Makerfire Micro FPV Racing Drone

Makerfire Micro FPV Racing Drone is the latest entry into ducted fan micro racers joining the Tiny Whoop™ race. For the value and money, this quadcopter comes Ready To Fly or also available Crazepony the Bind-N-Fly version with DSM receiver.  We received a BNF version from GearBest to test against a Devo 10 Deviation with DSM protocol and the results are good.  ■ dronemission.com

Market Segment
Beginners, Indoors, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves,  Budget [$] (PRICE CHECK: $64PNP ■ Mar 2017 Sara’s Pick)

Analysis

Micro quadcopters have come a long way, with Jesse Perkins mounting a small FPV camera and video transmitter, showcasing some amazing indoor racing and calling it the Tiny Whoop™. Several manufacturers have since began to introduce their version of affordable ducted fan quadcopters and Makerfire Micro is noted to be a good entry in this category of indoor racing.  The tall propeller guards allows the micro quadcopter to bounce off the wall without damaging the fans (propellers), surviving most crashes.

It is also beneficial to note that when paired with the popular opensource F3 flight controller, manufacturers are able to lower the cost of production.  With a F3 flight controller, pilots can get several flight modes available instantly.

In Rate/Manual/Expert, this mode is the most challenging flight mode which uses the gyroscopes from the flight controller while the accelerometer is disabled .  It allows the best control of the quadcopter, allowing pilots to do some amazing hairpin turns and aerobatics. This will however require some experience and not intended for beginners.

In Angle/Stability mode, the accelerometer is activated. This enables the quadcopter to self-level. If you don’t put in any input, the quadcopter will remain level. This is the mode that is used on the budget entry level quadcopters. It is however a great way for all pilots to practice control and orientation by flying in a number 8 pattern

In Horizon mode, this is a mix between Rate mode and Angle mode. It gives a pilot the best of both modes to perform flips and rolls and yet self-levels when the pilot centers the sticks but with Rate mode at it’s endpoint.

In the early days of racing drone, an inexperienced pilot would suffer a flip of death (FOD), but to the rescue, came “Air Mode”.  In Air mode, pilots will be flying at all throttle levels, so if you chop the throttle, the stability corrections still come into play, even at minimum throttle, allowing the pilot to perform some amazing maneuvers at low throttle rates.

You will have to assign Air Mode as you would to a switch when setting up flight modes within Betaflight.  The suggested best practices to test Air mode are:

  • Arm motors (motors start spinning idling as an option)
  • Enable AirMode with switch (check to ensure no idling windup on ground)
  • Lift off and fly around (motors will never stop in flight even at lowest throttle and self levels)
  • Just prior to landing, disable Air Mode by switch (as a safety)
  • Land and disarm motors

The benefit of using ducted fans is they are fully protected and prevent the fans from causing any damage to walls, as well it is safe enough to be caught by hand!

One of the best kept secret of a Walkera transmitter is the ability to support multiple protocols with opensource Deviation. So if a pilot is flying a selection of models, such as Walkera, Blade, Eflite, Hubsan x4, Parkzone Micro Warbirds, Spektrum planes, you can turn an affordable Devo transmitter into a power house that supports these protocols.  With a Walkera 12E 12 channel radio transmitter selling at $85 versus a Spektrum JRP12 at $1249, you can see the cost benefit of marketing a Walkera Devo 10 or 12E for micro racing drones.

Pilots can easily spend 5 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 3-4minutes. On a Mode 2 radio transmitter, throttle stick is on the left.

Binding the Makerfire Micro to a new radio transmitter can be a challenge, you will likely need two pairs of hands to hold down the bind button, at the same time power on.  However, you only have to do this once.

Once you have your radio bound to the Makerfire Micro, you will want to run some tests within Betaflight Goggle Chrome App.  You will need a USB cable to connect your quadcopter to a computer.  Make sure your throttle is within range, and the receiver is responding in the right direction for all stick movements.

To begin your first flight, power on your radio transmitter first, make sure your throttle stick is at the lowest point. Check to make sure all your switches are up (position 0). Connect your battery to your copter, lay the copter flat on a hard surface immediately.

Move your left throttle stick down to the lowest point and to the right, to unlock (arm) the motors.   The copter is now live.  To lock (disarm), move your left throttle stick down to the lowest point and to the left.  You can change your setup to switches with Betaflight.

Flight Characteristics

The Makerfire is easy to fly on Horizon mode and can be switched to Angle mode or Rate mode.   It accelerates at a high speed, so setting up dual rates is a good idea.  Low rates at 70 scale on 30 exponential is a good start.  It survived all of our indoor and outdoor crashes, which makes this quadcopter a hardy little thing.

Competitors / Similar Models

Users have considered these 2017 alternatives: Furibee F36s, KingKong Tiny6Eachine E010s, Blade Inductrix

Camera

The camera is a acceptable 520 TVL camera, capable for night flying. See video for results.

Factory Specifications
Flight controller: F3 EVO with STM32 F303 MCU
Receiver: DSM 2.4GHz 8CH
Video transmission: 5.8G 40CH 25mW
Video resolution: 520TVL
Receive distance: 300m
Motor: 615 coreless motors with 65000 RPM
Battery: 3.7V 200mAh 35C
Flight time: about 5 minutes
Charge time: 30 minutes
Charging method: USB

Market Demand Trending

Buy/Sell.  Manufacturers and dealers, these tiny inspired whoops are hitting the market as fast as the first phantom and 350 pros were a few years ago, as hobbyist takes a turn towards micro quadcopters; showing a steady growth in the market.   A snapshot from Grand View Research 2016.

consumer-drone-market

source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

downloadtop5drone-shopwheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

Makerfire 2017. From the DroneMission.com Desk Industry and Competitive Analysis (ICA)

Advertisements

KingKong Tiny6 65mm Micro FPV Quadcopter

KingKong Tiny6 is the latest entry into ducted fan micro racers, this tiny inspired whoop (or Inductrix) is hitting the market as fast as the first phantom and 350 pros were a few years ago.  Weighing just 24.7 grams and at 65 mm, will bring you 3 minutes of fun indoors or outdoors.  Best of all, it does not break that easily and very affordable. ■ dronemission.com

Market Segment
Keen Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves,   Budget [$] (PRICE CHECK: $54.99 BNF ■ Dec 2016 Arthur’s Pick)

What To Expect

TBD.  Coming Soon

Flight Characteristics

TBD

Competitors / Similar Models

Users have considered these 2017 alternatives: Furibee F36s, Makerfire Micro Eachine E010s, Blade Inductrix

Camera

The camera is a sharp 800 TVL camera at 150 degrees.  See video for results.

Factory Specifications
Brand:KINGKONG
Item NO: TINY6
Battery Power:3.7V 250mAh 30C
Wheelbase: 65mm
Propeller size: 31mm
(FC): Micro F3(Betaflight)
VTX: 25mW/16CH
Camera: 800TVL/150°
Frame: ABS high-quality
Motor: 615 Brushed
Charger: 200mah/500mah
Basic version: 1s,  Charger USB Powered
Advanced vesion:Switchable 1s Five -way Charger USB or 2~6s  Lipo Powered
Weight: 19.2g (without Receiver and Battery)

Market Demand

  • TBD

Tests in progress, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

downloadtop5drone-shopyoutube-dm.gifwheretobuy
A DroneMission.com Project

KingKong From the DroneMission.com Desk Industry and Competitive Analysis (ICA)

XK X300 Quadcopter

XK X300 quadcopter. XK Innovations has made several great budget quadcopters, so this is a welcome innovation to include an optical flow sensor in their latest XK budget quadcopter.  An optical flow sensor is a vision sensor capable of measuring optical flow or visual motion and producing a measurement based on an image sensor chip connected to a processor programmed to run an algorithm.

xk-x300-optical-sensor.jpgMarket Segment
Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Budget [$] (PRICE CHECK:  Jan 2017 Sara’s Pick at Gearbest)

What To Expect we took this budget quadcopter for several flight tests. If quadcopter piloting is new to a user, the auto take-off is a nice introduction for beginners.   The optical flow sensor performed flawlessly, providing a good position hold. With the help of the barometric sensor, the quadcopter tracks pretty well flying straight, low while holding it’s altitude.

It seemed sluggish at times during flight with the brushed motors with the default 60% low rates. Brushed motors are one of the simplest types of motors that uses an armature, a commutator, brushes, an axle and a field magnet.  The advantage of using brushed motors is the low cost of production, they are replaceable, but the speed and torque is moderately flat. At higher speeds, brush friction increases, thus lowers the speed range due to mechanical limitations on the brushes.  Sand can easily get into the brushes which can affect it’s overall performance.

The yaw turn is fast, so completing a coordinated turn with the aileron stick will provide a better bank turn. The descent is slow and controlled by the barometric sensor.  On the positive side, it is not going to drop if the throttle stick is lowered too fast. The x8 radio transmitter includes an auto-flip function. The auto-flips could be improved, as it requires the user to release the stick to a halt or it will keep flipping while losing altitude.

Users can easily spend 20 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 15 minutes or less.  ■  dronemission.com

1481590743544230

Appearance

Consistent finishes. No conspicuous flash marks when molten plastic leaks out of the cavity, resulting in a thin layer of plastic protruding from the part called flash and no short shots when there is an inadequate amount of plastic material to fill the mold.

Competitors / Similar Models 

Users have considered these 2017 alternatives: MJX Bugs 3.

Camera

The camera is a 720P 90°Wide Angle HD Camera

Factory Specifications

XK X300-W RC quadcopter
Frequency: 2.4G
Channel: 8CH
Gyro:6 axis
FOV:90 degree
Motor: 050 core
Quadcopter Size:26.5 x 34 x 15cm
Flight Weight:About 370g
Flight time: About 15-17minutes
Control distance: about 200m
FPV Distance: About 250m
Battery for quadcopter: 2S 7.4V 2000mAh (proprietary casing)
Adapter: 10V 800mAh
Battery for transmitter: 6 X 1.5V AA battery

Xk x300 categorized as a entry level quadcopter flying with low speed, ready to fly with a good position hold.  In terms of ranking, we would say it is in the top 5 budget favorites in this category, as recorded Jan 2017.  A positive recommendation for distributors and dealers.  Low risk.  An update to follow.   (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

More tests in progress, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone 

top5wheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

From the DroneMission.com Desk Industry and Competitive Analysis (ICA)

ZEROTECH Dobby Pocket Selfie Drone

The highly anticipated DOBBY is here and in our lab, compact and optimized for photography, taking pictures by voice control and gesture control, assisting users to capture the perfect selfie “Kodak” moment of this generation.

DOBBY Pocket Drone is an AI-powered drone using Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, piloted with GPS and GLONASS, featuring object tracking and facial recognition. DOBBY can take off by voice control and one click on APP. Selfie lovers can enjoy creative photos from unique perspectives rather than taken by other shooting tools like cell phone cameras.

If you are into smartphone technology Qualcomm comes to mind; anyone who uses Wechat or QQ knows what Tencent can do.  Known to few, the two giant firms are among the core influence to bring ZEROTECH to the limelight with Dobby. However with all that investment backers and publicity behind it, there seem to be an underlying issues uncovered as we take it for several tests.

donbby-target.PNG

First Impression
The highly anticipated crowd funded DOBBY quadcopter is here.   The DOBBY Pocket Drone came in a familiar box looking like an Apple product.  Very elegant indeed.  In the box, you will find a folded quadcopter, a size of a smart phone.  Included is a USB charger,  usb adapter, a proprietary smart battery,  basic instructions and warranty card.

What I have found is you may need to use the USB charger provided, as a generic charger may not feed enough power.  You can tell by looking at the light, if it does not turn orange while fast charging.  The battery last just about 7 minutes or less in flight.   You can check the battery status by pressing the status button.

Video and photos are recorded directly on to Dobby internal memory storage (no SD card needed), I believe about 9 GB of free space.  It is viewable when connected and can be downloaded on to your device. Video and photos are sharp and crisp I must say.  Videos have a jello movement to it, due to amount of vibration generated by the hinged propellers.  The best way to transfer your video and photos to your computer is to attach the USB cable with the adapter and connect your Dobby to a computer.  A new USB device will be detected and a new drive will be assigned, where you can just drag and drop your files over to your computer.

Before each flight, you begin by extending the arms, it locks in when fully extended.  You then adjust the camera angle manually.  They lock in to each fixed angle to match the app image stabilization.  45 degrees is required if you plan to use the Follow Me Target feature.  You can have the camera face directly down for a full unobstructed aerial view.

At the current moment 720P is all I can record, but my understanding resolution should be higher.

The camera orientation is default to selfie, face to head, so careful with it, the quadcopter will be flying reverse.  You can change it to Face to Tail, the more convectional way of flying RC.

You can see here, the Optical Flow and ultrasonic sensor, which helps with position hold, palm take-off and palm landing.  The ultrasonic emits a sound wave that the human ear is unable to detect, but may be sensitive to some animals, so keep your pets away.

The firmware and guide has just been released after several months.  Make sure to update your Do.Fun app which will then prompt you to update the latest firmware.  The latest user guide can be found within the Do.Fun app.

User Segment
Selfie Addicts, Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Collectors, Budget $409 (source: August 2016 Banggood Price Check)

What to Expect

The Dobby has difficulty picking gps signal indoors, not that we recommend that anyone fly indoors.  In novice mode it will not take off without 7 gps count.  We suggest that you fly outdoors as it is too hazardess indoor, besides the optical flow sensor requires sufficient light to work properly.

It is a selfie drone, so careful to face the camera to yourself, or you will find yourself flying in reversed.  Remember the camera is on the tail end of the quadcopter.

It is clear that Zerotech had release the product prior to the functionality being complete.  The App was updated late August 2016 to support some of the functions promised, but seem to require more testing to be comfortably certain it works.

Target function requires the Dobby to be over 5m function.  It does seem to recognize it is over 5 meters.
The flip function is always saying “low power, cannot use this function”
The Face recognition says “coming Soon”
The return home seem to be 6+ feet away

Factory Specifications

  • Item Name: Zerotech Dobby Pocket Selfie Drone
  • Quadcopter Weight 199g (DM)
  • Size unfolded:135mm×145mm×36.8mm
  • Folded:135mm×67mm×36.8mm
  • Maximum altitude 3000m
  • Life time 9 mins(0 elevation)
  • Working temperature 0 ~ 40°C
  • GPS Outdoor: GPS / GLONASS dual-mode
  • Optical flow + Ultrasonic (illuminance> 15 lux)
  • Maximum rise height with GPS mode According to national legislation
  • Control distance 100m (open area without interference)
  • Maximum rise height with light streaming mode 3m
  • Hovering Accuracy Vertical: +/- 0.1 m (optical flow positioning during normal operation); +/- 0.5 meters (outdoor)
  • Horizontal: +/- 0.3 m (optical flow when targeting normal operation); +/- 1.0 meters (outdoor)
  • Wi-Fi WiFi frequency bands 2.4GHz : 5GHz
  • Emission Power EIRP 2.4G: 19dBm
  • EIRP 5G: 25g dBm
  • Camera Image sensor 1 / 3.06 inches CMOS; effective pixels 13 million
  • Lens FOV 75 °; 28mm (35mm format equivalent); f / 2.2; infinity focus
  • Camera tilt range -90 ° ~ 22.5 °
  • Maximum photo resolution 4208 × 3120
  • Photo shooting mode Single camera
  • Delay pictures
  • Beauty pictures
  • Multi Burst (BURST): 2 ~ 15 sheets
  • Video capture mode 10s Autotrack short video shooting
  • HD video capture
  • ISO range 100~3200
  • EV range – 12; – 8; –4; 0; 4; 8; 12
  • Delay shooting 3s / 5s / 10s / 20s
  • Video resolution 4K @ 30fps image stabilization 1080p @ 30fps
  • Storage format JPG / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264)
  • Storage capacity 16G
  • USB Interface Type Micro-USB Interface
  • Battery Rated capacity 970mAh
  • Rated energy 7.37Wh
  • Nominal voltage 7.6V
  • Battery Type LiPo 2S
  • Charging Ambient temperature 0 ~ 45 ° C
  • Discharge ambient temperature 0 ~ 45 ° C
  • Charge limit voltage 8.7V
  • Charging Dock Interface Type-C
  • Voltage 9V
  • Rated power 15W
  • App App name: Do.Fun
  • Real-time image transmission: 640×480 @ 30fps; 320 × 240 @ 30fps
  • Delay 160ms (depending on the actual shooting environment and mobile devices
  • System version of Mobile: Android 4.3 and above iOS 8.0 and above

The Camera
The camera maximum video resolution 4K @ 30fps image stabilization 1080p @ 30fps and photo resolution 4208 × 3120 with image sensor 1 / 3.06 inches CMOS; effective pixels 13 million Lens FOV 75 °; 28mm (35mm format equivalent); f / 2.2; infinity focus.

Similar Model Aircrafts
Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: WINGSLAND S6

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the top 5 favorites during this release recorded August 2016.  An update to follow.   (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

App installation

DOBBY Do.Fun can be downloaded at the app store.v.1.1.0 was just added Aug 26, 2016 in a rush to meet the releases.

Flight Tests in progress, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

downloadtop5drone-shopwheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

Editorial from the DroneMission.com News Press Team

 

XK X252 Shuttle 3D Quadcopter

Following the success of the XK X251 mini racer, XK Innovation brings to us the XK X252 Shuttle, a blend of speed, First Person View (FPV) flying with 3D capabilities.  With brushless motors and 3D bi-directional electronic speed control (ESC),  this quadcopter can perform amazing stunts, flips and inverted flying. ■ by dronemission.com

First Impression,  amazing, we love it, this quadcopter can be flown by keen beginners (intermediate) and yet provides the capabilities for a new pilot to venture into advance 3D flying.  However because of it’s structure design and one solid frame, breaking any parts would mean changing the whole frame out.  Out of the box, the X252 is not as fast as it’s sibling X251, but change out the 3D propellers to performance propellers, you begin to regain some of that high speed.

xk-x252-weight.jpg

User Segment

Some experience, Park Flyers With The Need for Speed, 3D flying, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Budget USD$165 (July 2016 source: GearBest)

What To Expect If This Your First

You can easily spend 12 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 8-10 minutes.

Propellers airfoil are evenly distributed on both upper and lower surfaces as expected with a blunt trailing edge, for a 3D quadcopter design.  The reversible electronic speed controller (ESC), allows you to reverse the motor at mid point to fly upside down in a 3D manner.  You do this by putting your right shoulder safety switch (Throttle Hold) to on, set your throttle stick at mid point and mixing your two left switches into 3D.  Be very careful now, at this point pushing the throttle up above midpoint will start the motors and lowering below midpoint will reverse the trust of the motors.

To land, it is easier to flip the switch back to 6G and then put your right shoulder safety switch (Throttle Hold) to off, this will stop all motors.

There is SD card storage area, to record your onboard flight video, with a clear 720P HD miniature camera.  Press the red left button to begin recording.

When the battery is low, the quadcopter will begin to descend. There is no audible sound to warn you of low battery, so setting a timer may be a good thing.

Flight Characteristic

The XK X252 is easy to maneuver around, forward pitches at a perfect angle of attack, ready for the next flip.  The upward trust is limited to 80% of the throttle curve, anything above with a 3D propellers will cause it to wobble to the side at full acceleration.

Camera and Monitor

The quadcopter carries an average 720P camera, almost jello free recording out of the box. While recording, a consistant drop of frames every few seconds on our x252. The video monitor is clear and has a good reception flying within the specified range

Similar Model Aircrafts

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives:  Walkera F210-3D, XK X350, XK X100, WLtoys V383 500, FY801 3D, Floureon H101, JJRC H22

xk-x252-compare-x251-x100.jpg

Factory Specifications
Brand name: XK
Item name: X252 RC Quadcopter
Material: High-strength composite materials
Frequence: 2.4G
Brushless motor: 1804 * 4
Flight time: about 12 mins
Charging time: about 60-80 mins
Control distance: about 
300m

Radio Transmitter Range: more than 250m
Quadcopter Battery: 7.4V 950mAh 20C
Transmitter Battery: 6 x 1.5V AA Battery (Not Included)

Wheelbase: 242mm
Flight weight: 220g (DM 232g takeoff)

Structure: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a common thermoplastic polymer (also used by Lego).

xk-x252-test.jpg
tests at dronemission.com

LiPo case and LiPo dimensions

What we love about it

  • Everything about it. How easy it flies, amazing forward thrust and flips.
  • 3D and 6 Axis Gyro.  Flip with confidence without worrying which side you may land up.
  • FPV monitor auto scans video channels instead of using dip switches (for version 2)

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • Strengthen the frame for 3D flying
  • To not hard soldered the LiPo.  A LiPo case is fine, have the LiPo easily replaceable

xk-x252-fly.jpg

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the top 7 favorites during this release recorded July 2016.  (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

More videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

top5drone-shopwheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

Contribution by the DroneMission.com R&D Team

 

 

Syma X8HG Altitude Hold Quadcopter

This summer, teaching a beginner to fly a quadcopter has never been easier, when the height of the aircraft is constantly level, allowing the pilot to focus on forward flying and yawing around. Syma continues to improve the next generation of budget quadcopters with barometer sensors for Altitude Hold, adding it to the Syma X8HG.  Pressure sensors are not new to the quadcopter drones scene but not many budget quadcopters carry them until recently.  The Syma X8HG also has an improved 1080p camera and a standard gopro fixed mount, which allows you to interchange with a GoPro camera.

syma-x8hg-cameramount.jpg

First Impression,  the polished luster of smooth metallic paint takes it up a notch, material used is light-weight Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a common thermoplastic polymer (also used by Lego).   It flies very smoothly and the camera is a great improvement, but the lack of gimbal causes some jello with the stock fixed mount.  We are pleased you can actually substitute the camera with a GoPro equivalent

x8hg-camera-install.gif

User Segment
Keen Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Collectors, Budget (source $136 June 2016)

syma-x8hg-fly1.jpg

What To Expect If This Your First

You can easily spend 10 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 5-7 minutes. On a Mode 2 radio transmitter, throttle stick is on the left.

Some assembly is required.

  1. The propellers are lock into place with an intricate system of iron pins and lockstitch as shown on the video.   First to remove the transparent looking lockstitch off the pipe by rotating the lockstitch 90 degrees anti-clockwise, until you hear a click to release the pin.  Remove the pin and the lockstitch.
  2. To install the propellers, here are the steps.  Insert the correct propeller into the pipe all the way down, with the metallic washer facing up, add the transparent looking lockstitch with the notch on top, rotate it to align the notch to the pin hole.  Insert the iron pin (shaft).  Rotate the lockstitch inside 90 degrees clockwise until you hear a click that locks the pin mid way.  Cover the propeller with a prop nut.  A lot of fuss, but still a genius engineering piece of work.

Connect your battery to your quadcopter, close battery door and power on, lay the quadcopter flat on a hard surface immediately. This will allow the quadcopter to self-level the gyroscope. Power on your radio and move your left thottle stick up and down once to bind the receiver. When you are ready to fly, hold both sticks inwards to arm the motors, the propellers will begin to rotate slowly.  The quadcopter is now live and has entered into flight preparation mode.  To stop the motors, hold the left stick to the lowest point for 3 seconds (which means don’t try to descend at full speed for 3 seconds or it will just shut off).

The quadcopter LiPo battery may get a little warm after each flight. When the voltage is low, the quadcopter four lights will begin to blink and will begin to descent to prevent the battery from over-discharging. Over-discharging a LiPo battery below 3 volts per cell, can permanently damage the battery. It is best to let the LiPo cool down before the next charge.

You must set the speed to High (H) rates for outdoors by pressing the left shoulder button a quick once.  Holding it down will turn on headless function.

When recording with the stock camera, the four indicators lights at the bottom of the quadcopter will flash intermittently.

With a 6-axis gyro flight controller, you can toss your quadcopter in the air and throttle up in full to self-level.  Lower your throttle stick to about half once you regain control to hold the altitude. You will than need to yaw around to identify the front or back, to regain your orientation.  If it helps, mark the back with red tape to make it more visible.

To complete an auto flip, fly to about 10 feet and press the top right button, and move the stick in the direction you want it to flip. It will auto flip!

When the four indicators lights at the bottom of the quadcopter starts to flicker, it means the aircraft power is low.  At this time, the quadcopter will descend to a safe height and limit the height it can climb.

syma-x8hg-unbox.jpg

Flight Characteristic

Very smooth flight and it makes a nice banking turn.  Moderately quiet.

Similar Model Aircrafts

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: MJX 102H, Syma X5HW, Syma X8HG (wifi), Syma X8HC

Camera

Photo (8.0MP). The camera is a low end 1080p 30 fps camera with 720p option.  Records.mov files.  See video for results.

Factory Specifications
Model:X8HG
Frequency:2.4G
Channel:4CH
Gyro:6 axis
Camera: Photo/Video(8.0MP)
Battery:7.4V 2000MAH
Flight Time:5-7 Minutes
Charging Time:200 Minutes
Radio Control Range: 70m
Battery for controller:4 x AA batteries
Weight: 612g
model size: 50*50*19cm

What we love about it

  • Smooth, stable flight that holds the altitude reasonably well
  • Radio range improvement

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • Better camera mount to correct the jello (without increasing cost)
  • An alternate way to stop the motors instead of holding the left stick to the lowest point for 3 seconds. Since XH8G has a controlled descend, unknown to some users, descending at full speed for more than 3 seconds will actually shut down the quadcopter in mid-air

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the top 5 favorites during this release recorded June 2016.    (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

Flight Tests in progress, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

downloadtop5drone-shopwheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

Contribution by the DroneMission.com R&D Team

Hubsan X4 H502E GPS RTH Quadcopter

Looking for the perfect size quadcopter for this summer free youth RC training camp has narrowed down to this quiet 16.5 cm Hubsan X4 H502E GPS quadcopter. What caught our initial attention is the mini quadcopter with GPS, allowing the quadcopter to find it ways back. Other features of interest is it’s 720p camera and altitude hold.

The Hubsan H502e arrived in a small box with no instruction manual, but the usual short instructions on the packaging that reference a manual. The H502e is not even listed at Hubsan.com as such there is nothing to download.

User Segment
Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Hubsan Collectors,  Instructional Training Quadcopter, Budget USD$107 MAP (Jun 2016 source: Banggood)

Factory Specifications
Radio Frequency: 2.4G
Channel: 4CH
Quad copter Size: 165 x 165 x 60mm
Weight (including the battery): 140-147g DM certified
Battery: 7.4V (2S) 610mAh LiPo Battery 35g
Built-in HD camera 720P .
Motor: coreless  0820  x4
4 LED indicators with rubber feet
Max flight radius: 200±15 m
Flight time: around 10-12 minutes
Charging time: around 30-40minutes .
Transmitter battery: 4 x AAA

hubsan-h502e-brush.jpg

Flight Characteristic
Slow and sticky to position hold even at expert mode on stock radio transmitter. However it binds with the X4 Pro FPV1 radio transmitter allowing you to fly in manual, gps and follow me mode.

What To Expect If This Your First

There is no user manual included.

You can easily spend 12 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 8-12 minutes from our tests. On a Mode 2 radio transmitter, throttle stick is on the left.

Power on your quadcopter first, than the radio. Connect your battery to your copter, lay the copter flat on a hard surface immediately. This will allow the copter to self-level the gyroscope. Begin step 1 of calibration by rotating it horizonally a few round clockwise until the radio transmitter prompts you to complete step calibrate compass 2. Next, vertically rotate the quadcopter clockwise until the radio indicates complete.

calibration-dm.JPG

When you are ready to fly, hold both sticks inward to arm the motors, the propellers will begin to rotate slowly. The quadcopter is now live and has entered into flight preparation mode. Motors does not auto shut off upon landing, disarm idling motors to avoid toppling over. To stop the motors, hold both sticks inward at the lowest point for 3 seconds.

There are dual rates by pushing the right stick in and hearing two beeps. It also shows Expert Mode on the LCD screen.  However it is still not a aggressive aircraft at all On the stock setting.

You can still maneuver the quadcopter during a GPS Return Home with the stock transmitter.

The copter LiPo battery may get a little warm after each flight. When the voltage is low (7.2 volts), it shows low battery on your radio (beeps on the FPV1), you should manually land within a minute to prevent the battery from over-discharging. Over-discharging a LiPo battery below 3 volts per cell, can permanently damage the battery. It is best to let the LiPo cool down before the next charge.

The odd size LiPo battery is not easily available.  Included is a USB charger for a 2S LiPo, slow but a useful charger to have around or travel with.

Undocumented Features
To bind with the X4 Pro FPV1 radio transmitter, you hold down the ENTER and power on the transmitter to initialize a bind.

With the FPV1 radio transmitter, you can now fly in Manual or GPS mode

hubsan-h502e-fpv1

Testing Follow Me.  The quadcopter is able to perform Follow Me, due to the Radio Transmitter GPS built-in system.

followme-dm

Rebinding to stock radio transmitter

The transmitter and the quadcopter are bined at factory, should you change  transmitter or quadcopter, a relinked is required.

  • Press the Photo function button while you turn on the transmitter simultaneously.
  • Power the quadcopter and wait for the prompt to calibrate the quadcopter, indicating a bind has been established.

Similar Model Aircrafts
Users have recommended these 2015-2016 alternatives: Walkera Runner 250 GPS, Hubsan H501s, JYU Hornet S, Walkera MR Drone. (Your contribution welcome).

What we love about it

  • Quick and effective GPS (12 satellites very quickly)
  • Hardy ABS structure
  • Telemetry on radio transmitter (gps, calibration etc)
  • Returns home when signal is lost or when battery is low.

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • User Manual and product information on Hubsan company website
  • Allow for full acro or high rates setup, as it seem to lack energy.

Flight Tests to begin, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

downloadtop5drone-shopwheretobuyyoutube-dm.gif
A DroneMission.com Project

Contribution by the DroneMission.com R&D Team, training summer 2016