Introduction: Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 for DJI Phantom 1
The Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 offers an unsurpassed performance enhancement for your stock DJI Phantom 1. A DJI Phantom 1 upgraded with the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 surpasses the DJI Phantom 2 in flight times. The Phantom 2 requires proprietary DJI batteries at $130 each, while the Fuselage Upgrade Kit allows the use of standard XT60 batteries giving flexible and economical battery options. With 7400mah of power onboard (the stock DJI's 2200mah battery + Hobby King MultiStar High Capacity 5200mah battery), the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 can achieve nearly 30 minutes of flight. The Fuselage Upgrade Kit can fly with your choice of gimbal up to 20 minutes, exceeding flight times for the DJI Phantom 2 with similar gear - and without paying extra for DJI's Intelligent Battery.
Purchase the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0, now at Shapeways at the following link:
Then follow these instructions to upgrade your stock DJI Phantom 1 with the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0. Installation requires only a screw driver set and needle nose pliers and does not permanently modify your Phantom 1. Installation time, depends on experience. An experienced maker can complete this in 45-60 minutes. A novice may take 2-3 hours.
*UltraLight Landing Gear 2.0, not included, but recommended.
Step 1: Checklist: Additional Parts (Not Included)
• DJI Phantom 2200mah Battery
The stock battery that came with the DJI Phantom 1 will be used in the Fuselage Upgrade Kit.
Required (Not Included)
• NEW OPTION – Hobby King MultiStar High Capacity 3S 5200mah XT60 Battery (under $30):
The Hobby King MultiStar High Capacity 3S 5200mah XT60 battery offers a direct fit option, with no modifications to the leads. This option is also more cost-effective, costing less than $30 at any of Hobby King's many warehouses. Check out the Hobby King MultiStar High Capacity 3S 5200mah XT60 Battery. The lower cost of this battery means you can buy additional batteries and fly longer.
• Original Battery – Walkera 5200mah Battery:
While the Walkera 5200mah battery was the original battery used for the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0, you can see in the photo that the wire connector of the Walkera 5200mah Battery needs to be changed to an XT60 connector. This makes the Hobby King MultiStar High Capacity 3S 5200mah XT60 Battery a superior choice both in cost and convenience. Additionally, Hobby King has been "Back Ordered" for some time, making it presently unavailable.
• USB/NAZA 4-Pin Extension Wire:
• XT60 Parallel Adapter:
The XT60 parallel adapter joins the two batteries together for extended flight times.
• 9" 9443 Carbon Fiber Props:
While DJI's 9" props will handle well when the Fuselage Upgrade Kit has lighter payloads, 9" 9443 Carbon Fiber Props are essential when putting gear like a GoPro camera, gimbal or FPV system onboard.
Recommended (Not Included):
• 20mm UltraLight Landing Gear:
The 20mm UltraLight Landing Gear provides sufficient clearance for a GoPro and gimbal from the ground. The 20mm UltraLight Landing Gear weigh the same as the stock DJI Phantom 1 landing gear, but provide essential clearance and stability when landing.
Step 2: Remove the Propellers
- If your Phantom has self-tightening props, remove them
- Otherwise, loosen each of the propeller nuts on each of the motors with the DJI prop wrench
- Remove the propellers
Step 3: Open the Phantom 1's Shell
- Remove each of the 3 hex head screws located on each propeller arm
- Remove the 1 Philips head screw on each of the propeller arms
NOTE: DO NOT REMOVE THE 4 ENGINE MOTOR SCREWS
Step 4: Remove the LED Light/USB Board
- Remove the protective rubberized pad from the back of the LED Light/USB Board
- Using a Philips very small screwdriver, remove the two Philips head screws holding the LED Light/USB Board in place.
NOTE: The screws are VERY small and get lost very easily. Take extra care to make sure not to lose them.
Step 5: Relocate the LED Light/USB Board
- Take the external LED Light cover and slide it into the slot on the bottom of the battery bay.
- Securing the LED/USB board in the battery bay can be tricky. By placing one of the small screws in the board prior to placement, and letting gravity dangle the screw down it's possible to line up the screw and then use a screw driver to direct it into the hole of the LED/USB light cover. Strategically placed tape may also help with a "third hand."
- As the two small screws are tightened, watch to see that the USB port lines up properly with the external hole so that a USB cable can align properly.
Step 6: Plug the LED/USB Extension Wire Into the NAZA
A 4-pin jumper wire extension (shown in the picture with blue, lavender, gray and white wires) is required to extend the reach of the LED/USB wire to the NAZA. These 4-pin wires are commonly used with Arduinos and can be purchased at low cost online.
- Plug in the 4-pin LED/USB extension wire into the correct port on the NAZA
- If your 4-pin extension wire fits loosely, take a small piece of electrical tape to secure to the NAZA
- Take note of which colors on the 4-pin extension wire correspond to the 4 wires on the LED/USB board. If necessary, write it down, because once the Phantom shell is closed, it is not possible to see the wires and how they are plugged in. In this example, the blue wire corresponds to the red wire on the LED/USB board.
NOTE: TAKE CARE NOT TO REVERSE THE CONNECTION OF THE WIRES ON THE EXTENSION WIRE.
Step 7: Install the Battery Door Frame Only
The photo shows the Battery Door Frame and Battery Door assembly. But for this step, only install the Battery Door Frame as follows:
- Remove the stock DJI Phantom 1 Battery Door Frame by loosening the 2 screws on top and 1 screw on the bottom
- Replace with the Phantom Plus Battery Door Frame
- Fasten with 2 screws on the top of the Battery Door Frame. A tab will hold the bottom in place instead of the screw.
- The Battery Bay will hold the Battery Door Frame in position on the bottom with the plastic tab once fully assembled
Step 8: Thread Wires Through Rear Port
With the Fuselage Upgrade Kit v2.0, the LED/USB hole in the Phantom 1's shell is repurposed as a wiring port. The rear strut is channeled and allows ribbon wires to be routed from the NAZA to the lower battery bay. This is useful for both the LED/USB Extension Wire and say a tilt control wire from the NAZA to a gimbal.
The rear strut is one of three channeled struts providing wire routing between the original shell and the Fuselage Upgrade Kit. This allows most wiring to be contained within the craft.
Step 9: Install the Rear Strut in Rear Port
- Measure out the length of wire needed that will extend beyond the rear strut. Once the rear strut is secured, the wires are held in position and will not slide through the channe
- Route wires through the channel inside the rear strut
- Take care not to pinch or bind any of the wires, and that the wires remain in the channel of the rear strut
- With the wires inside the channel of the rear strut, turn the rear strut initially to a 45 degree angle and insert the matching alignment tabs through the hole from the outside
- Once the tabs come through the shell (picture 2), press from the outside with your thumb and then turn the rear strut 45 degrees back to up-and-down as shown in picture 3.
Step 10: Connect the LED/USB Extension Wire to the LED/USB Board
- Connect the LED/USB Extension wire to the LED/USB Board wire with the wires corresponding as was noted when the LED/USB Extension wire was plugged into the NAZA
- In order to prevent the LED/USB Extension wire from becoming disconnected, wrap the connection with a small piece of electrical tape
Step 11: Hook the Battery Bay on the Rear Strut
- Take the battery bay and hook the slot in the rear of the battery bay over the "T" of the rear strut
- The sloped edge will hold the battery bay securely once all the fasten points are properly connected
Step 12: Place the Anchor Screw
- Keep the battery bay hooked on the rear strut's "T" while pulling forward on the battery bay assembly
- With a pair of needle nose pliers, place a 3x6mm screw in the threaded screw hold on the bottom of the Phantom
- This may require some negotiating with the rear strut
- DO NOT FULLY TIGHTEN AT THIS POINT. The idea is just to set the battery bay in place while fitting and adjusting the wires and position of the struts.
Step 13: Place the Front Struts
(NOTE: The strut mounts vary slightly from the production version.)
Each of the front struts has a wire channel inside to allow components in the battery bay to have wires routed to them. In this case, this is the auxiliary power supply from the main board to power a gimbal.
- With the anchor screw loose, slide each front strut in the gap under the edge of the battery bay assembly between the battery bay assembly and the Phantom 1 shell.
- The "T" on each strut should slide into a corresponding slot in the battery bay assembly. These will tighten when the landing gear screws are secured
- Keep any wires in the strut channels
- Be sure not to attempt to run wires too thick for the strut channel through, this may cause components not to align properly during assembly
A whole through the strut allows the option to run wires externally, if desired.
Step 14: Tighten the Center Anchor Screw
Make sure the front and rear struts are aligned properly and that the wires are all inside the wire channels and are not pinched before tightening.
Step 15: Relocated LED Light Check
Before completing assembly, check the LED light to be sure everything is operating properly. If something is not working, it will be easier to make corrections at this stage than when the Phantom is reassembled.
- Power up the remote control
- Plug an XT-60 battery into the Phantom power plug
- Verify that the bottom LED Light illuminates
- If not, check connections at the NAZA and be sure the LED/USB Extension Cable is correctly connected to the LED/USB Board. Make sure that the 4-pins are not plugged in in reverse.
- If it works, the LED light check is complete
Step 16: Check Wires in Battery Bay
Check to be sure that any wires routed through the Battery Bay are out of the way of the battery. If need be, secure with electrical tape.
(The second wire, shown in the foreground, is a tilt control wire for a gimbal. The tilt wire was also routed through the rear strut wire channel.)
Step 17: Close the Phantom Shell
Once the wires are positioned as desired, close the Phantom Shell in the reverse of the process described at the beginning of this tutorial. (NOTE: This sequence of photos shows the location of the shell screws only. 8" props are shown in this sequence of photos, but balanced 9" DJI 9443 props or 9" 9443 Carbon Fiber Props are strongly recommended to attain greater flight times as shown in the last photo.)
- Make sure that the top shell is properly aligned and that the DJI logo is readable when facing the front of the Phantom.
- Make sure that as the top shell is placed, that it fits over the top of the Battery Door Frame snuggly. As the screws are put in, double-check the fitting of the Battery Door Frame with the shell.
- Screw in the 3 hex head screws per arm
- Screw the Philips head screw in on the end of each of the arms
Step 18: Install UltraLight Landing Gear 2.0 Over Struts
The UltraLight Landing Gear is designed to fit over the P1Ultra front struts. If you're using a different type of landing gear, the instructions may vary. But it is essential that the two front struts of the P1Ultra are fastened securely to the Phantom shell.
If you're using the UltraLight Landing Gear, the kit comes with three legs that are identical, and one that has an integrated compass mount. The right rear (#3) leg uses the leg with the compass mount.
Longer 3M 8-10mm hex-head screws are required to fasten the front two legs through the front struts into the Phantom shell.
- With the Phantom upside down, thread the screws through first the landing gear, and then through the holes in the front struts of the P1Ultra Battery Bay.
- At first loosely tighten the two front legs on, alternating back and forth to insure that the Battery Bay is centered on the craft.
- IMPORTANT: Check to make sure that the tab located on the bottom of the Battery Door Frame snaps behind the crossmember on the top of the Battery Bay. The gap between the Battery Door Frame and the Battery Bay should then close. Sometimes an audible snap will occur when these components pop into position. The alignment between the Battery Door Frame and the Battery Bay should be tight
- Finish tightening the front screws on the front landing gear
Step 19: Install Remaining Landing Gear Legs
Install the rear landing gear.
Insert the Compass into the Integrated Compass Mount on the right rear leg (#3.)
NOTE ON THE COMPASS: Regardless of the kind of landing gear used, the Compass MUST be at a 90 degree angle to the ground and parallel to the craft. If it isn't the craft can fly in a spiral or toilet bowl pattern. Also, use of magnetized screw drivers or tools can throw the compass calibration off. Calibration of the craft is recommended BEFORE flying the craft. (This recommendation is repeated later in the instructions.)
Step 20: Snap in the Battery Bay Door
To install the Battery Bay Door, align the slot with the pins and firmly but gently snap the Battery Bay Door onto the Battery Bay Door Frame. This may require some wiggling, side-to-side or at a slight angle, but eventually it will slide into place.
Step 21: Reinstall the Propellers
Use the DJI Phantom propeller wrench to reinstall the props. (8" props shown, 9" props recommended.)
- Double-check that the DJI logo on the top of the shell is readable from the front of the craft.
- If the shell top is turned 90 degrees left or right the props arrow indicators on each arm of the shell will be pointing the wrong direction.
- 9" props are recommended for the higher payload, and to achieve the best flight times. Eight inch props will work, however.
Step 22: Battery Door Operation
OPERATING THE DOOR: Check to make sure the Battery Door fits snuggly in the slots located on the inside sides of the Battery Bay. The Battery Door will snap into place. To release press the sides of the door firmly and lift.
DOOR SAFETY: Because the door is essential to safe operation. The door is designed to snap firmly into place and require a firm press on both sides to release. If the door becomes a flight concern, the Phantom pilot urged not to fly the P1Ultra until the door is secured. The 5200mah battery is heavier than the standard 2200mah Phantom battery and requires greater care to secure it for safe flight. Pilots are advised to secure batteries in the Battery Bay before flight.
Step 23: Adjusting the NAZA Gains
The NAZA gains may need to be adjusted based on the takeoff weight of the craft and the gear onboard.
The depicted NAZA gains are provided as a guide when upgrading your Phantom 1 with the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0. Counter-intuitively, the gains are raised from stock 100%, not lowered, to adjust for the 9" props and the higher craft weight. Your actual settings may vary somewhat, but gain settings above 190% are not recommended.
• Gain settings higher than 190% are NOT recommended, and may introduce instability in prolonged
(5+ minute) stationary hovers.
• Flight testing after of each gains adjustment is highly recommended
• Recalibrate the craft after adjusting the gains settings
Step 24: Preflight Check
(The photo shows a GoPro on a Tarot 2-Axis Gimbal, but a test flight should be done BEFORE adding additional equipment first.)
Take a look over the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 installation and inspect for any issues before flight. If anything is present that may cause a flight danger, resolve the issue before flying. The Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 should be securely fastened to the Phantom. You should be able to pick up the craft by the attached Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 and move the whole craft around by it.
The Battery Bay has a generous amount of room for wiring and the parallel adapter, while the curved battery door allows connection between the battery bays without binding or pinching the wires.
While Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 has been designed with optimal safety in mind, because of the flexibility of battery options, it's impossible to anticipate every battery configuration. All pilots flying the craft must take any needed precautions to insure batteries located in the lower Battery Bay do not shift during flight. A shifting battery during flight could destabilize the Phantom.
Ultimately, safe flight operations remain the responsibility of each pilot. If there is a question of safety or equipment, it is recommended the craft be grounded until all safety issue are resolved. Brian Self Design, Inc. provides these parts as-is to do-it-yourselfers. Installation, safe flight and maintenance remain the responsibility of each pilot or user.
Step 25: Preflight Calibration
Be sure to calibrate the craft according to DJI's instructions. This is important since during installation the calibration may have been effected during installation of the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0.
Step 26: Flight Test
Before adding any additional gear, be sure to flight test the base configuration of the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0.
Step 27: Final Notes
Final adjustments may be needed depending on your exact configuration. Here are some final considerations:
• Flight tests should be done after any changes to your configuration
• Adjustments to NAZA gains may need to be made depending on your craft's take-off weight. (See Step 23.)
• Adjustments to the center-of-gravity in the NAZA may need to be made depending on your craft's configuration
• Pilots should become familiar with the new flight characteristics and the new flight envelope (acceleration, rate of ascent) of the upgraded Phantom 1 with the Fuselage Upgrade Kit 2.0 installed. Logging some practice flight time in a large, open, obstruction-free area is recommended. Remember – safety first.