You’ve purchased your dream drone, but now you want more from it? If you’re a hobbyist flyer or professional aerial videographer, there’s always something else to be done when it comes to expanding the possibilities of your flying machine.
I’ve compiled a few ideas below of how to upgrade a drone, as well as what hardware upgrades exist out there.
Supercharge Your Drone By Upgrading To Following Components
You may be familiar with the idea of upgrading your computer or phone to get improved performance, but did you know that similar upgrades can also be applied to drones?
Drones are fascinating pieces of technology, and upgrading them not only improves their performance, but also gives you an opportunity to learn more about how they work.
In this guide we’ll take you through some recommended upgrades that will have your drone in fighting shape in no time!
Buy A Custom Remote Control
- Range: The remote control’s range is how far you can fly your drone from it before the signal starts getting weak and/or erratic. This is one of the most important aspects of a remote control, especially if you’re planning to do any flying in an area that isn’t completely open with no obstacles or interference. If you want to improve your range, try buying an amplifier for your remote control.
- Strength: The signal strength of a remote control refers to how well it maintains a solid connection after it loses line-of-sight with the drone (e.g., when you go around a tree or down a hill). Some remotes have better signal strength than others due to their components or design; if yours doesn’t seem very reliable, try buying one with higher quality materials and fewer moving parts like switches or buttons.
- Ergonomics: This refers to how comfortable it feels while holding onto the remote control and performing maneuvers while flying drones through its transmitter mode—if there are too many buttons in awkward places on your device then chances are good that using this function will be difficult at best!
- Mappings: A mapping determines what each physical knob does when used as input for specific channels within Drone Station software (this includes different types such as throttle axis mapping). For example: “Roll” = Right Stick Horizontal Axis / Throttle; “Pitch” = Left Stick Vertical Axis / Pitch; “Yaw” = Left Stick Horizontal Axis / Rudder” etc., so make sure they match up correctly before starting up flight mode!
Install A Better Camera
One of the most common complaints about a drone’s camera is that it does not take high-quality photos. If this applies to you, a good option might be to replace your current camera with one that has higher specifications.
Before you go out and buy a new one, however, make sure that the model you want is compatible with your drone. When possible, consult an expert who can guide you through the process of selecting and installing a new camera; they may also be able to help you figure out whether or not upgrading is worth it in your case.
While some drones have built-in cameras (like DJI Phantom or Parrot Disco), others allow owners to install third-party cameras that may offer better quality photos than those included by default on their respective models (e.g., GoPro Hero 3)
Buy Propellers Made From Carbon Fiber Or Other Materials
Propellers made from carbon fiber or other materials like plastics, nylon and fiberglass are much more durable than your stock propellers, which are typically made from ABS plastic. These alternative materials are also lighter than metal and make your drone faster.
Of course, there is a price to pay for this durability. Carbon fiber propellers can be pricey at around $2 per blade. However, you should think of it as an investment because carbon fiber blades are much harder to break compared to their cheaper alternatives.
Improve The Range And Signal Strength Of Your Drone
If you want better range and signal strength, you can upgrade your drone to a set of long-range antennas. But the best solution is to install a system that can extend the range of the signal. You can also upgrade the remote control to improve the signal.
Add Lights To Your Drone For Night Vision Or For Visibility
If you need the drone to be seen at night, use light strips along the legs or landing gear. You can find lights in different colors, brightness levels, shapes and sizes.
Depending on where you’re flying your drone (for example, near an airport), it’s not always a good idea to use white lights as they resemble airplane wing lights. The last thing you want is for someone to think your drone is an aircraft.
Make Your Drone More Durable
When looking for a new drone or a used one, it’s important to find one that will be durable and easy to repair. The cheaper the drone, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to fix it when something goes wrong. If you can repair your own equipment, look for a model that is made from durable materials and can be easily repaired. If not, consider buying parts from a trusted dealer who offers warranties on their products.
If you’re looking for models with good warranties and are willing to spend more money than what comes out of pocket at first purchase time, consider these two drones:
The DJI Inspire 1 has an airframe made out of carbon fiber composite material which makes it very resilient against bumps with trees or other objects in its path.
It also has retractable landing gear so there’s less chance of damaging any part when taking off from uneven terrain like dirt roads or grassy areas. This drone costs around $3K but if you’re willing to pay more upfront then this might be the best option because they have such a long life span (upwards 10 years).
Examine Your Drone
- Take stock of your drone. Inspect your drone for any damage or wear. Pay close attention to the propellers and motors, as these are the parts most likely to fail due to excessive use, damaged components or crashes. If you see anything that looks worn down or needs replacing, make a note of it so you can pick up new parts and accessories during your upgrade spree.
- Determine what capabilities you want from your drone. If you’re looking for a speed boost, consider investing in higher-wattage motors and lighter propellers as well as different suspension struts. If longer battery life is more important to you than outright speed, stick with the same motor system but add on a second battery pack so your drone can fly twice as long before it has to land for a recharge. Think about what tasks your upgraded drone will be expected to perform, then find out whether it’s possible with your existing equipment and which upgrades would allow it if not.
- Consider how easy or difficult each upgrade will be to install and remove when necessary based on the way they’re designed and how they fit into the drone’s overall framework. If a component won’t fit without making major modifications or changing other key systems entirely, leave that one off until after you’ve finished installing everything else
Find An Upgrade That You Want To Make On Your Drone
Whether you choose to buy an upgrade from the drone manufacturer or a third-party source, having information about your model and year at the ready will help ensure that your new parts will be compatible with your existing hardware.
There’s a wide range of upgrade options available, so it’s important to know what you want out of the modifications before making a purchase.
For example, if you want to improve video quality, upgrading to high-definition cameras, gimbals and propellers can help deliver smoother footage. Or if you need more flying time (and who doesn’t?), swapping out the battery for a larger one is an easy way to increase battery life.
It’s worth noting that certain upgrades such as adding a camera or gimbal will require tools and some technical knowledge in order to successfully install them properly. If this feels overwhelming, it might be best to get in touch with an experienced pilot who can walk through the process with you step-by-step.
Do Some Research On The Upgrade
Take a look at your drone’s user manual (or other literature that came with the drone when you purchased it). Look for any notes or warnings that would indicate potential complications that could arise either during the upgrade process, or after it is complete.
Since you’re looking to upgrade your drone, chances are you already have an idea of what you’d like to improve in terms of its performance. However, before diving into anything too specific, take some time and think about which parts are most important/which parts will help you achieve the goals that you’ve set for yourself.
If you haven’t done so already, write down a list of things your current drone can’t do and things that frustrate or annoy you about it. Even if these are not directly related to improvements for the upgrade itself, this will give you a sense of how exactly the new parts will help once they’re installed.
The more specific your information is here, the more prepared you’ll be for whatever might come up during installation.
Purchase The Upgrade
The next step is to purchase the upgrade. When making your decision, consider the following:
- Do some research and make sure you’re getting the right upgrade for your drone.
- Compare prices between different vendors to determine where you can get the best deal.
- Look for sales or promotions like free shipping.
- But remember that with drones, as with many things, buyer beware: make sure you are buying from a reputable distributor. A good sign of this is if they provide detailed product descriptions on their website and offer customer support services.
- Additionally, be wary of online reviews because they may be fake! If possible before committing to an order ask around within your community or social network about which distributors are reliable. When shopping online try using paypal which offers protection against unauthorized purchases made using its service (some restrictions apply).
- If something does go wrong when ordering through them it’s easy enough just call up their customer service line for help resolving any issues; this includes canceling orders before delivery so don’t worry if there’s been some mistake made during checkout–it happens sometimes even when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores!
Follow The Instructions To Install The Upgrade On Your Drone
There are many different ways to upgrade a drone. Upgrades may be available as complete kits that include all the necessary parts, or they may come as separate parts that you assemble yourself. Upgrades also come with their own sets of installation instructions, which need to be followed carefully.
Not only will following these instructions help make the installation process easier, but it will also ensure that you don’t make any mistakes along the way. In addition to following manufacturer-provided directions, check out our installation tips below:
- Be sure to use the right tools and materials for your installation job. There are a variety of specialty tools and materials available for installing drone upgrades; some require soldering, while others simply require glue or tape. It’s important to check if any tools or materials are included with your product before purchasing them separately, as some manufacturers offer kits containing everything needed for an upgrade out of the box.
- If possible, perform your installation in a well-lit place on a clean surface where there is plenty of room so you can work without feeling cramped or rushed. Take your time during each step so you don’t miss anything important and make sure all connections are secure before putting away your tools and moving on to another task.
Take Your Drone For A Test Drive Or A Test Flight
After you’ve assembled and configured your drone, the time has come to take it for a test drive. It’s important to do this in a safe environment where you will not be putting other people, property or yourself in danger.
In order to fly a drone safely, it’s necessary to make sure that you’re doing so in an open area far away from other people or major structures. It would be good to test your drone out in an RC field if possible. Make sure that there are no airports nearby and that you don’t plan on flying your drone over any water.
Consider upgrading the battery of your drone if you want to fly it for longer periods. As you know, a bigger battery gives higher power and hence, the capacity to fly for long hours.
Take into account the amount of time you wish your drone should last while flying. Look at the current one and see if it meets your needs or not. If not, then go ahead with a better alternative!
In conclusion, we hope that this article has helped you gain some insight into how to upgrade a drone. You should have a better understanding of how to build your own upgrades for your drone once you have read through all three parts of this series on drones!
Frequently Asked Questions (how To Upgrade A Drone)
Can I Use My Own Materials?
Of course, you can always use your own materials. You just have to be careful that they’re compatible with the drone and its voltage requirements.
For example, if you’re using a low-voltage power supply for a high-voltage drone like the DJI Inspire series, it’s likely going to damage the motor or other parts of the drone. So make sure that whatever materials and equipment you use are suitable for your particular model of drone before attempting an upgrade!
Can I Upgrade My Drone?
Yes, you can upgrade your drone! You will need to consider the following upgrades:
- A better battery. This is one of the easier upgrades to make and will offer you a longer flight time and more power.
- A better camera. This can be expensive but also offers great benefits for capturing high-quality images from your drone’s perspective.
- A sturdier gimbal for smoother video footage when filming with your new camera (and for greater stability).
- New propellers that are stronger and more durable than those that came with the original package.
Can I Use A Larger Battery?
You can use a larger battery, but there are pros and cons to doing so.
The benefits include:
- Increased flight time
- More power for lifting heavier drones or cameras
- A larger capacity battery will last longer before needing a recharge (batteries are rated by mAh capacity)
How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace The Batteries On The Drone?
The most obvious sign that a battery is dead is when it simply won’t take a charge. If you’re having trouble charging your battery, or if it has stopped holding a charge for as long as it used to, then you should probably replace it.
Batteries are designed to last for about 500 cycles (or discharges) before their performance starts to degrade significantly. This means that even if you only use your drone once every few months, over time the batteries will still lose their capacity and need replacing eventually.
Different types of batteries have different life spans; lithium polymer cells can last up to 500 charges while nickel cadmium cells may only last 100 charges before needing replacement.
How Do I Get Rid Of The Dead Battery Packs On My Drone?
With the right tools, you can take apart a dead battery pack and remove the battery cells. If you’re comfortable with doing this and have access to a recycling center that accepts lithium-ion batteries (check with your local recycling center), go ahead and do it yourself.
Otherwise, consider sending them back to DJI so they can properly dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way. You’ll need:
- A shipping label (you can get one by contacting DJI support)
- Your old batteries