Wingsland R6 Different versions

Recently I got hold of another Wingsland R6 controller.

First off as I wanted to grab a dump of the firmware inside, as my other R6 controller had firmware that I had cobbled together and therefore getting a working one at some stage was ideal.

This one has the metal thumbsticks

Now I was going to take this apart as firstly I wanted a complete firmware dump from the flash chip on the wifi board and also the left hand gimbal was sticking a bit.

Now once I had this apart this was a intresting item

Inside the R6 with metal thumbscrews , under the wifi board was another small board with what I assume if a booster/amp for the video feed.

There is a extra antenna cable in here to next to the left stick on left of photo.

If you look at the photo below of the board from the R6 with plastic thumbscrews you will see there is no board or grey antenna wires top left. Just a empty space.

This is intresting , and as the R6 was first out and sold with the Wingsland M5, I am going to presume the extra board and antenna was to enable further video range on the M5.

And I assume that when they made these for the R6, because of short flight time and distance the extra booster/amp was not needed for the R6 and they removed it and changed thumbsticks to plastic to save costs.

Intresting question I hear people ask now…. Does this mean the R6 with metal thumbsticks has better video range with the S6? Can’t answer that yet as need to test both once weather gets better. And also maybe the S6 phone app does not take any advantage of it a anyway and still gets its video feed direct from quad.

Normally with R6, the 2.4ghz controls the S6 and the 5ghz S6 video feed is sent to the phone.

Also note: Both models using different versions of firmware.

The one with metal thumbsticks uses OpenWRT with root access, you can browse to 192.168.1.1 on this model and login OpenWRT with root and password = 123

The Plastic thumbsticks R6 uses a later version of OpenWRT and root password is NOT 123. and also the web interface been removed. But also cant access telenet etc on the newer firmware, as have no idea what wingsland set password to.

Update: Binding to S6

Now this explains why some have had issues connecting the R6 to a S6.

As it seems there are 2 ways of binding the R6 depending on what version of R6 firmware you have! Might have to do a write up on this……

 

Right onwards to removing wifi flash chip and reading out firmware and fixing the sticky gimbal……

 

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Wingsland S6 Cracks in Fairy Drone spacers

Just a warning out there to watch out for cracks, when using fairy drone props and spacers.

The spacers are plastic and they are not a 100% fit as they seem a couple thou smaller in the spacing.

This means the legs of the plastic spacers gets squashed in a bit. You can tell this when one or more of the props do not move freely. Also because of this one or more of the props also wont be as balanced.

I think a better solution to this is to use the original Wingsland metal spacers and find some collets that fit the original screws , so the fairy drone props fit that way.

Because by the looks of it these plastic spacers are going to fracture under the stress, and will be a big problem if in the air when these give up the ghost.

Also as these spacers are plastic and the tolerances in manufacture , some might fit better than others?

 

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Wingsland S6 scene still alive?

Spent many a hour playing with my S6 and taking it apart , modding and fixing it.

Prob spent more time on this than any other quad to be honest.

Even with all the issues these have , I still enjoy this one.

I have no idea whether Wingsland is still making these or a 3rd party in china knocking them out or its just old stock left that is being sold online.

Bangood sold all they had and then just before Christmas last year they got another 50 back in stock.

One does wonder where they are all getting them from and Aliexpress seems to have loads of stock, but cheaper to buy from Banggood normally as now and then they do offers on them.

But there must now surely be many thousands of these out there, and surely that proves there is a market for this size of quadcopter at the price level they are now set.

Now to make it worthwhile , one really needs to buy the R6 controller and have at least 3 batteries.

So yes this does push up the price a fair bit.

But as many said and I get a lot of emails about this , is it worth buying??

As always I say this, if you buy one of these and can accept these points:-

Flight time and I mean by flight time the actual time from take off to landing at 0% will be between 5-6 mins normally. Sometimes a tad higher and sometimes a lot lower if weather is cold. Many claim much higher flight times, but normally they going by the recording time and thats always lower, as most hit record and wait for sat lock etc before lifting off.

No real stabilization, it has a few modes where it can be turned on but its not worth using to be honest. Better to either flim on a dead calm no wind day or for slight shaking do some post edting for sorting out the jello etc.

The bottom sonar and optical postion hold DO NOT WORK, they have been disabled on all versions.

Because of the above point , you can not fly indoors! Also because of no sonar this jumps about 8-10 feet at take off and will hit any low ceiling! I know this as I tried this on my first S6 and it hit the ceiling and then veered off into the wall and broke it’s props.

If you have access to a very big room with high ceilings you might be okay, especially if your craft does not get any kind of gps coverage, as someone told me that they were told by Wingsland if you block off craft from getting gps, it will work better indoors. Even indoors mine gets a few gps sats, so that is prob why mine went shooting to stars indoors. My advice be safe and test outdoors first. ( also some other advice , when testing out in say back yard tether the craft with a bit of string, so if it does go out of control it wont be heading back to china. Trust me this has saved me more than once! I think it may be due to interference from other wifi. This uses both 2.4GHZ band for the craft control and the 5GHZ band for the video.

The app and firmware are no longer supported by Wingsland , there has been no firmware updates since November 2017. I have read that in fact Wingsland have abandoned this quad, so no real support unless you live in the USA, where they still have offices.

For the rest of us, we are on our own.

The batteries are non smart ones, inside the battery is just 2 LiHv cells.

This in my view makes these batteries too expensive for what they are.

But a plus of that is because of no smart pcb inside , you can replace the cells if you know what you are doing!!! This will come into play once there are no batteries avaible to buy anymore.

The craft range using a phone is very small, especially if like me you live in Europe.

The rules here are for much lower wifi power than the rest of the world 🙁

Good points:-

Looks very cool, the packaging (especially the ones that come with the plastic carry case ) is the best I have seen. Wingsland got the presentation spot on with this. Although this was probably originally done as it was a premium product at launch. The price reflected this at the time.

Has a really great camera, on a dead calm no wind day these take really first class photos and video.

It folds up to a really small carry size, and makes taking places a lot easier.

Has great hardware and build quality (bearing in mind bottom sensors disabled and dont work)

Using gps and glonass , it gets a fast lock and in no wind holds postion really well, and holds altitude well in NO WIND (any kind of breeze and it will vary a lot up and down)

 

So if there are any other points that spring to mind will edit this……

 

So to recap, for what I wanted this for it fits the bill at current prices.

For sure do not expect this to be rock solid like a DJI spark. Its no where near as good.

BUT…. This now costs a 3rd of a price of a dji spark.

This is not really a beginners quadcopter, because it needs a lot of pateince and tweaking to get most from it.

If Wingsland had fixed the bottom sensors and updated the app and also provide some kind of extended battery to buy, they would in my view had a winner in this class.

Its such a shame they gave up on it, with a few updates on firmware and app this would have been pretty special.

My own goal was to get this to a true 10mins flight time and it would be perfect for what I wanted it for.

With different props and the different battery I modded in, I am pretty sure I have this now, just waiting for some calm warmer weather to test.

There are other quads in this price range thesedays, like for example the Simtoo xt175 fairy drone. Even that has a working postion flow and around same price with a controller as the S6 on its own, and also from reviws I have seen has a poor range and incomplete software too.

But….. Its not made anywhere as good build quality, and its camera is not that good.

And of course a Zerotech dobby is around same size, flys longer on a smaller battery and has working optical flow and sonar and working eis, but that craft is double or more than a S6 and Zerotech dont make a dedicated controllker for it.

There are rumours DJI will bring out a smaller version of the Spark this year that folds up and that may be another option in the future, but for sure will be expensive I guess.

I expect more small size quadcopter this year and so the S6 might soon be buried , but there are a lot out there who bought these and especially at the now dicount prices, so expect it to be around for a while yet.

Happy safe flying all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wingsland S6 repaired

My Original S6 that I blew up the esc board is now fixed, just waiting for decent weather to test. Sadly I was unable to fix the esc board I blew up, besides replacing all the 12 mosfets that had blown along with a few resistors, sadly only the rear motors worked. This was due to one of the DJI ESC1000 chips having a short on it, and I cant source these chips anywhere. Its a pity Wingsland or some other dealer cant supply parts like this. So what I have done for now is remove the esc board from a new spare S6 I have. This was easier than say using the new spare S6 I had and having to drill holes and cut away a bit of plastic and also grind down a bit inside to take bigger lipos. I hope at some stage in the future to get hold of maybe a crashed or smashed S6 and replace the esc board that way.
Transplant complete , with new one in background with now no esc board. Just need to solder on a connector for the external lipo lead and solder motor wires back on. As the 2 front motor plugs had started to melt.
All back together now and tested that app connects and motors spin up okay before I fit back props and back to testing different lipos and props.
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Another Wingsland S6

Well after blowing up the esc board on my S6 I got another from Banggood as they were on offer.

They must be getting to the end of whats left I think, as packing on this one different to ones before.

No Plastic carry case now, just foam padding and also the image on the box is silver and inside is the orange version.

The orange one is the one I ordered, so no problem there, and I have cases from my other 2 so thats fine. But if this had of been the first S6 you bought, then I guess if thats how they come now, you will have to buy a case for it.

I assume the missing case and different image are probably due to them coming to the end of what they have left now?? as I doubt these are actually made anymore.

Inside all manuals etc are in chinese.

A check on the battery showed it was perfectly balanced at 3.85 per cell storage voltage, using my modified wingsland charger to show me cell voltages.

Only other difference I noted was it has no led light in front, seems some have them and some not. But thats no a issue as it was never a enabled feature anyway. (Prob a good idea due to the short flight time you get)

So will do 1 flight test with this and the battery , just to make sure all works ok and curious what firmware in it in as there are 2 different versions of the wifi in these.

Some with root access and some without.

……..Just a update, I fired this up to check firmware and its the non root version

using wifi S6W70508

As I have posted before you can downgrade these to a root access version of the firmware, but you have to take the firmware chip off the wifi board and re flash it.

(Sorry I have not posted how to downgrade the wifi firmware yet, must get around to doing that for anyone who wants to do it.)

The outdoor S6 versions, seem to come with the root access version by the way.

 

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Wingsland S6 props

Trying some props that are intended for the Fairy Drone

These props came with the spacers , although made out of plastic as opposed to metal that the S6 comes with they fit straight on.

All you need to use from original is the screws (not the collars)

Done a couple of flights on my other S6 , and cant be 100% sure just how much better they are as the weather is really cold in UK at present and affects flight time.

But almost a extra minute flight time, prob more when weather warms up?

Also seems quieter than the original props.

 

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Wingsland S6 ESC repair

Well I replaced all 12 mosfets that I blew up and sadly its still dead.

On further examination , I found another chip had blown. But this time it was on the main board.

I guess the reverse voltage I sent through it that blow mosfets also killed the chip for the main pcb supplies.

IC was a RT7239, a step down convertor.

I could not source that one easy, so got a RT7240.

The specs pretty much the same except slightly higher power version.

Anyway, with that chip replaced the drone now powers up and it all works except still no motors.

On closer examination of the esc board , I found 4 x 10 ohm smd resistors that under the microscope I could see had slight burn marks on them.

So replaced these aswell and now the esc powers up and the rear motors bleep, but the front ones are still dead!

Gosh my foolish mistake sure did blow a lot of parts.

I think I know what I hope is the last part I need to make this work, but sourcing it as it has a strange code marking and I have not found it yet.

But for now , as Banggood have the S6 back in stock again and using the code “quad30” one can get 30% off. (Dont know how long that code will last for? Think its discount off all rc quads)

Prices of the S6 have gone up a fair bit, but with discount its pretty much what I paid last time.

That way if I cant get my first S6 working again, I will still have one for testing and a standard untouched one as backup again.

 

Yeah I know, most think this quad is a waste of time, but for me at least it has some uses and which is why I dont mind messing about with it.

 

 

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Blew up my Wingsland S6

So annoyed with myself over this one!

I was testing out some external lipos in my S6 and failed to noticed I had put the connector on back to front on 1 of the lipos.

As I plugged it in was a spark and then realized what I had done.

Now my S6 totally dead.

Taking it apart I could smell the burnt parts.

Seems to have blow all 12!! of the mosfets on the esc pcb.

You can see on the pic above on the left the holes in the chips. The photo does not show the other side too well, but they all blown too.

I already used a hot air station to remove one to check connections underneath, to make it easier to match up some replacements.

 

Took a lot of searching about until I found the chips, only number on them was N16 1231

Anyway, they seem to turn out to be DMN3016LDN-7 which are available from Digikey.

I did not plan to ever take this S6 apart again, but sadly due to my own stupid mistake I had to.

Whether there is any other damage to the other chips, wont know until I remove and replace all 12 of these chips.

So in future , I must write out 500 times , check the connections before I plug in!

I know what some are thinking why bother?

But its still cheaper than getting another and I already have a spare S6 , but that is stock and I still want one for other mods I have in mind.

Shame though as prior to this I made a few flights with my now working R6 controller and it was flying so nice……

 

 

 

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Working Wingsland R6 Controller

Well at last with a lot of mucking about , I got my R6 to work!!

This was in big part to a member of the Wingsland Facebook who sent me a working dump from a Outdoor version of the S6 which has root access.

I had to change a few config files and lucky enough the wingsland remote file was still intact on what I salavaged from a dump I took from the R6 that I done by removing the flash chip and reading it into a programmer.

Then after altering a dump that I was sent , got it to work in the R6 and it now connects to my S6 like it was supposed to.

Done a few test flights and it seems very responsive with the remote, but the cold weather I am having where I live is making flight time shorter than normal, even with the upgraded lipos I have for this.

Have to wait til weather warms up a bit for a full test out at the beach 😉

I also replaced the wifi firmware inside the S6 with the earlier version that the winsgland facebook member sent me, and after changing the serial etc to match my craft that also works fine and now I have root and openwrt access via the web gui.

This also did involve removing the flash chip from the wifi board inside the craft.

My poor S6 above been apart so many times now, god knows how it still works.!!

But wont be taking it apart anymore, its been through enough now.

Only other mods I will be doing will be upgrading the motors and another set of different props on the way to test.

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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 😉

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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