Tag: Quadcopter

Hubsan H107D FPV Quadcopter Review

Hubsan H107D FPV Quadcopter Review

November 20, 2013 13:57 | By | 25 Comments

Hubsan offers a complete micro FPV quadcopter package with a sleek transmitter design and nifty features, competing with the Walkera LadyBird FPV. It’s quite affordable and definitely in the toy category, but is it any good? Find out in our review!

Read more and comment

Hubsan H109 with FPV and GPS

Hubsan H109 with FPV and GPS

November 13, 2013 13:34 | By | Add a Comment

Hubsan is out to give the popular DJI Phantom a run for its money. Or less money, actually. The new 200-size H109 quadcopter features four 2000KV brushless motors, an optional FPV camera system, and GPS hold/return home functionality for a targeted price point of EUR 150.- , a set including the transmitter will cost EUR 200.-

A 2200mAh 2S LiPo is said to deliver a flight time of up to 25 minutes.

After a mediocre start with the original SpyHawk, Hubsan did deliver an interesting low-price entry level mini FPV package with the H107D, which costs about 200 bucks with transmitter right now.  Nice little detail solutions like the transmitter being able to control the copter even if the batteries were too low to drive the color LCD screen make us hope that the H109 starts up a new class of mid-sized quadcopters with nifty and useful features. One thing is certain though: Walkera has some work ahead of them, for the H109 is a very interesting entry due to the smaller 200 size as well as the low price point. The Walkera QR x350 costs more than twice as much, though it can carry a GoPro. It will be interesting to see what kind of video quality the optional camera system will offer.

Official specs and images after the break.

Read more and comment

Two cheap turnkey Multicopters with camera-gimbal

Two cheap turnkey Multicopters with camera-gimbal

October 13, 2013 11:17 | By | 1 Comment

Goodluckbuy has a lot of cool stuff, and a lot of crappy stuff. This is definitely in the cool category:

An ARTF package for a F550 based Hexacopter, or a F450 based Quadcopter, both including aluminium brushless gimbal for a GoPro, complete with motors, ESCs and flight controller. The real kicker is the price: Just $210 for the quadcopter, or $270 for the hexacopter. GPS is a $24 addon. As far as one can see there’s only two downsides here: The frame comes with the MultiWii-based flight controller… because it’s integrated. So if you break the frame’s PCB you will have to get a new flight controller. The second downside is that it’s unclear whether the more capable MegaPirate or other firmwares will run on this flight controller. Our guess is, it won’t.

But other than that… frankly this is an amazing deal even if you just ditch the integrated flight controller, buy some F550/F450 baseplates without the integrated flight controller and stick a Crius AIO onto it. This is as cheap as it gets. Compare this with the less-capable DJI Phantom where the base model costs more than twice as much and doesn’t even include a gimbal, much less a high quality one as this.  In fact, depending on where you buy, the DJI gimbal costs more than this entire set.

 

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 3: Flashing and Setup

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 3: Flashing and Setup

September 17, 2013 11:24 | By | 28 Comments

In our previous installments we took a look at the shopping list for a $120 high-performance quadcopter, then we built it. Now, we flash the ESCs with a improved firmware for added agility, and finally set up the KK 2.0 flight controller.

Read more and comment

$120 Quadcopter doing flips

$120 Quadcopter doing flips

June 16, 2013 21:49 | By | Add a Comment

Have you been following our $120 Quadcopter Series? We recently posted Part 2 of that series. And if you are curious how this quadcopter flies, here’s a little video of the finished copter doing flips:

 

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 2: The Build

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 2: The Build

June 16, 2013 15:57 | By | 19 Comments

If you’ve been following Step 1 of our series, you now have a series of silvery plastic bags, and a cardboard box with some frame parts. Now what?
Thankfully, the build is very easy and not difficult at all.

Read more and comment

Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

Micro Mini Quadcopter rocks MultiWii, MPU6050 for 55 bucks

April 3, 2013 20:04 | By | Add a Comment

This is really rather cool: The “Micro Mini Quadcopter” out now for $55 on GLB rocks a puny Atmega328p, but also the excellent MPU6050 gyro/accelerometer. The board comes pre-programmed with an unknown version of multiwii (probably 2.1-ish) but there’s FTDI connectors for easy flashing. A 1S 350mAh LiPo supplies power, the even connector works fine for the default Walkera plug. You bring your own receiver, and probably solder on the individual channels too.

1(1328)

GPS, although not supported officially, is probably possible. However, with a total weight of 17 grams sans battery you’ll have to find a damn small GPS module, fiddle with the board layout/processor pins, and use the latest SVN head of MultiWii 2.2 to cram all that into the little Atmega328p. What you definitely can do is slap a Bluetooth module on this, and heck, even enable Bluetooth remote control.

The little quadcopter that could was already on sale some time ago, however this time it comes with a better sensor, nice machined landing skids and a new price.

So yeah, this is a toy. You can do worse than spending $55 on this upgradeable little quadcopter though.

MultiWii 2.2 Released

MultiWii 2.2 Released

March 16, 2013 14:52 | By | Add a Comment

MultiWii 2.2 is now available for download from the project’s Google Code site. This is a major update that boasts greatly improved GPS support (incl. native ublox GPS support, no more manually setting baud rate and GPS update speed!) , new flight modes, improved stability, as well as a redesigned ground station software. Want to do waypoint-navigation via google maps on your mobile phone? This is the way to get there without breaking the bank.

Full changelog after the break.

Read more and comment

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 1: The Shopping List

High-Performance Quadcopter for $120 – Part 1: The Shopping List

March 11, 2013 14:11 | By | 95 Comments

We’re giving you a step-by-step guide on building your own $120 high-performance super-stable quadcopter! This is part 1 of a new series, so dive in!

Read more and comment

Crius All In One Pro is a grown-up Crius SE

Crius All In One Pro is a grown-up Crius SE

June 28, 2012 11:25 | By | Add a Comment

Need a new MultiWii flight controller, but want more serial ports and extendability? The Crius All In One Pro (or AIOP) is there to fill the void. Full technical specs of this interesting FC coming up after the break.

Read more and comment

Crius MultiWii Lite Review

Crius MultiWii Lite Review

June 15, 2012 0:16 | By | 8 Comments

MultiWii is perhaps one of the most well known Open Source multicopter projects. All its hardware and software is open source. Originally based on sensors taken from gutted Nintendo Wii controllers, this project has come a long way – and these days you don’t need to cannibalize a WiiMote or Nunchuk controller anymore. You get a board like the Crius in this review, and you’re set. But how well does it work and how difficult is it to set up? That’s what we’re looking into in this review.

Read more and comment

Q450 Fiberglass/Nylon Quad Frame Review

Q450 Fiberglass/Nylon Quad Frame Review

June 10, 2012 14:54 | By | 1 Comment

The Q450 frame sold by HobbyKing is a sturdy, cheap frame with a simple construction that can take quite a beating. It’s being marketed as the RM450 V1 by RcTimer for a few bucks more, and both are completely identical. But how does it fare in the air? Find out whether saving money with this DJI-clone is worth it in our review

Read more and comment

Hobbyking i86 / Eagle N6 Multi-Rotor Control Board Review

Hobbyking i86 / Eagle N6 Multi-Rotor Control Board Review

June 7, 2012 22:34 | By | 10 Comments

At a mere $20, the Hobbyking i86 is a cheap clone of the Eagle N6 V1 board. Unlike KK, MultiWii and most other boards it does not require the user to flash a firmware in order to fly, instead the airframe type can be set via DIP switches. It’s simple, it’s cheap and it’s small, but is it worth saving money on the controller board?

Read more and comment

IFly4 Quadcopter and Rabbit Flight Controller ARF Set Review

IFly4 Quadcopter and Rabbit Flight Controller ARF Set Review

May 9, 2012 7:32 | By | 16 Comments

A complete, receiver-ready quadcopter for 240 bucks? That’s what GoodLuckBuy is offering, but can this ready-to-fly package really satisfy, or is it a useless china gadget? Find out in our review!

Read more and comment

2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

2012: The year of the multicopter controller flood

January 11, 2012 14:19 | By | 14 Comments

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all the multirotor controller boards and units out there. While the level of sophistication is increasing with most of these offerings, some are just open-source projects rebranded and sold under a different name. Here are some of the more interesting offerings at the moment which are either extremely sophisticated, or come at a price that makes it easy to get into this hobby.

 

 

DJI Wookong

http://www.dji-innovations.com/minisite/index_en.html

Source: $1099 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Wookong is probably the most expensive, and the most complete package out there. This is not only a mere multicopter controller with three gyros. It also incorporates S-Bus compatibility, GPS for position-hold, return home and other nifty functions. At a price of just over $1000 it does not come cheap. However, by adding a data downlink transmitter (=another 300-400 bucks) and using the supplied PC based flight control software you essentially get a turnkey drone system. A quad or tricopter can be built or bought for under $100 these days, and a sub-2000 dollar pricetag for a drone system that is easy to set up and lets you place waypoints on a screen is pretty damn good. Yes there’s the open source Paparazzi project, but that’s far from easy to get to work.

 

 

DJI NAZA

http://www.dji-hobby.com/naza/index_en.html

Source: $238 at Goodluckbuy

The DJI Naza is the low-cost alternative for those of us who don’t need PC control, GPS and all that. At a price of over $200 it is more expensive than the open source counterparts, but it does offer S-Bus compatibility as well as a 2-axis gimbal output for stabilizing camera mounts, and comes with documentation, software and upgrade capabilities.

 

 

Bumblebee

Source: $186 at Goodluckbuy

The Bumblebee controller looks very much like the NAZA, and for a good reason: It’s essentially a stripped down OEM version without S-Bus support and gimbal output. It also only supports quadcopters.

 

 

XAircraft FC1212-S

http://www.xaircraft.com

Source: $150 at Goodluckbuy

The FC1212-S from XAircraft is part of a modular system similar to DJI. In addition to support for an external GPS module and other features, the FC1212 features a 3-axis camera gimbal stabilization output AND a camera shutter output. It should be noted that a high-quality 3-axis gimbal mount will cost you another $300 dollars, but for that you get the best possible camera stabilization.

 

 

Rabbit Flight Controller

Source: $90 at Goodluckbuy

The back says “Love it” and it sounds rather unconvincing. The board features 3-axis accelerometers in addition to the 3-axis gyros, and supports 4, 6 and 8 rotor craft. It supposedly also supports return-home via a GPS addon, but there’s only a flimsy pdf manual, and the included software is not fully translated to english.

The Rabbit software, note the weird button labels...

We have tested the Rabbit flight controller, check our Review for more information!

 

 

FF Free Flight Controller

Source: $50 at Goodluckbuy

The cheapest offering is also one of the best: 3 axis gyro + 3 axis accelerometer, 2 axis camera stabilization, solid PC software, firmware upgrades, and manuals in english and french language. Only drawback: It only supports quadcopters.

On the other hand, you can get the IFLY-4 folding quadcopter kit including this controller for under $200 right here, including the quadcopter frame, 4x 1200kv motors, 4x 12A ESCs, the FF controller and a no-soldering ESC connector board. Even the props are already included.

 

In conclusion, all of these controllers are suitable for FPV flight, and most boards offer stabilization output for creating smooth and stabilized action footage with your DSLR or GoPro HD. Note that it’s not advisable to mount the FPV camera itself onto the gimbal, unless you’re used to flying with a stabilized camera – it’s very difficult to judge your relative motion if you don’t “see” what angle the craft is at.

While a self-made quadcopter was a novelty in 2009, it’s safe to say that the sky will be buzzing with the little buggers in 2012.