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Mar 05, 2016, 09:31 PM
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Syma X5C-1 Modifications.


Hello everyone,
I would like to share the path which i have chosen to take with my X5 and hopefully pass along some of the knowledge with others...Alot of it you may have seen before on a video or a thread or some other sites but i wanted to share my thoughts and show how i am approaching this personally.

Ive seen all the videos and threads of this mod and that mod and some of them are actually good mods and some not so much.

The one mod i typically see is people going with a heavy battery to gain flight time and possibly more power...I suppose this is ok to do but, in reality it is not the best method of improving the X5 performance...For one, the added weight not only places even more stress on the motors and mosfets but, you are also adding unwanted weight to your already weight challenged quadcopter...The X5 weighs just over 100 grams...If we compare this to quadcopters of yesterday ,its about 35 to 40% heavier than previous models with really no more added power...Consider your X5 model an older syma X1 with a different look and a 6 axis gyro with improvments instead of the 3 axis of yesterdays X1.

What i am proposing is for you to think the opposite of adding weight and start removing it.

We have all seen the videos showing to take off the prop guards and landing skids and even the camera as well as even the battery door to be able to see a decent improvement in performance and flight time...So, what would you say to having an X5 WITH a camera that weighs less than the stock x5 not having a camera and landing skids and all those other weight costly accessories....Wouldnt that be nice?

I will show you ways to lower the weight of the X5 in manners that arent to far fetched and considered desperate measures to accomplish like turning your x5 body into swiss cheese.

The weight loss mods i will present can be considered stage 1 of a 3 stage process to making your X5 a super performer with long flight times and excellent flight characteristics and also add lots of flight range!!!!!

I hope some of you X5 owners will enjoy this approach to a better X5.

So, lets begin.
Last edited by 6sharky9; Mar 17, 2016 at 02:16 AM.
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Mar 05, 2016, 10:18 PM
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. STAGE 1 MODS : WEIGHT LOSS. (Updated 3/19/16)

Ive come up with 108g for a fully equipped X5C-1...This is with prop guards and battery installed...Fully stock with all accessories mounted.

Lets begin the process of dropping this weight.

1.) REMOVE THE PROP GUARDS...The guards are an easy 6.5g of weight loss including the screws used to mount them.

2.) REMOVING THE CAMERA....The camera weighs in at 8.3 grams including the screws used to mount it to the battery door.

3.) LANDING SKIDS... an easy 2.6 grams to remove.

4.) BATTERY DOOR....1.1g of weight....(Do this at your own risk as it will make it much easier for moisture and dirt to enter and contaminate the battery plug and flight board)..This is one mod i could personally ignore and accept the added weight from...Also, its bad for the aerodynamics as it will cause a degree of drag.

This is now a total of minus 18.5g of weight...Not bad at all...for those of you who have done these mods before you already know the big difference it makes with the performance of the X5.

So, what else can you do to remove weight?...Youve already taken off everything you can from the X5.

5.) SCREWS....My goodness, syma used alot of screws to hold the two body halves together..A total of 22 screws to be exact...The weight of all these screws total a whopping 1.6g of weight...Considering how tiny the screws are thats alot of weight.

You really only need to use a total of 4 screws to keep the body together and i chose the very outer screws on each arm to do so...Not using the other 18 screws has saved me 1.4g of weight off the X5...Maybe not a huge amount but ill take it personally.

6.) WIRING:..Most all models come with excess wire lengths and all this added wire weighs more than one probably might think...I have not performed this mod as of yet but i will....When i do i will post the results of the excess wire....For anyone who wants to go a step ahead of me and just do it, i highly recommend it. . Actual weight loss is not determined at this point...stay tuned.

7.) MOTOR POD LANDING SKIDS:...Those little extensions on the motor holders were designed to be used as landing skid without the camera and regular landing skids installed....For anyone who doesnt know ,these are essentially Old syma X1 motor holders...Ive found that by cutting off half of each skid is worth minus .4g in total.

You have the option to remove the entire landing skids and lose up to another .4g but, i dont recommend this personally as you want SOME sort of protection for the gears when landing.

8.) BODY LIGHTENING:...Considering im only using 4 screws to hold the body together there is alot of plastic and even body ribs that can be removed from the body...I have done the upper half so far and was able to remove a total of 1.2g of weight...the upper shell weighed in a 14.4g...after the mod it weighs in at 13.2g....The lower half will be equal to this or slightly more by removing the material from the mirror image of the upper section.....Im expecting closer to 3g (maybe 2.8g or so)....Some reinforcement ribs we will need to be left alone on the lower half and ill show which ones to avoid removing...we do not want body flex.

(Update: Weight loss for lower half was a total of 1.4g bringing us to a total of 2.7g for the body weight loss mods)

IMPORTANT NOTE:...there are 8 plastic posts that stick up to align and hold the motor holders in place..DO NOT REMOVE THOSE or you will have serious problems and also DO NOT remove the posts that align the very tips of the arms...This is what your screws screw into to hold the 2 halves together.

9.) BATTERY DOOR LIGHTENING:...you can shave of a tenth of a gram from the door by grinding or cutting off the ribs on the back side of the door...not much at all but it brings us now to 22.9g of weight lost in total....I gotta find another tenth somewhere to bring this to an even 23g..haha.

Now we have an actual weight loss of 24.3g... plus an estimated weight loss of maybe 1g for excess wire which brings us to a possible total of minus 25.3g of weight.

The stock 500mah 20c battery and camera assembly together weigh in at 22.8g....Do you see where this is going with increased flight time and performance with even a stock battery. 

This is the equivalent to removing all the accessories including the camera and not having the weight of the stock battery although it is installed.....This will be a very large gain in performance all around no matter how we look at it.

Now this brings us to those who wishes to use the syma 2mp camera....You can re-install the landing skids (+2.6g) and camera assembly (+8.3g) along with the battery door (+1.1g) but, will gain back 12g of weight.....What im proposing is, mounting the camera inside the body without the camera case....This will allow you to eliminate the need of the landing skids and battery door as well as the camera case with attaching screws...Remember, this is just over half the weight we have already taken off so, not really a step backwards we want to take.

I will be showing you how i mount my camera inside the body of the x5 and it will take a little effort but this is 4.3 grams of weight here we can eliminate and, very worth the efforts it in my opinion... ..This will unfortunately still add back 4 grams of weight but, this is not really a concerning amount of weight to add back for the privilege of having a camera on our x5.

I will be updating as i find even more ways to lose weight within reason.

Thanks for looking and i hope some of you can enjoy these mods as much as i will.
Last edited by 6sharky9; Mar 21, 2016 at 12:32 AM.
Mar 05, 2016, 10:19 PM
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STAGE 2 MODS: (Battery choices, gears and, range extension)

1.)Batteries are somewhat of a hit and miss...You will find many claims of Mah and C ratings which in all honesty, most are a bunch of bull crap with false claims and slick looking wrappers as a marketing strategy....One popular name such as Turnigy follows this route quite often so, i dont use them personally...If they work for you and you like them then thats great but, they arent for me and i dont care to use them...I did a few years back on helis and i wasnt the least bit impressed...Maybe they are better now and im making a mistake but i think im happy with my battery choices so far.

One battery i do have on order is a Venom Drone 600mah 30c which uses only grade A cells...has a lifetime replacement policy and will offer more than enough power at 18 amps and 2.22wh to feed our x5...stock batteries supply maybe 10 amps and 1.85wh.

So why not a bigger 750 mah or even a 1000 mah battery?...Well, you can choose that if you want but, remember with more capacity comes more weight and more stress on the motors....To take advantage of the weight loss we worked so hard to get why would we want to add it back with a huge battery?...A 600mah will supply the camera with more than enough power and still gain a respectable amount of added flight time based on the weight we already removed...I do expect a slight increase in weight over the stock 500mah but it shouldnt be an extreme amount like a 750, 800, 850,950 or, even a 1000 mah battery offered as upgrades....I will report back and list weight differences between the batteries ive chosen.

(UPDATE 3/17/16)... BATTERY WEIGHTS
1.) Stock 500mah 20c Syma battery (14.5g)
2.) Generic brand china 500mah 25c (coming soon)
3.) Venom Drone 600mah 30c (17.2g)
4.) Venom 700mah 35c (18.4g)
5.) MyLipo.de 480mah 40c (coming soon)

Another thing to consider with larger batteries is longer flight time which some of you may like and thats fine but, consider this also unfortunately equals more heat generated into the motors, which is not a good thing ...After 6 to 8 minutes of flight, most all these toy quad motors need a rest to cool off....If you want close to 10 minutes or more of flight time then by all means go with a much larger battery but, you wouldn't get the recommendation from me personally....Be sure to buy alot of spare motors.

Since the stock camera also uses the flight battery to power itself, we are losing flight time...So that stock 500 mah battery may now only end up giving us 350 to 375mah of flight time with the stock battery...A 600 mah battery will compensate that use of battery power by the camera and give us closer to 500 mah to use in actual flight time without excess weight or over extended flight times.

Ill be posting the difference in flight times and performance between 3 batteries i will be testing...I will fly each battery 3 times and get an average of flight time per battery....One is the stock 500mah 20c...i have three brand X 500mah 25c batteries (just to have at $1.83 each and test) coming and the mentioned Venom 600mah 30c battery ($8.99 shipped) which is on its way to me...I know it seems expensive but i would rather have one good battery than 10 garbage batteries.

2.) MOTOR PINION GEARS: I see quite a few going with these metal "upgrade" gears to find out the quad becomes much noisier, not to mention is wearing down your main gear at a much faster rate than the stock hard plastic gears and is more weight in general for the motors to have to turn. (rotational mass)...Do yourself a favor and avoid those metal gears..they are not an upgrade and should be considered more of a downgrade...I almost forgot to mention the reports of the metal gears flying off the motor shafts because they dont offer enough tightness on the shaft to keep them on.

So what other choice do we have?..MicroMotorWarehouse offers Delrin gears to replace the hard plastic gears and will offer a much better alternative..Delrin is a softer but a more durable material...Delrin is also a more "slick" material which will help reduce friction between the gears...Its only a cost of $1.00 for 10 gears but it does cost $5.00 for standard shipping to the USA areas...I bought 5 packages for a total of 50 gears to make the shipping cost worth it....The syma uses the 9 tooth pinion.

3.) RANGE MOD: I havent done this yet but one can expect double the range to at least 80m if done properly to the stock transmitter.

Since i have plans of increasing range even further in stage 3, i dont find it beneficial to myself performing this range mod with the syma controller but ,i will provide a link to the proper method of doing this range mod if you care to do this mod...There is also some added bonus mods to this link some may wish to follow and enjoy. http://rcnerd.net/syma-x5c-transmitter-hack/

Or you can take yet another possible approach to adding range...Its been reported that the SYMA X8C TX will bind to the X5C and X5C-1....Well this is sort of true...The X8C TX only binds and flies your X5C version 3 control boards and the Version 6 boards for the X5C-1...It does not work on any other versions of the X5 boards..I havent confirmed exact range but its way more than 80m i would imagine.

CONCLUSION:
If you have performed the changes in both stages 1 and 2 then you have just made the syma x5 about as good as its going to get unless moving on to stage 3, which i will reveal sometime soon..This will include different options of stage 3 to choose from based on both budget and skill level.

I would like to note again that stage 3 will include a range mod as well. ..so, i would maybe wait and see what the differences are before performing any previous range mods... You might find it beneficial to wait and see which method will suit your needs or wants best.

Cost to perform stage 2 mods:
1.) 2.4g 5dbi antenna kit for X5 transmitter. $6.00
2.) MMW pinions (minimum of $6.00 in the USA.
3.) Venom Drone 600mah 30C Battery $8.99
4.) Optional X8C TX for version 3 and 6 boards only) ...find your best deal then credit yourself the cost of the 5dbi antenna mod you wont need for the stock x5 TX..You can find the Syma X8C transmitter for around $12.00 or more...so this about the same cost with much further range.

Stage 3 coming soon.



 
Last edited by 6sharky9; Mar 19, 2016 at 11:27 PM.
Mar 05, 2016, 10:20 PM
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Reserved for stage 3 mods
Mar 05, 2016, 10:34 PM
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Reversed for stagecoach modification. Just messing with ya Sharky. Keep up the good work!
Mar 05, 2016, 10:43 PM
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Thank you sir....i was hoping you didnt tell the public about the stage coach mod...thats top secret information.
Mar 14, 2016, 02:46 AM
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are they fast? or more of a camera platform? ive always loved how they look.
Mar 14, 2016, 02:49 AM
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The props and gearing make it more of a camera platform than a speed racer but, that doesnt mean you cant have somewhat both from it...wait for stage 3 mods to determine if its something you would like to try or not.
Mar 14, 2016, 02:59 AM
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To add to the response...Even if you only followed stage 1 or stage 1 and 2 together the performance as a camera quad and even its overall performance in general is improved a significant amount...It is a popular quad for a reason and responds very well to easy modifications...If it is something you like, i would highly recommend it as a model to own.
Mar 14, 2016, 03:23 AM
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What about removing the LED covers, the lights are still plenty visible even though the covers are off. I prefer if you keep the motor pod landing gear and use zip ties in case you want more clearance for a camera.

Just a few little suggestions, I'm awaiting for some more updates on your Frankenbeast, Dr.Sharky
Mar 14, 2016, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by KCreep
What about removing the LED covers, the lights are still plenty visible even though the covers are off. I prefer if you keep the motor pod landing gear and use zip ties in case you want more clearance for a camera.

Just a few little suggestions, I'm awaiting for some more updates on your Frankenbeast, Dr.Sharky
I thought about removing the lenses but its the same case as with the battery door pretty much... It would cause a drag which is a step backwards.

I trimmed my skids as i dont expect to use the camera mounted outside the X5 and certainly not one that sat even lower than a stock camera... ..I am using the stock camera right now with the main skids but, once i install the camera inside the body i wont need the main skids at all and still have landing protection for the gears.
Last edited by 6sharky9; Mar 14, 2016 at 03:36 AM.
Mar 14, 2016, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6sharky9
I thought about removing the lenses but its the same case as with the battery door pretty much...I feel it would cause a drag which is a step backwards.

I trimmed mine as i dont expect to use the camera mounted outside the X5.. ..I am right now but, im far from having a clearance issue with the motor pod skids trimmed at half way
How about taping small pieces of thin transparent plastic sheets to cover the LED pods, that could maintain aerodynamic integrity and it weighs next to nothing really.
Mar 14, 2016, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by KCreep
How about taping small pieces of thin transparent plastic sheets to cover the LED pods, that could maintain aerodynamic integrity and it weighs next to nothing really.
That could be a possibility.
Mar 14, 2016, 03:43 AM
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Im seeing those colored transparent plastic paper covers you can find in the stationary department of a drug store or a department store to keep the same exterior color effect..Maybe the slightest dabs of hot glue to keep it in place.

Do you know what the lenses weigh for all 4 of them?...i havent taken mine off to check that .
Mar 14, 2016, 04:23 AM
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I'm guessing it's around 0.5-0.7g each so you'll be saving approx. 2-2.8g if all are taken off.


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