Wingsland R6 faulty flash firmware

Well after a bit of adding wires here and there and reading out the data using serial to wifi module, I can confirm the fault with the R6 that I got is indeed the firmware in the flash chip that is faulty.

Its not been fully programmed as most of the firmware is incomplete or corrupt.

Hence why it sticks just after the u-boot part has loaded.

This is a problem as the firmware is not available as a download anywhere for the R6.

If I had the firmware bin , I could just re flash the chip and my R6 would work!

I dont fancy having to purchase yet another R6 , just to get a dump of the flash chip!

Anyway I was curious what would happen if I took a copy of the flash from the Actual S6 craft and then flashed that into the R6??

Well I did just that and with the serial lead attached I watched it boot and load and checking on my phone a wifi connection came up to controller named of course wingslandS6_air_xxxx

And I could connect to it no probs. So this proves the hardware is working fine, this was let down by badly programed firmware to the wifi module.

Inside the box when I purchased it , it has a quality control stamp. I guess the manufactures dont actually check these work before they stamp them passed!!

Funny checking in wingsland app it shows this under firmware πŸ˜‰

It thinks the flight control is R6M70422 !

Of course this really refers to what inside the R6.

From digging around, it seems the firmware is pretty similar between the S6 and R6.

They both use OpenWRT and same version.

I was able to see that by using binwalk and extracting the working S6 firmware and the bits which were in the corrupt R6 chip.

But the remote uses a different program on boot, the S6 uses wingsland_server and the remote uses wingsland_remotelet

There are prob also some other config files differences.

Maybe a way to cobble together if we had ssh access to the running system, but its locked out.

Easiest way would be if someone else had a working dump of the flash chip from the R6 wifi module that I could use.

Cant see too many willing to rip apart there R6 and unsolder the chip to read it and so I will next try and get root access to the wifi module.

 

 

 

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Wingsland R6 controller Tear Down

Heres some photos of my wingsland r6 controller , that taken apart as it was faulty from new anyway.

Pic above is with back off – only 4 Phillips screws

This pic above if of the bottom of the WiFi module which I believe is faulty

 

Top view of the WiFi module

 

Pic of both boards out side by side.

Pic of the internal 3.7 volt 1500mah lipo.

 

Pic of the main board and one of the joystick gimbals

 

WiFi module with heatsink cover off.

 

Also a quick test with a lead connected via serial connection to the WiFi module shows its stuck on the u-boot and makes no attempt to go any further, so that seems to confirm the fault.

 

Waiting for spi programmer to carry out tests on the flash chip next.

Although that 4mb memory dont look right in the terminal, wonder if memory faulty

and thats why u-boot gets stuck?

 

 

 

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Faulty Wingsland R6 from Banggood

Well after waiting months for stock to come in , Banggood finally had them in stock.

So ordered one and this is how it came

Was looking forward to seeing how the Wingsland S6 flew with a remote at last!

After charging up the remote and S6, went on to connect.

Hmmmm was not connecting!

Tried loads of times and checked with others and from youtube videos and I could not get the S6 to connect to this R6.

To cut a long story short, the remote Banggood sold me was a faulty unit!

As I knew its not worth the hassle to send it back to china, I ripped it open and checked inside and sure enough the wi-fi module inside is faulty.

Its not transmitting or receiving anything, so hence why my S6 will not connect.

The wifi inside the R6 must be working in the first place.

Very disappointed that I just my luck to get a faulty unit.

I have bought 3 Wingsland products from Banggood and out of that 2 of them have been faulty. Not very good odds huh!

Banggood was the cheapest place to get the R6’s , hence why I waited.

But I guess not much point in being cheaper if the products dont work.

Also note these might be cheaper made versions as the thumbsticks are all black plastic and on the others I seen reviewed they have metal silver thumbscrews.

I think they just moved over to cheaper manufacture, as others who have the plastic versions seem to work ok though.

So to anyone else thinking of buying one of these, prob better to get it from Aliexpress or Amazon or wait for them to show up at a reasonable price on ebay.

Will be posting another post of the teardown of the R6 for anyone interested in whats inside.

 

 

 

 

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Wingsland S6 almost 10 mins flight time

At last I found some upgraded cells that give almost the advertised 10 Minutes flight time!

Note this is actual flight time from take off to auto-land at 0% .

There is a big but with this though as you will see.

I got hold of a 4s LiHv Tattu-1550 and then split the cells to get 2 cells needed.

As these are 100C the cell thickness was really a tad too much for a nice fit inside the S6 battery compartment, but as this is only a test I undone the screws a bit to get it in and out. Width wise is fine, just the height a 1/2 mm too much really.

Does not look pretty , but only testing.

The string on the arm is just to tether it, in case it does some strange and flys off, while testing in back yard πŸ˜‰

 

But the actual flight time from take off to landing was 9 mins 30 seconds!

But as I pointed out earlier a couple of times, this is just flight time and not time from when you hit the record button as that is always longer.

I took off at 7 seconds into recording and time was noted from then til auto land at 0%.

 

Take off screen shot

At 30% low battery warning after 8 mins

And finally landed at 9 mins 37 seconds , but – the 7 seconds before take off at start gives

a flight time of 9 mins 30 seconds.

So that is the longest flight time I have managed thus far with the Wingsland S6 and very close to the advertised 10 mins!

Normally with mine with a standard Wingsland S6 battery I get 5 mins 30 seconds actual flight time before auto-land.

 

But as you can see above, I had to use over size cells of 1550mah and 100C and so fitting them in the available space is a task indeed and also running wires underneath to connect to the lipo.

I flew without the sonar and position flow camera attached as in the photo.

This makes no difference as although this isΒ  the advanced model, none of these V2 S6’s have the sonar or position flow as those features were never added, so makes no difference with that hardware removed. (Unless in the extremely unlikely event Wingsland ever work on any updates.)

But from what I heard from many others is the Wingsland S6 was abandoned , so no hope of any updates now. (Last firmware update was Novemeber 2017)

So we are on our own to try and improve it.

Shame as I still feel this quad looks great and was totally let down by no software development, or hardware would not work together or maybe person working on software left the company or a licensing issue. Who knows…..

Anyway more testing to come…

I have a Wingsland R6 controller on its way from Banggood (Normally always out of stock) and also some different motors I will be trying out next to see what we can do to this quad.

Why bother some have said to me? Well I like a challenge and I am just interested to see how far one can push this abandoned little quad πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

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More Wingsland S6 upgrade tests coming

Not quite given up hope yet on my S6.

Next tests will be with some yet again different cells.

Also testing with some more different props and also different motors.

I am sure this is pulling far too many amps for the size it is.

So will be updating soon to see if any of these mods makes much difference to the crazy short flight time.

 

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Wingsland S6 and DJI Spark size

What was very surprising to meΒ  is when you actually see a DJI Spark up close, its smaller than I expected in real life.

The Spark does look bigger when the Spark props on and stretched out, and DJI fatter and heavier.

But compared to S6 , it flys around 12 mins ish as with the S6 it seems normally around 5:30 mins or maybe more if weather is right.

Batteries cost about the same for both, although dji lipo is a 3 cell one.

and of course Spark has a mechanical 2 axis gimbal and better app and firmware and also to me what is a BIG BONUS is you can tinker with the file system, as the experts out that have worked out how to root it and upgrade and downgrade firmware and many other things.

There is no contest really between these two.

But….. The DJI Spark are expensive to buy , far far more expensive than what you can pick a Wingsland S6 up for now.

The S6 still looks great and its so well packaged…

But…… Wingsland dont bother with it anymore, no firmware updates since last year and a under developed app (Especially on ios)

So if you decide to pick a S6 up at the prices they are almost giving these away now, bear in mind you buying a quad with bugs and almost certainly no more updates to fix bugs and missing features.

Still think its a shame about the S6, such a good looking quad and great hardware, but totally let down by the software and poor battery.

They could have a much better selling quad and far better reviews, if only they actually supported it and made a upgraded battery….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DJI Spark repairs

Well picked up a cheap broken Spark to see if it was worth fixing.

This one had a broken arm, badly broken gimbal and some other faults.

After stripping it down and checking it all over, I found the front sensor camera case had broken away and that was a simple fix with some glue as the camera sensor was still okay and just the plastic lens housing broken away from the board.

Glued the broken arm back into place and then reinforced it with some fiberglass resin.

No point in getting a new body until I know whether it worth it or not.

one of the wires had snapped away from the motor esc, so that was fixed and needed a new led cover.

after gluing back the arm and what was left of the gimbal, I tried a test flight.

This had to be done with a third party wired lipo as again not worth buying a battery yet.

Be careful you check where you are soldering, if you going do this battery mod.

Had to cut a small hole in top casing, but as I know I will end up getting a new case at some stage, this was not a big deal to me.

Had to use the DJI assistant version 1.2 to get access to debug mode and enable third party battery option.

With this set you can use a different battery. But…. no feedback on what voltage is etc.

As you can see from pic below the camera gimbal is totally out of focus.

And after taking the gimbal apart again, and examining the actual lens and sensor it was obvious the sensor took damage and is non repairable.

Problem there is a new gimbal assembly is almost half the price of a new Spark.

The motors in the gimbal worked fine, but was smashed so sadly not really usable that bit either as too much of casing was missing.

So had a look around and got a cheap second hand one that had a fault, but camera was fine and motors were not.

Lucky that you can get the motors and housing bit very cheap from china from Aliexpress,

I tested the camera on the second hand one and that worked fine, but with gimbal overload. New housing with motors should cure that.

Also using the ios app, I was getting downward vision sensor errors.

This seems to be the ribbon has slightly broken at plug where it plugs in on top of main board.

So yet again Aliexpress to the rescue with a replacement ribbon and bottom sensor assembly.

So hopefully once these parts turn up, it should work ok?.

 

But real question is….. Is it worth it??????

I guess if one can pick up a damaged Spark, and the main board and motors still work and not too much other damage. (Especially the gimbal camera part)

Some parts are cheap, but others like main board and the camera gimbal assy are expensive!

Steer clear from water damaged ones, especially ones that have landed in the sea.

Crash on land ones if not too badly smashed might be worth a go, but as you can see it can end up with a lot of parts need to be changed out and you need to get parts from china or it definitely wont be worth it!

 

So thank god for places like Aliexpress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WingSland S6 Charger mod

To make it easier to keep a better eye on the battery condition in the S6 , i split apart the usb charger and added a balance cable.

It is not plastic welded together luckly enough, so one can gently prise it apart with something like a plastic splatter.

There is however one screw that needs to be undone which is under the label.

I also drilled out a small hole so the balance and power cable could pass out of the case.

Of course doing all this voids the warranty, but that prob does not matter these days as it seems the S6 is not supported anymore anyways.

That way I can plug it into my imax B6 and check it far more easier that the temp balance cable I made up.

Also still be able to charge by normal usb if needed.

 

 

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Wingsland S6 battery tests

Being that this quad has very short flight times, I used my first one to test out some different batteries.

I made up a lead to go from inside the quad to some outside connectors.

Using a Turnigy 2s 1600Mah normal 4.2 per cell pack I got about 7 mins.

Could just about fit this in the battery compartment , although was a very tight fit.

 

Next test was getting hold of some LiHV cells.

The way I done this was to get a 4s 1400 LiHV pack and split the cells.

One has to be REALLY CAREFULL doing this!!

So if you try this and it goes wrong you have been warned ! Dont do it unless you know what you are doing.

 

New cells slightly heavier above

Original cells above

 

New cells soldered into original case….

 

Flight times were on my first flight I got 6 mins 50 secs and second flight was 7 mins 7 secs before auto low voltage landing.

So one can get a tad more flight time with upgraded cells.

Not tried normal flight yet, and would expect this to be better.

 

Voltages at end were 3.67 per cell.

Charge put back in was 1270mah @ 1amp 1:24:29 secs

So using almost 90% of battery in those 7+ mins.

After second run of these cells I put charge put back in of 1105 mah @1 amp 1:12:22 secs

 

I am beginning to think the only way to get this up anywhere near 10 mins is probably finding better props and or better efficiency motors.

As fitting a bigger battery going to be problematical.

Unless something changes on cell density in the future and allows about the same size cells…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2nd Banggood Wingsland S6

Well, being that my first Wingsland S6 had issues with camera where it would only show a blank screen on app, I ordered another S6 from Banggood.

Although ironically after downgrading the camera firmware on my first S6 after putting it back together after the tear down I done , it now works about 8 times out of ten.

So maybe was a connection or the older firmware that has improved it.

So the one on the right is the new one and the camera works on that every time!

The battery with the new one also came with higher resistance on the cells that I would normally expect, but a tad lower than the first battery.

Anyways, with a hover test. Was about the same almost 6 mins with new battery and with first battery I also got about almost 6 mins.

So it definitely seems normal hover flight time on a battery will be between 5-6 mins and would expect a bit more when flying around normally.

Will test this when I get a chance.

Would still like to try this out with the proper R6 controller, but still cant find these for sale anywhere.

So yup, I was just unlucky with the first one Banggood sent me and the second one works fine.

Although a interesting thing was on the first one there was NO led light hardware inside the quad.

But on the second one I can clearly see this one has the led hardware inside.

Bit irrelevant as thats another feature now removed from the app. I dare say flight time was bad enough without trying to run a led light too πŸ˜‰

Next post will be some battery tests πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

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