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Eachine Wizard X220S review

Eachine Wizard X220S Review

Banggood just announced the Eachine Wizard X220S which is an upgraded version of the super popular Eachine Wizard 220. The original Wizard is already a very proven design with great performance and durability.

Image of x220S
Note. The runcam 3 is not included!

The upgraded Eachine Wizard X220S will be available both as an RTF package where everything you need to fly is included except for FPV goggles aswell as a ARF package which means that only the quadcopter and it’s core components are included, no lipo, transmitter or receiver.
If you buy the RTF package you’ll get the awesome iRangeX iRX-i6X 2.4GHz 10CH remote controller which is basically a rebranded Flysky FS-I6X. The transmitter is paired with the iRangeX iR-A8S receiver.

It has the following specs:

Frame specs

Motor to motor length: 220mm
Arm carbon thickness: 4mm
Center plate carbon thickness: probably around 1mm
Max propeller size: 5″
Weigh: 356g without battery
Total weigh: 561g

Motor specs

Eachine MN2206 2300KV motor
KV: 2300
Max thrust: 1100G
Length: 35MM
NO.OF cell: 3-5S
Diameter: 28MM
Framework: 12N14P
Shaft: 3MM
Propeller: 5 inch
Weight: 28g

ESC specs

Eachine 30A BLHELI_S 4 in 1 ESC
Current: 30A
Burst current: 35A
Input voltage: 2-5S
BEC: No
Programming: YES
Firmware: blheli_s
Weight: 28g

FPV camera

Eachine 1179 800TVL CCD camera
Sensor: CCD
Resolution(horizontal center): 800TVL
Weight: 11g
Resolution: PAL: 1980H×1080 (2MP) NTSC: 1980H×1080V (2MP)

Flight controller

Omnibus F4 V3 flight controller
Mounting holes: 30.5×30.5mm
Formware: Betaflight 3.0.1 firmware
OSD: over SPI bus in DMA mode.
Input: SBUS AND PPM
Output: 6 PWM

Eachine wizard x220S vs x220 differences

Although the quadcopters are quite similar there are some major differences which you can read about in this brief comparison.
The x220S motors are slightly bigger 2206, vs the old 2205. This means that the x220S is probably more powerful but also a bit more power hungry. The old 4 seperate 20A ESCs has been replaced by a 4 in 1 30A ESC to handle the more powerful motors. 30A is more of a standard nowadays and 4 in 1 ESCs are getting more popular so it’s good to see Eachine picking this up. A 4 in 1 ESC also makes for a cleaner build with less wires. Together with the bigger motors the X220S is also shipped with 5051 3-blade propeller instead of the old 5040.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the new Omnibus F4 V3 flight controller. The F4 has a more powerful processor which lets you run faster PID loops than the F3 board. This board running Betaflight (pre flashed) is an absolute beast. Apart from a faster processor the F4 Omnibus board also includes OSD which is great news. An OSD had to be retrofitted to the old x220 but now it’s integrated into the Omnibus F4 flight controller board and can be configured through Betaflight GUI. This means even less wires, yay!
The included battery in the RTF package is upgraded to a 4s 1500mah lipo. The difference between 3s and 4s is like night and day and a must for seasoned pilots.
The fpv camera is also upgraded to the awesome 800TVL hs1179.

Summary

If you are thinking about either upgrading or buying a brand new quad I would totally recommend going for the new X220S instead of X220. There are so many new, great features and just the F4 FC with integrated OSD alone makes it worth picking the new X220S.
If this is you first drone grab yourself either a pair of Fatsharks or the cheaper Eachine EV800 800×480 FPV Goggles

Links to both packages:
RTF Ready-to-fly
ARF Almost-ready-to-fly

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RunCam 3 1080p/60fps review

RunCam 3 64G HD 1080p/60fps review

Runcam3 white backgroun
Image from Banggood.com

Note: There’s been rumours that Runcam 3 will not be sold in USA due to patent infringement.

Тhе Runсаm 3 оffеrs thе usеr ехсерtіоnаl WDR thаt gіvеs уоu thе реrfесt рісturе еvеrу tіmе. Тhіs асtіоn саmеrа rесоrds аt 1080р аnd 60 fрs wіth а 155 dеgrее wіdе аnglе. Тhе Runсаm 3 аlsо nоw соmеs wіth ехtrа рrоtесtіоn fоr thе lеns wіth а hіgh-strеngth аlumіnіum саsіng аnd Runсаm hаvе mаnufасturеd іt suсh а wау thаt уоu саn rерlасе thе glаss іf nееdеd. Тhе nехt gеnеrаtіоn оf асtіоn саmеrа frоm Runсаm wоn’t lеt уоu dоwn!
Тhе RunСаm 3 іs асtuаllу а quіtе ruggеd lіttlе саmеrа. Іt соmеs wіth а Соrnіng Gоrіllа 3 lеns соvеr thаt саn bе rерlасеd іf dаmаgеd. І асtuаllу ріlе drоvе mу ΖМR 250 іntо thе аsрhаlt durіng thе іnіtіаl flіght, аnd thе RunСаm 3 еаsіlу survіvеd wіth оnlу а fеw sсrаtсhеs. Іnsіdе thе саmеrа іs sоmе RFІ mеtаl shіеldіng tо рrоtесt іt аnd уоur VТх frоm sрurіоus іntеrfеrеnсе.
Тhе аudіо оn thе RunСаm 3 hаs bееn іmрrоvеd; іt nоw sроrts duаl mісrорhоnеs аnd а sераrаtе аudіо сhір fоr іnсrеаsеd сlаrіtу аnd рrосеssіng роwеr.
Тhе Runсаm 3 usеs а 155-dеgrее lеns thаt саn bе rеduсеd dіgіtаllу thrоugh thе арр tо mеdіum аnd nаrrоw. Тhе арр іs dоwnlоаdеd frоm RunСаm аnd аllоws а WіFі соnnесtіоn whеrе уоu саn vіdео thе lіvе vіdео fееd аnd аdјust mаnу dіffеrеnt раrаmеtеrs quісklу. Сhесk оut thе vіdео rеvіеw bеlоw whеrе І ехрlаіn аll thе аррs fеаturеs аnd funсtіоnаlіtу.

Specifications

Вrаnd: RunСаm
Wеіght: 66g
Vіdео Fіlеs: МОV
WDR: ОΝ / ОFF
ТV Оutрut: ΝТЅС / РАL
Іntеrfасе: Місrо UЅВ
UЅВ Роwеr Іnрut: DС 5V-17V
Wоrkіng Сurrеnt: 600 mА
FОV (Аnglе оf Fіеld): 155°
Іmаgе Rеsоlutіоn: 2 mеgаріхеls
Іmаgе Flір (Маnuаl/Аutо): 180° Rоtаtіоn
Dіmеnsіоn: 38mm (L) * 37.5mm (W) * 38mm (Н)
Vіdео Rеsоlutіоn: 1080р@60fрs / 1080р@30fрs 720р@120fрs / 720р@60fрs
Мах Місrо ЅD Саrd Ѕuрроrtеd: 64G (nееd сlаss 6 оr аbоvе)
Ваttеrу Сарасіtу: 960mАh (1.5h @1080Р 30fрs / 1h @1080Р 60fрs)

Key features

Ехсерtіоnаl WDR
Glаss lеns wіth 155° wіdе аnglе
Сарturе 1080Р/60fрs hіgh dеfіnіtіоn vіdеоs
Ніgh sеnsіtіvіtу duаl mісrорhоnе
Unіquе Rаdіо Frеquеnсу Іntеrfеrеnсе (RFІ) shіеldіng еnсlоsurе
Соmраtіblе wіth vаrіоus GоРrо brасkеts

Моrе Fеаturеs

155° Wіdе аnglе & Ѕmооth vіdео іn 1080р/60fрs
6 Glаss lеns wіth 155° wіdе аnglе, Runсаm 3 саn Сарturе 1080Р/60fрs hіgh dеfіnіtіоn vіdео
Ѕtrоngеr lеns рrоtесtіоn
6000 Ѕеrіеs hіgh strеngth аlumіnum аllоу frоnt bох
Соrnіng gоrіllа glаss 3
* Glаss саn bе rерlасеd, sоld sераrаtеlу аs а sраrе раrt
Ніgh sеnsіtіvіtу duаl mісrорhоnе + іndереndеnt аudіо сhір: fоr сlеаrеr sоund rесоrdіng
Unіquе RFІ shіеldіng еnсlоsurеs
Еffесtіvеlу rеduсе RF іntеrfеrеnсе tо trаnsmіttеr аnd rесеіvеr

Accessories

Since it has the same form factor as the Gopro session there’s alot of accessories available.
To mount it on a quadcopter you can either buy the 3d printed mount here or 3d print it yourself. You can find the .stl-files on Thingiverse.

Recommended settings for FPV

Sunnу dау tіmе: 1080Р 60FРЅ, WDR оff
Overcast оr еvеnіng: 1080Р 60FРЅ, WDR оn
Night/darkness: 1080Р 30FРЅ, WDR оn. According to Banggood 30FPS should be better than 60FPS in this type of lightning conditions.

Summary

Тhе RunСаm 3 rеvіеw tооk рlасе оn а сlоudу dау wіth grеу/whіtе skіеs аnd mutеd соlоrs thаt аrе nоtоrіоus fоr mеssіng wіth НD саmеrаs ехроsurе аnd dуnаmіс rаngе. Ноwеvеr, thе RunСаm 3 dіdn’t skір а рrоvеrbіаl bеаt аs іt trаnsіtіоnеd frоm skу tо grоund wіth nо nоtісеаblе ехроsurе сhаngіng іssuеs. Меtеrіng wаs аlsо hаndlеd vеrу wеll, wіth thе dеfаult vаluе оf сеntеr-wеіghtеd аvеrаgе bеіng usеd; І sаw nо blоwn оut skіеs оr оvеrlу dаrk shаdоws.

20170221171144_22053

Vіdео іmаgе quаlіtу wаs vеrу ассерtаblе, еvеn оn thе оvеrсаst dау. І nоtісеd nо оvеr-sаturаtіоn іn thе vіdео аnd wіth thе bіtrаtе аt іts hіghеst sеttіng оf 30Мbрs, thе рісturе hаd nо quаlіtу іssuеs оr nоtісеаblе blосks. Аudіо quаlіtу wаs аlsо vеrу nісе, аnd еvеn thоugh іt wаs mоstlу wіnd nоіsе аnd рrореllеr sоunds, іt wаs rеmаrkаblу сlеаr, thаnks tо thе duаl mісrорhоnеs аnd dеdісаtеd аudіо сhірsеt.

Іf уоu’rе lооkіng fоr аn аffоrdаblе НD саmеrа thаt tаkеs thе shаре оf thе сurrеnt trеndіng сubе dеsіgn, tаkе а lооk аt thе RunСаm 3. RunСаm hаs bееn іn thе іndustrу fоr а whіlе nоw, аnd hаs реrfесtеd thе аrt оf thе FРV аnd НD саmеrа; vеrsіоn 3 оf thеіr НD саm іs оf nо ехсерtіоn.

Buy it here

This review was written by a guest writer

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Realacc x210 build and review

Realacc x210 build and review

Besides the Eachine Wizard the Realacc x210 is probably the most built, flown and discussed fpv quads of 2016 and 2017. It’s an X-type frame with almost symmetrical arms which makes the tuning process easier. The manufacturers of the Realacc can’t take any credits for the design since it’s a direct clone of the QAV-X Charpu frame. Cloning might be frown upon but it’s the currently the state of this industry and everyone is doing it. If you disregard the fact that it’s a clone it’s a really great quad which both beginners and advanced pilots can enjoy.

Image of assembled x210

After reading a lot of positive posts about the it I ordered the ARF kit and started building it. When I ordered it there were two separate kits to choose from, the 2300kv 20A kit and the 2600kv 30a kit. They are pretty much identical besides the motors and ESCs. In theory the 2600kv version should be a little faster but also more power hungry which means higher C rating lipos and shorter flight time. The 2300kv seemed like a very balanced option so I went for that one. Now there are even more versions of this popular quad which you can browser here

In this post I will try to make a brief review and describe the build process.

Whats included in the package

4mm Realacc X210 carbon fibre frame
F3 Flight Control Acro 6DOF
Racerstar Racing Edition BR2205 2300KV 2-4S Brushless Motor
Racerstar RS20A V2 20A Blheli_S BB2 48MHZ OPTO 2-4S ESC
7 Pairs Kingkong 5X4X3 5040 5 Inch 3-Blade Rainbow Colorful Propeller
Matek PDB-XT60 5V & 12V

Frame specs

Motor to motor distance: 214mm
Thickness: 4mm
Weight (inc. hardware): 93g

Motor specs

BR2205 2300KV Brushless Motor
KV: 2300
Max thrust: 950g (4s), 660 (3s)
Max amps: 27.6A (4s), 19.2 (3s)
Shaft diameter: M5
Weight: 28g

Esc specs

Racerstar RS20A V2 20A Blheli_S
Current: 20A
Burst current: 25A
Cells: 2-4S
BEC: No
Firmware: Blheli_S
Weight: 5.67g
Size:2 7*12mm

PDB specs

Current: 25A * 4
Burst current: 30A * 4

5v BEC

For RC receiver, FC and OSD.
Voltage: 5.0 +/- 0.1VDC

12V BEC

Linear regulator for VTX and FPV camera
Voltage: 12.0 +/- 0.3VDC

Additional components

To get this quad up and running you need to add some components such as RC receiver and lipo. Below is a list with the components I use or recommend:
RC transmitter and receiver: Flysky FS-i6X with X6B i-BUS-receiver
FPV camera: Sony Super Had II or 600TVL 1/4 1.8mm CMOS FPV 170 Degree (requires custom mount)
FPV transmitter (vtx): Eachine TS5823L 5.8G 200mw 40CH
Vtx antenna: Skyzone 5.8GHz RHCP 4 Leaf FPV Antenna (RP-SMA male!)
FPV goggles: Fatshark Dominator V3 or Eachine VR D2 goggles
Lipo: Giant Power Dinogy 1300mAh 14.8V 4S 65C
Charger: iMAX B6 digital charger
OSD: Micro MinimOSD

Building the Realacc x210 kit

DSC_0029
Knolling the frame parts.

ESC closeup
I started by mounting all the motors to the frame and cut their wires to appropriate length. The next step was to solder the wires to the ESCs. The easiest way to do this is to pre-tin the wires and the ESCs soldering pads. Then you just press the wire against the pad, apply heat and a little bit of solder and it will form a strong bond. Remember to cover your ESCs pads with some shrink tube before soldering the ESC to the PDB. If you miss this step you can just cover it with some electrical tape afterwards.

Motors soldered
Just like I soldered the motor wires to the ESCs I soldered the ESCs to the PDB.

DSC_0073
The rest of the build is pretty easy. I added a Micro MinimOSD which I can unplug when connecting the board to a computer. When I ordered this kit the camera that I wanted to use was out of stock, so I built it with the 600TVL 1/4 1.8mm CMOS micro camera. Recently I upgraded to the Sony Super Had II which is a really good camera . I also went with the X6B i-BUS Receiver that was included in the Flysky FS-i6X package.

Summary

This hobby has come a long way since David Windestahl introduced us to his KK-board controlled tricopter. This quad is a living proof of that.
All in all this is a very good racing / freestyle quad. It has lots of power and the frame is very well designed. It’s important to note that this is not a complete kit with everything you need to get started. As I mentioned earlier you need extra components such as battery, charger and rc gear etc. The quad is easy to build and can be customized to fit your style. You also get a battery strap to secure the battery on the bottom side of the frame.

Cons

– If you break an arm you’ll have to replace the whole body.
– This version of the frame does not have an adjustable HD camera mount.
– It can be tricky to mount the fpv camera due to space issues.

Buy it here

2300kv 20A version
2600kv 30A version

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Eachine Aurora 90 BNF review

Review of Eachine Aurora 90 90mm Mini FPV Racer BNF

Since the tinywhoop was brought out to the public it has started a new micro FPV quadcopter revolution. The problem with many of those quadcopters is their weak brushed motors. This has lead to many custom builds with micro brushless motors to gain power, speed and increased motor life. Eachine has brought alot of brushed micro fpv quads to the market such as the QX95, QX90, QX70 and e010 FPV but now they are entering the micro brushless fpv market with the brand new Eachine Aurora 90. It comes packed with features and high grade components such as a mini F3 betaflight compatible Minicube Betaflight F3 6DOF with built-in OSD.

Link to Aurora 90

The Aurora is the perfect entry level quad to the micro brushless scene. It’s BNF (bind-and-fly) and compatible with the three big radio techonologies Spectrum DSM2/DSMX, Flysky and FrSky. If you don’t have a radio and are wondering which one to get I would suggest either the cheap but excellent Flysky FS-i6X 2.4GHz 10CH or the brand new FrSky ACCST Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH. You have to decide which receiver to use before you order the quad since they are shipped together with the receiver. The receiver can of course be changed later but save yourself the hassle and order the correct one from the start.

What’s included in the BNF kit

– Aurora 90 Mini FPV Racing Drone BNF
Eachine 1104 7500KV brushless motor x 4
– 10A BLHELI_S 16.5 1-2S 4 in 1 ESC Dshot600
50mm 4-blades propeller
– Receiver: Frsky/DSMX/Flysky AFHDS2A (optional)
– Camera/VTX: 600TVL HD CMOS 1/4 inch, 5.8g 25mW 48ch VTX
– Minicube Betaflight F3 6DOF built-in OSD
– Betaflight OSD
– Buzzer
– 7.4V 450mah 80C lipo battery
B3PRO 2S balance charger

The only thing you need is a radio transmitter and a video receiver/goggles. I mentioned my recommendations for radio transmitters above in this post, either Flysky FS-i6X 2.4GHz 10CH or the FrSky ACCST Taranis Q X7 2.4GHz 16CH.
For video goggles recommend getting either a used pair of fatsharks or the Eachine VR-007 goggles. The Fathshark goggles are very popular but expensive so I don’t recommend buying a new pair if this is your first quad.

Since it’s a BNF package you also get a 450 2s 80c lipo and a charger but you should buy a better charger which let’s you monitor the charge and also perform storage charging of your batteries. The iMAX B6 digital charger is super popular and well used within this community. For spare lipos (which you will need sooner or later) you could go with the Gaoneng 450 2s 7.4V 80C which will provide the needed power.

Specs

– Motor-to-motor size: 90mm
– Size: 118mm*118mm*70mm
– Weight: 73g without battery
– Flight time : 3-4minutes

Motor specs

– 7500kv
– 1104 size
– Max thrust: 115g
– Max amps: 8A

ESC specs

Minicube 10A BLHELI_S 4 in 1 ESC Dshot600
– Hole spacing: 20mm*20mm
– Size: 27mm*27mm*5mm
– Firmware: BLHELI_S 16.5
– 10A continuous
– 15A burst
– 5v BEC

FC specs

Minicube F3 6DOF flight controller
– Hole spacing: 20mm*20mm
– Size: 27mm*27mm*5mm
– STM32 F303 MCU Processor (F3)
– SPI Sensor MPU6000
– Built in Betaflight OSD
– Buzzer and vBat support

Spare parts

Frame
Camera
Motor
Propellers
Charger
Spare lipo

Summary

With it’s protected propellers this is the brushless micro quad we’ve all been waiting for. With its brushless motors it’s super powerful and can be flown both indoor and outdoors. Thanks to it’s protected propeller you don’t need to worry about crashing it into walls, shattering props or nasty marks on furniture. If you crash it outside in high grass you can easily locate it with the integrated buzzer (bind it to a AUX channel on your transmitter). The flight time might vary between 3-4 minutes but if you fly it with full throttle you can expect a flight time of under 2 minutes. Since it’s fully customizable through Betaflight GUI it’s possible to tune it to perfection and probably a great contender for a micro indoor fpv race or tight freestyle/acrobatics.

This might be the ultimate indoors brushless micro FPV quad. Get it here before it runs out of stock!

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Eachine Wizard 220 review

Review of Eachine Wizard 220 drone of the year

Eachine is really stepping up their game in the drone industry and you can tell that they carefully observe and listen to what the community and customers want. Besides all their previous race quads they have released the micro fpv camera/transmitter combos, the mighty tiny whoop killer E010 and now the Wizard.

image of Eachine Wizard

The Eachine Wizard is one of the most widely discussed and praised fpv race quad currently and UAVFutures claims that its the best race drone of the year. It may not be the fastest or the lightest drone out there but the package and overall performace for it’s price makes it the winner. You can run it on both 3s and 4s where 3s is recommended for beginner and 4s turns it ballistic! It’s a true X-frame which means that the motors are symmetrical and it’s easier to tune.
You can buy it both ARF and RTF which is with and without radio and receiver included. Beware though: if you buy the ARF with the radio the flight controller and motors are different depending on if you buy it Mode 1 or Mode 2. I would recommend buying the mode 2 or ARF kit because then you get the 2205 motors and F3 flight controller. If you buy the mode 1 kit you get 2204 motors and Naze32 flight controller.

Links the the different kits:
ARF mode 1 and mode 2
RTF (no radio/receiver)

What’s included in the ARF package

– Eachine Wizard X220
– 2 x 2205 KV2300 brushless motor CW
– 2 x 2205 KV2300 brushless motor CCW
– 4 x Eachine 20A BLHELI_S ESC
– 10 x Kingking 5040 3-blade propeller purple CW
– 10 x Kingking 5040 3-blade propeller purple CCW
– F3 6DOF flight controller
– 700TVL fpv camera
– 5.8G 48CH 200mw fpv transmitter
– Rubber ducky antenna
– Battery strap
– Wrench

What’s included in the RTF package

– Eachine Wizard X220
– Flysky I6 2.4G 6CH remore control
– Flysky iA6B receiver
– 2 x MN2204 KV2300 motor CW (mode 1) or 2205 2300KV motor CW (mode 2)
– 2 x MN2204 KV2300 motor CCW (mode 1) or 2205 2300KV motor CCW (mode 2)
– 4 x Eachine 20A BLHELI_S ESC
– 10 x Kingking 5040 3-blade propeller purple CW
– 10 x Kingking 5040 3-blade propeller purple CCW
– NAZE32 6DOF REV6 (mode 1) or F3 6DOF flight controller (mode 2)
– 700TVL fpv camera
– 5.8G 48CH 200mw fpv transmitter
– 3S 11.1V 1500mah 25C XT60 battery
– B3 charger
– Antenna
– Battery strap
– Wrench

If you are new to this hobby the RTF mode 2 kit is the one I really recommend you to buy. You get all the things you need to get airbourne and start ripping the fields. The only thing you need to add is the FPV goggles. I would recommend getting either a used pair of fatsharks or the Eachine VR-007 goggles. The Fathshark goggles are very popular but expensive so I don’t recommend buying a new pair if this is your first quad.

Frame specs

Motor to motor length: 220mm
Arm carbon thickness: 4mm
Center plate carbon thickness: 1mm
Max propeller size: 5″

Motor specs

Eachine MN2205 2300KV Motor
KV: 2300
MAX thrust: 780g
NO.OF cell: 2-4S
Magnets: 12N14P
Shaft: 3mm
Weight: 25g

ESC specs

Eachine 20A BLHELI_S ESC
Current: 20A
Burst current: 25A
Cells: 2-4S
BEC: No
Firmware : Blheli_S
Weight: 7.9g

All the packages includes a 700TVL FPV CMOS camera with 127° diagonal and 110° horizontal FOV which is a bit small but you can easily replace the camera. . The flight controller can be flashed with both cleanflight and betaflight.
If you order the RTF kit you get the super popular FlySky FS-i6 2.4G 6CH transmitter which will last you a long time.
The flight is around 3-7 minutes depending on how hard you fly it.

Cons

– No OSD! I recommend adding the Micro MinimOSD
– No HD camera mount. Depending on which HD camera you use you can either 3d print a mount or order one.
– Often on backorder due to high popularity and demand
– FPV camera has a low FOV

Summary

All in all the Eachine Wizard is a perfect FPV package suiting both beginners and experts. The RTF pack has everything you need to get started except FPV goggles and is already pre-configured so all you need to do is to charge the battery and fly! I would recommend to plug it in to a computer and lower the rates via Cleanflight to tame the beast before you are confortable flying it. If you already have a race quad and are looking for an upgrade or backup quad then you shouldn’t hestitate getting the ARF kit.

Christmas is coming and I’m sure you’ve been good all year so order one now!
ARF mode 1 and mode 2
RTF (no radio/receiver)

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Quanum Elite and FX797T range test

Quanum Elite and FX797T outdoor range test

Due to their enormous popularity a lot of people are asking about the range of the Quanum Elite and FX797T micro FPV cameras/transmitters. I did some googling and didn’t find any solid tests so I conducted my own. My test area is a big and open grass field with no power lines or telephone towers nearby. I placed the Quanum Elite and FX797T on a tripod about 1.5m above the ground and then started walking away from with my Fatshark Attitude V2 equipped with a skew planar antenna from Banggood. Only one of the cameras was powered on when testing them to avoid frequency interference.

Quanum Elite range test

Range test of Quanum Elite
I got to around 100 meters away when the static started to take over. At around 110m I could barely see anything.

FX797T range test

FX797T range test
I walked along the same path as I did with the Quanum Elite and at around 150 meters the image was almost gone. I would say that 140 meters was the maximum effective range during the test.

Conclusion

According to my tests the FX797T have almost 50% longer range wich surprised me since I though that the FX797T is just a rebranded Quanum Elite. They both use 25mw transmitters and the same type of cloverleaf antennas. To get a more accurate test result I would probably need to do the same tests but with more cameras since the quality of the hardware could vary alot. I’ve read somewhere that by using a patch antenna on the receiver someone managed to get over 300 meters range with the FX979T.

Quanum Elite range: 100 meters
FX797T range: 140 meters

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Quanum FPV goggles review and mods

My modded Quanum FPV goggles

Quanum fpv goggles mods

Quanum have revolutionized the RC market by it’s really cheap prices and somewhat good quality products. Their FPV googles kit is no exception – at a price of ~29.99$ at Hobbyking it’s a real bargain. The goggles comes as a kit which includes the monitor and foam parts so you have to build it yourself.  In my world this is another word for mods! I’ve actually built my own monitor-in-a-box-fpv-goggles before from scratch but it was really poor and the monitor blacked out at the slightest signal loss.

Specs

Monitor: TFT LCD non-bluescreen
Screen size: 4.3in (6:9 or 4:3 switchable)
Format: PAL/NTSC supported
Supply voltage: 7~13V
Resolution: 480×320
Weight: 195g

I wanted a compact setup because I didn’t like the fact that I had to bring all the FPV gear as seperate parts which I had to set up when I got to the flying field. What I really like about fpv goggles like the Fatsharks is that it’s compact and you don’t have to worry about being tethered to your receiver attached to a pole. With that being said I had a goal of building a really cheap but compact and not so goofy looking setup with wires all over the place. The Quanums are super cheap fpv goggles and the perfect start for a budget fpv setup.

If you don’t have any FPV gear yet you can order the goggles with all the FPV accessories such as transmitter, receiver, camera and wires for 119.35$. I ordered just the bare kit for 29.99$ since I already have the other parts.

The FPV gear I used is:
Boscam rc305 200mw 5.8ghz receiver
Boscam TS351 200mw 5.8ghz transmitter and Eachine 700tvl ET200 5.8G 32CH 200mW
5.8ghz Cloverleaf antennas

The mods

This is the beginning of the mods. I attached a flexible band into the top slot and back around my head to relieve some pressure to my face from the bottom edge of the box.

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On with the mods!

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I used the same flexible band to attach the Boscam receiver to the side of the box. The band is just pushed through the foam and sewn together on the inside.

rx mounted to goggles

This is how the Boscam receiver was mounted. It’s a light weight mount that’s flexible and makes it easy to detach the rx.

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The above image shows the inside wiring of the Quanum FPV Googles black wire. The bulky connectors that’s attached to the monitor didn’t suit my project so I decided to cut them off. The inside of the wire contains four different smaller wires identified by their color:

red: + power in

black: – or ground

white and yellow: analog signal in

I ran the monitor cable under the box and up through the “floor” of it. In this step I also mounted a JST plug in the side to allow for easy powering the setup:

image of JST plug in quanum fpv goggles

You’ll need to power the monitor through red and black wire with 12v. To hook up the signal wires you need to connect yellow OR white to your video receivers signal out as well as ground. In the bottom of this post there is a schematic of the wiring that I did.

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This is how I connected the monitor and receiver. I used this cable, cut off all the plugs and two wires. I stripped the last wire and connected signal (yellow) to signal (yellow) of the monitor. You also need to connect the two ground wires. It’s hard to see in the picture above but that’s how It’s done. In this step it’s ok to solder the signal wires and cover them in shrink tube but don’t do it for the ground because there are more things you need to hook up there.

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Signal and power to boscam video receiver

This is how I routed the external cables into the Quanum goggles. I used the included dc power cable to power my Boscam receiver. I cut it to a shorter length and stripped the end to expose the + and ground wires inside of it.

dcplug

quanum goggles signal and power wiring

The wiring looks like a mess but it’s super simple: All red+ wires are soldered together, all black- ground (including the naked ground of the signal cable) are soldered together and the two yellow signal wires are also soldered together.  All the soldering joints are covered by this shrink tube. Before powering the system make sure to test it for shorts! I used this multimeter for this before shrinking the tubes.

.system test after solder

System test successful! I didn’t power my transmitter here hence the “no signal” message. That’s actually one of the greatest feature of the Quanum goggles – the monitor doesn’t go to a black screen when there is a signal loss like most other monitors in this size. It just keeps showing the image until the “very end”. In this picture you can also see the head of the copper nail I used to secure the top head strap to prevent it from being pulled out.

Even though the wires are inside of the box you don’t see them when wearing the goggles.

side view of the JST plug

Side view of the JST plug to power the system.

lipo and velcro

The lipo is attached to the wide headstrap with velcro. The glue actually stuck to the cloth of the strap pretty good but I think I’ll secure it with some stitches anyways. You really don’t want this to fall off when flying!

The last thing to do is to add some sort of soft material around the edges of the goggles. This will increase the comfort as well as help blocking out the sun from the screen.

Summary

As I’ve stated before the Quanum FPV goggles are a GREAT bargain! Combined with the Boscam rc305 200mw 5.8ghz receiver it’s a great set which can be made very compact and easy to bring in your backpack. Compared to other fpv goggles in the market these are really cheap but still performs well. There is a reason they went on a backorder in under 24 hours when released.

Pros

– The screen doesn’t go to black screen at signal loss.
– Easy to build.
– Very moddable.
– Multiple lenses with different strength included in the package.
– CHEAP!

Cons

– I had to cut a lot of foam to make them fit over my normal sized nose.
– No included top headstrap. I added this myself
– No good place to hide wires.
– Bulky connectors

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Build and review of $73 ZMR250 racing quad

ZMR250 racing quad review

image of assembled ZMR250 aliexpress kit

The dramatic popularity increase in FPV drone racing has led to a wide variety of frames, kits and parts to buy. Choosing a 250 racing quad to buy can be a daunting task depending on what you are after. If you are looking for a starter racing quad, budget, just for tossing around or as a spare backup then the Aliexpress ZMR250 is the perfect deal. At the price of 73$ it leaves you well under the 100$ mark. You should note that this kit doesn’t include radio, battery, charger or FPV gear. You’ll have to buy those things separately if you don’t already own them. I prefer it that way because then you can decide yourself which radio to use as well as charger and lipos. If you do look for a ZMR250 kit including a radio and receiver then Banggood has one for around 166$. I personally haven’t tested it but by the looks of it it seems like a solid choice!

One late night I stumbled upon a post on Rcgroups about a this super cheap ZMR250 kit for at Aliexpress. It’s a 250 fpv racing quadcopter. I ordered one because I was interested in how a cheap 250 fpv racer would perform in terms of quality and flight characteristics.

In this post I will show you how I built this kit and modified it to fit my taste and needs.

When doing builds like this I always use my iron soldering clamp stand. I can’t stress this enough how easier it makes all the soldering jobs because lets face it – sometimes your two hands just isn’t enough. Especially when dealing with these small components and wires where good soldering bonds means everything. I bought mine at a local hardware store but Banggood have a similar one. It really becomes your third and fourth arm.

Whats included in the package:

– Mini 250 3K Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame
CC3D Flight Controller Mini Power Distribution Board PCB
1806 2280kv Brushless Motor x 4
12A Simonk ESC x 4
5030 Propeller CW&CCW x 8
– CC3D Flight Controller x 1
– Led Strips x 2

Frame specs:

– Materials: 3k Weave Carbon Fiber
– Maximum Propeller: 5″
– Motor Mount: M2 12mm – 16mm
– Flight Controller Mount: 30.5mm x 30.5mm
– Board Camera Mount: 32mm x 32mm
– Weight : 140g

Motor specs:

1806 2280kv Brushless Motor 
– KV: 2280
– Max Trust: 460g
– No. of cell: 2-3S
– Framework: 12N14P
– Propeller: 5″ ~ 6″
– Length: 26.7mm
– Shaft: 2mm
– Diameter: 23mm
– Weight: 18g

Esc specs:

12A Simonk esc x 4
– Max continuous load: ~11 amps
– Burst Current: 16A/10sec
– BEC: 5v/1amp max
– Lipo Cells: 2 to 3 cells
– Weight: 10g
– Dimensions: 24mm L x 18mm W x 7mm H (29mm in length including capacitor)

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I started working on the arms and motors because I wanted to get the esc/motor soldering and wiring done first.

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I decided that I wanted to solder the motor wires directly to the ESCs to have minimal wires. I first tested the motor direction by hooking up the wires with crocodile clips. This allowed me to reverse the direction without soldering anything. Make sure which directions the motors are supposed to run and that the exposed wires/clips doesn’t short out. Two of them are clockwise and two are counter-clockwise.
After getting the polarization right I put bits of tape on the arms and drew how to wire the motors to the escs. You can see this in the above picture. It saved me alot of trouble and I didnt need to resolder anything.

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I wrapped the ESCs tight with electrical tape.

Photo of motors and escs soldered and mounted to the ZMR250 arms
Arms almost done!

Make sure you test the ESCs individually before wrapping them up.

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Test fitting the arms to the bottom plate

I wanted to keep the wiring and power distribution board sandwiched between the two bottom plates to reduce the rats nest-look of the finished quad. To do this I had to add spacers and longer m3 screws for attaching the arms. The spacers I used is the plastic adapters you get when buying propellers. They are pretty weak and therefore only a temporarly solution until I find something better.

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Next step was to solder all the components to the included power distribution board. That includes the ESCs power wires, JST plug and wires for powering the FPV system, the included LED lights and the main lipo cables with XT60 plug. This is pertty straight forward and most of the job is stripping the wires. When stripping your wires I really recommend this wire stripping tool.

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IMPORTANT! Always test your Power Distribution Board for shorts before plugging in your battery. I recommend using a voltmeter with a beeper such as this one. It has a setting which will make a beep when current is flowing between the two terminals. This way you can make sure that there is no short between the + and – pads and that all the ESCs are fed with power. This is also a good time to mark the ESCs servo wires if you plan on routing them between the bottom plates as I did. This way you know which ESC goes where on your control board.

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Next step is to prepare the second bottom plate. Depending on how you want to place things and which equipment you plan on using this step could be different when you build it yourself. I am putting the CC3D on nylon spacers as I plan on placing my 6ch receiver underneath it to save some space. I’m using the Eachine 700tvl ET200 5.8G 32CH 200mW transmitter for this frame as it’s small and very lightweight. I’m powering the transmitter from my PDB via a LC filter that is shown in the image below. I will be making a post of how to build one as it’s really simple and you should really consider building one as it’s filtering the power from your lipo which could be polluted by interference from your motors and ESCs.

Image of LC filter
LC-filter mounted
image of lc-filter
LC-filter

My FPV camera (which I don’t remember where I bought it, probably Hobbyking) is mounted to the camera holder with rubber bands. This was first a temporary solution but then I figured that it’s a pretty good way to secure it since it’s flexible and more crash resilient. I rather change out some rubber bands instead of a camera anyways. This way you can also slide some foam in in the top to make it tilted upwards. The camera mounting sheet have two tabs in the bottom and top which slides into the top and bottom frame plates to secure it.

image of FPV camera

image of parts mounted

 

In the above image you can see that I’ve switched out two of the “quick lock” nuts to normal ones as the cones were slightly unbalanced. I will swap out the remaining two as soon as I find some counter rotating ones.

Summary

Being such a cheap kit one can imagine it being a nightmare to assemble. This is actually not the case, I found it really fun to build and easy to customize to your own needs. Sure you might have to use other screws or special parts but most of the time you have these things lying around somewhere. The frame parts and holes aligned which made it easy to fit together. I would recommend buying nylon spacers to use when building this kit. There is no manual or instructions included but most of the parts are easy to tell where they should be attached. If you are struggling with any parts feel free to contact me or look at images. I would totally recommend this kit if you are looking for a cheap 250 racing quad kit. As I wrote earlier you need your own transmitter/receiver, battery, FPV gear and charger to get this quad flying.

Pros:

– Easy to build
– Cheap!
– Looks good
– Good fit
– Most things included
– Powerful motors

Cons:

– Unbalanced lock nuts for the propellers.
– No manual

Order it at Aliexpress or Banggood with transmitter and receiver combo!

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Review of Boscam RC305 5.8Ghz 200mw and TS351 5.8Ghz 200mw combo (video transmitter/receiver)

When getting into the world of fpv racing choosing a good combination of video links could be a jungle.  There are many aspects that needs to be covered such as frequency, power, weight and size etc. Reading this will hopefully give you a clearer picture of how this combination works and if it suits your needs.

In this review we will cover the basics of the Boscam RC305 and TS351 including specs, setting them up, connectors/cables and finally a rough range test.

This is a very well proven FPV combination that is used by both new as well as experienced pilots with a combined pricetag of ~35$ depending on where you order it from.

 

image of Boscam rc305 transmitter
The cable ties are for mounting it to my FPV backpack.

Boscam rc305 200mw 5.8ghz receiver 17.29$

Specs

  • Frequency: 5.8Ghz
  • Channels: 8 (CH1: 5705, CH2: 5685, CH3: 5665, CH4: 5645, CH5: 5885, CH6: 5905, CH7: 5925, CH8: 5945)
  • Operating voltage: 5V – 12V
  • Antenna connector: RP-SMA (rubber ducky antenna included)
  • Weight: ~45g
  • Dimensions: 61x52x13mm

 

Image of Boscam TS351 transmitter

Boscam TS351 200mw 5.8ghz transmitter 16.39$

Specs

  • Frequency: 5.8Ghz
  • Channels: 8 (CH1: 5705, CH2: 5685, CH3: 5665, CH4: 5645, CH5: 5885, CH6: 5905, CH7: 5925, CH8: 5945)
  • Operating voltage: 6.5V – 12V
  • Antenna connector: RP-SMA (rubber ducky antenna included)

Connecting cables and binding
WARNING! Never connect power to the receiver or transmitter before you have attached the antennas, not even for a few seconds. Doing that could damage the components.

Lets start with the TS351 transmitter. It has a female JST connector included for power supply which is very convenient, you can just connect your favorite battery to it and it will start. The other cable that is included is for audio/video feed and power supply to the camera. The pinout is from left to right: audio in, audio in, video in, power out, ground. The pin headers are spaced the standard 2.54mm (0.1 inches) apart which makes it possible to only use the three outer pins (video in, power out, ground) with a servo lead:

Camera connected with servo lead to transmitter
I just love standards!

Setting the frequency of the transmitter is done by changing the position of the levers in the DIP-switch. To do this I suggest cutting a small square hole in the shrink wrap attachment below. The position of the levers should correspond to the channel configuration you want to use. There is a picture included in the package (I’ve also attached it here further down) showing this. I recommend using a small needle or screwdriver to change their position, they are really small! The frequency should correspond to the one you set on your receiver.

ts351 transmitter with red circle indicating cutting hole
Cutting mark

The RC305 receiver also powered via a JST connector cable which is included in the package. The other cable that is included is a 3.5mm plug with female RCA plugs. The included cable is very short and some FPV monitors needs an female to male adapter. In those cases this longer cable could be used 3.5mm audio/video plug cable. It has male RCA plugs which you can plug straight into the Quanum DIY FPV Goggles for example.

The frequency of the receiver is also set with a DIP-switch. Even though the levers are slightly bigger than on the transmitter I recommend using pliers or a screwdriver to move them. Most of the times you can just set a frequency and stick to it unless you are flying with someone else on the 5.8 ghz band.

Pairing the receiver and transmitter

You could try experimenting which frequency that gives you the best signal, the most important is that you use the same frequency on both the transmitter and receiver. I’ve attached a picture of both the channel layouts below. The channels on both devices is mapped to the same frequency. This is not always the case when pairing a transmitter to a receiver so you must pay attention to that.

tx&rx frequency channels

Boscam rc305 + ts351 range test

When performing a range test I picked the same location as I normally fly in for several reasons. It’s a big grass field/crop land and I know the terrain, which helps alot when trying to get orientated up in the sky. I used my diy 1.2m foam flying wing as a testbed. The transmitter was located pretty close to the middle and not out in one of the wings as it ideally should be. The receiver was mounted on a pole in my DIY fpv backpack which elevated it to around 2 meters off the ground.

When I launched it and switched to fpv mode the image was crystal clear. It remained so until around 300 meters out where I could start noticing slight interference. When getting close to the 600 meters mark there interference was strong and I started doing a big turn in order to keep the plane leveled. The reason for doing this is to keep the antenna pointing upwards to maintain it’s radiation pattern towards me. A rubber ducky monopole antennas radiationpattern looks like a big donut, with the antenna in the middle of the hole:monopole antenna radiation pattern

I tried a couple of more flights and they all ended around the 600 meters mark.

Summary
The cheap pricetag of this FPV tx/rx combination makes it very attractive and I’m sure that most FPV pilots has either used it, is using it or have it as a reserve kit. For people getting into this hobby this is the most recommended FPV combination due to it’s simplicity, low cost, reliability and ease to use. You can buy other antennas to increase the range further – I will be reviewing this Cloverleaf antenna combination together with this FPV combo in the near future, so keep an eye out.

Cons:

  • Receiver dip switch is partially hidden under the metal casing, making it harder to change the DIP-switch position.
  • It’s hard to see what channel the transmitter and receiver is currently set to.
  • The receiver lacks any good brackets or screw holes which makes it hard to mount.
  • The ts351 transmitter is quite heavy compared to some other transmitters which are both smaller and lighter with the same power.

This Boscam TS351 Transmitter/RC305 Receiver combo is just around 35$ dollars and worth every penny.