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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:08 AM
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Austin, TX
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Mini-Review
Review of the 'New V120D02S' from Walkera

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INTRO/THE STORY
If you donít feel like reading my long, boring story (Iíve been told I can tell a long, tangent-filled story.), Iíll give you the CliffsNotes version, I donít mindóThis thing is awesome!!

I was given the chance to fly, repair, and review this little green monster, the ĎNew V120D02Sí, by hobbyone.com.hk. Thanks Lena!! The model can be found here: http://www.hobbyone.com.hk/cn/product.jsp?id=11130

As a brief history, Iíve owned a few Walkera models, to include the CB100, 4F200, M120D01, Genius CP, QR Ladybird, QR Space Walker, and now this ĎNew V120D02Sí. My r/c experience started with an Air Hogs heli for a short time, then a CB100 shortly before joining rcg back in December of í09.

Rather than start with the technicalities of a typical review, I thought I would just tell you the long story. I figure that someone reading this as a review would appreciate the full ownership experience, not just a cut and dry review.

I received this model back on June 19. It looked great coming out of the box (more on that later), and I really like the look of the green canopy. One can argue green versus any other color, but regardless of the color, the look of the canopy is easy for the eye to see and recognize at a relative distance. The Ďdotí on the front makes it very clear when the model is pointed at you.

There was an Ďunofficial fun flyí scheduled for that next Saturday, the 23. Woo Hoo. I promised myself that I would not put power to the model until a friend had a chance to shoot some nice pictures of itójust in case.
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I had also planned to meet with Travis MCH the day before the fun fly. Some of you may know that he lives a few towns over, and he flies a V120D02S, amongst other 120 sized Walkera models. After itís initial lookover and screw check, I performed the setup on my DEVO 8S, which was according to the sheet included with the model. The first time I powered the model was the 21st. On itís maiden spool up, I was surprised, frustrated, and saddened to immediately see that the main shaft was bent. I had straightened some shafts back in my M120 days, so I took a crack at straightening this one. I had no luck with straightening this shaft. Where I did have some luck is that my friend Travis keeps a good stock of parts for his 120s. Iím also lucky that this new model uses the same main shaft as the original V120D02S.

Travis and I got together that Friday afternoon at a public park in a town about half way between our houses. It was a pretty good spot, and we again got lucky by finding a decent place using nothing more than google, google maps, and our imagination. He had a new main shaft, and was even nice enough to install it for me and show me how the model is put together compared to my old M120, which seemed like years ago. The shaft was easy to replace, and it was great to be able to use an rcg contact to be able to get back in the air!

Now that the spool up was smooth, I was able to Ďmaidení the model. It flew well enough, but it did have a tendency to jump a bit in hover. Iím talking like1-2 inches of vertical Ďjumpí while trying to hold a stable hover. If the model was hovering close enough to me, I could hear a change in the sound of the motor as it jumpedóas if the motor was cutting in and out. I remember having a similar issue somewhere along the journey, and it had worked out to be a bad connection somewhere between the esc and the motor. Disconnecting and reconnecting the motor didnít change anything. Travis and I tried to fly both versions of the V120D02S, but the jumpy throttle kept any real comparison from happening.

I came home and soldered the connections between the esc and the motor, hoping that it would fly smoother at the fun fly. Lo and behold, it flew great! For my personal preference, I quickly changed the pitch curves to not have that annoying jump that happens when changing from normal to idle up with the stock curves. I prefer to keep zero degrees pitch at midstick in all modes.

To tangent a bit to the fun fly, I have to say that it was a lot of fun. It was put on by the guys that do the ĎRC Today Showí podcast, and if you donít know about this podcast, you should check out rctodayshow.com. The event was held at a small, private airstrip outside of the small town of Caldwell, TX. It seems that the nice man who owns that land has a business crop dusting, and when he isnít using his strip, he allows the r/c fixed wing and heli guys to fly there. It was a beautiful spot with gentle rolling hills in the distanceónot to mention the flying! (Thanks Chris and Bobby!)

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Back to the V120. I gave the green beast a pack of sport flying (no 3D), and she felt rock solid to me. At this point I should mention that I had something happen to both my Genius (with hundreds of flights on it) and this V120 that has never happened to me before. It was very hot at the fun fly, like 100* F, and the very top of both canopies melted and sagged just a bit, right at itís rear edge, like above the motor and front servo. If it had happened to only one model, I would have written it off to a mechanical problem with that one model, but since it happened to both, I have to assume that it was due to the hottest conditions that Iíve flown in yet. Now that the model was flying as well as I thought it should, and without adjusting anything other than the pitch curve, literally, I handed the model to my friend Kenny, who is a much more experienced pilot than myself, and the guy who has helped me the most with my 450 journey. I really wanted to get the opinion of someone who is a better pilot than myself and generally flies much larger models. I also wanted to be able to watch the model fly inverted. I really wasnít expecting Kenny to do much more than hover it inverted on his first pack, but it didnít take long before he was throwing the model this way and that, doing hurricanes, funnels, and other 3D moves that my mind couldnít comprehend, much less identify. The thought hadnít even occurred to me that I should be filming all of this, and in the mad rush to grab my iPhone amidst the wildest flight Iíve ever seen put on a Walkera in person, I later learned that I had failed to start the recording. It was like running into an alien being, and your cell phone camera not working!! After what seemed like a few minutes of smooth, graceful 3D, there was a moment where the ground got a bit too close. Oh well, now we get to see how durable the model is. It survived the crash without incident, but after the second crash, it was clear that something wasnít quite right. We looked over the model quickly and couldnít identify the problem. We kept flying until the tail gave out completely. In my V120 rookieness, and because my M120 had a notch on the main shaft for the collar, I hadnít noticed that the collar had slipped. If I would have caught this earlier, it wouldnít have eaten the main gear like it did. Bummer. I had even found a second cameraman by this point, but the model was unflyable by then. By the time I got her put back together (which was just main and tail gears), Kenny was already packing up. Having seen all that he did gave me some confidence to try the little bit of 3D Iíve been working on lately with the Geniusóinverted, nose-in hover. I was surprised to find that I could flip her over and hold her inverted without much problem. I was even able to flip her upright, then back over to inverted again. I suddenly felt what Zadaw has been trying to tell me for months, which is that the V120 has a lot more presence in the air than a Genius, and is therefore easier to flip and fly inverted. At this point, Iíve seen the model fly smooth 3D, and Iíve been able to hold a stable inverted hover. Is this thing in 3 or 6 axis mode? How does 6 axis work in this model?

I decided that I had better try to see about this 6 axis thing. My only experience with it has been with the little Genius (Walkeraís first application of the technology, I think), and I really didnít try the 6 axis setting more than once. I left the whole Ďvibration vs. rx-inclinationí debate to others (for those of you who may remember that!). I have to admit that the CD containing the ownerís manual that came with my model was unreadable by either my Mac or PC, but the manual is posted on the Walkera website, so no problem there. The manual mentions 6 axis, but doesnít say that it can be switched on or off. I asked Lily at Walkera about this, and she explained to me that this is just a further development of the 6 axis technology, and that is no longer switchable like it is in the Genius. However it is that 6 axis is working in this model, I can say that I can hover with good stability, and Kenny was able to swing it around in various orientations, both upright and inverted. Iím fairly confident that the 6 axis is doing something, but Iíd have a hard time trying to explain what it is. It has been suggested that this model might have a slower roll/flip rate than the original V120D02S because of itís 6 axis, but I canít comment on that yet. Maybe Iíll have to get a V120D02S V1 to find out.

Fast forward a week or so, as other projects took my attention for a bit. Now it was time for me to take a short vacation to see family outside of Los Angeles. I took the V120, and since I woke up before everybody else, I was able to fly 3 packs each morning out in front of my familyís house. This was out in the street in a quiet neighborhood, but there was no grass to speak of. This, and the new surroundings, meant that I only flew upright while out there. Knowing that I wasnít going to try flipping it, I was able to get very comfortable with the model in slow, small circles, figure 8s using both inbound and outbound turns, nose-in hovers and landings, and other things Iíve only been able to do well in the simulator until now. It would be hard for me to say whether this model flies that well, or if it flies very well and this has simply given me confidence to get better at new things. Either was, Iím having a blast with this new model!

My next adventure with this model was filming the footage for the video shown below.
The "New V120D02S' from Walkera, complete with 6 axis gyro. Available at hobbyone.com.hk (1 min 50 sec)
(I should mention that the only non stock things on the model are the little white markers on the landing gear) A friend helped arrange the scenery, and the model seemed to feel at home around itís larger cousins. Since I have 3 packs, my plan was to film everything we wanted to film upright with the first two packs. If all went well with the first couple of packs, my plan was to give my inverted hover a try on the last pack. I was flipping it by the middle of the second pack. Thatís not to say it was smooth 3D, but I also wouldnít have figured that I would be inverting in an enclosed space, albeit a large enclosed space. I did my first blade scrape, which I have to admit was initiated kinda accidentally, my first rolling blade scrape, and my first rolling take-off. This thing just keeps taking me new places!

My last adventure, before sitting down to write all this, was to get together with Travis again. Now that the green monster is flying well, we were curious to see how it compared to itís previous version. We discovered that Travisí original V120 had a twitchy tail servo, which he quickly swapped out. Now that both were flying up to snuff, Travis and I agreed that after each of us had flown both models, the 6 axis version was somehow smoother in the general sport flying we were doing. It would be too subjective for me to try to explain it further, but Iíd be curious to hear Travisí thoughts. I hovered the green V120 inverted, but didnít have the guts to try it with Travisí well sorted original V120D02S (I instead crashed his M120D01 that day). The other thing of note about that day was that a storm was blowing in, and the winds were gusting 5-8 mph, Iíd sayómaybe a bit more at times. This only added to the test at hand, and Iíd say that this newer model seemed to handle wind better as well.

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Thru this process, Iíve had to replace a main shaft, main and tail gears, and nothing more. Oh yeah, the slightly deformed canopy. Iíve got 35-40 packs thru it thus far, and probably 8-10 crashes, most of which have done little to no damage. Iím impressed with how durable this model has been.

Iíll leave my long story here for now. Thanks to all those who managed to read all the way thru it. On with the rest of the review.

WHATíS IN THE BOX
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Iím fairly sure that this is similar packaging to the original V120D02S, but it came with a cardboard outer box, the typical inner protection, a USB charger, a 600mAh, 20C Lipo, spare main blades, spare tail gears, the tiny allen wrenches for the feathering shaft, the plastic screwdriver for rx adjustments, and a manual on CD. Like I said earlier, my CD was either blank or unreadable by my machines.

WEIGHT AND FLIGHT TIMES
I measured 101.7g AUW, which is close to the 100g listed on the Walkera website. Iíve had my timer set to 5 minutes, which leaves my packs down to 3.8V typically. This battery tray would need to be modified to accept larger packs, as itís got a wall at itís front end that keeps the stock battery from sliding too far forward. This Ďwallí would have to be trimmed if one was to run larger packs, I think. For the purposes of this review, I have only flown with the stock batteries.

My model was not originally equipped with the telemetry firmware update, but I updated the rx a few days ago. I donít have a temperature sensor installed yet, but it certainly shows battery voltage. Iíll stop using my 5 minute timer to see how long a flight really lasts before I hit 3.5V loaded. I hope to find more flight time simply by monitoring the flight time by using telemetry data instead of a timer.

Looking at Walkeraís website, I see a bit of info different between the new and old versions of this model. They donít really list what servo is in the original model, but they do tell us that the new model uses the WK-02-1 cyclic servo. According to the hobbyone website, looks like both models use the same servos.

Walkera lists the New V120D02Sí main rotor diameter to be 308mm instead of 302mm for the original model. Oddly, they also list the AUW to be 100g, yet they list the original version at 80g. I donít know where the extra 20 grams are, and I expect that this is a typo somehow. The ESC gets an ĎLí at the end of itís model name, and Iím not sure what is different about it. The receiver goes from an RX-2622V/D to the RX-2636H-D.

CREDITS
I would like to thank Rhett H, Reid R, and Chris C for camera and editing work. Thanks to fellow Walkera pilot Travis MCH for the parts and for letting me fly his V120. Thanks to my friend and mentor Kenny for giving this little model a chance and a flogging. Finally, thanks to HobbyOne for the chance to review this little beast.

I would appreciate any comments, and will try to answer any questions anyone might have.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:42 AM
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enjoyed the video, nice work on the review, thanks. since i have a 2801 i just ordered my 2nd D02S v1 while it it's still avail..
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 02:26 AM
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I don't get it. isn't the v120s v1 the same as the v2 except for ONLY 6 axis?
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by helikido View Post
I don't get it. isn't the v120s v1 the same as the v2 except for ONLY 6 axis?
The same heli but different rx
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 03:54 AM
DLY
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Originally Posted by helikido View Post
I don't get it. isn't the v120s v1 the same as the v2 except for ONLY 6 axis?
yes, but 6-Axis gyro is MORE stable and 3D more easy to practise.!
actually , the servo is same as V1.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Great review Rafa, one of the best I've read!

Just a quick addition, when I fly my V120D02s version 1 it tends to have a little jerky reaction to the stick movements. It takes a lot of work to fly smooth and graceful.
When I got a chance to fly a full pack in Rafa's V2 heli I could tell the difference right away. With absolutely no Expo in the TX the heli flew VERY smooth, graceful and without any jerky movements. I was all smiles as I flew down inot the bottom of our half pipe ditch and back out again. My eye sight is not the best and even with perscription sun glasses I have a hard time with the black and dark red of the original canopy. This new green one with the green dot right in front was much more visible and easy for me to see.
The thought that kept running though my mind was that this new version #2 would be much more suited for someone who had never flown a CP before. I wish it was around when I first moved up from FP's.
Going back to my V1, Rafa quickly adjusted my TX with 20% expo to smooth out my stick movements and make it fly better. With the Expo change and new tail servo installed, my V1 flew better than it ever had, but still not quite as well as the V2. When Rafa and I flew at the same time (oh no...hope we dont' hit head on and take out both our helis) I could see his flat hover was indeed more stable that mind. He flew inverted within a foot or so of me and scared me enough to back up but had total control the whole time. Even with the wind we had, the little green machine didn't even seem to notice.

Knowing me and my collection of 120's I'll probably end up buying this one too.

Thanks again for the chance to test it out Rafa!
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Travis MCH View Post
Great review Rafa, one of the best I've read!

Just a quick addition, when I fly my V120D02s version 1 it tends to have a little jerky reaction to the stick movements. It takes a lot of work to fly smooth and graceful.
When I got a chance to fly a full pack in Rafa's V2 heli I could tell the difference right away. With absolutely no Expo in the TX the heli flew VERY smooth, graceful and without any jerky movements. I was all smiles as I flew down inot the bottom of our half pipe ditch and back out again. My eye sight is not the best and even with perscription sun glasses I have a hard time with the black and dark red of the original canopy. This new green one with the green dot right in front was much more visible and easy for me to see.
The thought that kept running though my mind was that this new version #2 would be much more suited for someone who had never flown a CP before. I wish it was around when I first moved up from FP's.
Going back to my V1, Rafa quickly adjusted my TX with 20% expo to smooth out my stick movements and make it fly better. With the Expo change and new tail servo installed, my V1 flew better than it ever had, but still not quite as well as the V2. When Rafa and I flew at the same time (oh no...hope we dont' hit head on and take out both our helis) I could see his flat hover was indeed more stable that mind. He flew inverted within a foot or so of me and scared me enough to back up but had total control the whole time. Even with the wind we had, the little green machine didn't even seem to notice.

Knowing me and my collection of 120's I'll probably end up buying this one too.

Thanks again for the chance to test it out Rafa!
sounds like simply buying the green canopy and the rx is all you will need to convert this heli into the newer model. i might do that later down the road for my spare v120d02s.

is there anything aside from the rx and the canopy that is different in this heli?
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon.M.Barter View Post
sounds like simply buying the green canopy and the rx is all you will need to convert this heli into the newer model. i might do that later down the road for my spare v120d02s.

is there anything aside from the rx and the canopy that is different in this heli?
I think the tail blade is also different
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 10:31 AM
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I agree that for beginner, the V2 is very very very stable and I recommend it, you can let go off the stick outdoor in some wind and it stay level no matter, of course the wind will blow it and it drift, but drift level.

The cons I find of having the self level always active, is it make the center stick some sort of death and the heli feel like a coaxial, I got bad habit of that feeling and when I take my bigger heli(450, 600 & 700) it's alway a relearn.

To make it come to life a little, I put the ''ele/ail ext'' pot all the way to the full position, 110% travel ail/elev, with some 10 to 15% negative expo (expo in the way to make cyclic more reactive center stick). For beginner, no expo and the pot mid way is a very stable set-up, but do not go too low with the pot, because it induce cyclic delay, it's like self level is more active with low setting, if you get in trouble, you cannot recover fast enough.

Rudder 120% travel with 30% negative expo make the tail to come to life also, but beware it's easy to blow out the tail outdoor.

Piro rate are to my liking but cyclic flip/roll rate are a little low, the self level is there against faster roll/flip.

For FFF outdoor I think heavier blade will be requiered, because it constantly pitch-up, so beware.

All in all this is an awesome micro heli, indoor or not too much wind outdoor, very stable and/or fast if you like, once inverted, if you don't panic, it's really easy to hover inverted.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:37 AM
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that's my next target for a shaft driven tail..hehe..cool..i like the green canopy..oomodels got free shiping at the moment...
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:45 AM
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How did you get your battery telemetry working?

I've got a Devo 10 and think I enabled it, but I don't see any data when I go into Sensor View on the radio?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Doesn't seem much of an upgrade for the v1 lol. I'm glad they just changed the rx. not the heli so that spares can stay around longer lol. anyways, 6 axis is not good for beginners. The next thing you know is that they think they know how to fly a cap and buy a 450 and the next thing you know is them coming on here and crying about crashing their helis and that 450s are garbage because they need to learn everything all over again lol.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 11:55 AM
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The different parts

Hi Guys,

Best I can tell from the hobbyone website's parts listings, the parts that contain 'NEW' in the part number are the temperature sensor, the rx, the main and tail blades, and the canopy.

Rafa
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrenahelin View Post
enjoyed the video, nice work on the review, thanks. since i have a 2801 i just ordered my 2nd D02S v1 while it it's still avail..
Thanks! Congrats on the second bird. Now you can keep one going on the 2801, and slowly update the other to V2 and update to DEVO all at the same time!


Quote:
Originally Posted by helikido View Post
I don't get it. isn't the v120s v1 the same as the v2 except for ONLY 6 axis?
A few differences. 6 axis, telemetry. Different blades, updated (better visibility, at least) canopy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon.M.Barter View Post
sounds like simply buying the green canopy and the rx is all you will need to convert this heli into the newer model. i might do that later down the road for my spare v120d02s.

is there anything aside from the rx and the canopy that is different in this heli?
See above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by helikido View Post
Doesn't seem much of an upgrade for the v1 lol. I'm glad they just changed the rx. not the heli so that spares can stay around longer lol. anyways, 6 axis is not good for beginners. The next thing you know is that they think they know how to fly a cap and buy a 450 and the next thing you know is them coming on here and crying about crashing their helis and that 450s are garbage because they need to learn everything all over again lol.
If we were talking about the 6 axis on the Genius, I'd agree with you. While this may be stable in hover, it'll flip right over if you tell it to, just like another other cp. My 450 is in the process of an FBL upgrade, but I can't wait to fly it again!

I'm not sure that someone with a V1 will want to run out and buy a V2 (but they might update theirs), but someone who is just looking at purchasing a V120 has some thinking to do.

Rafa
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100 View Post
Hi Guys,

Best I can tell from the hobbyone website's parts listings, the parts that contain 'NEW' in the part number are the temperature sensor, the rx, the main and tail blades, and the canopy.

Rafa
The main and tail blades are only different in color as far as I see but not quality or design.
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