One of the hot toys this Christmas was quadcopter drones. They are an awful lot of fun for a great price, and are a lot more fun to learn to fly than larger (more expensive to crash) models.
If you are having repeated problems with broken or bent props, prop guards can help.
Due to their inexpensive construction and very inexperienced pilots, there are bound to be some breakdowns. In this tutorial I will explain how to replace stripped screws, broken or bent propellers, repair broken LEDs, broken clasps, broken wires, and stop the battery from shorting out the gyroscope.
If your quadcopter if flying unstably, making buzzing noises, not fully lighting up, not charging, flying with a mind of its own, one propeller is not spinning, it is loosing screws, or its shell will not stay closed this is the instructable for you.
For this tutorial you will require:
- A set of small Philips screw drives (my quadcopter required a pH0)
- spare propellers (extras come with most models)
- a hot glue gun
- clear tape
- a soldering iron and fine soldering tip
To open your quadcopter, first remove the four screws on the bottom of the case, then remove the clips near each rotor.
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Step 1: Bent Propellers
It is very common to bend the propellers of your quadcopter, because they are made to be soft as not to hurt people or cause damage to other objects.
Bent propellers are characterized by loss of lift from one propeller (if concave) or a buzzing sound similar to a mosquito and reduced performance (if convex).
Place your quadcopter on a flat surface and observe the propellers at eye level. simply apply pressure to the propellers to bend them back into shape. NOTE: Less is more, repeated bending will severely weaken the propellers leading to cracks or fractures.
Step 2: Replace Broken Propellers
To replace a broken or severely bent propeller simply pull vertically near the center of the propeller then press the new propeller onto the shaft of the rotor.
Make sure that you replace the propeller with the correct replacement as there are A and B propellers which rotate in different directions to increase the stability of your quadcopter.
Replacement Propellers: http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters-parts/pp_149153.html
NOTE: Repeated removal and replacement of the same propeller can cause the propeller to no longer friction fit and come loose during flight.
Step 3: Stop Battery Shorts
The insulation between the bag battery and the circuit board of most mini quadcopters is very easily dislodged. If your quadcopter will no longer charge, has extremely short battery life, or flies sporadically and seems to control itself once turned on you may be having shoring issues.
After removing the case and the piece of insulating plastic from beneath the battery I attached the piece of insulation to clear tape, then wrapped the battery in clear tape to prevent any short circuits.
Step 4: Re-Attach Broken Wires
If one propeller no longer spins, first turn the quadcopter on and rotate it in different directions, the propeller which is highest should slow down or stop, if the propeller spins when it is the lowest, but will not spin while level check the insulation around the battery to see if it is a shorting issue.
If the propeller will not spin at all check the wires connecting the motor to the circuit board. If one has become detached use a pair of forceps to hold the wire and use a liberal amount of heat with a fine tipped soldering iron to melt the solder and re attach the wire.
Replacement Motors: http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters-parts/pp_166081.html
NOTE: only add solder if necessary and make sure to use fine grade "high tech" solder as it has a lower melting temperature to avoid frying components and melting wires on compact circuit boards.
Step 5: Replacing LED's
If one of the LED's comes loose from your drone, the most important step is finding the original LED because it is smaller than a grain of rice (approximately 1mm by 1.5mm). If you cannot find the diode you can buy micro LED's for a few cents from commercial electronics stores.
Make sure to note the diode direction markings on the back of the diode and the circuit board (make sure they point the same direction when you place it on the board!)
You will notice that if you place the diode when the motor is still in place it will be pulled in by the magnetic field of the brush-less motor, so the motors must be dropped.
Next using a pair of forceps carefully place the LED back onto the contacts then melt the solder with a fine tipped soldering iron.
After the solder has cooled make sure to turn on the drone to test the LED's before putting the case back together as minor adjustments may be necessary.
Step 6: Replacing Removed Screws
You hay have noticed small amounts of silicone on the tips of the screws when you removed them, hot glue is a readily available substitute. Make sure that the hot glue is VERY hot as you do not want it clumping. After reattaching the clips near each rotor, liberally dip each screw tip in hot glue before reinstalling. This will also help to precedent screws from coming dislodged during flight.
Step 7: Broken Clasps
If the clasps that hold the outer casing together break, the upper and lower shell can be held together with small elastics such as used for braces or for holding wires and headphones in their packaging.
NOTE: Make sure to counterbalance the elastic or the quadcopter may have balance issues.
Step 8: Back to the Skies
Hopefully this tutorial has helped to fix your quadcopter, if you are having issues understanding a step or have questions/suggestions feel free to comment below or message me.
Have a great day and fly safe! :-)
If you enjoyed this instructable, make sure to see how you can turn your mini quadcopter into a flying F-14 Tomcat! https://www.instructables.com/id/RC-Paper-Fighter-Jet/
PS Above is a thermal video of my quadcopter taking off.