June 19, 2015

Best HobbyKing sale so far!

The latest charger sale at HobbyKing looks like it is going to be the best sale ever.

Especially the ECO8 charger which has a 50% off which takes it down from $29.99 to $39.99. Wait, what?

Now that's a really good price for an item you cannot order. Definite must-have!

June 7, 2015

FASST wireless trainer "system"

I've always wanted a trainer/buddy box system to let others try FPV in a safe way. The cable is of course a possibility but when I finally got my hands on an old 7C I started thinking in the wireless option. Futaba has a product ( FUTM1010 ) retailing at a whooping 100$. Not really an option. I consider it overly expensive considering it is a simple FASST receiver with a cable.

And that is what I bought instead. I had noticed it before when realizing the R4FA-SB does not have the same feature set as the R6303SB. Instead of PWM output in the SBUS mode it has PPM, inverted PPM and RSSI. I didn't like it at the time but realized later what the inverted PPM is for, namely the trainer input on the futaba transmitter.

What you need:

The setup is very simple. Just set the receiver to special mode by pressing the mode button for 5 seconds and pressing again to confirm. The red LED should flash quickly. Bind the receiver to the trainer transmitter, in my case a 7C. Plug the cable into channel 1 on the receiver and into the trainer port of the master transmitter, in my case a 14SG. Done.

Add a piece of scotch tape and a piece of Velcro and the system is ready for use.

Wireless trainer system installed on the 14SG

Attention: The corona receiver might not work with EU region coded 14SG Firmware v.5 (as trainer) and the dragonlink cable cannot be used for this as the signal lead is wired to the output pin of the trainer port.

June 4, 2015

HobbyKing Mini 15A ESC

In one of the recent emails from HobbyKing they announced the new HobbyKing Mini 15A ESC. This is the first DIY:ish ESC from HobbyKing (I think) which has no cables soldered and no heat shrink applied. It is perfect for the builder who always de-solder the leads anyway. What is also peculiar is the voltage rating: 2-6S. Does anyone really believe that this $7 no-name ESC can pull 20A at 23V? Maybe it can.

My personal interest in the device is whether it is a budget alternative to ESCs like the KISS in a mini-quad or maybe a mini tri-copter build. In terms of power specs it looks good but there is no information on the firmware and no information on whether is can be re-flashed with BLHeli. And if it will survive operating with soft dampening.

From what I can see now there is only size that is comparable. So I pulled out what I had. I would have preferred a comparison with the Afro Ultra lite, the KISS and the EMAX BLHeli 12A but they are all installed somewhere. And this is what I had...

From the left: RCX 12A Sky, EMAX 12A Simon Series, HobbyKing Mini 12A

As you can see, size is not an advantage. It is small, but excluding the capacitor the EMAX is smaller. And the KISS is even smaller. I'm afraid this product is a no-go. I won't buy any more of them. The choice will still be between the EMAX, the Ultra Lite and the KISS.