Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box set pictures leaked!

These images were scanned from White Dwarf.  I found them over at the warhammer subreddit.  These new models look absolutely fantastic!  I really hope the new Chaos Space Marine codex makes the chosen act as cool as they look.  The cultists look neat, and the Hellbute looks absolutely beastly.  The starter set is rumored to be released September 1, 2012 at a price of £65 ( approx. $102).


I am back!

Well, it has been a while since I have updated this blog.  A ton of stuff has happened since my last post 3 or so years ago – the biggest of which was my wedding.  Yup I’m married!  It is kind of odd when I think about it.  I will post all the honeymoon pictures once I am done processing them.

I am also starting a small game company with my good friend.  It is called 20 Sided Games. We are currently working on 3 board games which are expected to be released at the end of the year.  We will start making our first video game next year.

In addition to all of that, I have gone back to school.  I am about half way done with a Masters of Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.  This semester I’ll be taking an AJAX class.

I am still into all of my hobbies – and I have picked up some new ones over the past couple of years.  I’ll be adding some posts about each of those in the near future.

In the meantime, enjoy the new site layout!

G401B Gyro Setup on my Blade 400

This is how I set up the G401B Gyro with my DS290G tail servo.  Good information on this gyro can be found here.  It is basically a Piezo clone of the Futaba GY401 Gyro.  One note I have: Don’t buy this from ChaosRC, they are not a reliable seller. Try http://www.cnchelicopter.com


Anyhow, here is how I got it set up:

1. Get servo horn mounted 90 degrees with tail pitch slider perfectly centered. If you are using a digital servo, set the DELAY screw on the gyro to Zero, if analog start with it at 50

2. Start up the heli in HH mode and then switch to rate mode. (try to have the motor disconnected here) – Make sure your Travel adjust for the Rudder servo is 100% and the Dual rates for the rudder is 100% and I did this with Zero expo as well.

3. Move the rudder L and R and make sure the tail is moving the correct way (Depends on the helicopter – check the manual) – if it is not reverse the servo.

4. put it back into HH mode and check to make sure when you manually push the tail, the gyro is compensating correctly, if it is not, flip the reverse switch on the gyro.

5. Okay, now go back to rate mode (gain under 50%) and move the stick all the way to the left and right, change the LIMIT screw on the gyro until left and right rudder are fully moving the tail slider without any servo binding or buzzing.  If the tail servo buzzes as if it is fighting to keep pushing the tail, lower the limit.

6. Set gyro gain to something near 70 to start off with, if you lift off and go outside and hover.  While flying, if the tail wags, lower the gain.  If it doesn’t wag, increase the gain until it wags and then back off until it stops wagging.  I run about 66.5% gain in my TX and the gyro takes Idle up throttle punches like a champ.  From here all I had to do was restart the helicopter in HH mode and it worked like a CHARM.   However, I am using the DS290G tail servo and since yours might be on the analog setting please continue to the next step.

7. After you get the gain where the tail holds but does not wag, now it is time to make sure your piros are not bouncing.  Do a quick piro clockwise and counter clockwise.  Check to see if the tail bounces after doing either direction piro, to eliminate the bounce, try increasing or decreasing your delay.   If it makes the bounce worse in either direction, move the the delay screw the opposite way. You have to get the delay to balance between bouncing on clockwise and counter clockwise piro’s.  Basically, the delay is trying to match the gyro command speed to the servo’s speed.

Sometimes I get a bit of bounce on piros anyhow, I haven’t perfected it but I don’t get bad bounces ever, and most bounces I get are small and don’t effect my flight.

Good luck

Blade 400 Servo Installation (DS285/DS290G)

Recently I installed DS285 Cyclic servos and DS290G Tail servo on my Blade 400.  Here is a quick overview of what I did to get them installed:

The first step is to remove all of the zip ties holding the servo wires down and to record where everything went.  Then, take the servo pins out of the RX and remove the servos:

I noticed the supplied servo mounting screws were much too big for the holes in the Blade 400, and I did not want to drill out the holes, so I devised a plan for using the original mounting screws with the new DS285 servos.  As you can see the screw heads are so small they could easily fall through the DS285 mounting holes:

So, I figured out I could use the brass eyelets supplied with the servos to mount using the original screws.  I also used the rubber grommets in all locations except the tail servo because they would not fit in the tail servo mount.  To make the brass eyelets fit you have to cut them down to size (they are too long as you can see in the picture below).

To cut down the brass eyelets, I first put it onto one of my spare allen wrenches:

Then I used a pair of strong wire cutters to snip them in half:

Now it all fits nicely, and the little screws can reach the mounting holes.  Put the rubber grommets on the servo, the cut down eyelets into the grommets, and then screw the servo down until it is tight:

Here are two DS285‘s after installation:

Make sure you take those small servo horns off and use the bigger ones (except for the tail servo, keep the small horn on that one):

Let me know if you have any more questions!

I also found it a real pain in the BUTT to install the DS290G in the servo mount, but it can be done.  If you want you can buy a tail servo mount but you might also need a new control rod.

Final Note: I ended up putting my left and right cyclic servo’s ball links on the inside of the servo horn.  I did this in order to have a less angled control arm to the swashplate.  To get the ball links to fit, you just need to enlarge the holes in the arm very slightly.  You will want to re-bind the receiver to the TX after the servo install.  The instructions are in the DX6i manual, but basically with everything turned off, plug the bind plug into the BATT slot of the receiver, then turn on the receiver (if you plug in your battery into the ESC for this, have the motor wires disconnected) then hold the TRAINER switch While turning on your DX6i.  Make sure your sticks and switches are where you want them to be for failsafe mode. The receiver’s light should go from flashing quickly to solid.

UBEC Install on my Blade 400

Here is How I installed my UBEC last weekend.  If you have any questions ask them in the comments section below.

This is the HobbyWing UBEC I installed, the wires on the left go to the battery, the connector on the right goes to the Receiver:

First I cut stripped the wire going from the ESC to the battery (Use a good stripper). I could have just cut the leads off and soldered in a new connector but I didn’t feel like doing that.


Next, I tinned the stripped area:

Then, I tinned the wires on the BEC that go to the battery connector, and then soldered the two wires together:

I cut a piece of heat shrink tubing, put it over the solder, and super glued the seam back together (Yes this actually works like a charm). Then, I used a hairdryer to shrink the tubing down:

Repeat the process for the red wire:

Then take the connector out of the receiver that goes to the ESC:

Remove the Red wire by gently using a hobby knife to pull up the plastic tab:

Bend the red wire back on the other wires and heatshrink or tape it down:

Now plug the ESC connector back where it was, and plug in the BEC connector to the BATT (or spare/open) socket on the Receiver (NOTE: make sure the red and black wires from the BEC are going to the correct pins on the receiver)

This is how it looked when I was done:

Good luck

Eflite Blade 400 3D

I purchased an Eflite Blade 400 3D at the beginning of the year from www.ultimatehobbies.com for $350 and so far I love it.  I got the Blade 400 because I wanted a more powerful 450 sized helicopter, but I also really needed a good Transmitter with it.  The Dx6i that comes with the Blade 400 isn’t the best TX that you can get, but it has all the functionality that you would need to run and tune almost any electric Helicopter (plus it is 2.4Ghz).  I am using DS285 servos on cyclic, and a G401B gyro with a DS290G tail servo.  It flies extremely well with this setup, but I decided to install an external  5V, 6V switchable UBEC unit in order to let the stock ESC have less load on it (also so I could run the electronics at 6v).  I will try to post some writeups on how to install a UBEC,  servos,  and the G401B Gyro.

Recently, I had the stock motor’s lower bearing disintegrate mid flight.  I was on my 7th Zippy lipo battery when I heard a high pitch noise coming from the helicopter and it  seemed to have lost almost all of its power.  Luckily, I was able to bring it down without any damage, but the main gear was all chewed up.  I sent the motor, mounts, and main gear back to Horizon Hobby and I am currently waiting for the replacements.  It seems that the bearings in the stock motors are prone to failure, but if you keep them lubricated well, they will last for hundreds of flights.  As for batteries and chargers, I am using the stock battery/charger as well as 2200 mAh 25C Zippy lipos from www.hobbycity.com.  I also purchased two Turnigy Accucel-6 chargers which can charge two of my 3S Zippy lipos at once using this 2 3S to 6S balance adapter.  With this setup I can charge five batteries at once if I use my stock Eflite charger as well!

I also decided to use a Trex style canopy (with new 29mm Trex canopy mounts) on my blade since the stock canopy leaves very little room for batteries and cables, and is a pain in the butt to attach and remove between flights.

Here are pics with my training wheels still on:

My new Addiction: RC Helicopters

For Christmas this year my girlfriend got me an Esky Honeybee CP2.  It is a small 6 channel Electric RC Helicopter.  The first night I started playing with it I burned out my first LiPo Battery.  I might have over discharged it while messing around with the helicopter.  Basically, the LiPo batteries that most of these small helicopters use are 3 Cell packs that must be kept above 3.0V or below 4.2V per cell (it is recommended to not actually go near 3.0V).  I discharged mine to about 2.6V per cell!  Luckily Michael at USHobbySupply was able to set me up with a new battery pack the next day.  I also got a replacement battery from Xheli for free to replace the initial battery.

Since then I have started learning how to fly.  I have already broken my Honeybee many times.

The first accident was in my Father’s basement.  I was practicing hovering and I clipped the bicycle laying against the wall (broke a ball joint).

The second accident was at my Mother’s house where I landed too hard (broke the landing skids).

The third time I was holding the helicopter in my hands and accidentally hit the Idle up switch which puts the throttle at 100% (my landing skids detached from the Helicopter frame).

The fourth crash was in my kitchen when I was testing new plastic blades I had been given from Michael from UsHobbySupply.  I hovered the helicopter in my kitchen and scared myself by letting it get too close, which resulted in me dropping the throttle and having a boom strike (blades chopped the heli’s tail in half).

Over the past weekend I broke the helicopter two more times by crashing the blades into the ground or an object sticking out of the ground (these broke off some ball ends in the heli’s head).   I ended up replacing the main shaft as well since I bent it up pretty badly by then.  Miraculously the feathering shaft between the blade grips has not been bent yet.

So far, with the help of a simulator (I use Realfight G4) and my many practice sessions with my Honeybee CP2, I have learned how to hover well in almost all orientations (nose-in is still sketchy) and I have done about 2 circuits with the helicopter.  I still haven’t really broken into full forward flight, but plan on doing so soon when I take the training gear off.

I have become so hooked on this RC helicopter hobby I have already ordered another Heli.  I found a good deal on an Eflight Blade 400 3D.  I was going to build my own 450 Size heli, but found such a good deal that I had to get it.  I will probably end upgrading it a bit like everyone else has as I get better at flying.  There is so much information to absorb in this hobby; the learning curve is extremely steep.  However, if you do a lot of research and understand that you will crash, then you will find out it can be a lot of fun!

I recommend checking these links out if you decide to start flying:
RAAD’s School of Rotary Flight
RC Groups
RC Universe

Pictures of my Honeybee CP2:

Honeybee CP2 with SuperSkids