind to the same TX
Own firmware, based on Silverware (multiple controls methods are in the zip attached below)
2ft wingspan
3.1oz AUW

Quite the challenge. There are 8 motors on 2 quadcopters of course, but then how to steer ?
The answer was differential thrust. The inner 2 motors on each side for left/right.
Each RX has the rear motor ports outputting left and right, the front motor ports react only to throttle input.
That would also mean the crossing over of wiring through the fuselage, for 1 of the motors on each side.
Luckily, it all went well and worked first time
The result of 8x 7mm motors on this 3.1oz aircraft is far too much power...she went vertical at WOT when the CG was set too far back
Flying is on the lowest notch, needing to use the ZTT within the code for glide steering. Just about the complete opposite problem that Howard Hughes had with the original.

Build and flight video:
A Spruce Goose - built using 2x quadcopter parts (8 min 26 sec)

Firmware - to convert a JJRC H67 'Santa' or Bwhoop B-03 to the fixed wing toygrade controls of yesteryear.
See the Silverware thread in the mini quads forum for instructions of how to upload.
There is a ReadMe containing details of each controls method and connections.
Each Style file relates to popular controls methods of the toygrades from circa 2008.
Single/twin motor and rudder, actuator ailerons, differential thrust etc and intended for the stock TX. The gyro is defeated, to better mimic those methods. Control range can be seen in the video above or recent other Blog posts. It's an easy 300ft, with the RX antenna positioned fully away from any motor wiring.
All flights using this firmware are at your own risk, though it has been thoroughly tested...choose a big field in the boonies
Posted by Slider2732 | Sep 15, 2018 @ 11:49 PM | 2,421 Views
Got an interesting question from someone on an old video.
Could earbud magnets be used with actuators ?
My immediate thought was they are all-in-one things with very weak magnets, but I was wrong, way wrong !
Some Dollar Tree cheapo earbuds have something similar to N40 neodymiums in them
So I just had to build something quick to try out the effectiveness.

9" wingspan, Santa RX with own firmware, 7mm stock Santa motor & prop. 150mA Eachine E010 lipo, 300+300 coils as the rudder actuator, 17g AUW
It's a sort of Silverlit Single Wing from around 2006 in how it handles, though nowhere near as robust.

Can earbud magnets be used on R/C planes ? (3 min 30 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Sep 06, 2018 @ 10:39 PM | 5,218 Views
The Silverware firmware has now been edited to enable throttle and ailerons, for fixed wing flight.
1 or 2 motors for throttle, actuators on the wings for ailerons. The gyro is disabled in firmwares so far, to enable old school control systems and negate issues with long wingspans or lack of dihedral.

The demo build has been a quick polystyrene plate thing, but, flies really quite nicely with this new system. 20g AUW with a 150mA 1S. Motor is a stock Santa Quad (JJRC H67) 7mm, with a Hubsan H107C prop.

Silverware files featuring a 'Styles' folder. Within that folder, firmwares can be found for different flight controls. They may well be added to in the future. For now, they are 2 motor differential thrust and motors + ailerons.
Command line instructions are included for Linux (I use Mint 18.3)
Differential thrust firmware is for the 2 rear motor pads, with the 2 front pads enabled for regular throttle control if wished.
Ailerons firmware is again for the rear 2 motor connections, back left for the left, back right for the right. The 2 pads at the front of the RX are again for regular throttle control of 1 or 2 motors.

Demo of controls and flight: The hatcam has a couple of glitches, but shows the pleasantly responsive actuator aileron control. Also a loop and the closest fly by possible, striking the hatcam !

Santa RX - Actuator ailerons (3 min 55 sec)

Firmware attached below.

Posted by Slider2732 | Sep 03, 2018 @ 09:02 PM | 1,045 Views
A proof of flight for the Santa RX/Silverware vintage ITC Starscream.
21.6g AUW, with a 150mA 1S lipo. didn't go quite as planned.
A Red Tailed Hawk attacked it in flight

The vid shows the system on the table, then there is the flight footage, where the plane was attacked twice.

Raptor vs Raptor - Bird attacks quad powered model airplane (4 min 54 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Sep 02, 2018 @ 12:52 PM | 1,244 Views
The JJRC H67 Santa quad is a popular micro quadcopter.
Others with the same hardware are the Eachine E011C and the Boldclash B03 Pro....well except for the highly annoying speaker that plays Christmas carols.
Using Silverware, i've now got a system that emulates the old classic 2 channel flyers of 10 years ago. In this first case, the ITC Starscream, but any homemade or converted airframe that used to use just 2 motors for control can now be fitted with this mod.
The gyro is not active, for authenticity, though a version using it is certainly possible.

Video of functions:
Santa Rx to Airplane Diff Thrust (2 min 34 sec)

It brings 2.4Ghz reliable control (definitely not the case with some FM systems, evidenced by the condition of the F-22 in the pictures)
Binds right away, with no need to be on level ground
Differential thrust motor control
ZTT - Zero Throttle Turning
Proportional control of throttle, left + right
All safeties, such as LVC, out of range and will rebind in flight
It's the same thing as the old days, but has more control steps than most models and can also be fine tuned !

Silverware is the best thing since Playstation mod chips of the late 1990's !

What do you do ?
Follow the installation instructions in the first post of this thread by Silverxxx:
Download the attached firmware and upload the 'bwhoop' file, found in the 'gcc' directory. All files attached, to show my edits.
You can now connect your 2 motors of any classic or scratchbuilt micro model, to the 2 rear pads on the Santa RX and fly like the old days

The idea now, is to build up a firmwares library, for different setups for micro airplanes, some with gyro assist, others without.
Aileron/rudder actuators, 4 motor diff thrust Lancaster's, servo outputs etc.
Posted by Slider2732 | Aug 28, 2018 @ 11:39 AM | 1,287 Views
Update -
Huge thanks to GroundControlRC, who pointed me in several right directions and put me back on the right road like a spun out Scalextric car.

The end result was to edit Silverware files in a regular text editor.
Then 'make' in the command line and flash using the OpenOCD software.
My Santa quad now runs Silverware !

Original Blog post

After several days of trying to sort this out, I need some help

Short version:
Does anyone have stock TX usable firmware for the JJRC H67 Santa quad, for acro ?
Even better, firmware that doesn't check for a gyro in the first case.

The intention is to use the RX on planes, 2 motored and 4 motored. I've had a lot of success with the Peter Sripol method but the gyro often gets in the way, causing wing wobble.

Info - this is no lazy modder of a situation.

I have 2x JJRC H67 Santa quads and a semi broken RX that's been used for testing out code uploads (a trace came off the gyro chip when removing an AIO camera).
Am using the stock RX, got no Devo.
I want to remove gyro checking or verifying completely.
My PC uses Linux Mint - all the tools are Windows only. WINE doesn't like USB for the ST Link V2 and Keil bombs out during install.
The quad RX is unlocked via OpenOCD and accepts files.
Flashing is possible with OpenOCD, such as:
$ openocd -f /usr/share/openocd/scripts/interface/stlink-v2.cfg -f /usr/share/openocd/scripts/target/stm32f0x.cfg -c init -c "reset halt" -c "flash write_image erase bwhoop.bin 0x08000000" -c "verify_image bwhoop.bin 0x08000000" -c "reset run" -c shutdown

So, you see, i'm nearly there, just can't edit the parameters and have no working firmware.

If the gyro was not even looked for, the broken RX might return to life. The STM32 is fine.

Many thanks for any help

Posted by Slider2732 | Jun 02, 2018 @ 10:34 PM | 2,143 Views
Most will be aware of Peter Sripol's superb idea of converting a mini quad circuit to power a paper plane.
The method works well, just desolder/unplug the front 2 motors, 3D print or slice a bit of foam to hold the rear motors on with and attach the pod under the plane.

However - both throttle and steering are on the left stick.
This simple method converts the transmitter to have the steering on the right stick:

How To Convert TX to separate stick controls - Peter Sripol paper plane (4 min 15 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 30, 2018 @ 11:04 PM | 2,070 Views
Such a fantastic week with this classic aircraft.
I was down at the local field where I fly, when a warbird was seen, banking away from me, I decided to see if I could find out anything about it.
It turned out, that it was a P-40 Warhawk, which had been undergoing an engine full restoration. After removing the whole front end, the engine was shipped to Chino in California for the major work. On return, the airport staff put her back together again. The staff at Muskogee Davis Field were simply wonderful and allowed my wife and I to walk about all around the aircraft. Then, over to the SNJ-5 converted to a Mitsubishi Zero Kate, for a look at that !!!!

Vintage P-40 fighter flew over - went to find it ! (10 min 2 sec)

We were told that the P-40 would be flying out on Friday. So I turned up at 9am and found out that she had a coolant leak. It would have to be fixed, to fly out for the 2018 airshow tour. The staff did a great job of fixing up the leak and off she went, pilot Bob Watts at the controls.

P-40 part 2 - will she fly out today ? (8 min 59 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | May 28, 2017 @ 05:11 PM | 4,028 Views
Some background - a while ago, I bought 8 spare motors for my Eachine E010. All arrived as the same direction !!!
It flew fine for about 4 flights, then has progressively lost power and punch as the 2 'wrong' ones have decayed over another dozen flights.
So, a Furibee F-36 was bought as a source of spare least that was the intention. I've had a weird time with my other F-36, it goes screwy for yaw on high rates sometimes. It'll spin 720 degrees around to the same spot rather than turn by a few degrees. Idea there being to swap the Rx on the other F-36 and use the motors for the E010.

Anyway, we're due to travel to MN in a few days time, needing a camera platform for analysis of a church that my wife has inherited. I've only got a couple of options, the failing E010 with Hubsan 2MP camera, or/and convert the spare F-36 with the guts from the disappointing Z201YS WiFi enabled quad (it turned at the speed of a dead snail and faught wind like a plastic bag doesn't !)

So, the idea - take the canopy off the F-36, put the Z201YS guts on top and convert it to use a 205mA lipo.
It all went very well, except my soldering iron bust. Time for another...seems to be every 2 months or so like clockwork.
A piece of paper was glued on top of the F-36 board, then Z201YS mainboard, WiFi and camera on top. A connector was made to convert the battery end.
Just did a test and it all went very well. Was outdoors in case of weird yaw or something, but will be tried indoors to assess any needed trim. It seems to be stable, no wandering and especially there's very little in the way of jello. I have to muck about with the Tx to get lines in the recording or on the phone display. The WiFi link to the phone is fine, no interference from the F-36 board. It doesn't like direct sunlight, fair enough, never did and is only a CMOS 640x480 image but IS an option now for recording up in MN.
AUW 26g with a 205mA

Pic of conversion and an outdoor still:
Posted by Slider2732 | May 23, 2017 @ 03:46 PM | 3,964 Views
Went and did it, reduced the near 45 degree dihedral of the Gravity Spitfire.
A V-shaped cut down the middle allowed using a weight on top of the upside down wings to hold them overnight, while the Aleene's glue set. The spigot hole things for the 2 retainers had to be enlarged due to the change and they have FixAll glue to hold them (was worried it might melt the foam but set fine).
Just need to make little fillets now for the body to wing join, because the mounting angle is a bit different on the underneath.
It looks FAR better than original.
Posted by Slider2732 | May 20, 2017 @ 12:17 PM | 4,574 Views
A friend forwarded the info about the Taylor decision against the FAA.
Looking at the FAA response,
It's unlikely they'll accept it.

It all made me think of the classic intro by Richard Burton, to Jeff Wayne's 70's musical version of The War Of The Worlds:

"Noone would have believed, in the first years of the 21st century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless halls of state. Noone could have dreamed, that we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope would study drones that swarm and multiply like drops of water. Few men even considered the possibility of lights on their Gannets and yet, across the golfing race, minds immeasurably inferior to ours regarded this hobby with devious eyes.
And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us"

For reference:
The Eve of the War (9 min 8 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Mar 30, 2017 @ 11:53 PM | 5,146 Views
Defiant, because this bird didn't seem to want to fly at first.
CG seemed fine, power seemed fine. In the end it was found to be the motor thrust angle.
I'd followed the instructions to the letter on this old skool Gravity Hobby Spitfire and that had included seating the 180 sized brushed motor in the small ridges up front. As it turned out, somehow the angle was idea how to this day !

Anyway, once the nose was fixed up again after doinking it on the maiden, she remaidened and now I learned something cool. This Spitfire needed far less elevator than I had thought it would. Completely flat was worked out during the video below, near the end lol. However, even at 2:00 in the video she flew hands off, as evidenced by me holding the TX up to the camera.

A good straightforward build other than that alignment error, with good if not brilliant moldings.
The amount of dihedral is something to work on, especially if I do end up putting ailerons on..
For now though, it's another good flying Spitfire, have never known one to fly badly.

Brushed 180 motor - supplied in the box
AR6100 RX
2x 3g servo's
350mA 2S - mounted via a bottom cut out modification
AUW 4.0 oz
T/R/E controls

Spitfire "Defiant" remaiden (4 min 5 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Mar 27, 2017 @ 03:16 PM | 5,260 Views
Haven't posted in a while, so I intend to write up some builds from the past few months.
But first, my latest 'thing', Carbonara.
Yep, named after an Italian pasta dish, this is an Eachine E010/Furibee F36 type.

Eachine E010 RX
4x Chaoli CL-0615 6mm motors (seller sent 8x same direction blue/red motors unfortunately)
2x orange 4 bladed props from the F36 spares bag
2x red 4 bladed props from the E010 spares bag
150mAh JJRC lipo (with wires plus plug end desoldered & swapped for correct polarity)

The idea, was to see if 1mm CF rod, salvaged from old planes in my Boneyard, could work within a simple frame for a quad. Veroboard would form the main frame area, the dimensions would be similar to an Eachine E010. The Eachine RX was intended to be a spare, after dunking the genuine article in a water filled bowl in our kitchen sink.

Why not use a real frame ? because I have none and not too much in the way of cash resources.
Plus, the idea appealed and another idea was to try out an old freeflight aircraft technique of using cotton & white glue to secure the motors.
All went well
The CF rods were cut from old aircraft control links, glued with Fix All to the veroboard and the motors went on well with the cotton and white glue method. Once the motors were exactly aligned, I used CA glue to make the motor positions rock solid.
Final AUW = 15g

Luckily, no trim was needed and she has plenty of power.
The best part, is that without prop guards this little thing doesn't feel the wind !!!!
It's now my 'go to' for windy weather yet is about the lightest thing I own !

Video, showing windy flight near the end:

Carbonara - quirky homemade drone (4 min 26 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Jul 20, 2016 @ 04:28 PM | 6,378 Views
Clean forgot to post this build from a couple of weeks ago...
R/T for roasting tin.

Having never flown an EDF anything, a natural thought would have been to build a any sensible person would do.
So, a Nutball type shape was decided on
I grabbed the kitchen roasting tin and set about making an elongated Nutball....a bit like go faster stripes, the body of it would be stretched. It still doesn't make sense does it.

On to the shape went a brushed GWS 40mm EDF, salvaged from a crashed Kid Galaxy flying wing from circa 2009, that I bought at a seconds store.
10-15A brushed ESC, ex Harbor Freight Mustang I believe
AR6310 RX
2x 3.7g servo's
260mA Venom 2S lipo
12.6" wingspan, 17" length
RET controls
AUW 3.2oz

It was too heavy on the first flight attempts. So, off came the landing skids underneath, the other ESC was replaced by this Harbor Freight one (lightened by removing plastics and changing the wire gauge) and also the thrust tube was completely removed.
And she flew !

Jetball R/T - what the heck ? (3 min 16 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Jul 01, 2016 @ 04:31 PM | 7,213 Views
An odd flight experience of the AR6400 Hawker Hotspur.
This model is often passed up, in favour of the Hurricane, but flies very sweetly even with just rudder and elevator, as fitted to this one.
My original Blog post, with pics and build details is here:

As may have been noted, the sun sets on the road side of the small field that I fly at. However, yesterday evening saw some lightning at around 7.30pm and then reddened 'sunset' clouds in the North !
I mention that, because of the odd flights of both the Hotspur and a Nutball type aircraft up there at about 8.15pm. At that time, the temperature was about 84F and the wind was around 5mph. What may be important, is that the field grass hasn't been cut in many months, except up at the North end where there is a baseball diamond.
What am I getting at ?
Both would suddenly rise by several airframes worth of height, or occasionally drop by the same amount. Micro pockets of what I think were thermals (?). I had thought that thermals wouldn't be strong with any wind, so that is the point of my post...anyone see this sort of thing regularly ?

In the vid clip below, i'm using the elevator quite a bit to give a balanced lazy looking flight of the Hotspur. But notable moments include near the start, where she comes back far higher from the sunset direction than when going toward it, with no throttle increase or up elevator used. Also, dips and rises which should be accompanied by large changes in throttle.
A fun experience, but one that I don't yet understand !

Hawker Hotspur - Northerly sunset + bubble lift (1 min 32 sec)

Attached below, are a pic of the Hotspur and the weather conditions as reported by Wunderground for yesterday.
Posted by Slider2732 | May 30, 2016 @ 08:48 AM | 6,758 Views
8mph may not seem to be anything to worry about for a lot of aircraft, but, what if it weighs only 7 grams ?
Such was the case yesterday with the converted Floureon FX-10 pico quadcopter build shown in the last Blog post. It's now somewhat of a little Nutball. The span is 6", it's made from a polystyrene plate and uses differential thrust from 2x4mm motors that notoriously bind !

Because of a storm rolling in, I decided to go to the local field earlier than the usual 8pm for this time of the year.
My other Nutball type has flown well in 17mph wind, so how would this do ? the screencap below shows that winds were somewhere near to 10mph at 7pm, falling toward 5mph by 8pm. The Microball took to the air at about 7.15pm.
It retains some quad features, notably a sort of flip mode, where pressing down on the right stick allows it to roll in a spiral to quickly reduce height...very useful when taken by wind gusts. Range is a good solid 100ft or so, as tested yesterday, sometimes not by choice.

Check it out...

Microball in 8mph wind (2 min 9 sec)

No sound, due to being recorded with the Hubsan 2mp camera.
Posted by Slider2732 | May 23, 2016 @ 01:35 PM | 7,573 Views
I've seen conversions discussed of heli's to planes, most notably in the 'Cheap helis to planes' thread in the Indoor and Micro section.
But a quadcopter ?
A pico quad ?

In December of last year I ordered a Fluoreon FX-10 and it arrived with a binding motor. The first flight saw it zoom off to the right into a livingroom wall...of course the soft cushiony couch was to the left.
After attempts with graphite, thin oil and more the quad only ever gave about 2 mins of flight and likely struggled all the while with that motor. I then swapped it out with a salvaged spare and, the new motor had much more power than the others...didn't fly right at all.

What to do ?

How about converting to a diff thrust plane, steering using 2 of the motors.
I knew that the gyro would need to be defeated, yet had only ever seen heli's discussed and mostly WL Toys receiver based. Hmm. Well, it was doing nothing sat around unflyable.
A search on the chips was embarked upon, The first was found to be the radio chip, but the 2nd was indeed the gyro, an N540. However, no datasheet was found.
OK, well, it has to connect to the main processor on the other side of the board, so some circuit tracing was embarked on and 1 line did indeed go through the board to the other side. That trace was also, semi conveniently near the bottom of the board, but inconveniently right above the lipo connecting points !
Firstly, would it bind with 2 motors missing ? - yes.
Careful tape placement then saw...Continue Reading
Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:58 PM | 7,402 Views
A little 9.5"/24cm wingspan airframe that was sent to me by good friend Aeronaught, is now back in the air after a number of years.
I'd thought it was a single winged Micro Ultimate model, until realising that the top wing hadn't been lost in a box somewhere, it was always a single winged aircraft !
Around 2009, this flew with ITC F-22 guts and then was stored, along with quite a few other models.
An aim recently, had been to fix up otherwise discarded and abandoned circuit boards. This one features an Estes RX, that only has pulse or full throttle and a bang bang actuator rudder. Quite the challenge to get anything to go well with such limited control....good

A 130mAh sits in the front, motor is a 7mm Hubsan replacement , with Hubsan prop and the actuator is a self wound 450 turns unit of 40AWG wire, with a piece of HDD magnet.
It really does fly very nicely, perhaps more a testament to Aeronaughts build quality than my rebuilding and flying abilities.

Early one recent Sunday morning, I took it out for a spin. Here's the flight video and below some pics:

Video moved to Replies section, to speed up page loading
Posted by Slider2732 | Apr 02, 2016 @ 05:28 PM | 7,489 Views
A self designed system, using own written code that now finds itself on a popular Nutball type aircraft.
In the video below, the first flight section tests were in 4-5mph wind.
The second flight section was in 14mph winds, as reported by for 30 March 2016.

The code itself is highly experimental and therefore not available for download, for safety reasons. There are some well established other programs such as Cleanflight and ArduPilot that are much further along - i just wanted to code something from scratch as a challenge.
As such, there are 1024 steps resolution on 3 channels, plus a 4th switch type channel, for lights or guns (as on the previous Blog post of the Mitsubishi Zero scratchbuild).

Nutball spec:
12" Dollar Tree foamboard (paper removed)
10g brushless, 5x3 prop from a Sky II toygrade of years ago
10A speed controller
2x 3.7g servos
3.3V Arduino Pro Mini, with battery to the RAW input
nRF24L01 2.4GHz module - also one in the transmitter - short range, to be upgraded
7.4V 260mAh 2S Venom lipo
Throttle, Rudder, Elevator + switch channel
Flight time around 8 minutes
AUW 2.9oz

Also maybe of note, the servo links are made from pieces from a metal cooking tray, with the legs from capacitors and heatshrink tube to connect.
The dihedral is less than some and the body flat part wider than some...most of which because I used the playfield lines on my AirHockey table to line things up straight lol

Arduino/nRF24L01 - Nutball ! (4 min 27 sec)

Posted by Slider2732 | Mar 07, 2016 @ 11:21 AM | 7,291 Views
A scratchbuilt Arduino controlled Mitsubishi Zero.
This will be a longer entry than usual, to explain what on earth i've done

This project had its beginnings around Christmas, when a bargain $9.95 (free P+P) clearance purchase arrived of an Aircore Zero airframe. It proved difficult to fly, with my own electronics in it, or the factory spec Aircore ones. Very twitchy and, not wishing to ruin it through lack of expo abilities on my DX5e, decided to make a beater version. It may have been cheap, but certainly doesn't look it.
Then - why not use the full expectations of crashing badly, to fly it with self written code using Arduino's ? - perhaps I could bring in expo code, what could go wrong ? lol

Wingspan - 22" KFm2
ZMR 1804 motor
10A speed control
5.5x4.5 propeller
2x 3.7g micro servo''s
Self made servo links, using fiberglass rods from a Dollar Tree kite
Arduino Nano's, 1 each in the aircraft and the TX
nRF24L01, 1 each in the aircraft and TX
Battery - 2S 260mAh lipo
Weight - 4.9oz (compared to 4.6oz of the Aircore)
Previously 4.3oz without elevator and nose/wing strengthenings.

The coding in fact went well, nuggets of info about the Arduino libraries most certainly helping to move the project along. Little things, like the servo library also applying to an ESC, or how the map function works. All of it most certainly furthering confidence and abilities with C++ too...and making more profits for coffee manufacturers into the early hours !
Flyoff code was an...Continue Reading