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Posted by mnemennth | Mar 26, 2017 @ 10:27 PM | 657 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 @ 08:59 PM | 1,628 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 @ 02:37 PM | 1,200 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 @ 10:38 PM | 1,895 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 @ 08:03 AM | 2,599 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 @ 01:36 PM | 2,318 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 19, 2016 @ 11:22 PM | 3,541 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 @ 11:43 AM | 4,171 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 @ 06:39 PM | 6,832 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 $10 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... with stock PIDs I was hovering hands-free with the Dragon's whiskers 1/2" off the floor literally just by raising the throttle. "It hung in the air exactly the way a brick doesn'...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM | 5,580 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 @ 02:23 PM | 5,560 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*
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 10, 2016 @ 09:08 AM | 5,380 Views
My son needed a Recycle Robot for school. We made Recycle2D2!

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Feb 03, 2016 @ 02:55 PM | 5,346 Views
FTDI Heads-UP:


Why do you care? Because pretty much every hobbyist micro-computer (Like those in our FCs, ESCs and OSDs) connects to our PCs via the chips these drivers use, or a similar chip from another manufacturer.

FTDI is the largest manufacturer of the least expensive versions of these chips, and, as a result, also the most counterfeited product.

Maybe it's time to just say NO! to FTDI... start using other brands of USB-RS232 converters.

If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!!!
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 31, 2016 @ 03:47 PM | 6,682 Views
MAD SCIENCE! Converting My Dremel to Li-Ion Power!!!

So... my beloved Cordless Dremel has finally chugged its last... or at least, the 9.6V NiCd pack has gotten so weak it won't run 3 minutes on a charge. Time for a new pack!

But wait... Dremel has abandoned this model. Replacement packs are no longer available, having been replaced by... Li-Ion versions.

Well, I usually have a few Laptop packs to rob cells out of... I buy NOS ones off eBay that are being blown out due to being for unpopular models.

While the laptop packs cycle, I begin modding the pack. I disassemble the outer shell, then find this plastic tree that supports the battery contacts.

A Little work with my corded Dremel and Hot Glue Gun gets me to this point. Charge & Balance Connectors modded in place; after cycling a few 1S2P subcells, I find one that yields approx 4600mAH. This will probably produce a decent pair of cells I can turn into an 8.4V pack. Not the full 9.6V, but I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten 9.6V under load out of my NiCd pack in at least a year anyways.

Now that I have some good cells, time to solder it all up. A little foam, an insulator... already looking pretty tidy.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 23, 2016 @ 12:49 PM | 6,689 Views
Gearbest Heads-Up: Robocat 270 $24.94 / FREE SHIPPING - ALL COLORS!

I'f you've been thinking about the RoboCat 270, and were waiting for it to come down in price... now's your chance!

Gearbest is offering all colors of this popular frame right now for $24.94 DELIVERED!

Integrated camera mount allows for use of the cheaper board cams, integrated XT-60 holder and included frame spacer kit is designed around a nice tidy "Between the lower plates" build with generous battery cavity right in the middle for best weight distribution that can fit up to a 4S/2200mAH pack.

Supports 18xx or 22xx power plants, recommend 35mm x 35mm PDB or FlyCat 260 PDB for easiest build.

RoboCat Video Manual (2 min 4 sec)

I'll be doing a Tech Teardown/Build Log of one in the near future... check back soon!

*Bigger, Faster*
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 16, 2016 @ 07:07 PM | 5,818 Views
In other news:

3000 posts and I didn't even realize. Time for a change. };=)~~~~<

I'm not sure.
Posted by mnemennth | Jan 04, 2016 @ 03:57 PM | 6,003 Views

I finally got around to building myself a proper Radio Tray; I'd been getting by with a horrible bodge made of 1/4" lauan plywood and long eyebolts. It was good enough for me to decide I really do want to continue my efforts at unlearning all my bad "Stick-banger" habits and going "Pinch-Style" all the way; but I really wanted arm rests. Nice solid ones for my great big "Popeye Arms" and "Shrek Hands".

Well, yesterday while unpacking I found 3 pieces of aluminum angle left over from dismantling a server; an idea popped into my head.

A quick trip to the Hobby Shop for an 8-32 Tap and to Homeowner Hell for some 3/8" aluminum Rod and I was ready; I'm dead chuffed with the results.

812 grams with straps.

My original plan was to just keep it simple; two angles as armrests held together by 200mm long pieces of 3/8" aluminum rod, which would also support the radio. Then I got to thinking...

Before long, I had contrived to use the 3rd angle to make the filler panel here. One of the other things I hated about most radio trays I've seen is how close they hold the radio against your body; this arrangement puts my arms at a very uncomfortable angle.

Instead of just a couple posts sticking up to clip to a neckstrap like most trays, the U-shaped arm allowed me to make a harness that criss-crosses behind the back, taking the weight off my neck and putting it...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:21 PM | 6,498 Views
First, let me start out by saying that I support the AMA in their continuing fight against across-the-board registration of all model hobby aircraft. I know some folks feel that they threw the multirotor user base under the bus, but the reality is that the majority of those people are NOT members.

The AMA is NOT a government agency. They exist to serve their members, NOT THE PUBLIC, in the pursuit of safe model hobbyist flight. Their duty to the public is to do their best to make sure their members take reasonable care in the pursuit of the hobby, and as a part of that responsibility, they provide insurance in case of mishap for those members who DO fly responsibly.

The fact that they are the largest such recognized club, therefore the defacto point of contact for as many of said hobbyists as the government can easily reach, doesn't make it their responsibility to fight for every dumbass who can buy a turnkey quad, or to promote the idea that they should be able to do so without some level of responsibility.

The AMA has stood toe-to-toe against the Fed EVERY TIME they've tried to start proceedings like this. The ONLY thing they've done to the hobby is try to get everyone to fly responsibly.

When I first got into model RC aircraft almost 30 years ago, I was astonished to find that some government agency hadn't ALREADY mandated registration of ALL RC model aircraft.

I was out there with folks flying 80" planes with half-gallon tanks of 40% nitro; these...Continue Reading
Posted by mnemennth | Nov 17, 2015 @ 03:07 PM | 6,308 Views
Received this AMA Sponsored video in today's AMA Newsletter:

Astronaut Hoot Gibson has a message for you about Drone Safety (1 min 37 sec)

Posted by mnemennth | Nov 03, 2015 @ 08:51 AM | 6,468 Views
Well, we survived our first night in the new house; unloaded just enough of the truck to put the fridges in place and get to our beds. Having a little coffee-milk while I formulate a battle plan for the rest of the day.

I was at "Oh, I'm gonna be sore in the morning..." a week ago. Right now I'm operating in siege mentality; spending energy on NOTHING that isn't absolutely necessary at the moment.

The scary part is there's still another truckload to move, and most of that still needs to be packed in boxes.

I have no idea how all that will materialize; it is an objective so far in the future as to be purely academic at this point. Right now, the grunts in the trenches (me and my fat belly) have to concentrate on THIS skirmish and worry about later stages in the campaign... later.


I am too old for this sh