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Old Feb 04, 2015, 01:51 PM
Grainde is offline
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Mini-Review
Syma XC5-1



Hi everyone! Im actually new to this forum, but am quite active over on the laserpointerforums. Recently I was approached by Leo from www.Tinydeal.com and asked whether I would consider doing a review on anything on their website! In the end I decided to have a shot at testing a Syma X5C-1 as this seemed like a decent quadcopter for beginners.

I also realise Waterbound did a fantastic review on this quadcopter, so this might serve as a review from a beginner's perspective!


Specifications

Brand: SYMA
Material: Plastic + Alloy
Channel: 4
DIY: Yes
Gyro: Six-axis
Control Type: Radio Control
Function: Up/Down, Turning Left/Right, Forward/Backward ,Side Flying
Control Range: 100m
Frequency: 2.4GHz
Flying Time: 6-9min
Charging Time: 100min
Battery: 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po
Transmitter Battery: 4 x AA(not included)
Light: Yes
Camera: 2 million pixels
Suitable Age: 14+
Suitable Situation: Outdoor
Gross Weight: 762g/ 26.88 oz
Color: White as shown in the picture
Size: 415 x 305 x 90 mm / 16.34 x 12.01 x 3.54 inch


Introduction

I have to admit at this point, I had only ever flown a couple of small helis and had very little experience with multirotors. I discussed this with Leo from TinyDeal and he managed to persuade his manager to send out an example for review. Please note that even though it is listed as an X5C, the model I was sent (and the model linked above in the title) are both X5C-1s, this means the newer upgraded model.



The shipping took just over a week, which is exceptionally good. The package was actually shipped from the Netherlands and so it looks like they may drop ship from there to Europe.



The box was not particularly well wrapped, or otherwise protected, so I was happy to see that it had arrived in one piece.

Inside there is the quad-copter ready to fly with the blades and battery installed. You'll need 4 x AA batteries for the controller though and these are not included. If you are a beginner like me, it is highly recommended to attach the four prop guards before attempting to fly!



Under the transmitter there are; the screws for the prop-guards, a screwdriver, the charging cable (std USB charger) and a small micro-SD card reader. It was also a pleasant surprise to find a 4 GB card preinstalled in the camera.



There are also four replacement blades included, but these are taped to the back of the white plastic container, so please check and remove these before disposing of the packaging.

The batteries were around 3.6-3.7 V which is perfect for storage, but it did mean they had to be charged before use. Typically the recharging time is around 90 mins.


Getting Started

The battery is inserted beneath the camera door on the underside of the quadcopter and as you can see in the pic below the power socket slots in to the small jack in the front. (Please note Banggood battery installed in pic, but more on that later.) The black slot on the back of the camera is where the Micro-SD card plugs in and the black button, the main on/off switch.


When the quadcopter is switched on, all four lights blink and this means it is awaiting a pairing signal from the transmitter. To pair, place it on a level surface and switch on the transmitter. There will be an audible beep and you then need to push the throttle vertically to the max and then bring it back down to zero at the start position. The lights on the device will stop flashing and remain constantly illuminated.



In this picture you can see gearing for the props - The motors are not brushless.



Flight controls

Once the copter is airborne you may observe some drift and this can be easily corrected on the controller. To adjust for left, or right, horizontal drift, toggle the Aileron correction slider (silver button below right hand stick) in the opposite direction to the drift. The same goes for forward and backward drift. Here you need to move the Elevator slider and this is the vertical silver button to the left of the right hand stick. The left hand stick on the transmitter is both the throttle (up and down movement) and rotation in the horizontal plane. The silver slider button below left hand stick is the rudder trim and this fine tunes the rotation. There is no correction for the throttle. The vertical slider on the right of the first stick controls the camera; push up to take a picture and pull down to make a movie. One thing to note here, if taking a movie, you must switch off the camera ie pull the lever down again before switching off the copter, or the movie will not be saved properly.



The Syma XC5-1 has a button for aerial flips although I admit I have not tried this yet. Ill need to be in a large open space before I try this...


Handling and performance

Well the only other quadcopter I could compare this to is the Hubsan X4 and I have to say there is a world of difference. The Husan sounds like an aggressive mosquito and, to be honest in comparison to the Syma, it flies like one!:whistle: Dont get me wrong its a great little multirotor, but it simply doesnt have the flight stability of the Syma. With the Hubsan it was exceptionally nervous and very difficult to get to hover and remain in one spot. Constant corrections were needed even after calibrating on a flat level surface and dialing in the minor drift adjustments on the controller. The Syma on the other hand just hovered on the spot and responded instantly and very precisely to every command. With the Syma it was also possible to put down the transmitter and it would essentially stay where it was.

Here's a pic to show the actual size difference between the Syma and Hubsan.


The supplied battery gave a 7 min flight time, with the camera and guards mounted and the camera off. With the camera on, the run time is reduced to just under 5 mins. As I wanted a slightly longer flight time I decided to buy a few spare batteries and opted for some from Banggood, that had been recommended on some of the other quadcopter sites.

Syma X5-16 X5C H5C 1 To 5 3.7V 600MAH Upgrade Battery - US$18.00

A word of warning however, the supplied charger (from Banggood) dangerously overcharged all of the batteries to 4.46 V! It was actually still charging when I decided to check with a DMM. Had I not immediately disconnected them I may have had a few fireballs in the living room. I dont actually know at what voltage the charger cuts out, but Id hazard a guess at 5 V...

Anyway I quickly discharged the batteries back down to 4.2 V and they seemed to work fine although they are all now a little puffed up... The main problem with these though is the capacity which may be partially related to the internal resistance (Ri) - these replacement batteries also get quite hot after each flight. I tested the supplied battery and the Ri was 64 mOhm, but the bang good batteries tested almost double this at around 110 mOhm. A high internal resistance will lead to a larger voltage drop under load, which in turn will trigger the battery protection cutout in the Syma earlier resulting in shorter flight times. Assuming the capacity of the supplied battery is correct (and neglecting the voltage drop) the current draw is very roughly calculated at 4.2 A. Anyway, these give a max of 5.5 mins under the same conditions as the supplied battery with no camera running, so they were either damaged through the over charge, or their capacity has been blatantly over rated. At 4.2 A the capacity is roughly 390 mAh.


Video and Image quality

Well this is the only real weak point, if you could call it that. The video resolution seems to vary between 1280 x 720 (1 MP) and 1920 x 1080 (2.1 MP) at 30 FPS and photos are 2560  1440 (3.7 MP), but in low light the image is very grainy. This is almost definitely due to a small sensor in the camera. So far I have only used the camera indoors with artificial lighting, but I will re-test at a later date outside as I am convinced its performance will drastically improve.

Here is a quick indoor video of the Syma in action. Unfortunately I havent been able to take the copter outdoors, because we have had nothing but rain and strong wind the last few weeks. As mentioned, I will however update the thread with proper outdoor flight and video once the conditions improve.

SYMA X5C-1



Further Projects

I was curious to see whether the Syma could carry a small laser setup and so I attached a small 5 mW DPSS module and an AW IMR 16340 to the under carriage. If setup correctly, this could be used e.g to target the onboard camera with an eye safe 1 -5 mW laser. The total weight was around 60 g and it had no trouble lifting off, even though the camera and prop guards were still installed. This means the Syma is capable of carrying a useful and very respectable payload.


Summary

Well this is an excellent starter model and I would highly recommend it due to it's incredible flight stability. The control unit is made of plastic and is very light, which gives it a cheapish feel, but the LED display on the unit is very useful to quickly check and make adjustments to the trim. The camera is a nice touch and at 2 MP very functional. I would however only really recommend using it under well lit conditions. All in all I was very impressed with Tinydeal. They were very professional, helpful and quick to respond. :gj:

Tinydeals is currently offering a discount on the Syma X5C-1 here:

SYMA X5C X5C-1 LCD RC Quadcopter 4CH 2.4GHz w 6-axis 2MP Camera TRC-301757 - TinyDeal

and in conjunction with the coupon code; 19offx5c you can get an additional 10 % off.

The Syma X5C-1 was provided by Tinydeal for the purposes of a review! Thanks for reading. :beer:
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Last edited by Grainde; Feb 04, 2015 at 02:58 PM.
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 12:47 AM
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I have one. The Syma X5C-1 is bad in wind.
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 02:55 PM
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Ive heard this too and this is why I havent tested it outdoors yet. Im guessing its not too good in the rain either... .
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 05:48 PM
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great review and thanks for the kind words
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 04:00 AM
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Great review! Thanks OP!
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbound View Post
great review and thanks for the kind words
Thanks! Now to start reading, I think Ive caught the multirotor bug.
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funway View Post
I have one. The Syma X5C-1 is bad in wind.
I have the same trouble with you. So what do you do to solve the problem?
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellya123 View Post
I have the same trouble with you. So what do you do to solve the problem?
There is no solution...other than to upgrade!

The Syma X5C-1 is a great starter unit, but it is simply too light and underpowered to handle strong winds. It is best to fly in winds of 5mph or under. I've definitely flown in stronger winds, but I've also lost one this way!

I loved my second Syma X5C-1, but eventually sold it and accessories to help fund my growing quad addiction. I have had the Cheerson CX-20 for almost a month now. Perfect upgrade for someone like me who likes to tinker. Handles 20mph winds with proper settings!
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Old Feb 22, 2015, 06:20 AM
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We had a short break in the weather and I was able to fly it outside. As Brquad mentioned, it doesnt like wind that much so you have to be careful. Downwind it went like a rocket, but working back upwind was much harder. I found keeping it below the treetops helped and I was able to film a little and do flips. BTW the quad can do flips with the camera and whilst filming - discovered this by accident...I havent updated with the video as you dont actually see much unfortunately. Most of the time I was compensating for the wind and as such the camera was tilted down towards the grass.

This quad has really got me into flying and I've decided to go full out and build a hexacopter. All the parts have been ordered and now Im just waiting.

P.S @ Brquad would it not be possible to remove the white housing from the ams? Im sure Ive seen that somewhere. This way you could reduce wind resistance and the quad might have a better response in light wind.
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Old Feb 23, 2015, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brquad View Post
There is no solution...other than to upgrade!

The Syma X5C-1 is a great starter unit, but it is simply too light and underpowered to handle strong winds. It is best to fly in winds of 5mph or under. I've definitely flown in stronger winds, but I've also lost one this way!

I loved my second Syma X5C-1, but eventually sold it and accessories to help fund my growing quad addiction. I have had the Cheerson CX-20 for almost a month now. Perfect upgrade for someone like me who likes to tinker. Handles 20mph winds with proper settings!
CX-20 for handle 20mph winds? So the number "20" means the wind force which the quadcopter can handle?
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 02:36 AM
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hellya123,
I bought a Wltoys V222 and an MJXRC X400. But I think I am done with these types of quads and need to go more powerful and simply spend more.

Both of these are *far* better than the Syma X5C in wind, but I still consider them toys. Like Brquad said: there is no solution other than to upgrade.

A recent post of mine has showed how I easily broke the MJXRC X400 landing feet. The Syma landing feet are a lot more robust. Anyway, I think it's time for me to step up to something like the CX-20 like Brquad mentioned. So far I've found no 'perfect' product though. They all seem to be plagued with their own problems but I think if I throw some more money at it I might get closer to satisfaction.
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Old Mar 02, 2015, 09:40 PM
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20 does not stand for wind it can handle...just think it worked out that way. I don't really suggest flying in such strong winds, but it is possible. You will spend a lot of time compensating for drift and gps modes are pretty much useless in these conditions. If it weren't for the fact that I feel fairly confident controlling it manually...I wouldn't have tried it. Further I had just made some adjustments to parameters and was certain the new flight angle would allow for it to work. It did...the gusts were actually up to 32mph that day. I prob wouldn't do it again, but it was good to know I could...
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Old May 03, 2015, 12:50 PM
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Hi sorry for the long delay. Just a quick update on my hexacopter progress to date.

This was my first build!

Below are the specs on the copter and a quick video of it in action.

Specs:

Tarot 680PRO
DJI Naza V2 GPS
6 x Tiger motor MN3508-20 (580kv)
6 x Afro ESC 30 A
6 x 1365 Carbon Fiber Propellers
Frsky D8R-XP
Frsky FSH01 Hub
Frsky GPS sensor V2 (modified for non-S.Port system)
Frsky battery voltage indicator
DJI Zenmuse H3-3D (3 axis gimbal)
Gopro 4 silver
2 x Turnigy nano 5000 mAh 4 S, 35-70 C

Transmitter 9XR Pro mode 2
ERSky 9XR firmware
Hobbyking LiFe transmitter pack 1500 mAh 3S
Frsky DJT

Weight: 3.2 kg
Extra payload ca. 4.2 kg

Hexacopter Maiden flight

Ecalc looks to be a little conservative on the runtime. The first flight was just over 20 mins and the batteries still had a little juice (15.2 V) .

On the first flight I managed to test Safemode ie copter returns automatically to point of take off and flew in GPS and ATTI modes. Wind was around 5 -10 kts. I will post a more informative thread on the build, with pics and better video a little later.
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Last edited by Grainde; May 03, 2015 at 01:08 PM.
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