By Mike Wright
If you are a DJI Phantom owner looking to increase your flight time from the out-of-the-box 10-12 minutes, but don’t want to spend $679 on a Phantom 2 with the new high-capacity battery pack, then I have a few quick and easy mods that can extend your flight time. Note: If you have the original Phantom P1 (pre 10/2013) then things will be a little tougher, but still doable. For the P1 v1.1.1 owners, things will be a bit easier. Let’s get started.
The first thing you need to do is to determine which Phantom 1 you have. The easiest way to tell is to look at the motor’s threads. If they are all going clockwise, then you have the original Phantom and you will need to upgrade two of the four motors, which is a $58 investment. First, let’s figure out which Phantom 1 that you have. All other Phantom 1 readers can skip to Modification #2 below.
MODIFICATION #1 – Motors
Before opening up your Phantom, I suggest that you get to know your motor layout. The motors are laid out numerically clockwise (see diagram). Motors number 2 and 4 need to be changed to DJI Spare Part No. 6 Motor (CW) or the motors with the black tips. Once you remove all the hardware and open up your Phantom, you will see that the four motors are attached to the four ESCs. I suggest removing the electrical connections before removing the four screws that hold in the motors. You will need to unsolder these wires. Be very careful not to get any solder on any portion of the ESC when removing or installing the new motors. After you replace the two motors, you can reassemble the Phantom and move on to the next modification.
MODIFICATION #2 – Propellers
If you upgraded your Phantom 1 to add the two new motors, or if you own a Phantom v1.1.1, then you have two clockwise motors and two counterclockwise motors. The next thing that you need to purchase is a setup of Phantom 2 Vision propellers ($38). These props are self-tightening so you simply thread them on in the appropriate motor and hand-tighten them. There is no mistaking which motor they go on because they will only thread on one way.
MODIFICATION #3 – Battery
Now that you have the correct motors and props the last item to replace/upgrade is your flight battery. The Phantom comes with a 2200mAh LiPo battery. I swapped it out with a Giant Power 2S 2800mAh 11.1V 25C high performance LiPo battery ($32). This battery will give you additional flight time with the same physical size and weight.
THE FINAL WORD
Getting more flight time on your Phantom 1 very easy to achieve and you don’t require any special skills. The cost for the required items will run you between $70 and $130 depending on which Phantom you have and whether or not you need to upgrade the motors. When all is said and done you can easily expect and increase in flight time of up to 54 percent.
MOTOR CITY DRONE CO. motorcitydroneco.com