Update: Range extended from 90ft to 240ft!
I’ve had this lil drone for the past year but didn’t play with it that much. The drone is incredibly cheap at only £12, it a hexacopter and perfect for beginners and still fun for intermediate. They have different modes, it starts in beginners which is slow and leisurely. Tap the left button and you get medium mode which does increase the speed enough that if it is windy the drone is controllable. Extreme mode is crazy, the thing moves so damn fast that you could race these things. Link to an ebay seller I have not used but has good scores. If you want the US site just change the link from ebay.co.uk to ebay.com that will show the same item on your native site. Works with all countries.
Lately I have taken a liking to it and in the future hope to get a micro fpv camera for it. Live streaming the camera view to my phone, however that costs around £25/€30/$31 (13th April 2017). It would be useful for my zmr250 though which I have an FPV setup for but that could be moved to my F450 instead.
So what is the mod gonna do, well it will boost the range that the drone can fly. It was previously around 30 meters but can now go up to around 100 meters! No soldering or parts required! The antennas inside the drone is perfectly okay but the plastic shell is interfering with the signal. Pro tip the antenna is called a receiver and known as a RX. I first took apart the entire drone by removing all screws. You can now lift the bottom section off, nothing is attached to that section. The top part you will have to push the motors gently through their setting. If the drone is the right way up, gently push down to slide it out the bottom. BE CAREFUL!!! The wires are very fragile!!!
Now you will want to take the three screws out of the main board which attaches it to the top section. Once you do this remove the board and motors. You can now see the antenna which is just folded down to fit into the case. GENTLY bend it up and make sure you do not snap it, if you do then good luck soldering it lol. Once in position mark off where you want to make the whole in the top. Something I learnt from this is the placement must not be too close to the prop!! I did not think of this so mine is a lil close but simply bending it back a lil ensures it does not come into contact. I used my (fiance’s) trusty miniature hand crank drill to make a large enough hole for it to easily slip through.
Before putting it back together I used my sexy liquid electrical tape, this stuff is absolutely awesome! I sacrificed a makeup brush to paint on the tape which dries within a few min, you can keep applying layers if needed. I find it fantastic for my larger drones on the ETC and XT60 solder points. Adding a bit to the hole so when the antenna is press through it seals up the hole to make sure no lil spot of water goes down to short it out. I added some to the other points it can cause an issue as well, better safe than sorry. Especially at the battery connector! When reassembling the drone, remember to keep an eye on the wire inside the arms. I caught a few out without realising. Once done you have increased the range, however to really push the range you need to work on the transmitter. Exactly the same style antenna as well.
Now on we move to the remote! This antenna for the remote is exactly the same as the drone RX. Protip the remote is called a transmitter and is known as a TX. This one is a little harder to take apart. Firstly remove batteries and place it with the switches down. Remove the three screws at the back. The battery cables are attached to the board so be careful. The board is held in by the switches, pull straight up. It may take a lil tug to get it out, the power switch will fall off the front as it is not attached to the frame. Now you will see the antenna. Fold it up gently and mark the location for it to go through. I found the perfect spot is the corner of the bezel. It fits through perfectly. The left and right keys are fiddly but not that hard to put back together. Reseal and in my case I added some liquid electrical tape over the hole. Poof you now have extended the distance you can fly! Have fun 🙂