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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:25 PM
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WLtoys v930 Review

My new WL Toys v930 RTF arrived from Banggood Monday afternoon wrapped in the usual bright yellow Banggood tape. Banggood included the factory box this time, which sounds like a good idea, but one side of the box was slightly crushed and the tip of the right skid on the helicopter was bent 45 degrees. Fortunately the plastic used for the skids is soft enough to bend it back, so no real problem there.

This review extends the pre-release mini-review posted here. It did not contain as much information as I wanted, nor did it contain a current production sample delivered straight from Banggood. There is some good additional information in that thread though so do not overlook it.

Step 1: Buy helicopter
Step 2: Figure out what needs immediate improvement/upgrade
Step 3: Completely abuse it
Step 4: Write review so you do not have to do steps 2 and 3 but they remain optional

The new v930 is a fixed pitch helicopter with a brushless main motor and a brushed tail motor. It uses two free-standing rotary servos for control rather than servos mounted on the main PC board or linear servos. The v930 seems to share many parts with the v977, which is a substantially similar collective pitch helicopter. The layout of the v930 appears well thought out, with the brushless main motor located on the left side, a main control board mounted horizontally in the front using a soft foam pad to absorb vibration, and an independent brushless ESC mounted under the main board. The main control board has plugs for each connection, which should make solderless repairs/replacements easy. Also included are one battery, a two port charger, and for the RTF I purchased, a transmitter that uses the same outer shell as the v911 transmitter. Unfortunately, that is where the resemblance of the transmitter stops.

The v930 transmitter that I received is, in one word, terrible. I don't mind the size and the design. I flew the one that came with my v911 for hundreds of flights with few complaints. This one isn't the same. The springs in the gimbals are way too stiff, making fine control difficult if not impossible. In addition to that problem, the gimbals on the one I received were rubbing against the silver trim pieces that cover the gimbals. These had to be removed and sanded down to get a bit of clearance to stop the binding. As if that were not bad enough, the gimbals were very tight and not smooth at all. A little oil on the bushings and a few hundred flexes back and forth loosened them up a little bit, but not as much as I hoped. All of this work required disassembling the transmitter twice, much swearing, and more time than I wanted to spend fiddling with a toy transmitter that still is barely usable. There is a pre-release sample mini-review here that recommends using the X1 transmitter from a v977 with the v930 instead of the X2 toy transmitter than comes with the v930 RTF. If this works, it is a better option, similar to using a v912 transmitter with a v911. The mini-review also indicates that the v930 can be switched from 6-axis mode to 3-axis mode with the different controller, but I can not confirm this. Be aware that not just any transmitter will work because WL Toys is using a different protocol in the v930. It is a KN protocol that will not work with other WL Toys transmitters. My understanding is that the Deviation firmware for my Devo 10 has nightly builds that support the v977 and may also work with the v930, but I have not tried it. If it works, that would be my ideal solution.

So the transmitter is the bad news. What is the good news? The v930 flies great and it is durable, as my test flights have proven. On the first flight I took off and went straight into the ceiling. The brushless motor is powerful, and it has no soft start on the ESC. As a consequence, spinning up the v930 on the ground is different from other small helicopters like the v911. The initial burst of power from the brushless main motor causes quite a jolt. The tail motor begins to spin first and then the main motor kicks in hard and all at once. If the v930 is sitting on a hard surface, the start up jolt from the main motor is going to cause it to kick the tail around really hard. If the FBL system then gets confused (see the next paragraph), the helicopter is going to flip over, as I have demonstrated to myself several times. I don't have anything small enough to make landing skid nuts, although canopy grommets from a very small helicopter might work. My solution is simply to flip over a spare mouse pad and put that on my pizza box heli pad. The non-skid rubber on the back of the mouse pad is perfect to prevent spinning with the startup jolt.

I know very little about FBL systems, so I will have to study that topic. I have read that FBL helicopters in general are subject to the FBL system overcorrecting and amplifying oscillations while sitting on the ground. This is exactly my experience. If you want to test this, hold the helicopter by the tail boom while it is sitting on a table and spool it up. It will begin shaking more and more. I think this is the FBL controller correcting one way and then overcorrecting the other way extremely rapidly. The solution is simple. Take off. There is no need to sit on the ground really. Once the main motor kicks in, the v930 is about up to speed to take off anyway.

Once you take off and get out of your own turbulence a few feet of the ground, the 6-axis gyro keeps the v930 very stable. Unlike some other 6-axis-equipped helicopters, the v930 does not offer an option to switch to 3-axis mode (at least not with the stock v930 TX). The 6-axis system works great for me though. When I say that the helicopter is stable, I don't mean stable in a 10+ second hands-off hover like a v911 or other helicopter with a 45 degree latent flybar. After a few seconds hands-off the v930 will start to drift in one direction at random. If you do not correct this drift, it will fly off in that direction. So, the v930 requires constant small inputs to keep it in one place. I still am not very good with these constant small inputs, as evidenced by my practice with a Blade 450 in the simulator. Comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges though I think. The v930 isn't nearly as twitchy as the 450 CP in the simulator and requires a lot less frequent inputs to hold it in place. For a beginner like me, I find it a happy middle ground between crashing a 450 CP in the simulator and successfully flying the v911. I'm not sure what percentage of this stability is due to the 6-axis gyro system, but I assume it is largely responsible.

Actually, there is no such thing as a 6-axis gyro. It is better described as a 6-axis stability system or 6-axis gyro module. A gyro is only 3-axis. That is yaw, pitch, and roll. Add a 3-axis accelerometer to the 3-axis gyro and you have a 6-axis stability system. If you want to know more about accelerometers, Wikipedia has some decent info. An accelerometer system is responsible for keeping the screen upright on your smartphone. You can see how something like that might be applied as a tool to assist beginners with their flying.

Once you get in the air, the 6-axis system does its job well. As I described earlier, the helicopter is stable in a hover but does require constant input. It's just slow enough to allow a beginner to overcorrect or under correct a little and still recover without a crash, but it definitely isn't sluggish in any way. If you command it to move, it will move and do it fast. A beginner can get away with a little stick banging but not much. In the air, it sounds like the head speed is much faster than, say, a v911. Also, when you cut off the throttle, the blades don't stop very quickly. As a result, I have two parallel cuts on my left arm. I flew it into myself, and even though I had cut the throttle to zero, it kept spinning fast enough to make two small cuts. Landing it also shows how long it takes the blades to wind down. The relatively higher head speed combined with what feels like heavier blades than the v911 (I have no scale, sorry) help contribute to the stability of the v930.

Crash tests (deliberate of course) have been good. Multiple collisions with hard objects such as walls, ceilings, and furniture have resulted in no damage. Even with the higher head speed I have not borken any blades yet. In fact, I have not even chipped the leading edges yet. The tail motor tends to slide out of its mount in a hard crash, so I will add a dot of hot glue or clear silicone to stop that. The battery also has a tendency to shift backward, so always push it back where it belongs after a crash. The skid tip that bent 45 degrees in shipping bent right back just fine. One of the advantages of my v911's was that the rotor head would stop quickly and the helicopter was then able to tumble slowly out of the air with a gentle crash. The v930 requires some altitude to let the blades stop and begin tumbling gently. I did this test (intentionally of course) once. My guesstimate is that it took 20 to 25 feet for the blades to stop and begin a slow tumble to the ground. The mechanics of the helicopter are sturdy and simple. The head only has two linkages since it is FBL and FP. The two servos are relatively large. Simple mechanics make for a sturdy helicopter that can stand up to my abuse.

During the first two days I had the v930 it was relatively windy outside. When I say windy, everyone wants to know how windy, so I have started checking a live updated weather station that is about 1 mile from me at an altitude of 20 feet. On the first day it was 3-6 mph and on the second day it was 7-12 mph. I couldn't stand being stuck inside with a new helicopter, so out I went. On the first day I was surprised that being completely new to FBL and the v930 and in a breeze of 3-6 mph I was actually able to fly around with some degree of control. I wasn't just hovering in an erratic breeze, I was flying in ovals too. It's odd to compare the tiny FBL v930 to my much larger Blade 120SR's with flybars, but as far as the breeze, they both handled about the same relative to the moving air when holding at zero ground speed. In forward flight, noticeably different is the 120SR's tendency to stop when I let go of the sticks. When flying forward into a breeze, they loft up more and stop more quickly than the v930 when you let go of the sticks. Also noticeably different is turning with the two. The 120SR just turns. The v930 slides around and requires a lot more user input to make a decent turn. The v930 almost feels like its sliding on ice when making a turn headed downwind. Upwind it isn't quite like that and the wind will help you make the turn. Heading downwind you have to do it. That means you have to actively fly the tail and bank the helicopter. Otherwise you are going down in a hurry. This was another one of my deliberate tests by the way. Yeah, I hear you laughing. Be quiet. I proved to myself that I am completely incompetent to skillfully execute a banked turn in my first FBL heli. I do think my years spent flying fixed wing have helped me come to terms with the fact that I have to use aileron to bank and also use rudder to turn the tail at the same time. I think a lot of fixed wing pilots forget that they even have a rudder control unless they are trying to crab into a cross wind or are doing aerobatics.

The second day of outside flying involved an erratic 7-12 mph breeze. This condition seems to be about the upper limit for both the v930 and the Blade 120SR. I was surprised either one could maintain control in a 12 mph gust. Both loft up, and if the wind gets caught under them, both loft up quickly. However, both can be flown back down with some attention. The Blade 120SR requires some nose weight to do this, but the v930 does not, to my surprise. As it is out of the box you can knock 12 mph of moving air out from underneath it and crash relatively quickly. Yeah, I hear you laughing again. I abuse it so you don't have to. That leads to my next test, the tumble test from an altitude. I haven't yet tried this one with a Blade 120SR and its expensive repair parts. As I mentioned earlier, I did do this "test" with the v930. I let go of the sticks when I should not have and the wind caught it from underneath. It flew over a pine tree, thankfully, and when it got to the other side I had to drop it. once the blades spun down, it gently tumbled down to the grass with no damage at all. Cool. About all either the 120SR and v930 could accomplish with 7-12 mph air and my piloting skills was an erratic hover while fighting not to go backward relative to the ground. Both managed though, which surprised me, especially considering the tiny size of the v930.

Other miscellaneous notes include the misleading statement that the controller has a throttle hold function. It does not. It has a throttle safety system that will not allow the rotor to spin up if the heli is turned on with the throttle stick not at zero. The hover adjustment feature is a mode where you fly the heli while you trim it and then save those settings. Why this is needed or useful is beyond me unless the transmitter does not remember trim settings unless they are saved in the hover adjustment mode. I have not tested that.

Flight time is 6-7 minutes. Charge time is about 1.5 hours, which is annoying. However the charger does charge two batteries at the same time. The stock toy transmitter has "Slow Rate" Mode 1 & "Fast Rate" Mode 2 just like the v911. The linkages are on the inside (short) balls on the swash plate. I moved them to the longer outer balls on the swash plate and yikes! I immediately put them right back on the short ones again. Maybe one day I will want it that "responsive" but definitely not right now. The swash plate is not a fisheye swash plate, but the head is pretty free of slop despite this fact. The head includes rubber head dampers on the feathering shaft. I hate the green canopy, but the red one is for sale at banggood.

EDIT: I forgot to add one of the most important things of all. The tail motor does not even get warm to the touch after flying a full battery. This can only help extend tail motor life.

Conclusion: My view of the v930, and why I am glad that I purchased one is, that for me at least, it will help bridge the gap between 6 channel collective pitch and all of the cookie cutter 4 channel fixed pitch beginner models on the market with 45 degree latent flybars. It's stable but agile and actually requires attention and relatively constant pilot input to fly but still leaves that little bit of time for a beginner to correct an error. It requires some degree of skill to fly well, for example well executed banked turns. It satisfied my curiosity about FBL systems and brushless motors, with this helicopter being my first experience with both technologies. The skill set to fly the v930 is exactly where I want to be right now. Will this helicopter dethrone the v911 as the "king" of the starter heli's? Not unless it comes down substantially in price I think. Is it a good choice for a first time flyer? Maybe with a little help from another pilot or someone who is a very quick learner.

Disclaimer: Florida Heli is neither employed by nor affiliated with Blade or WL Toys and has received no compensation for this review. Any and all misstatements and misunderstandings are due solely to his incompetence and complete lack of knowledge of helicopters. Please don't drink and fly. Do not fly with borken or damaged rotor(s)-may cause damage or lead to injry. Don't touch the rotating's propeller.Don't operate it on people's head please operate it under the instrution of the adults. See package for detailed warnings. If you read all of this you obviously have no personal life and spend all of your time playing with toys. My fingers are now too tired to fly. Do not text while flying. Your mileage may vary.

-Florida Heli-
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Last edited by Florida Heli; Jun 15, 2014 at 04:03 PM.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:25 PM
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 08:39 PM
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Nice review Florida Heli! I'm a bit confused, did you say that my V977 Tx will work with the V930? That would be cool, it does have a switch for 6 axis stabilization (IDLE UP) and 3 axis gyro when in 3D mode. I wouldn't mind owning this heli, but am loath to have another toy Tx, and your review seems to re-enforce that feeling.

I expect it's very similar in flight characteristics to the V977 in 6 axis stabilization flight. I find that my HFP100 flies very much like the V977 in 3D mode, but then again I'm mostly just fighting to maintain a stable hover under those conditions.

Thanks for giving us some insight into the new V930. It sounds like it will be a worth while heli to own if you can work out a quality Tx solution.
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Old Jun 14, 2014, 09:17 AM
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Awesome thread Florida Heli. I have one on the way and based on your review it seems to be exactly what i was looking for. ...... Except for a better tx but i am sure there will be a module or other option soon. Thanks for the review ....... Maybe some video?
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Old Jun 14, 2014, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dteel View Post
Nice review Florida Heli! I'm a bit confused, did you say that my V977 Tx will work with the V930? That would be cool, it does have a switch for 6 axis stabilization (IDLE UP) and 3 axis gyro when in 3D mode. I wouldn't mind owning this heli, but am loath to have another toy Tx, and your review seems to re-enforce that feeling.
That's what the pre-release mini-review seems to say, unless I am misreading it. Anyone else read the mini-review? I don't have a v977 TX to try it (yet).

-Florida Heli-
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Old Jun 15, 2014, 04:02 PM
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I forgot to add one of the most important things of all: The tail motor does not even get warm to the touch after flying a full battery. This can only help extend tail motor life.

-Florida Heli-
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Old Jun 15, 2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jameschen072 View Post
Long story short, the 4 channel transmitter that comes with the V988 and the V930 can only control these 2 aircraft, while the transmitter that the V966 and V977 (6 channel helicopters) uses (they use the same protocol, remember?) could control the 4 channel helicopters as well.

Your V912 transmitter uses a different protocol despite having a very similar transmitter case. Hope that helps.
Well shucks, then I think I need to try the V930 BNF...

Update:

Evidently only available as a preorder for $52 from BG at the moment. I'll wait, helicopters I have.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Hey Florida Heli, I saw a post where you said you had or almost had the 120 SR working with the Devo 10. Did you get them to work together?
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 05:34 PM
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Hey Florida Heli, I saw a post where you said you had or almost had the 120 SR working with the Devo 10. Did you get them to work together?
Yes. I have all three of my Blade 120SRs in my Devo 10 with Deviation firmware installed. Works perfectly. Maybe I'm a slow learner, but Deviation took me a few hours to download and install. Then it took me another few hours to figure out the menus and get my first Blade 120SR set up and flying. From there setting up the other two was a simple as copying the file on my computer using the USB connection to the Devo 10.

Now, I have got to get off my duff and do some soldering to put a NRF24L01 module in it to fly this v930 and maybe a v977 later on. This v930 controller is almost unusable. I am having fun anyway until I can get a better way to control it. I knew I bought the Devo 10 for a reason. Look at the long list of helis (attached) I can fly with it as it is, plus the NRF24L01 module. That list doesn't even include all of the quads that I removed from the list.

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Old Jun 17, 2014, 11:44 AM
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My 930 was delivered....WOOT, WoOT! To bad i am away on business. Until Saturday at least i can rad about it.
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Old Jun 17, 2014, 04:49 PM
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NRF24L01 module, antenna, and 8 wire ribbon cable on order from US sellers and shipped today. Should be here this week. Now I have to go find out how to get the latest nightly build of Deviation for my Devo 10. Gee, I hope this works.

I am so glad that I found out about the 8 wire ribbon cable. It plugs right onto the module, eliminating 7 solder joints. Awesome. That leaves only 7 solder joints instead of 14.

-Florida Heli-
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Old Jun 19, 2014, 09:03 PM
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Ribbon cable came today. This will help I think. Now I am waiting for the module, which should be here for the weekend. If this works I can fly my Blade helis and my v930 (and anything Walkera or Hisky) all on one tx. That would be awesome. I should know more this weekend. It also will tell me more about the new protocol WLtoys is using for the v977 and v930. The nightly builds of Deviation are supposed to work with the v977 now I think, and I will have to see how it goes with my v930. I should know more this weekend when I try it.

I finally sold all of my v911's and parts. I finally got tired of the 45 degree latent flybar and I love the little v930 with no flybar. I just have to solve the tx problem before I can recommend the v930 to anyone.

Has anyone here tried the v977 controller with the v930? I would like to see a recent production test and report.

I refuse to buy a v977 right now because of the recent discussion here on RCG regarding the defective rotor head design that flies apart. I don't want that. I was going to buy a v977 RTF so I would have the tx and also both the CP and FP helis to fly with the tx. Not now that I read about the v977 rotor head problem.

I'm going the Devo route for now. If it fails for some reason I guess I'll order a v977 controller from Banggood to test. I hope that won't be necessary.

-Florida Heli-
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Florida Heli View Post
Ribbon cable came today. This will help I think. Now I am waiting for the module, which should be here for the weekend. If this works I can fly my Blade helis and my v930 (and anything Walkera or Hisky) all on one tx. That would be awesome. I should know more this weekend. It also will tell me more about the new protocol WLtoys is using for the v977 and v930. The nightly builds of Deviation are supposed to work with the v977 now I think, and I will have to see how it goes with my v930. I should know more this weekend when I try it.

I finally sold all of my v911's and parts. I finally got tired of the 45 degree latent flybar and I love the little v930 with no flybar. I just have to solve the tx problem before I can recommend the v930 to anyone.

Has anyone here tried the v977 controller with the v930? I would like to see a recent production test and report.

I refuse to buy a v977 right now because of the recent discussion here on RCG regarding the defective rotor head design that flies apart. I don't want that. I was going to buy a v977 RTF so I would have the tx and also both the CP and FP helis to fly with the tx. Not now that I read about the v977 rotor head problem.

I'm going the Devo route for now. If it fails for some reason I guess I'll order a v977 controller from Banggood to test. I hope that won't be necessary.

-Florida Heli-
Well I have the V977 stock Tx but I don't have a V930. I'd loan you my Tx if you were close...alas it is not to be. Maybe I should check BG again to see if they have the BNF V930 available yet.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 05:38 PM
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Well I have the V977 stock Tx but I don't have a V930. I'd loan you my Tx if you were close...alas it is not to be.
I sometimes think I am the only person in Florida on RCG. I see one or two others here and there, but rarely.

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Maybe I should check BG again to see if they have the BNF V930 available yet.
They had it listed three weeks ago and then they changed it to coming soon. I got lucky and bought my RTF below what is now the BNF price. This is the only reason I am not mad about the lousy v930 TX.

My NRF24L01 left Wisconsin early this am. I have little faith that USPS is going to get it here tomorrow.

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Old Jun 21, 2014, 05:52 PM
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My 930 was delivered....WOOT, WoOT! To bad i am away on business. Until Saturday at least i can rad about it.
Got my V930 and took i lt for a test flight. .... First impressions? More power than a 911of course but certainly durable i smacked it into the house fairly hard and just picked it up... seemingly with out a scratch and started flying it again. There was some wind but still it seemed to drift left. More of a handful to fly than the 911. The toy transmitter kinda stinks just like Fla H said.....But that could be my un experienced hands i suppose too. Will give it a flight tommorow in the quiet morning and maybe take a video.
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