Micro Mosquito & FireFly March 30, 2007
Manufactured by Interactive Toy Concepts Ltd. and part of the Bladerunner Series of RC helicopters, the Firefly and Micro Mosquito are two of the most popular mini indoor RC helicopters on the market today. We hope this FAQ and troubleshooting guide will help you diagnose any problems you may encounter with your favorite little RC heli. If you require spare parts we sell a complete selection of spare parts for both the Micro Mosquito and Firefly on our Web site or you can order by phone by calling 1-800-979-9794 / 306-955-9907.
How much space do I need to fly my Firefly or Micro Mosquito?
At least a mid size living room, clear of any obstructions is needed. Be sure to keep the Firefly or Micro Mosquito away from walls, ceiling and other fixtures. Because of the aerodynamics of the rotors the Firefly or Micro Mosquito will seem to get sucked towards any obstacle/wall if it gets too close.
What about fans, air conditioners, vents and windows?
The Firefly or Micro Mosquito is very light weight and hence sensitive to wind, any air movement from heating vents, fans, windows, etc will make it more difficult to control.
Can I fly outdoors?
The Firefly and Micro Mosquito are indoor helicopters. The same innovations that make it super stable also makes it easily effected by wind and turbulence. Even the calmest out door day has wind that will effect the Firefly or Micro Mosquito’s performance.
The Rotors are tilted an not level, is this okay?
When the rotors are not spinning it is normal for the rotors to rest in a tilted position. This is normal even if they are properly balanced. In hover the rotors will level out; however, in moving flight the lower rotor will usual tilt sideways due to aerodynamic and gyroscopic forces and is necessary to maintain stability.
Repairing the rotor blades.
Repairing the rotor blades is possible. Buy Firefly or Micro Mosquito Rotor Blades.
If the ring broken Replace with new rotor – spare parts kit available separately If the blades are broken or cracked Use clear tape to fix. Hold the broken or cracked blades in the correct position and using as little tape as possible, secure the rotor together. Trim or fold over any extra tape. If too much tape is used it will throw out the balance and hinder your stable flight If the centre (head) is broken Replace with new rotor – spare part kit available separately Bent or deformed center (head) Use some force to permanently bend it back again NOTE: Be careful to not destroy the hinges, the rotor must be able to tilt absolutely freely (when you tap on it, it should tilt up and down for at least 2 seconds before it comes to rest again – if this is not the case the helicopter will be unstable and start to oscillate)
Replacing the rotor blades
Rotor Replacement kits are available for the Firefly or Micro Mosquito and have detailed instruction to replace the rotors.
The top rotor will not side on the rotor shaft.
The upper rotor has been keyed to match the D shape of the drive shaft. When replacing the upper rotor you must ensure to orient it properly so that the D shape of the rotor’s central opening matches the D shaped drive shaft.
The Firefly or Micro Mosquito tips over during take off.
Launch the Firefly or Micro Mosquito from hard flat surfaces only. When taking off briskly move the throttle stick forward to get the Firefly or Micro Mosquito airborne quickly. Letting the helicopter sit on the ground with the rotors spinning will almost always result in the helicopter tipping over.
How long will the Firefly or Micro Mosquito Fly?
This is very dependent on the condition of the battery and how you are flying the Firefly or Micro Mosquito. Typical flight times are between 8 and 10 minutes. Should you be able to fly over 10 minutes you should land and let your motors cool down to ensure you do not burn them out, this will ensure many more fun flights.
How long does it take to charge the Firefly or Micro Mosquito?
This depends on the condition of the charger batteries (the six C sized alkaline cells) and the condition of the helicopter battery. After a long flight of 10 minutes or more it can take 30 to 45 minutes to fully recharge the battery. If the charge batteries are old, performed multiple charges, or been used in other product then the charge time can be longer. If the charge time becomes excessive or you are having short flights from a charge replace your charger’s batteries with new alkaline batteries. You can purchase an AC adapter so you don’t need the 6 C batteries in the charger/base station. This will ensure you always get a full charge.
What if I disconnect the Firefly or Micro Mosquito before the charge is complete?
Stopping a charge cycle before it is finished will not effect the helicopter battery or the charger, it is just like not completely filling a car’s gas tank. Just like the car will not drive a far before running out of gas if the tank is not full, the Firefly or Micro Mosquito will not fly as long if the charge is stopped early.
Why does my controller (transmitter) light flash when I turn the ON/OFF switch to ON?
The helicopter is programmed with a safety feature that helps prevent damage to the helicopter. When the controller is turned on the helicopter will not respond to it until the helicopter control is initialized. To do this you must cycle the throttle from 0% to 100% to 0%, at which point the LED will stop flashing and be steady. The flashing is to remind you that the speed control is not initialized.
Firefly or Micro Mosquito has a lost or broken leg
Buy a replacement body or use clear tape or Crazy glue to reattach the broken leg (under adult supervision). If the leg is lost then try to use a piece of the plastic tube from a Q-tip to replace the broken part of the leg (plus a little glue). If you lost the leg use a piece of the plastic tube from a Q-tip to replace the broken part of the leg and glue in place.
Micro Mosquito has a broken tail rotor
Buy a new Micro Mosquito tail rotor. Simply pull off the broken propeller and press on the new one.
Micro Mosquito tail motor quit working
Buy a replacement body or remove the propeller and add a little weight to the front e.g. a metal paper clip attached to the motors (hold by the motor magnet) to get a slow constant forward speed.
Loose / Broken Firefly or Micro Mosquito tail boom
Buy a replacement body. The tail boom will normally not break under normal operations, it requires excessive force or misuse to break the tail boom. If the tail boom has a loose connection with the body glue the boom to the body without pulling it out first. NOTE: be careful as there are two very thin wires for the tail motor going inside the boom, the thin wires can be damaged.
Firefly or Micro Mosquito motor gears / pinions not meshing
The upper motor pinion should mesh with the upper large gear, and the lower motor pinion should mesh with the lower large gear. If either of these does not, carefully guide the large gear over the lip on the small gear, until the gears mesh properly. If your gears are broken purchase our rotor shaft and drive gears combo. If you lost your motor pinions purchase new ones.
Firefly / Micro Mosquito Troubleshooting Table
|Helicopter will not start, LED on helicopter is off||
|Helicopter will not start, LED on helicopter is ON||
|Helicopter is flying too high||
|Helicopter is flying too low||
|The Helicopter does not hover||
|Helicopter does not move fast enough||
|The Helicopter always spins in hover||
Need Replacement Parts?
Draganfly Innovations Inc. sells replacement parts for your Firefly or Micro Mosquito. We have a complete line of replacement parts available through our Web site or by calling 1-800-979-9794 / 306-955-9907.
Product Announcements March 26, 2007
The new Thunder Power EZP-V1.10 eZ Programmer revolutionizes the way you program you electronic speed control. Not only do you no longer need to use your transmitter stick to program your ESC, but you can do so without a computer either. The Thunder Power eZ Programmer lets you view and change the setting of your Thunder Power ESCs, and features easy to see LEDs and a simple to use push button interface.
- Size: 83.5mm x 50.5mm x 6.3mm
- Weight: 24g
Allows the following parameters to be set:
- Battery Type: Li-Po/Li-Ion, NiCd/NiMH
- Cut Off Type: Soft-Cut, Cut-Off
- Governor Mode: On, Off
- Cut Off Voltage: Low, Middle, High
- Start Mode: Normal, Soft, Very Soft
- Timing Mode: Low, Middle, High
- Brake: Off, Soft, Hard
- PWM Frequency: Low, Middle, High
For use with Thunder Power Brushless Electronic Speed Controls, such as:
- TPE-18BSG3 (TPE-18SGB3)
- TPE-25BSG3 (TPE-25SGB3)
- TPE-30BSG3 (TPE-30SGB3)
- TPE-30BSG4 (TPE-30SGB4)
- TPE-40BSG4 (TPE-40SGB4)
- TPE-40BSG5 (TPE-40SGB5)
- TPE-60BSG5 (TPE-60SGB5)
- TPE-60BSG6 (TPE-60SGB6)
- TPE-80BSG6 (TPE-80SGB6)
- TPE-40P6 (TPE-40OPT6)
- TPE-60P6 (TPE-60OPT6)
- TPE-60P12 (TPE-60OPT12)
- TPE-80P6 (TPE-80OPT6)
- TPE-80P12 (TPE-100OPT12)
- TPE-100P12 (TPE-100OPT12)
Download the Thunder Power EZ ESC Programmer Manual:
Thank you for purchasing the Thunder Power eZ Programmer program card for brushless motor Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC). With this device, you can easily set the programmable value of the ESC. Now you can just forget the complicated and boring programming method using the throttle stick on your transmitter.
This program card is very easy to use, and it is as small as a business card, so you can put it in your pocket when you are in the field.
- SIZE: 83.5mm x 50.5mm x 6.3mm
- WEIGHT: 24g
- Use “Up/Down” button to select each programmable item, use “Left/Right” button to select item value, use “Reset” to set each of the programmable values to the ESC’s default values;
- Battery Type: Li-xx means lithium battery (Li-ion or Li-Po), Ni-xx means NiMh or NiCd battery;
- Cut Off Type: Soft-Cut means the controller will gradually reduce the output power when the low voltage cutoff threshold is reached, Cut-Off means the output will be immediately shut down;
- Governor Mode: It is a special function of the controller for helicopters;
- Cutoff Voltage：Refers to the Low Voltage Cutoff Protection Threshold.
- For Li-xx battery (Li-ion or Li-Po)，number of battery cells are calculated automatically，Low / Middle / High cutoff voltage of each cell are: 2.75V/3.0V/3.25V. Example: For a 3 cell Li-Po battery pack, when “Middle” cutoff voltage is set, the cutoff voltage is: 3.0 x 3 = 9V. WARNING: We highly recommend that Li-xx batteries not be allowed to discharge below 3.0V, or damage will occur to the battery.
- For Ni-xx battery (NiCd or NiMh), Low / Middle / High cutoff voltages are 0%/50%/65% of the startup voltage (i.e. the initial voltage of battery pack when the model is power on), and 0% means low voltage cutoff function is disabled. Example: For a 6 cell NiMh battery pack, fully charged voltage is 1.44 x 6 = 8.64V, when “Middle” cutoff voltage is set, the cutoff voltage is : 8.64 x 50% = 4.3V。(Remark: For TPE-40BG4 ESC, the Low / Medium / High cutoff voltage for each Ni-xx battery cell is 0%/45%/60%)
- Start Mode: Usually, Normal is suitable for fixed wing aircraft; Soft and Very Soft are suitable for helicopters;
- Timing Mode: Please choose the suitable timing value for your motor to get the best driving performance : Low = 0degree Middle = 15degree High = 25degree
- Brake: Hard means the motor will be stopped immediately when throttle stick is moved to bottom; Soft means the braking force is gradual.
- PWM Frequency: Low is suitable for most brushless motors; Middle is recommended for low inductance motors; High is recommended for very low inductance motors.
- Disconnect the main battery pack from ESC;
- Disconnect the controlling cable of ESC (trio wires) from receiver, then connect it to the 3 pins on the top right position of program card (The 3 pins marked with “ESC”) ;
- Connect the main battery pack to ESC;
- The LEDs on the program card will light, showing the current programmable value of the ESC;
WARNING: THE SEQUENCE OF STEP 2 AND STEP 3 IS IMPORTANT!
Please connect the controlling cable to program card first, and then connect the main battery pack to the ESC power input (for ESC with built-in BEC). Otherwise, the program card cannot work properly.
Press “Up/Down” button to select the programmable item; the corresponding LED will flash. Then press “Left/Right” button to select the item value; when the button is released, the current setting is immediately stored in the ESC.
Use a program card to program the ESC of OPTO:
If the ESC is “OPTO” type, which means the ESC does not have a built-in BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit), and you must use a battery pack to power the program card (such as your receiver pack). In such a case, please connect the receiver pack to the 3 pins on the top right position of program card (The 3 pins marked with “Batt.”)
WARNING: You must connect the additional battery pack to the program card before connecting the main battery pack to the ESC; the sequence can not be reversed.
This program card is ONLY suitable for THUNDER POWER ESCs. Ask your retailer for detailed product information for other brands. Some types of ESCs do not have all the functions listed on the panel of program card; in such a case, the value changing of these function items on program card has no effect to the ESC.
Buy the new Thunder Power ESC Easy Programmer from your favorite Thunder Power RC distributor, Draganfly Innovations Inc. www.RCToys.com. Don’t forget Draganfly Innovations has FREE Shipping on all Thunder Power products!
Bladerunner March 23, 2007
Many people have asked us how to replace the Bladerunner internal flight battery on their Bladerunner RC Helicopters. Over time the Bladerunner lipo battery will lose it’s ability to fully recharge and will need to be replaced. We sell OEM factory replacement lipoly batteries for your Bladerunner RC helicopter as well as and after market upgraded version that gives you almost twice the flight time.
Once you are sure the Bladerunner’s battery needs to be replaced it is a fairly simple process. You will need a soldering iron, some solder and a few pieces of tape. This is the best way to install a new battery for a Bladerunner I and a Bladerunner II RC Helicopters:
- To install a new battery you will need to remove the body from the helicopter to access the internal components.
- The Bladerunner will have either a foam or plastic body which will have to be cut to remove it.
- The foam body will have a vertical seam which can be cut open with either a hobby or utility knife.
- The plastic body can be cut open either at the horizontal seam at the bottom or by cutting it vertically front to back.
- Once the body is removed you will find the battery near the front of the helicopter it is flat and silver, approximately 2″x 1.5″ in size.
- There will be two wires connecting the battery to the main circuit board, these will need to be un-soldered from the battery.
- With these wires removed the battery can be taken out of the helicopter, it is held in with a few pieces of clear tape that can be cut or peeled off.
- The replacement battery can be held in with any kind of tape.
- When soldering the new battery the power wires please ensure that the red wire is connected to the battery terminal labeled with the “+” and the black wire is to the terminal labeled with a “-”. Connecting this backwards will cause damage to the battery and circuit board. Be careful to not short out the two battery terminals as it will damage the battery and may cause fire.
- You will notice that the original battery also had a small circuit board connected to it, this is to prevent an overdischarge on the battery. It is not necessary on the new battery however it can be soldered and applied to the new replacement battery to help prevent damage.
- Once the battery is in place the body can be re-installed using scotch tape or glue.
- Remove the semi transparent stopper from the top of the rotor shaft.
- The top rotor, the 2 spacers, and the bottom rotor should pull off the rotor shaft from the top.
- Install your new bottom rotor. It will be the rotor with the longer stem at the bottom with the notch in it. It will mesh with the gear that sticks out.
- Slide on your spacers.
- Slide on your top rotor. There is a notch in the rotor, so make sure it lines up with the rotor shaft.
- Put on the stopper tube, and you are ready to fly!
Hint, Keep all small items in a small bowl or jar so you can find them again and they don’t get lost.
Bladerunner March 20, 2007
If the bottom rotor blade on your Bladerunner RC helicopter is not spinning we can help you find the cause. The most popular reason is your rotor shaft is loose and the gears are not meshing together.
How to check if your Bladerunner’s rotor shaft is loose
You can check to see if your main rotor shaft is loose by firmly grasping the helicopter on the top and bottom of the canopy and moving the rotor shaft up and down. There should be at the most 1/16th of an inch of movement of the rotor shaft. If there is no play the rotor shaft, it will not spin freely. You can tighten up the rotor shaft by gently pushing down on the top of the main gears inside of the canopy while supporting the base of the rotor shaft on the corner of a table. If you tighten up the rotor shaft too much, and it does not spin freely, you can loosen it up by pushing down on the bottom of the helicopter (when it is upside down) while supporting the rotor shaft on a solid surface.
Where to find Bladerunner Replacement Parts
Draganfly Innovations Inc. sells Bladerunner RC helicopter replacement parts. Shop online or order by phone 1-800-979-9794.
Bladerunner March 20, 2007
If the top rotor blade on your Bladerunner RC helicopter is not spinning we can help you find the cause. The two most popular causes are:
- your main rotor shaft is loose and the gears are not meshing properly
- a gear has fallen out of place inside your helicopter
First, check to see if your main rotor shaft is loose
You can do this by firmly grasping the helicopter on the top and bottom of the Bladerunner’s canopy and moving the rotor shaft up and down. There should be at the most 1/16th of an inch play. If there is no play the rotor shaft will not spin freely. You can tighten up the rotor shaft by gently pushing down on the top of the main gears while supporting the base of the rotor shaft on the corner of a table. If you tighten up the rotor shaft too much, and it does not spin freely, you can loosen it off by pushing down on the bottom of the main helicopter while supporting the rotor shaft on a solid surface.
If the top rotor still doesn’t spin
If the rotor shaft is in proper position and the top rotor still does not spin, then there is a gear inside of your helicopter which has popped loose. To repair this, you will have to remove the canopy. To remove the canopy, cut off the seam joining the top and bottom parts of the canopy. You should now be able to remove the canopy from the helicopter. You should now see a gear that has fallen loose, as well as a small metal pin which holds the gear in place. Using a piece of sandpaper, roughen up the bottom of the pin then use a small drop of glue to help hold the pin in place. You can now put the canopy back on using a few small pieces of scotch tape.
Finding Bladerunner RC Helicopter Replacement Parts
Draganfly Innovations Inc. carries a full line of replacement parts for your Bladerunner RC helicopter. Shop online or order by phone 1-800-979-9794.
This Bladerunner spinning/rotating problem is due to the torque created by the spinning rotor blades and an imbalance in the pitch of the Bladerunner’s rotors. Since all Bladerunner series RC helicopters use the same general design of rotor blades (although different sizes) these instructions can be used for Bladerunner, Micro Mosquito and FireFly. If the rotor blades are not matched exactly, the helicopter will spin in one direction. This can usually be fixed by adjusting the trim on the transmitter.
If the Bladerunner RC helicopter continues to spin with the trim fully maxed out, you can remedy this easily:
Bladerunner Spins to the Left:
If the helicopter is spinning to the left, you will have to adjust the top rotor blades by bending more pitch into them. This is done by carefully bending the trailing (back) edge of the individual blades down.
Bladerunner Spins to the Right:
If the helicopter is spinning to the right, you can adjust the bottom rotor blades by bending more pitch into those blades. Use very light pressure to gradually bend the blades.
We also sell replacement rotor blades for all makes of Bladerunners.