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. 🙂
The 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.
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.
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
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