Best Freestyle Motors for the first quarter of 2018?

12 days in the new year and I’m already planning my first freestyle build in the 2018. So I have started doing a research to see what freestyle motors do I have as options if I don’t limit myself on a certain budget.


By asking my friends and watching YouTube videos and checking the equipment used in the descriptions I have narrowed down my list on these five freestyle motors by no particular order:

EMAX LS2207 Lite Spec 2207 2400KV $22
T-motor F40 PRO II 2306 2400KV $27
Armattan Oomph Titan Edition 2306/2450KV $21.5
Hypetrain Freestyle 2306 2450KV $26
Brotherhobby Deadpool 2306 2450KV $26

Each of these has some feature that distinguishes it from the others and that seems to be the deciding factor when making your choice. The next thing that falls on my mind is, if only I could test each set on the same rig, fly around 20 packs, that would greatly help me make the decision, but unfortunately that is not so practical 🙂 If only some of the manufacturers could come with some sort of rental program so we could try the motors that we like (obviously there would be rental fee and payment if something is damaged, but anyway I wouldn’t go all in if I’m just trying out some new motors that aren’t mine)

What are deciding factors when choosing freestyle motor?
Most of the pilots go for the smoothness and low end torqiness. All motors feature naked bottom with 16×16 holes which begins to be a new standard that offers tougher base and lighter motor. Other than that, most of the freestyle motors with some exceptions are from 2306 with 2345-2450KV. The price range is from $21.5 to $27. Some pilots may say these motor are a bit overpriced but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. You may find cheaper motors from other brands but these are used by most of the freestyle pilots over the world and the fact that most of them are recently released motors also plays a big role in the overall price.

In order to make things more easier, I have created a poll on the FPV Life group on Facebook so I could get some insight about what pilots are using or planing to use, you can see the results below. The T-motor F40Pro II is absolute winner, then the Armattan Oomph Titan, and after that I have got similar number of votes on the Hypetrain, Brother Hobby fancy Deadpool and EMAX LS2207 2400KV.

Please note that this ranking is only for the first quarter of 2018, I see that Mr Steele V2 motors are already available and after watching the Mr Steele video about the V2 motors I can say that it is worth being on the list but there is no pilot info on that one so far.

As I’m writing this I have already ordered a set of F40Pro II motors and I will be doing a full review on them as soon as I have them in my hands. My plan is pairing them with the Holybro Tekko32 (Wraith32) ESCS and use Kiss V1 FC. As for the frame, I haven’t decided yet whether to go with Rooster or Reverb frames or use something semi freestyle lighter with a Runcam Split on it.

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SJ RG01 5.8G 48CH another FatShark Killer?

Edit: There is no logic in the display size, I think that the height is right but the width is overall from both displays, which means that the screen resolution would be 480X240 and that seems right. Thanks for reddit user IronMew for pointing out the 960×240 typo.

While checking the new products on BangGood today I found that there are new FPV video goggles SJ RG01 available that should be in the class of Eachine EV100

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The goggles come with dual 960×240??? displays, they have true diversity receiver and they have dvr recorder.
Unfortunately, there is no information on the field of view, that was a big down side on the Eachine EV100 and I certainly hope this company went with some wider FOV.

The package includes SJ-RG01 Goggles, 2 x Antenna, 1 x Power cable, 1 x AV cord, 1 x Battery (1,500mAh), 1 x User’s manual.
I’m planning on ordering these and doing a thorough review as soon as I have them in my hands.

These goggles are on preorder at the moment on BangGood and you can read more about them on the following link

Runcam Split V1 Latency Fix

There are several factors that may cause the latency on the Runcam split camera, old firmware, using PAL instead of NTSC, using 30 fps instead of 60 fps and in my case I found to be the fullscreen feature in Tv Output that is stretching the output video so it could cover the whole screen on 16:9 ratio screens.

My thoughts were that even this is not a processor power consuming operation it may cause some problems on an already overloaded processor so I decided to disable the fullscreen feature and the audio output altogether aaaaand problem solved. After the initial tests at home I could not see that there is noticeable latency and the camera performance was similar to the average fpv camera, I went on my usual spot went trough 4 batt packs and I couldn’t notice the latency at all. Hope this helps, it improved the latency on my camera.

The problem that remains is the quality of the fpv feed. It is washed out and without details which makes it really hard to fly and less enjoyable this time of the year with all leafless branches around 🙂

Here is a sample video recorded after I fixed the latency issue:

In time I got used to the low quality video in the fpv feed and I really like having a HD recording camera in such form factor on my miniquad.

Camera bought from https://goo.gl/2W24f5

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Racerstar BR2307S 2500KV review

Edit: I have flown these today 12.11.2017, they are smooth and quiet, I have flown 7 packs and it they aren’t even getting warm after 3 minute flight in typical racing conditions with DAL 5046C props. They really open up and show full potential above 60-65% throttle. It seems that these motors have a lot of power and accelerate really fast.

Here is a test video with the first pack

Edit 2: I have been flying these with Dal Cyclone 5046 and I really like the torque they provide on low throttle, they seem to be more than able to work with heavier props. I have found this youtube review with thrust results https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3fxH… and they seem to pull 1400 grams and drawing around 40 amps on 5046C at max throttle.

You are getting what you have paid for. These motors are certainly a bargain for a cheaper builds and also as motors used for training without worrying if you destroy them. I have ordered these as soon as they were available for sale on BangGood. I was worried a bit since there were no reviews, but based on my previous experience with Racerstar motors, I have decided to bite the bullet and order them.

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The Racerstar BR2307S 2500KV arrived in regular Racerstar motor paperbox packaging  protected in bubble wrap. There were no extras in the box except for a nylon bag with 4X M3x8 and 4X M3x6 motor screws.

It seems that Racerstar stopped the practice of offering CW and CCW motors and from now on they are only offering CW ones. Anyway in my experience,  the previous models as BR2306S the CCW ones had problems with the build quality.

Overall look and quality

These are very nice looking motors and they look exceptionally good when mounted on a miniquad. The overall build quality seems similar or a bit lower than the one on BR2306S, there are small dents on the bell edge, the anodizing of screw nuts seems like unfinished. Maybe this is due to the fact that this is first series of these motors but it is worth noting. It looks that these motors are painted instead of anodized. There are visible traces on the motor screw nut and at the motor bottom.

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One of the things that I have found to be improved is the bearing quality, all 4 motors have decent bearings and no vertical movement on the bell.
The magnets that are used in these motors look like the ones used in BR2306S. They aren’t curved and the air gap has considerable height.
The windings seem to be machine filled with multi-strand wires.

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The motor wires are 7cm long which is unfavorable for a builds with 4in1 ESCs where you should put some extra effort in extending the wires.

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The motor weight is 37 grams with the wires, probably 34 grams with shorter wires on a normal build with 4 ESCs.

The height is 34mm and the width is 28.5mm

I have yet to test these, and I’m going to install them on one of my KISS builds tonight as soon as I finish this post. They should serve as a replacement for Emax RS2205 2300KV so on paper they should be a considerable improvement. I will update this post with my impressions.

You can buy these motors here

 

 

Pros and Cons

Pros: Cheap great looking motors, for budget builds or for race practice. No play in the bell and the bearings are smooth on all 4 motors that I have got.

Cons: Build quality seems similar or a bit lower then previous models. The motor seems painted and not anodized. The motors use C-clip. It would be great improvement to see the similar motors with a screw instead. There is considerable airgap between the magnets and the stator. They seem a bit heavy and the wire length is not suitable for 4in1 ESC builds

Moments from the photo session

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If you like my reviews, please check my Patreon page, I could use some financial help so I could devote more time doing reviews and quadcopter related stuff

iFlight iX5 and Thor Loki carbon frames

Recently I have finished a build based on Omnibus F4 Pro and Racerstar 33A 4in1 ESCs. I have flown it three times and the FC stopped working so I had to replace it and since it was clone I have bought the original Omnibus from a friend. After that I have had some problems with ESC desyncs and I have managed to break my X-Foot frame, so instead of ordering another one, since I started to suspect that this will be a problematic build, I have started looking for affordable 200-210mm carbon frames with 4-5mm thick base plate.

After doing some research I have ordered one Loki V1 with 5mm base plate and one V2  with T700 carbon. The V1 one arrived sooner than the other so I have moved everything on this frame. These frames are versatile and could be used both for racing and freestyle. The battery can be placed on the bottom and on the top depending on your style of flying.

Loki V1

THOR210 Loki (nevermind the naming)

This frame costs $30 on Aliexpress. The baseplate is 5mm thick and the top plate is 2mm thick and the overall weight is around 90 grams with hardware.
I have read that some people complain that the carbon isn’t stiff enough and it bends on crashes and I can confirm that this is true, since I have managed to slightly bend one of the arms without breaking it. After that I was able to straighten it up and I have reinforced the arms side walls with super glue which made the arms stiffer.
Overall I’m satisfied with this frame but if I should decide between this one and the V2, I would get the V2

THOR V2 Loki

This is upgraded version of the V1, it costs around $36, it is a bit lighter,  82 grams it has titanium screws and it is made of T700 high quality carbon. The bottom plate has recessed bolt holes. The kit also includes camera side plates. I haven’t got my hands on this one, since I’m still waiting it to arrive, but I will update this post with my findings as soon as I got it.

Thor v2

iFlight iX5 V2

iFlight has been producing a high quality frames for a affordable price for quite a while now. They have several versions of the iX5 based on the build material: carbon fiber, carbon fiber composite and carbon and molding composite material. The overall frame geometry is similar to the Thor frames. The carbon fiber costs $35 and it weights 85 grams, the baseplate is made from 4mm carbon fiber and 2mm top plate. Be aware that this frame uses 28mm standoffs and some cameras may not fit in.

Carbon fiber iFlight iX5

When ordering from iFlight website you have the ability to choose and combine it with additional accessories.
Overall this is really high quality carbon frame that is widely used as a goto frame for cheaper builds. A lot of pilots are flying rigs based on this frame that are around 250 grams range.

The composite version – iFlight RACER iX5S costs $34 and it is based on composite material and 3K carbon sandwich. This combination provides a very light frame 66.7 grams and doesn’t sacrifice the overall toughness. The composite material seems to be balsa wood as stated in the product description.

Composite iFlight iX5

The molded composite material version – iFlight Ultimate iX5 costs $35 and is similar to the one above with one difference that the carbon fiber sheets are molded around the balsa instead of sandwiched

Molded iFlight iX5

Let me know your thoughts, what is your favorite carbon frame?

New RacerStar BR2406S 2300/2600KV and BR2307S 2200/2500KV Fire edition available on Banggood

If you are in for really cheap motors I’m sure that you are already familiar with RacerStar’s BR series which although have relatively low-quality components, they have established themselves as great motors for training and a must for every cheap build.

I have been flying BR2306S 2700KV on one of my rigs for quite a while and I think that they are great motors for the price, although two of them came with considerable play in the bearings that wasn’t affecting the flight characteristics. I have also managed to bend two axles in a hard crash on a concrete but for an $8 motor I have just replaced them and continued flying.

My rig with BR2306 2700 it is not the lightest build but I was happy with the result when I have put it together.

 

A few days ago RacerStar released two new types of motors BR2406 and BR2307  in the same price range. You will get 4X BR2406S for $36 and $X BR2307S for $35 on Banggood

RacerStar 2406 2600KV RacerStar 2307 2500KV

Here are some specs:

Item name: Fire Edition BR2406S 2600KV motor

RPM/V: 2600KV
Height: 33mm
Width: 29.6mm
Shaft diameter: M5
Motor mount hole size: M3
Screw thread: clockwise (CW)
Weight: 35 grams
Voltage: 2-4S
Battery: 2-4S lipo battery
Item name: Fire Edition BR2307S 2500KV motor

RPM/V: 2500KV
Height: 34mm
Width: 28.5mm
Shaft diameter: M5
Motor mount hole size: M3
Screw thread: clockwise (CW)
Weight: 36 grams
Voltage: 2-4S
Battery: 2-4S lipo battery

I have already ordered the BR2307S 2500KV and BR2406S 2600KV and I will be reviewing them as soon as have them.
At the moment there aren’t any reviews on these motors but I would expect either miniquadtestbench.com or EngineerX  to have them soon for a review.

They are not as durable as the pricier motors, but for the price, you could replace them much often. Plenty of times I hear people replacing the stock bearings with a high-quality  EZO, original NMB or even Fushi brand from AliExpress. This means that you will invest a bit more money in them and the overall price will get closer to AOKFLY or RCX motors.

It would be good for RacerStar to release spare parts for these motors soon so we could order some spare parts in the same order when ordering the motors.

Hobbywing XRotor Micro 40A 2-5S 4 in 1 BLHeli_S DShot600 Ready

Hobbywing is a long time player on the market of top-notch ESCs and finally, they have come up with a 4 in 1 40 amp DShot600 ready ESC with a current sensor and support for up to 5S voltage.

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To be honest, if I had seen this ESC half year ago I would have been asking myself why 40A, but as the things are developing we may need batteries with double C rating then the ones that are already on the market, especially for motors like BrotherHobby Avenger

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The build quality is up to the Hobbywing standards. They are using EMF8BB21F16G MCUs with the operating frequency of up to 48MHz. The motor soldering pads are neatly placed on the board and not protruding from the sides as on the Racerstar 4 in 1 ESCs which from other side means that you may need a bit longer motor wires compared to the other ESCs but I don’t think that may be a problem on builds that are up to 210mm. Sometimes even on them if you are unlucky enough you may have to extend the motor wires for motors like Racerstar BR2306S that are almost suitable on 210mm frame (one of the wires could reach the soldering pads, but you will have to extend the other two). There is a dedicated connector for Hobbywing XRotor Omnibus F4 Flight Controller which means far less soldering, you will have to solder the video in and video out wires for the OSD and the SBUS connection wires for your receiver. There is also dedicated type connector on the FC, probably for a VTX, but by the time I’m typing this post it is not out yet and it seems that they will be going the “cube” path too by offering all in one stack.

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One thing to note that the ESC could only provide BEC output of 5V for up to 1.5A,  although there are 3.3V, 5.2V and 12V pads on the board they are only for voltage monitoring and they couldn’t provide the load capacity

Specification:
Brand name: Hobbywing
Item name: XRotor 40A ESC
Cont./Peak Current: 40Ax4/50Ax4
Input Voltage: 2-5S Lipo
BEC output: 5V & 1.5A
Firmware: BLHeli_S A-H-50 16.5
Input Wires: Red-14AWG-130mm / Black-14AWG-130mm
Output Wires: No wires but solder tabs
Support: DShot150/300/600,  Oneshot125, Oneshot42
Size: 42.6x36x4mm
Weight: 10g

Racerstar TattooF4S 30A BLHELI_32 4in1 ESC 5V BEC w/ F4 Flight Controller AIO OSD BEC Current Sensor

Finally, the prayers of many fpv pilots were answered, Racerstar has come with an all in one solution that that incorporates F4 flight controller, 4 in 1 ESC with ‎BLHeli_32, OSD and current sensor – TattooF4S

Is is currently in preorder on BangGood and it sells for $75 which is almost equal to the price of buying decent F4 FC and 4 in 1 ESC.

TattooF4S

This one seems a super solution for neat light builds and also a much better solution for having current sensor than the one on Omnibus boards.

One of my concerns is that it is rated only up to 30A so you should be careful with the choice of motors and props.

Here are some specs:
BLHELI_32 4in1 30A+F4+OSD
Con.current: 30A
Peak current(10s): 35A
SBEC: 3A/5V
Lipo: 2-4s
Programming: yes

F4+OSD+BEC+CURRENT
Input: 2-4s lipo
Output voltage: 5V/2A
STM32F4 CPU
ICM-MPU6000 Accelerometers and Gyroscopes
MicroUSB socket
Weight: 22g
Size(PCB): 36*36mm

TattooF4S - What's in the package

Package inlcuded:
1* 30A 4in1 ESC built-in F4 flight controller
1* power cable
1* bag of screws

 

BLHeli_32 Dshot1200 side by side comparison of the ESCs available on Banggood

After watching Joshua’s video regarding BLHeli_32 I was intrigued to see if there are any available on Banggood and to my surprise, I have found that the bigger manufacturers like RacerStar, Favourite and DYS have already come up with their models based on BLHeli_32 with Dshot1200 support.

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I have found 4 models, three of them are 35A and one is 33A. It seems that these are intended for the newer 2206 and 2207 motors that are power hungry.

These are the models that are available at the moment:

Update: The Racer33 is not running the official BLHeli_32 firmware and it is not updatable via the suite, so it is better to avoid this one.

Racerstar Racer33 33A
Con. current: 33A
Peak current(10S): 36A
BEC: NO
Lipo: 2-4S
Programming: YES
Size(PCB): 27x15mm
Weight: 9.0g
Favourite FVT LittleBee 35A
Con. current: 35A,
Peak current(10s): 40A
BEC: NO
Lipo: 2-4S Lipo
Programming: Yes
Size: 27*15mm.
Weight:8g (include Power and signal wire)
Racerstar TATTO 35A
Con. current: 35A
Peak current(10s): 43A
LBEC: NO
SBEC: NO
Lipo: 2-5S
Programming: Yes
Weight: 3g
Size (PCB): 27*16mm
DYS BLHeli_32bit 35A
Con. current: 35A
Lipo: 2-6S Lipo
Weight: 4.32g (without any cables)
Size: 32x15mm

BLHeli_32 is the third generation that runs on  ARM 32bit MCU initially Cortex-M0 running at 48MHz that could run input signals with lower latency at faster rates, you could find more info here.

The next logical step for the manufacturers would be to come up with some 4 in 1 BLHeli_32 ESCs since plenty of the pilots are using them in their super clean builds.

 

RS2306

Emax RS2306 Black Edition 2750KV/2400KV

It seems that Emax is stepping up their game and jumped on the 23xx  bandwagon.
The RS2306 are the newest motors in their product line. They come in 2400KV and 2750KV and are designed for as stated by Emax.
These are available for pre-order here for a $22-$23 price depending on the shipping.

I haven’t yet met a pilot that hasn’t flown the redbottoms, whether that is the older ones 2300/2600 or the newer versions.

As stated by Emax, the RS2306 are designed to set a new standard of power and response for pilots seeking the ultimate in flight performance. With nearly twice the level of thrust of the original Red Bottom, the new RS2306 sets the bar even higher by pushing 2kg of thrust with 5045×3 propeller on 5S or 6045×3 on 4S.

The RS2306 are a continuation of the design that is used on the older RS2205-S.
Lighter bell, hollowed steel shaft, bigger bearings, lower profile, and kept the overall diameter just 0.4mm wider than RS2205-S!

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Technical data:
Framework: 12N14P
No. of cells: 3-4S
Propeller: 5 inch
Diameter: 28.3MM
Length: 30.1MM

05197732-bea0-4742-b6d1-78e108c114a51.8mm N48SH Arc magnets (thinner and lighter which allow lower mass on the outer portion of the bell, resulting in faster acceleration. Less energy lost and more power delivered to the propeller).
BEEFY 4mm Hardened and Tempered Hollow Steel Shaft: Breaking shafts are a thing of the past.
0.15mm High Silicon-Steel Laminations: Higher volume of silicon increases electrical resistance in the lamination, reducing eddy-currents within the system (Translates electrical energy into mechanical energy more efficiently.).
High quality 4mm Inner diameter Steel Ball Bearings.

The 2400KV are stated to have 1552 grams of thrust and the 2750KV, 1762 grams on 4S. I’m not sure if I’m to believe these readouts, you could find more realistic data and review on the Miniquad test bench website