|Jul 31, 2014, 05:05 PM|
This quadcopter is not a toy. Please read carefully all the following guide. At least, the compass calibration must be performed before the first take off. You may damage your FY-X8 if not !!!!!
Emergency landing for low main battery voltage is not implemented for attitude (manual) mode, only for altitude and GPS modes
Flying3D is a new chinese brand delivering quadcopters. They announced in the last Germany RC congress 3 models: the microquadcopter X3 (Hubsan X4 clone), the X6 (a 250mm brushless quadcopter) and the X8, the largest model, a brushless 350 size including GPS, barometer and magnetometer. This review is dedicaced to the X8 model. After the success of the DJI phantom, a lot of 350mm quadcopters have emerged and prices decreased considerably in one year (WLtoys V303, Cheerson CX-20, Ideafly Appolo). Now you can find full model including Return To Home function, Hold altitude, Hold on position w/ GPS, automatic landing for around 300 USD. This X8 model is of course including such features: Hold position, RTH, automatic landing but also is returning some telemetry informations (Battery voltage, GPS informations, RSSI, etc.)
to the transmitter. The exhaustive features list (provided by Banggood)
+ Flight Control interation design, concentrated with gyroscope, balance meter, pressure meter
+ 3 flght modes,, 5 flying functions(attitude, hight, GPS, returning, AOC)
+ High precision GPS support, high precision fixed-point, constant speed, and with good resistance to wind.
+ High precision high, climbing at a constant speed, automatic landing , and with good resistance to wind.
+ Effectively enhance the flight safety and reduce drop probability by self-course reversal and hover when losing control.
+ Intelligent landing test, the power output will stop once landing --provide a perfect landing.
+ Low voltage protection, low voltage automatic landing, significantly prolong the service life of battery.
+ Automatical couse control, in spite the aeroplane heading.
+ Calibrating and starting flying with no use to contact the computer.
+ USB hub available, no diver required.
+ Flying log recording and playback, massive SD card ensured long data record.
+ Automatical firmware upgrading online
+ System one key recover
+ Flying area restrict, height and distance can be auto controllerd.
+ 1 x Flying3D X8 (with a 161g 2200mAh 3S LiPo using a T-dean connector (no rated))
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Charger (using the balancer plug)
+ 4 x Props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English/chinese)
The size of this X8 is 34cmx27cm with ground clearance of 14cm when landing skid are installed. More precisely, distances motor are 26.5cm in x-axis .
and 25.5cm in y-axis
Be aware to not tighten too strong screws of the landing skid. The associated metal part jailing screws can pop out if you tighten too much them.
Without landing skid and props but with battery, the X8 is scaling 753.5g
Landing skid (14cm high) are scaling individually 41.3g
The GPS module is installed on the top canopy in order to reduce electronic interferences from the FC, RX and ESC.
The battery bay can be open by the rear door
A large space is available
The 2200mah 3S lipo dimensions are 100mmx34mmx22mm but the battery bay could probably welcome a battery up to 140mmx40mmx22mm
Motors are announced to be 900kV. No inscriptions permit to confirm this number
Shaft are 7mm
For the model I received, the screwing sens of the nuts locking props was identical to the motor'rotation (so 2 CW and 2 CCW). It means that you need to pay attention when you install props by screwing efficiently these screws.
See #228, screws are M3x9mm.
Probably due to short screw's head and overtighting during assemblling, some users reported some cracks in the plastic close to these screws (see #1431). These cracks can also be accentuated when the X8 is lifting a gimbal setup. A solution would be to install some nylon washers/nuts on both side of the motor's mount to protect it and to raise motors a little to install easily any kind or 9" props
Motors are branded by Emax, probably some MT2213 935KV model
Props are some 8045 model
According to some user's feedback, the 9045 props from the QX350pro can be installed, improving flight duration and payload capacity
On the bottom surface, your can fin a micro-USB connector. Actually no CD or internet adress to pick up sofware was provided. When plugged to the computer, the OS is installing the device correctly but no more action. Probably this USB port can be use to upgrade FC F/W and set some parameters. You can find also some holes to screw a gimbal as as well as connector delivering +12V and connexion to a video camera and a gimbal. Gimbal screws are in M2 type
To access in the interior of the X8, you will need to unscrew 20 screws
When pulling delicately the upper part, you can see ESC, the RX and the bottom par of the FC
I was not able to rate the ESC (no visible inscriptions )
ESC are some Hobbywing rated 12A, probably "Skywalker-12A"
The power port and microUSB
The latter seems to be a variant of the FlySky iA10 with a diversity system. The sensibility is announced to reach -105dBm.
According to the documentation, you can install any receiver of your choice but of course, you should loose telemetry informations if it's not a FlySky model. I will try to determine if the FC is accepting CPPM receiver (Or maybe, through the some OS configuration Tools if available)
Here a first snapshot of the FC
To have a more complete view, I would need to disconnect all wires. I will update this review with such photos
Actually I was not able to identify main chips used (MCU, GPS ? probably a Ubox Neo-6), especially if there are some hidden features such as a pathplanner.
The FC is manufactured by "BigShark" (BS) compagny (http://bigflyshark.com/Home/Product/SharkX8#). In the final version of our FY-X8, the FC is the "X4" model from BS, a derivated product of their "X8" FC. The X4 don't have anymore the datalogger (but I am not sure that a SDcard can be connected, I have to investigate this point). Actually a special version of the Bigsshark ground station software is in beta release for our X8. In a future, release, mission planning will be probably added
My general impression of the quadcopter building is good. Wires are correctly installed, plastic and main body seems to be solid/robust to at least minor crashes.
Some users reported their LiPo died fast .... Maybe linked with the quality of the LiPo or the charger. AFAIK, all users using a real Professional charger didn't meet such problem
The battery is a 2200mah in 3S format rated 20C. The quality of this battery is not fantastic. After few charging cycle, some users noticed a big drop in performances and some had crashes due to major failure of the LiPo. I strongly advice to use a real model (Zippy compact, nanotech) with a real charger.
The transmitter is derivated from the FlySky i6 model
except they installed 2x3 position switches (instead of 3x2 + 1x3) and limited the TX OS's functionalities (D/R rate and mixer are not available for example)
I am feeling that Flying3D is belonging indirectly to the FLySky compagny. The stick are very precise and for a RTF model, the quality of the transmitter is just great . The display is large and to access to the telemetry informations, you just need to press page up/down. If press more than 1s on the OK button you are entering into the setup. You can find for example a channel monitor.
The trainer port behind must be also be used to upgrade the TX os. So maybe, it would be able to upgrade this limited OS to return to the orignal FlySky one.
Update : Unfortunatly, it's using a new protocol "2-ways" from FlySky
Default TX settings
Go into Functions Setup
Go into your reversing settings and make sure that
Ch4,5,6,7 and 8 Nor
Servo Freq is set to 50
Channel 1 8
Also, go into system setup
Then Sticks Mode
Make sure it's in mode 2
how to bind the Tx with Rx:
The three alarms settings available in your TX have no influence on the quadcopter itselft (see videos in #2). These alarms are useful in the case where the receiver in powered standalone with a seperate LiPo. It's not the case here. The real voltage threshold concerning automatic landing must be tuned in the groundstation software.
Finally, the instruction manual is just awful ..... In chinese mainly but with some automatic translation (probably using google translate). So for me most of the sections are unreadable, especially the explanation of LED sequence where you can't determine LED colors in this black/white printed manual. Banggood have a version with a better english, but not all informations are present. For example, you can find Throttle calibration procedure only in the provided manual.
Notice, that my version didn't include the dataflight recorder. I don't know if it will like this for all shipped model (I asked to the BG manager)
Before to enjoy your X8 please be sure to check the following points
1) Props lock must be well tighten !!!!! Some users reported lost prop in flight because the props lock was not enought tight. The "swapping motors" mod helps to prevent this phenomena
2) ESC wires welding must be inspected. A user reported a crash due to bad ESC connexion in flight
3) Compass calibration must be done before the first flight!!!!! Especially if you want to engage RTH of GPS hold. No "flyaway" quad have been reported but can occurs if the compass calibration is not correctly done
4) Be aware with the charger. A user reported a dead LiPo after charging with the provided one. If you have a real charger (B6AC for ex), use it.
The first time you are powering one the X8, first your need to turn on the transmitter than the X8. The first start-up seems to take close to 3-4 mm before to have this slowing flashing blue LED located at the back rear. When the GPS fixed at least one time, new GPS fixing takes only few seconds. When you are in the default flying mode (altitude), the rear LED is flashing slowly in blue.
The compass calibration must be performed at startup: Turn on TX then turn on the X8. press up/down (position 0 and 2) the left swith A fast several times and a fast green will flash designing the beginning of the compass calibration procedure. Take the quad horizontally in your hand and turn on yourself slowly at least 2 times. Then blue LED is flashing again. After take the quadcopter vertically, the front pointing the ground and turn on yourself as before at least 2 times. If everything is ok, the blue LED slowly flashing shoud restart. Maybe the rear LED should be bigger to see quad status from longer distances.
By default, the flying mode is altitude/state one. Here is the provided list of the Flight modes
As far I understood, the "AOC" is the headless function. Actually I mainly tested the first altitude/state mode and also abit the GPS mode.
To arm the quadcopter, you can for example push both sticks either full lower-left position or full lower-right or one lower-left the other lower-right. When the props starts to sping immediatly release stick and start to push throttle. If you keep the start-up position, the props will stop 3s later.
I was positively surprized by the velocity of the quadcopter in this mode. You can feel a lot of power, probably because no gimbals are installed.
Telemetry informations can be read on the TX OSD and it's a great feature. For example, you have access to the last GPS coordinates (in case of crash, it's a nice option).
GPS locking altitude seems to working well to. For the first flight, the flying duration was something under 10mm.... but I performed a lot of take-off and it was remaining 30% of battery.
Notice that the low-voltage warning started to appear around 30% of capacity. In the manual (fast sequence of red light flashing ending by 2 normal blue ones), it's written than this value can be changed in the "debugging sofware".... Actually, I don't where to find this software (almost no information available on their website).
I have to test the RTH function but for this quick test, to many trees around and in case of RTH, the quadcopter will first reach 15m high before landing as indicated in the documentation (even if he was below). More to come
Here are my first prelimary conclusions. I am impressed by the general design of the X8 especially for less than 300 USD (actually at BG.) I really appreciate the presence of the telemetry informations displayed on the TX. The is a very good pro point.
The TX is a great model for a such cheap RTF 350 sizel. The X8 seems to be a really good flyer, I like it, I found it quiet agile in the altitude mode. The X8 is also very stable (even if I didn't find yet the gyroscope calibration procedure)
I will update this review with more details and feedbacks especially for the RTH function.
preliminary pros/cons points
+ Very fast
+ Automatic landing (via the RTH button or when voltage is below the alarm threshold)
+ Telemetry information displayed on the LCD
+ Announced to have 1km of control range (to be verify)
+ Great TX included in the Bundle
+ Any (CPPM) receiver can be installed (Telemetry can be lost in this case)
+ Excellent deal for
+ DJI phantom 8045 can be installed
- Horrible instruction manual
- Nuts for Prop'locker (same sens that the motor rotation), see video section in #2 to fix this problem
- Bushing bronze screws easily poping out of the shell's plastic. You need to reglue them with CA
- No dataflight recorder included despite advertising (
- Approximatively 10mm of flying duration (with the shipped 2200mAh Lipo). Tje quality of the shipped LiPo is not fantastic. The LiPo can be killed with the shipped charger. Please use a real charger.
- Potential bad ESC wiring/welding(happened for 1 user). Must be checked before the first flight
- Potential overtighten motor's screws introducing some cracks in the shell' plastic part (see #1431)
- Poor quality of the shipped Lipo. Diying fast (~10-20 cycles). Must be changed fast if you don't want to you quad falling by a major failure of your LiPo
This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Banggood in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thanks them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 285 USD at
EDIT 10/21/14: +Add V1.22 ground station sofware
EDIT 08/01/14 : +Attached scanned manual (in 2 parts) and the link to the BG version of the manual
+ Add new photo showing FC environnement
+ Typos corrections + some minor text improvements
|Jul 31, 2014, 05:07 PM|
Reserved for mods, photos and videos
+ Compass calibration
+ Motor's swapping
+ Fix the RX voltage/per cell alarms to lower values
+ Binding procedure between RX&TX
+ Bind switch mod
+ Ground station software overview
+ HDOP measurement (Horizontal hold on precizion)
+ State/altitude flight mode illustration
+GPS hold on illustration
+ Return to Home illustration
+ FY-X8 with 2D Walkera gimbal
see post #1379 for gimbal installation
+ Flying3D Rx Battery Alarm
+ Flying3D LowBat Test
Transmitter : Mode 2 to mode 1/ mode 1 to mode 2
(Thanks to kikymad )
A 3S LiPo 2200mAh rated 20C
Upper-Body-Shell-Cover - $24.87
Bottom Body Shell - $25.00
Receiver - $38.29
Lipo-Battery - $25.23
Landing Gear - $11.50
Tail Cover - $7.32
Bronze Bushings - $4.91
Bodyshell screws - $4
Motor screws - $3.5
Cushions/rubber feet - $3.65
Charger - $11
Transmitter - $44.98
GPS cover - $5.21
GPS circuit board - $46.73
Motors - $14.48
Ballbearings : 3mm x 8mm x 4mm (Inner Diameter x Outter Diameter x Width )
ESC - $13.81
Flight controller board - $88.65
Motor caps - $2.65
Compatible model - 6USD
a) Genuine 8045 props - *5.58
b) 8045 props from DJI phantom - $8.82
c) 9045 props from QX 350 Pro - $10
|Jul 31, 2014, 10:58 PM|
Joined May 2014
That telemetry function is really a huge plus. No more confusing light blip on the quad to read its status because you can read them directly on the TX. I can't clearly see the TX lcd, wondering how accurate the distance and altitude reading is.
The motors have two rotational direction. Did the props lock go in one direction or both. I mean, you turn the screw both clockwise and counter-clockwise according to props direction or just clockwise on all props like normal screw?
|Jul 31, 2014, 11:05 PM|
Joined Mar 2009
The motors look to be E-max motors which are pretty good motors. also here is the flying 3d website. http://en.flying3d.cn/goods.php?id=60
and here is something interesting. here is a pic of the flight controller that should be in the copter and it has the SD card in it.
also on there site there is no where to download any firmware or software.
|Aug 01, 2014, 12:18 AM|
The accuracy is tenth in meter and tenth is m/s
2 motors have props lock CW and 2 motors CCW and unfortunatly, on mine (I asked BG manager to confirm), when a props lock is CW, the motor is also CW and so on ....
|Aug 01, 2014, 12:21 AM|
|Aug 01, 2014, 12:23 AM|
|Aug 01, 2014, 02:59 AM|
I added a small new video illustrating the GPS hold on function. For me is not very clear I how to use it but it's working well
|Aug 01, 2014, 09:05 PM|
|Aug 01, 2014, 09:12 PM|
Joined Mar 2009
a lot of these companies use the same motors. like the CX-20 or Nova from HK they use the same motors as the DJI phantom and I mean they are exactly the same. LOL. I will try to find the reference for the e-max motors.
|Aug 02, 2014, 07:39 AM|
Joined May 2014
One of the reasons I ordered this quad is that the motors in my V303 are vibrating. Also, one of the prop shafts is a tiny bit bigger than the others, so fitting a prop is difficult.
Hopefully the new X8 will remedy this. Even a decent and well programmed FC cannot hold a shaking quad as well as it should. Maybe I will buy new motors for the V303 (sorry the offtopic) or more likely, if the new X8 is better, I will fly it happily and forget my "first step" in AP quads...
|Aug 03, 2014, 01:47 PM|
|Category||Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Mini-Review||WLtoys V333, a V262 with headless function (under construction)||SeByDocKy||Mini Multirotors||17||Oct 12, 2014 07:25 AM|
|Data||Under Construction: EYE One Xtreme Tips, Tricks, How To's, & More...||jlcamp7||Mini Multirotors||50||Sep 11, 2014 09:36 PM|
|Discussion||Soling 1M Under construction||Bob Johnson||Sailboats||5||Jan 30, 2014 07:19 PM|
|Todd's Tiny under construction||Tres Wright||Parkflyers||30||Jun 23, 2002 11:20 PM|