May 16, 2014

Fixing the video transmitter

After having crashed into of the trees in my garden with the FPV 250 the antenna connector of the video transmitter started to break off. The onlt thing keeping it together is the soldering on the transmitter PCB which is enough for flying but not enough for crashing.

Damaged transmitter connector

Considering that the video transmitter is one of the more expensive parts on the FPV 250 it's definitely worth the effort of repairing. Or at least attempting.

I started by desoldering the damaged connector. The top soldering was broken loose, the center pin broken off and the bottom ground pins needed desoldering.

Top side with connector removed, the copper surfaces broken off.

Bottom side before desoldering what was left of the connector

Since the top side was badly damaged with the copper surfaces broken off I had to try to make use of the copper available. Since the ground plane surrounds the original surfaces that can be used. First the surface must be uncovered. This is done by filing down the protective coating carefully and cleaning the surface. Be careful not to remove too much of the copper.

When the surface was uncovered I placed a small metal piece to "bridge" the gaps where the connector was previously soldered. The bridge will be soldered on the ground plane surfaces and the new connector will be soldered to the bridge.

Copper surfaces uncovered with metal bridge in place.

Bridge soldered in place

New connector in place, bottom side

Top side of connector soldered to the bridge

Video transmitter on the FPV 250 with a short antenna.

I tried to use a short skew planar antenna instead of the long one. This was mainly to avoid future problems when crashing. This is a cheap antenna from HobbyKing. This could have been a good idea but the antenna performs quite badly. Until I find a good short antenna I'll stick with the ImmersionRC that I've always used before.

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