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S107 IR Range Increase
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Raptor
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May 2, 2012 - 9:27 am

I'm currently working on a mod, to convert the S107 from using IR to RF 433mhz

So far, i have managed to encode the signal from the transmitter, and decode it in the helicopter. (see schematic of a rough draft of what I've made so far)

The problems I'm having so far, are the extremely shot range (<10cm) and the added weight of a 70mah li-po to power the receiver, (I think the short range is due to mis-matched antennas, as it should be able to get over 100m.)

Image Enlarger

An alternative way of increasing the range whilst minimizing weight, would be using the same transmitter but making a network of IR transmitters over the area that you are flying.

 

(thanks go to http://www.rentron.com for the images)

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Syma Freak
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May 2, 2012 - 12:46 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 1430
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Great work,keep us posted as you progress

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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CPD
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May 3, 2012 - 1:17 am

Wow, I've heard of people using magnifying glasses to tighten the beam of the ir to increase range, but that requires that you aim it right at the heli and doesn't work well. This is probably one of the biggest mods anybody's ever done!

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Raptor
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May 3, 2012 - 7:11 am

Thanks Laugh, I hope this mod goes successfully. (and if should also work on other copters)

It is really in its infant stages, but I've managed to fix the range issues, it seems that I pulled off the transmitters aerial EmbarassedNow its fixed I'm getting over 2 meters.

The next problem I've had is the power source, I cant run it off the main copters battery because the main motors seem to drop the battery below the 3v/5mA the receiver needs to run. Other than a second small (~70mah) li-po, has anyone got any suggestions?

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Raptor
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Guests
May 3, 2012 - 7:27 am

Thanks Laugh, If this mod works, it should be compatible with almost all RC Copters, and could potentially allow 4x S107's to be used at a time.

 

I managed to fix the extreamly short range issue, it seems I pulled transmitters antenna off Embarassed

Now that's fixed, I'm getting over 2 meters range. (still needs improvement to get potential 100m)

 

The circuit has problems running of the copters main battery, as it seems the the motors, when running at anything less than full create too much interference / drop the batteries voltage below the critical 3v/5mA needed by the receiver. So far the fix seems to be using a 70mAh from an old 2ch helicopter.

 

I'm also looking into further reducing the component count.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 3, 2012 - 8:24 am

Edit: Please Delete the duplicate posts above. Not sure if this is because of post lag, or my incompetence :P.

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Thanks Smile, If this mod works, it should be compatible with almost all RC Copters, and could potentially allow 4x S107's to be used at a time.

I managed to fix the extreamly short range issue, it seems I pulled transmitters antenna off Embarassed

Now that's fixed, I'm getting over 2 meters range. (still needs improvement to get the potential >100m Cool)

The circuit has problems running of the copters main battery, as it seems the the motors, when running at anything less than full create too much interference / drop the batteries voltage below the critical 3v/5mA needed by the receiver. So far the fix seems to be using a 70mAh from an old 2ch helicopter.

I'm also looking into further reducing the component count.

 

Without further adieu, here are some images of the Alpha WIP

 

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The RF pair that I used in this mod (found on ebay) (they were cheap, claimed to have good range, and the lightweight receiver runs on 3v)

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The IR receiver and signal inverter circuit can be seen in the left of the transmitter.

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And finally here is the helicopter, its a bit of a mess as its had some of my other new mods tested on it (mainly to do with the gyro turning speed)

But as you can see there is a second Li-Po suspended below the nose, the RF receiver is connected to the helicopter by 2 wires (blue/ground and Green/signal) into the port where the IR sensor used to be.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 3, 2012 - 9:30 am

Here's a sketch of a (untested) simplified transmitter and receiver circuit, I will try them out tomorrow, as I need some sleep now ^_^

If this circuit works, the RF receiver should be able to be stuck onto the bottom of any Helicopter, and run without any modification to the helicopters circuits.

Hopefully this will work in direct sunlight as the IR transmission distance should be <2mm, however if ambient IR is still a problem, the IR receiver and LED could be covered in some insulation tape to block out the sun.

 

Image Enlarger

I think I may need to add some sort of over discharge protection to the Li-Po.

I'm also looking into sourcing some smaller receivers, I will let you know if they are any good once they arrive.

I don't think the original circuits weight was too bad (<1g) but i think it could have a bit smaller footprint.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 4, 2012 - 9:32 am

I have tried the above circuit, unfortunately it doesn't work, the 38Khz carrier signal is too fast for the transmitter, the receiver only picks up static.Frown 

Therefore it seems that I will have to go back to the previous circuit connected directly to the helicopters PCB.

One good side to this is that I've found and ordered some ultra low voltage receivers that may be able to run directly off the on-board battery. >Here<

Image Enlarger

I have to wait for a couple of weeks for them to arrive in the post, when they do I will let you know if this mod is truly viable.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 7, 2012 - 9:50 am

A quick update: IT LIVES, MU HA Ha ha.......

The range issue is resolved, it seems that I drastically mis-tuned the antennas Embarassed, my calculations were off on the length, and i ended up cutting them at 150mm, instead of 173mm. There's still room for improvement on the design though.

I can now control my helicopter from a different room Cool,  shame I cant see through walls.

 

It still needs to be compacted, simplified, and reduced in weight, but the prof of concept is going quite well so far.

Some Images to come tomorrow.

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Syma Freak
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May 7, 2012 - 10:36 am
Member Since: November 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 1430
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Raptor you are a machine,really interesting info-looking forward to photos and maybe a video!

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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Raptor
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Guests
May 7, 2012 - 10:11 pm

As promised, here are a few snaps of the beta mod. (on what i now suspect is a clone Frown )

 

Image Enlarger
This still needs a bit of tweaking.
I need to adjust the efficiency of the signal inverter on the helicopter, it is taking over 10x more current than it needs to.
Notice the long copper wire sticking out at the end, that's the makeshift antenna, i think it can make it better Smile

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger
also the antenna in the transmitter is made from the central core of a TV coax cable. I decided on using this as it is cheap, stiff, and relatively easy to obtain.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 8, 2012 - 3:43 am

As suggested, here is a video of the helicopter in flight.

Why is it's so hard to control it properly with only one hand 😛

the range issue seems to be fixed, i'm not sure what the maximum range is yet, as its too windy outside 🙁

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Raptor
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Guests
May 11, 2012 - 7:44 am

DONE!!!! Finally.....

 

Image EnlargerImage Enlarger

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And it works flawlessly. And only cost ~£7

I will try and post a video soon, and start making the building instructions, if there is any interest.

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Raptor
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Guests
May 17, 2012 - 9:53 pm

Here are the completed circuits, tested and fully working.

The Optional part, is recommended as it allows for basic diagnostics, without the need of a oscilloscope or multimeter.

 Image EnlargerImage Enlarger

 

Parts required:

433MHz Transmitter / Receiver Pair (2.4v)

1x PNP Transistor

1x NPN Transistor

1x Small sheet of Veroboard/ Perfboard/ Stripboard.

1x IR receiver (can be taken from helicopter)

3x 1K resistors

3x 10k resistors

1x 2.2k resistor

1x 3mm red LED (optional)

1x 100ohm resistor (optional)

1x 174mm piece of coax for transmitters antenna

And about a meter of telephone/network/data cable to connect it all together.

 

Here is a potentially removable version, that I will be working on.

It would require the direct battery connection mod to power it. But should be fully removable when it isn't needed.

Image Enlarger

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iowahc
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Guests
June 20, 2012 - 3:34 pm

Hello there. I am currently trying to apply this mod to an starkig goshawk (http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/pro......ASTPCCP10). It seems to me, this is a clone / repainted S107. I soldered the receiver to the board but i am not sure, if the output for the board is correct. also I accidently disconnected the main motors of the board, without realizing, now I have to search the correct solder points for the motors. Anyone has any idea?

 

Can I somehow "debug" the received signal?

 

Best regards

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Raptor
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Guests
June 21, 2012 - 1:58 am

Hi iowahc, welcome to the forum

 

I believe that the motor wiring should be similar the image below, for most clones.

 Image Enlarger

 

The simplest way to test the circuit, is by connecting a LED to the helicopters receiver board. 

It should give a constant glow. 

If it doesn't light up, or starts flashing, then it implies that you have a problem.

 

The alternative method would be to use a Oscilloscope (or make a sound card oscilloscope, i will give some details if you are interested) 

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iowahc
Guest
Guests
June 21, 2012 - 3:54 am

ok, found the corresponding motor pins 🙂 thanks.

 

I also attached a led to my receiver board. I get some flashing. but can't figure out why. i followed your directions. only using a bit different receiver : http://www.conrad.at/ce/de/pro.....8;ref=list but i guess it should be kind of the same wiring.

 

should the signal out of the receiver always provide power, or should it be equal to ground?

 

best regards

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Raptor
Guest
Guests
June 21, 2012 - 4:25 am

After looking over the details that you have linked, it seems that your receiver needs 5V to function correctly.

However the helicopter can only supply 3~4.2V which is below the spec of your receiver.

 

I have also had this problem when trying to source the boards for this mod, even with boards rated as low 3v i have still had difficulties with the motors drawing too much current and making the receiver drop out.

 

The only board that i have successfully got this mod working with (without using a second battery) is the RXA33 by onshine as  it can run on any voltage between 2.4-5V


iowahc Said

should the signal out of the receiver always provide power, or should it be equal to ground?

the signal directly on the receiver board should be off, when there is no signal,

however transistor inverts the signal to the helicopter, to mimic the Ir receivers signal (Hi=0, Low=1),

so yes the signal should be high under normal conditions.


- Ben

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iowahc
Guest
Guests
June 21, 2012 - 5:35 am

http://www.produktinfo.conrad......_de_en.pdf

 

well, this specs say that its able to run @ 3-12V. I will take a look where to get the RXA33 around here.

 

the blinking is due to the lack of voltage? (turning on and off continuesly?)

 

best regards

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Raptor
Guest
Guests
June 21, 2012 - 5:57 am

When i tryed my board rated at 3v the signal would drop out when i tried to run the motors at full throttle.

The only way that I could run it properly was with a second battery to power it.

 

When the circuit is working correctly, the LED on both the transmitter, and the one you connected to your receiver should look the same. (i.e. half brightness)

 

P.s. Are your antennas tuned to the correct frequency? (they should be 32mm/16mm long for your transmitter/reciever)

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