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
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
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).
|Ripa-Fire 5.8GHz Clover Leaf Antenna
Connection Type: SMA Male
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:
Rosin Core Solder
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.
Comparing the stock “rubber ducky” antenna to the clover leaf antenna. You can see why you need to get SMA Male connectors now.
So let’s get to it shall we? First, remove the screw holding the camera pod together.
Then, remove the 4 screws holding the main case together.
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.
Just a quick pic of the board after I removed the stock antenna.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Much better image quality at longer distances when flying FPV.
- 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
Buy Now: $33.99 from Amazon
Buy Now: $24.99 from BangGood
Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think.