|Jun 14, 2012, 01:54 AM|
Walkera QR Space Walker Octocopter Review!!
I was offered the opportunity to review this Walkera QR Space Walkera Y8 by Lena at HobbyOne.com.hk. This all started a few months ago when I decided to go ahead and upgrade to the DEVO standard from the 2801 standard. In the first few days of having the DEVO, I hit the antenna up against a wall by accident, and broke it just like I had done with my 2801 Pro previously. Not seeing the antenna offered for sale, I emailed Walkera about it. They explained to me that HobbyOne had the antennas, but that they weren’t listed on the site, so I would have to email them directly. I have since received prompt responses to my questions from Lena at HobbyOne. Somewhere in my many questions and emails, the mention of a ‘Review’ came up, so I accepted the opportunity to be able to review this Space Walker supplied by HobbyOne.
This is my first review, so please don’t beat me up too bad, and let me know any questions, comments, or advice you may have.
While I have owned several other Walkera models—CB100s, 4F200, M120D01, Genius CPs, and the Ladybird, this is only my second multi-rotor model, and it kind of seems like the Space Walker is the Ladybird’s big brother. My first thought when I saw it was that Walkera should have named it the Hummingbird to keep with the Ladybird theme. All the same, I like the UFO/racecar thing they’ve got going on.
The RTF kit can be found here: http://www.hobbyone.com.hk/cn/product.jsp?id=11129
The ARF kit can be found here: http://www.hobbyone.com.hk/cn/product.jsp?id=11128
|Jun 14, 2012, 01:55 AM|
Ďwhats in the boxí
The Space Walker package I received was a pre-production sample that came in a plain, white box. This model came with a black and green canopy. Iíve been told that the production model that HobbyOne has received has a black and orange canopy. I wonder if other canopies will be available as time goes on, like the Ladybird having a grey and a red canopy available.
The box included:
1X the Space Walker itself, fully assembled (others have mentioned that they had to assemble the longer arms of the model, but mine came fully assembled).
1X a 2402D transmitter.
1X a spare set of props.
1X an rx adjustment tool (the black plastic screwdriver)
1X a 3.7V, 600mAh, 20C Lipo battery, with ĎFULLRIVERí written on it, who I believe makes all of the Walkera batteries Iíve seen up to now. Itís got a JST connector to connect it to the rx, and the standard Walkera micro plug for charging.
1X a GA006 USB powered Lipo battery charger.
|Jun 14, 2012, 01:55 AM|
I donít want this review to be merely a comparison of this model next to the Ladybird, but owning a Ladybird, letís be honest--itís obvious that the two are related. I can imagine the meeting where all of the Walkera engineers got together with a bunch of Ladybird parts and brainstormed 20 variants of itís design.
The good news is that they have updated some basic parts of both models. Most notable are the motor holders, which have been updated at both ends. From the cosmetic perspective, the motor holders have received more detail along their upper edges, like where the holder attaches to the boom. The added detail might even add a hair of strength to the part.
From the form and function perspective, the little balls they have added to the base of the motor holders are both good looking and functional as shock absorption for the motors during landing. Interestingly, it was suggested early on in the Ladybird thread here on RCGroups that it would be a good idea to cushion the bottoms of the motors, as a hard landing would shorten their lives. Maybe Walkera is listening after all. (Those familiar with the movie, ĎThe Three Amigosí will realize that the Space Walker is maleóďDidnít you notice itís little balls?Ē)
The design concept of the Space Walker is interesting, as it incorporates long and short booms, where most multi-rotors I have seen have the various rotor axes be equidistant from the center of the model. When I showed the model to the guys at the flying field, it was theorized that the shorter booms could be used to provide the lift, while the longer booms provided extra leverage for stabilization.
My initial thought on durability was that the longer booms would be much more fragile, but that hasnít proved to be the case for me. The booms are made of the same 3mm CF square tubing as the Ladybird, but since the main frame is larger, there is also more length of boom in the frame itself.
Iíve always liked JST connectors.
|Jun 14, 2012, 01:56 AM|
Weights and measures
The model itself weighs 49.91g.
The battery weighs 17.61g.
The canopy weighs 2.81g, which brings AUW to 70.33 grams (Walkera lists 70g on it’s website).
The distance between the axes of the smaller booms is 125mm (as compared to 121.5mm for the Ladybird)
The distance between the axes of the larger booms is 224mm.
The props are 55.75mm across.
Using the numbers above, I come up with 3.605 kg/m squared for disc loading (as compared to 3.359 kg/m squared for the Ladybird). Given these numbers, I doubt that this model would fly with 4 rotors as has been proposed.
Here's the specifications listed on Walkers's website:
1). Main Rotor Dia. : 55.8mm
2). Standard transmitter: 2402D
3). Gyro: Six-Axis
4). Overall Length: 242mm
5). Optional transmitter: DEVO-6/7/8S/10/12S
6). Drive Motor: 0720RN
7). Overall Width: 242mm
8). All-up Weight: 70g( Battery included)
9). Battery: 3.7V 600mAh Li-Po
Here's the features listed on Walkera's website:
1). Adopting octocopter-motors driving system,stable flight, and can easily do the front and back, left and right rolls.
2). The usage of 6-Axis gyro and Intergration design of the flight status control ,ensures the precise location of the flight performance.
3). Modularized design features convenient maintenance at low cost.
4). Flight time will be up to 8 to 9 minutes on a 3.7V 600mAh LiPo.
5). The receiver can upgrade by Walkera hompage.
|Jun 14, 2012, 01:57 AM|
It’s been windy here, so most times I’ve flown the Space Walker outdoors, it’s been in ~10 mph breeze. Temperature has been in the 80s F.
I started out using the 2402D transmitter, and it would be fine for a beginner, but any pilot would benefit from the adjustments available in a better transmitter. It didn’t take me long to set up the Space Walker to my DEVO 8S using Fixed ID.
Here's the gist of my settings, starting with the Function Menu:
Travel adjust--all 100%, except for rudder, which I've got at 150%
D/R and Expo--+20% expo, 100% D/R on E and A; and 0 expo, 125% D/R on R
Throttle hold--Active, -5.0%
I've got AUX2 set to the FMOD switch, which means that the rx will switch to 3D mode (Green LED on rx instead of red) when Idle Up 2 is engaged.
Throttle curve--Linear, 0 to 100%
Swash type--1 Servo Normal
Here's a short video. Keep in mind that it was blowing 10-15 mph gusts that day:
The model flies with good stability. It’s predictable. The slightly larger size makes it a bit easier to see from far off than the Ladybird. There is no telemetry function, and I wonder if this will get included in later versions. The rx does have ‘update’ ports on it, leaving open the possibility of firmware updates. Given the current lack of telemetry, I decided to test the low voltage cutoff, which I normally don’t do. I was able to get between 9:40 and 10:10 of flight before the voltage cutoff, but was then surprised to see that the pack had gotten down to 3.5V. I’m used to the cutoff being set a bit higher on other models. Even still, I think that the 8-9 minute flight times that Walkera lists are reasonable given fresh battery and motors. Flying the model around gently, everything felt great, but when pushing the model a bit, rudder falls short. The piro rate is not as fast as an experienced pilot might like, and there seems to be a bit of a delay to the rudder’s response. If the model is in a full piro, then the stick is suddenly centered, the model will drift a bit before stopping it’s yaw, as opposed to stopping the yaw on a dime. I was able to affect the piro rate by changing rudder endpoints and increasing d/r, but the delay in action I mention was still apparent.
After a few crashes, I haven’t done any more damage than a bent prop and a missing ball on the bottom of one of the 8 motors. Given it’s large footprint, it seems to land on it’s feet more often than not after a crash. Most of the crashes I’ve had, I’ve been able to take off from because the model winds up sitting upright. I even lost the model over a privacy fence, but was pleasantly surprised to find the model upright when I looked over the fence. I was able to take off by looking thru the slats in the fence, and bring the model back over the fence safely without having to climb a fence since it landed right side up. This same fence excursion is the crash that caused the loss of one of the landing balls.
There is a 3D mode, and it can be switched from the tx (given a tx with enough channels) just like the Ladybird does. The model will roll almost as fast as the Ladybird, but it’s not quite so quick to recover afterward. This observation is subjective, as setup and pilot skill may be a factor here as well.
I played with the potentiometer on the rx, but didn’t notice much change. This prompted me to pull out the voltmeter to see how this pot is really working. I was surprised to learn that the adjustment pot only functions thru 90 degrees of it’s rotation, and outputs the high reference voltage thru the rest of the 270 degrees! I’ve included a few pictures to show the adjustment range of the pot, from 1.09V up to 3.30V. The pictures show the pot as if the top of the picture was the front of the model. E and A feel snappy, but I’m not sure I feel much difference in rudder. I settled with the pot near the upper end of it’s adjustment, and it feels even more controllable now.
As an aside, it was dusty and windy the day we filmed the video. Check out how much dust made it to the rx, and how clean I was able to get it afterwards!
|Jun 14, 2012, 02:00 AM|
Conclusions and Credits
All in all, I like this model. It's fun to fly around, handles wind well, and could be used as a training tool. For a beginner, it's stable enough to be a good platform for learning the upright orientations. It's tough enough to take some newbie abuse. For the intermediate flyer, it's fun and confidence building to be able to zoom around at full bore (This is where I feel I'm at currently). For the expert flyer, he'd probably be happy with the right stick, but the dull rudder might annoy him.
The long flight time is cool, and the noise of the 8 motors all cranking at the same time is an interesting balancing act to hear. I'm surprised that telemetry was not included in this model, as it seems to be Walkera's new thing. Hopefully the production model is different or a firmware update can fix the telemetry. The battery charger that comes with the model is quite insufficient for a battery this size, as charge time is very long. After this review, I'll be installing a micro-deans to the charging plug to be able to use my real charger. Hopefully it will be possible to squeeze more out of the rudder in the future, as I've heard that other models (The mQX) has faster rudder response.
THANKS to HobbyOne for supplying this model for review. Thanks to my various photographers: Chris C, Rhett H, and Lance P, and thanks to all of you for reading this, and for all of the collective support I have received from this online community over the years.
I don’t think that I can post a .bin file here, but if someone would like a copy of my settings for the Space Walker that could be uploaded straight to your DEVO, feel free to PM me your email address and I’ll send the settings file as an attachment. I’m not sure if model memories cross over the various DEVO transmitters, so keep in mind I’m using an 8S.
|Jun 14, 2012, 02:52 AM|
|Jun 14, 2012, 04:09 AM|
Joined Jun 2011
Curious on one point though, if you actually remove the long legs and their weight will the four smaller legs be enough to fly it? It looks just the same as an LB in size then no?
|Jun 14, 2012, 05:51 AM|
|Jun 14, 2012, 07:30 AM|
If one was to remove the 4 longer legs, I'd bet that it would fly. The frame is a bit larger than the LB, so you'd still have that extra weight along with the larger battery. The distance between 2 axes will increase slightly. Seems like those 4 motors aren't going to give more than they do with the LB, so I'm not sure what the point would be. Am I still missing something here?
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