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Old Sep 05, 2012, 05:44 PM
Brakes? Who Needs Brakes?
United States, WV
Joined Jun 2012
36 Posts
Transmitter Mod for Range

I have no pictures right now because both my cameras are in the car and the
wife has the car... lol

I got really lucky that the Walmart in my area had a "Close-out" on these and I got
one for only $25 and a few days later, I got 2 more for $12 each

I noticed a question about "Range" in this thread and thought I would take one
of the transmitters apart to see what kind of antenna it might have.
It has a small "Wire" antenna that due to being enclosed in plastic, more or less
2 times, it is my guess that this is the reason for poor range.

Disclaimer: I am an experienced Computer Repair Tech and am very familiar
with some electronics modification and adept at soldering.
If you are not comfortable with modifying such items and are not confident in
your ability to expose the mechanics of such items, and are not comfortable
with soldering in close areas... DO NOT TRY THIS MODIFICATION!
I will not be responsible for any subsequent damage that may arise from any
attempts at this/these modification(s).


Here is what I did in attempt to extend the range to full potential:
  • 1) Take the batteries out of the controller/transmitter.
    2) Remove the 5 screws on the bottom.
    3) Lay the controller/transmitter on a flat surface - battery compartment Down.
    4) Carefully lift the top cover off the controller.
    Note: Don't worry if the Trim Knob comes off with the top casing, it will go back
    on easily and only goes on one way. There are no wires connected to the Top
    portion of the casing.
    5) Notice in the very front of the controller, there is a small black wire coming
    from the Main Circuit Board and is placed Downward into a small tube inside
    the front (Nose) of the transmitter. This is the Transmitter Antenna wire.
    6) Notice in the Top of the casing, there is an opening that meets with the
    "Wire-tube" on the bottom part.
    7) Using a small 1/8" or less drill bit, drill a small hole through the "Nose" area
    in the Center/Front part of the Top casing.
    8) When you put the casing back together, thread the short black wire through
    the hole you just made.
    9) On the plane, just off to the side of the tail "Underside", the receiver antenna
    wire is taped to the body...
    Remove the tape and allow the antenna to be free... you can also extend this by
    adding a short piece of wire to the existing wire.

    To add wire: Expose about 1/8" or less of the antenna and lightly solder another
    4" to 6" piece of wire to that and wrap or attach the extension to the plane body.

I have never had much trouble with range - out of the box, I was able to go about
60' to 80' Up and about 60' to 80' out ... I would estimate about 120' max.
OOB, I can fly it well up over the buildings I live near and the trees nearby are well over
60' tall...
Since the Mod, I have noticed a slight difference in range and I don't lose connection
with the plane.

Good "Rule of Thumb:
1) Keep the front of the transmitter aimed at the plane and you shouldn't have
any loss of signal.
2) If there are other items in the area operating on 2.4GHz wave-lengths and
the same channel your plane is on, this will affect the signal between your plane
and transmitter.
3) Many Cordless Telephones operate on 2.4GHz to 3.5GHz... this could be a
potential for signal loss.

Antennas arranged close to a receiver will also get mixed signal from the
other electronics in the receiver... Therefore, extending beyond the actual
receiver will permit better signals being sent and received.
I found this out when flying my son's Syma Apache.
If the 4' antenna wire was wrapped around and extended to the end of the tail, it
would lose signal about 30' out, due to the LED strip in the tail acting as a
secondary antenna...
But, if it was wrapped around a Landing Gear Leg or left to hang free, it wouldn't
lose signal until about 80' out.

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Old Sep 08, 2012, 02:50 AM
Brakes? Who Needs Brakes?
United States, WV
Joined Jun 2012
36 Posts
A Leap Beyond... Real External Antenna Mod

In my previous post above, I gave instructions on how to do a simple mod to the
transmitter by making a hole and exposing the antenna wire. This reply will show
a leap beyond that to a real, detachable, External Antenna.

For those of you who are more Mechanically inclined, I have just posted a video
on Youtube of an External Antenna Mod I created for the Air Hogs Hawk Eye Blue
Sky.

The video is about 6 minutes long and shows the plane in flight well over the
maximum range as listed on the box.
This was possible due to the addition of an External 8" Antenna made from computer
parts (e.g., Pin Coupler tips, Motherboard Stand-off bolts) and an 8" piece of
plated copper rod (which is out of the thinnest tip part of an old antenna).

The transmitter case required minor internal modification but it is simple...

The tube in which the original antenna wire is placed needs to be removed to
allow the Stand-off bolts, washer, and wiring to fit - and the washer needed
trimmed on 3 sides.

This mod took me about 3 hours to create and build.

Text Narrated and 4 photos of the project and finished antenna are included in
the video.

Also note that there is minimal "Porpoising" - This one has always flown good
right out of the box but I have noticed that "Porpoising" comes mainly from fighting
wind and when having the plane at full throttle during climbing.
There is no modification to the tail stabilizer and no weight has been added in
the nose area for steady flight.

Air Hogs Hawk Eye Blue Sky Antenna Mod (6 min 45 sec)


Enjoy!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:31 AM
unconventional :-)
kadil's Avatar
Brisbane north, Australia
Joined Feb 2009
2,111 Posts
Just picked one of these up. The prop slot design looks like it will be causing a lot of drag. Has anyone sanded the leading and trailing edges of the slot to try to reduce drag?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 12:31 AM
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Spinmasters is the greatest most friendly toy company i ever delt with!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:21 PM
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Ft Lauderdale, FL.
Joined Jan 2007
2,254 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vistal View Post
Spinmasters is the greatest most friendly toy company i ever delt with!
What makes you say that Vistal?
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 03:41 PM
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Joined Dec 2008
1 Posts
I just bought one of these for $27 at my local walmart. The storm hit New England that afternoon, so not much flight time. Although I had little issue flying it during the falling snow! Now that I am house bound I was wondering if anyone had any other hacks/mods for these things.

I would like to fool with this thing a bit more -one of the things I'm interested in is that, it shows up as a 64meg flash drive under "charge mode" -and as a USB device with all 0000's under "on mode"; the most data this gives me is "\VID_0000&PID_0000\6&150ea90&0&1". So this makes me wonder if this toy could be runing a linux variant. If that is true, then there could be some video options available to us...

That notwithstanding, I was thinking of tearing this plane down and sticking the electronics onto one of my rtf heli's for some indoor filming. And that brought me to asking what kind of cameras are ya'll using for your planes and heli's?
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Old Feb 09, 2013, 09:39 PM
Y=C+I+G
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill13 View Post
And that brought me to asking what kind of cameras are ya'll using for your planes and heli's?
you probably also want to check out http://www.rcgroups.com/aerial-photography-128/
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Joined Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machy2k View Post
What makes you say that Vistal?
They don't hesitate to give you new items if yours broke with in a year. My plane was 6 months old when it had this issue with the remote and they said NP send us 12$ and we will ship a new one I said can I give you a cc number right now ? they said Yes and 1 week later it was here. It was just that fast and simple.
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Old May 28, 2013, 08:12 AM
unconventional :-)
kadil's Avatar
Brisbane north, Australia
Joined Feb 2009
2,111 Posts
My hawk eye looks different after tonight

One flight to test it tomorrow, unsupported foam board, likely to crack on landing. If it looks promising I will redo in depron with tape reinforcing, maybe some fine cf. Don't know yet. If anyone is interested in the plan I have pdf's that I threw together.

Attachment 5814805
Attachment 5814806

The camera is now rear facing.
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Old May 28, 2013, 06:42 PM
unconventional :-)
kadil's Avatar
Brisbane north, Australia
Joined Feb 2009
2,111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadil View Post
One flight to test it tomorrow, unsupported foam board, likely to crack on landing. If it looks promising I will redo in depron with tape reinforcing, maybe some fine cf. Don't know yet. If anyone is interested in the plan I have pdf's that I threw together.

Attachment 5814805
Attachment 5814806

The camera is now rear facing.
It flew quite well until I lost a prop. No air frame reinforcing required. I will now build an airframe from depron and order some propellers.
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Sweden, Västra Götaland, Partille
Joined May 2009
493 Posts
I just found this plane here in Sweden, at about 40$, they used to be about 120...

Thanks to this thread i guess i will pick one up tomorrow, sad about the range issues though, I´m used to Silverlits and have 15 or so, but none with a camera.

Nice to see that people are still enjoying these small wonder-toys!

10$... what a dream price!

Jimjim
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Old Jun 15, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Sweden, Västra Götaland, Partille
Joined May 2009
493 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadil View Post
One flight to test it tomorrow, unsupported foam board, likely to crack on landing. If it looks promising I will redo in depron with tape reinforcing, maybe some fine cf. Don't know yet. If anyone is interested in the plan I have pdf's that I threw together.

Attachment 5814805
Attachment 5814806

The camera is now rear facing.
Plans would be nice!
Waiting to see your depron version, and as always pics and movies are nice!

Jimjim
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Sweden, Västra Götaland, Partille
Joined May 2009
493 Posts
Maiden

Quote:
Originally Posted by michflyer View Post
A dime taped to the nose would probably fix it just as fast, but with the elevator in the position its at it might only slow down the porpoise. What I did was a took 2 fingers and began to work across the elevator until the foam slightly bent into a flatter position (i.e. more parallel to the fuselage than the current configuration). As you notice right now the elevator is more at a 160 degree angle from the fuselage. When you bend it only bend the area that extends from the vertical stabs back (about 1/2") and you'll see some crease lines develop on the under side of the foam. I did mine by hand and had to work on it again as I bent the right side more than the left. I would almost recommend using a small straight edge so you have a straight bend line.

After I got the aircraft in the correct position it flys like a champ. But I seem to get roughly 80-90 on the range in distance and only 60' in altitude on the radio.
Just in from my and my sons first flights with this one, flew very nice after some initial problems with porpoising but michflyers tip above, did the trick! Thanks.

Quite happy with it, but as always, too short flight times, wish the batteries were exchangeble, an easy mod, I guess?

Jimjim
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 02:02 PM
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Sweden, Västra Götaland, Partille
Joined May 2009
493 Posts
Closeflight (0 min 57 sec)


Close-in flying!

Its my first Youtube...

Jimjim
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 06:26 PM
unconventional :-)
kadil's Avatar
Brisbane north, Australia
Joined Feb 2009
2,111 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjim06 View Post
Plans would be nice!
Waiting to see your depron version, and as always pics and movies are nice!

Jimjim
Too many projects, such little progress. Oh well, here is the plan anyhoo

Attachment 5871195
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