JXD 509G/510G 5.8G FPV Mod/Upgrade with Circular Polarized/Clover Leaf Antenna

JXD 509G Antenna Mod
Hello Fellow Dronerz,

Today I am going to show you how to mod/upgrade your JXD 509G/510G 5.8G FPV antennas to Clover Leaf or CP (Circular Polarized) antennas.

Mod Difficulty: Advanced
Mod Time: 30 Minutes

Why?

Depending on the environment, the video feed can start to go out in as little as 15 meters (50 feet). Especially if you are flying around trees, buildings, and other objects. Just not people, because that’s not cool. <Wink>

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

So if you really want to move forward with this mod, then I strongly suggest you mod the lens at the same time.  Take a peak here for more details: JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens

Getting Started:

First, you will need to order a pair of clover leaf antennas.  I do realize there are many different makes and models available.  As this was more of a test than anything, I went with a basic budget pair.  If you are going with something different, make sure you pick a pair with the SMA Male connectors, as the RX antenna will screw onto your screen no problem.  Otherwise, you are going to have a bad time (insert South Park meme here).

808 #16 D Lens Ripa-Fire 5.8GHz Clover Leaf Antenna
Connection Type: SMA Male
Gain: 2.0dBi-2.5dBi
Buy Now: $14.99 from Amazon

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. I only recommend trying this if you have experience fidgeting and tinkering with small gadgets, parts, electronics, etc…  Additionally, you should absolutely have experience working with soldering and de-soldering small DC components.  I will not be held responsible if you somehow damage or destroy your drone during this process.  Or in this case, get molten lead in your eye.  I will however, be more then happy to provide suggestions should you get stuck.  Unless of course it is a molted lead related problem, in which case, paramedics?  Okay, all jokes aside.

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

Here is a quick shot of the antennas out of the box.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 01
Comparing the stock “rubber ducky” antenna to the clover leaf antenna.  You can see why you need to get SMA Male connectors now.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 02
So let’s get to it shall we?  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
Here you can see the stock antenna lead, and the ground.  I apologize for the improper focus on this one.  I didn’t notice till I was already done with the mod.  But anyways, it looked to me like the stock solder from the antenna lead was barley making contact with the grounding plate.  I wonder if this is why I was getting such poor distance with the FPV feed.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 03
Just a quick pic of the board after I removed the stock antenna.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 04
Next, time to prep the new antenna.  I cut off the heat shrink tube, and cut off the antenna as close to the SMA connector as possible.  You want to make sure you have a decent amount of cable left to work with.  Especially if you make a mistake need to cut again.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 05
Then, you will first need to remove some of the outer sheath, and peel back the wire mesh (ground).  You can separate the wire mesh into two strands, otherwise twisting everything into one strand will be too thick to reattach to the circuit board without shorting.  Then, make sure you leave a few millimeters of plastic sheath between the ground and the antenna lead.  After everything looks good (or somewhat resembles Kylo Ren’s Light Saber), go ahead and tin the leads.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 06
You can see here I actually cut off 1 of the ground leads.  This is because I also previously upgraded the camera lens.  The lens mod resulted in me having to flip the circuit board over inside the main case (plastic housing).  So I had to bend the antenna cable to the right to be able to fit back into the main case.  See the lens mod here for more details: JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 07
Here is a quick view of how the new cable looks from the bottom.  Notice there is also a grounding pad on the bottom too.  You might have better luck attaching the cable through the bottom depending on how you have the board mounted in the case.  I didn’t notice until writing this post just now.  But either way, mine is working as is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 08
So now you can put everything back together, and it should look a little like this.  You want to make sure you angle the antenna cable at 90°.  This is because the signal is mainly transmitted out the sides of the cable.  If you don’t angle the antenna, you may end up with worse reception than before.
JXD 509G Antenna Mod 09

Pros:

  • Much better image quality at longer distances when flying FPV.

Cons:

  • Nothing really that I can notice yet.  It has been all positive so far.  Not even a noticeable difference in drag.  So far so good!

If something happened and for some reason you want to go back to stock, they do have replacement cameras available online. Perhaps you want to purchase an extra camera first, and mod that when you get it. So you always have both options.

JXD 509G Replacement Camera JXD 509G Replacement Camera
Buy Now: $33.99 from Amazon
Buy Now: $24.99 from BangGood

Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Chris

4 responses to “JXD 509G/510G 5.8G FPV Mod/Upgrade with Circular Polarized/Clover Leaf Antenna

  1. Chris:
    Your mod images and text documentation are outstanding, for even novice tinkerers.
    I would like to know however how much weight your antenna mod added to the JXD 509G video transmitter. The weight of an unmodified transmitter is 12.5g, measured on my digital scale.
    I hope you continue documenting your efforts in other areas. I would post a link to them on RC Groups in the appropriate thread to give maximum exposure.
    Thanks.
    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you very much for your compliments! And your advice on using RCGroups.com. I do post there as well, though probably not as much as I should.

      Actually, I did not think about weight during the build, so I do not have the exact weights of the antenna or lens.

      Though I did save all of the original pieces that I removed.

      So the original pod, lens, antenna, screw, and plastic pieces come to about 5 grams.
      JXD 509G Camera Pod Removed Weight

      Where as the final build with new lens and new antenna comes to 17 grams (including SD card).
      JXD 509G Camera Pod New Weight

      So take the new build plus the removed parts, then minus the original build. That should give the weight of the new antenna and new lens together.
      17+5=22
      22-12.5=9.5

      So the new lens and antenna weigh 9.5 grams together.

      I will see if I can get the weight of the individual pieces online.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  2. Its a little off track but I bought a jxd510g from gearbest, on first flight the drone failed to climb any higher than 1 metre. I have tried it a few note times, once it climbed to about 10 metres, once to 2 metres and the other few times it didn’t even reach a metre and started heading sideways. I put my complaint through to gearbest for the 72 hour d.o.a. policy but my ticket mysteriously vanished and I’m stuck with it. Any idea what the problem could be?

    Like

    • Hi Scott,

      I bought my 509G from GearBest back in Jan 2016. I did not receive it till Feb 2016. I experienced several issues with the camera, and reported it just after the 30 days I received it. So they gave me the option to ship the bad one back, and I would have to pay shipping on a new one. Or, just buy a new one for 1/3 the original price. I opted for the new one because, it was around the same price for both options (around $30???). But ya, I did this after 30 days and they still worked with me.

      When you open a ticket, you receive an email with the ticket number and a link to the ticket. You can then log into your GearBest account and check the ticket and add notes if I remember correctly. So try that first. If you never received the email, check your junk folder. Otherwise, if all else fails, open a new ticket.

      As for what is wrong with the altitude hold, I can only speculate. The 509/510 use a barometric sensor to detect the air pressure and maintain altitude at that pressure. When flying outside during heavy (even moderate) winds, my 509G would drop or ascend really fast during wind gusts. I also experience this issue when flying at higher altitudes or on the sides of a hill. Weather has been pretty bad recently, so maybe that is affecting it.

      But ya, put some pressure on GearBest first. If the original ticket got closed out, and you still have the original email that your ticket was created, use that as fuel.

      Update, I can not confirm the below controller boards have the air pressure sensor. I was unable to find a definitive option online. So I would definitely work with their customer service first.

      Otherwise, if you are truly stuck, you can buy a replacement controller board from Amazon for around $20.
      http://amzn.to/2k2n8fD

      Or BangGood for $15
      http://www.banggood.com/JXD-509-JXD-509G-JXD509G-509W-509V-RC-Quadcopter-Spare-Parts-Circuit-Board-p-1035853.html?p=HQ27183129773201511C

      Good luck sir! Please let me know how it goes.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

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