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Old Jul 31, 2014, 05:05 PM
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France, PACA, La Valette-du-Var
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Mini-Review
Flying3D X8 (under construction)




INTRODUCTION


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.


BOX CONTENT





+ 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)






OVERVIEW

CHASSIS





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



Without landing skid, 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

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 nuts.




PROPELLERS

Props are some 8045 model




QUAD CONNEXIONS


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



QUAD INTERIOR

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




ESC
I was not able to rate the ESC (no visible inscriptions )



The power port and microUSB


RECEIVER


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)

FLIGHT CONTROLLER
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.

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.

CHARGEUR



TRANSMITTER

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.


I have to check if this quadcopter is using the classic FlySky protocol and can be binded by another transmitte

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)

FIRST USAGE

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




CONCLUSIONS

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.


UNBOXING

Flying3D X8 Unboxing (Courtesy of Banggood) (11 min 4 sec)


preliminary pros/cons points

PROS

+ Very fast
+ RTH
+ 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)
+ Good payload capacity
+ Great TX included in the Bundle
+ Any receiver can be installed (Telemetry can be lost in this case)
+ Excellent deal for 290 USD

CONS

- Horrible instruction manual
- Nuts for Prop'locker (same sens that the motor rotation)
- No dataflight recorder included dispite advertising (with my provided version at least, to be precise later)


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

http://www.banggood.com/Flying-3D-X8...-p-934779.html




EDIT 08/01/14 : +Attached scanned manual (in 2 parts) and the link to the BG version of the manual
http://imgmgr.banggood.com/images/up...r%20Manual.pdf

+ Add new photo showing FC environnement
+ Typos corrections + some minor text improvements
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Last edited by SeByDocKy; Yesterday at 09:03 PM.
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Old Jul 31, 2014, 05:07 PM
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Reserved for mods, photos and videos

State/altitude flight mode illustration

Flying3D X8 first flight in altitude mode (Courtesy of Banggood) (4 min 49 sec)



GPS hold on illustration

Flying3D X8 Hold on GPS illustration (Courtesy of Banggood) (2 min 23 sec)



Arms




Gimbal fixation





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Last edited by SeByDocKy; Yesterday at 05:04 AM.
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Old Jul 31, 2014, 06:15 PM
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nice vids cant wait to see some onboard flight videos. I like what i see so far
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Old Jul 31, 2014, 10:26 PM
TECH for XaircraftAmerica!
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Joined Mar 2009
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Very nice. I might have to get one of these. How is the GPS hold on it. and the RTH how accurate is it.
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Old Jul 31, 2014, 10:58 PM
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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?
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Old Jul 31, 2014, 11:05 PM
TECH for XaircraftAmerica!
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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.
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Old Yesterday, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor_Stro View Post
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?

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 ....
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Last edited by SeByDocKy; Yesterday at 12:25 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3wins View Post
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.
Yes .... but when I started to disassemble it, I didn't see such box. All FC electronic can be find beneath this green PCB. I have to disconnect all connector to fully access to it and there are a lot of cable . So first I want to do some videos before completly make the autopsy
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Old Yesterday, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3wins View Post
Very nice. I might have to get one of these. How is the GPS hold on it. and the RTH how accurate is it.
I just activated one the GPS hold on.... I should have a small piece of video. I will upload it. For me it's seems to be very accurate. There is no reason that RTH won't benefit of such precision
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 AM
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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
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Old Yesterday, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3wins View Post
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
Do you have the exact reference of this E-max motor ?. They seems to be very similar to the V303's motors too .
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Old Yesterday, 09:12 PM
TECH for XaircraftAmerica!
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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.
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