Hop-ups - Transmitter Mods::

Transmitter Ckt Board Closeups
Author: epicdoom
Author Email: epicdoom at RCGroups
Specs: Depicts Transmitter board
Material Required: None
Downloads available:
Notes: Thanks Epic for these nice closeups.

Transmitter Ckt Board Closeups2
Author: micro_builder
Author Email: Micro_Builder at RCGroups
Specs: Depicts Transmitter board
Material Required: None
Downloads available:
Notes: Thanks Microbuilder for these closeups.

Tx Emitter
Author: Megabyte-2
Author Email: Megabyte-2 at RCGroups
Specs: Describe Emitter Replacement
Material Required: IR Leds
Downloads available:
Notes: Well, Didnt get to do a test fly after sunset, but I did get to do the long range "point & shoot" test.
First .....it works with the circuitry ......this is a plus.
The rest didnt fair as well. Range was 105'. The stock AS did 192'. I should have used del's IC plug-in idea...............
They WILL be installed tomorrow, maybe later tonight! Arrrrrrrrrggggg.......

The diodes used were ones of the generic, no data sheets, that seemed to have the best current draw (I would have thought these would have been brighter) and a noticed faster reaction time to throttle response. It was clear the beam was narrower.

At least I have a lot of data to work with now. I have reason to believe the fet is not the best choice one, but its all I could get quickly. Time to go specing & shopping.

Tx IR Led extensions
Author: RCBilly
Author Email: RCBilly at RCGroups
Specs: Depicts Moving IR leds
Material Required: None
Downloads available:
Notes: On the TX I snipped the two LED leads and added in wire so that they now stand up above theTX out of the hole they were buried in.

Using PicooZ Charger to charge a 50ma lipo
Author: Andy2No
Author Email: Andy2No at RCGroups
Specs: Describes Using a Z charger for a Full River battery
Material Required: Z Charger
Downloads available:
Notes: I used the sort of connector shown in the picture.

I soldered one to the leads of the LiPo, using narrow shrink wrap to insulate them, and spliced another one onto the charger lead from the PicooZ Tx, so it could be used for the LiPo as well as the PicooZ

Bear in mind, I've only done it with a clone version so the details of the real thing just might be different.

The charge socket on the PicooZ doesn't connect directly to the battery - there's a chip in between. However, it looks like there's a good chance that connecting it directly works, but there are a few things to note:

When I measured the voltage across the charger cable, while charging the PicooZ, it was 4.6V. I figured I needed to lower that so the first thing I did was find a germanium diode, with a 0.3V or so forward voltage drop and solder that between the lead and one of the conector wires. Still too high, but more comfortable. It was just an experiment anyway, at that point. The Vf of the diode goes higher with more current draw, but it's the final voltage that counts, which would be too high, so it seemed.

However, the Tx couldn't see the battery with the diode there so I figured it needed to sense the battery voltage, maybe with a little blip of current going the other way every so often. That made me a little more confident that it could be connected directly - whatever's in the PicooZ, it wouldn't be much - I'd expect the bulk of the electronics to be in the big heavy thing with the batteries.

So, the next thing I tried was to leave the diode in but bypass it with a resistor to give the Tx some feedback but still keep some protection for the battery (that made some sort of sense to me, but I won't go into why - I'm rambling enough as it is ). I settled on a 10 Ohm resistor, which did the trick - the green light would come on with just the new LiPo plugged in. With a bigger resistor, it woudn't.

I've found it will charge, but only to 3.9V (my record so far). I did try shorting across the diode (so, basically just a connector spliced onto the cable), and that seemed fine - the voltage across the battery stayed under 4.2V. It also cut out at about the same point though. I'll try it again soon, but I was tired at the time and I didn't want to take risks with the battery. I'm under the impression it'll still stop charging at 3.9V, but I could be wrong.

That clone PicooZ has never been right though and I suspect it's own battery might not be charging to the full 4.2V. I haven't measured it, and I'm not sure I'm going to, but that could be the reason - my clone Tx might be stopping charging too early anyway.

I'm reasonably confident it won't give the 4.6V while charging a battery because of the low internal resistance of the battery. That high reading while charging the PicooZ clone would be because there's something in between the charge socket and the battery that's got some resistance, or is dropping a bit of voltage (e.g., it could be a resistor, or a diode, or some other bit of electronics). Once the Tx stops charging the PicooZ, the voltage across the charge socket falls to zero, which is why I guessed it might just be a diode at first... It seems it's a little bit more complicated but I'm not sure the details matter.

The dangerous bit is when it gets to the cut off point - if it stops at or below 4.2V then at least it's safe. If it tries to carry on above that then it isn't.

I do have another, original Silverlit PicooZ, but that's at a freind's house and I'm not fiddling with that one at the moment - it works well so I don't want to upset it.

So, short answer, I think soldering another connector into the charger lead and using it to directly charge a battery is probably fine. Do it at your own risk though, and stand by with a multimeter, fire extinguisher, and so on Picture, a small marine flare where your battery was a moment ago...

By the looks of it, my particular clone Tx isn't in danger of overcharging... or in any particular danger of actually giving a full charge. I feel more at ease with the diode and resistor there but I may bypass them soon to see if it'll go a bit higher. I'm not convinced it will. I've still been able to use it a bit though. I haven't put the LiPo in an AS yet, I was just testing it with a pager motor and a small propeller. I can charge the battery til the green light goes out, run it down some, then charge it back up, but just to the same point, not to a full charge. I'm guessing there's some variation in the transmitters though.

Using a PicooZ LED array with the Transmitter
Author: RCBilly
Author Email: RCBilly at RCGroups
Specs: Describes how to adapt the array for use with the Tx
Material Required: Old PicooZ Tx
Downloads available:
Notes: Most of us have at least 2 or 3 Picco Zs which means an extra tx. Some time ago I had taken one of my spare PZ Txs apart and mounted the pc board and battery holder in the lid of one of my cases as a field charger which left the PZ emitter array unused. On a hunch I removed the two stock AS leds and wired in the 3 angled PZ LED array. To test it I taped it to the top of the AS Tx and went flying in a large 90x90x20 foot room this am. Although not quite as bright as a very brilliantly lit gym there are over head lights and a skylight in the room! With a stock AS Tx I was able to fly fairly well as long as I stayed close and aimed directly at the plane although I did have a few misses. With the PZ modded Tx I could fly anywhere in the room with a much broader cone of control and experienced no glitches at all. Although I don't think one should buy a Picco Z just to scrap out the Tx if you do have a spare one the PZ array works very well with the Aero Soarer. Maybe the angled triangular array could be copied in your expiriments to give a nice overlap and a bigger "sweet spot" in high ambient light situations.

After taking the PZ Tx apart I just used the little upper PC and 3 emitter array assembly as shown. I didn't use the protective ruby cover from the PZ Tx although I will test later to see if it makes any difference in range. The stock AS LEDs are first unsoldered from the two terminal sets. The wiring is as shown. I only used the left two terminals as the 3 LEDs in the array are connected in series. With a more powerful output transistor as Tony is testing maybe two PZ or equivalent arrays could be used... Hm... I agree with Tony that the brightly lit gym with multiple light sources is the most harsh environment to fly an AS in! I did take it out this frosty morning at dawn with partly cloudy conditions and was able to fly it at about 20-30 foot altitude although a very slight breeze kept me busy avoiding trees in the yard I'll try it again next time we have fully overcast conditions to see how it goes.

I clipped the LED lead from the other stock LED to allow the 3 array to have
more power. You cant see from the pic.

The circuit on the second stock LED setup is open so all the output from Q3 is going through the three PZ emitters which are in series. The idea of 4 stronger emitters in an overlapping spread pattern using the existing AS Tx top with additional holes seems the best and most practical improvement.

Using the Cap Charging port to charge a lipo
Author: jas_Qfix
Author Email: None
Specs: Depicts Using Cap port for external lipo charger
Material Required: Lipo, charger
Downloads available:
Notes: I pulled out the +ve and -ve terminals of the AS cap charging port to the outside of the Tx box. So I am using the AS Tx box as a charging chassis, Connecting the external port to my Lipo charger it charges my Lipo inside the AS. How nice! No more pushing live power pins for charging the Lipo inside the AS.