More fun hacking the Syma 107 toy heli controller

We love the little Syma 107G helis, where are amazingly stable and cheap. They're just begging to be made autonomous, and now it's getting easier to do that with this hack. 

Hackaday reports:

[Jim] used a logic analyzer to do some in depth analysis of the Syma 107G helicopter’s IR protocol. We’ve seen work to reverse engineer this protocol in the past, but [Jim] has improved upon it.

Instead of reading the IR output of the controller, [Jim] connected a Saleae Logic directly to the controller’s circuitry. This allowed him to get more accurate timing, which helped him find out some new things about the protocol. He used this to create a detailed explanation of the protocol.

One of the major findings is that the controller used a 3 byte control packet, which contradicts past reverse engineering of the device. There’s also a new explanation of how multiple channels work. This allows multiple helicopters to be flown without the controllers interfering.

The write up is quite detailed, and explains the reverse engineering process. It also provides great information for anyone wanting to hack one of these low cost helicopters. From the details [Jim] worked out, it would be fairly easy to implement the protocol on your own hardware.

Views: 1861

Comment by Jack Crossfire on December 8, 2012 at 5:09pm

The mane question is why?   These toys are so short lived & the IR has such a limited angle, it's been easier just to replace the pot voltages. 

Comment by Philipp P. on December 9, 2012 at 2:38am


The answer to your question is in the headline of the story. With projects like this you are learning a lot and the knowledge gives access to greater ideas later...

Comment by Gary Mortimer on December 9, 2012 at 7:04am

@Philipp Jack is the resident hacking master.

Comment by Paul on December 9, 2012 at 11:15am

Any project out they're that would have a Microsoft kinect autonomously flying a small heli indoor?

Comment by Mark Harrison on December 10, 2012 at 12:15pm

Jack has also been doing some interesting things with little helis.  This post was on featured list a week or so ago.


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