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GT Power Supply – 600W 17V 36A

To supply power to my power hungry iCharger 3010b, I decided to invest in a power supply box which is able to handle the demands of the iCharger as well as be easy on my pocket. As such, I decided on the G.T. Power power supply box. It is able to deliver 17V, 36A and up to 600W! Heck.. my previous power supply was only able to handle 100W

Needless to say, I am happy with the performance of this box. It is able to provide constant power supply to my iCharger when charging at 5A on my 5000mAh 6S packs. Previously I was only able to push my iMax66 to only 2.2 to 2.5A (maximum of 50W). Of course if I wanted to go above 1C, I am theoretically able to push the icharger up to 23.8A which would mean I am charging at approx 4.7C. I wouldn’t want to try that although the thought of shortening down my charging time to effectively 12.7 minutes (from the original 2hrs) is indeed a nice thought. Of course figures will differ in real life situations.

The only drawback about this power supply is the fan noise. It’s quite noisy but then again it doesn’t really bother me that much and I have peace of mind knowing that the power supply is running cool at all times because of it. I would recommend this power supply to anyone who wishes to have a little bit more power to supply to their chargers.

G.T. Power 600W power supply, 17V, maximum 36 amp DC output, a simple Plug and Play power source. This power supply has an AC power input cable and two Pomona type DC output connectors. All the iChargers and GT Power B620 400W charger can be directly connected to the unit.

Parameters:
Input voltage : 100–240V AC (selected by switch)
Output power : 600W
Output ampage: 0-36 A
Output voltage : 17V DC
Dimensions (LxWxD) : 22.5 x 8.6 x 4.5 cm
Net Weight : 1.97 kg/ 4.4 lbs

 

iCharger 3010b – 1000W 30A charger

Have you ever stayed up waiting for your batteries to be fully charged? Or have you fallen asleep only to be awaken by the beeing of your charger informing you of a completed charge? After having waited many times for my batteries to charge… Up to 2 hours to balance charge my 5000 mAH 6S packs… I decided I needed more charging power since my iMax charger could only charge at a maximum of 2.2 amps or so for my larger packs. Although my power supply could pump out 100 odd watts or so, my iMax charger could only handle 50 watts hence the limiting factor. I wanted a charger which could charge my larger 5000 mAH packs at up to 5A at least (1 hr charge time)… Or better still allow me to parallel charge my 3 packs at 15A (also 1 hr).

Hence my purchase of the iCharger 3010b. This baby can charge up to 30A! What that means is that I can theoretically charge 6 x 5000 mAH packs in 1hr… Or charge my 3 packs at 30A in only 30 minutes! Now that’s what I call power.

After having used the charger for a few weeks now, I am glad I made the purchase. I like the usability of the unit, quietness (fan is quite quiet and only comes on when required), speediness and the features. One feature which I like is the ability to check the Internal Resistence of each individual cell in a pack. With that I am able to monitor and judge when the cell is degrading or requires replacement. Through some formulas and smart calculations, you can tell how much voltage the pack is able to generate and how much of the power is lost through heat generation (Resistence). The build of the charger is also very solid and I am sure it will last me quite a while… which is good thing since the charger ain’t exactly cheap…

Align Trex 550E 3G

Dec 2010, that’s when it was decided that I reward myself with a Trex 550E and boy has it been the best decision ever! Not only and I totally enjoying this chopper, it’s the best chopper I’ve flown in ages, not that I have that many choppers to boast about and not that I have choppers of this class or even bigger. My closest chopper to this size is my trusty Mini Titan 325 from Thunder Tiger.

So why do I enjoy this chopper like countless others who are also doing so? Basically it flies like a big bird (very stable), and it has tonnes of power available at your finger tips. When first building the heli, I opted for the advanced settings, i.e. Full 14/15 degrees pitch and 14 degrees cyclic. However after test flying the bird, I decided to tuned down the cyclic to 11/12 degrees coz it was simple too responsive for my liking. The FBL system also made the chopper really sensitive to cyclic inputs. Even so, I only fly in idle up 1 80% midpoint throttle coz I also fine the 90% midpoint throttle a little too sensitive with the increased headspeed.

Since mid January, I’ve had approximately close to 30 flights and each one with growing confidence. I’m not sure what it is but with the increased size, power, stability, precision and perhaps ease of flight with the 3G FBL system, I have bend able to learn maneuvers faster and try them out in real life instead of just trying them out on the simulator. It is no wonder why they say a well tuned helicopter is so important in speeding up the learning curve. I found that after flying the 550E, I have also increased my handling capability of my Trex 250 (which is inherently unstable esp due to lack of tail authority).

From the simple maneuvers of front and back flips, tictocs, loops, tail slides, rolls, stall turns, funnels and etc, I am currently able to have flight times of up to 8 minutes on a 5000 mAH 30C Turnigy pack. More conservatively I think I should dial down to 7.5 minutes to stay within and clear of the 80% battery consumption rule.

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Monster Beetle – 1/16 Brushless 4WD w/ 25Amp System

Monster Beetle 1/16

Just a few weeks back, I decided to order a Monster Beetle – 1/16 Brushless 4WD from HobbyKing coz it was relatively cheap and also coz it came with a 25Amp ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) with breaking and reversing function as well as a brushless motor. Since I already had an old and unused Futaba gun controller, I decided that for USD69.50, it would have been one of my cheaper RC purchases in a while. Heck it was even cheaper than the cost of 1 of my battery packs for my Trex 550E Chopper!

The kit arrived promptly after about 9 days or so in good condition. They basically turned over the box (inside out) and packed it with proper cushioning. Customs did not halt the package so I was really glad. Over the next day or so I fixed up the car by putting in my Receiver and Controller and immediately ran into my first problem… the ESC wouldn’t arm and the Steering was locked to one side whenever I plugged in the LiPo battery. The problem was however soon rectified as I found the problem to be with the transmitter. I had to reverse the servos (or reverse it back) and also perhaps switch the channels (from 1 to 2). I guess it’s been a while since I touched that radio. In anycase after doing all that, the ESC armed perfectly and full speed, breaking as well as reverse was achieved. Even the steering responded well and properly.

To fit in the Lipos which I had, I had to remove one side of the battery guide. That was easily done by removing the screws for the holder from the bottom of the car. After that, the packs went in easily and fit nice and snug.

When using the car with my old (>3-4 yrs old!) 3S 1500mah Flightpower pack, the ESC didn’t seem to hold up even though it was rated for 2-3S lipos which fit in perfectly. The ESC went into overheat protection only after 2-3 of running. However when running with the 2S Zippy Flightmax 2S1P 20C, the car ran fine without any problems. This pack was purchased from HobbyKing at ???http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=6541&aff-56685 

The performance of this car is amazing. Though it is only 1/16 scale, it is pretty zippy for its size. Stock on 2S, it runs approx 40km/h. On 3S, it runs perhaps 60km/h? Whatever it is, its pretty zippy for such a small thing. You can use the car indoors as well as outdoors and with its adjustable camber, shocks, ride height, you can fine tune the car to your liking. I kept my ride height on the high side and shocks hard so a few tumbles happened during tight high speed turns. No damage though and the car body held up very well!

For those of you who has a spare controller and receiver, this is a recommended buy. At only USD69.50 (shipping not included), you get a lot of car for your money (ESC, Brushless Motor & etc). PICK UP your Monster Beetle today at http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=13449&aff=56685. Best purchase I’ve made in a while.

Have fun and drive safe! 😉

TRANSMITTER OPTIONS:

If you don’t have a spare transmitter, you can pick up a 2.4Ghz 3 Channel Radio cheaply at Hobby King at http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=10608 for only USD15.99

If you prefer to have a slightly more powerful radio with more setting options, you can go for their HK-310 2.4Ghz radio from http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=12181&aff=56685 at only USD31.29

Nintendo Wii Re-BrewED

After having taken a sabatical from messing around with the Nintendo Wii, I decided to do an update on the system so as to keep it up to date. A quick check with the Homebrew page at http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Homebrew_setup led me to do an update and installation of the HackMii (http://bootmii.org/download/) followed by an update of the firmware on the Wii from Version 3.2 to 4.3

I have never updated the Wii Firmware past 3.2 due to warnings that the system might brick or remove the brew in one way or another, however I didn’t think twice when I read a (kinda misleading) NOTE at the top of http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Homebrew_setup” which stated:

WiiBrew recommends that you run the latest version of the HackMii Installer and then optionally update your Wii to 4.3 using Nintendo’s official updater.
Only update using the official update procedure. Downgrading or installing patched updates is unsupported, dangerous, and may permanently brick your Wii.

The statement didn’t really state that updating to 4.3 removes all HOMEBREW on Wii systems, which meant right after performing the update, I immediately lost my Homebrew. In order to get it back, I had to do some research and some downloading. Basically since I wasn’t able to find pirated versions of Wii Games easily, I had to download the IOS of Super Smash Bros Brawl not to play (though the games is pretty neat) but to take advantage of the “Smash Stack” exploit by Comex to load unauthorized code on the Wii. It was released on August 20, 2009. It works for all System Menu versions (up to 4.3 as of current). See http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Smash_Stack to learn how to use it.

So my advice to whoever wants to get their Wii up-to-date and Brewed; perform a system update to 4.3 on your Wii, then run the Smash Stack exploit to get your Wii. Before proceeding, make sure you have the game and fully understand how the smash stack exploit works before proceeding with this. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk. I was able to get it done and I wish you luck too!

Nokias… Not giving good impressions.

About a few months ago, I decided to hand my Nokia n97 mini over to my dad for him to use. The new firmware was finally released (I think a good few months after February when I was trying to “use” the phone) and it seemed to correct the hanging issue I faced when I was using it. The phone seems to have been behaving well after the firmware update. I was even told by my friend that the latest version of OVI MAPS on the nokia was really cool as it had an “Offline” mode where GPRS is not needed to download maps on the go. I always thought GPRS was needed which made the map updating & scrolling pretty slow and unpredictable. The offline mode and stability of the phone really made me think.. maybe I should give Nokias another go.

With the introduction of the N8 which my friend recently got hold of one, I thought, wow.. now that’s a cool phone to get. However since I already have my trusty iphone, there wasn’t a real need for me to get hold of another phone. I thought to myself… now Nokia might actually get back a portion of their market share with the introduction of this new model. Then during the past week, it has emerged that the Nokia N8 has been suffering power problems that renders the device virtually useless for a subset of its users (mainly early adopters. Oh my poor friend). Somehow I wasn’t really surprised but I was a little disappointed. Somehow Nokia doesn’t seem to garner a good impression anymore. The leader of the yesteryears with their cool blue screen of the 8250 and the slim corporate look of the 6300 which I used to own and love is now a thing of the past. It’ll definately take a lot to convince me to use a Nokia as my next phone. I gave them a chance with the n97 but nothing much has come out of it (not the initial impression at least). I don’t fancy blowing another RM2K+ on a piece of overpriced paper weight. Perhaps if I gave them a couple of years to catch up… I wonder if they’ll still be around.

Trex-250 Tail Issue

There has been many posts and articles on the internet about the dreaded Tail Wag on the Trex-250 and even though I thought I had it fixed as stated in my old post, I was wrong as I recently found out when I finally had the time to try to trim & tune up the heli. On higher headspeed, the tail would “blow out” as soon as I pumped (increased or decrease) the pitch/throttle. Why was this happening? I guess firstly I am partly to blame for improper setup and Align is also to blame for their release of a less than troublefree helicopter. As mine was the first original super combos around and not the later SE versions, problems on the tail was bound to occur.

This time round I tried and rectified a few things. Here’s a note to myself and to you who might be interested as to what steps I have taken so far:

1) Decided to move back to the smaller DS420 servo since it was lighter and tried to eliminate the source of the tail issue rather than to over power it with a larger 520(?) servo.

2) Ensured that the servo was properly mounted on the right side of the boom clips to ensure that the “Pushrod” was straight from the servo horn to the guide to the tail control arm. My old servo location had a bend in the push rod. By having the pushrod bent and not straight, it led to an induced “flex” in the system whenever the servo tried to push the pushrod to the tail control arm. A stiffer pushrod will help even more here. Some people have switched to higher gauge wires or carbon fibre rods.

3) Reduced the Swash Mix from 60% for Aileron/Elevator/Pitch to approximately 50%. Will lower it to 45% if the problem persists. This is actually stated in the manual which I over looked. I guess too much pitch will definately overpower the gyro.

4) Bought & changed to new carbon fibre tail blades and installed them (No this didn’t seem to make a difference to the wag but then again it seems to create less “drag” as compared to the stock curved blades which I used.

5) Bought and changed to the new METAL Tail Control Arm which is much stiffer than the stock PLASTIC control arm which flexes under heavy load which again contributes to the delay and whipping action & tail wag.

6) I already have the new weighted tail blade holders & tail blade holder hub (which still led to the tail wag issue) and I also added additional weights (nut) to the tail blade screws. It helps with lessening the load but this is still not the only source of the problem.

With the above settings, I seem to have been able to increase the GYRO travel rate from +36 to about +50 (Head Holding Mode). This was with me holding the heli and reving up the motor (without the main blades of course). With the increase, I am sure the tail would have a little improvement. Will try to fly her this weekend and see if this is what’s needed to keep her steady as I do some pitch pumps. It’s a little unnerving when the tail is so soft and doesn’t hold well. That doesn’t allow you to do much on it apart from normal forward flights. Doesn’t help when I’m trying to get comfortable with backward flips.

Midomi on Samsung Omnia

With the release of the Samsung Omnia II which is an improvement over the Samsung Omnia I which I am still happily using, I am now able to use the Midomi Application on my Omnia. Since the two companies have entered an agreement to allow usage of the Midomi on the new Samsung Omnia II, there are parties who have extracted the Midomi Application from the new ROM which now allows us to install the application via a CAB file onto our old Omnias.

If you haven’t heard of Midomi, here’s a brief rundown. It is an application which is easily downloadable onto the Iphone (previously and now onto the Omnia) which allows you to HUM or SING a tune onto the phone and it will do an online search onto the Midomi Database to find out the NAME and ARTIST of the song.

No longer will you need to crack your head to find out the name of a song/tune that has been stuck to your head. Try out the application at their website at http://www.midomi.com/. You can use your PC’s mic and use the online app on their webpage to see for yourself how it works. It’s really cool and I’m glad I now have it on my Samsung Omnia I. Sorry I don’t have the link here on my site but a quick search on the internet should bring you to some sites which link to the CAB file.

GPS Voice Navigation on the Blackberry & Other Phones

For those of you who have been wondering how you are able to get your Blackberry’s GPS to work like that of the Garmin GPS, think no more. I managed to locate on the internet (though I’m not the first to do so),  a FREE GPS program that does the job of voice navigation pretty well on the Blackberry. Whilst I don’t think it is as good as the Garmin Mobile XT on my Samsung Omnia, I think it does the job well enough to get you from Point A to Point B. It could and would have done a better job if the maps were more updated (not that they are that outdated to begin with). All in all, it will get you places even though the program is not as feature packed and heavy as other GPS programs.

Do note that the “amAze” software is not limited to Blackberries, it also works for a host of other handphones as well, so if you wish to give it a try… check it out if your phone has an in-built GPS. The software is free. The only cost you will need to pay is for “DATA” Transmissions as Maps are not stored locally, they are downloaded on the go. An unlimited data plan is recommended.

For those of you who are interested, you may check out the “amAze” GPS software at http://www.amazegps.com/ . The coverage support ranges from Europe, North America, Australia and parts of Africa and Asia (Malaysia included as I have tested). Have fun!

Yak-55 with 3 Bladed 15×8 Prop

3 Blade EP Propeller 15×8 / 381x204mm

Just received my 3 bladed prop shipment today and I immediately tried it out on my Yak-55. I spent approx. 20-30 mins shaving 2 of the 3 blades to obtain a balanced blade since it ain’t perfect out of the factory.

I hooked up the WATTS UP meter and recorded the following readings. Specs as per below:

  1. SWANG 480Kv Brushless Motor + 80A 5A BEC ESC 158U
  2. RHINO Battery 3700mAH 5S1P 20C
  3. 3 Blade EP Propeller 15×8

Max Amp: 57.74
Wp: 1110.9
Wh: 1.5
Vm: 19.13

Specs look ok for the system so will test out the flying performance soon!