Wingsland S6 and DJI Spark size

What was very surprising to me  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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in DJI Spark, Radio Control Models | Leave a comment

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 😉

Next post will be some battery tests 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Radio Control Models, Wingsland S6 | Leave a comment

Wingsland S6 Tear Down and thoughts

Seeing as my Wingsland S6 had a camera which did not work most of the time, I decided to strip it down to see if anything loose.

Maybe these photos will also help others and show whats inside.

There is a lot of technology in these, the quad is packed with hardware.

Also interestingly, the board that drives the motors is DJI hardware!

So that kind of tells me that it should be able to react quick enough to say change of wind etc.

And also coupled with the Barometer covered and enclosed well, it really should be able to hold its height much better than it does!

This is also a photo I posted on the Facebook Wingsland Owners group of the barometer pointed out and its in a plastic shell with holes in the top and a small piece of foam under it.

So this really should hold its height much better than it does.

But I do wonder if it actually holds it height much better higher up and I assume it was originally designed to use the sonar and downward facing position camera for indoors and also under about 10-15 feet outside.

But as the sonar and the position camera are disabled in either the firmware or app now, maybe that is also why its poor (especially in the wind) at low attitude hold.

Again I feel this really well built little quad been really let down by the lack of app and firmware development.

If they could have updated the firmware, I feel reviews would have been much more positive for Wingsland.

 

Anyway, a few more photos of the teardown for anyone curious.

For the above which is the Arm CPU and video processing chip etc, I added some thermal compound to maybe help.

Other assorted pics

I added a small bit of  foam over the barometer, even though it already looked done well enough. and surely made no difference at all to the altitude hold.

There is also another pcb under the battery which I forgot to get pics of.

Its the wifi pcb.

But I think its clear to see this was a lot of hardware inside, but sadly due to the lack of development in the firmware/app has caused most of the issues in my view.

Also with the low flight time of about 5-6 mins and no where near the claimed upto 10 mins.

However I did see someone post a photo of flight time they got on the Facebook Wingsland owners group that got about 9mins before it landed , which is very impressive and maybe with the right conditions one could also get near that on a good day.

But most reviews seem to say its around 5-6 mins normally.

So to recap, for the price these now are is it worth it?

Depends on what you want from it.

The stabilization of the video is poor and probably better not to use it and use one of the other app video settings and then run it through some pc/mac software to stabilize the video.

The camera itself on this is good and in a calm day one can get some nice shots and maybe especially if you after some good quality still shorts, but you need very calm conditions for this to be of use when taking just stills.

With no wind, it holds position and height really well

What really helps with this is the Wingsland R6 Controller, but sadly there does not seem to be anywhere with any left!

I wonder if any more are even being made as it seems out of stock at all the usual places and no eta of when coming back.

Coupled with the low price you can now buy these on places like Banggood, I do wonder if they are just selling off all stock of the Quad and controllers and once its all gone that its.

Worth checking back at bangood if you still decide to get one as they do deals now and then and drop the price even more 🙂

Even though I got a unit that had a pretty much non working camera , I do like this enough for what I wanted it for that I do have another on the way from Banggood.

Fingers crossed this next one works okay and will use this original one for battery mods and testing out different props etc.

So for me personally I think its still a great looking quad , awesome packing and presentation and fine if you have specific needs where this will fit in.

For a quick fly up take some snaps and video on a dead calm day, this might be worth it to you.

But bear in mind it’s low flight time and there’s a good chance there will be no more updates in firmware or app software, unless anyone at Wingsland is still working on something.

I also paired this up with a bluetooth controller , which although not as good as the proper R6 controller, kind of does ok for now.

You cant seem to use a wifi repeater on this like other quads out there though.

Seems the app will only connect direct to the S6 and wont go through a repeater, but I guess with such a short flight time this is not too much of a issue not being able to increase the range.

If Wingsland are not updating this quad anymore,  I wish they would release the FTP / SSH passwords, so some of us could connect to it and maybe adjust some of the internal settings to address some of the issues.

I have checked out the flight firmware and its encrypted so no way in via that route either 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Radio Control Models, Wingsland S6 | Leave a comment

Wingsland S6 Dobby props

Well for my next test with props, I tried some Dobby ones.

Had to fix a small piece to dobby prop holes as they were too big for the S6 posts.

I used very small tube from a pen! which fitted just about right and still left them loose enough to move.

But trying to fly with these props did not work that well.

The dobby props must be a smaller pitch angle than the S6 props and it only just about got off the ground.

I think the Dobby uses the same KV rated 4300KV that the Wingsland uses.

The dobby weighs a lot less than the Wingsland and so I assume the props dont need such a high pitch angle as the original S6 ones.

So need to find some other props to try.

Posted in Radio Control Models, Wingsland S6 | Leave a comment

Wingsland S6 Camera issues

Well done a few flights with my S6 now.

First off  even though this is the S6 V2 Advanced edition, DO NOT TRY AND FLY THESE INSIDE!

First 4/5 flights I tried indoors , the quad took off and flew straight up into the ceiling!

Chipped all the props and put scratches on the top of the quad.

Even on this version , the sonar and position flow is not working (presumed disabled in the firmware)

Tried it outside and it shots up around 10 feet from take off and then drops down a bit and settles. (That explains why it hit the ceiling in my house)

On my model the camera does not work most of the time, I just get a blank screen, although it will still take off and fly but wont record anything , as it does not sense the camera.

I tried loads of different SD Cards and formatted them from within the Wingsland app and still it only works about 1 time out of 10.

So I defiantly have a faulty unit.

Just not worth the hassle to send it back to China and so I will end up just taking it apart and seeing it it has a iffy connection etc.

Flight time was really poor.

Seems to be between 5 to 6 mins max before it autolands.

It’s using 1100 mah from battery for those flights.

Checked by using a balance charger and I made up balance charge lead so I could see what the voltage and mah put back in was.

End voltage after a flight seems to be around 3.74 volts per cell , so I am guessing this lands at 3.6 volts a cell.

I need to connect something up to see just what is the critical landing voltage, but seems they are being too cautious on low battery voltage unless its a really low C lipo and its landing at around 3.3 per cell under load?

I also tried some bigger props , DJI Spark props.

Did not fly too well due to being too big, but they just about fitted and was curious what they would do to the flight time.

Was a tad longer as it turned out, but have some better props on the way to test , as I think with better props and modding the battery maybe I can push this to a more reasonable 12 mins flight time at least.

Photo of S6 with DJI Spark props:-)

Anyway, had a wind free slot in weather yesterday and it flew really well and camera actually worked for a change!

It took off to about 10+ feet and I left it with no inputs until auto landing.

It hardly moved and really held position well.

So in no wind , this flys well apart from the low flight time.

I think Wingsland should have made a extended battery for this.

I guess because battery fits inside quad the changes of ever seeing that , even from third party are very slim.

If they could have worked on the firmware to make it more reliable and got the sonar and position flow working and given it a flight time of about 12 mins , they would have had a far more successful Quad!

Most of the reviews on these are terrible and I feel a lot of the issues could have been fixed by more firmware upgrades.

But although the app was updated recently, I doubt we will see any firmware upgrades.

It looks really cool and the packing and presentation is excellent.

Real shame and it seems they are no longer sold now with stores just selling off what stock they have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Radio Control Models, Wingsland S6 | Leave a comment

Wingsland S6 from Banggood

Always wanted one of these quads and Banggood was doing a good price on these , making it worth a try.
Even though many reviews online and on youtube are very negative on them.

Received mine after only about a week and a half, so really good service from Banggood.

Box was not crushed and inside package was some foam around box and after removing that, there was the outside Wingsland Box and inside that, the actual Wingsland package. Glad they done that as its quite a way from Shenzhen China to the UK and packages no doubt get bashed about a bit on the way and so the good packaging was much appreciated.

In fact I wished more makers and sellers done this..

Only thing I noticed after removing the shrink wrap around box, on the inside on the Wingsland S6 there was no plastic film protecting the arms or any film on the camera and plastic strip around the manuals as was seen on some of the unboxing videos, and also the unit had fingerprints over it and a couple of marks on the body underneath.

So this makes me think that at this cheap price, maybe they are refurbished units.

The rest of the stuff inside was brand new in had wrapping and ties etc.

Still at the price and as long as it works ok, I am okay with that.

Bearing in mind a few of the reviews said the battery it comes with was no good, first thing I done was to use a meter and measure the shipped battery voltages.

Resting shipping voltage was 7.78 volts.

1st cell  = 3.88 Volts

2nd cell = 3.90 Volts

So pretty well balanced and no bad cell thus far

Then it was time to charge the pack and I charged from a computer usb 2.0 port so give a nice slow charge from the first one.

Took 1 hour and 20 mins and at the end I had:-

Fully charged pack = 8.78 volts

1st cell   = 4.35

2nd cell = 4.43

So that second cell seems a tad overcharged to me. Need to check that again on next charge, or could well end up with puffed battery.

These batteries are the LiHV type so hence higher voltage than normal lipos and for these I would expect 4.35 per cell giving a total of 8.70 volts not the 8.78 I have.

Anyway, after that fitted the battery and started up the app on my iphone.

Was greeted with this:-

And so hit the yes to update and there I run into first problem!

On the next screen it has no update button!!

There should be a orange upgrade button, but alas nothing and going back a page it still says update available.

I tried turning the phone, but app on that screen does not rotate as my guess was update orange button might be there, but wont fit on iphone screen.

Anyway, pulled out a old Android phone and tried the app on that and it went to update screen and showed the firmware update!

So seems to be a issue with ios11 and a iphone 6.

Maybe works fine on other models of ios? and maybe it works on a ipad with bigger screen.

I guess other way is to download the Quad S6 firmware from Wingsland’s site and put it on a SD card.

After the firmware updated it says update camera firmware and one needs to get that manually from Wingsland’s site and unzip the download and put the WingSland.bin file on a SD card and boot the quadcopter and it will update the camera firmware.

So then onto doing the calibration and I am now just waiting for decent weather to test.

So far, as others have pointed out the presentation of this quadcopter is first class, the packing etc was class. Except in my case what looks like maybe a refurbished unit, was the only downside for me.

I am also doing some videos on this, which I will update the post with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Wingsland S6 | Leave a comment

Bebop 2 GPS Repair

Okay, now we have a working Bebop 2. Its now time to see if I can fix the GPS chip.
At present I am flying the Bebop with no GPS chip on it.:-

But I do have a not used anymore GPS that has the correct UBLOX chip on it so I used a hot air station to remove the chip.

The Original UBlox chip had a short on the 3 volt vvc line and that was why it was removed.

Takes quite a bit of heat to remove these by the way.

Anyway, removed it and soldered it back to the Parrot GPS board.

There is a small ic next to the gps board (more on that in a minute.)

(The white bit of plastic is just what I covered the barometer with and had a bit of foam inside to maybe help with altitude hold)

Fitted the board back to the Bebop and fired it up and no GPS still!

In the app where it should say GPS version it was just blank.

I figured it needed to use the correct Parrot GPS firmware as opposed to what was already in the GPS chip.

So tried flashing the firmware, hoping that would sort it out, but sadly still nothing.

So it occured to me, maybe if I swap out the winbond firmware ic in the ublox with the original chip off the shot circuit board it may work?

Original winbond chip read ok and no shorts.

One has to remove the shield on the UBlox chip to get to the winbond ic.

So I removed the original winbond chip from the new ubloc board and fitted the small firmware chip that is pictured above, and then refitted the shield.

Fitted the GPS board back and it worked!, and also it updated the GPS version.

Went for a quick test outside and it picked up about 16 satellites and worked no problems.

So yes with some patience and having a spare correct UBLOX gps chip around one can change it.

But if you need to buy the chip the cost and shipping makes it much easier and not much difference in price really to buy a new GPS board from Parrot.

This is really just a test to see if it’s fixable.

Considering this board been through salt water damage, I would not advise to do this and then relie on it when your Bebop is up high or away in distance as any other damage might show up and you will lose your device.

So if you attempt this and you lose your Bebop, you have been warned 😉

The best way is just to buy a new board!

A video I made about the repair and also test of some new LG HG2 Cells.

 

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