SYMA X5C Transmitter Hack

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)

IMG_4052 copy
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.

IMG_4053

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

 

 

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this neat hack. I’ll be doing this to my X5C shortly as I want to fly a little further.

    Any plans for more blog posts? I’d like to see what more you have to say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *