Converting to XT60

I did quite a bit more flying this summer than I did rc car racing. As the weather turns cold flying will be limited to golf dome outings with the local electric club and indoor FPV. In Minnesota the on-road guys drive on carpet indoors, so it’ll soon be time to race. One thing I’ve […]

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I did quite a bit more flying this summer than I did rc car racing. As the weather turns cold flying will be limited to golf dome outings with the local electric club and indoor FPV. In Minnesota the on-road guys drive on carpet indoors, so it’ll soon be time to race. One thing I’ve grown to like that is commonplace on quads and planes is the XT-60 connector. So I decided to upgrade all of my cars and even my rocket launcher to it.

Technically, an XT-60 pair is 2g heavier than a pair of Deans connectors, but with all of the other advantages, I’m still switching.

Easier to work with

They’re easier to solder, given the half-cup ends. You’ll get better contact than a flat pad and it will better accommodate larger, lower-gauge wires.

I have a mish-mash of genuine Deans connectors and compatible T-connector copies. The range includes some good ones that include extra grips down to the downright terrible Hobbico “Star” plugs.

I read a review in RC Car Action of the Carisma M10DB – a brand that isn’t (yet) popular in the US. Strangely they cited it’s included XT-60 connector as a minus – albeit for its current uncommon use in R/C car batteries. Let’s change that!

Consistency

This is the best part. Almost all of my batteries now use either an XT-60 connector or a JST RCY connector (for smaller batteries). I may even switch those JSTs to XT-30 some day. But the lion’s share is XT-60. With less connector types, I get a simpler charging setup, and greater interchangeability between models.

I can use my iSDT pocket charger on all of them, which gets power from this compact 10A adapter from Ready Made RC. It has XT-60 connectors for both input and output. It can be powered by 7-32v so you can hook up a high-capacity LiPo for input, like the one I use for my lawn mower, to do field charging. The charger is super portable and leaves my 4-button chargers in the dust.

The RMRC 10A power supply falls a little short when charging my 5200mAh 6S lawn mower batteries, so I can only charge them at 3.5 Amps (because of the high 6S voltage). But it can charge all of my other batteries at their stated full charge rate.

Car guys, if you haven’t heard of XT60 connectors and iSDT chargers you’re missing out.

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Fridley Hates Pedestrians – 61st Ave

It’s been a while since I’ve had to publish a “Fridley Hates Pedestrians” series. Maybe I’ve become complacent. Some road diets on county roads might actually come to fruition. In the meanwhile this happened:

Boy struck by SUV near Fridley Middle School

Continue reading “Fridley Hates Pedestrians – 61st Ave”

Eachine DVR

Let me start by saying that the Eachine EV100 DVR (made for the EV100 FPV goggles) is cheaper and almost certainly works with other goggles. It can be powered directly by a 2S battery, which is commonplace for FPV goggles: It is the add-on DVR I would buy today for only $15 if I hadn’t […]

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Let me start by saying that the Eachine EV100 DVR (made for the EV100 FPV goggles) is cheaper and almost certainly works with other goggles. It can be powered directly by a 2S battery, which is commonplace for FPV goggles:

It is the add-on DVR I would buy today for only $15 if I hadn’t already purchased the Eachine ProDVR:

Stu (Stew?) confirms that the first one is A-OK:

But if you’re like me and have the ProDVR read on. Continue reading “Eachine DVR”

Best budget flying radio: Taranis Q X7

Hands down this is the best radio you can get for around $100. The hobby is moving so fast, it’s incredible what this thing can do! When it first came out, I was skeptical as the go-to radio for most people flying multi-rotors was the Taranis X9D. The X7 has a form-factor very similar to […]

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Hands down this is the best radio you can get for around $100. The hobby is moving so fast, it’s incredible what this thing can do! When it first came out, I was skeptical as the go-to radio for most people flying multi-rotors was the Taranis X9D. The X7 has a form-factor very similar to the first Horus which was not initially well-received. But what FrSky had done with the X7 was take everything that was awesome about the X9D (OpenTX, haptic and audio feedback, telemetry, serial module communication) and put it in a Horus-shaped budget package.

I’m not going to go through everything about this radio, there are plenty of other reviews out there – several linked to from here. I just want to suggest an awesome setup that will not only do telemetry with FrSky receivers, but also Spektrum, FlySky, and any other multiprotocol module protocols that support telemetry.

This is a great complete transmitter/receiver setup that will cost you less than $200 and will control just about everything:

Continue reading “Best budget flying radio: Taranis Q X7”

Cheali Charger – free 4-button charger upgrade

If you have one of the ubiquitous “4 button chargers” you can likely upgrade the firmware to Cheali Charger. You’ll have to do some hacking to get there, but if you want to add features like LiHV and NiZN charging, and have 30 battery memories, it’s the way to go. Example chargers that are eligible: […]

The post Cheali Charger – free 4-button charger upgrade appeared first on Meatball Racing.

If you have one of the ubiquitous “4 button chargers” you can likely upgrade the firmware to Cheali Charger. You’ll have to do some hacking to get there, but if you want to add features like LiHV and NiZN charging, and have 30 battery memories, it’s the way to go.

Example chargers that are eligible:

Continue reading “Cheali Charger – free 4-button charger upgrade”

Minnesota State Fair on $20 per person

There was a period in my life where I didn’t want to go to the state fair. The great Minnesota get together had worn me down. It was around the age of 18-23, when all I could wonder is why would I want to pay for parking, or find parking a mile away, walk forever, and pay a bunch of money to hang out in a crowded place to eat a corn dog?

When my wife and I moved back to Minnesota in 2008, now in our 30s, we visited the fair and I was pleasantly reacquainted. Jessi is pretty adept at couponing, so we sought out to maximize our dollars. Here’s how we do it.

Continue reading “Minnesota State Fair on per person”

Scout CX Battery Mod

I’ve tried adding an upgraded battery to my son’s Scout CX in the past, but it’s designed to only accept the tiny 70mAh batteries it comes with. After upgrading my Inductrix to a larger power connecter, I had two donor batteries to experiment with… So I took my old Inductrix battery lead and made a lead […]

The post Scout CX Battery Mod appeared first on Meatball Racing.

I’ve tried adding an upgraded battery to my son’s Scout CX in the past, but it’s designed to only accept the tiny 70mAh batteries it comes with. After upgrading my Inductrix to a larger power connecter, I had two donor batteries to experiment with… So I took my old Inductrix battery lead and made a lead extension.

Continue reading “Scout CX Battery Mod”

Inductrix ➡ Tiny Whoop ➡ Power Whoop

I had been eyeing the Inductrix when it was released in 2015. The “ducted fan” design interested me because it was quiet(er), and because I could bump into things indoors with a better survival rate. The Tiny Whoop came about from adding an FPV camera, faster motors, and a bigger battery to the Inductrix. The […]

The post Inductrix ➡ Tiny Whoop ➡ Power Whoop appeared first on Meatball Racing.

I had been eyeing the Inductrix when it was released in 2015. The “ducted fan” design interested me because it was quiet(er), and because I could bump into things indoors with a better survival rate.

Continue reading “Inductrix ➡ Tiny Whoop ➡ Power Whoop”