04 April, 2013

Airsoft Glock 18C NiMh to LiPo permanent hybrid conversion.

You might have read my first LiPo conversion project where I used the NiMh battery connector wired to a JST power connector to make my Cyma 030 (Glock 18C) run on LiPo batteries. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do as there is some background that I will not explain again here.

Again, I am not claiming to pioneer this process, just logging my experiences.

This second post describes my adventures in converting both a CYMA Glock and a Tokyo Marui Glock. Some of the pictures are of the CYMA and some are of the TM, but the process was the exact same for both.

I decided that I would prefer a more permanent connection by directly soldering the JST power connector directly into the wiring of the Glock. This would give a more reliable connection. I did not like the solder joints that I had made onto the stainless steel contacts of the NiMh battery connector in the previous project.

You are probably thinking that soldering the JST power connector would involve a significant strip down of the AEP. Not so, in fact all I had to do was remove and made a minor modification to one part.

For reference here is what I made in the first project. It is the NiMh battery connector soldered to a JST Power (female) connector. The solder is reinforced with blobs of epoxy resin.
The JST leads soldered to the NiMh battery connector.
I wanted to solder the JST leads directly to the wiring of the Glock. To do this I only need to remove one part which is an internal cover. This cover is attached by three screws, one of which is longer than the other two. I used a PZ0 screwdriver to remove the screws on my CYMA and a PZ000 screwdriver to remove the screws on my Tokyo Marui Glock.
The internal cover (CYMA)
With the cover removed I carefully peeled back the heat-shrink and soldered the red wire of the JST power connector to the solder joint where the NiMh battery connects to the AEP.
Soldered positive terminal (CYMA)
Then I flipped the AEP over and soldered the negative terminal. The photo below shows the soldered negative wire. You will notice that the wire runs outside of the battery eject lever with the Q.C. sticker. In order to close the slide I had to put the black wire on the inside of this lever. Otherwise it will be nipped by the slide. 
Soldered negative terminal (CYMA)
Ok, the last thing I had to do in this simple project is to make a minor modification to the internal cover I removed so that the new wires can pass into the battery compartment. To achieve this I simply cut off 4mm (1/8") on each side of the cover with strong scissors.
Snip, snip! (CYMA)
Then it is a matter of screwing this cover back on.
Internal cover on and battery fitted. (TM)
And from the other side.
Note that the black wire runs inside of the battery release. (TM)
I have described this as a permanent conversion, but it might be more realistic to describe this as a hybrid, because I could still use a NiMh battery in this AEP. So long as I was not stupid enough to fit a LiPo and a NiMh battery at the same time everything will work with either battery type. But of course, why would I want to use a NiMh again, when I have the punch of the LiPo?
The NiMh fitted and tested after conversion. (TM)
Another simple project complete with a great improvement in performance. Of course if you are going to sell your AEP on to a NiMh fan, you can always unsolder the JST power connector.

Finally, for those of you who would like to see the trades on the Tokyo Marui Glock...
Left side (TM)
Right side (TM)
Thanks for reading.


Q. Is the TM worth the extra money?
A. Well I don't really do reviews, but since I own both and can do a side by side comparison I would say yes it is for me. I have also heard anecdotally that the CYMA is more leaky due to the lesser build quality and that parts get loose, but have no evidence of that. The TM does have nice trades, if you are into that sort of thing but this is a fixed slide AEP. If you want realism you would surely be better off with a GBB pistol?
I would expect that the TM has a superior hop, with my previous experience of my other TM weapons. It feels slightly more robust in the hand, the slide and mag make nicer 'click' sounds when they are seated, a sign of build quality and finishing. On the other hand the CYMA is perfectly acceptable, if you are looking for a close quarters pistol that is reliable in colder weather and don't want to spend around twice the price for something which feels 25% better. This is all very subjective. That's why I don't do reviews...usually. ;)