JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens

Hello Fellow Dronerz,

Today I am going to show you how to mod/upgrade your JXD 509G/510G Camera Lens to an 808 #16 D to increase the FOV (Field of View).
Please Note: This mod should also work with any of the 509 / 510 series (509V, 509W, 510V, and 510W), as they all appear to use the same lens.  Can anyone please confirm?

Mod Difficulty: Intermediate
Mod Time: 30 to 60 Minutes

Why?

First, the stock lens has an approximately 50° FOV (field of view), which is too narrow for any decent FPV flight. You need to fly very slow in order to avoid crashing into objects just outside the FOV.

Second, you can not adjust the camera’s angle any higher then about -10°. This further compacts the original FOV limitation, making most of the video a really good view of the ground below instead of the view in front. You need to fly very slow to avoid additional pitch.

This mod will more than double the FOV to approximately 120°.

So by design, the flight style of the JXD 509G is more of a precision style then freestyle.  See my full write up on Drone Flight Styles here:
Drone Flight Styles: Freestyle vs. Precision

If you have had this drone for a while, and are looking into getting more into freestyle flight then precision flight, then this mod will definitely help.  Otherwise, if you are flying LoS (line of site), and just use the screen to line up shots, then it is probably not necessary.

See my full review of the 509G here: JXD 509G Review

Getting Started:

First, you will need to order a lens.  This lens is for a key chain camera, so it has a shorter ribbon cable and comes with a key chain case tooled to fit the 808 #16 D Lens.  You can simply toss the case, as it is not needed for this mod.

Please note, as the FOV of this lens exceeds 100°, you will notice a bit of a Full-Frame Fisheye Effect.  Also, I have noticed that depending on brightness, the sky can get a bit of an orange hue to it, and people can get a bit of a blue tint to their skin.  So again, if you are more into precision flight, and want clean photos and video, this mod may not be for you.

808 #16 D Lens 808 #16 D Lens
FOV: 120°
Buy Now: $16.59 from Amazon
Buy Now: $10.99 from BangGood

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. I only recommend trying this if you have experience fidgeting and tinkering with small gadgets, parts, electronics, etc… I will not be held responsible if you somehow damage or destroy your drone during this process. I will however, be more then happy to provide suggestions should you get stuck.

Here are the tools you will need for this project:
JXD 509G Camera Mod Tools
Box Cutter
Diagonal Pliers (Pair of Dikes / Wire Cutters)
Micro Philips Head Screw Driver (Plus Driver)

First, remove the screw holding the camera pod together.
JXD 509G Camera Pod 01
Then, remove the 4 screws holding the main case together.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 02
You can see the difference in length between the two cables.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 03
Push the black locking tab out/away from the circuit board.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 04
Make sure you insert the cable with the copper pads facing down (facing the circuit board).
JXD 509G Camera Mod 05
Notice the camera lens is facing down with the circuit board right side up.  Make sure you press the black locking tab back into place to secure the cable.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 06

Now, before we go any further, it is time for a quick test.  As the next steps involve cutting/removing plastic from the main case, which is permanent.  I guess you could put it back together with some duct tape and supper glue.  But why would you want to?

As for the test, success.  However, I have some good news, and some bad news.  The good news is, it works.  Can you tell what the bad news is?  Hint, it involves orientation.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 07
Okay, so the drone is upside down, and the display is right side up.  Bummer, but not the end of the world.

So that leaves us with 3 options.
1. Stop now, and put everything back together the way it was (Really? That’s no fun).
2. Continue with the basic modification, meaning you won’t be able to snap the camera back on the drone the right way.  You will need to use rubber bands, Velcro tape, or something similar to hold the camera in place.  However, if you are using a custom anti-jello mount, this is a non issue.
3. Continue with the full mod, which requires more time and more cutting, and is a bit more difficult getting everything back together.

Option 2

So continuing first with Option 2.  As you can see, we don’t have much space to work with.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 08
So we will need to use the box cutter to remove the extension and mounting for the camera pod.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 09
Here you can see both halves of the main case with the extension and mounting for the camera pod cleanly removed.  You can use the dikes to clip away any excess plastic.  After this, you can skip forward to Option 3 if you plan to complete the full mod.  So no need to reassemble yet.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 10
Here you can see the base of the 808 lens fits inside the main camera case.  Bonus!
JXD 509G Camera Mod 11
A quick view from the front.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 12
There is also enough wiggle room to angle the lens down a few degrees.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 13
Here is the new lens vs. the old one side by side for comparison.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 14
Here is an example of how to mount the camera using rubber bands.  Please note however, I do not approve of this method as it does not look very durable.  I just used this for a quick test flight to see the difference in FPV flight.  I would recommend using some Velcro tape, which you probably already have if you are using a custom anti-jello mount.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 15
Just a shot from the bottom for example.  Again, I recommend using some Velcro tape or something more secure.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 16
So you can stop here, or continue on to option 3 to complete the mod.

Option 3

As we are going to flip the circuit board over, we will need to cut a notch for the SD Card Slot.  Simply flip the top of the main case over, then mark where you will need to cut a new slot.  Please notice, the new slot will be located where the power cable previously came out.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 17
Then you will need to cut off this alignment pin from the bottom half of the main case.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 18
Finally, you will need to cut a new slot for the antenna cable on the top half of the main case.  And remove these three tabs from the inside to make room for the components on the circuit board..
JXD 509G Camera Mod 19
After that, you are ready to reassemble the case with the circuit board flipped over.  Notice the power cable is now coming out of the old SD Card Slot.
JXD 509G Camera Mod 20
And voilà, the end result.
JXD 509G Camera Mod
Now, to get my entire garage door which is 280cm(110″) wide into view, I needed to stand only 90cm(35.4″) back.
JXD 509G Camera FOV 01
Using an online calculator, I was able to approximate a 114.6° FOV.  Which is less than 5% out of tolerance of the advertised 120°.  With my own measurements being within 5% tolerance, I’ll take that!
JXD 509G Camera FOV 02
Credit to Cleave Books at http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/calrtri.htm

Pros:

  • Much better FOV, I can now fly a lot better using the screen alone for FPV.  I am still a beginner with FPV though, so I have been keeping it in beginner mode to practice.  I want to eventually do the Google Cardboard hack/mod, and buy a $20 pair of plastic Google Cardboard goggles, cut out the lenses, and mount the LCD where you would put the phone.

Cons:

  • Again, as the FOV of this lens exceeds 100°, you will notice a bit of a Full-Frame Fisheye Effect.
  • Also, depending on how bright it is outside, the sky can get an orange hue to it, and skin can get a blue tint to it.  For me, not really the end of the world.  I have over 10 hours total flight time with this drone practicing mostly precision style flight.  It was time for something new.  Plus, you can go back, please see the links below to order a replacement camera.
JXD 509G Replacement Camera JXD 509G Replacement Camera
Buy Now: $33.99 from Amazon
Buy Now: $24.99 from BangGood

So all in all, I am pretty impressed with the end results.

Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Chris

25 responses to “JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens

  1. Nice job. Unfortunately I have given up on the 509 because the flight time way to short and JELLO way to much to invest more $$
    I tried 4 different jello mounts and got batteries up to 700mAh. Can’t improve it enough to get 3 flights around the field. Any solution for this?

    Like

    • Hi John,

      I am sorry to hear that, as I have had lots of fun with this little guy. I have been flying drones for less than a year now, so I still consider myself a noob. I bought this drone specifically because of the altitude hold and FPV features, for under $100. For me this was a entry level “toy” if you will to just learn with.

      I followed the chain on rcgroups.com for months now watching the several different anti-jello attempts. I myself pretty much decided it was more hassle than it was worth, and accept the jello. After flying LOS for 1/2 a year, practicing aerial photography, I felt satisfied with my experience. I am now exploring FPV, thus this mod. So jello is no longer that huge of an issue for me. Plus, this mod does seem to cut it down quite a bit. I think getting rid of that annoying camera pod took care of a lot of that. But there is still the discoloration. Which may be a bigger issue depending on your preferences.

      As for the batteries, I have a 5 pack of 800mAh batteries that work okay. I get about 7 minutes out of them depending on how hard I fly. I will post a link when I can find it. It was something like USD $25ish for the 5 pack with a 5 way USB charger. So fly for a little, then swap batteries. Then I have some other batteries I borrow from other drones too. All in all, about 1 hours worth of batteries. So it works out pretty good for me. Again, I am using this drone to learn, and ultimately decide what I buy next. A DJI Phantom, or a custom built 250 FPV Racer.

      But I also love to tinker, and share my findings with others. So knowing that people actually read this stuff, and being able to help sometimes, it just makes me feel good too.

      Anyways, I wish you better luck with your drone experience in the future. I did get myself a decent charger, with some special mods for charging the 3.7V batteries, so I will be working on a post for that soon too.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  2. You have probably already checked this, but are the threads on the 808 #16 lens the same as the threads on the 509G lens? Switching lenses would be a lot easier than switching cameras, and we may be able to get a replacement lens without buying a full 808 #16 camera.
    I suppose if the 509G lens is glued in place that means this option is probably not viable. Has ahyone tried it?
    Jim

    Like

    • Hi Jim,

      I have primarily been following the main thread for the 509G on rcgroups.com. I have not checked on any of the 808 #16 threads. I have seen where people do replace the camera itself though with an 808 keychain for LOS flight. But ya, my mod just covers swapping the lens to save money. And you can’t really swap back, unless you do use some glue. So maybe not the best idea for some people. I updated the post on to stress this fact.

      You can get a replacement camera from BangGood on the cheap though if you do decide you want to go back to factory original config.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

      • Hi Ogg,

        This looks like it would be an awesome idea. But alas, it looks like the original lens is glued into place. I can only imagine they use some form of adhesive to lock the lens in place at the factory so it maintains its focus.

        I ended up mangling the plastic around the lens trying to remove it. The plastic used is just too soft. I almost thought of using some form of solvent, but that would melt the plastic as well.

        I will need to keep this in mind for other drones though. As a lot of them use similar lenses.

        Thanks for the awesome suggestion. Let me know if you have any ideas for removing the lens cleanly.

        Thanks,
        Chris

        Like

  3. Hi, saw your upgrades & you are beyond awesome. Risky, yes, awesome, definitely!

    Reason I stumbled across this post is because I just purchased the 509g myself & I’d love to adapt a different (better quality) camera onto it. As ypu may/may not know, our drone is a cheap clone of the Typhoon Q500.

    Do you know if I could adapt the Q500 camera to our drone? Or maybe another camera that we can still pick up with our monitor?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ya, I was gonna say the Q500 Camera probably weights more than the entire 509G. I haven’t really explored the other options out there that much yet. But I do have some tech specs on the frequencies used by the FPV. Gimme a few and I will see what I can dig up.

      Like

    • But ya, the Typhoon is 3.74lbs and the 509G is 0.32lbs. So the 509G is just a baby compared to the Typhoon.

      Like

    • So this is what I pulled from a thread on the 509G at rcgroups.com:
      The frequency is fixed on the 509G.
      Channel 4 Frequency 5.645GHz
      If you have a 3 switch dip switch on the transmitter, it needs to be set to 1 off 2 off 3 on for the stock screen to receive.
      I have never tested, so I can not confirm.

      But I will be honest and say, if you have absolutely no experience with FPV transmitters and receivers, I would probably avoid trying to go this route. As it will cost close to the price of the 509G itself to purchase something that may or may not work.

      As you have noticed, this drone is more of a toy than anything. And being tight on cash myself, I prefer to tinker to get the most out of it. It will take me another year or so to save up for a Typhoon or Phantom. So I fly the 509G to get experience and just have fun. If you expect too much from it, like trying to compare it even the slightest to the Typhoon, you will end up disappointed.

      But, if you just go into it with an open mind, it will work out great. Plus, because of the lack of control that budget drones have (no GPS, etc…), it requires more skill to master flight. So when you do finally upgrade to a Typhoon after several hours of practice, you will be a lot better pilot then someone starting from scratch with one of the big boys.

      Take a look at my full review here:
      https://ultimatedronematrix.com/2016/02/09/jxd-509g-review/

      Anyways, good luck on your adventure. I hope you have fun! And let me know if you have any other questions. A lot of my posts come from good questions like yours.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  4. Hello again!

    Regarding the camera… Well, we don’t really care about the narrow lens, the idea is to get it out of the way… I’ll try removing mine(I have the 510G) but I need to know the thread type and the lens tube diameter. Have you found any info on it?

    Like

    • Hi Ogg,

      The diameter is about 5.88mm.

      Other then that, I am not familiar with how to measure any other specs.

      JXD 509G Lens Diameter

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  5. Pingback: DIY FPV Goggles for JXD 5.8G Drones 509G 510G 506G | Ultimate Drone Matrix·

  6. Hey,
    Really cool tutorial.
    I just would like to ask, how do you know if a lens is compatible with the drone’s camera circuitry? I have an 509G and I was wondering if I could add a bit better quality camera.

    Like

    • Hi Végh Márk,

      As long as the connections look the same, you are probably good.

      I am not aware of any other compatible lenses other than the 808 Keychain lenses. The 808 Keychain camera is a popular camera to mod and attach to drones because it is so small. So I have seen the tear-down pics on may other sites. I recognized the connection when I was inspecting the camera on my 509G, and took a gamble and bought the lens. Luckily it did work, but the color changes did put me off a little. I was only using it to learn FPV though, so I accepted that.

      Hope that helps.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

      • Thank you for your answer, maybe I will try it any decide whether I want to mod depending on the quality.
        What do you think of it’s quality other than this color issue? Did it come any better or the same just with a wide angle? Do you think it worth the mod considering video recording? (..I know that it has a really poor quality, but I enjoy to make videos with it since more professional drones are way toooo expensive.)
        Are you aware of the new lens’ megapixels? I could not find this information on any of the sites..
        Thank you for the video link but I cannot watch it, maybe because I’m not your friend on fb :/ Even when I try to type https://www.facebook.com/DroneDragon76/ to add you, I cannot reach the site :O

        Like

      • Also, the megapixels don’t change, just the field of view. If you are going for video, stick with the stock lens. Is has a smaller FOV, but at least the color is accurate. This mod is really for FPV and nothing else.

        Like

      • Just the angle, quality is the same (unless you count the color issue as quality). But ya, you found the right page. I will be adding some more videos later today, including ones from before the lens change. So Follow if you ant to get notifications. You can always unfollow later, just saying for today for the vids.

        Like

      • Thank you for your answers, I probably gonna stay with the stock one for now 🙂
        ..And also keep dreaming from a DJI Mavic Pro 😣 That drone seems so awesome….

        Like

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