tinyhawk-resurrected | Micro blog
│ TINYHAWK RESURRECTED THE STORY
└──[ Thursday, May 14, 2020
EMAX TinyHawk is my problem child. It is a perfect drone for beginners. I began
my hobby with zero knowledge about drones. TinyHawk forced me to learn how to
repair, maintain, and rebuild it. I want to tell the story of that process.
The first thing I learned was to check motors. If they rotate not smoothly it
means there is some dirt - in most cases hairs. Taking them from the bottom is
quite easy but requires unscrewing the motor form the frame. To make it easier
I always unplugged the whole engine from the mainboard and work on it
separately. Then those hairs got winded up and clogged inside. This was harder
to get out as I needed to disassemble  the whole motor.
Turns out those plugs in the mainboard are the most failing thing in the whole
drone. It's a known problem. They got loose and stops giving power. After some
time mine got broken one after another. The solution to this problem is not that
easy. At first, it's just a matter of pushing the cables by hand and it works
again. But it's not a permanent solution. The day came and TinyHawk was grounded.
To fix that I needed to solder the wires straight to the mainboard.
The frame and canopy are not designed to have fixed wires. It is impossible to
solder wires and then put the frame and canopy or to solder while the drone is
assembled. I decided I need a new frame. Helpfully someone made one and upload
it to the Thingiverse. I printed it.
This way I now have a TinyHawk on a completely customized frame. And it's a way
nicer frame. It's now looking more like a toothpick than a whoop.
Back to the soldering motor wires. I only have an old soldering iron that is way
too big for the small spots. But after some try and error I manage to attach
motor wires. Some first test flights ended up each time with some broken
joints. But after resoldering them so many times I learned how to do it
properly and now they surviving most crashes.
The battery holder was another thing I removed. I printed a small piece of
plastic that holds a velcro strap and also has landing gear. Replacing the
battery is way easier now. And the landing gear - straight legs provide an
easy way for the drone to lift off.
Then the antenna bends in the middle making the reception way worse. I started
to get the RX connection losses. I needed to fix that. I know nothing about
antennas. This page  was very helpful. I took antenna from the original
radio transmitter (from RTF combo) and welded it to the drone. Now the
reception is fine again.
On one of the training sessions in the park I hit the tree and the drone
crashed in a small pond. The frame broke, one of the props get lost and the
electronics were flooded . I get home as soon as possible and put the
TinyHawk into the rice . I printed the new frame and reassembled everything
on it. The drone works again.
I learned how to solder small cables, why antennas have a particular length,
how to make good and strong modifications and upgrades to the frame. I did not
surrender and keep my drone working  :)