Introduction: Quadcopter Range Hack

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

robbymcgee (author)2017-07-30

When i click on your link that is at the end of your instructable that says read more, it takes me to an adult site.

robbymcgee (author)2017-07-27

Hi. I ordered a 5 db antenna off of banggood.com it is longer than the one you used. Does this matter?

DeanN10 (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

Cherryman (author)DeanN102017-07-15

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.

AmirA132 (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

Cherryman (author)AmirA1322017-07-15

I think your signal wire is touching the ground.

1. Check all connections.

2. Check actual lenght of unschielded part in antenna.

PaulF231 (author)2017-03-24

hey guys,will a 2dbi antenna work?

Jekkelock (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

teeman9266. (author)2016-11-18

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

TaterMay (author)teeman9266.2016-12-13

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.

Dalefansa (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

teeman9266. (author)Dalefansa2016-11-18

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

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

ChhuangaC (author)ChhuangaC2016-10-14

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

JerryK49 (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.

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

DondiP (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

ChhuangaC (author)DondiP2016-10-05

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.

what is the right length to expose.

ChhuangaC (author)DondiP2016-10-05

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

peymans5 (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.

ChhuangaC (author)peymans52016-10-05

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

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.

P07a70 (author)rrmartin2016-01-12

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.

ChhuangaC (author)P07a702016-10-05

done that. it seems like it works

P07a70 (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?

ChhuangaC (author)P07a702016-10-05

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

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!

ChhuangaC (author)theomne2016-10-05

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?

StefanoD1 (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

cliffyd (author)StefanoD12016-07-26

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

libstergames (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

cliffyd (author)libstergames2016-07-19

did this work?

cliffyd (author)libstergames2016-07-17

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

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

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

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?

GaryR63 (author)andyc732016-06-17

its the gold pad above the 2.4ghz

XanU (author)andyc732016-05-08

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.

dboling (author)andyc732016-02-03

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.

TylerA26 (author)andyc732016-01-03

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

andyc73 (author)TylerA262016-01-03

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.

BoštjanČ (author)andyc732016-01-11

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

isaacmcn127 (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!

zawy (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.

CardboardCowboy (author)zawy2016-04-23

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.

Yukonercanada (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.

DEEJAY642 (author)Yukonercanada2016-04-21

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!!!!!!!

Abhishekkuksal (author)2016-02-08

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

PaulS244 (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.

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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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