Simtoo XT175 Fairy drone

Just got hold of one of these Fairy drones for my intrest in small quads.

This is another which had bad reviews from most and wanted to see for myself, is it that bad and also can it be made to work better?

But before I go tinkering will try it out stock as is.

First flight was done inside and the optical flow seems to have a hard time and seems to suffer from overcompensating and ends up like a pendulum at times

When controlling with Transmitter and say you move to the side is swings back and you can see the pendulum effect even more.

But overall it held pretty well with altitude drifting now and then and also almost 15 mins flight time!

Below is a boring video of that flight for those intrested, next I will move on to testing outside before heading out to a field.

I know the range of this is supposed to be pretty bad, and will do a few mods before then.

Sorry about the poor Audio, my old Windows Lumia 1020 seems to record audio poor thesedays.

 

 

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DJI Spark battery mod

Just made a clip up for the Spark to add a extra battery to get me some more flight time.

Added a strobe led flashing just for the heck of it 😉

 

Not so sure I will use this as because of the way you have to mount it, in a hard landing it could slip and end up shorting ..

I originally ran a couple of wires inside with a connector on the end, which I wish I had left there now.

Only looking at ways to improve flight time, as this is prob what I will take to a trip to Cambodia with me next time and wanted something foldable, but this is small so should be okay.

I know uavmods do something called a Spark Magic battery mod adaptor £36.99  that lets you use a Mavic Air battery on the Spark. That looks quite intresting as it still get telementry from battery to app and also the weight of it is pretty good and supposed to be around 20-25 mins flight time. Only issue is cost of Mavic air mod adapter plus buying a Air battery = around £100 uk pounds and then having to velcro the battery in place. But good way to get a long flight time without too much hassle.

 

 

 

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Mavic pro platinum

I have got a few parts to repair this DJI Mavic pro
Some new ribbons from China for the badly corroded ones that goto the gimbal and from the main board to the esc board.
Main stumbling block now is the Mavic pro platinum ESC board, its different to the normal pro model and has the better esc chips on it. But its a quite expensive and also a lot of sellers claim to sell it , but they show photo of the older type and makes ordering them from China a pain.
Could use Aliexpress but can take upto 3 months to get it from there, so going just put this project on back burner for now until one shows up.
I did apply 5 volts to where it was missing on the main board and that did light up, so there is a slight chance it may still work.
But until I get a working pro platinum esc , cant really test fully yet.
Also picked up 2 front motors with arms for the pro platinum, as one of the orginal front motors needs bearings and it hard to see how I can get motors out as on the front arms, as it looks like motors and wi-fi antennas were put in arms and then it was plastic welded together. On the back arms you can easy slide out motors and wires. You could cut the front motor wires, but such litte slack would be a pain to re-solder them back on.
I am not sure the pro platinum are the same as the older models??? I assume they maybe and its just the esc board and props that are different, but picked these arms up just in case.
Anyway, this stays in the box of parts for now 😉

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Microsoft 2019

As this year ends, its one that I have seen my Microsoft Band 2 killed off by microsoft and the end of updates for my Windows Phone and also almost the end of updates to Windows 7.

It a shame for sure about the Microsoft band 2 as although its weak link was 100% the darn strap either tearing or in my case I had 2 bands which the ribbon cable inside the bands snapped and causing the dreaded and very common no charging issue or dead. It had great sensors and worked really great for me when I was out in Cambodia. My 3rd one still works, but pretty much useles now as Microsoft killed off the web service and so it cant sync anything.

Still Love the Windows phone interface and live tiles on it, but also yet again Microsoft gave up and its days are numbered now.
Still not a fan of Windows 10 as to me its too messy and bloated and the terrible start menu and having to do more clicks to get to certain settings easy with the mouse.
But with the end of Windows 7 support in sight, its either Windows 10 or Apple Mac OSX system or yes Linux.
Although if you are careful , win7 will still be around for a while yet until software houses drop support for it.

A thing to bear in mind these days and in all technology this is the case, whether phones or desktop systems or drones or wearables etc. When the manufacturer decides they will stop support a lot of stuff wont work anymore, not because the hardware has failed or worn out, but because web services are shut off.
Think sadly this is a trend we shall see more and more of as the world moves forward…

Merry Christmas
Graham

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Merry Christmas 2019

I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020!

And to thank you to all my viewers of this blog and all the questions and chat in 2019.

The most questions I received this year were about the Wingsland S6 and Parrot Bebop 2.

2 fairly old quadcopters thesedays and with the advent of the Mavic Mini, I expect intrest in these 2 quads to fall off now.

I still like the Bebop 2 for its light size and flight time and also not having a gimbal means no fragile gimbal to worry about. Although of course only 1080p video and wont be as clear video due to using digital stablization. Also because its light, its not as noisey as most other quadcopters. So maybe still worth a buy if you can lay your hands on one very cheap with the remote controller.

As for the Wingsland S6, during the early part of the year I spent a lot of time tinkering with this small quadcopter. Tried a lot of mods and most were not that successful to be honest. Most done to try and improve flight time. Me and a friend from the USA tried a lot of modding to improve the S6 craft. Its still a great looking quadcopter and nice and tiny when in its case and has a 4k camera which in calm weather takes great video and stills You 100% need the remote though as without a remote , app control useless. Flight time is terrible though, just 5/6 mins (in warm weather) tops with the standard battery. And also another positive was the packing, looked the part and Wingsland done a great job with the presentation part. Sadly though they stopped support not long after they released it back in 2017 and so the app well out of date now. Also with the introduction of the DJI Mavic Mini and the age now of the S6 , I expect intrest to fall off the cliff now on the S6. I did have 1 last mod in mind, but not sure I will get the time next year to do it, but you never know 😉

I ended the year with a failure thus far and that was to get a salt water damaged DJI Mavic Pro Platinum working. Yet again most damage was done to battery and the ESC board, a project I will continue next year if a cheap Platinum ESC board comes along, they are more expensive than the normal Mavic pro’s and also tricky to get hold of.

Also with the price of drones/quads dropping a lot here in UK, which I assume is in part to the pointless need to now register any rc craft over 250grams , means I guess a lot have decided to give up on the hobby and take up other pastimes. Only the law abiding of us will register a remote controlled model and hence the idiots who do stupid things with there models and wont bother to register will carry on and thus this new regulation is pointless.

Also next year the other new EU rules will come into place and basically any model that has a camera on it will need to be registered and so the DJI Mavic Mini’s reign as a craft under 250 grams will not make any difference then in the UK and EU zone.

So what I am getting at is, the price of Mavic pro 1st generation have fallen a lot and might be cheaper just to buy a working one at this point, rather than try and fix my salt water version.

As for 2020, I think DJI will release updates to its Mavic Air and Mavic pro range with there new ADS-B receivers , which will be in all there new quadcopters over 250 grams in weight. I think DJI will lock there drones down more to ease issues with governments all around the world.

Been a rather quiet year this year and little progress forward with quadcopters, dji only really released a Mavic Mini this year and third parties have mostly been releasing wi-fi drones that have got a lot better quality but mostly no gimbals, so might see a few more toy grade drones with gimbals next year me thinks.

Merry Christmas and Happy flying 🙂

Graham

 

 

 

 

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