Sunday, 7 February 2021

Cheap Small FPV Quadcopter Conversion

I've been getting back into a few long stalled projects including building up a Robocat 270 quadcopter kit I've had for ages on the build pile (will post on that soon). the reignited interest in quads has made me want to try and learn to fly First Person View (FPV). The Robocat needs a few line of sight flights before I commit to rigging it with FPV and so I wanted to learn on something smaller and cheaper. My very first quadcopter was this Syma X11 a small brushed drone that is a brilliant little stable flyer to learn on. There was a version sold with a camera (non FPV, 0.3 megapixel and micro SD) but all the Syma X11 bodies are the same and on mine there was a blanked off lens area and a void where the camera would be. I'd picked up a set of cheap Eachine goggles off eBay and so I bought a tiny Eachine TX06 split FPV camera and video transmitter (VTX).  As the X11 is a little airframe I am used to, and , as I felt I could get the TX06 rig in it, it felt a good option for a cheap small learner FPV setup.

Flipping the X11 over you can see the lens cover which was the target area for the camera. Undoing the 4 screws allows the lower body and the battery cage to be removed. 

The battery cage (the white piece) can then be removed with 4 small screws. I realised that the VTX would sit happily underneath the battery cage and that the small antenna could be pushed through the rectangular hole you can see at the back of the body shell on the left. On the white battery cage above I needed to snip of the square moulding seen at the front in the picture above. After removing the small fake lens in the body I snipped some plastic to widen out the hole for the camera. 

You can just make out in the image above that I've places a small piece of double sided pad between the camera and the battery frame and you can see the amount I have trimmed off the battery cage and the body on the right of the image. 

Powering the camera and VTX I simply trimmed the connector off the TX06 and soldered the wires onto the pads where the LiPo connects to to the board. I've managed to fold the wires out of the way and the battery slides into the battery cage as it did before. You can tell there's a little extra weight in flight, but it really isn't an issue as in stock form the X11 had a reasonable flight time. Now to get used to the wibbly wobbly world of FPV! 

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