Spektrum DX7 ·
Ikarus Piccolo · Gaui Hurricane · E-flite · Tools
LCD Backlight Mod
I do a lot of flying indoors in low-light
situations and the LCD display on my DX7 is quite hard to see under those
conditions. Through the use of Electroluminescent (EL) panels, the LCD
display can be backlit and the results are very nice as you can see in the
I have wired my EL
panel directly to the battery pack and it only draws about 38 mAh so the
transmitter battery pack is not affected a noticeable amount.
An added benefit to
the LCD lighting is that it is obvious when the transmitter is left on due to
detailed instructions on this modification.
One-way bearing mod
Blade mCPx Main Gear
Drill bit set (7/64"
to 7/32" in 1/64" increments)
Blade mCPx Main Shaft
1/8" to 1/2" Tapered
Ream Harbor Freight Item #66936
[Align 25018 or Gaui 203296]
X-acto knife with #11
Very small self
tapping screw and washer
3/8" Washer (0.065"
can be made without removing the main shaft from the helicopter (as a matter of
fact, it is better to leave it installed to get the proper length of the main
shaft when trimming).
Start by removing
the main gear from the main shaft.
Next using a 7/64" drill bit, carefully drill through the center of the main
Continue to enlarge the hole in 1/64" increments up to 7/32". Take care to
ensure that the hole remains in the center of the gear. If is starts to
get off-center, shave a bit off the 'thick' side with a #11 X-acto blade.
Once the hole is 7/32" use the tapered reamer to enlarge the hole to a point
where the one-way bearing (OWB) fits snugly in the hole.
bearing/gear assembly on top of the washer (to ensure proper clearance) and
press down until the bearing is flush against the work surface and the main gear
is flush against the washer. The side of the bearing with the washer thickness
will be the top side so ensure that the OWB is properly oriented.
Apply a thin bead of
CA around the washer on both sides of the gear.
Once the CA has
cured, secure the gear/bearing assembly to the main shaft with a very small
self-tapping screw that will thread into the main shaft without splitting the
1S 3.7V LiPo Charger, 0.3A (this charger came with my mCX)
The only real downside that I can find to the Blade mCX is
the included charger. It is powered by four AA batteries which are used to
charge the 110mAh flight battery. I have made the following modifications
to allow the charger to be used as an adapter in conjunction with another LiPo
First, the charger
must be opened up to access the interior. This can be accomplished by
peeling off the 4 rubber feet on the bottom of the unit.
Take out the 4
screws that hold the top and bottom pieces of the charger together.
Cut a small
rectangular hole in the side of the charger as shown to accommodate the female
end of a JST plug.
Fit the JST plug
into place and secure with epoxy as shown in the photos.
Solder the leads from the JST plug
to the same terminals of the PCB for the flight battery receptacle.
When using the charger as an adapter with another charger, remove the AA
batteries first. I have not tested to see if this causes a problem or
not, so it is just a precaution until verified.
1-Cell, 3.7V, 0.3A DC LiPo Charger
(this one came with my mSR)
This charger is an excellent upgrade to the single cell charger that was
supplied with my mCX. As the name implies, it is a 4-port charger which
means that you can charge 4 single-cell LiPo batteries at once. Unlike the
single-port charger, this one can be used with an AC adapter, or 4 D-cell
batteries which gives it versatility.
This charger, like
it's predecessor, charges at a rate that, in my opinion is too high for the LiPo
batteries (0.3A stated, 0.25A measured). The nice thing about the Celectra
is that the charge rates can be adjusted between 0.1A and 0.3A for each port by
adjusting the pot switches inside the unit (see photo). The inside of the
unit can be accessed by removing the 8 small screws from the bottom of the unit
(6 inside the battery compartment, and 2 under the rubber feet on the bottom
like it's predecessor).
measure the current, a 'Y' harness must be made. I have made mine quite long
with Dean's Ultra connectors so it can be used with any of my models; some of
which draw currents over 20 Amps (see photo below). I have made some
adapters to go from the Dean's Ultra connectors to the E-Flite connectors.
The connectors can be purchased separately, or you can salvage them from other
places (i.e. the female end can be salvaged from an old single port charger and
the male end can be salvaged from a dead battery). Once the adapters have
been made, plug the male end into one of the charger ports, plug the battery
into the female adapter, choose the current setting on your meter and adjust the
pot to the desired current.
So far, the only thing
that I have broken is the landing gear. What I have found is that glue does
not stick to this plastic very well so I repaired it by wrapping the broken
area with cotton thread and soaking it in CA then adding accelerator.
This seems to be making a pretty good bond for now.
Direct Drive Tail
I have been toying around with a mount option for the DD setup and have come up
with a very inexpensive solution. Two pieces of styrene tube from a local hobby
shop. One great feature that I didn't plan on is that the mount does not
need to be glued on to the tail boom. It fits snugly without the use of
CA, so it can be removed in the event that you need to replace your tail boom.
The larger tube is 1/2" O.D. and has an I.D. just slightly smaller than the Pro/GWS
motor O.D. By cutting the tube longitudinally, the expansion of the tube allows
the motor to fit snugly without the use of straps, screws or glue.
The smaller 1/4" O.D. tube is trimmed to accommodate the larger 1/2" tube and is
cemented together with plastic cement. To further reinforce the joint, I have
added a fillet of medium CA and sprayed with accelerator for further strength.
The tubing I purchased was white and I have painted it black. The weight (with
paint) is approximately 1g.
I am using a GWS 3.0 x 2.0 propeller which has been painted black.
Micro Ball-link Pliers
This tool is suitable for micro
models such as the Ikarus Piccolo, Century Hummingbird, FEDA Dragonfly, Gaui
Hurricane, T-Rex 250, and
others. It will easily fit the small size of
the ball links on
Item # BLP01
$19.99 US including shipping
Limited quantities available!
Pushrod length adjustment tool
I saw a tool like this at my LHS, but as usual, it was
for the larger helis so I had to adapt for the smaller helis that I fly.
First I pulled out
some of my spare ball links and screws for my Gaui 200.
Next, I modified a
plastic Vernier Caliper that I purchased from Harbor Freight Tools for $1.00.
I cut off the measuring ends of the tool and sanded off the measurement
increments from the outer slider portion of the tool.
Lastly, I mounted
the balls in the proper locations to ensure accuracy to each other.
E-flite Pitch Gauge
again, there are not any tools for the micro size helis, so I adapted the
smallest pitch gauge I could find to accommodate the main blades of my Gaui
Hurricane 200. I had some sheet styrene on hand so I layered multiple
pieces together with plastic model cement and cut to fit the leading edge of the
tool and viola! It now accommodates my Gaui main blades.
Links to other Piccolo upgrades
Paul Goelz for everything Piccolo
Chris' Tuning Components for
awesome CNC machined parts
Many thanks to all of these people who
love the hobby and share their assistance, ideas, and inventions with others!
Micro Helis ·
My eFleet · Tips/Modifications ·
Dan if you have any