Introduction: Drastically Improving the Speed, Life, and Performance of Your R/C Helicopter

Picture of 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.

Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools

All you need is:
- X-Acto Knife
- Small Phillips Head Screwdriver

Step 2: Removing Extra Parts

Picture of 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

Picture of 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. 

Step 4: Now the Controller!

Picture of Now the Controller!

   The controller has a tiny spring hooked onto the throttle that keeps it down.  To remove the spring, remove the screws on the back of the controller.  There is one behind the charging cable, just pull the slider back, then pull it off at a slight angle.  It might take some force but be real careful!  After that, flip the controller over and pull the front part off.  Remove the screw holding the spring in place and pull the spring out.  Screw the screw back in.  Take the spring and hook the two ends together, forming a circle.  Then take the circle on with the hooks facing down, so that the spring rubs against the throttle, forming a little bit of friction.  Then take the charging cord and untie the knot, giving you about an inch extra of cord.  Then put the front panel back, flip it over, put the screws back and pop the slider back on. 

Step 5: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

   Charge it up and be careful not to go too fast on the throttle, it climbs pretty fast. 

Some future ideas:
   I was going to remove some of the panels and make a carbon fiber version of them, but I didn't have enough time.  I also wanted to get some carbon fiber rod and make the rod longer so it could go faster. 

If you guys have any ideas, please leave a comment.  Please rate.  And most of all, please vote for me.  I know that you would like to win, so try to help me.  I would love it if I won!

Note on the sawtooth paracord bracelet:  I made an instructable a while ago that didn't make too much sense.  I will be making a video soon and my subscribers will be the first to see it.  Please subscribe!


hack_everything (author)2017-03-10

I have a syma s107, the exact model shown in this instructable and there was never a spring on the throttle control, also the batteries are cheap and easy to replace.

RadhaK15 (author)2016-07-30

Increase the battery life by 800% by using a product called batteriser as mentioned here > Batteriser can be attached to the battery you are using and then insert the battery along with it into the slot of the toy you want to run. Its that easy.

zain saqib (author)2015-11-28

i have lost my helicopter transmitter ............................ what can i do ?

TheKitMurkit. (author)zain saqib2016-06-26

I`ve lost mine too. Can`t find another one. Also, the crystal can be a bit different and it won`t work.

you can go on Amazon and buy one and hook it up to the helicopter

steeveh20 (author)2015-06-27

sks.rock.224677 (author)2015-06-15

what is the specification of the battery used in it?can we upgrade to more powerfull battery for a longer flight time?

JohnC64 (author)2015-06-09

Am making a thin paper mache cockpit to loose weight . is there an upgradable motor i could purchase that would be faster and also withstand the weight of a bigger battery

darrenhall (author)2015-01-27

Hi - I really liked this INS - - was wondering, how about removing the metal skids (still leaving the feet), all gotta be weight.

Als.o, and I know it is a bit radical, drill out the rotor blades to lose weight, then use a good quality tape or model airplane wing film to cover the holes, more weight gone.

Good job

GarethC1 (author)darrenhall2015-04-20

If you go drilling into the rotor blades, you risk upsetting the balabce of them. It could very well end up putting a wobble into your helicopter and, over time, cause the motor fixings to fatigue and fail.

jorgeneo560 (author)2012-02-26

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

gernblanzen (author)jorgeneo5602014-12-22

Well that maybe true but going faster and being a lil outta control is a whole lot funner than playing it safe

meenzal (author)jorgeneo5602012-02-29

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.

cap10moman (author)meenzal2012-10-19

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!!!

cap10moman (author)jorgeneo5602012-10-19

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!!!!!

meff00 (author)jorgeneo5602012-02-26

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.

gernblanzen (author)2014-12-22

Check put what is did with this skyrover heli. I took a main rotor motor and put it in the tail of this heli and increased the tail prop size then bent the tail boom approve 22 degrees. Now that tail rotor serves a dual purpose. It not only lifts the rear of the heli, it assists in the thrust also.

citichix (author)2013-12-21

I just bought the Apex indoor RC, we can't find the on/off switch on the copter, can you help?

joran79 (author)2013-05-12

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.

rannieman (author)2013-05-04

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 !!!!!!!

inlovewithflight (author)2013-01-07

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.

neurascenic (author)2012-12-29

I just got one of these, kinda late to the game, but ... this controller does not have the spring in it.

Bonitadude (author)2012-07-20

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?

motoboy42x (author)Bonitadude2012-09-14

Buy a 4 channel helicopter.

elic (author)2012-03-16

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.

willrandship (author)2012-02-29

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

bzn0941 (author)2012-02-27

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

willrandship (author)bzn09412012-02-29

On the other hand, being a $20 toy means that if you screw up, it's okay, it was only $20 and not $250.

v3l0 (author)2012-02-22

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.

knota (author)v3l02012-02-23

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

v3l0 (author)knota2012-02-23

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 (author)v3l02012-02-28

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.

knota (author)neodymium2012-02-28

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

xenomachina (author)2012-02-27

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.

Bongmaster (author)2012-02-22

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.

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