Archive for the 'TECH' Category


repair of the UDI drone/ state of the drone/ updated

What happens when you try to connect a 2S battery to a 1S powered drone. A faster more responsive vehicle ? No,  a smoked transistor! What does happen to these small components is that it isn’t exactly smoked, it popped right off the circuit board, nowhere to be found.

So I would take a chance, to practice my soldering skills and replace the transistor.  I went online and found the transistors, 20 of them for 95 cents USD . A small quantity seeing that most quantities start off at 100 pieces. They arrived and they are miniscule, here compared to the old school through hole transistors days past.


The 2300 FET on top of a through hole can type semiconductor.

here’s the packaging..


Now the repair.. the 2nd from the left of the row of transistors, also had to fashion a wire to replace a section of the copper trace that was burnt off the board. Not to mention I used a 600 power  microscope  to see and clean up the board before soldering. Not real expensive microscope for it’s functions and potential, but working with  boards that will require soldering headers or wires and repairs it makes it easier to see than balancing a Ipad and using that as a magnifier.


Now for the test ??????????… ……………………………………….. flight again !


The old UDI unplugged version, is a favorite flyer and even though just a toy, a good test to repair and modify props and get some basic flying skills in, other power modifications  such as using a bigger power source such as a 2S power LIPO through a 5 volt BEC (voltage regulator)  which did not work. This is the goto drone for flying and testing as I have numerous 1S batteries for use.


The ALPHA1 250 Class Drone


First 250 class drone build

 (carbon Fibre version)
1.5mm thick carbon fiber fuselage frame components.
Machined carbon fibre propulsion support arms  3.0mm thickness
 Jin Zhuzai alumium standoffs ,lightweight stanchions
– Main material: Full carbon fiber
– With rubber dampers to decrease vibration during flight (not in use)
-Jin Zhuzai alumium alloy spacers, light weight, reliable
– Wheelbase: 250mm class ALPHA1
– Hull Plating : None
– Photonic emitters : None
– Landing gear : Jin Zhuzai alumium standoffs, bottom of chassis
Propulsion System:
SI-Monk 12A ESC Speed Controller  X4

Continuous Current: 12A
Burst current (10S): 15A
Li-xx Battery (cell): 1-3
Dimension (L*W*H): 25mm x 17mm x 7mm
Weight wires Included: 8g
BEC Mode: Linear
BEC Output: 1A/5V
Programmable: Yes Rotation direction of the motor is programmable: normal, reverse or bidirectional
All parameters can be programmed via using a program card or a transmitter, including default settings
Multiple protection features including low voltage cut-off protection/over-heat protection/throttlesignal loss protection
Alarm to help you find the devices: keep the throttle on FULL ON position for a while, the ESC will help
Throttle range can be configured and is fully compatible with all receivers, providing smooth, linear and precise throttle response.

2300KV 2204 Brushless Motor X4


KV: 2300
MAX Thrust: 440 G
Battery Cell:2~3S
Framework: 12N14P
Propeller: 5″~6″
Length: 32.2 MM
Diameter: 27.9 MM
Shaft : 3 MM

Air suction system design, rapid cooling, higher efficiency and longer life
U clip prevents bearing from loosening
High precision CNC machining exquisite design, stern quality control revealing the user taste and position
The rotation direction of motor was marked on the front bell, making it easier to determine rotation direction for CW and CCW motors
Low CG design, decreasing vibration whe motor runs Light weight built
Designed for mini multicopters, better flight performance
CW and CCW propeller adapters included, holding the propellers tight.
Hex wrenches and propeller wrench included with mounting hardware.

Flight Controller; Programming and Calbration

CC3D EVO Flight Controller Board 32 Bits Processor Openpilot Side Pin For QAV250 Quadcopter

Buying this flight controller some time ago, the progress in flight controller development  is swift. One could devote all their time to just the software and programming of these microprocessors rather than flying drones. Support for some of these boards can drift in and out of favor.  When working with an open source project it also may lose support , that being the software required to calibrate, program and adjust the flight controller. You can go the YouTube , Google it route, for advisement but the reality that I have found is that you  eventually get the system to connect and function without getting into specifics like boot loaders and compatibility ,Yes you can get on the internet merry-go-round to get solutions from videos and forums, but some are cryptic without results or merit. I found that DRonin flight control ground station, a GUI based program, is compatible with the CC3D board. Even using different platforms , a Macbook versus Windows machine didn’t produce the same results, windows would work but the Mac version of DRonin didn’t.  The big boys heave the obsolete hardware and move on but me being the stubborn variety , (HACK IT)  will get it to work even though to some it’s a miniscule amount of money involved. (generally I buy and build by the piece by piece method and tackle it when the mood strikes), I’m often late the party. That’s why I have probably 10 different GCS packages on different computers.

Building Alpha1 first as a test bed, the frame is basic and the wiring is complete enough for testing. A 2S battery provides power for testing and short power ups. A 4 channel Sunfounder receiver and TU transmitter is used to test the input to the flight controller. Once it is tuned, I’ll clean up the wiring and build up chassis  and add enhancements. 6 channel reciever, transmitter, video, transmitter etc.



One more try with the Libre Pilot Ground Control Software . After reading a few more notes from online sources, with no power, shorted the boot pins, and connected the USB cable to the flight controller. Boot loader did it’s thing and reflashed firmware. Rebooted and was able to use the Librepilot system. Next with a circular bubble level on the chassis, made sure it was properly level. As you may take this for granted that your bench or desktop is level. (similar to a basic configuration of any machine surface, you want to calibrate that the bed is level, thus accurate readings of the sensors on the flight controller).

Now the battery that was used for the test flight and bench top configuration was woefully under powered as the drone did not react properly only lifting off several inches. Soldering up some connectors for a larger battery capacity type and fastening it on the underbelly provided the final piece to the puzzle. Hover time and maneuvering test completed. One prop blade snapped.




Droning around

Where are the drones? fiddling around and tinkering with electronics has always been a pastimes for me and over the years there has been a growth in programming small-scale electronics. The latest is drones an easy to get into hobby as the parts as with most other electronics these days is inexpensive and can be bought in stages, not only parts but kits, microprocessors, sensors and the like. The hobby is so diverse these days the inexpensive components can be sourced from overseas and with the small weight and postal system shipping involved, no longer a high cost for shipping , in most cases free shipping or a small charge for tracking packages from the pacific rim. Might be a little longer than a several day delivery, once your pipeline is started, the competition and scale of manufacturing allows you to purchase parts for literally several dollars (USD) each allowing you to build you inventory over a period of time and them assemble your project.

Here’s a drone that I switched over from the original Protocol frame and chassis to the Sunfounder frames and motors. The original Protocol gear train failed.

Propulsion : 4 , x 7 x 20 direct drive brushed motors

Propellers : 2 cw and 2 ccw   55 x 3 MM double blade propellers, 70 MM maximum friction fit to motor shaft

Flight  controller, Protocol Air Videodrone AP , altitude sensor

Transmitter, Protocol Videodrone AP

Chassis: 118mm carbon fibre Sunfounder 6D with Protocol 1S battery holder and flight controller mounting.

Illumination: 2 forward facing green photonic  emitting diodes

                               2 rear facing red photonic  emitting diodes

Video capability, none

Power module, 1S lipo cell , 250 to 500 MA capacity available


Alas the drone flew well, this one has altitude stabilation, but the mixing of the different type of 1S batteries (amp hours), led to a reverse polarity connection which the flight controller didn’t like and failed to work after that. The parts will be returned to the parts bin less the flight controller.


Next up is the UDI unplugged version, just the basic for flight. Gear train and bearing style propulsion, different brushed type motors and propellers can be tested.  The longest lasting drone I’ve had to fly. Altitude stabilization not too good with this drone, oscillates and plenty of feedback on the thrust stick needed to stabilize. Mostly stock parts. I’ve had to improvise and use bushings on the Fiberglass main output shafts to mount  propellors other than the UDI one. Brushed motors will have a limited life, and currently most of the smaller drones now utilize smaller brushless induction motors, which need electronic speed controllers and ascosiated hardware and programming.


The UDI props are about 5 inch and are light and thin gauge but wide.

Flight controller utilizes plugin lighting and motor connection.IMG_3640

Photonic emitters are one per each propulsion, blue/red front/back configuration assembly; two, 2 each white led strips on the bottom and one forward facing white emitter that indicates headless mode on/off by the transmitter setting.IMG_3641

Nice wheelbase dimension here allows up to 6 inch props… Stuts could be modified in lenght. A bit under powered, no liftoff with 5030 inch tri blade props.IMG_3642

Gear train assembly, rugged, not any problem with gears, have to bush up shaft with aftermarket props to prevent shaft slipping and gears on the main shaft not aligning with pinion.IMG_3643

Top of main propulsion shaft is flat keyed for props and utilizes set screw mounting via shaft.IMG_3644

6 inch props mounted


Utilized bushings provided with aftermarket standard 6030×2 props and screws to fit the 4mm fiberglass main propulsion shafts.IMG_4093

Rats nest style flight controller wiringIMG_4095

Secure by drilled holes in prop with screw. (maybe prop is mounted upside down) Flyable with the 6 inch props but a bit sluggish.IMG_4096

Whats next ? switching over to a Flyski (That’s how I pronounce it) transmitter, various compatible brushed and brushless flight controllers, recievers, power distribution, ESC’s boards and motors and frames. Batteries, in the voltage range needed can be pricy. Tinkering with power supply voltage and current monitoring measuring and charging of the LIPOs. Once the necessary parts and hardware and all the other bits and pieces are received the build and testing will begin of various drone configurations. Changes are always happening to the drone market and smaller more powerful brushless drones mostly racing class are in favor now. Another advantage to this hobby is that there is plenty of guidance and info available for the hobbyist, from you tube tutorials to online software to program your hardware. Happy Flying!


Spyder XL hybrid stunt drone motor replacement

A continuation of

About the Propel Spyder XL


more info on the spyder xl

spyderxlamazonmore  hobby time…

The challenge was to replace the motor on the Spyder XL purchased from Ebay, an impossible task to get an exact replacement motor without buying another used Spyder XL for parts.

The unusual method is to scour the internet for a replacement, of course the possibility of locating such a motor was small. For the hobbyist, a ONE motor purchase is like finding a needle in the haystack. The best chances are pacific rim suppliers particulary China, the Aliexpress and Banggood web site is a very well know sites for drones and replacement parts but getting down to the nuts and bolts of finding the exact replacement, is daunting. Most motor specifications are only limited to what drone utilizes the offered replacement motor. Some if any give the dimensional measurements of the motor let alone the electrical specifications. A voltage guess is by the supply battery of the quadrocopter. Even many of the online hobby shops don’t give exact dimensions a they assume that you are doing a replacement for a specific drone, if the model of your drone doesn’t offer replacement parts other than the standard propellers, your on your own. (is it possible that the distributor of the drone restricts replacement parts, since most of the electronics are sourced from China?)

(getting further onto the hobby one could test each motor for current draw and voltage , with additional test equipment one could measure RPM)

To further add to this task is the addition of the shaft size and pinion gear that is used for the gear reduction of the driven propeller. Sharpening your search skills, limiting the budget to purchasing motors instead of a brand new drone or another used drone modifications  for motor replacement are part of the hobby.

One other chance is the site Alibaba, which some of the  purchasing systems is arranged by contract. Also this buy and sell site collection of outlets usually deal in larger quantity. One vendor, after searching Alibaba, contacted me through email, a major dc motor supplier. I responded with the measurements of the needed motor but they were unable to find a replacement. This demonstrates the level of service that many of the manufacturers show their customers even if they are dealing with a small order.

OK ! long story short…. I did get some replacement motors, one set too small and one set too large. The best bet was to install the larger motors with some modification to the mounting protocol. The shaft size and pinion gear was the correct dimension.

But first the problem with the motor with low output.


The worn brush of the low power motor. Not clear in the photo is a small amount of silicone type caulking at the corner of the brush leads which give it some tension to hold the brushes to the commutator. Later the small brush detached from the brush holder. When the motor stalls from a jammed propeller during a flight collision, max current flows wearing out the brush prematurely.  (Paper shown is for clarity)


The motor with the end plate removed.


wire color code of the stock motors. Capacitors are used on an otherwise standard DC motor



before and after view of the motor mounting modification. Trimmed  the plastic with a utility knife, elongated the mounting holes and increased the diameter of the motor main shaft hole to fit the bearing collar for a flush and secure fit. One of four.

Problem ! when testing the motors before reassembly for proper rotation, the power leads momentarily  shorted (and all most welded themselves together) and a puff emanated from the underside of the flight controller. DAMN!

Now the drone has lost all power to one motor and one side of the drones LED’s do not light.

Now to identify the components I took a picture of the underside of the board. Just making a random check of the board with the multi meter, I noticed a burned open in one of the traces!

Would this be so easy? Would any other components need replacement? I thought of scrapping the entire project!


smoked trace, upper left hand corner to the top of Q6, it acted like a fusible link.


the repaired trace bridged with a wire.


motors now in place for testing, when I spun them up I had to reverse the leads on some for proper clockwise and  counter-clockwise rotation. All LED’s on the underbelly of the craft are now lighting properly.


top view, blank connector is for top shell connection of the LED lighting.


view of the top of the flight controller, D5 and D6 optional ? U3 also an optional feature?

Bonus pictures :sloppy bench

IMG_2887ventilation wall 12 volt fans wired to a power supply.


the invisible gaseous substance aperture circulator for the removal of airborne particulates from the soldering area.

to be continued…


The Blucave Flashcell Cordless Screwdriver

The Blucave flash cell Driver

No doubt you have probably made the jump to cordless power tools, some advantages and some drawbacks, the freedom from the cord of corded tools, with the requirement to keep battery packs charged and ready.

Another alternative not that often adopted is the super capacitor, this also has advantages and drawbacks.

The Blucave flash cell driver is a light duty type electric screwdriver powered by a super capacitor. The storage of a capacitor is less than a battery by size but has the advantages of rapid charging. The driver will literally recharge by the time you get up and get a cup of coffee and return to the bench.

When using the Blucave driver, plan to keep the charger close by. For light duty applications at the bench, the Blucave driver is lightweight, supplies enough power for things like disassembly and assembly of small and medium hardware.  When working on other projects like appliance maintenance, bringing the driver and charger to the work location save steps.

Perfect for working on projects like electronics, and other mechanical fasteners that don’t require huge amounts of torque.

The Blucave driver has a hex socket end that accepts bits, sockets and drills. The Blucave driver is supplied with a small assortment of bits , I purchased an addition set of drill bits with the hex end to use with the driver. With a quarter inch square adapter,  🔨 half 🔨  🙂  quarter inch drive socket sets can be used with the driver. If you already have assorted bits, like hex, security, and torx drivers the Blucave will drive all of them.

The handle rotates and locks either in a gun or straighter position with a one button lock and also forward and reverse buttons.
The supplied charger base is large enough to hold the driver and has a space for holding frequently used bits for easy access.
A row of colored LEDs indicates charging status.

This driver also comes with a zipper case, and an LED flashlight head that attaches to the end of the handle where the charging contacts are. The flashlight attachment has an additional single LED that faces in the opposite direction.

Not having to worry about keeping cordless driver’s batteries charged, the lightweight of the driver, quick charge turnaround, and having it on the bench ready to go solves a lot of problems.

with attached flashlight head

forward facing LED

supplied case

LED charging indicators

supplied bits and adapter


Drone restoration

One of the drones I purchased on Ebay for repair the Spyder XL, had a smaller drone included a Zero Gravity X1- HD  , no remote just the drone.

The other drone that needed repair is a Protocol AR Video Drone: Upright motor,  gear reduction setup, main shaft gears have a keyed hex projection on top for propeller attachment. 1 s battery power. Standard video and still image camera with on board memory card.

Basically, I used the gears from the  Zero Gravity X1- HD and swapped them to the Protocol AR video drone also purchased from Ebay for repair. I had been searching for replacement parts for the Protocol because they were stripped, but no luck. I thought of swapping the entire flight controller from the Protocol to the other drone that had a good gear  train but swapped the gears instead , the  gears were almost a perfect replacement, I had to slightly drill out the bore of the propeller gears with a small drill just holding the drill by a pair of pliers as the Protocol drone main shafts were about .2mm diameter larger. The main shaft is slightly knurled. The gears are press fit to both the motors and the main shaft.



IMG_2208Gears swapped and installed…. Some big hairy capacitors on board..


Ready for flight testing, propellers from the Zero Gravity drone also swapped to the protocol.



Propeller guards installed.

Revving motors for testing.


At first it didn’t seem to fly as well as it should, now, the original propellers were installed and notice the slight difference in width and pitch . Just this slight  difference made the  performance much better.


This has altitude control, more stable in  flight, camera and 4 gig video card for photo and video. I bored a hole on the cover for the antenna and marked the counter clock wise propellers and front with a paint pen. A sharp looking drone in  flat black and gold. The LEDs are not as visible as other drones, a bit visible from the motors and more visible from the underside.

Once the fascination  of steadily flying the drone wears off you tend to want to race it through the house. Testing other functions and camera.

Protocol Video AP Drone For Parts Or Repair Ebay, $20.00 shipping $6.61


Update : after much flying and racing through the house, the drone got hung up and one of the motors no longer gives enough power for stable flight. Replacements on order.

Also the listings on motors for replacements from websites, are providing more detail as far as voltage, current and rpm. So with the proper test equipment, measurements can be taken to troubleshoot problems.


What do do if you can’t fly?

tweaking settings on this simulator and using the 4 channel transmitter from the Multi wii, more on this on a later post.


Multicopters repair and comments


The Spyder XL was another Ebay purchase, after checking out the multicopter, the propellers are attached to the main shafts by tiny screws, some of them either shear off or strip out so the propellers can’t be attached or they slip. This may be a feature so that the motors won’t stall and be damaged.  The replacement/repair was propeller adapters and modification of the spare props I had on hand. The propellers adapters  had to have spacers (grommets) put on the main shafts or the bearings would ride up the main shaft when in use. A quick modification of the original Spyder XL  propellers was required so they would be a thru hole mount on the propellers adapters.



Another modification was cutting the main shafts so they didn’t require spacers. Later ,I found and purchased suitable replacement shafts online and replaced all four of them. The propeller guards supplied with the drone were also attached but were flimsy, testing the drone indoors and practicing my flying skills bent and damaged the guards. This drone has quit a bit of power, the most powerful one that I have flown. 2S batteries power this quad.

The main shaft replacements I found online were the correct length but the gears did not match the originals as there is not a specific replacement listing for all the parts for a Spyder XL.  If you do repair work this is common as some drone manufacturers don’t  provide the specifications or continue to supply replacements. (this could be a consideration for 3d printing if you have the resources.) Metal tubing could be sourced or machined for replacement.  Other items to have on hand are the tiny screws that many manufacturers  use for assembly. Various sizes and kits can be purchased in bulk inexpensively from online sources.



One of the features of the Spyder XL is the sequential lighting LEDs on the struts when activated, when battery is low they solid flash without sequence.



Finally, the new props were installed, it’s of course possible to purchase different sizes and colors of propellers.

Again , indoors this is a monster quad to control but can be fairly stable, it’s responsive and kicks up quite a lot of thrust and noise so any paperwork lying around will be blown away if you hover around a table or desk. Without the prop guards, use caution , I’ve replaced the screws that secure the gears to the main shaft ,the motors are powerful enough to shear them if not completely  secure and applying slightly larger and longer screws make for a good power transfer. The life of the motors are uncertain, now one of them crapped out and all four will be replaced. Another solution that others have used is the use of foldable  propellers so the motors and gear train  sustain less damage if they contact anything. I like flying drones without too much automatic  control, although at times they can be unstable and a temperamental sort. More of a challenge at times.  Way up the ladder is GPS, more stability, geofencing etc with the higher priced drones.

The auto launch button on the transmitter works well, but indoors will rise and contact the ceiling if not aborted. Some  of the feedback is delayed from  the control sticks.

More flight time and repairs are required.

Just like other forms of technology, quads and any other types of drones can be a consuming hobby. Some terminology is appearing like drone addiction, drone phobia and the like. Yes folks it’s all over again, less time playing video games, being on the internet, and now drone flying !  “Johnny be good or I won’t let you fly your drone!”

Happy Flying , I’m with ya ! Remember some days you have to RTH !

Next: another restoration or hack ?




UDI RC repair

Since my previous post what direction would be next? Since there are a overabundance of drones on the market,  many do not get that great of reviews, or over simplify the ease of flying and have a short flight time due to the size of the battery especially at the lower end price points. Some reviewers simply state that there is a lot of junk out there. If you are not experienced and want to join the ranks of drone operators, note recommendations and reviews of current high end drone operators with experience as to what drone they flew as a starter either as a racer or photographer, in other words what is cost effective for multiple  crashes.

Technology has progressed the drone into basically two types, at the higher end of the consumer market, racing or photography. As with other types of electronics smaller lighter and faster can be the general rule to racing drones and photography, (could also be branched out to heavy lifting) stability, reliability and stunning high definition cameras on remote control gimbals  have captured the market. The new announcements releases from leading drone manufacturers to drone operators is the same furor as  the latest smartphone presentation. Prices are reasonable as with every advance there is more technology for the price. This is a growth area with the application of different technology ever expanding.

Drones have given the radio controlled hobby market a kick in the pants. Certainly a few manufacturers have taken the lead and it reminds me of other breakout tech companies when a market first explodes, such as personal computers and cell phones. Some will be shaken out and others will consolidate. The amount of technology applications involved run from remote telemetry, autonomous control, GPS, vision and remote recognition as just a few before even getting into the array of sensors utilized to give the drones stable flight. Racers have not been left out , first person view, cameras and FPV vision goggles make these people look like Borg wanna be’s. Lipo battery technology give racers crazy amounts of power and brushless motor technology constantly boost the top speeds of these racing demons.

So instead of another complete kit, as of yet, after perusing the many hobby sites and quad copter forums, a new drone was out of the question, and trying to keep the cost low would limit me to an unreliable toy for learning flight. Now many of the online hobby shops  carry repair parts with some low cost consumer drone hobby models having practically all of the parts available to build one from the ground up, this is true with racing drones as they can be built in stages but would add up to a high cost , there would be an alternative to  gaining flight practice and  knowledge.     I decided a repair/modification of a drone would be the best route to become familiar with the types of technology being utilized. So off to the junkyard so to speak in search of a decent learner drone needing to be rescued. (Many first time drone buyers simply trying out the hobby crash and burn so to speak, so postings from Ebay on drones for parts etc. gave some promising results)


Note: If you want to repair drones look up replacement parts beforehand,  many models are supported either through the original manufacturer or third party sources, ALi Express, Banggood, Ebay, drone forums Etc. Much information can be obtained from hobby sites , you tube videos, online user manuals.

Lets get to it so we can fly….


From the drone bone yard, a UDI RC salvage from E-bay. Model 818A.

Basically bought from E-bay used, listed as one rotor not turning. After arrival and check,  one of the propellers is binding . After further checking the motor is the cause.

Ordered replacement motor and also a remote transmitter control  along with spare propellers as the control transmitter  was not included in the purchase this is another factor since many low priced drones have of their own proprietary remote transmitter. (more on this later)

Previously I had removed the canopy cover and propeller guard, a one piece snap off unit and unplugged the connections to the flight controller. Take pictures of the connections or draw up in a note pad a schematic before disassembly or research pin outs for the motor connections and LEDs of the flight controller board. (google etc.)

To disassemble the faulty propulsion unit , remove screw and disconnect strut from the main chassis. On the strut, carefully pry back the motor cover, slide it back and expose the motor. Remove necessary screws and draw enough wire from the strut to access the soldered connection to the motor. The other pair of wires is for the LED on that pod.

Compare the replacement component with the original, the gear is slightly different from the original. Note: The motors ( these are brushed motors) are highly magnetic keep them a distance from any magnetic sensitive material, keep work area clean from metal particles that would stick to the motor. (especially if you work on brushless out runner motors in the future) Also if you work with circuit boards, most all videos and instructions disregard the use of anti static precautions such as wrist grounding ground straps. Electronic Static Discharge can happen and disrupt sensitive electronics and cause a myriad of undetectable problems from total failure to loss or scrambling of data. If you have problems with circuit boards arriving DOA don’t discard that ESD may be the cause of failure. If you work with large amount of electronics or expensive components ESD precautions is cheap insurance. Once you open up the cover (like a cell phone) you have penetrated any shielding to sensitive devices and components.

Utilizing the insulation tubing from original, cut the conductors and solder in the replacement motor, of course following the original wired colored connections. Slip the insulation tubing over one of the soldered connections.


Carefully route the wires by gently pulling the through the strut from the opposite end, toward the flight controller. Double check the connection of the fragile wiring before securing motor cover.

secure cover of assembled unit. (bearing below propeller should be flush to top of strut, in this case the propeller shaft is a press fit to lower gear, align as necessary)


Make the PROPER  motor and LED and camera if equipped, connection the the main board of previously disconnected. Improper motor connection order will result in a flipping over or uncontrollable drone taking flight. (How do I know this?) Also if the flight controller board was removed from the chassis insure that the proper orientation of the board is followed, most aftermarket boards are marked with an arrow to indicate front (facing) of drone. Not this one. Accelerometers and gyroscopes have to know which way the are headed ! (in relation to the propulsion units). Troubleshooting skills here learned  for flight problems!

One note here: be extremely careful when pulling delicate connections from sockets, some manufacturers use a sealing or locktite type glue. Small connectors such as 2 conductors plugs, grasp the connector , not the wires to disengage. Some sockets  are surface mount soldered and could be pulled directly from the circuit board necessitating a re soldering of socket to the main board.  If plug does not disconnect readily, be aware and proceed cautiously.

At this point (with propellers removed) you could attach battery, pair up the transmitter  and test the motors.



Rotors should be removed when you power up drone after modification, some unexpected reactions at times will cause the flight controller to start all propellers when battery is connected, due to an improper wiring or damaged flight controller. Assume that motors may start at any time. Again remove propellers.

Checking connection and LEDS, so far the drone is looking good, battery connection resulted in proper lighting and (not shown) blinking led on flight controller)

Secure cowling by snapping on cover/propeller guard. Mount LED headlight (white single LED). Power down and follow manufacturers direction for pairing transmitter, calibration and flight.

Most all drones have a user manual that can be found online. Some might have different conventions on flight controller and transmitter synchronizing  (pairing).

Progressing up the ladder on Radio Control it’s advantageous to get a transmitter that will support multiple Quadcopters, but this comes at a cost and matching transmitter and receivers  to flight controllers is a later lesson. Most of the low cost hobby drones require each their own radio control transmitter  system. When buying drones less a transmitter (control) research if you can buy a reasonable required replacement transmitter as they more than not will  not work with any other type for drone. Or you could swap out the flight controller with one that you already have a properly matched receiver (and/or flight controller) and transmitter using the frame and motors of the drone you are repairing.


Will it fly ?  Yes ,I was lucky as the motor was the only problem with the drone.

The firmware of the flight controller was undamaged, there is no USB or software available to re-flash the flight controller as in the case of the MultiWii.

The UDI RC with the propeller shroud can take many crashes and collisions without damage. It’s a good learner drone. I have yet to test the camera out.


The UDI drone has flown many times and is a learning challenge to pilot just around the house. The propellers are protected by the cover/shroud so they only get slightly chipped in my flights. It’s not ultra stable per say, but after some trimming of the controller pitch, roll, and yaw, easy to get to flight with the limited room indoors available to fly. Probably replacement of all 4 motors and prop balancing would improve stability. A good flyer none the less and time to move on to other repairs and construction. Several high capacity 1s batteries were purchased for increased flight time.


So could I have bought a complete  used drone instead of a damaged one? Probably so, but missing a education experience and satisfaction of repair, disassembly, motor wiring and how the drone is constructed. Modifiable? Snap off the cover and ditch the camera for weight savings, disconnect the LEDS for power savings, go with slightly larger or smaller props  and  beef up the battery with a higher capacity replacement. Add an FPV camera ? Maybe a trick out paint job or more LEDS?

Drone :  $9.99 Ebay

Controller : $16.65 Ali Express

Motor: $5.31 Ali Express

optional replacement propellers: $2.88 Ali Express

shipping for the drone was about $10.00

shipping for the propellers $2.04

other items shipped free

NEXT : Can a Propel Spyder XL (chromed) be returned to flight status ?


May 2018
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Learn Goan and Indian Recipes

Healthy Cravings

scrumptiously good

eat,craft,travel, short live your life and njoy

cooking from the heart

inspired by june & norma

Little Observationist

A journal of observations & inspirations by Stephanie Sadler


Food the old fashioned way

Beer Hobo

Words and photos from the road

Alcoholidays with Mama Bear

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they are going to feel all day." -Dean Martin

spf 99

my two ounces

Bard's Home Brew Brewery

A Homebrew Journey

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

Beyond Mere Sustenance

Food as a lifestyle...


The Best of the visual Web, sifted, sorted and summarized

rise of the sourdough preacher

Of homemade bread, food and other recipes / Una storia di pane fatto in casa, cibo ed altre ricette


The spirit of fermentation


A voice of sanity in a world gone mad...

Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

My Food and Me

... just about food and more food!!!

my sister's pantry

Eat food... real food

Rantings of an Amateur Chef - What works, and what doesn't!

Two Barn Farm

Sustainable Farming, Permaculture, Gardening and Homesteading in Ohio

Little London Observationist

An expat blog about "the little things" in London

Mom de Cuisine

Culinary Musings of an Expat Mom

Cocina Dominicana y algo más...

gettin' fresh!

turning dirt into dinner

Let's Spice Things Up

Recipe Reviews, Tips & Ideas from my table to yours!


Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown


A foodie's thoughts

Food in Jars

a little mech, tech, and food


Fashion, Food, Interior Design and Architecture

Rachel & Maya

Dishing about all things food related.

Advoken's Blog

Just another weblog


Food Adventures in Paris


Vegetable-forward food and lifestyle experiments featuring bold flavors with an international focus.

Cooking in Tongues

Savoring the world through food, trails and photos.

con tomates

Juicy living in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Slow Food RI

Slow Food Rhode Island is the Rhode Island chapter of Slow Food USA.

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

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