You want to know the secret? I’m cheap. I almost never buy expensive stuff. It’s not that I can not afford it and buy cheapest stuff available. In my opinion, both ways are wrong. I buy things that position themselves somewhere in the middle. Not the cheapest, not “the best” and most expensive? Why not the cheapest? Because of very low quality. Why not the best? Because I have to pay a lot a little of additional quality or performance I do not really need. And things in a middle usually provide enough for reasonable price. For me it makes sense…
Thanks to GearBest I’ve received a set of EMAX SimonK Series 30A ESC for a review. They are not the cheapest 30A ESC for multirotors. You can easily buy some no-name for almost half a price. You can also but “the best” for almost twice as much. But are they worth the price? I will try to find out in the next couple of weeks while using them on my 600mm quadcopter.
EMAX SimonK Series 30A ESCs are packed in antistatic bags with a user’s manual in Chinese and English.
Continue reading Hands on: Emax SimonK Series 30A ESC
My last review of cheap Chinese propellers, Gemfan 5×3 3 leaf, was quite negative. This time it will be much, much better: DAL 5040 (5×4″) fiberglass reinforced propellers. They are cheap, only slightly more expensive than super popular Gemfans 5030. But they beat Gemfans in every aspect. Not only DAL 5040 give more power and pitch speed. They are also much more durable. The internet calls them “indestructible”. No, they are not indestructible, but they are strong enough to survive crashes big enough to break Gemfans 5030.
So, even if they are slightly more expensive, they last longer and give more power. It is also interesting how they break. It is either in the hub and whole leaf is gone, or they fracture is the middle of a leaf.
Bottom line: I like these propellers very much, they are surely worth the price!
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:
- Every crash, even gentle means at least one broken propeller,
- Quality is low,
- Look at this picture: This propeller never hit anything in its life. See white stress marks near hub? They appeared during normal flight. This prop would break soon,
- 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.
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.
Continue reading Quick review: Turnigy 2730 1500KV brushless motor
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.
Continue reading Quick review: Eachine PCB Power Distribution Board for ZMR250/QAV250
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.
Continue reading Quick Review: FPV 1/4 CMOS HD Color Camera Module 600TVL 120 Degree Wide Angle
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.
Why them? Mainly because they were meeting my requirements and being actually available and within reasonable price.
- 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
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.
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:
- They are cheap all right,
- None of them burned yet so it’s a good sign,
- Preinstalled BLHeli and easy to upgrade
- 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
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?
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
- 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
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.
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