How to Build a Tiny Whoop
Building a Tiny Whoop is actually very simple. All you need is a micro quadcopter/hexacopter (preferably with a diagonal size of about 70mm), a soldering iron and an FPV camera with its own built-in 5.8G transmitter.
In this tutorial, we will be converting a JJRC H36 into a Tiny Whoop using the FXT FX797T FPV camera from GeekBuying. Converting the H36 into a Tiny Whoop is so simple that if you already have soldering skills, it actually takes less than five minutes to complete.
The first thing you need to do is to remove the canopy. Since the FX797T operates on 2.5 – 5 VDC, you’ll need to locate a power source on the mainboard of the quad that falls within that range. The H36 uses a 3.7V battery so the most convenient way to power the camera is directly from the battery.
At the rear of the main board are two solder points that correspond to the negative and positive terminals of the battery (refer to image on the right above). This is where the camera’s negative and positive wires will be soldered on to. Cut roughly half the length of the wires on the camera and expose at least 2mm at the ends of both wires. Proceed to tin the ends with some solder.
Before soldering the wires onto the board, make sure the polarity of the solder points on the board are correct by using a multi-meter. For the H36, polarity is pretty straightforward — the point which connects to the red wire is positive while the black one is negative (refer to image on the left below). You can check this by touching your multi-meter’s red probe to the red terminal and black probe to the black terminal. With the battery connected, the voltage should be a positive number such as 4V. If you get a negative reading such as -4V, it means the battery has reverse polarity.
Occasionally, there are toy drones that have reverse polarity on their batteries — meaning red is negative and black is positive. This goes against conventional color codes for electrical wiring and could be the result of some human error during the design stage or some other reason.
Before soldering your camera wires onto the board, it’s important to be sure of the battery polarity as powering up the camera in reverse polarity will destroy it (unless it has built-in reverse current protection). Once you’re sure of the polarity, proceed to solder the wires on to the board — red camera wire to the red battery wire and black camera wire to the black battery wire.
Since the H36 main board is quite tiny, I’d advise against using flux for soldering as it could spread to other parts of the board and cause short circuits. Also, the two solder points at the battery connector are located very close to each other so even a tiny drop of solder can cause a short circuit. Once you’re done soldering, use a multi-meter to check if both points are not shorted. If there is a short circuit, use a pen knife or a small screwdriver to scrape off the connecting solder and then check again with your multi-meter.
With the soldering done, your Tiny Whoop is almost ready to fly. Simply mount the camera on top of the main board and secure it using a rubber band or cable tie. If you’re familar with 3D printers, you can even build a custom mount for your camera. With the camera mounted, power up the H36 and use a 5.8G FPV headset or monitor to receive live video feed from your Whoop. If everything went well, you should get a good FPV feed and your Tiny Whoop is ready to fly!