4Hawks How To: Autel X-star premium - Controller modification

Discussion in 'General' started by Agustine, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. I saw this video today as well. It certainly is not for the 'novice' (like me) to perform.
    kev66us1 likes this.
  2. Once North American suppliers have them in stock they will retail at $149.00 US dollars. A list of dealers can be found on the 4 hawks website.

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  3. After seeing some of the ribbons used, Not sure I get the good warm feeling. Not sure how they will hold up in the heat.
  4. Well, I'm hooked - I've seen these in the past and loved the idea of a superior antenna, but didn't pay too much attention since they weren't available for the XSP. Now that they are (or soon will be), I'll be ordering one as soon as they are in stock. Installation seems fairly complicated, but with no soldering involved I think it's just a matter of taking it one step at a time and not getting overwhelmed by the overall process. That being said, I don't want to risk messing up my controller and putting myself out of commission, so I just ordered one of the refurbished controllers Autel currently has for sale on their website ($125) for the installation. Also picked up a refurbished charger for $29.99, that's a pretty cheap option for effectively being able to charge multiple batteries in half the time, and it never hurts to have a spare. Augustine, thanks for passing along that video link, I think that sharing helpful information is what these forums are all about.
    ovrszd and Kun Bow like this.
  5. If I get one I will take it to a drone shop and say you break it you buy it... hahaha
  6. #7 Agustine, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
    I received the Raptor XR yesterday for testing and review. I waited till the afternoon to install it. Wanted to watch the install video a few times to make sure I understood the process. As Sundog775 said it is just a matter of taking it one step at a time and not getting overwhelmed by the overall process. It took me just over a hour but I was going slow and had my laptop with the install video for backup.
    I will be going out for testing out in the field maybe today or tomorrow. I will report back how that went.
    On a level of difficulty on a scale from 1-10 I would give it a 6.
    Small screws are not friends :)

    They include a small wrench for all of the rf connector nuts, and a T6 torx for all of the screws inside as part of the package. Some other things you will need: hot glue gun (for the very small RF connector on the one board), pair of small needle nose pliers, tweezers/pickups for screws. Remove the lanyard clip point just for ease of install and also it shows better the glue/silicone on the small RF connector.
    There is also glue/silicone on two small clip points inside the RC where the old antenna cable passes through.
    Squeeze the clip ends of the old antennas with needle nose pliers to remove them and not just yank hard on them.

    20170907_165040.jpg 20170907_165050.jpg
    Sundog775 likes this.
  7. did you video tape the work?? Opps video tapeo_O:rolleyes:
  8. Not really, I did a unboxing video and part of the install. I will be posting the video after I get results of how the antenna performs. Might be a few days before that happens. The install video I posted above is bang on other than removing the neck strap bracket.
  9. Thanks for the tip about the charger. I've been really busy last week or two and stumbled onto your post. Got one coming!!! Thanks again!!!
  10. Your welcome, ovrszd, good to hear from you again!
  11. Only one flight with this antenna. It does take some getting used to as it is more directional than the standard antennas. It does add some weight to the controller so using a neck strap helps a lot. Being the first flight I did not want to push it out to far but 1.38 miles is nothing to sneeze at :)
    If you get one and do the install you really need to be careful of small wires and do not over tighten the screws. Watching the install video a few times is a must.

  12. #13 Sundog775, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    Just finished installing my Raptor XR - amazingly enough, it seems that everything still works! I've never tackled anything quite like this, and it took me at least twice as long as someone who knows what they're doing (about 3 hours). Thanks very much, Agustine, for the great tips. For anyone planning to do this, be aware that there are no printed instructions with the unit - what you see in the installation video is what you have to work with. It's a pretty good video, but the guy has an annoying habit of obscuring what he's doing with his hands sometimes, which makes it kind of hard to guess what he's doing if you're like me and don't really have a clue:). Nevertheless, by close repeated viewing I was able to muddle through and actually got it all put back together with no stray parts laying around! To Agustine's excellent tips about not over tightening the screws (4-5 inch pounds is all you need) and removing the eye bolt for the neck strap (this also makes it so you don't have to disconnect the display cable), I would just add to make sure you clean both the display screen and the inside of the screen cover before you get everything put back together - kind of frustrating to think you're all done only to discover fingerprints, dust, etc. sandwiched between the two surfaces. The total package makes for quite a handful, which makes it an excellent candidate for a tripod mount, which is how I prefer to work whenever possible anyway. Tested connectivity in the back yard, but probably won't be able to go flying until sometime next week.

    _DSC4018_Mod.jpg _DSC4021_Mod.jpg
  13. Tried the Raptor antenna again today and frankly a bit disappointed in its range (approx. 800 ft more than regular, I have a good connect signal to the RC, the only positive is better video connect.
  14. I can get over 1 mile now but it breaks up a bit. So you are saying you get just a bit more but it's more stable?
  15. I get about 1 mile+ but the video is now good throughout . I watched for the reception on the RC and signal was very good even when I I get message of RTH .
    I would have liked to get at least get 1.5 miles.
    rhconcepts likes this.
  16. #17 Sundog775, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    I've only had the Raptor out for 1 flight session, but so far I've been very satisfied. Made three flights one day last week, the flight log from the longest is attached. I was flying up a shallow canyon when I inadvertently flew behind a low ridge and lost radio contact at 1.2 miles. The XSP did just what it is supposed to do and initiated RTH. Flight up to that point had been perfect, no video breakup, app disconnects or anything else - in fact, the video was crystal clear even when the RC contact was lost. I was flying without having the map view, which was a mistake since I really didn't know where I was, which resulted in having my line of sight blocked by the ridge. I had not cached a map beforehand, thinking I would just use the cell in my iPad on site, but soon discovered that T-Mobile coverage is nonexistent out in the boonies, at least in my area. It seems like I learn new things each time I fly, this time the 2 lessons I learned were: 1) Don't fly without map view, at least not in rugged terrain where I can't really see the drone, and 2) Don't forget to override the default altitude setting when flying uphill. It was obvious I was flying uphill, but until I got home and and analyzed the flight I didn't realize I was only about 135' AGL when RTH kicked in, even though my controller was set at maximum (default) altitude of 390' AGL (referenced to Home). I'm hoping to get out again later this week and do a little more structured testing. I would like to really get a handle on the aiming tolerance of the Raptor, both vertical and horizontal. Still a mystery to me if optimum performance is obtained by pointing directly at the drone, or by tilting slightly downward or upward. But so far, I would say I really like the antenna, especially the much improved video reception.
    EDITED: Forgot to mention that all of my testing has been done using the "current" (not beta) firmware. I've waited this long; I think I'll just wait a little longer for the official release before updating.
  17. Had my longest flight yet with the new Raptor antenna - 2.43 miles. Perfect flight with no video breakup, app disconnects or RC loss whatsoever. Decided to go out to a remote location for testing and fly to a spring I knew to be about 2.5 miles away. Conditions were ideal, absolutely nothing around to cause any kind of interference and perfect flying conditions. I flew past the spring and was making the turn to return home when automatic Go Home initiated. It took me a couple of minutes to realize it was the Failsafe mode kicking in to make sure the XSP had enough battery to get home (it was showing 57% at the time). Sure enough, as I was landing the Low Battery Warning (25%) popped up - now that really is one smart battery! My original plan was to go up to near 400', then head out pausing at 1/2 mile intervals to check the radio signal strength through the Overall Status screen in Starlink and adjust the tilt angle to get maximum reception. I started with the Raptor in the vertical position and was going to make gradual adjustments upward, but every time I checked, the signal strength was reading 100%, so I never made any adjustment at all - the face of the antenna remained vertical throughout my test, from directly overhead to 2.43 miles out, and never had a glitch. I have 3 screen shots attached, the first two are from the iOS 11 screen recorder, one shot at the turnaround point, and one shot just a couple of seconds later of the Overall Status screen showing 100% radio signal strength. The third shot is from the Flight Log, at the end of the flight while landing when the Low Battery warning came up (numbers indicating remaining minutes and percentage turn orange). My main goal with the Raptor wasn't necessarily to see how far I could go, but to make sure I have the highest possible level of reliability at the distances I would normally fly, usually well under a mile. This testing has given me the confidence to know I can achieve that, and I'm extremely satisfied with the performance.
    4HawksTest1_10252017.jpg 4HawksTest2_10252017.jpg 4HawksTest3_10252017.jpg
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