Rural Flyer's blog View Details
Posted by Rural Flyer | Mar 29, 2018 @ 08:27 AM | 1,856 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 @ 10:31 PM | 1,654 Views
The video was shot at 1080p / 30fps, EIS - on, WDR - on... waiting for a better SD Card to handle 1080p@60fps...

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 @ 01:03 PM | 1,796 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 @ 03:50 PM | 2,894 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 | 1,952 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 | 4,704 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 | 2,093 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 | 2,005 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 | 3,402 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 | 2,431 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 | 2,592 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 | 3,257 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 | 2,471 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!