Posts

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?

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

 

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.

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.

55283029-3223-401b-8f00-f2a8c149f376

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