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Drastically Improving the Speed, Life, and Performance of your R/C Helicopter

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   When you first by a R/C helicopter, it is fun, but you notice that it might be slow, the battery life may last a few minutes, and there might be that annoying spring that keeps the throttle down and won't let you hover.  These few problems can be cured in a few steps, drastically improving the helicopter.  

   Notice that this helicopter may not be like yours.  These mods are for the Syma S107G and they might be able to work on your helicopter.  I am not responsible for any damages, voided warranties, etc.  Please be careful when doing these mods.  Make sure that you are very good at flying your helicopter the condition you received it in.  These mods will make the helicopter harder to fly.
 
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Step 2: Removing Extra Parts

   If you look on your helicopter you will see many parts that make it look good, but it does not help it much.  Most of the removable parts are on the back end of the helicopter, which makes it slow.  Remove the bars and all the plastic pieces.  Remember to keep all of the parts and screws in case you want to put them back!  They are tiny parts and are very easy to lose. 

Step 3: Removing the LED

   You don't need to do this, but the LED has weight and it uses some of the battery power.  I didn't really care about the LED so I removed it by unscrewing the cockpit, cutting the two wires, then removed it from the cockpit.  There is also a weight there, if you want your helicopter to last longer, take it off.  If you want your helicopter to go fast, glue it back. 
citichix9 months ago
I just bought the Apex indoor RC, we can't find the on/off switch on the copter, can you help?
joran791 year ago
Did not know the idea of removal of the spring. Did it right away and it works perfect. Will not remove the wing or the LED. I like it the way it is.
rannieman1 year ago
I have a s107c and a s-3.5g extreme . I upgraded from the 150mhs batteries to 240 mhs ! I changed the blades on the extreme to the s107 style blades there shorter witch increases speed ! I took 2 1/46 oz fishing weights and super glued them in the tip of the canopy witch dips the front for more speed ! I get 9 to 11 minutes flight times ! be sure you have practice fling this does double the speed ! thank you ! hope this helps !!!!!!!
I just one of these. It's incredibly light weight and crash resistant. Once I deplete the battery on this sucker I plan on upgrading to a higher capacity battery. There's also a really good review on the tube for this chopper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4rqaNCSMf0
I just got one of these, kinda late to the game, but ... this controller does not have the spring in it.
jorgeneo5602 years ago
its not so easy like removing unesential parts, yes its dead weight that consumes a lot of power, but removing parts will change the gravity center and make it more unstable that really are, plus make it more vulnerable to wind, with having more weight its more dificult to the wind change it course, in hobby rc or common side rc planes/helicopters the gravity center and weight its the diference between a lot of fun and 1 flight, plus ask to anybody that flys planes or helicopters will say that big airplanes are more easy than the litte ones, the stability and reaction are more soft in bigger airplanes than in smallest, if you wanna remove weight the first thing you need to do is locate the gravity center with all parts, remove parts and try to moving the battery foward and backward to re aling the center of gravity, without this, it will be more dificult to control and unstablle
Yep.
These little guys are already made with the minimal parts needed. The little rails on the tail relieve the stress on the tail boom attach point. Taking them off will make it more likely to shear the boom off in a crash that otherwise would be uneventful.

As to center of gravity, yep, you will screw up the balance by changing the weight configuration. But sometimes you can counteract that by setting the trim on the transmitter to compensate if the change in center isn't too much. It doesn't take much of a change though to throw these off kilter.

If you want to lift a cam, Syma, among others, makes some pretty inexpensive 3 channel helis you can find on sale for not much more than these little guys cost. They're big enough to lift the teensy DVR cams around. You won't get much quality, but they're fun to mess with.
The tail is attached by a single-axis joint, so unless it hits exactly 90 degrees square to the tail joint, the tail will move up or down (if there is even enough force to move it in the first place). The support is there to prevent the joint from coming loose during flight and swiveling up into the main rotor blades.

There is no "trim" on the control to counterbalance a nose-tail unbalance, only a left/right turn trim is available. But like I said in my other post, the chassis is already off-balance enough that when the parts removed in this "instructable" are disassembled, the model is actually MORE balanced than Out-of-the-Box.

You are def. right about getting one of the larger models for lifting "things", haha. Not to mention, the larger models would have a better "stabilization" no matter what you do to these smaller models....But these small ones are mighty fun, haha!!!
It actually IS as easy as removing unessential parts. This RC model is about 7 inches long from nose to tail, with a (roughly) 7-3/4 inch main rotor span (w/ 2 main rotars). Even Out-of-the-Box, this thing isn't completely balanced! The parts that have been removed in this "instructable" are SOOO light that they would not really matter anyways, but this RC model is "tail-heavy" to begin with....

The thin plastic pieces weigh about as much as the lint/dust/dirt/fibers that accumulate on the chassis and rotors. The "bulk" is in the 2 THIN metal rods connecting to the tail (and is it not really "bulk" at all). And by removing them, the center of gravity is actually moved towards the main rotor shaft, so it's better than originally.

As for the wind....this thing is already sooo light that pretty much any wind at all will take it off course (I'm talking about a ceiling fan on LOW). The plastic parts that were removed had almost no effect on the wind-resistant mass of the model (too light). In fact, what removing the plastic panels did was reduce the surface area of the aircraft, therefore reducing wind-related control issues.

I also can't tell if you fly real aircraft, or just models, but I'm sure that flying a larger "model" is easier due to the lag-enhancing mass of the model. However, flying the real thing (I've never flown a helicopter, only fixed-wing), the SMALLER the EASIER! It's like comparing a Go-Kart to a Semi-Truck....It's easier to keep a Go-Kart in one lane than a Semi-Truck (regardless of the wind...there's more room for error).

Your weight-shifting recommendations won't help with stability....It only hurts the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft.

I'm sorry, but your attempt at making this person's plan look bad is kind of, well, a bad attempt. Good "Instructable" dude!!!!!
I agree, I just performed this mod on my 'copter and it seemed to throw the weight forward. I am thinking I will reassemble the machine and see if I am loopy or it did change the center that much.
Bonitadude2 years ago
Mine goes up down hovers nicely spins around while it hovers and gets blown off course by the slightest breeze but I can not figure how to get it to move in the direction i want. How do you get the nose to dip slightly so it goes forward like a real copter?
Buy a 4 channel helicopter.
elic2 years ago
Good day
Instead of gluing the led to get speed, I read that it's possible to move the battery back and forward to improve the hovering. Tacking it forward, also get a higher speed without the extra weight of the led.
Much more about the power consumption than the weight. We left ours in (but disconnected) and still saw another 5-10 mins of flight. Still, weight is weight ;P
bzn09412 years ago
Hm...I think we really just talking about a $20 "toy" heli here, it is really not going to matter to most of the ppl who plays it whether if this toy loses a few grams or not. However, by taking off stuff like the tail support rod make it weaker against crasher and stuff......

I say just leave it the way it is and why not just have fun~ it flies anyway too, right? :P
On the other hand, being a $20 toy means that if you screw up, it's okay, it was only $20 and not $250.
v3l02 years ago
DO NOT REMOVE KNOTS FROM CABLES GOING OUT OF ANY DEVICE!!!
Without the knot when you pull on the cable you pull directly on solder points.
If you have no soldering skills this will not be a pleasant experience.
building king (author)  v3l02 years ago
Yeah, it could rip off, but I don't tug on that cord too much. Usually you wouldn't use it too much because helicopters will most likely cone with another way to charge, by usb port, wall charger, and other devices. So when I do use the charger on the remote, I want it longer because it is pretty short when you get it.

- Building King
You obviously know what you're doing and my comment is somewhat of a warning for beginners in opening and moding stuff.
Always when modding stuff is good to think in the future, any mod that is intended to be permanent must be thought trough in terms of reliability.
Also, in you case, after undoing the knot, if available, a small drop of hot glue would make it safer to use and you could benefit froom the ease of mind.
Today I looked at a ~100 USD, 4ch, helicopter in a hobby shop that I trust and it;s the next thing I'm buying :))
neodymium v3l02 years ago
first off, like v3l0 said, do not remove the knot. i have modded stuff before and actually made my own knots in it cuz they are so important.
second, i have this specific heli and it works very well stock. this is no heli that needs to modded, and really, if it doesnt come with aftermarket upgrades, it means that it shouldnt be modded. the only thing here that is of any use to people is removing the spring from the throttle, which i did months ago because it makes it harder to fly.
one more point, if you mod something, try to make it possible to un-mod it. like the spring on the throttle, it can be put back. cutting the wires on the led is stupid. unsolder them or something so you can add it back later.
building king (author)  neodymium2 years ago
Okay, first off if you don't want to do the mods you don't have to. I did this on a helicopter that was kinda cheap. I wanted it to go faster and live longer. I din't care about the balance, mostly because it doesn't come very balanced in the first place. If you didn't want to mod your helicopter, I wouldn't recommend going on a helicopter mod instructable. And with the remote, most expensive remotes don't have a spring in them. And I am used to those kind of controllers. And I would have to take apart the whole helicopter to get to the circuit board where the led is attached, and unsolder it there. To resolder it, I would have to solder it back to the board, which would create a risk of burning the board. If you don't want to perform mods, don't tell me why you don't want to. But thanks for leaving a comment!

-Building King
clgonsal2 years ago
Does anyone have any ideas for how to make the tail rotor more durable? The ones that came with Syma S107G seemed to be extremely brittle, and shattered after a couple of mishaps (ie: tail getting too close to the wall).

The main rotor blades seem to be much more durable, though still not indestructible.
Bongmaster2 years ago
you can strip about 10 grams off of one of them, i had to to mount a mini cam.
also if you have a plastic card you can replace the metal framework with plastic copies, that reduces it further, and replace the tail boom support struts with CF rod of the same thickness.