Introduction

Use this guide to replace an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) in your DJI Phantom Drone. The ESC receives power from the central board, and a PWM control signal from the flight controller. There is one ESC for each motor, for a total of four. Removing the ESC requires soldering.

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Press down on battery door release tab to flip the battery door open.

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Image 1/3: Avoid pulling on the battery wires, excess stress may break the wires, damage the power connectors, or crack the internal solder joints. Image 2/3: Avoid pulling on the battery wires, excess stress may break the wires, damage the power connectors, or crack the internal solder joints. Image 3/3: Avoid pulling on the battery wires, excess stress may break the wires, damage the power connectors, or crack the internal solder joints.
  • Pull out the battery pack.

  • Avoid pulling on the battery wires, excess stress may break the wires, damage the power connectors, or crack the internal solder joints.

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Image 1/2: It's a tight fit, so be careful not to hit your drone or yank on the cables when it releases! Image 2/2: It's a tight fit, so be careful not to hit your drone or yank on the cables when it releases!
  • Pull the two halves of the XT60 power connector apart.

    • It's a tight fit, so be careful not to hit your drone or yank on the cables when it releases!

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Image 1/2: Black-topped propeller collets unscrew clockwise Image 2/2: Black-topped propeller collets unscrew clockwise
  • Silver-topped propeller collets unscrew counter-clockwise

  • Black-topped propeller collets unscrew clockwise

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Image 1/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet. Image 2/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet. Image 3/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet.
  • For propellors with silver collets: Use a 12 mm wrench or socket to loosen silver collets in the counter-clockwise direction.

  • Once free, unscrew and remove the collet.

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Image 1/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet. Image 2/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet. Image 3/3: Once free, unscrew and remove the collet.
  • For propellors with black collets: Use a 12 mm wrench or socket to loosen black collets in the clockwise direction.

  • Once free, unscrew and remove the collet.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Gently press down the motor shaft and lift the propeller up to remove it.

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Image 1/3: Remove the following screws from the underside of the drone: Image 2/3: Twelve 2.0 mm hex screws Image 3/3: Four Phillips #0 screws
  • After removing all four propellors, flip the drone over.

  • Remove the following screws from the underside of the drone:

    • Twelve 2.0 mm hex screws

    • Four Phillips #0 screws

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Image 1/3: Unplug the magnetometer molex connector. Image 2/3: Unplug the magnetometer molex connector. Image 3/3: Unplug the magnetometer molex connector.
  • Loosen the cable from the plastic landing gear.

  • Unplug the magnetometer molex connector.

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Image 1/3: '''Do not '''attempt to fully remove the case. The GPS and Magnetometer cables connect the top shell to the rest of the Phantom, be careful not to stress or break these cables. Image 2/3: '''Do not '''attempt to fully remove the case. The GPS and Magnetometer cables connect the top shell to the rest of the Phantom, be careful not to stress or break these cables. Image 3/3: '''Do not '''attempt to fully remove the case. The GPS and Magnetometer cables connect the top shell to the rest of the Phantom, be careful not to stress or break these cables.
  • Lift up on the top portion of the shell and set it on its side.

  • Do not attempt to fully remove the case. The GPS and Magnetometer cables connect the top shell to the rest of the Phantom, be careful not to stress or break these cables.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Lift the GPS cable molex connector up out of its socket on the main board.

On the Phantom FCP40 (essentially a Phantom 1), the GPS cable connects directly to the Naza controller box, not to the board as shown here. Also the compass (magnetometer) is connected to the main board, not the GPS unit in the top shell, so you don't need to remove it to remove the top shell.

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Image 1/3: The case top shell should now have enough slack to work on the interior of the Phantom. Image 2/3: The case top shell should now have enough slack to work on the interior of the Phantom. Image 3/3: The case top shell should now have enough slack to work on the interior of the Phantom.
  • Gently pull the slack of the magnetometer cable through the case bottom shell.

  • The case top shell should now have enough slack to work on the interior of the Phantom.

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Image 1/2: Follow our [guide|750|soldering guide] to learn how, or just to brush-up on your skills. Image 2/2: Be careful not to melt the plastic case bottom shell with your soldering iron or damage any electronic components.
  • Desolder all three motors wires from the speed controller board.

    • Follow our soldering guide to learn how, or just to brush-up on your skills.

  • Be careful not to melt the plastic case bottom shell with your soldering iron or damage any electronic components.

  • When you're reassembling, solder the motor leads back in their original order. This may be different from the picture. Motors on arms across from each other have the same color order, so check the opposite arm for reference.

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Image 1/1:
  • Unscrew the four 2 mm motor hex bolts from the case bottom shell.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the motor from the Phantom.

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Image 1/2: Be careful not to melt the plastic case bottom shell with your soldering iron or damage any electronic components. Image 2/2: Be careful not to melt the plastic case bottom shell with your soldering iron or damage any electronic components.
  • Disconnect the ESC from the mainboard by desoldering the ground and voltage wires.

  • Be careful not to melt the plastic case bottom shell with your soldering iron or damage any electronic components.

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Image 1/3: You may need to remove other ESC signal cables next to your desired ESC's cable. Be sure to note which socket these cables go back into. Image 2/3: You may need to remove other ESC signal cables next to your desired ESC's cable. Be sure to note which socket these cables go back into. Image 3/3: You may need to remove other ESC signal cables next to your desired ESC's cable. Be sure to note which socket these cables go back into.
  • Unplug the ESC signal cable from the flight controller.

  • You may need to remove other ESC signal cables next to your desired ESC's cable. Be sure to note which socket these cables go back into.

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Image 1/3: The clear plastic LED light cover may fall off after removing these screws. If it doesn't, remove it so you don't lose it. Image 2/3: The clear plastic LED light cover may fall off after removing these screws. If it doesn't, remove it so you don't lose it. Image 3/3: The clear plastic LED light cover may fall off after removing these screws. If it doesn't, remove it so you don't lose it.
  • Remove the two Phillips #0 screws securing the ESC.

  • The clear plastic LED light cover may fall off after removing these screws. If it doesn't, remove it so you don't lose it.

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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Remove the ESC from the Phantom.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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David Hoyt

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Cal Poly, Team 25-89, Amido Spring 2010 Member of Cal Poly, Team 25-89, Amido Spring 2010

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