IMG_4596

 

 

 

 

After few flights, I really impressed from the outdoor performance of X5C.
The range is still a problem after Transmitter Antenna Hack but enough for small fields and short range video transmitters.

Fortunately, I found a lot of cheap low res. cameras and video transmitter modules in my boxes. And a switching step-up voltage supply to stabilize the input voltage.

IMG_4576

After first tests, I realized the direct battery connection is impossible for X5C because of very high noise ratio by brushed motors.  So, I removed the step-up converter and isolated the FPV circuit with an additional battery.

Camera has connected to 5.8ghz 100mW video transmitter module. Also I found a big tantalum capacitor and soldered it to the power inputs of the module.

I used 27mm long a piece of silicon battery wire as whip antenna.

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There is perfect space for the camera  in front of battery compartment. I cut the hole with exacto knife and glued the camera there with contact adhesive.  The contact adhesives are better than CA or epoxy for this kind of soft and vibrating frames.

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I found some small 120mA 1S lipo batteries and connectors. This battery is perfect for ~20 minutes FPV and weight is only few grams.
I used the ventilation holes of the frame for battery cables and antenna.

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Woow! it looks like a real drone :)

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As you can see, I removed the original digital camera of X5C from battery door.
After few FPV flight I realized, the camera weight is not changing the flight time.
So, I attached the digital camera to record FPV flights.

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Good thing about that, The Quadrocopter is only 100gr with Digital camera recorder + FPV gear.
So, You can not hurt anyone with it.  And it is almost  indestructible.

What is next ?
I’m thinking about it, may be I will replace the flight controller with APM auto pilot. 😉

 

Hi Eveyone,

Today I have tried to install a DroneThermal thermal camera to my  X5C and I faced with a power problem for my FPV gear. The quadrocopter body has a lot of small screws and I don’t want to open it for only a power connection. So the camera was better option.

At first I have removed the camera from battery hatch.

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the camera is really small and well designed. I like it.

 

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I have soldered an old servo cable as power cord(signal wire stripped off)

 

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then assembled the parts.

 

 

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That’s all. Now I have a battery extension for my FPV gears.

What is next?
Visit 5.8Ghz FPV Modification page  for my Poorman’s FPV Platform.

final transmitter

Syma X5C is almost perfect flight machine. I’m really happy to see someone made lightweight (<100gr) design instead of tough. This is the first rule of flight but forgotten since everyone can fly with autonomous multicopters. Just compare it with DJI Phantom. You sill understand what I mean.

After first 3 minutes flight of my Syma X5C, I realized the video/photo shutter buttons placed on wrong place.
SKU115108_55a I have turned off the transmitter in flight instead of start video. Because distance is only few millimeters between sliders.

Also the antenna is fake like almost all cheap mini rc toys.

So I have to hack it :)

Hack 1-Video Shutter

-Remove 10+ screw first,

SYMA X5C buttons  and features

 

Wow! The board design is not bad. Single side (because it’s cheap!) but very clever. Almost all buttons are using same microcontroller analog input channel with serial resistors. So just solder a switch between ground and original switch to change switch positions.

I will use this cheap and stable quadrocopter to test my micro FPV gears and I don’t need loop button. This is why I didn’t used an additional button and hacked it.
– Cut the PCB trace
– Solder a piece of wire between loop button and video start/stop button (or photo button if you wish)

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That’s all. Now I can start stop the video with one simple click without any turn-off risk.

Hack2-Antenna Upgrade

X5C has 4 powerful LED lights but the range is only few meters with this “great” antenna!
IMG_4046Yes, believe or not, the red board is 2.4ghz transmitter(!) and this wire piece is an antenna :)

Changing the transmitter module is possible but not easy and cheap. So, changing the antenna system is better idea and you don’t need good electronic skill to doing it. You just need a soldering iron and an old 2.4 antenna system from a Wifi router or old RC transmitter.

SMA to UFL Pigtail

SMA to UFL Pigtail

– Remove the original antenna(1)
– you will see a second empty gold pad under it. It is the ground plate.

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Strip off the pigtail cable shield

cable stripped

– Solder the cable core to antenna pad.
– Solder the cable shield to the ground pad.

pigtail soldered

You can place the antenna where you like.
I think, the SYMA logo plate is the best position on the transmitter because of 45 degrees angled position.

– remove the logo plate and drill a hole for antenna connector.

logo removed

– Place your antenna connector

tx inside

– Done!

sma output

final transmitter

 

Now, I have a real antenna. The range will be better but I have to upgrade the onboard antenna too for the best range.

UPDATE (19-06-2015)
I tested the quadro with modified antenna and the range around 80 meters without glitches. Here is the FPV video from Syma X5C

See you next time!

What is Next?
Poorman’s FPV Platform – 5.8ghz FPV Mod for SYMA X5C