E-Flite Blade mCX

The E-Flite Blade mCX is a micro-size coaxial-blade heli -- a very fun indoor toy. A great way to scratch that flying itch during the long winter months. It uses a DSM2-compatible transmitter that is functionally identical to the transmitter for the ParkZone Vapor (they are interchangable). These transmitters have a high/low rates switch, which is toggled by pushing down on the top of the right stick. (The left-stick push-down switch is for binding.) The mCX is also available as a Bind-and-Fly.

After having the mCX for about a month-and-a-half and flying it pretty much every day, I started noticing shorter flight times, closer to 3-4 minutes than the 7-8 minutes it was getting. I tried new motors, but they didn't help. Turns out it was the battery connector on the heli. Hitting the pins at the crimp point with a bit of solder fixed it right up; back to the longer flight times. Here is an rcgroups post describing the procedure. Also, Horizon Hobby sells a compatible connector, PKZ3052.

Here are some Blade mCX mods I like:

1. Shorten the forward/reverse control rod by turning the link connector on the end clockwise. (The forward/reverse control rod is the one that moves as the right stick is pushed up and down.) You need to disconnect it from the swash plate, rotate it in full turns, and then click it back on. I have mine shortened by 4 full turns. I've seen some warnings that shortening it by more than one turn could result in blade clashes, but I think that's overblown (haven't had that problem yet). I've heard that some mCXs will drift backwards when the trims are centered -- on these, the forward/reverse control rod should definitely be shortened.

2. If you want to experiment with more forward speed, the easiest way is to mount the battery further forward, under the canopy, about as far as the wire will allow. You can hold the battery on with scotch tape or velcro. This moves the center-of-gravity forward, making the heli a bit less stable, but the increase in speed is nice. If you move the up/down trim on the transmitter to the maximum-down (reverse) setting it reduces the forward drift, and doesn't result in less forward speed (because the transmitter seems to command the servos past their physical ends of travel, anyway).

3. On my mCX swashplate, I've mounted two additional linkage balls, so that it now has four. The new linkage balls extend about 1-2 millimeters further out than the originals, resulting in increased control throw (and speed) in all directions. I got the linkage balls by cutting them off of an Upper Main Blade Set EFLH2221. (The linkage ball is only used on one of the upper blades on the heli, so if you get two sets you can still use them as replacements on the heli.) I got the initial idea from this rcgroups post, but the person in that post attached the new linkage balls to the existing ones.

This later rcgroups post describes mounting new linkage balls onto the swashplate between the existing ones, which I liked better. He used pieces of plastic as mounting points for metal linkage balls, but I was able to do it more simply. When I cut the linkage balls off the blades, I left a bit of a "tail" coming out one end of the bottom. I glued them on with 6-minute epoxy, and using the "tail" and the epoxy I got the new linkage balls positioned nice and straight and a bit further out than the originals, tweaking them while the epoxy firmed up. The trick to getting the epoxy to grab on tightly to the swashplate plastic is to drill a small hole at the glue point (giving the epoxy a good anchor).

Good points about this swashplate mod: No disassembly is required; just glue the linkage balls in place. Easily reversable by going back to using the original linkage balls. If you find the heli too touchy, you can also put the transmitter down to low rates (by pushing down on the top of the right stick). Combining this mod with mounting the battery forward results in a fast mCX. :]

4. Shorten the tail boom by 1/8", as described in these rcgroups posts. After doing this, I didn't see a huge amount of difference (so it's not a mod to be afraid of). The heli can now do faster pirouettes, and it seems to move more smoothly through banked turns (less "bucking").

Here are some Blade mCX links:

rcgroups:  Blade mCX mods

rcgroups:  Micro Blade mCX from Eflite

MIA Blade mCX Upgrades

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