iCharger 106B+

iCharger R5 resistor replacement

Yesterday I was out flying and after I got back home I have started charging my batt packs, as usual, to have them ready for the next day.
I’m using my old and trusty iCharger 106B+ for charging for the past 3-4 years and haven’t had any problems with it, but not this time 🙂
Tha charger seemed to be working OK, it was displaying that the batteries were charging and the amount of mAh that were inputted but the battery voltage wasn’t changing and after I have stopped the charging process after an hour or so and measured the batteries I was certain that something is wrong with it since there was no change in the voltage.

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After removing the cover I saw that one M-shaped electronic element was burned, and fortunately, it was marked on the board as R5 so I knew that it was some kind of resistor, but I haven’t seen this kind.
I have decided to contact a friend of mine Marjan that is an expert in this field and sent him some photos of the burned element. He said that it is a shunt resistor that is used for measuring the current and he also mentioned that these are very hard to find.

I have tried googling R5 and iCharger just to find that a lot of people have had a similar problem with several other iCharger models, but I wasn’t able to find any info regarding the mysterious R5 resistor. I have also tried contacting some of the shops that are selling iCharger equipment, but I haven’t got any response.

A bit disappointed that I would not be able to repair my charger I was getting ready to order some of the newer and also cheaper models like ISDT Q6 Plus 300W 14A or ISDT SC-608 150W 8A

Meanwhile, I was able to find one functional 106B+ so I could measure the R5 resistance but unfortunately, my multimeter wasn’t precise enough so I have measured something between 100 and 200 mΩ, closer to 100 and I have tried to find similar in the nearby electronics shop, but I wasn’t able to find shunt, just regular 5W 100mΩ ceramic ones, so I have called my friend again and he told be to drop by in his repair shop so we could try to replace she burned one with a ceramic and see if that will work.

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After soldering the ceramic one the charger continued to misbehave and Marjan decided to try with 10mΩ, 200mΩ and several other resistors without any luck, lastly, he decided to try and make one from a steel spring wire. It was a lucky guess but it worked and the measurement was as precise as it was previously. For anyone having the same trouble here is a photo of the steel spring substitute shunt resistor

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And the be more precise the measurements are the following:

Wire diameter: 1mm
Coil diameter:
10mm
The number of coils:
4
Coil to board distance: 7mm

Hope this helps everyone that have broken iCharger because of the R5 resistor, mine is perfectly normal now.

Eachine VR-007 Pro

Eachine VR-007 Pro

Eachine VR-007 are one of the cheapest video goggles with built-in video receiver for a price of $49.99 on BangGood currently under restocking. I have seen many of the pilots recommending them to the newcomers into the FPV miniquad racing/freestyle hobby or as the cheapest alternative to the Fatsharks or Skyzones for the pilots that are on a budget.

They are one of the goggles with the smallest form factor, decent video quality, and decent reception.

Today Eachine has announced the upgraded version VR-007 Pro that could be preordered for $39.99 here and it will arrive on 31st of March.

Eachine VR-007 Pro

Here is a short comparison of the VR-007 and VR-007 Pro:

VR-007 VR-007 Pro
Dimension (mm) 148 x 176 x 102 151 x 177 x 103
Weight, batt inc. 280 grams 241 grams
Screen size 4.3 inch 4.3 inch
Screen resolution 480×272 480×272
Battery 1600mah 7.4V 1600mah 3.7V
Battery weight 24 grams 24 grams
Current Consumption 500mA 350-450mA
Video receiver 40CH 5.8GHz 40CH 5.8GHz

So the main differences are that the pro version is a bit lighter (39 grams) and also it has increased size by 1-2 mm.
The Pro version uses 1S battery instead of the 2S on the regular one. It is a bit odd since both batteries have same weight but this seems to be copy-pasted info from the VR-007 product description.
It is also stated that the pro version has “Upgraded receiver, with Power Indicator and Frequency Display” but I will have to wait to get my hands on them to check what exactly this means.

Judging by the initial info that is provided and by the success of the VR-007 this should be a great deal for someone that is planning to purchase cheap goggles with decent quality and I would highly recommend them to any novice pilot.

Favourite FVT LittleBee Spring 10A×4 Blheli_S 2-3S ESC

Are 4 in 1 ESCs becoming mainstream?

After a week of posting my first look thoughts on Racerstar Star20 I can see that the manufacturers have already started to adopt the idea of 4 in 1 ESC and various products are popping out on websites like BangGood.

One thing that is interesting is that most of the manufacturers haven’t yet accepted the interchangeable feature that enables the end user to change any burned ESC with ease by swapping 1/4 of the board. At the moment only RacerStar and FPV Model (X-Racer) are offering such feature.

Here are some upcoming 4 in 1 ESC models, two of them are intended for the micro class and one for the mini:

 

Micro 20x20mm 20A 2-4S 4 In 1 BLHeli_S DSHOT600 ONESHOT FPV Racing Brushless ESC

Micro-20x20mm-20A-2-4S-4-In-1-BLHeli_S-DSHOT600-ONESHOT-FPV-Racing-Brushless-ESCThis model has the EFM8BB21F16G processor and runs on BLHeli_S firmware, works on a continuous current of 4 x 20A and burst current of 4 x 25A for 5 seconds. It has the new-generation 3-in-1 MOSFET driver and it supports up to 4S voltage. This is no BEC version that costs around $28

 

Favourite FVT LittleBee Spring 10A×4 Blheli_S 2-3S ESC Support Oneshot125 Oneshot42 Mutishot Dshot

Favourite FVT LittleBee Spring 10A×4 Blheli_S 2-3S ESCThis one is intended for the micro FPV quadcopter class. The fact that FVT has joined the 4 in 1 band just adds to the fact that we will be seeing more and more ESC like this in future. Intended for 2-3S voltage and continuous current of 10A, 15A max for 10 seconds, 20 x 20mm mounting holes. It weights 6g and supports Oneshot Mutishot and Dshot. Main IC: EFM8BB21F16F, MCU run 48MHz. The price of this one is around $34. There is also a 4 x 6A version available here

 

FLYTOWER F3 Spare Part 30A 2-4S BLHeli_S 4 In 1 ESC DSHOT Integrated PDB

94224381-14bf-4bf1-86e6-7602f56c945fThis one features integrated PDB and battery monitoring, it supports up to 4S voltage. Works on 4 x 30A continuous current and 4 X 35A max current for up to 10 seconds. It supports Dshot 600 and weights 10 grams. And all that will cost you around $39

 

Let me know if you know of any upcoming 4 in 1 ESC so I could add them to this list.

 

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Foxeer ready to release Legend 3 and Box cameras

FOXEER, the leading FPV drone related company trusted by thousands of FPV pilots announced that they will soon release Legend 3 and Box cameras.
Legend 3 is the new and updated version of the well known Legend 2 camera

Foxeer Legend 3

And the Foxeer Box is a new camera with a form factor similar to GoPro Hero Session camera. This form factor started being widely supported by the fellow FPV pilots and it seems to be the logical step to for the Foxeer to take.

Foxeer Box

More info regarding the release date and technical specifications on the Legend 3 camera will be available soon…

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FPV Racing Propellers for PROs by Master Airscrew

Are you interested in some PRO propellers for the next season?
Master Airscrew has officially released their RS series of propellers.

From the manufacturer: Combines distinctive bat wing shape with an advanced airfoil design bringing the sweet spot performance and dynamics to every pilot. Compatible with most of the racing motors currently available, the RS propellers are torque forgiving but thrust relentless. 

The RS Propeller Series are designed for FPV drone racing and freestyle acrobatics. The special shape and airfoil are optimized for high speed / high thrust applications, proving these props to be the ultimate FPV drone racing tool.


They are manufactured from the highest quality  GLASS FIBER REINFORCED ENGINEERING POLYAMIDE specially formulated for Master Airscrew. The result – amazingly strong propellers capable of bringing out the best from your hardware.slide1

These babies are produced in California and are factory balanced. One set consists of 4 propellers 2CW, 2CCW

RS FPV RACING - 5X4.5 PROP SET X4 BLACKAt the moment you can buy these from the Master Airscrew website. The are available as 5X4.5 and 6X4.5 starting from $6.29 and $7.29. Available in black, green, orange and white.

If you want more power, there is a BN version they share the same platform as the RS, but are tuned for greater lift and ultimate top speeds. They will squeeze every bit of power from your motors and provide it to you in a tamed and controllable manner.

 

 

 

 

Eachine Chaser88 F3 FPV Racer ARF

Eachine Chaser88 F3 FPV Racer ARF

Yesterday I have posted an announcement from FPV Model that they will soon release the X Racer X1 and although I’m hyped about it there are some readers that would rather fly brushless micro than brushed ones.
It is a known fact that the brushed micros aren’t performing as good as the bigger brushless cousins. Some people find that acceptable and others don’t. On the other side, brushless models are a bit heavier and bulkier but that is compensated with their power.

Eachine Chaser88 F3 FPV Racer ARF
Please be aware that this model is ARF and it comes without a receiver, so you will have to buy it additionally. If you are using FrSky like me you should probably go with the FD800 or FrSky Ultra Light XM. The good thing with this model is that you aren’t limited to FrSky, FlySky and DSM only and you could use almost any receiver.

Another Whoop killer? Let me go trough the specs and sum some experience info that I could gather so you could better decide if this one is good for you.

e346afde-d87e-4f69-ba0f-b6a63efe26a3This is a compact 88mm brushless build that comes with 6A BLHELI-S ESCs that support DSHOT600, 1103 10000KV motors (note that the motors are rated up to 3S but the ESCs support only 1-2S), F3 mini flight controller with BF firmware (this is a customized version and you couldn’t upgrade it with regular BF firmware, you should use this instead), 800TVL CMOS camera with 150° FOV, 25mW 40 channel video transmitter and 2030 triblade propellers. The weight of the whole rig is 66.9 grams and it is not the lightest brushless of its size weighing almost double of the Eachine X73S (31 grams) which is also on discount and I’m planning to review it in future.

The package comes with 450mAh 2S 30C battery weighing 24.2 grams and USB charger

One month has passed since the people started receiving the first Chaser88 orders and as I can see there are plenty of review and flight videos. I have gone trough everyone that I could find and here are my findings so far:

  • By default, there is no uptilt on the camera so if you want to fly more aggressively you will have to come with a solution to tilt it up.
  • It is a bit heavy, around 95 grams with the battery and receiver, but there are ways to make it a bit lighter if you want like losing the led lights on the back and changing the AIO camera with a lighter one like this.
  • There aren’t prop guards and you will probably break some props while flying indoor, so make sure you have a good reserve batch.
  • The default configuration is set to acro mode which is not so good for beginners
  • The PIDs must be adjusted since there are noticable oscilations on lower throttle
  • The buzzer is not loud enough so good luck finding the lost model if it is further than 10-20 meters
  • Enough power for good punchouts
  • Up to three minutes of flight time with the provided battery
  • The battery is only 30C and not 40C as stated
  • The camera and FC are placed on a little rubber spacers that will shield them from vibrations
  • Some owners reported that you may use a 3S battery but it is on your own risk, since the ESC are rated up to 2S
  • Don’t expect a great range of the stock  video transmitter, you will start to loose signal on 20m distance if you try to go behind a tree
  • Nice robust, compact and crash resistant micro quadcopter that is not so good for indoor flying because of the lack of prop guards

There is a great deal on Eachine Chaser88 at the moment on BangGood. The regular price was $120 and they are selling it for $106 at the moment.

Here is a nice indepth review thanks to Drones Visual

 

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X-Racer X1 from FPV Model

03.15.2017 UPDATE the X-Racer X1 is in production. It will be available in about two weeks.

The micro fpv quadcopter market seems to be booming at the moment.
Few days ago FPV Model has announced the X-Racer X1 micro fpv quadcopter.

X-Racer X1This model is still in preproduction but from the pictures that I have got, it looks very similar to the Tiny Whoop.

It will come pre flashed and hopefully preconfigured with the latest betaflight, there is no info on the vtx strength but it is stated that it will be micro 48ch. There is no specific info on the FC that is used yet.
There is no info regarding the receivers that will be used, probably they will release FrSKy, DSM and FlySky similar to the ones used by other manufacturers.


One nice noticeable change is the placement of the camera in the front which may add some additional weight in front which is probably counterbalanced with the battery placement further back. But this saves the camera from crashes and also improves the aerodynamic properties of the model.

The case is available in several different colors.

X-Racer X1 available colors

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I will update this post once I have info regarding the release date and more specifics.

Racerstar Star20 4 in 1 ESC

Racerstar Star20 20A Blheli_S 2-4S Detachable 4 In 1 ESC first look

 

Racerstar Star20 4 in 1 ESC

Racerstar Star20 4 in 1 ESC

Star20 is the newest 4 in 1 ESC from Racerstar that for the first time offers a unique feature, each ESC is detachable.

I saw this item posted on BangGood and it seemed like a nice logical step forward in the 4 in 1 ESC development so I have decided to take a look and share my thoughts.
This is the long awaited feature for all fpv miniquad racers that are flying 4 in 1 ESC combos on their rigs either they want to have a clean build or they have some of the newer airflow optimized frames with thin arms.

I have seen several burned 4 in 1 ESCs and most of the times nobody cares to repair them so you have to throw it in the garbage even if only one FET is burned. They are a bit cheaper than buying 4 regular ESCs but it seems a waste of money throwing three working ESCs when only one is burned.

4 in 1 ESC separatedThis item is on preorder at the moment and looking at the photos, I’m not sure if the ESCs come soldered or separated (they probably packed with shrink tube). Either way, if they are separated it will be required to put a few blobs of solder in order to connect them and there is no delicate soldering required.
I think that this is the first 4 in 1 ESC of its kind and probably more will follow.

At this moment it is few bucks cheaper ($29.99+$0.34)than regular 4 in 1 20A ESC listed on BangGood from the same company.

I’m considering buying one of these since I’m planning a new build based on the X-Foot frame, but maybe I will have to wait for Racerstar to release Star30 30A 4 in 1 ESC in order to use it with some of the new powerhouse motors that are available on the market lately.

Update: It seems that FPV Model is already offering similar product X-Racer Quadrant 25A and it is in stock at the moment. The only downside is that this one is a bit longer so it may partially protrude out of the frame.

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Eachine E010S 65mm Micro FPV Racing Quadcopter with 800TVL CMOS Based On F3 Brush Flight Controller

Micro FPV Racing Quadcopters, the new hype train that started as the winter was coming in the northern hemisphere.
After owning the Eachine E010, I have decided to jump on it and ordered this ARF kit.

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I have ordered this one from here, it is the Frsky version and this review will be regarding that one, I have no experience with the other versions except what I have read in other reviews and forum posts, mostly compatibility issues on Flysky (not compatible with FS-i6s R9B, R6B system and set your transmitter to AFHDS instead of AFHDS 2A)

Priced $54.99 as it is one of the cheapest micro fpv quadcopters, although you could spare few dollars if you look on Aliexpress for similar deals, but this seller seemed OK to me and I have decided that it is better to spend few bucks more than receive a broken or incomplete order.

The package includes:
1x Frame kit | 4x 615 59000 rpm ± 12% Coreless Motor | 8x Blades(2 Sets ) | 1x F3_EVO_Brush Flight Controller | 1x 800Tvl 40cH 25mW Camera | 1x 3.7V 45C 150MAH battery | 1x USB Charger | 1x Manual | 1x Blade removal tool

The build is good, similar to E010, the antenna seems a bit fragile so it is advisable to mod it in order to be protected in crashes. The flight controller is not F3_Evo but regular F3 which is worth nothing if you try to flash it with Betaflight or Cleanflight. This one was missing the dampening rubbers for the FC so I had to improvise and use silicon strip in order to minimize the vibrations from the motors and get top notch performance from the FC.

The Racerstar motors pack some serious punch for a build with this size and weight (26 grams with battery), unfortunately, such motors require a lot of juice and the battery lasts about 2 minutes so make sure you order plenty of batteries if you want to really enjoy flying. Fortunately, I have found that this micro quad could fly even with 500mAh battery instead of the 150mAh. The 500mAh battery tames it down so it is more suitable for beginners.

I have flashed it with Betaflight since I use it on all of the other miniquads that I own. It flies great, a bit sluggish compared to the brushless miniquads but this is a real indoor flyer, stable, precise and responsive. I can’t stop flying it trough my apartment if only I had few more batteries haha (never enough). The telemetry on FrSky works perfectly

Here is a link to the receiver manual

 

Look no further if you are looking for a micro quad, this is the best one the money could buy.
Here is a great video review made by youtube user AndyRc

Realacc Genius 215 4mm Frame w/ REVO F4 Racerstar BR2205 2600KV Motor RS30x4 Blheli_S ESC 5042 Prop

Realacc Genius 215 w/ REVO F4 Racerstar BR2205 2600KV Motor

Recently I have received the long awaited Realacc Genius 215 ARF package from BangGood.

Realacc Genius 215 4mm Frame w/ REVO F4 Racerstar BR2205 2600KV Motor RS30x4 Blheli_S ESC 5042 PropA really nice kit for a great price $116 at the moment of writing this post, it comes with 4mm true X frame which weighs 85 grams, Revo F4, RacerStar BR2205 2600KV Motors, 4-in-1 RacerStar RS30A ESC and RacerStar 5042 TriProp.

Before ordering this kit I have done some research to find some reviews of the components used.

The frame is almost exact clone of the QAV-SKITZO Dark Matter and it seems that these cloning companies have learned the recipe, every frame that debuts on GetFPV should be cloned 🙂

I have already ordered and reviewed Revo F4 FC and you may find a detailed review and wiring instructions here
This kit comes with 4-in-1 RS30A ESC V2 which is a proven ESC for simple clean builds on frames with super thin arms like X-Foot. These ESCs could easily handle most of the power hungry miniquad motors and in this case, they are more than enough, actually, I think that it may have been cheaper to use RS20A 4-in-1, but that is my opinion.

I have no real experience with the RacerStar 5042 TriProps, but I will surely gain some as soon as I complete and maiden this build.

There was already a great test video of the motors along with RS30A V2 ESC (not 4-in-1) thanks to Albert Kim

Conclusion: This is a great kit for the price, I would prefer a bit stronger motors and also it may have been cheaper if they have paired it with RS20A 4-in-1 ESC but all in all great package for the price, especially for the guys that are on tight budget.

I will post a flight video as soon as I maiden and configure it properly.