I bought that drone over a week ago, been playing with it quite a bit and getting decent at handling it. Ain’t gonna say I am expert: all ya need to do to see expert is do a utube search for quadcopter/drone racing and that stuff will blow your mind. I am not that level of proficient but i am getting better at keeping it out of trees and making recovery if I bump into things.
But there was one issue i just couldn’t get around; short range. I was never able to get past 135′,altitude or distance. So, being the curious cat that I am, I busted out the screwdrivers, reading glasses, and opened up things to see what I could see.
In the controller, I found this
I looked in the copter itself and that antenna extended the length of one of the arms. 5 times more than the transmitter.
Ok, no mod to the copter, but definitely one to the controller. I drilled a 1/32″hole in the board at the end of the printed antenna and soldered in a section of solid core wire there, making sure it adhered to the printed strip. I then drilled a small hole out the top of the controller and extended the wire through that, then reassembled everything.
Sadly, I had to wait a bit as the weather wasn’t cooperative; rather breezy.
Then came sunset and calm air. Test time!
The vid I took was 2:56m long and I didnt start recording until I was above the trees. That image is from that vid. By the altimeter in the app, I hit 251′. I likely could have kept going, but to be honest, I lost my nerve. That little drone is danged hard to see up there and the marker LEDs aren’t all that visible in daylight, so knowing if you are accelerating or turning is tricky w/o using the FPV mode. (First person view ) I still have not mastered that yet. (Gonna have to work on that)
Anywhoos, I realize that doing what I did may have voided any warranty this thing may have had, but danged if it didn’t work, and amazingly well, for such a cheap mod.
(Yeah, I know, I am a big kid at heart and in soul, and toys are always toys, even if I can make it out to be useful.)
In hind sight, seeing how this is an entry level ‘toy’, a short range makes sense. Seeing how I am a cheapskate, the mod was bound to happen eventually. And yah, getting a little addicted playing with this thing. So, of course been researching other applications, IE RC planes and remote cameras and whatnot. Kinda like the idea of something you can trim back to conserve battery power while still being able to fly. Quadcopters are not all that efficient at flight even if they are maneuverable as hell. Cant exactly fly a plane sideways like a quad can. Yup, I’m an addict now.