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Old May 31, 2015, 08:10 PM
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Heli Pad Review Series: Eachine H8 mini 6-Axis Nano Quadcopter


Introduction

I took advantage of Banggood's low introductory price of $14 and got myself a pair of Eachine H8 mini, one for each available color, in black and in white. I also happen to own a JJRC H8C, and once you place them together, it would seem obvious where the H8 "mini" name came from. The H8 mini is a nano size Quadcopter, almost the size of a Hubsan H107L, and sharing the same remote style as the Cheerson CX-10. Speaking of the CX-10 and similar models, I really like their tiny size and performance. However, they all seem to share two common flaws. First of all, they all have built-in battery. It is usually a tiny 100mAh Lipo, soldered in place, and carefully tugged inside the shell casing. Secondly, they usually have slow yaw rate and turns the Quad too slowly. The new H8 mini addresses both of these problems. Therefore, I jumped right in to see if it really is a better flying machine than the other pocket Quads.


I don't usually talk about pricing in my reviews, but indulge me for one short exception here. Banggood was pricing the H8 mini at $18.36, which is about the same price point as the CX-10A. It has the same headless flying mode as the CX-10A, but with the added upgrades I just mentioned. So, it is a better deal. Then Banggood immediately dropped the introductory price to $14, making it a even better, unbeatable deal. Now, if you like the idea of having a handful of batteries to cycle through, so that you don't have any down time, Banggood also offer a H8 mini + 5x Lipo bundle for $24 and change. Average cost per battery is about $2. That's another no-brainer there. Okay, back to the reveiw.

Like several other Quads in the market, this H8 mini is marketing its Headless Flying Mode, and its One-Key Automatic Return feature. The Headless Flying Mode is fine. The One-Key Return to Home (RTH) is a variation of the Headless Mode. Without any GPS awareness, RTH is very ineffective. Honestly, with a all white or all black shell, white props all around, orientation is somewhat difficult with this tiny Quad. The dangling battery wires in the back helps a little, but the Headless Mode help when orientation is lost. In Headless mode, when you pull the stick toward yourself the Quad flies towards you. The RTH feature is just flying in Headless Mode, plus it simulates a pull back on the stick for you. Other than that, there is no intelligence on the RTH feature.


Pros
Removable Battery, YES.
Excellent Yaw Rate, almost too fast.
Very Good Speed
Rugged Body Construction
Built-in Prop Guard
Pocket Size, Easy to Carry
Headless Flying Mode
Capable of Lively Flights and Tight Flips
Extremely Attractive Pricing


Cons
No On/Off Switch
LEDs are only visible from below
Orientation is a challenge, but Headless Mode helps
Ineffective Return-to-Home Feature

Conclusions

I am extremely pleased with these Eachine H8 minis. They are one of the best nano Size Quad I have tested. It has a nice overall package. It is a very stable and high performance flyer with the added Headless Mode feature. Key advantages of the H8 mini over its competition are Price, Removable battery, and Yaw performance. My only wish for it are better and more visible LEDs, but that is a very minor flaw. It's an excellent deal, and I highly recommend it.


First Impressions

My pair of H8 minis arrived in perfect shape. There is nothing to assemble. The Prop guards are built in. The batteries were at 3.98v, a bit higher than I'd like to see them. But it means I could go ahead, plug it in, and have a quick flight. Wow! Two words. Stable and fast. The 6-Axis gyro works well. It hovers nicely and then when you say go, it really goes! And I was still on low rate. It has two rates, Low and High. When I tried out the yaw control, I was smiling ear to ear. This thing is fast. It spins like a tops! Seriously, you could play a modified game of "Spin the Bottle" with this Quad, because after it starts spinning, I don't think I could control which way it faces when I stop it. The feel of the Tx is the same as the others of this size. I'll talk about the controls later, which are a bit different.


Transmitter

At first glance, the transmitter looks exactly the same as the tiny Tx that comes with the CX-10. But if you put them side by side, you'd notice that this controller is quite a big larger. Thus, it feels really comfortable in the hands. The short sticks feel fine for me, but some pilots would like to extend them no doubt. The mushroom style thumb pad pulls straight out, and you could add a longer stick if you want. The color of the Tx matches that of the Quad. So, if you order a black Quad, you will get a black Tx. Or if you order a white Quad, you will get a while Tx. The slightly larger Tx also takes 3x AAA batteries, instead of 2x. Hopefully, that translates into better range. Below the Left stick is an extra button that looks like the Rudder trim, but it is the speed button. It toggles between Low and High speed. Listen for the beeps. Two beeps means High rate, and a single beep means Low rate. The Flip button is still hidden beneath the Right stick. So, before you flip, you first push the Right stick straight down until it clicks and beeps once. Then you could move the Right stick into the direction you want to flip the Quad. The rest is automatic. The H8 mini does nice and tight flips. With the Rate button moved from under the Left stick to a different button, now the Return Key and the Headless Mode Key resides under the Left stick.


Headless Flying Mode

I think by now, the once confusing and difficult to understand "Headless Flying Mode" is quite understood by the community. I have explained it a few times in other reviews. In a nutshell, while the Quad is in the Headless mode, it disregards its heading. So even when it is the nose-in orientation, when you push the right stick forward, the Quad moves away from you. When you push the right stick left, it flies to your left, not its left. A neat trick is to move the Quad in a straight line across, while spinning! Another useful feature is when you have lost the orientation and don't quite know which way the Quad is heading, simple pull the right stick towards you, and the Quad will come back to you. But because the Quad doesn't have sophisticated GPS awareness, it is important that you initialize the heading at the beginning of the flight to help it set its baseline. Therefore, initialize the Quad in the tail-in position. In other words, you would stand directly behind the tail of the Quad.

One-Key-Return

The One-Key Return function is just an extension of the Headless Mode. Since the Quad doesn't have GPS awareness, its Returning ability is limited and non-precise. When you press down the Left stick, you will hear one beep, and the Quad goes into the Return Mode, which is basically flying in Headless Mode, with the right stick pulled back. It will attempt to return to the Tx position. If you have properly initialized the Quad, it should do exactly that. Once the Quad automatically comes close to you , you should move the right slick and take over the control. At this point, the Tx will beep continuously, indicating that it is flying in the Headless mode. So, the Quad always go into Return Mode first, and then into Headless Mode when you move the right stick. But if you didn't initialize it correctly in the beginning of the flight. It will do very unpredictable things, because the heading is off.


The Battery

The one big feature I like about this Quad is its replaceable battery. Because of it, it can do what other bigger Quad could do - fly all day long. After I had this Quad for a day, I immediately ordered 5 more batteries. I didn't want extra batteries until I'm convinced that I love the Quad. But for those of you who are reading this review and considering buying the Quad, I would recommend buying the Quad + 5x batteries bundle, because you would want the extra batteries to keep flying this Quad. The batteries are small 150mAh Lipos, with Over Charge Protection, and a LOSI plug. The USB charging cable has no intelligence to stop charging. The battery will cut the charging current when it is full. But if you have a handful of these Lipos, you should consider having a good charger, or at the very least, get an X4 Charger that charges 1-4 of these cells. The battery weighs about 5.5g.


LEDs

If I have to pick a fault on the H8 mini, it will be the LEDs. The LEDs are surface mounted on the underside of the PCB. There are four tiny openings in the lower shell. If you have the white shell, the color LEDs will be dimly seen through the white arms. But if you have the black shell, there is no way to see the LEDs except for from underneath. In other words, it is quite difficult to see the LEDs while flying it. Without the LEDs, it is quite difficult to tell orientation, as the Quad looks the same from every angle. The props are all white, and the arms looks all the same. So, I wish that they have diffused the lights better or have the LEDs at the tip of the arm like the CX-10. Without very visible lights, the battery wires hanging out in the back now becomes the primary visual aid for orientation. Although the wires are fairly short, they are long enough to get tangled up with the props, as I have found out.


What's in the Package?

The Eachine H8 mini RTF Package comes with the following:
1x H8 mini 6-Axis Headless Quad (Black or White)
1x Transmitter (Black or White matches the Quad)
1x 1S 3.7v 150mAh Lipo Battery
1x USB Charging Cable
1x Screw Driver
4x Soft Foam Landing Cushions
2x Replacement Props (A & B)
1x User Manual

The Landing Cushions are stick-on with double sided tape. They won't stay on very long. I didn't bother to install them. Replacement props are clearly labeled (A & B). You match them with the label printed on the arm. That's a nice touch. But there are only 2 replacement props, not 4. The screw driver is only useful if you have to replace the shell. Therefore, it is not very useful. I would gladly trade the screw driver and the foam feet for more replacement props.

Where to Buy?
The Eachine H8 mini Quads are available through the links below:
Eachine H8 mini RTF
Eachine H8 mini RTF and Batteries Bundle

Videos
Eachine H8 Mini Headless Mode 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis RC Quadcopter RTF (1 min 32 sec)


Photo Gallery
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Old May 31, 2015, 08:11 PM
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Eachine H8 Mini RTF

Eachine H8 Mini RTF + 5x 150mAh Lipos

H8 Mini Tx

H8 Mini Motors

H8 Mini 150mAh Lipos

H8 Mini 5x 150mAh Lipos

H8 Mini FC Board

H8 Mini Props

H8 Mini Lower Body

H8 Mini Upper Body
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Old May 31, 2015, 08:11 PM
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Old May 31, 2015, 08:12 PM
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Old May 31, 2015, 10:10 PM
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Great review Heli Pad, I was wondering when you would post it. I posted my review yesterday. It is a great quad, especially for $13.99. But after looking at the sizes listed at Quadcopter 101, I decided it fit into the microquad category, doesn't really matter. I got a white one, and it really lights up well for night flying. I also tested the range on mine with no mods out to over 150 feet.
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Old May 31, 2015, 10:19 PM
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Oh, did you really? I didn't know that. Must go and have a read.

I got both White and Black. As you could see in the photo gallery, the LEDs light up the White shell somewhat, but they are not shining through the Black body.

Rudder speed is insane, isn't it? I just sent for additional Lipos yesterday. Even with two Quads on hand, I'm still impatient for the recharge time.
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 05:43 AM
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Very timely Thread. They caught my eye and have lots going for them. I actually ordered 2 myself with expedited delivery so I hope I won't have to wait long at all. Maybe the next day or two.
A few of us are organising an indoor meeting on a regular basis all going well and hoping to attract people who can't afford expensive quads etc just for a good night out.
My wife has a bit of an interest as well so one of the quads is for her but she doesn't know about them yet.
Ideal machines for indoors.
When they are asking over $100 + dollars for a Blade Nano you just gotta ask yourself "who are they kidding?"
My mate has one and tried to talk me into getting one but I think he will go very quiet when he hears what we pay for these.
Thanks for starting the thread.
Those links are very handy too.

I meant to ask. These do have different frequencies so we can fly together? I suppose they initialize/bind when you turn them on somehow?
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 07:22 AM
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I've had mine for about a week or so now, and I agree with your review. I find headless mode to be not really headless though. What it does is points the quad to the same direction it was when you plugged in the battery. If you pointed it away from you, yes, you can pull back on the stick and it will come your way. That's very useful if it's too far out to see and you've lost orientation. Mostly, I just don't use it.
A quick note on the LED lights. I had the same issue, but had a DING moment... I put a dab of hot glue on each of them (so that there was a little bulge outside the case) and it is freakin perfect! XD == there's your mod #1==
This this most certainly is a great value. It is super fun! Super fast, and super agile. I tend to agree about the yaw rate. Have you put it into a funnel? Holy crap! It's like 20cm wide or something! I think the bigger problem is the sticks on the remote are too short and too strong of a spring. I REEEAAALLY wish I could bind it with my FS-i6! I don't care about flips or RTH or any of that. I just want to fly this thing like a mad man! That said, I'm starting to get used to the feel of the sticks, and while I'll never love it, it works. I flew a tiny "course" in my front yard yesterday. Too much fun for $14! I almost feel bad about it! LOL And yeah, I ordered a pack of batteries too. Need more time on this thing.
Oh, and one other con - the props are weeeak. Not a huge issue since there are prop guards on it, but my cat really likes to try to get it. It's great fun toying with him (he really does have fun with it or I wouldn't do it). It's hilarious when he whacks it as it passes by and it goes spinning... the challenge for me is to try and recover before it crashes.
Oh, and mine has a vibration issue - like a buzz. Trying to isolate what the problem is. Thought it was a prop, but after changing it, it's still there. Might be a bent shaft or something? I may order more motors and props soon. Balancing those tiny props would be a challenge! XD
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantham Kid View Post
Ideal machines for indoors. I actually really like flying mine outdoors too!
When they are asking over $100 + dollars for a Blade Nano you just gotta ask yourself "who are they kidding?" IKR!!! WTH???
My mate has one and tried to talk me into getting one but I think he will go very quiet when he hears what we pay for these. Get it on video and post it. hahahaha
Honestly, I'm not sure how they do it! These were on a flash sale for $7 too. So sad I missed that one.
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Hehe, now that the pictures are taken and review is done, I think my #1 mod is to clip off the Prop Guards and lose some weight. Granted that the prop guards are useful when flying this speed monster in the house, but I think I will fly this one outdoor more. I don't fly my Quads with these guards, so why now?

So, Mr. Sato, adding a bead of hot glue to the shell makes it a diffusing lens for the lights? I must try that. But I would recommend removing the lower body shell first for the mod. I don't want to get glue into the arm, onto the PCB etc. Hope the added weight is not too noticeable.

HP
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 12:33 PM
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Mr. Grantham, I own the Blade Nano Qx and it remains as one of my favorite. As a matter of fact, you could see mine, taking a side by side photo with the H8 mini in the gallery.

In terms of price, you can't beat the ridiculous low price of the H8 mini. In terms of features, the H8 mini has more, too. But what I like about the nQx are its lightness, just 17g with battery, its S.A.F.E. technology and the DSMX protocol.

The nQx is so light that it simply doesn't have the mass to create a spectacular crash. The H8 mini is just about 2.5g heavier. It, too, is light enough to be very safe. Then I really like the Blade's S.A.F.E. mode, which is so easy to fly. But it also has the Acro mode that trains you to fly a FBL heli. The dual personality gives you room to grow with your skill. Lastly, it is DSMX, compatible, with all Spektrum Tx and my modified Devo 7E. The protocol that the H8 mini uses is not compatible with any digital programmable radio not there at the moment and you are stuck with its tiny stock radio. The hope is that one day, it will be "deviated" and that I can fly it with my Devo 7E.

HP
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 12:36 PM
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Christmas Shopping

When the CX-10 was on sale for $15, I got a bunch of them. I thought my Christmas shopping was done. But now, I am deeply regretting that move, because I think that this H8 mini is much better value and even cheaper.

I have to rethink my Christmas strategy here. Just didn't see this one coming.
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 12:46 PM
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Mr. Sato, mine has a bit of vibration, too. You could easily see it because the prop guard amplifies the vibration (another reason that I want to get rid of them). I haven't checked, but I suspect that the props are not well balanced. I would have to try and balance them. I also think that there is a bit of play in the motor cages. Perhaps I will open mine up later to investigate. This thing is still too new and too much fun. I'd rather be flying than tinkering with it.

Oh, Funnel. I've done funnel with this H8 mini. Typically, I will max out my rudder to do a funnel, but this H8 mini spins so fast that I actually have to back off on the rudder so that it doesn't go into a spin! Yup the tightest funnel I've ever done with one of these! Too much fun.
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 02:14 PM
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FYI, they say the Bayang X9 transmitter is completely compatible with this quad and it is a bit bigger.
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Old Jun 01, 2015, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siriusflier View Post
FYI, they say the Bayang X9 transmitter is completely compatible with this quad and it is a bit bigger.
Interesting. I will have a look.
I run a Taranis with my 'real' quads.
I have a 2 gram FrSky Rx. I wonder if it could be adapted? (slap face and stop thinking that way)

Bayang TX and mini quad on e-bay
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