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Posted by mnemennth | Sep 20, 2017 @ 12:36 PM | 2,348 Views
Posted by mnemennth | Aug 28, 2017 @ 01:29 AM | 2,881 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 @ 07:57 PM | 5,812 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.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 29, 2017 @ 01:45 AM | 5,714 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.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 14, 2017 @ 03:29 PM | 7,140 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 @ 06:50 PM | 12,123 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 @ 11:52 AM | 6,754 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 @ 10:18 AM | 8,413 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 stick reacts as if it were flying nose-out....Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Apr 11, 2017 @ 08:26 PM | 7,735 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 list is pretty simple:

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Mar 26, 2017 @ 11:27 PM | 7,408 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 | 8,196 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 | 7,563 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 | 8,199 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
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 04, 2016 @ 09:03 AM | 8,831 Views
A reminder of how important it is to temper what we post in public groups with a little common sense. This applies to ALL our hobbies, though I know a lot of us RCers are also into 3DP.

As useful and time saving as your favorite tip or trick may be, it is important to think proactively; imagine the worst that could happen and include appropriate safety warnings, no matter how obvious you may think those warnings should be.

Tom Taylor inquest - Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Station Manager Ian Woods (1 min 26 sec)

See full article at


Food for thought; thought from food.
Posted by mnemennth | Oct 26, 2016 @ 02:36 PM | 8,533 Views
Working on a Stray Dog quad right now; this is my first ground-up RaceFlight build.

RTFQ Acro Revo, Liantian 150A linear PDB (Keep It Simple, Stupid ) modded with 7808 for 3S-6S power capability, and VGood FireFly 30A ESCs driving RCX H2205-2350s.

Testing these with KK5050HBN Trips netted me 890 grams @ 444 watts on my poor home test bench!

Still in layout stages, but most of the components are already decided on; really liking the feel of this build.

I expect to be in a nice modest 6:1 -7:1 range; concentrating on reducing unsprung weight. These motors are 22.46 grams as seen; ESCs are a little heavy at 7 grams with 16ga wires, but hey... you gotta have fat pipes for all that juice!

i'll update as the build progresses... hope it's as much fun as the last build!

Shout out to velez - Carlos, I LOVE this frame!
Posted by mnemennth | Sep 20, 2016 @ 12:22 AM | 10,336 Views
AirBot TS2207-2200KV Part 1 - Tech Teardown

Brand new motors from AirBot!

Let's see what they have to offer... and then see go the Thrust Tests in Part 2 below.

Vital Statistics:


33.49/33.89 grams w/o nut

0.60mm single winding

4mm x 9mm x 4mm NMB L-940ZZ Bearings

4mm Axle with m2.5 Cap/Screw retainer instead of circlip

5mm Propshaft available in CW & CCW (Standard thread) versions

AirBot TS2207-2200KV Part 1 - Tech Teardown (5 min 42 sec)

Part 2 - Thrust Tests

Part 2 of my Tech Teardown on the new AirBot TS-2207-2200KV multirotor brushless motor. Good numbers from this motor with a broad range of props; I still have to review and generate my spreadsheet, but looks like several 1500 gram runs and I believe I saw a 1600 in there.

Test Setup:

Turnigy BL Motor Thrust Stand

HK-010 WattMeter

Turnigy Servo Tester

VGood FireFly 30A 32-Bit ESC

2X Tiger Power Atomic-Platinum 35C 4S-6000mAH in Parallel - Charged to full between runs

Props Tested:

King Kong 5045 Blunt

HQProps 5545 Blunt

King Kong 5045 Hybrid Blunt Triple

King Kong 5050 Hybrid Blunt Triple

GemFan 5040 Thin Hex

King Kong 6040 Regular Profile

GemFan 6045 Regular Profile

HQProps 6045 Classic

AirBot TS2207 2200KV Part 2 - Thrust Tests (4 min 27 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Aug 12, 2016 @ 12:43 PM | 11,008 Views

The RealAcc X-210 is better known as the Banggood “Charpu-X Clone”; there is no doubt that this is an out & out clone. Here I’ll try and evaluate the kit based on its own merits; and have a few laughs about it’s clone-ish-ness.

RealAcc X210 Tech Teardown & First Impressions (12 min 43 sec)

The RealAcc X-210 is better known as the Banggood “Charpu-X Clone”; there is no doubt that this is an out & out clone. Here I’ll try and evaluate the kit based on its own merits; and have a few laughs about it’s clone-ish-ness.

Vital Statisitcs:
4mm Main Plate
2mm Upper Body Plate
1.5mm all camera mount parts and battery armor plate
m3 x 30mm Standoffs

Main Plate: 63.77gr
All Carbon Fiber Parts: 80.92gr
All Hardware: 15.26gr
Frame & Hardware: 90.82gr
Matek XT60 PDB: 10.09gr
Battery Strap & Armor Plate: 10.12gr
Full Kit: 110.22gr

Quality appears better than average for China-direct hobby gear, and they do include a decent name-brand integrated PDB with 5V/2A switching regulator & 12V/500mA 7812 linear regulator. ESC outputs are rated 25A continuous; figure 30-35A surge current.

Frame plates measure out as promised; decent quality CF plate with nice weave, semi-gloss finish and lots of fine, close layers.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | May 29, 2016 @ 07:39 PM | 13,517 Views
Performance FC on a budget: $10 CC3D W / ßetaFlight and MultiShot!


For my latest project I went for a more performance oriented build; so I felt it was time to step up to a more performance-oriented firmware.

As my frame has a CC3D Atom tucked away inside, ßetaƒlight became the obvious choice.
The Atom is ~$14 from Banggood; regular CC3Ds can be had for as little as $8 delivered from eBay.

With ߃ 2.7, Boris B fixed the SPI bus write timing bug that has held back the CC3D for like... EVER.
Now it performs like we all knew it SHOULD, with considerably faster looptimes than even F3/I2C targets when running REWRITE in ACRO mode:

Originally Posted by Boris B
As the matter of fact CC3D is doing great job since the last version.

From the top of my head this is list for rewrite speed in acro mode:
1 F3 SPI 70us
2 F1 CC3D 166us
3 F3 I2C 190us
4 F1 I2C 230us
For CC3D the current stable build is ߃ 2.7.1, with 2.8 in testing. Paired with MultiShot 14.4 on your ESCs, you won't believe it's the same quad, even on stock PIDs.

Horizon mode stability with ߃/MS , even on 1K/1000uS looptime, (߃ defaults to 1000uS looptime/REWRITE PID controller on MST32F1 boards) is flupping amazing......Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 25, 2016 @ 12:14 PM | 11,868 Views
Quad Building 101 : Drilling Carbon Fiber

About every other day I see a discussion on "Drilling CF" to enlarge a motor screw or make a hole for an antenna. I hear the usual "Oh, just get a drill and drill real fast" and "Oh, just tape it and you'll be OK" etc, but the bottom line is that dust from Carbon Fiber and the resin in it can be VERY dangerous if inhaled.

Aside from large, high-production CNC operations with high-velocity dust collection, cutting CF cannot be done dry with any level of safety, even with a mask.

Cutting CF & 'glas dry is a bad idea not just because of the likelihood of inhalation while cutting, but also because the microfibers float for a long time, so they get EVERYWHERE and contaminate your entire workspace and your clothing.

You can easily contaminate your own face and eyes with the dust by wiping sweat away while working; even hours later as the dust migrates from your clothing long after you've forgotten about the drilling you just did.

You can get slivers in your hands & arms arm from dust on the workbench a week or a month later that will itch and get infected and sting like a MoFo. I know from personal experience.

Diamond bits $8

I use a cordless Dremel and diamond bits like these to drill or cut under a trickle of water in the sink. Cuts quickly and very clean, just like the original manufacturing, and the water washes...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 17, 2016 @ 03:23 PM | 11,741 Views
The Mailbox was kind to me last night; inside was an unassuming grey mailer of unknown origin, arriving to me from China via Sweden.

I've been waiting on a number of packages, so I really didn't know what it was until I got it in on the bench. Christmas in February!!!

RoboCat 270 Kit - $30.27 at

Initial impressions:

Very good quality kit; clean, smooth cuts, very snug fit on interlocking parts. Nice quality Molded ABS canopy & side covers with glossy finish; neat openings and easily paintable unlike vacu-formed polycarbonate bodies.

All plates 100% CF confirmed with continuity on multimeter.

All blocks & spacers made of machined aluminum.

205.50 grams total weight for bare kit.

Weight of all 3 cover pieces 19.65 grams.

Allright... Now I'm done with the initial impressions, time to get onto the build!


*Building the perfect beast*