Introduction: Quadcopter Range Hack

The default control range of the Syma X5C drone is only 30 meter, adding a true 2.4ghz antenna you can double this range.

Step 1: Find a 3db - 5db 2.4 Ghz WIFI Antenna

You can buy one, or remove from an old WIFI device.

Lucky for me, I found a bricked WIFI access point.

I removed the antenna from it.

Step 2: Open the Syma Transmiiter

This is a very easy step, don't forget to unsolder the power wires.

Remove the original antenna (that 2cm wire).

Solder the new WIFI antenna in the Syma X5C transmitter.

Step 3: Reasamble the Transmitter

After you checked everything, you can solder back the power wires and reassemble the transmitter.

The new transmitter looks good with the new antenna, and also has a better control range.

You can read more about this instractables here: Syma X5C Hack

Comments

author
DeanN10 made it!(author)2017-01-31

Hi everyone,

So I am performing the antenna mod on an HS200. I am able to easily identify the antenna however I am not sure of the solder point on the board for the ground. Is it recommended at all to ground directly to the negative battery terminal ?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Here is a pic link: http://bit.ly/2kRqSB1

Best Regards,

Dean

author
Cherryman made it!(author)2017-07-15

I had the same problem. I indeed made an extention wire to the ground entrance of the battery on the circuit board. Now idear if that is "allowed" but it seems to work well.

author
AmirA132 made it!(author)2017-07-09

i have tried this mod on syma x5sw .. but seems doesn't work :( when i
turn it on, the only thing happen is the LED lights up, but not
blinking like searching.. and no beep sound, also LCD is gone too ...
please help if you have any idea

author
Cherryman made it!(author)2017-07-15

I think your signal wire is touching the ground.

1. Check all connections.

2. Check actual lenght of unschielded part in antenna.

author
PaulF231 made it!(author)2017-03-24

hey guys,will a 2dbi antenna work?

author
Jekkelock made it!(author)2016-12-28

some mods can make it 300 meters and some other add 1500 but i prefere to keep it safe and make this mod because i think that more range makes it more uncontrolabe

author
teeman9266. made it!(author)2016-11-18

This mod didnt really change much range wise, it made it worse/better in some parts

author
TaterMay made it!(author)2016-12-13

Same here. I also had an old WiFi router laying around whose life was taken in vain. Also wasted about an hour of my time.

author
Dalefansa made it!(author)2016-10-24

Hi I have opened up my remote but it doesn't have the second pad to soldier the negative to is there somewhere else I can solder it

author
teeman9266. made it!(author)2016-11-18

You can try soldering where the wire leading from the negative port from the battery

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

salvaged from an old modem. odd white color. but works fine. there was no ground pad so i groundes the shield on the negative battery terminal. not done any range tests yet but it seems to work

IMG_20161005_123217.jpg
author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-14

done the range test... i went over two football fields... awsome

author
JerryK49 made it!(author)2016-08-15

Hey guys not to be rude please dont take it this way because i see a lot of real nice hack's/jobs but the reason recwap said to use a 2.4 ghz antenna is they work but usinging a specific length and if you just use coax cabel you can pick up undesirable frequencies and your quad could end up following someone else , my father is a professional radio operator and makes his own antenna's and has been teaching me for years so please becareful doing these mods , you cal buy these Antenna's at goodwill real cheap. Be safe and have fun.

author
aditya007_racer250 made it!(author)2016-10-06

WHAT??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author
DondiP made it!(author)2016-08-24

hi there,how long the coax cable do i need to replace the stock one ?do i have to cut the same length as the stock one then screw on the antenna or it measure with the length of the antenna ? coz i got this pigtail to male SMA cable about 20cm long.. and 5db antenna from unused router

thanks

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

the cable length does not matter. just make sure you expose the inner wire, from the shield, the right length at the end. dont cut off the inner wire cover.

author
aditya007_racer250 made it!(author)2016-10-06

what is the right length to expose.

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

oh edit... i mean... if its a connector then forget obout exposing i said earlier. its just that the length does not matter

author
peymans5 made it!(author)2016-08-21

Hello
Lights quad copters (x5sw) After clarification (Turn it on), the remains blink and as a result, is not connected with the radio control. In your opinion, what is the problem??? It is unpleasant for me and I have decided not to buy Syma Products the company.

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

if you throttle up and then down and does not connect or bind, this happened to me too.
What i did was - put it an a flat level ground, turned on the transmitter, wait till the fast blink becomes slower, throttle up and down, and it binds again

author
rrmartin made it!(author)2015-12-29

I had a dual antenna 2.4ghz router so I also changed out the antenna on the quad-copter. I removed the old "antenna" and used that wire as a jumper for the shield to ground.

File_000 (1).jpegSyma Antenna Mod.jpg
author
P07a70 made it!(author)2016-01-12

Quick question, is that ground just the negative power input? I'm thinking on the remote I could just run a wire to the negative power but I'm not entirely convinced it wouldn't brick it.

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

done that. it seems like it works

author
P07a70 made it!(author)2016-01-12

Couldn't I just run a wire from the ground on the pigtail to the negative power input, instead of the tiny ground pad? Would that break the controller?

author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

i just did that. It seems to work. but not done any range test yet

author
theomne made it!(author)2016-03-12

Just did this myself, I had the new controller type that did not have the ground pad on the transmitter chip. I just located a common ground on the board and grounded the new antenna there.

I pulled my antenna off of an old 802.11b access point that was destined for the trash, after testing I went from about 80 feet to over 450 feet. I still have a second antenna from the access point in case I ever need to do it again too!

2016-03-12 02.25.25.jpg2016-03-12 02.35.54.jpg
author
ChhuangaC made it!(author)2016-10-05

can you please tell me with a picture or something, where exactly did you ground the antenna. I just grounded it to the battery terminal. is it the same?

author
StefanoD1 made it!(author)2015-10-15

What do you mean with:

"don't forget to unsolder the power wires" and then

"you can solder back the power wires and reassemble the transmitter" ?

Thank you

author
cliffyd made it!(author)2016-07-26

hecmeans the wires from the board to the battery compartment. Then solder them back when completed this hack

author
libstergames made it!(author)2016-04-22

Hi, i was doing this hack, (kind of). What i did was i just stripped the plastic around the wire to try and give it a little bit more range, but now the controller does not beep when i try to turn it on and the lcd does not turn on either pls help

author
cliffyd made it!(author)2016-07-19

did this work?

author
cliffyd made it!(author)2016-07-17

ya you need to solder the outside layer to any grounded spot. see if that helps

author
CardboardCowboy made it!(author)2016-04-23

Can you show a picture? And did you strip the stock antenna?

author
libstergames made it!(author)2016-04-26

i dont currently have the ability to take a picture, though i will make sure to later. Yes, i did strip the end of the antenna , i have it working now, but for some reason whenever i turn it on i have to push the antenna one way or the other allowing for the connection, im not sure why this is but once i get a 2.4ghz wifi antenna im sure it will be fine, but im still confused on why i have to push the antenna.

btw, sorry it took so long to reply i didnt have time

author
andyc73 made it!(author)2015-12-30

Hey guys, any idea where the second connection is for this newer board? I want to go with my 2.4g coaxial antenna, but I don't know where the other place to put the ground(?).

Usually it's right below (towards the other board) from the first lead. Mine doesn't have a connection there, but something like it diagonally towards the big silver thing.

Help!

Where do I solder the other side?

syma x5c TX board front.JPGsyma x5c tx board rear.jpg
author
GaryR63 made it!(author)2016-06-17

its the gold pad above the 2.4ghz

author
XanU made it!(author)2016-05-08

the pad is under the white goop. carefully cut it away and pry the cylindrical component up a little bit to expose the pad and give yourself enough room to tin/solder without a short.

author
dboling made it!(author)2016-02-03

I have a V2 main board and the same 2.4 wifi board as you. I just completed the upgrade. I used the single hole in the 2.4 board for the transmit wire. then I found a ground on the main board that went to nothing and soldered a pigtail from the main board to the antennas ground wire. The transmitter seems to work fine.

author
TylerA26 made it!(author)2016-01-03

im have the same board with no ground did you ever figure this one out? would love to hear what you did!

author
andyc73 made it!(author)2016-01-03

The 2.4 ghz pigtail I got was super small, I wasn't sure it was coaxial at all (it probably is) but like a caveman, I just soldered it to the tiny antenna and figured it couldn't hurt while I waited on my EE friend and more research. I ordered the X11c or whatever remote (orange one) because it controls a x5c and has better range. Too impatient to wait on that, I ran across an insane deal on a pre-modded Devo7e on ebay that can fly the X5c and I should have it this week. If I ever open up the stock TX again, I'm going to probe around for neg ground (I didn't before). I did uncover a possible contact pad diagonal towards the center of the mini-board by the antenna under some white stuff that could be ground.

author
Bo%C5%A1tjan%C4%8C made it!(author)2016-01-11

hi. Can i see the picture where the ground could be. I have the same board as you.

author
isaacmcn127 made it!(author)2016-04-26

I did this mod to my controller and then put the old antenna off of my controller onto the drone and extended the drones antenna with another bit of wire. I then put the extended wire inside the antenna and did a range test. I got 250 metres!

image.jpegimage.jpeg
author
zawy made it!(author)2016-04-03

These wifi 2.4 Ghz antennas needs to be pointed perpendicular to the copter. Pointed them towards the copter is the worst direction. The signal is sent out in a circle around the antenna. These means in flat houses with wireless routers, you point them up on the router and on the computer.

For more than 100 meters, maybe use a 2.4 ghz yagi antenna pointed towards the quadcopter. You could spend $30 on the good one on amazon with good reviews. Do not get the cheap ones on ebay and amazon...they do not work as well as this instrucable's type of antenna. You can make your own if you can find a reliable source for the specs. Also, you probably want a half wave dipole (1/4 wavelength on each side, 3.125 cm for 2.4 GHz) as the yagi "driven" element (the dipole) instead of the type that is folded into a loop as the dipole ("folded dipole") because the half wave dipole is only 75 Ohm and the folded is 300 ohms and the transmitter is probably sending out constant voltage so lower ohms means more power transmitted, Watts=V^2/ohms. A 5 element yagi about 6" long might get you beyond your ability to see where it is flying. I am going to try this, along with making the quadcopter's internal antenna an external vertical dipole. The yagi should be oriented in the same direction.

author
CardboardCowboy made it!(author)2016-04-23

Be sure to post your results, I'd love to see how it worked out. Also for those interested, there are several instructables on building your own yagi antenna.

author
Yukonercanada made it!(author)2016-04-08

I did the controller mod with a 2.4ghz antenna i ordered on banggood, didnt ground the tx as i have the new board but couldnt see a nearby ground point and was getting a range of 175 feet. i ordered 2 antennas so i soldered the 2nd one to the quad board and grounded it. Just did a range test and now i get 565 feet. Huge difference adding the antenna to the quad.

DSC_0137.JPGDSC_0138.JPG
author
DEEJAY642 made it!(author)2016-04-21

Great!! although the other day i bought a fake syma X5C off ebay for only $50 and it had much more range than my friends original one that he paid $150 for!!!!!!!

author
Abhishekkuksal made it!(author)2016-02-08

Antenna length is always 1/4 of the wavelength google it for more..

author
PaulS244 made it!(author)2016-02-04

"Walk" range tests, described at http://ClearStarryNights.com/Syma gave me 120-170 m for the Syma X5C with a stock transmitter.

author
CardboardCowboy made it!(author)2016-02-02

Completed the same hack with my UDI 818a HD+. I believe the range has easily doubled from the stock antenna. I used a $5 antenna (2.4 GHz 3dbi) that I purchased from Amazon.

udi controller.jpg
author
Boryan made it!(author)2016-01-18

Do you know how to hack this transmitter so that it would work on a different quad-copter with a different brand?

About This Instructable

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Bio: I have a background in telecommunication and digital electronics, and am very interested in computers and photography.
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