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Old Mar 24, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Reverse Polarity Syma S107 helicopter

Reverse Polarity Syma S107 helicopter

I received a Syma S107 as a gift. It was purchased through Amazon and delivered directly to me. It is Red, has the R5 board and flies wonderfully. So I ordered one for my youngest adult son for his birthday, again through Amazon, but picked a seller who was providing yellow ones so we could tell them apart if we flew together. I chose the cheapest one with free delivery.

When it arrived I wanted to be sure it was fully charged and would fly well so I connected it to my R5 USB charging cord and my desktop computer. It behaved oddly and after several minutes the rotors started to turn slowly backwards. I immediately unplugged it. I tried turning it on, but it did not respond. I noted that the board had NO identification markings. It was returned to Amazon and another was shipped. I encountered the same problems. Thinking there was some incompatibility between my desktop computer and the helicopter I tried charging it with my netbook computer (Acer Aspire One), still using the cord from my R5 system. The USB ports on my netbook ceased to function. They are burned out.

Further investigation revealed the yellow Syma S107 with no identification on the board has reversed voltage polarity from the red S107 with the R5 board. The helicopter charging connector is reverse polarity, the control unit charging cord is reverse polarity and the USB charging cord is reverse polarity. I know this from actual voltage measurements using my venerable Keithley model 130 digital multimeter (yes it is probably older than many of you). From here on out I will refer to the original polarity S107 helicopter system as the R5, and the reverse polarity possibly counterfeit S107 as the RPC (reverse polarity counterfeit) since both are identified as Syma S107.

In summary, my attempts to charge the RPC using the R5 USB cable threw the full voltage of the helicopter lithium polymer battery in series with the 5 volts USB source resulting in ‘worse than a short circuit’ situation with respect to current flow. This drained the charge from the RPC battery and then it began to reverse charge. At this point the response of the circuit to reverse voltage turned the rotor motors on and ran them reversed. This situation can well cause the helicopter battery to catch fire and explode so it is not a trivial situation! I was lucky, with my only loss being the USB ports on my netbook and possible life reduction on the RPC battery. Either system, the R5, or the RPC will work if you don’t try to mix the hardware. However, if you have an RPC and order a new board, charging equipment or a new controller from Amazon they will not be compatible.

Attempts to contact Syma to determine if they have committed the aerospace cardinal sin of making non-interchangeable hardware changes without re-identification have been fruitless. Amazon has been contacted and their off-shore customer service office assured me they would take action.

My son has flown his RPC and found it to be less stable than my R5. With no forward/backward input the RPC flew three foot diameter circles to the right while maintaining its heading. Forum members educated me to this "toilet-bowl-effect" and I expect we will get it fixed. http://www.rchelicopterfun.com/toilet-bowl-effect.html .

We have closely compared the two units and many differences were noted and photographed. Most notable (and visible through the clear plastic without even opening the box) are the lack of any identification on the RPC circuit board, the presence of two retaining tabs for the RPC main motors and the presence of cutouts in the floor of the body between the skids. The R5 has a solid floor, the RPC has two large cutouts. Another easy differentiator after unpacking is that the RPC USB cord is 2 feet long and has a yellow plastic blade inside the USB socket whereas the R5 cord is over 3 feet long and has a white plastic blade. See the table below for other differences. These differences are those observed on the R5 and the RPC available to us for examination and may not be completely definitive.

See the table below for major differences. The link is to photographs illustrating everything in the table and more.

Again let me explain my concern here. I do not consider myself a non-technically oriented adult, yet I managed to burn out the USB ports on a computer using an R5 cable trying to charge the RPC. It is an attractive thing to do since the R5 cable is so much longer. I suspect anyone who ends up with two of these helicopters, one an R5 and one a RPC, is very close to a disaster. At least hardware will be damaged, at worst there could be personal injury and/or fire. My USB ports were current limited or at least fused by components that blew out. What would happen if someone plugged the RPC control unit cable (probably not current limited) into an R5 helicopter? What would happen if someone plugged an R5 wall plug charger into a RPC helicopter? I suspect the results would be much more spectacular than mine. These batteries can explode!
My son told me this morning that Amazon has taken action relative to the RPC based on customer feedback (probably from me), I applaud this action. In addition Amazon has fully refunded the cost of the RPCs I received. I have nothing bad to say about Amazon.
Since my original experience I have received a blue S107 from Hobby Toy Store through Amazon, and my son has received a red one from XHeli, also through Amazon. Both have the S107R5 circuit board.

http://public.fotki.com/ritchiefamil...07-comparison/
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Last edited by Phil Ritchie; Mar 27, 2011 at 04:42 PM. Reason: clean up the post a bit.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Thanks for the full report, there have been posts on RC Groups befure in regards to counterfeit Syma S107 helicopters before.

Yes charging from USB ports sounds attractive but I still do not like doing so for the same reason as to what happened to you, damaging the PC.

USB charges that plug into the wall outlet are very cheap at DealEtreme.com, Meritline.com and E-Bay. I just recieved a 1 amp charger for under $2 in the mail today from a Meritline.com daily special.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 06:33 PM
I'm FAMOUS
Joined Mar 2010
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Buy middle of the road, folks. When it comes to pricing, I mean. Going too cheap feels really good when you've gotten "free shipping" on a $17 Ebay purchase.

-I am speaking in General, no reference to this particular transaction, because the case is very different. And Sellers who offer such deals aren't the dimbulbs you hope they are. Shipping is NEVER, EVER free.-

Buying middle of the road is where you find the honest pricing, for any given Consumer item.

Buying High-end brings up another phenomena: the nice belt and shoes* market, where you are considered too rich to research, and can take a gyp without complaining. Reference: any forum about personal airplane maintenance.


*Marketers realize that moneyed men walk about in rags to buy toys on Saturdays, but do so in the nice leather haberdashery their Wifeys force on them. It's how you ID a good sale prospect, really.
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Old Apr 01, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Ritchie View Post
Reverse Polarity Syma S107 helicopter

I received a Syma S107 as a gift. It was purchased through Amazon and delivered directly to me. It is Red, has the R5 board and flies wonderfully. So I ordered one for my youngest adult son for his birthday, again through Amazon, but picked a seller who was providing yellow ones so we could tell them apart if we flew together. I chose the cheapest one with free delivery.

When it arrived I wanted to be sure it was fully charged and would fly well so I connected it to my R5 USB charging cord and my desktop computer. It behaved oddly and after several minutes the rotors started to turn slowly backwards. I immediately unplugged it. I tried turning it on, but it did not respond. I noted that the board had NO identification markings. It was returned to Amazon and another was shipped. I encountered the same problems. Thinking there was some incompatibility between my desktop computer and the helicopter I tried charging it with my netbook computer (Acer Aspire One), still using the cord from my R5 system. The USB ports on my netbook ceased to function. They are burned out.

Further investigation revealed the yellow Syma S107 with no identification on the board has reversed voltage polarity from the red S107 with the R5 board. The helicopter charging connector is reverse polarity, the control unit charging cord is reverse polarity and the USB charging cord is reverse polarity. I know this from actual voltage measurements using my venerable Keithley model 130 digital multimeter (yes it is probably older than many of you). From here on out I will refer to the original polarity S107 helicopter system as the R5, and the reverse polarity possibly counterfeit S107 as the RPC (reverse polarity counterfeit) since both are identified as Syma S107.

In summary, my attempts to charge the RPC using the R5 USB cable threw the full voltage of the helicopter lithium polymer battery in series with the 5 volts USB source resulting in ‘worse than a short circuit’ situation with respect to current flow. This drained the charge from the RPC battery and then it began to reverse charge. At this point the response of the circuit to reverse voltage turned the rotor motors on and ran them reversed. This situation can well cause the helicopter battery to catch fire and explode so it is not a trivial situation! I was lucky, with my only loss being the USB ports on my netbook and possible life reduction on the RPC battery. Either system, the R5, or the RPC will work if you don’t try to mix the hardware. However, if you have an RPC and order a new board, charging equipment or a new controller from Amazon they will not be compatible.

Attempts to contact Syma to determine if they have committed the aerospace cardinal sin of making non-interchangeable hardware changes without re-identification have been fruitless. Amazon has been contacted and their off-shore customer service office assured me they would take action.

My son has flown his RPC and found it to be less stable than my R5. With no forward/backward input the RPC flew three foot diameter circles to the right while maintaining its heading. Forum members educated me to this "toilet-bowl-effect" and I expect we will get it fixed. http://www.rchelicopterfun.com/toilet-bowl-effect.html .

We have closely compared the two units and many differences were noted and photographed. Most notable (and visible through the clear plastic without even opening the box) are the lack of any identification on the RPC circuit board, the presence of two retaining tabs for the RPC main motors and the presence of cutouts in the floor of the body between the skids. The R5 has a solid floor, the RPC has two large cutouts. Another easy differentiator after unpacking is that the RPC USB cord is 2 feet long and has a yellow plastic blade inside the USB socket whereas the R5 cord is over 3 feet long and has a white plastic blade. See the table below for other differences. These differences are those observed on the R5 and the RPC available to us for examination and may not be completely definitive.

See the table below for major differences. The link is to photographs illustrating everything in the table and more.

Again let me explain my concern here. I do not consider myself a non-technically oriented adult, yet I managed to burn out the USB ports on a computer using an R5 cable trying to charge the RPC. It is an attractive thing to do since the R5 cable is so much longer. I suspect anyone who ends up with two of these helicopters, one an R5 and one a RPC, is very close to a disaster. At least hardware will be damaged, at worst there could be personal injury and/or fire. My USB ports were current limited or at least fused by components that blew out. What would happen if someone plugged the RPC control unit cable (probably not current limited) into an R5 helicopter? What would happen if someone plugged an R5 wall plug charger into a RPC helicopter? I suspect the results would be much more spectacular than mine. These batteries can explode!
My son told me this morning that Amazon has taken action relative to the RPC based on customer feedback (probably from me), I applaud this action. In addition Amazon has fully refunded the cost of the RPCs I received. I have nothing bad to say about Amazon.
Since my original experience I have received a blue S107 from Hobby Toy Store through Amazon, and my son has received a red one from XHeli, also through Amazon. Both have the S107R5 circuit board.

http://public.fotki.com/ritchiefamil...07-comparison/
I got one of these also on march 30th.I notice no tape to hold battery in place,no tape or weight in nose cone. I ordered some replacement blades they have a number up by where they connect 1 for the top and 4 for the lower. Are these the originals? the ones that came with it had no #.Mine seems to fly fine and charges fast. 5 minutes of flight 15 minutes to charge and 8 minutes of flight 25 minutes to charge. I have a red one coming and don't what to have a problem like you had. Maybe I'll return it. I wonder If they have got any good yellow ones
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Old Apr 01, 2011, 05:55 PM
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I have a yellow and blue S107. They both were purchased on Amazon. The yellow one was from Amazon and the blue one from Hobby Toy Store. Both are originals as I found how to spot fakes with some online research. My blue one has A1 on the top blades and B1 one the bottom blades. However, the yellow has 3 on the top blades and 2 one the bottom blades. Aparently this varies, my guess would be by color. If you look through the frame of the helicopter on the charge side you can read S107R5 written on the board. I charge both my S107's with the same USB cord and have had no problems.
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Old Apr 01, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatboy1 View Post
I got one of these also on march 30th.I notice no tape to hold battery in place,no tape or weight in nose cone. I ordered some replacement blades they have a number up by where they connect 1 for the top and 4 for the lower. Are these the originals? the ones that came with it had no #.Mine seems to fly fine and charges fast. 5 minutes of flight 15 minutes to charge and 8 minutes of flight 25 minutes to charge. I have a red one coming and don't what to have a problem like you had. Maybe I'll return it. I wonder If they have got any good yellow ones
You are right, the fake S107 has no numbers on the rotor baldes. However, the replacement blades you got should be identical to those on the heli. I have both the real S107 and a fake. The fake charges much faster than the real one. It also turns at twice the speed.
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Old Apr 02, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Phil Ritchie, you have definitely done a thorough comparison, thanks for posting your findings! I remember reading in another thread how the controller was rougher on the fake heli than on the real one, I have been searching for days and have yet to come across that post again.

I ordered the S107 a few days ago from Amazon, when I received the package I could tell immediately that the controller had a rough texture unlike the real syma. After unboxing the heli I noticed that the circuit board had no S107RX markings, the counterfeit copter was stable in flight and performed well, forward flight was a bit lacking though.
I contacted amazon letting them know I had a fake heli shipped to me and they were very helpful, however, the new one they sent me is also a fake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fatboy1 View Post
I got one of these also on march 30th.I notice no tape to hold battery in place,no tape or weight in nose cone. I ordered some replacement blades they have a number up by where they connect 1 for the top and 4 for the lower. Are these the originals? the ones that came with it had no #.Mine seems to fly fine and charges fast. 5 minutes of flight 15 minutes to charge and 8 minutes of flight 25 minutes to charge. I have a red one coming and don't what to have a problem like you had. Maybe I'll return it. I wonder If they have got any good yellow ones
Charging time on mine also seems to be around 5-15 minutes with a 3-4 minute fly time
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Last edited by thinkviv; Apr 02, 2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old Apr 02, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Hmm, they previously sold them (genuine) at around $32 and now they're priced around $22. Makes me wonder.
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Old Apr 02, 2011, 11:29 PM
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I've also wondered why the price is dropping so quickly. I bought a genuine one 3 weeks ago and now they are nearly $5 cheaper.
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 02:35 AM
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Clones and knock-off S107s are everywhere ... be careful. Even Amazon has no idea what they are selling.
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 02:55 AM
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I got 2 s107s from ebay, was $25 each shipped, and they are both genuine. Seller sold like 184 of them and they all posted positive feedback.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 09:05 AM
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I have two original 107s and just ordered one of the $22 ones. I'll find out Tues. and let you know. Update: The blue one coming on Tues the 5th is coming from Xheli so it should be genuine.
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Old Apr 05, 2011, 05:20 PM
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another difference

On the main S107 thread or via pm someone pointed out that the RPC has no tube spacer between the upper and lower rotor hubs and that the blades on the RPC have no numbers at the root. I confirmed both those differences on the units my son and I photographed. Someone else asked about the flybar ends and the number of screws holding the flybar hub to the shaft. My real R5 and the RPC have identical flybar ends, they are sort of oval in cross section. Both of them have a single screw locking the flybar hub to the shaft. My grandson has an R5 that came with the older styrofoam internal package and it has flybar ends that are cylindrical, and two screws holding the hub to the shaft. So I say neither the flybar tip design detail nor the number of screws locking the hub to the shaft are valid indicators of an RPC.
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Last edited by Phil Ritchie; Apr 05, 2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: wording
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Old Apr 06, 2011, 11:40 AM
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So can we assume that this copter isn't being produced by Syma? Amazon is selling a bunch of these and i'm unsure whether to send mine back or not. I want a real one in case I need replacement parts or in case I decide to buy another. Amazon has already replaced one heli for me, I dont want to be a pain to them but they replaced it with the same thing
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Old Apr 06, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Did anyone bought S107 from BlueRigger (through Amazon)? Is it the real one?
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