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RC Logger RC EYE One Review

RC Logger's latest multirotor, the RC EYE One, is a mini quad that's capable of impressive flying speeds, carving turns, and solid hovering characteristics... all in a ready-to-fly package that costs less than the average tank of gas.

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Introduction


Product:RC EYE One
Retail Price:$69
Weight with battery:77.4 grams
Rotor diameter:64 mm
Dimension (W x H x D):150 x 100 x 70 mm
Transmitter frequency:915 MHz
Battery:7.4 V 350 mAh LiPo
Available from:RC Logger

RC Logger's latest multirotor, the RC EYE One, is a mini quad that's capable of impressive flying speeds, carving turns, and solid hovering characteristics... all in a ready-to-fly package that costs less than the average tank of gas. Designed for beginners as well as seasoned multirotor-veterans, the RC EYE One has three flight modes that take it from mild mannered, to sporty, to downright difficult to control within the confines of your living room.

What's in the box?

The RC EYE One comes complete with almost everything needed to fly immediately. I say almost because, the USB charger can't be plugged into a computer port to charge and needs a wall outlet adapter, an item that's not included. What is included, however, is a 915 MHz transmitter, 7.4 V 350 mAh LiPo, a USB charger, four spare propellers, and 4 replacement landing skids. Let's take a closer look at the RC EYE One and its components below.

The RC EYE One is outfitted with a gaming-style controller that transmits at 915 MHz. Its powered by two AAA batteries that install on the back of the unit under a locking cover. This is a simple controller with roll, tilt, and yaw trim buttons only. Two index-finger buttons located on the top of the controller currently don't function, but RC Logger has stated that they may incorporate them in a later firmware update.

The controller operates just like any other fixed-pitch heli or multirotor controller with throttle/yaw on the left and tilt/roll on the right (for US versions). With the throttle all the way down, the motors are off. Raise the throttle to start the motors and continue advancing to bring the RC EYE One into a hover. Altitude is controlled by throttle and it only takes small movements to get it climbing up or decending. Roll the throttle gimbal to the left and right to control yaw. Over on the right gimbal, tilt it forward to control forward flight, or tilt back to bring it to a stop and begin reverse flight. Push the gimbal to the left or right to control bank just like ailerons on a plane.

The transmitter has no status lights, but does beep twice when powered on, and once when turned off. It will also auto-shut off if left on with no movement for 5 minutes. The large rubber gimbals work pretty well, but don't have any grip on top. This lack of friction means my thumbs would slip off every once in a while. Not a crisis situation by any means, but it takes a minute to get used to. The left gimbal has very little tension on the throttle quadrant, which means it's very easy to bump the controller and cause the props to start spinning. I counted a number of times when I powered everything on, then placed the transmitter on the ground as I fiddled with something, only to have the throttle bump up enough to spin the motors by accident. Again, not a big deal because the props are relatively harmless at low to medium settings. At hover and full throttle the props will sting you nicely, but wont break the skin.

It's always a safe habit to power on the transmitter first, but with this quad, I've found it's ok to connect the flight battery first; the order is inconsequential as the model will not inadvertently send power to the motors without a solid bind to the transmitter. With the battery plugged in, the LED will remain solid until the transmitter is turned on, at which point the LED will begin blinking to indicate a bound and ready-to-fly system. It should be noted that the battery plug fits tightly together with the socket on the quad, and can be difficult to snap together without removing the plastic cowl on the RC EYE One. When installing the battery, remove the cowl, place your finger behind the socket on the main board, and connect the battery plug. Then strap the battery down and install the cowl.

The center section of the RC EYE One is injection molded plastic with a thin abs plastic cowl that snaps onto each of the four arms. The arms are metal with plastic ends. Two philips screws attach the motor mount to the arm, and the arm to the center section. Each plastic motor mount uses two philips screws to hold the motor in place, and a plastic landing skid slides over the bottom of the motor. The main board, which incorporates the motor controllers, receiver, and gyros, is shock mounted with three rubber grommets to the center section.

In a world fully adapted to brushless technology, anything with brushed silver cans is considered cheap, outdated, or both. However, there is a time and a place for brushed electric motors, especially very small ones. The simple wiring on a brushed motor is optimal when you're dealing with a tiny quad such as the RC EYE One.

The included LiPo charger is designed to plug into a 110v or 220v wall adapter for charging. It's not designed for charging with a computer USB port. The warning in the manual reads: Do not use any computer or notebook USB port to connect power to the USB charger because it may be damaged. USB ports also usually are limited to a current of max 500 mAh. After plugging the charger into an adapter, plug in the battery to begin charging. Two red lights will illuminate to indicate both cells are charging. When both lights go out, the LiPo is charged and ready for flight.

Flying

The RC EYE One has 3 flight modes, accessible from a push button on the bottom of the frame, next to the battery. The first mode is beginner mode, signified by a green LED. The next mode is sport, signified by an amber LED. The final mode is expert, and is signified by a red LED. When plugged in, the quad will always default to beginner mode, regardless of the last selected mode before removing the battery.

Beginner mode is pretty tame as far as maneuverability goes. You can give full stick movements and the quad will only tilt enough to get it moving in that direction. Motor power is also limited to prevent over controlling the throttle/altitude. As the name implys, this mode is just right for the budding pilot experiencing his/her first flights. If the aircraft is trimmed well, it will hold a hover nicely with very little right-stick adjustments. However, the throttle will always need to be adjusted as the quad rises and falls with very little stick movement.

Sport mode builds on beginner mode with the same gyroscopic stability, but allows for increased bank angle and a little more power to the motors. This is my mode of choice whenever I fly due to the responsiveness and agility. Just like beginner mode, the RC EYE One will return to level flight if you release the right transmitter gimbal, regardless of bank angle.

Expert mode sacrifices stability for extreme manuverability. In this mode it will not self-level and behaves much like a flybarred helicopter; if you put it into a bank and let go of the stick, it will not recover. However, you can bank the quad well past the limits of sport mode, and that makes for some intense flying. It's also pretty easy to get out of control if you start over correcting, so practice putting in a little natural expo with your thumbs and you can keep it nice and stable in expert mode.

The overall durability of the RC EYE One is acceptable. For such a small piece of equipment, it can take some abuse... to an extent. I found that crashing in the house on the carpet or furniture, bumping into the walls, and falling outside into the grass doesn't cause much, if any damage. But dropping the RC EYE One onto the pavement or asphault, or hitting a solid object at speed can break props and easily bend motor shafts, or worse. I usually try to avoid situations where the little quad could take a hard hit on the pavement.

Straightening a bent motor shaft
With very small motors come even smaller motor shafts, and these little shafts can bend after a few inverted landings or repeated prop strikes. If the shaft bends, its pretty easy to tell as the sound of the blades spinning will become louder and somewhat "dirtier" with the increased vibrations. Hold the RC EYE One level with your eyes and advance the throttle enough to get the motors spinning. You will be able to spot the bent shaft by observing the propeller tracking because each blade will have a slightly different path. Remove the propeller and use a small pair of pliers to straighten the shaft. Just a slight bit of force will straighten it out, and you're back in business.

Action Photos

Video

Conclusion

The RC EYE One from RC Logger is a micro quad that's perfect for beginners as well as seasoned pilots, thanks to its multiple flight modes. For a price tag under $70 USD, you get a very complete aircraft that handles well and hold up to average bumps and hits as you learn to fly, or test your skills. The included gaming-style controller works well even though it lacks any features past standard trim buttons.

If you have a few few multirotors in your hangar, or are looking to get your first, the RC EYE One from RC Logger is the definitely a safe bet for indoor and outdoor flying.

Pluses

  • Great performance for the price.
  • Three flight modes: Beginner, Sport, Expert.
  • Durability: I've crashed more times than I can count, and only broken one prop.

Minuses

  • Wall adapter for the USB charger is not included.

Credits

A big thanks goes out to my wife Jess for her video and RCG member bsbauman for his piloting skills during the photo shoot. Thanks to Adam at RCLogger for supplying me with the RC EYE One.

Last edited by Angela H; Nov 21, 2012 at 06:52 AM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:16 AM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
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REVIEW UPDATES:

Charging from your USB port on your computer is ok if it's a USB 3.0 port. USB 2.0 does not supply enough power.
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Last edited by Matt Gunn; Nov 21, 2012 at 08:54 AM.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:38 AM
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wparsons's Avatar
Canada, ON, Whitby
Joined Aug 2008
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Are you sure the charger won't work with a powered USB port? Not all computer ports are powered enough to charge, but most should be. If it's running through a hub it might not provide enough current unless the hub is also powered.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:43 AM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wparsons View Post
Are you sure the charger won't work with a powered USB port?
Not sure if it will because I didn't try. I blindly followed the manufacturers directions for once...
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:48 AM
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MatLi's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wparsons View Post
Are you sure the charger won't work with a powered USB port? Not all computer ports are powered enough to charge, but most should be. If it's running through a hub it might not provide enough current unless the hub is also powered.
A PC's USB port will work, especially if it already supports USB 3.0 or has an bios option to enable power output for charging devices.

We simply added a general warning and recommendation not to use a PC's USB port since a number of users may still have PCs that do not have USB ports with sufficient power output. A rule of thumb is, as long as your PC supports USB 3.0 you have nothing to worry.

In fact I personally use two chargers connected to my PC to charge two batteries at the same time. My PC does support bios USB power output for charging USB devices.

In fact - I do charge on my DELL notebook as well
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:50 AM
Reinventing Innovation.
MatLi's Avatar
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Great job! Must love that video!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
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Joined Jul 2009
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thanks for the clarification MatLi, I've added that info to the updates post below the review.
Matt
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Wingbreaker's Avatar
FL
Joined Nov 2003
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I got one of these:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...40v_Input.html

Will it work to charge the battery?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 09:08 AM
Reinventing Innovation.
MatLi's Avatar
Hong Kong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingbreaker View Post
I got one of these:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...40v_Input.html

Will it work to charge the battery?
It may not work since the battery connector is different. Please use the provided USB charger until we have released a parallel charging board that can be used with almost any charger.

The parallel charging board should be ready for shipment within the next 20 days. The board will allow you to charge 4 RC EYE One batteries at the same time.



We will keep you updated.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:05 AM
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United States, NE, Omaha
Joined Oct 2005
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RClogger

Any plans for a micro cam and Vtx for this little guy?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
Now where did I leave my jar?
Murman's Avatar
USA, NC, Huntersville
Joined Jul 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingbreaker View Post
I got one of these:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...40v_Input.html


Will it work to charge the battery?
The RC Eye One battery is not a 2s pack. It is 2 cells with separate positive and negative leads coming from each cell.
I wouldn't risk burning up your battery and charger.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 03:55 PM
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Joined Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Collar View Post
RClogger

Any plans for a micro cam and Vtx for this little guy?
Hi,

We are currently developing a camera solution yes! Of course once this is available to the public we will announce it

Regards,

Adam
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 05:55 PM
Yo R Wee Too Lo
United States, OH, Cleveland
Joined Oct 2011
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video

really enjoyed the video great flying and great job by the camera person.

alot of skill on both parts.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:00 PM
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Joined Sep 2004
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Superb job on that video IMO Matt! Simply outstanding! That sets the bar here on Ezone.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:01 AM
Registered User
South Africa
Joined Feb 2010
1,129 Posts
It Really looks nice, however when will they ever bring these little machines out with brushless motors, my experience with brushed motors is not fun...

After all they use brushless motors on the dragonfly which is small too:

http://www.gizmag.com/techject-drago...icrouav/24900/
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