Friday, 31 July 2015

More Motor Mods: Banshee'd Rapid Red, Bladed Rapidstrike

Couple more motor mods I've done. Now that all of these are done, I can keep working on my Bullpup Rapidstrike.
The Rapid Red is using Banshee 130s (with the intension of using Meishels, which as far as I can tell perform pretty much the same), sort of in a tribute to Meishel. Has standard rewire and uses a LiPo.
The RR uses the same 2S 800mAh 40C as my E.Rayven and RapidPDW, so I went ahead and bought a second one of the same LiPo. Conveniently at the time I ordered my third batch of LiPos of this 2S and the new 2S for my Blade RS all the LiPos I ordered were on sale.
The LiPo is a little tight fit in the cleared out battery bay so it takes a little shuffling to get the LiPo and the wires to fit in properly. When done properly it fits cleanly though.
One rather important mod I made to mine, a dart stop. It stops the top dart from popping out, and also pushes the top dart back in if it's popped out slightly. I've done a slightly modified version on my Stryfe and E.Rayven, which instead have the dart stop attached to the jam door.

The Rapid Red has seen use already at Melbourne HvZ, before implementing the dart stop, and performed brilliantly. It was smooth, sleek, light and very easy to use, nabbing me a lot of nice tags. The only issue I had with it was a dart popping up too high causing a jam and getting me nommed.
Performance wise the Rapid Red is reasonably accurate and quite powerful, probably as expected. The foam residue is yet to fully build up so there's still a little room to improve.
For me the Rapid Red is just superior in trigger pull and overall feel to a stockless Stryfe, though in fairness the Rapid Red's unusually small handle is a little annoying.
I'd run the Rapid Red if I wanted to run a full Rebelle loadout, or if I wanted to run light and fast.

Previously my Rapidstrike was running a triplet of Falcons, which performed very well. ROF of around 9dps, firepower beyond most of the blasters I've used, and very fast rev-up faster than anything I'd seen before. However I wanted to use the Falcons for my Bullpup Rapidstrike (for which the 3S fits perfectly), I'd obtained a whole bunch of cheap Blade 180s and the Rapidstrike is the most appropriate blaster for Blades, given it needs the torque even more than semi autos. Alongside switching the Falcons for Blades though,
the RS needs a few extra alterations.
Here's the motors in question, Blade 180s, more technically known as Mabuchi FK180-SH 3240s. I was able to obtain about 10 of them for 6AUD each including shipping, 3 of them going to a friend.
Note that these Blades cannot be inserted straight into a blaster, due to the extra stuff all over the motors. There are a number of capacitors and a few wires that need to be desoldered, which is not a difficult task, but is a little annoying. However the part that presents the most issue is the pinion, a small gear that is fit very tightly onto the axle of the motor. It can't easily be brute forced off, so to be easily removed without specialised tools, the pinion must first heated up so it expands and loosens, at which point it can be removed easily. I used my soldering iron since it was already set up, and pulled the pinions off using a combination of a small flat head screwdriver and a set of pliers.

Here's the 2S LiPo I chose to run my Bladed Rapidstrike, a 2200mAh 40C. It's probably overkill even for 3 Blades, considering their stall current at 7.4V is ~22A each, but I wanted to have some excess in case some even better and more current hungry motor showed up. Though realistically you won't get any noticeable improvement over 2S Blades using the stock cage and flies from a single stage flywheeler.
Even with this significantly larger LiPo, it fits easily inside the Rapidstrike's cleaned out battery bay.

Being that the Blade 180 motors are a little longer than 130 motors (the motor size of stock Nerf motors), a few shell modifications are required. On top of cutting holes for the motors to fit, I also had to get some motor covers.
Here's the hole I cut for the pusher. I based it off of a 19mm hole, then shaved out with a dremel. I didn't bother cleaning it up because it's going to be obscured by the motor cover anyway.
Here's my motor holes for the flywheel motors. Again, didn't bother cleaning it up since it's gonna be covered by motor covers.
Since my Rapidstrike was rewired for Falcons already, all I needed to do electrically with the circuit was desolder the Falcons and solder on the Blades. So here's the Rapidstrike with the motor covers mounted. I used a set of BSUK printed motor covers, bought via BlasterTech (mini review to come soon). I like the orange highlight of the motor cover, but the shade is not the same as Nerf orange. The blue pusher motor cover blends in fairly well, though the blue is not the same as RS blue, and it cuts through the orange stripe as well.

When I first tried out Falcons in a Rapidstrike, I was amazed at the spin up time and ROF. With the Blades, the feeling is similar but somewhat diluted coming from Falcons to Blades, instead of Tamiyas and stock to Falcons. Blade spin up time is ridiculously fast, so fast that in the time that a stock blaster revs up, you can rev up a Bladed RS and empty half (if not all) of an 18 clip (mag). They sound like they have a similar maximum RPM to Falcons, while spinning up faster, which agrees with this motor database maintained by some NIC members. ROF of the Bladed RS sounds similar to when it was Falconed, verified by an upcoming short video.
Running the Bladed RS on a 3S is crazy, the flywheels reach earsplitting aircraft takeoff volume, and the pusher takes off at insane speeds and goes runaway. I probably won't be running the RS on 3S since the FPS gain is minimal and the ROF becomes uncontrollable.
I'm very happy with how the Bladed RS turned out, and will hopefully be getting some action with it at the upcoming MHvZ event on the 8th of August.


  1. Nice mod 180 motors sure do it. btw any recommendations on 130 size motors that have almost as much uumph?? Got a rebelle rapid red and want to mod it for a female friend with minimal shell modification.

    1. MTB Rhino 130s perform like Falcon 130s, which perform almost as well as 180s. You'll need to run them on a 3S LiPo (or similar high performance battery pack) for best performance.
      An alternative if you can find them are Meishel/Banshee 130s, which run on a 2S and get glass ceiling velocities, but spin up slowly compared to Falcons/Rhinos/180s. I've got a pair in my Rapid Red and they run great.