Repairing the Syma X5C-1 Drone

0_Syma Mini Drone

Hello and welcome to the blog.

You’ll never know what will pop up on this page.  If you told me a year ago there would be a posting about how to fix a drone, I would have laughed.

Nonetheless, this little drone was repaired quickly and easily today.  I wanted to post the steps used in case others discover this blog and need a helping hand making an internal repair.

You will need:  the furnished Syma screwdriver (a jeweler’s sized phillips) and a soldering iron.

First, some background info…

The right front motor (top right orange LED) failed during a flight on Christmas day.  Thankfully, the replacement parts cost only about $10… including free shipping from China.

Quadcopters use two sets of two motors and blades.  One set rotates clockwise, the other counter clockwise.  This balancing act helps keep the copter from twisting to one side (unless you want it to!) when power is applied – negating the need for a tail and tail rotor like used in a helicopter.

The way it’s laid out, the motors on the top right (orange) side and bottom left (green) turn the same way – counter clockwise.  The top left (orange) and bottom right (green) are clockwise in direction.  Unfortunately, just knowing the LED colors won’t get you the right replacement part.   Tip:  You can always fire up the drone and look directly across from the bad motor.  The opposite one will turn the same way as the one you need.  🙂

2_Fix DroneThe repair kit I ordered included two motors – one of each type (clockwise and counterclockwise).  The counter-clockwise motor (X5-07) uses a black and a white wire.  The other (X5-08) has red and blue wires coming from it.  All you do is identify the bad part and replace it with the right one.  Here are the steps for the surgery…

1)  Draw a picture of the drone on a large piece of paper or poster board.  Mark where the camera is located.  Record which motor is defective.  It helps to draw the orientation of the Syma logo, record the LED colors in each location, etc.  You might make a note as to which blade goes in each location.  I performed the repair directly on the drawing.

2)  Remove the screws and copter blades, placing each by its location on the drawing.  Remove each blade guard as well.

3)  Remove the rest of the screws.  There will be 4 near each of the light assemblies (total 16).  Remove the landing guard and the screws where the rail attaches..  Loosen the camera cover and remove two screws by the on/off switch.

4)  Gently attempt to pry apart the top and bottom of the drone.  I started with each arm and worked toward the center.  The plastic is very flexible.  If you are having difficulty separating the halves, there is likely a screw still attached.

1_Fix Drone Solder

Tip – if you change one wire at a time, you don’t have to write down where they go!

5)  Locate the wires for the defective motor.  You should probably write down the location  where each attaches to the circuit board.  I’m lazy and simply threaded the wires for the new motor through the same plastic guide as the old part.  After removing the old black wire from the circuit board, I immediately soldered the new one in place.  Then I did the same for the white wire.  You can just toss the old part, knowing the new one is wired right.

6)  Gently push the new motor into its holder – do not force it.  Make sure the tiny motor gear engages with the bigger gear on the blade shaft.  You might need to rotate the larger gear until they mesh.

6)  Carefully reassemble the drone being careful not to pinch the wires.

That’s it!

I hope this posting helps other drone enthusiasts.  The Syma X5C-1 is easy to work on.   The only unpleasant part is the need to remove about 30 screws.

One last hint… If you cannot remember which way to put on the copter blades, take the opening photo from this post and blow it up.  You see the warning stamped on the blades and can orient them the same way.

Have fun and happy piloting!

 

Bradford, Jesse James, and Serena in  Jones County, Iowa

 

 

 

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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13 Responses to Repairing the Syma X5C-1 Drone

  1. Jeremy Wolverton says:

    Thanks for the help. I was afraid of breaking the 2 halves during motor removal. COOL SITE! LIVING FREE and none of the bull

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Jeremy. Knowing the post helped made it worth the work! I’ve gotten help with plenty of things online and enjoy assisting others. I’ve got a home base again (a paid off mobile home). It’s cheap living… It’s still nice just to take off in the van, go fishing, and camp for free. You cannot beat the price. (no bedbugs, no hotel/ motel bills, no b.s.

      Take care and thanks for visiting! 🙂

      Brad

  2. Don Selon says:

    Where did you order the motors from? I had the same problem. Your description of how to change it was very helpful.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Good morning, Don. I ordered a pair from Amazon. It took a couple of weeks but I was really pleased with the outcome. Glad the posting helped you… Others’ pages help me so I like returning the favor. Happy flights. 🙂

  3. Steve W says:

    Thanks for this post. It got me off to a great start fixing my X5c when it started acting strangely. Much appreciated!

  4. Rich Morris says:

    Thanks for the post! I just swapped out the motor today “before” I found this so there’s a couple things I wish I had thought of while doing it. I took both wires off together and totally forget where the black went and where the white went so I soldered them back together like I think they went but am not sure. If I soldered them back together the wrong way would it not function at all? I ask because it is flying but is flying kind of strange but there was also a ton more wind here today than they has been since I bought it a few weeks ago so I’m wondering if putting the Wires back on wrong would do that or if it’s probably just the wind.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Rich. I’ve never tried hooking the motor up backwards but since it is a DC motor, I am sure it would likely spin in reverse… and the quadcopter would fly poorly (since the propeller is designed to go one direction only). Do you have a place indoors where you can test it? — Brad

  5. mark says:

    Thanks for the helpful info! I just ordered a set of new motors for my Syma 5c-1. One of the motors kept checking out and putting it out of control. Will make the repair when I get them.

    Does anyone know how to play the camera vid on a PC?

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi. I just got done flying my old “beater drone” (missing 2 led covers, one motor keeps conking out). As far as the video goes, as long as it is saved properly, you can play it without about anything special- media player should handle it just fine. For editing software, I use Cyberlink Power Director and Wondershare Video Editor. Both work great for chopping up the video and blending it together with transitions… Otherwise the shaky parts of the video can make you queasy. For something soothing, I grab the free music from YouTube. FB gets bitchy about any videos with music so I first upload to YouTube and then share the link on FaceCrooks.

      I feel your pain. My left rear motor on the old drone is weak and needs replacing. When one craps out, I order two sets at a time. There is a place on the west coast that sends them in days instead of the weeks it usually takes to send them from China.

      Thanks for the comment. Droning is a lot of fun! 😀

  6. Rich Morris says:

    Actually it’s flying just fine now so it must have been the wind yesterday, thanks for your help!
    I have issues with playing back the video too sometimes. The first few days I had the drone the video play back worked totally fine, now it seems every time I try to play the recorded videos back it gives me an error message and I haven’t done anything different file wise or anything at all. Haven’t tried a different video player though so maybe that is the issue.
    I’m brand new to drones only about a month actually. Do you guys have personal YouTube pages that you post your videos to that you can share the link so I can check em out!?

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Rich. I am on YouTube but the easiest way to find my YouTube drone videos is here: http://vantrekker.com/vts-drone-videos/

      It’s one of the tabs on my blog and there are links. There will be more added as time goes by. I had the same trouble today – a motor kept cutting out but it was because of choppy winds. Here’s a tip on the videos… When you hit record, it doesn’t always start… and it doesn’t always end properly. Hold the drone, start the video, and look for the red flashing light on the camera belly. As soon as the flight ends, make sure the light is back to green… If it’s still flashing red, it’s not closed the file and you won’t be able to open it. Click the controller one more time to switch the camera back to green and save your work.

  7. paul hart says:

    VERY short and informative … thanks.

    Helpful hints for SYMA X5C (on table/camera facing away/top is red):
    Top-Left & Bottom Right
    They rotate CLOCK and WARNING is on left blade-half when read
    Top-right & Bottom Left
    Rotate COUNTER-clock and WARNING is on right blade-half when read