Quick review: Gemfan 5×3 (5030) 3 leaf propellers

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This will be very quick review with a simple conclusion: I will never buy Gemfan 5030 3 leaf propellers again. Never. Why? They are cheap, you can buy them for around $3 for 2 pairs from China. But they have few flaws:

  1. Every crash, even gentle means at least one broken propeller,
  2. Quality is low,
  3. Look at this picture: Brokern gemfan 5030 3 leafThis propeller never hit anything in its life. See white stress marks near hub? They appeared during normal flight. This prop would break soon,
  4. At least twice in last 2 months Gemfan 5030 3 leaf broke in flight. In both cases during quite normal flight. No crazy stuff. Simple turn.

So, my verdict is: no, never again. I’m going back to Gemfan 5030 2 leaf version. They are cheaper and offer very similar performance. And I think they are slightly harder to break after all.

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Quick review: Turnigy 2730 1500KV brushless motor

I’ve bought first Turnigy 2730 1500KV brushless motor by accident. I needed something small and cheap for Depron airboat. Then I needed something similar for a Depron airplane. At the end, in 6 months, I owned 3 T2730 1500KV motors. Not all of them survived the experience. One got lost in the middle of a lake with the rest of airboat it powered. Second got burned what I forced it to power too big propeller. Third one still lives and this type is my first choice for anything up too 400g of weight.

Turnigy 2730 brushless outrunner motor Continue reading “Quick review: Turnigy 2730 1500KV brushless motor” »

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Quick review: Eachine PCB Power Distribution Board for ZMR250/QAV250

Building a quadcopter without nice power distribution board always leads to the same result: state of total cable entanglement. It looks ugly, makes maintenance hard and adds unneeded weight. I will not show how my ZMR250 quad looked after I added FPV and OSD into it. Almost all space between top and bottom plate was taken by cables. Nightmare. So, after spending less than $9 I’ve become an owner of Eachine PCB Power Distribution Board w/ OSD Socket Support NAZE32 CC3D OSD For QAV250 Quadcopter from Banggood. This board did not have very good reviews, but offered three things I wanted: sockets for micro MinimOSD, integrated signal lines and low price. So, I gave it a try.

Eachine PCB Power Distribution Board w/ OSD Socket Support NAZE32 CC3D OSD For QAV250 Quadcopter Continue reading “Quick review: Eachine PCB Power Distribution Board for ZMR250/QAV250” »

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Quick Review: FPV 1/4 CMOS HD Color Camera Module 600TVL 120 Degree Wide Angle

Usually I have absolutely nothing against buying cheap stuff from China. OK, maybe quality will not always be as expected, but usually it’s not worth paying extra 100% in price for 10% of extra quality. Usually, with some exceptions. Exception number one are mechanical parts like motors. Exception number two are FPV cameras. And the second one is new one. I’ve put it in place after using FPV 1/4 CMOS HD Color Camera Module 600TVL 120 Degree Wide Angle from Banggood for one month.

FPV 1/4 CMOS HD Color Camera Module 600TVL 120 Degree Wide Angle from Banggood Continue reading “Quick Review: FPV 1/4 CMOS HD Color Camera Module 600TVL 120 Degree Wide Angle” »

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Quick Review: EMAX GT2218/08 1100KV motors

Since I was lacking some power in my Reptile 500 quadcopter, I was considering switching my Turnigy MT2213 935KV motors to something more powerful. Last previous weekend kind of forced me to make that switch: I destroyed one motor while trying to replace bearings. Being forced with lack of motors I’ve decided to stay with 3S LiPo, AfroESC and 10″ APC propellers and buy motors that would deliver more power while being compatible with rest of my setup. So I have chosen EMAX GT2218/09 1100KV.

EMAX GT2218/08 1100KV

Why them? Mainly because they were meeting my requirements and being actually available and within reasonable price.

Specs:

  • Weight: 80g,
  • KV: 1100,
  • Max power: 312W,
  • Max thrust:
    • 1380g on APC 11×3.8,
    • 1290 on APC 10×4.7
  • With long shaft at the bottom, so can be mounted in front and behind an firewall,
  • GT series (Grand Turbo, woot woot) for “hi-tec” and “pro” models (such a nice name…),
  • Black (!),
  • Mounting holes: 16x19mm.

Continue reading “Quick Review: EMAX GT2218/08 1100KV motors” »

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Quick Review: Turnigy Multistar V2 10A ESC with BLHeli

When I was building my 250 class quadcopter I wanted to make that cheap. So, I’ve bought cheap ESC: Turnigy Multistar V2 10A ESC for S2-3 with 2A LBEC. And yes, they are cheap: slightly less than 8EUR per piece. With preloaded BLHeli software. Cool, isn’t it? Well, not so cool after all, but first things first.

Turnigy Multistar 10A V2 ESC With BLHeli and 2A LBEC 2-3S

Preloaded BLHeli software (version 13.1 in the ones I’ve ordered in late June 2015) simplifies a lot. No need experiment to upload BLHeli and 1-wire interface is available from the start. Also update to BLHeli 14 was pretty simple without any glitches. Unfortunately, there is a reason those ESC are so cheap…

After 2 months of using them in my 250 quadcopter I can state the following:

Pros:

  • They are cheap all right,
  • None of them burned yet so it’s a good sign,
  • Preinstalled BLHeli and easy to upgrade

Cons:

  • 10A is not much for a quadcopter needs, slightly higher max current would be welcomed . But this is my fault, not those ESC,
  • they do not support Damping Light, so no active breaking on those ESC (booo),
  • OneShot125 on those ESC behaves strange when throttle is below lower limit. They screech. Fortunately nothing bad happens in flight,
  • 2A LBEC regulator is in fact double LM7805. And it heat a lot.

Continue reading “Quick Review: Turnigy Multistar V2 10A ESC with BLHeli” »

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x525 V3 Quadcopter Frame Review

There are many cheap quadcopter frames on market. Big, small, X, H, foldable, good and bad. And choosing a correct frame for a purpose is both hard and critical for further drone performance. One of cheap, and on a first glance, versatile frames, is x525 V3. Is it worth the money?

x525 V3 quadcopter frame review

Well, it’s a hard question. Before I will go to any conclussions, short description of x525 frame.

  • Material: glass fiber and aluminium
  • Type: X or +, you can choose, it is symmetrical
  • Weight: around 385g,
  • Size: 525mm
  • Integrated landing gear with sping amortization
  • Foldable
  • Power distribution board

Landing gear is quite clever and should absorb most of impact force in case of hard landing. In theory it is correct, but my experience says that it does not matter. It maybe works in case of normal, controlled landing. But in case of really hard landing, read as crash, it does not matter at all. It is a useless feature that only breaks, adds extra weight and really does very little. After breaking 3 sets of front landing skids, I just replaced them with some steel wire. Does the same, and weights less. Like I said, useless feature. Continue reading “x525 V3 Quadcopter Frame Review” »

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Turnigy Battery Strap 330mm – quick review

In theory, battery strap should be one of the least important parts of any drone, quadcopter, or any RC device. And no matter what anybody will say, it is one of least important ones. As long, as it keeps battery in place and does not unfasten itself out of nowhere. Especially in flight. So, as an addition to cheap battery straps from ebay/china we can choose something more fancy. Like Turnigy Battery Strap 330mm.

Turnigy Battery Strap 300mm

Is there anything special about this strap? Well, no. It is more thick than cheap chinese ones and velcro mechnism looks more advanced. Hooks are smaller, denser but still provides strong grip. Continue reading “Turnigy Battery Strap 330mm – quick review” »

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Turnigy MT2213-935KV MultiStar Motor & Propeller Combo 10-4.5 Review

Good motor-propeller combo is a key for building stable and reliable multirotor platform. Since many amateur RC builders does not feel qualified enough for choosing motor and propeller separately, many producers offer brushless motors and matching propellers as sets. One of them is Turnigy with their budget, entry level set of 935KV motor and matching 10×45 CW and CCW propellers.

MT2213-935KV motor propeller set

It contains:

  • one MT2213 935KV brushless motor with dual mount for both standard and DJI style sloted propellers with male 3mm “gold” connectors,
  • one CW 10×45 DJI style sloted prop,
  • one CCW 10×45 DJI style sloted prop,
  • 3 female 3mm “gold” connectors,
  • screws

First, the motors. They are rated at 935KV and are suited for both 3S and 4S batteries. Unfortunately, not too high power limit (200W in surge) does not allow to use 10″ props with 4 cell batteries. Manufacturer suggests 10″ prop with 3S and 8″ props with 4S. Too bad, since from my experience, their effective lift limit is around 250g per motor. Going above that value causes multicopter to behave little sluggish due to not enough power on more aggresive maneuvers. One the other hand, my current bulid uses four of those motors and weights 1400g with camera, FPV set and 5000mAh 3S battery. And it flies like a charm. I would not mind to have more power, but it’s fast and agile enough to have a lot of fun. Of course, one can forget about aggressive acrobations, but flips and rolls are doable as long and one remembers about alitude loss.

Very nice feature of those motors is possibility to use both DJI props and standard, not-sloted propellers. Short M6 shaft helps to eliminate extensive vibrations for running propellers. And a drop of anaerobic glue secures shaft’s nut tight enough not to let it unscrew in midflight.

Turnigy MT2213-935KV

Second, the propellers. To be frank, those props are crap. Sorry guys, but that is true. They are not rigid and reliable enough. At about 60% throttle they were going into audible oscillation that even my neighbor that had never any experince with RC recognized as something strange. And he was right, since one of those props actually broke during flip. And I think everybody knows what happens to a quadcopter when one of propellers stops to exists then machine is in the air. Crash. And although it fell into high grass grass that softened the fell, all four propellers were broken after that. So I replaced them with APC 10×4.5MR without any regrets.

To sum things up: motors yes, propellers absolutely not! If you are looking for a good 900~1000KV motor then consider Turnigy MT2213-935KV bought separately. And match them with, for example,  APC 10×4.5MR like I have.

All photos are from HobbyKing.com website

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Thunder QQ Super Multicopter Flight Controller

Originally, this post was supposed to be very positive review of Thunder QQ Super Multicopter Flight Controller unit. But, unfortunately, it will not. Why? I received my unit damaged. Only M1 and M2 ESC outputs were working. Other 4 ESC outputs were damaged and ECS were unable to arm. So, instead of a review it will be a description of a product… Too bad.

Thunder QQ Super Flight Controller

Thunder QQ Super is a simple entry level multicopter flight control unit. It supports quad and hexa-copter configuration and requires at least 4 channel Rx system. Additionaly QQ Supper supports auto-level feature and this is more less all about it.
Continue reading “Thunder QQ Super Multicopter Flight Controller” »

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