Blade mCP X Breakdown
The Blade mCP X is an awesome heli! It was the first micro collective pitch rc helicopter. This review is going to be short and sweet. This was my graduation heli from coaxials. This upgrade was a challenge since I had no idea what I was getting into with it. Despite the difficulties at the beginning I do not and will never regret buying this helicopter. After the Nano CP X, 130X, and Trex 250; I have to say that this heli is still my favorite of them all.
The Blade mCP X is a blast to fly stock. If you get into all the mods and bling available for this jewel, then you could end up like me and have six of them. Really for the price that it is going for now you seriously cannot go wrong with giving this heli a try. I have no doubt that it will become a collector’s item, because it is a classic already. My only suggestion if you are considering the mCP X, skip the RTF model and get the BNF with at least a DX6i radio so that you can fully enjoy what this heli is capable of.
You can download my DX8 files below for brushless modifications.
Blade mCP X Basic Tips and Modifications
There are lots of folks out there that want and need a perfect rc helicopter out of the box. I have not seen one so far and positive that does not exist. Every heli I own, needed some sort of mod or adjustment out of the box. They are all mass produced, workers make mistakes, and they are just delicate. Precision is something you will strive for at times, then ignore at others. Just how precise is you preference. Basically precise to you may not be the same for me.
The Blade mCP X is no exception. Do not get me wrong. Chances are any heli will fly out of the box. Precision will be the question in most cases. The list of modifications below will improve and give an idea of what to look for and what everything does. I feel a lot of new to the hobby folks out there end up doing mods just because they hear from someone else that the mod just needs to be done. It may be months or more before that person takes the time to understand why they did the mod. My goal is to eliminate that.
Before I get into the mods though, please double check any part that can fly off such as the rotor blades that can injure you or someone else. Modifications are optional and I know excitement gets the best out of all of us when we all get a new toy, but heed my warning. This helicopter is no toy despite it’s size. It will leave a really good mark or cut you if it hits you. This heli could take your eye.
1. O-ring mod -> The mCP X out of the box has a lot of slop in the rotor head and swashplate. What is slop you ask? Slop in this case means that the servo arms and rotor links are loose. They should only move up or down when attached to the swashplate or head. If you grip the top edges and getting side to side movement on their pivot balls, then you have slop which will lower your heli’s response to movement. In order to cure this, you have two choices. First choice is to take the extra rubber canopy grommets that came with your heli, cut them in half, install them on all the pivot balls. That choice is the less popular. There will still be slop present, but this will improve the initial slop. The second choice and most popular one is to order silicone o-rings from www.oringsandmore.com. I no longer have a stock mCP X, because I grew out of it and have had too much fun modding them, so the below pictures may not look like yours. It is the same heli. This modification is an eventual necessity on the stock and bling parts.
- Rubber Orings (#002-70D) <— Big swashplate balls and blade grips.
- Rubber Orings (#001-70D) <— Small swashplate balls and to absorb vibration for the 3 in 1 board. One behind the screw washers and one on the screw behind the 3 in 1 board.
I had to remove the o-ring from the aft swashplate ball with the aft AR guide on the Microheli swashplate because the aft servo arm would not stay attached.
2. Level swashplate -> I always make sure the swashplate is level and check zero pitch before I fly any heli. Additionally, it will not hurt to check both every two weeks or so. You will lose both after crashing over time. Crashes will cause the servo arms to bend slightly and that in turn throws off a level swashplate and zero pitch. You need a level swash in order to get zero pitch which is explained next. A lot of people eye ball the swashplate on a heli this small, but here is where I like precision and feel that a level swashplate is extremely important. Some even use a zip tie. I broke down and just bought the Xtreme Productions swashplate leveler so that I could be accurate. A swashplate that is not level will cause a heli to hover left or right during take off instead of straight up and down. On top of that if you are drifting left or right on take off, then your heli will drift left or right while manuvering as well. Before I get into the steps there is one thing to stress. I had a friend struggling with his heli and it was due to him checking, turning everything off, and then making adjustments. Make sure your radio stays on and battery plugged into the helicopter during the adjustments. If you do not leave both on then you will not be able to ensure that your servos stay level during the adjustments. Leave everything on during adjustments.
I will be using the Spektrum DX8 for the tutorial. All radios have the menus that I describe, but you may have to do a little searching to find it on yours. Go into the Function List menu and find the Pitch Curve window.
The first thing you want to check in the Pitch Curve window is that you have a Linear Pitch Curve. You know you have a Linear Pitch Curve when you see that diagonal line in the box. The basic settings are shown below which are 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.
Now that you have a Linear Pitch Curve turn on Throttle Hold for safety. With Throttle Hold on, push the throttle stick up until the line moves to the middle of the Linear Pitch Curve as shown below. The numbers under the box are very important and should show 50 –> 50. You will hear this referred to as “50 in and 50 out.” Why not just use the notch marks on the throttle stick? Those notches are not always 100% accurate; using the Pitch Curve window and going 50 –> 50 is the only way that you know for sure that you are really at half stick.
Note: You do not necessarily have to be at half stick to level your swashplate, but to ensure Zero Pitch your swashplate has to be exactly between the heli’s body and rotor head, so we are killing two birds with one stone by leveling the swashplate at half stick.
Now set your radio to the side, out-of-the-way so that you do not bump the throttle stick. Plug in your helicopter’s battery and allow it to initialize (blue light steady). The swashplate level sits on the swashplate arms. All the arms will be resting on the same place of the swashplate leveler when it is level. Pop off each link, one at a time and turn each until they meet the leveler. Clockwise is up. Counter clockwise is down. Your swashplate should look like the one below when you are finished.
3. Zero pitch -> Out of all of my helicopters, none of them had Zero Pitch out of the box. What is Zero Pitch? It is a fancy way of saying, “make sure your blades are even.” Pitch describes the main blades angle and Zero Pitch ensures that your main blades angle is flat at half stick. Zero Pitch has a huge purpose with any helicopter. This is a skill that you will take with you no matter how big the heli. Zero Pitch effects your radio’s throttle stick in Stunt mode. This really does not affect you much if you are using a Linear Throttle Curve in Normal Mode. Picture the throttle stick of your radio at the half way notch with the heli on the ground. The heli will be fully spooled up, but still on the ground if you have Zero Pitch. It is on the ground because your blades are rotated to push the heli down which is basically 50% negative pitch. Put your hand over your heli and you will feel the air flowing up, starting to make a little sense now? As soon as you begin to move the throttle stick past the half way notch the blades will rotate their angle and begin blowing air down creating lift; this would be your 50% positive pitch. I am sure that you have noticed by now that you do not bang the sticks to fly.
Most movements are small corrections and never really using the sticks full movements. This is very hard to explain. I am sure there are more complicated explanations out there, but I am really trying hard to keep it simple. In Stunt Mode you will most likely have a flat Throttle Curve such as 85%, 85%, 85%, 85%, and 85%. That means once you turn off Throttle Hold the helicopter will spool up and once it reaches 85% the motor will stay at 85% until Throttle Hold is turned back on. The throttle stick on the radio is actually controlling the main blade’s angle to increase or decrease altitude instead of the motor’s speed. With Zero Pitch your altitude will be level at half stick. Altitude will increase above half stick. It will decrease below half stick. Now if you leveled your swashplate according to the steps above you should have Zero Pitch. If your Main Blades are still off a little and not even, this means that your swashplate still a little too high or a little too low. If so adjust the links some more, but this time make sure that you turn all 3 links the same amount of turns otherwise the swashplate will not remain level.
NOTE: If you are coming from coaxial helicopters you most likely have the bad habit of hitting Throttle Hold, then pushing the throttle stick all the way down. Now that you have Zero Pitch set, when you crash just flip Throttle Hold only. If you push your throttle stick all the way down the main blades will come very close to the tail boom. In the middle of a crash the blades will flex and contact the tail boom with the throttle stick all the way down. All you have to do with the throttle stick is make sure that it is at half stick before you restart the helicopter.
If you had to move your stick down to get your grips even, then you need to move all links the same amount of turns Clockwise. If you had to move up, then adjust all links the same amount of turns Counter Clockwise until your grips are even.
Once you are even you have Zero Pitch. Congratulations your are done!!!!
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4. Extend the tail boom -> This modification will not effect you much if you are just starting out and simply practicing hovering orientations. Tail blow out with this heli during manuevers is a well-known issue. When you begin practicing manuevers you will want to extend your tail boom with the stock tail motor to (140 mm). Extended booms can be purchased, but it is cheaper to make your own. When doing this mod you may want to consider the following mod as well.
5. Solid tail boom tail wiring -> Hollow tail booms break very easily and moving to a solid one will not only last longer, but is very simple. An additional downside to the hollow boom is the wiring that is inside. The helicopter comes stock with magnet wiring for the tail motor routed through it. The carbon fiber during a crash can nick the already weak magnet wire. If you happen to not notice and re-use that wire and both come in contact you will damage the 3 in 1 board. The solid tail boom is the best upgrade and while you are at it change the wiring as well to something better such as wire wrap or CAT 5 internet wiring. If you take a CAT 5 internet wire and pull out the little strands inside, you can use those for your tail motor wiring. I have used both and personally prefer 30 AWG wire wrap, but that is just my opinion. It is less bulky, clean, and more tough than CAT 5 wire. Use what you have or can get. You cannot go wrong with either choice. Of course you will need to route the wire on the outside of the solid tail boom. Whether or not you want to go solid. It is cheaper to make your own booms. One rod can create at least 6 booms. I highly recommend the following online shop, they sell very good and affordable carbon rods of all types.
NOTE: When you are ready for your maiden flight after changing your tail wires chances are you may have plugged it back in to the 3 in 1 board backwards. IF you did your helicopter will spin out of control on spool up because the motor direction is reversed. Simply unplug the tail motor, turn the plug around, and plug it back in.
6. Solid main shaft -> Carbon parts are hollow to lower the weight, yet hollow is always going to give way before something that is solid. I will take durability before weight and this goes for the main shaft as well. You will need 3mm carbon rod, then just carefully match it with your stock shaft or you can purchase a jig from Jim Stoll which absolutely rocks!
7. Landing gear -> They break very easily. When you get tired of glueing them back together or buying more; try a set of landing skids from Airtime RC Products. You will not regret it.
Blade mCP X Brushless Information
WARNING: This modification will void the warranty on your 3 in 1 board.
Now on to the fun but extensive part of this diverse helicopter. So you have had your mCP X for a while and getting bored with it in it’s stock configuration. That would be the time to go brushless. Why you ask? More power of course. When you go brushless you will have the same helicopter, but at the same time a completely different heli. You have to feel the difference to understand it. Yes, it is completely worth the time and money if you love the stock helicopter. Before we get into it though. You need to realize right now that this is a huge subject to cover. There are so many configurations it is unreal. I am going to cover what I have personally completed and experienced. There is more and as I do them I will add them to this page. So far I have only completed 1S builds so that will be all that I am covering for now. Keep coming back for more, because I love this heli and I am not getting rid of mine. As you do more reading here and elsewhere you will see that there are actually two versions of the mCP X (V1 and V2).
The mCP X V1 was the very first version of course. There were multiple discrepancies with it, the biggest was main rotor blades coming apart in flight. There were smaller issues with it, but all were fixed and hence the creation of the V2 came about. What does all this have to do with going brushless? The V1 main board handled vibration way better than the new V2. You need to consider this when choosing your motor. The HP05 motor is as high as you want to go with a mCP X V2. If you want to go with more power with a HP06 – HP08 you will need a mCP X V1. V1’s are getting harder and harder to find, so if you find one snatch it up. Look on the back of the 3 in 1 board and find the writing that is in white, if you see mCP X 2 V1.3 or V1.5, then your mCP X is a V2. If you see mCPV3.9, then you have a V1 mCP X. Quick recap, mCP X V1 can handle any motor and the V2 is limited to the lowest up to the HP05. See the motor list below for motor details.
Common 1S Main Motors from Lowest to Highest Power (06 February 2013):
mCP X V1 – V2
1. AEO CM05: (recommended pinion 8T)
2. AEo M5: (recommended pinion 8T)
3. Oversky HP05S: (recommended pinion 8T – 9T)
mCP X V1 only recommended
4. Oversky HP06V2: (recommended pinion 8T – 9T)
5. Oversky HP08S: (recommended pinion 8T – 9T)
Common Tail Motors for Brushless Mods from Lowest to Highest Power (06 February 2013):
You can always go with 2 stock tail motors wired together. There is plenty of information out there, but I am not going to cover it. I do not feel that it is worth the effort since there are way better options out there.
1. Single stock or Oversky 7mm (a bit more powerful that stock). I am listing the stock tail motor, because it does work with the CM05 and M5 motors.
2. Blade 120SR tail motor can be used with the CM05 up to HPO8S main motors. 65mm tail rotor recommended.
3. Oversky HP02T: (recommended 65mm tail rotor)
4. Oversky HP03T: (recommended 65mm tail rotor)
Common ESC’s for Brushless Mods from Lowest to Highest Amps (06 February 2013):
These are the most common speed controllers. The only main ESC that I use is the XP-12A, because I have never had much luck setting up the XP-7A. For some reason I always end up breaking them. The XP-12A is diverse. It can be used with all motors for a brushless Blade mCP X, meaning if I want to upgrade the motor later I can without changing the ESC even if I decide to move up to a 2S setup later.
1. XP-3A: (1s ESC) Normally used on the Blade mCP X to control a brushless tail motor (HP02T and HP03T). It can also be used to control the CM05 main motor.
Weight with connectors: 0.7g
Weight without connectors: 0.47g
3. XP-10A PNP: (1-2S ESC) Plug and play main controller. No soldering required.
This heli is a customizer’s dream. There are so many ways to configure a brushless Blade mCP X, that it can seem overwhelming just trying to figure out what you need to buy. I am going to list out three complete builds as an example for you to help guide you on your brushless journey. These will be the cheapest way to build them, but think a head. Figure out how far you are going to eventually go. If you want to start low power then upgrade as you go then go with a XP-12A ESC instead of the XP-3A for example. These are just 1S examples and not written in stone.
1. Low Power: (V1 or V2)
Main Motor: CM05
Tail Motor: 7mm
Battery: Hyperion 250 mah
2. Medium Power: (V1 or V2) This is basically the V2’s high power. It is possible to go higher with a V2, but not many have.
Main Motor: HP05S
Tail Motor: HP02T
Battery: Hyperion 550 mah
3. High Power: Recommended V1 only.
Main Motor: HP08S
Tail Motor: HP03T
Battery: Hyperion 550 mah
Blade mCP X, My Current Build
Although there is so much information out there. You all need a good walk through if you are new and interested in doing this mod. I am currently working on a brushless HP08 with a HP03T brushless tail. I am going to put this one up as I go, so updates will be posted frequently throughout this build.
Microheli Advanced X Frame
Blade mCP X V1, 3 in 1
HP08S Main Motor (9T pinion)
HP03T Tail Motor
XP-12A ESC (HP08S)
XP-3A ESC (HP03T)
Astroid Designs Aft AR Mount (Short)
Astroid Designs Tail Motor Mount for 3 mm Booms
Shortened Main Shaft
Spektrum 2.3 Gram Servos
Air Time Productions Low Profile Landing Gear
The Microheli Advanced X Frame comes with the small servo spacers attached. The first thing that I did was remove those and add the long spacers. With the shortened main shaft you will need to turn the aileron servos around. I attempted to do this with the side plates on, but there are a couple that are hard to get to. Therefore I ended up removing the side plates which does make the process easier. When attaching the longer servo spacers remember to use blue loctite on the screws.
Once the long spacers are installed it will be time to reinstall each side plate. Put the following 3 screws in first WITHOUT LOCTITE. Never put loctite on screws that go into delrin or any other kind of plastic. Just metal parts.
Now take motor plate off and fit your motor. Do not tighten the screws all the way, just hand tight for now. You will need to loosen them later to fit your mesh properly. The only thing that you need to ensure at this point is that the wires are going to be able to reach the 3 in 1 board without making contact with the main gear or servos. Normally the motor wires will come out the left side of the frame, wrap around the front, and join your ESC on the right edge of the 3 in 1 board. Also some screws maybe too long for the mounting plate. This is a good time to check that by pinching the plate and top of the motor. The motor will turn easily if the screws are the right size. If they are too long, then the motor will bind and will not allow you to turn it. If you find the screws are too long simply trim a small portion at the end or add the washers that are included with most motors.
Now I am going to move onto the 2.3g servos. The wires are longer than normal so first we shorten them. Put them to each part of the frame where they are going to belong and measure how long the wires should be. Cut them to length leaving a little slack. Then cut the excess off the plug end to solder back onto the servo wires. I use clear heat shrink with connections like this, so that I can see if the connections are broken in the future easier. Very good for troubleshooting.
Blade mCP X Parallel Charging Boards
There are two great options for you if you own an actual battery charger other than making your own charging adapter. Your first option is Hyperion six port charge adapter, that connects to your battery charger with bullet connectors and allows you to charge six Blade mCP X batteries quickly and accurately at one time. This is a very good charging adapter that is very durable. The only thing you need to know is that after some use you will need to secure the foam on the bottom of the board with glue. It will start to separate with time.
Now if you own both a Blade Nano CP X and a Blade mCP X, then there is a great option available to you. Ep Buddy has created this paraboard for both heli’s giving you the ability to charge 12 batteries total, at one time. That’s right, charge up to six Nano CP X and six mCP X batteries quickly and safely at one time. This paraboard is a 1S charging beast. I believe the image speaks for itself. I have two that I have been using non-stop for months and the board is extremely durable. You will need to re-enforce the connectors with glue thought. They do come loose after repeated usage.