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Possible Syma Quad Copter Modification
Creating Ducted Fan method on the Quad Copters
Tags: Syma X9
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rbethman
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December 25, 2014 - 9:35 am

The idea isn't new to the aviation realm.

Syma hasn't managed to do this yet.  I am going to try and make this mod.  I will use manilla file folder strips to attach to the frame, and extend up enough to enclose the rotor blades.

This methodology would increase the air flow through the "ducted area".  The result would be a much greater airflow through this essentially "tube" of cardboard.

The best way would be to form a curve at the top.

This "may" be a possible with layers of paper in lieu of manilla folders, and super glue or something similar.

What say all?

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Syma Freak
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December 26, 2014 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2010
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Yes, I like the idea well worth a try, take some photos or videos to post, look forward to your modssig_cool2

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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rbethman
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December 27, 2014 - 7:09 am

SF,

So am I.  I will say that it won't be quick though.  I'm going to have to build a form, then add the radius to the form.  It will be a PIA.  The temps and weather won't make up its mind either.  I can't keep up with 20s F, wind blowing insanely, 60s F and soaking rain, and who knows what is coming next. Plays holy devil with my bloody Arthritis too!  When the entire spinal column hurts like the devil, you don't really get in the mood to "work" on anything.  I detest taking pain meds, but there are times when it finally get to that point.

The final form will have to be coated with something  such as an oil based varnish, (If it can even be purchased any longer), or a couple coats of Tung oil. Then the patience factor gets in the way waiting for this *one* darn form to dry thoroughly.sco_hmmthink  Then the paper has to be laid on the form while wet to take the proper shape.  Then repeat three more paper lays on the same form after each one dries.

By that time I'll be ready for my favorite beverage.  (Single malt Scotch please! - Or Bellarus Vodka! [Man is that ever so smooth! Not like almost any other Vodka that is like diesel fuel!])  I'll deserve it by then.

I think I'll use some artist acid free paper.  It is thicker, and will be more durable when it sets.  The additonal weight won't be worth considering with the extra airflow.  I haven't exactly worked out the adhesive on the form - sco_hmmthinkor for that matter exactly how to apply it to the frame.

I've tried to do "some" work on the Slicktron PCB and motor units.  I'm just at the point where the motor units are ready to be soldered.  It is going to be a "guess what it will do" job. 

Regards

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CPD
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December 29, 2014 - 6:02 am

I've thought of doing something similar, however I would suggest a much simpler and easier route. Go online or to your local modeling shop, and buy some cheap and thin polystyrene sheeting. You can form it with heat, however if you get a thin enough piece, that should be unnecessary. It'll bend around correctly, then you can use its solvent (Testor's Plastic Cement that comes in a little clear jar) to "weld" the plastic together and form the joint that you want. You can then rip some strips with a paper cutter in nice straight and long sections, or make a series of the same size or smaller size strips as the original ones and laminate them after you've made the initial circle using the solvent.

What I would do would be find something the same size that you want to use for a template, or if not take something slightly undersized and wrap it in masking tape. (You can still use the tape later if you keep that part around too) Then wrap your inner layer of polystyrene around it, and when you get to the end, put a small chunk of duct tape on the inside. Then take the solvent and coat the piece before placing the next one around it. Then run a small line down the middle where the two ends meet on the one. Do this for however many layers you want to do, and let it sit for a while, making sure to secure the ends of the outer piece so that they don't peel up. You may need to soften it with the solvent while you're in the middle of all of this. Then remove it, weld the inner joint, and you've got a ring of plastic.

I'm guessing that it would be lighter than layers and layers of varnish, but the one problem would be the tendency for the plastic to want to try to retain its original flat shape. Might need heated with a hair dryer, but I think a heat gun would be too much and would melt it, or, worse yet, ignite the solvent fumes.

 

Good luck!!!

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CPD
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December 29, 2014 - 6:10 am

I should note that I was considering doing something like this, with attaching polystyrene to the ducts on my X3 to extend them high enough to actually be effective. However, I decided not to, because of how they are designed to flex upon impact. Either I would have to add a bunch of weight and have them be solid, and not be able to take hits as well and keep flying, or the ducts would ram into the blades and ruin both of them when it crashed. I think that is the reason that the ducts on the X3 are so short, and why they may not have them on the other helis. However you decide to make yours, they need to be rigid so that they don't interfere with the blades if you crash.

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rbethman
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January 1, 2015 - 11:38 am

CPD, I've been looking at other options myself.sco_hmmthinkI am looking at a balsa wood methodology.  I have an abundance remaining from days long gone. Some is from a kit that nobody wanted, and the other part of the stash was purchased for a project that never developed. I'd be using Pacer Zap CA to piece it together. I figure that the inlet really doesn't need a great curved aspect. I'd just go with an angle that would be about 30 deg.  I have more than enough to do both X6s here.  I won't do the old X6 until the replacement board and motor units are fully installed and tested.  I have this gut feeling that it will be much more power and I need to come to grips with it all by itself. It *will* be a handful!

I've been flying the newest X6 a day or two.  Until things settle down weather-wise I can't get the trim dialed in. I sure wish these dang things were like an R/C Airplane!  You flew one or two test flights, then you had the ability to adjust the control rods to get the trim done.  This new nonsense drives me crazy.  I'll adjust to it eventually. Even us "old dogs" can learn. I seem to learn something new constantly. I seem to remember hearing: "The more I learn, the more I learn I don't yet know!".  It is still befitting of life.

Your idea of thin styrene is a good one!  I simply no longer have a local hobby shop.  It is simpler and cheaper to go the balsa idea.  I already obtained the Pacer Zap CA, already have accelerator, AND the MOST important item: debonder!  Essentially it is a commercial not over the counter type.  Highly effective! I never look a gift horse in the mouth! I've accumulated a number of these not over the counter items.  I have a habit when work gets done at the house to ask items "Fall off the truck.". I have contact cement that is absolutely out of this world! Now there are two of these spray cans. The strength is awesome. I used it to put plastic ends/connectors/clamps on fiberglass mast sections. It sure beat the heck out of the recommended epoxy that was way over priced and takes up to a week to cure.

Happy New Year to one and all!  Regards Sarge

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CPD
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January 9, 2015 - 1:38 am

I hear you with how there isn't a hobby shop to buy stuff from--been about ten years since mine closed up, and I have yet to find another that isn't in poor shape. Found one last year near my college, but it was just sad to walk into. The old boy running it had basically given up 15+ years ago, and was barely keeping the lights on selling, or rather stocking since he wasn't selling very much, doll making stuff from the late 80's or the early 90's. I was probably his only customer that week.

When I bought my styrene, I bought it online. I forget the name of it, but there's a hobby shop down in Georgia, I think Atlanta, if it is Georgia, with a really nice website with a great selection and good pricing on stuff. I'm looking on Amazon at the moment, and they have it, but it's not prime, although a pack of 7 sheets, .02" thick costs $10 with free shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Plastruc.....rene+sheet

 

If you can find it, there's also almost every possible structural member used in the real world made from the stuff. Pipes, rods, angle iron in MANY sized and combinations of one side being this size while the other is another, I-beams, double-I-beams, box girders, ladders, clear, tinted, corrugated tin in multiple scales, wood siding in multiple scales, railroad coach siding in multiple scales, asphalt shingles, ceder shingles with a pattern, slate shingles, etc. If somebody really wants to, they could use this stuff and some serious skills to make a steampunk S107 that looks like a steam locomotive and has the proper rivets and wood siding for the side frames if they so well choose.

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rbethman
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January 9, 2015 - 3:55 am

CPD - I've started to look in another direction but still using wood.  I have a bunch of 24" x 48" 3/32 aircraft plywood.

I really don't worry about crashing.  My son lives in Georgia.  He could pick me up anything I want.

I still don't see going with styrene.  The issue of causing more damage really doesn't apply.  The frame is already Styrofoam and has "some" metal reinforcement, yet it breaks or cracks any way when you bang something hard enough.

When I've managed to do that, the hot melt glue fixes it.  The biggest issue is the lack of complete reinforcement!  Then it wouldn't break or crack.

Regards, Sarge

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CPD
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January 9, 2015 - 5:36 am

Hmmm... Seems that something to fix that is in order. When I was a kid and had a styrofoam Air Hogs R/C airplane, what I did to fix where it got banged up was covered the beat up spots in invisible tape, just like I do with my helis blades. That stuff isn't as cheap as it used to be--they want a whopping dollar for useless tape that should cost fifty cents!!! But, that seems to cover up dings and dents pretty well, while giving it a nice support along its outer fiber. I would personally worry about hot glue because it would be hot enough, I would think, to melt the foam itself, and it's sorta heavy when compared to this. Then again, it's not ideal to have an expensive toy like the X6 and have it held together with scotch tape.

Actually, thinking about it, what about foam. Not like styrofoam, regular high density foam? Like what you buy for the bottom layer of foam when reupholstering a chair. That stuff can just be cut with a knife, glued together, glued to the frame, weighs nothing, is pretty cheap and can be found at any Jo-Ann's Fabrics. Again, though, the problem would be re-enforcement, but if you add a small basswood (I wouldn't use balsa there because it's not strong enough) subframe under it, then it'd be perfect!

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Mushtang
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January 10, 2015 - 1:18 pm

If you're making a duct for the propellers to blow through you'll need to have the tips of the propellers VERY close to the duct.  If you have even a 1/4" clearance there's a good chance it won't work.

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rbethman
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January 11, 2015 - 12:42 pm

That isn't necessarily true.

Do some research into the first "gull winged" "half ducted full scale aircraft.

Then there are ducted fan jet engines.  Very close isn't required.  Simply ducting within a small portion of the blades is all that is necessary.

Look at the Aerospatiale Helicopters tail rotors.

Ducting of rotors, whether they are propellers or rotor blades, works to increase the air flow.  These Quad Copters are nothing more than propellers.  Any form of duct will improve the lift characteristics.  Similarly Fowler flaps increase the lift by essentially altering the effective wing chord.  Yet close and tight aren't necessary.

Even if there is a 3/8" gap, the flow will be improved.

Regards, Sarge (Certificated Pilot - Mainly aerobatic, and a pilot of a Sukhoi SU-29.)

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rbethman
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January 11, 2015 - 12:48 pm

CPD - Using hot melt glue hasn't been an issue at all.  The hot melt glue has not melted the Styrofoam frame a lick.

I propose to use it only in spots along the duct.  I'll drill about 1/8" to 3/16" holes every three to four inches along the circumference.  These would be the only locations, along with the outer circumference of the duct.

Since the top of the blades will end up below the upper edge, it will work.

 

Regards, Sarge

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rbethman
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January 16, 2015 - 4:23 am

So far so good with the ducts!  I've just got to finish the last duct.  It is actually going easier than I though it would.

I couldn't resist "semi decent" weather.  I just had to take the other one outside.  I had the wind get hold of it and had to jump into the wheels and go chase after it.  Then like a dummy, I had left the controller on with elevation engaged.  It leaped up into the air.  I had to chase it a little bit, and ended up landing on someones SUV.

Nobody squawked, and no damage was done.

I've just come in after going through three battery packs.  Gave the rubbish pickup folks a couple of buzzes.  Got them interested in where could they get one, and did it do more than hover.

So I did several 3D Eversions left, right, forward, and back.  That left them with jaws dropped open.

I needed a "fix" of flying!  Get tired of working on one and needed a break.

I've got the ducts notched to allow the motor unit spars to clear them.  It looks like the weight won't be excessive.  I'll weigh the both of them on a good little scale I've got.  Then I'll hace a better idea.

Regards, Sarge

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rbethman
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February 3, 2015 - 6:16 am

SF, CPD, and the Rest,

Well,  The initial duct tests went sco_huhsignor "South" if you prefer.  The test made me think I had gotten overweight.

WRONG!  I got bit by miswired Motor Units.  I ripped out the ducts, ran another test, and it wouldn't lift!

Additional investigation demonstrated that two of the replacement Motor Units are wired bass-akwards!  So I did a quick swap of rotor blades.  Ah yes!  Now it lifts.  So I am going to make new ducts.  I really hated to tear them up!

Concept is still sound, but will re-work this second set.  I'm going to reduce the diameter, and tighten the space to the rotor blades.  I may or may not get to 1/4" clearance.

I will make them a whole lot easier to install!  I'm going to add a spacer to the outside of the ducts, and NOT use so much adhesive.  It was a royal pain to remove them.  I'm going to make it a "LOT" easier to remove should this not pan out.

I detest doing things twice!  At least I learned that an X6 without battery weighs just a hair below 10 ounces.

So I have a target weight to shoot for!

Regards, Sarge [Mumbling and going back to drawing board!]

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CPD
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February 4, 2015 - 12:33 pm

Yikes! Been there before, where you think that you're ready to go, and whoops! It done goofed! I think the worst was the RC car that I tried to make amphibious, before the silicone I used to seal the motherboard gave out and let it get flooded. No idea what happened to make it stop working for no apparent reason after I had replaced it, and I haven't gotten around to fixing it. I think it needs brought back to stock to save it.

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rbethman
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February 6, 2015 - 8:49 am

SF, CPD and all,

Well, recovered from the insane asylum!  Rewired, (reverse wired), the two errant motor units.  Now have the proper rotors in place in the correct location.

Built all new ducts from scratch.  This is 3/32" birch plywood.  The spacers are 3/8" bass wood.  Each duct is 1 1/2" wide and 29 7/8" long.

Yep! she flies!  Just still working out some trim issues.

SF - Edge on and top RTFs attached.  See if you can extract the two pics and get them up?

Regards, Sarge

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rbethman
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February 6, 2015 - 9:24 am

All,

I'll add that test flights have been restricted to indoors!  It is 28 F outside with 28 MPH gusts.  Wind chill @ 16 F.

Tests have been indoors and no higher than my waist.  I wish it would settle down to take it outside!  Not enough room indoors to do the tests justice.

I not only want to get the trim dialed in, I want to see if this can give extended flight time.  This would give a good indication of airflow improvements.

 

Regards, Sarge

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CPD
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February 6, 2015 - 1:05 pm

Good luck! I know where I'm at, we're having a heat wave this weekend--supposed to get to 40 degrees Saturday! Hopefully, I can get my camera out and enjoy the snow without the cold. Good luck with the project from here-on-out. I do wonder, though, if some of the effects of the added lift are counteracted by the added weight. Only testing will show, however. YOU MUST GO TO THE BATCAVE!!!!

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rbethman
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February 9, 2015 - 4:11 am

SF, CPD, and all,

Test flights continue.  Trimming getting better.

Pics - One is the duct looking edge on.  Second is view of one duct from the top.

Haven't gotten flight time figured out yet. (Dang watch battery is croaking! Jumps 15 seconds at a whack.) [Have to get battery replaced.]

Definite difference in flight characteristics.

Regards, Sarge

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rbethman
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February 11, 2015 - 1:26 pm

I have discovered WHY Syma doesn't put ducts on the X6!

The blades MUST be above the frame to indeed work and fly!

The ducts interfere with the intended characteristics of the rotors.  IOW, ducts do NOT work.

The airflow for turning, sideward, fore and aft movement will NOT work with the ducts!

The only thing that does is up and down.

Well, it was an interesting idea.

Now I have returned it to normal, whatever that is.

BTW - One TX will NOT work without the RX it came with!  Discovered that also!  The wrong TX will NOT pair with a different receiver!

That is how two or more can fly in close proximity to each other without interfering.

Regards, Sarge

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