iFlight ION Raaange/ION Drive 2506 1250KV Motors

220x motors are the workhorse on the RC hobby right now when it comes down to mini quads. Sometimes they are joined by 230x too. But 2205 and 2206 brushless outrunners have a serious problem that limits their use with propellers bigger than 5 inches. They might still be fine with 6-inch props, but on 7-inches problems begins. What 220x lack is torque! They are just too small to have enough copper wire and diameter to deliver enough torque to drive much heavier 7-inch propellers.

Let's welcome something much more powerful: ION Drive / ION Raaange 2506 1250KV!

Matek F722-SE hands on – the best flight controller of 2018?

Is Matek F722-SE the best flight controller of 2018? Perhaps it's "slightly" too early for such statements, but for sure, it looks like one of the strongest pretenders for such a title (if the title existed).

In a meantime, a video showing brand new Matek F722-SE flight controller and most of its features.

Mamba F405 and F40 40A 3-6S 4-in-1 ESC combo hands on

I have to honestly admit, up to the beginning of 2018 summer I was rather against 4-in-1 ESCs and flight controllers combos. The reason was quite simple: 4-in-1 were a rather new thing, had a tendency to burn without a reason and were quite expensive. Pretty much a normal state of a new technology. In comparison, FC + PDB + 4 separate ESC had more flexibility, were cheaper to replace when something puffed the magic smoke and seemed to be a reasonable choice when few extra grams of weight was not a problem. Lately, things started to change…
4-in-1 ESCs are no longer a new thing, manufacturers learned their lessons and prices went down! And that means you can get a decent quality flight controller and 4-in-1 ESC for less than $50. That's cheaper than 4 ESCs! C'mon, things ARE happening.

Today let's take a look at the example of a new age FC + 4-in-1 combos: Mamba F4 Power Tower.

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

What comes inside the package?

  1. Mamba F405 flight controller
  2. Mamba F40 4in1 ESC

Mamba F405 flight controller

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 comes preflashed with Betaflight 3.3 and uses target FuryF4 OSD (FY4O). It comes in standard 30,5×30,5mm hole spacing.

  • STM32 F405 processor
  • SPI connected MPY6000 gyro
  • 3 hardware serial ports: UART1, UART3, and UART6
  • LED support
  • built-in OSD
  • built-in 16MB flash memory for blackbox logs
  • I2C pads

Mamba F40 4in1 ESC

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

  • 40A constant, 50A peak current
  • DSHOT support
  • uses QN3109 MOSFETs
  • current sensor

Pros and cons

Some pros and cons after taking a "static" look at Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC

Pros:

  • pretty good quality PCB, I would even say surprisingly good for a price
  • FC comes with rubber grommets for vibration damping
  • side mounted DFU button instead of flat buttons or just pads on some lower quality boards
  • c'mon! $45!

Cons:

  • FC can be used only with 4in1 ESC, no separate soldering pads for ESCs
  • There are many versions of QN3109 MOSFETs, and depending which PDF you take a look at, 40A rating is either overrated or underrated… hmm…
  • location of pads for motors on the 4in1 is problematic. It collides with mounting standoffs. Careful soldering required!

Overall verdict? So far, positively surprised! Really, this thing goes to one of my mini quads immediately!

Eachine TX805 5.8GHz video transmitter with SmartAudio review

I love Team BlackSheep Unify Pro series of video transmitters. But they are bloody expensive. $50 for an HV version is way too much in my opinion. Still, I own several of those. Whey on Banggood I've found a presale of Eachine TX805 VTX with SmartAudio for $16, I could not resist and I've ordered a couple of them. This is what came out of it:

FrSky R9M and R9 Slim long range radio system review

When FrSky R9M long range transmitter and FrSky R9 receiver series started to pop up some time ago, there was a lot of speculations "it is any good?" "is it a Team Black Sheep Crossfire killer" "cheap Crossfire alternative?". In time, new firmware started to appear, new receivers and so on. And oh yes, EU LBT version finally also appeared. And what… FrSky even was giving R9M for free with X10S Horus.

ZOHD Nano Talon V-tail airplane review

Let's cut to the chase: my final review of ZOHD Nano Talon is: this airplane is crap. Just like that. Period. It might be good looking, it might be spacious inside and quite well thought through but it lacks one thing: it does not want to fly well. As simple as that.

As long as air is calm and there is no wind it's kind of OK. You can even have some fun with it. Yaw still sucks, a roll is strange but it's OK. But as soon as wind appears and Nano Talon has to fly through the disturbed air, it is over. This thing just does not wants to fly straight. Always tipped to one side, unresponsible and wobbly. Nope nope nope…