Rural Flyer's blog View Details
Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 07, 2019 @ 10:10 AM | 4,896 Views
Just posted a short Vid, showing a full "Body Shell" replacement...

In the process, I opted to highlight a few simple mods to reduce weight, such as stripping the LED Bezels, swapping in a light weight Dipole Antenna, ditching the Proprietary "Blade" power connection for a standardized Batt Connector, in my case I use HXT 3.5mm for everything... So now I have 8 batteries of various sizes n capacities to choose from for a flight. With the added bonus of NOT hauling the plastic Battery casing AND a USB charger circuit brd.

The factory 720p 25fps camera is long gone and the drone is now equipped with a Git-Up F1 90 4K camera with full Gyro EIS and other nice features

Although the video description does list the drone as an HS100 by Holy Stone, it is in fact a screw for screw duplicate of the Promark n SJRC models...

HS100 full body replacement w several mods (9 min 17 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 29, 2019 @ 07:50 PM | 5,598 Views
The video below, was inspired by wanting a sub 250g Quad that could carry a decent camera, without having to buy yet more gear...

The F183W has been gathering dust for almost a year as new and better models kept appearing on my VISA statement, and then in my garage.

The F183W originally had a cheap 720p 2mpix camera that shot at 25fps, and I thought it sucked, so it was removed and I tried a few marginally better cameras, but typically ran into grief, as most were either too heavy, or the battery would barely give more than 2 or 3 minutes of flight time, on an absolutely still day.

The F183W is quite similar to a Syma X5 series in that it uses a geared prop drive, though with 8520 coreless motors and at 2s not the 1s the Syma's typically run at.

After a bit of fiddling about, I found that I could get a reasonable flight time if the F183W carried a Turnigy Eclipse 2K camera and the batteries were doubled-up...

To do this I fabricated a very simple frame to mount the above, made from some salvaged plastic recovered from our recycling bin... The fun part was using a "Hot-Air" soldering iron to form the various tabs that help keep everything in it's place...

Holy Stone F183W Camera refit n thermal-formed Battery Platform (8 min 7 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 18, 2019 @ 12:39 PM | 5,649 Views
The link below is to some initial footage with all parameters set to "Auto", in both Sunny and cloudy Outdoor daylight conditions.

The only real change was setting the Frame Rate to 60 FPS during the cloudy day to bump the Shutter speed up just a notch as the first footage seemed considerably darker and softer (somehow)...

Although this cam is a couple years old now and being cleared out at bargain prices ($60 CAD, Tax Shipping net, net) to me it is a tremendous value.

So far it, easily matches and in some respects exceeds the quality of my trusty Turnigy Eclipse 2K.

GitUp Git2P Sunny vs cloudy outdoor test (5 min 25 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Dec 20, 2018 @ 09:44 AM | 6,622 Views
The MJX Bugs 2C has been my main flyer and a great machine, but of late I've been focusing on a Bugs 3 Pro clone (aka HS700), so wanted to bring the old B2C up to date.

An antenna mod has been on the list for awhile, so now is the chance to just get it done.

The TX/Controller Antenna came as part of an order for a 14Dbi Patch antenna for FPV off Amazon.

MJX Bugs 2C Antenna Mods with Range test (8 min 8 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Dec 13, 2018 @ 11:00 AM | 6,090 Views
DIY FPV Diversity Ground Station (6 min 3 sec)

I've been slowly getting into FPV flying, especially for "Long(er) range" flights, as I've been adding components, I found that I needed to organise the various components so that it was less hassle to hook it all up, and to extend the antenna outside the original "Cardboard box" that was essentially the "Sun-shade".

untill I decide on which "true Diversity" monitor I'll purchase in the new year, I've opted to use my old OTG-FPV dongle with an android device, and a Skyzone RC500 monitor...

Since starting into this project I've learned that there are SMA and RP-SMA connectors, and it's handy to have a supply of each connector in both Male and Female on hand... once I determine which is the more common standard of the two, that'll be the standard that I'll adopt for all my FPV gear... though at this point it looks like it'll be a mix of the two.
Posted by Rural Flyer | Dec 02, 2018 @ 02:36 PM | 10,806 Views
The images and Videos below are related to boosting the range on a Holy Stone HS700, which is an OEM'd MJX Bugs 3 Pro...

It would seem that these mods will also work on the other Bugs variants like the 5W etc...

The stock config of the HS700/B3P was tested out to 1.25Km right out of the box, which I thought was pretty impressive given the doc's and marketing blurbs all claimed 800 meters.

Holy Stone HS700 range test approx 1250 meters (3 min 35 sec)

I should note that I did NOT use the stock camera as I think it's just not that good... Although it is in fact 1080p it has a low frame rate (25fps, i think) and it responds poorly to fluctuations in lighting... Instead the initial range test was flown using a Turnigy Eclipse 2K camera mounted in a matching Turnigy Eclipse FPV cradle.

The FPV cradle provides 600mw of power, so keeping the Drone's Video feed live was possible.

Unfortunately the HS700 and the B3Pro both use a proprietary Battery connector and cage that don't offer a 2s Balance plug, so I did have to add a small 500mah 2s cell to power the FPV Tx.

Per the Pic's below, the first step was to upgrade the Antenna in the TX/Controller unit. pretty straight forward, pull the Batteries, crack open the TX. Pull out the misc plastic pieces that hold in the fake 2 Antenna on the controller.

Located directly below the PCB at the top of the TX is a short DiPole Antenna, that has black Heat shrink over it hot glued into place. Carefully pry it out and...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 29, 2018 @ 07:27 AM | 8,091 Views
I've been testing an antenna mod to the HS-100, but found that it was "risky business" flying LOS (Line of Sight) past 300 meters, so I've added an Eachine TX-02 AIO FPV cam that is monitored on a Skyzone RC-500 display.

I couldn't be happier with the results (for now )

So the HS-100 conclusively has reached it's max distance of 500 meters repeatedly and reliably, as illustrated on the video below... The only drawback with that, Telemetry data is sent via Wifi to an app, and that typically cuts out anywhere after 200 meters.

There are a few "Vista" type views that illustrate that the drone is quite a distance for the launch location, but is it REALLY 500 m??? To resolve that question, I have an HK OSD Mini w/GPS slowly steaming it's way to add.

So in closing, I feel that the Antenna upgrade is a success, as the factory antenna were showing "Low Signal" messages any where past the 200 m mark, depending on Alt, how you held the TX, direction the drone is facing relative to the TX, etc.

HS100 500m range test with FPV (8 min 4 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 21, 2018 @ 09:31 PM | 6,793 Views
The video was shot at 1080p / 30fps, EIS - on, WDR - on... waiting for a better SD Card to handle [email protected]

The original 720p cam has been refitted into pill-box and mounted as a "Fixed" ground/deer cam.

Turnigy Eclipse 2k on HS 100 Flight Test (5 min 26 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 17, 2018 @ 12:03 PM | 9,370 Views
The Camera on the HS-100 is quite stable and has potential for many uses beyond just flying around on the drone itself...

Since I had a spare kicking around I thought it might be useful to re-purpose it as a "Hat-Cam".

HS 100 Camera Hack to Hat Cam (2 min 7 sec)

Although the HS-100 cam is just 720 x 1280 res, it does record at a solid 25 fps (frames per second) which is an improvement over the MJX Bugs 2C cam that I had previously used as a hat-cam, as it uses a variable bit rate, and records between 19 to 20 fps, so appears somewhat jagged by comparison.

Beyond the simple stuff like dis-assembly, there were a few things I wanted to note, as this may not be the final version of this project.

I used the original factory cable from the cam to measure the voltages present on the wire.

White 3.7Vdc
Red 2.9Vdc
Blue 0.01V and going to 0V when Picture or Video is initiated via the TX/Controller
Black 0V Ground.

This camera is a bit different from the UDI R/C, Syma and MJX cameras that I've torn-down in the past, in that it is an integral part of the Drone's communications system, without the camera installed the drone can not be released from the factory "Geo-Fence" of 30meter from take-off and 20 m Height.

After trying numerous wiring combinations I have settled on White being Vcc for the camera, and Black being ground. With those lines tied to a 1s 3.7V battery, the camera powers up fine, and can be controlled via Wifi with...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 14, 2018 @ 02:50 PM | 11,671 Views
HS100 Antenna Upgrade (1 min 44 sec)

This entry was inspired while cleaning up misc "Junk". I found an old Wifi Router that died a few years back... It has 3 perfectly good 2.4Ghz Antenna, and associate SMA connectors with nice long pigtail co-axial lines.

I've had the HS-100 for a few weeks now, it's stable, reliable, reasonably smooth flying and seems like a good candidate to hack n mod, so an Antenna upgrade seemed like a no-brainer, as everything I needed was already at hand.

The Controller/TX unit was first, 4 screws and your in... I opted to de-solder the 300mah Lithium cell that powers the unit, as I wanted to pull all the PCB's out and didn't want to short out anything in the process.

I almost missed the original "Factory Issue" antenna, as it's just a single short wire, I scraped a small patch of the paint/PCB screening off the large pad beside the antenna junction, and luckily it measured "Ground". So the thin-co-axial pigtail off the Wifi router's Pig tail was trimmed, prepped and soldered into place.

(Of note while inside the TX, I noticed some PCB ID#'s that read SJ S70TC, perhaps this may be a clue to who is the actual manufacturer... So far, the exact same drone claims to be made by Promark, SJ R/C, and Holy Stone... I'm starting to lean towards SJ R/C...

A quick start-up of the Drone n TX verified that the TX is still working as they Paired nicely, and the Drone took a Gyro Calibration command... That...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 05, 2018 @ 11:51 AM | 8,115 Views
In the previous HS-300 post, I'd shaved a full 78g of excess weight (in my opinion )... this time around I have to do some repairs after an unfortunate incident with a tree a couple of days ago...

HS300 Durability Test (2 min 9 sec)

There was a fair amount of internal damage, ie; 2 broken motor mounts, and a few of the screw posts on the body shell were damaged. Although the video above is around 2 minutes long, there was a full day of shooting arrows with fishing line and ropes, etc to recover the drone before resorting to taking the tree down...

Regardless, this provided the perfect opportunity to swap out the old style HS-300 motors, mounts and drive gears to the newer style HS-100 motors... I have a couple HS-100's that I bought "Lightly" used, and one was cannibalized for the parts.

Right off the top the HS-100 motors have much better venting by the brushes, but the "Mast" that the driven gear sits on is shorter, so the HS-100 props n mounting hardware will also be part of the upgrade.

There are a few other mis-matches, like the motor leads need to get swapped as the connectors don't match, 2 of the 6 motor-mount posts are shorter to accommodate the HS-100's Prop-guard configuration, so I have to hope the 4 mounting points will hold everything together, until I can find a solution.

I'm sure there are at least 2 or more ways to deal with the connector issue that I haven't considered, but it seemed that simply swapping the...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Feb 27, 2018 @ 03:54 PM | 11,250 Views
This write-up covers the Holy Stone HS-300 Brushed Drone w/Camera Mount and 1080p Camera.

Initially I just wanted to do a basic "Tear-Down" of the HS-300 and see how many similarities there were to the venerable Syma X8, of which there are a few, but they end at the FC (Flight Control) brd. I'll post some pics and questions to the Syma X8 thread and hopefully I'll have some answers for a future post.

The body parts are quite similar, especially the LED placement and frosted lens covers, motor mounts and the motors themselves.

Like the entry level variants of Syma X8, the motors are the generic 132 brushed dc motors with only the most basic of venting, standard brushes and regular magnets. Pictured below is a side by side image of the standard 132 and the "Enhanced" Motor with larger vents, brushes and stronger Magnets. The enhanced motor is a prerequisite to moving to a 3s (11.1V) battery for more lifting power and stability. This is a loose goal for me as I'd like to mount a 2D brushless gimbal on the HS-300, and all advise is that don't bother unless you're running 3s.

While I had the drone apart, I decided to ditch some dead weight, like the prop guards, which brings up the issue of ensuring that the prop guard screws are returned even if the guards are not, as they form an integral part of the motor mount structure.

The HS-300 has a sensor/switch that is N/O (Normally Open) unless the camera mount assembly is installed, in which case it will be...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Feb 22, 2018 @ 09:19 PM | 7,265 Views
I started out with "entry-level" drones that typically are under $75 to $100 with brushed motors... It was a revelation moving up to a brushless model, but now I m going back to a brushed model with the Holy Stone HS300.

I d looked at the HS100 largely due to it's GPS capabilities and it's "follow me" function. But thought the HS300 fit my budget for now, it has a 1080p camera and looks to be running the same motors, so any investment in spare parts should make the upgrade a little more cost effective.

Straight out of the box not a single issue... It flew nice n smooth... Don't judge the cam too harshly as all there is to see is mud, ice and snow right now,.. I ll give the props a quick balance too before it fly's again as the video has a pronounced jello roll going on.

Holy Stone HS 300 First Flight Feb 22 2018 (2 min 23 sec)

In the course of reading up on the HS100 and HS300, I found a wealth of information on the Promark GPS Shadow, as it's a screw for screw mirror of the HS100 with the only notable difference being complaints about (Promark's) support and spare parts availability.

I m indifferent to who the actual manufacturer is but if YouTube forums and hack/mod websites are any indication Promark has a larger market share since getting on to Walmart shelves this past Xmas.

Has anyone found or noticed a similar scenario between the HS300 and model xx ??? I saw some speculation that it was an upscale Syma X8 clone, but haven't looked at the various model to see which one.,.

Any thoughts feel free to post below or send a link to an existing thread
Posted by Rural Flyer | Feb 18, 2018 @ 10:19 PM | 7,088 Views
Mjx bugs 2c with Yi clone cam...

Bugs 2C 02 18 2018 (2 min 43 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Feb 14, 2018 @ 09:01 AM | 8,448 Views
Footage shot on Feb 13th 2018... Just a spectacular day for flying, warm(ish) sunny, low wind...

Following a few deer trails, getting a load of logs delivered, and a minor encounter with a tree

Bugs 2C Feb 13 2018 (7 min 0 sec)

Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 31, 2018 @ 04:27 PM | 7,704 Views
In a previous post I had added a camera to my trusty Holy Stone F183 W, that was cannibalised from an MJX Bugs 2C...

When I went to give the camera a bit of a work-out, and found that front left motor would not spin-up with out a slight flick of the prop. This will be the third brushed DC Motor failure on this drone.

Since this is my first drone it understandably has the most hours logged on it, I would guess somewhere between 25 and 30 hours of flight time since early last fall. Given the beating this drone has taken and my disregard of the manual to let the motors cool down between battery swaps ( I still routinely fire 4 batteries though as fast as they get consumed ) I have nothing to complain about.

The addition of an FPV camera with it's own Battery, has prompted me to fly in Mode 3 or 4 to a) counteract the additional weight, and b) get the mini thrill of flying more aggressively in FPV. This seems to really be the reason that the motors are starting to fail in quick succession.

After exchanging several emails with the support staff at Holy Stone, I feel that I should clearly acknowledge that the motor failures are not due to any defect in workmanship or materials from Holy Stone, but rather wilful disregard on my part of clear directions on how to get the longest life of a brushed DC Motor...

Since the drone has to be completely dis-assembled I opted to snap a few shots of the Flight Control Brd and try to decode some of Part numbers to get some insight into...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 27, 2018 @ 12:51 PM | 8,864 Views
This post deals specifically with a UDI R/C Navigator U31W... as an aside it is re-branded and sold under a few different names, this particular model is a Potensic U36W Navigator, while there is a Drocon variant, as well as an Altair Aerial model AA108 which has blue trim versus the more common greenish chartreuse. I've seen an image of one with red trim, but there was no attribution as to make, model or distributor.

The images below detail the repair of the Right front arm that was originally broken hitting a Hydro line at full speed.

This is the third time that this repair will be attempted as CA (CyanoAcrylate or Crazy Glue) lasted about 2 flights, and a thick slopping of Gorilla Glue lasted slightly longer.

My hope is that this time, by spending the time to completely dis-assembling the drone and having just the offending body parts involved in the repair I'll finally get a good bond on all surfaces without the associated fiddling about of motor wires n LED pcb's in the way.

Likewise if the drone is completely apart it seemed like a good time to get a few images of the boards and query the RCGroups community if they had any insight into the hardware.

The 16 images below are captioned to keep the balance of this post brief and to add context. Note you may have to click "View All Images in thread" for it to make sense ...Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 22, 2018 @ 04:25 PM | 8,912 Views
The pictures below are from a fun little project that breaths some new life into my trusty old Holy Stone F183 W drone.

The Holy Stone F183W has a special place in my heart as it was my 1st drone and taught me many things like "Paying Attention" to trees when flying

The HS F183W has survived numerous crashes, hang-ups in trees, and new users that I've introduced her too.

The motors have been replaced, as have several props, the only casualty was the camera that met an untimely demise due to a wiring error on my part

After moving up the food chain of drones, I'm currently flying an MJX Bugs 2C as my primary drone. As good as the MJX is, the camera was not quite as good as I'd hoped and it has been superseded by one of many Xaioyi/mi GoPro clones.

So the original MJX cam has been removed to reduce dead weight, and has found new life replacing the original Holy Stone Camera.

Note: details captioned with pictures....Continue Reading
Posted by Rural Flyer | Jan 22, 2018 @ 10:59 AM | 7,578 Views
I joined this forum as a new user in Jan of 2018...

Found a ton of information that has come in handy, and find the users I've been exchanging ideas and QnA with to be friendly and helpful.

All the Best in the new Year!