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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:53 AM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
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Mini-Review
Rafa's Incomplete Review of the Walkera DEVO F4/TX5805/V2 Ladybird FPV package!!

If you want to find out why I called this review thus ďIncompleteĒ, and why there arenít pictures of this model yet, youíll have to read the story!

This is my third review with HobbyOne, my other two being for the Space Walker Octo (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1671880) and the New V120D02S (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1689848). In addition to various other Walkera models, Iíve flown a V1 Ladybird since they were first introduced. I have no previous FPV experience, other than getting to look over the shoulders of some of the guys at the field.

This is a review of Walkeraís newest, entry level, all-in-one FPV kit. Itís called the Devo F4 transmitter with V2 Ladybird and TX5805 FPV camera assembly. Thatís a mouthful. This kit was supplied for review by HobbyOne.com.hk (Thanks, Lena!!). The kit, as reviewed, can be found here: http://www.hobbyone.com.hk/cn/product.jsp?id=11371 The various parts can also be bought separately.


Letís briefly break the kit down into itís 3 pieces (other than the little charger and spares, etc):
1. The Devention F4 transmitter. This is a well optioned, simple, 4 channel transmitter with a built-in 3.5Ē LCD screen. The model control is handled by the DEVO protocol at 2.4 GHz and the video is on 5.8 GHz.
2. The V2 Ladybird. This is the second, more simplified version of Walkeraís little Ladybird. Itís a proven and much cloned platform, and I donít plan to spend much time talking about it.
3. The TX5805. This is a camera/transmitter/antenna assembly. It sticks onto the bottom of the Ladybird (or Space Walker or Scorpion) with some foam tape, and takes itís power from the aux power port on the Ladybirdís rx.

F4 transmitter
My very first impression upon powering the transmitter is that the buzzer is significantly louder than my DEVO 8S. I have to admit that when I first heard about this F4 transmitter, I figured it was going to be a stripped down tx (like the 2402D), and the only real functionality would be for the video display. Iím glad to say that I was wrong. Not even mentioning video, the tx itself has the loud buzzer I just mentioned, a vibrating alert, 15 model memory, adjustable stick length/tension, Fixed ID, wireless model copy, dual rates, expo, program mixes, throttle-switched timer, etc, etc. Keep in mind that the tx has no external toggle switches, so things like d/r are handled by the buttons next to the screen. The screen has a removable shroud that covers the top and sides of the screen, and helps keep some external light away from the screen. The upper cover flips up from itís storage position, and the spring-loaded side covers lock the upper cover in place. Pretty cute design, reallyóit reminded me of an old camera mechanism somehow. On the back of the tx, there is the typical charge port and DSC port for pwm output to a simulator or another trainer transmitter. On the bottom side of the tx, there are two jacks that look like little headphone jacks. One has a headphone symbol and the other is labeled, ďCVBSĒ, which I have learned is a composite video out. I havenít tested the headphone jack, but when I plug a Ďstereo plug-to-RCAí cable I had lying around into my television, the video screenís display came across to my television, albeit with the very bottom of the display chopped off.

The right stick is very smooth, I think I read somewhere that these gimbals have ball bearings. The left stick is smooth in rudder, but slightly ratchety on throttle. I had initially thought that this would annoy me, but turns out that it lends itself well to this style of flying.

The menu system is simple to navigate.

I havenít yet owned a tx with a vibrator in it, and I could see where this could be handy.

The pdf manual is informative. It has the typical translation issues that make us chuckle, but I found it to explain things well enough for me to understand. For example, before reading the manual, I was having trouble setting up the timer to work via throttle switch. I was all but convinced that this must be a DEVO F7 only feature, but the manual explained how to setup a software switch for throttle before trying to tie it to the timer.


THE TX5805
The all-in-oneness is pretty cool. There are some dip switches on the board that allow you to select between 8 different channels for video (They donít tell you what the frequencies of the 8 channels are). I was curious to know how the video bound to the tx, and it appears to be in a similar manner to the model. When I first power the tx, I get the familiar beeps of a DEVO tx, and after connecting the LBís battery, that initial binding process seems unchanged. The video switches on a split second before the model finishes binding.

The assembly is contained in that same style of folded plastic that Walkera wraps their rxs in. This is fine, except that the camera is at a fixed angle. It points more Ďdowní than Ďoutí, and thatís my biggest complaint so far. I plan to see if I can come up with a way to tip the lens back a bitópersonal preference, I think.

There is no on-board recording, as with Walkeraís larger systems.

There was no manual for the TX5805 itself, only a section in the brief V2 Ladybird/F4 paper manual (which was an 8.5Ē X 11Ē sheet of paper, printed front and back), explaining how to adjust the dip switches for the other video channels.


THE STORY
This kit arrived last Monday, January 21. Without reading a thing, I charged the supplied 350 mAh, 1S lipo and headed off to band practice after work. A bandmate filmed this short video, which was filmed in a small, indoor space at work:
Fpv lb maiden flight!! (1 min 45 sec)

Like I mention in the video, Iím by no means flying FPV in that tiny space. When I glanced at the screen, my quick impression is that I have no idea how high up the model is, and Iím scared of hitting the ceiling. Since itís looking down, it has to have some altitude before you can really see anything. After watching this video a bunch of times, and reading the manual, I learned that the number displayed in the lower left hand corner is throttle signal, and with a fresh pack, seems like it hovers around 40. Iím trying to train myself to use this info to gauge altitude, but itís really more an indicator of how fast you are climbing, it seemsóat least at quick glances so far.

Curious about this systemís range, I decided to mock up a simple range test. At night, I placed the model on top of a bush in my front yard, about 5 feet off the ground, away from cars or other metal. I then started walking down the street to see when the video would cut out. I donít know what effect it would have, but there is an LED streetlight that wound up roughly between the tx and the rx during my test. I started to notice lines in the video intermittently at about 150 feet away. By 175 feet, the signal was snowy most of the time, and right around 200 feet, the screen went blue. I only conducted this test on the stock video channel, which for me was channel 8.

My wife filmed this next little video one day during my lunch hour:
LB FPV first crash! (0 min 48 sec)
This is also the first crash this little LB sawóLOL. We were standing in our carport, not in the direct sunlight, and even though I could see the screen just fine, my iPhone had a hard time with our reflection in the screen. I later learned that the screen brightness was only set to 4 of 10, so maybe a brighter screen setting would have helped. There is a big ash tree above my driveway, so again, I was hesitant to fly it FPV. The fact that the camera points down obviously means that you have no view Ďupí, which means that you have no idea if you are about to fly up into a tree or a power line.

This next video was filmed last Friday after work, about 6 in the afternoon:
Flying the FPV LB outside at the shop (0 min 59 sec)
There is some roof repair going on at work, and I was curious to see if we could see it. I knew that I wouldnít try to fly thru the screen this time, as there are power lines and trees on both sides of the street. Also, I wasnít able to get a good view of the roof, mostly because I didnít have the guts to fly over the trees to get to the roof, and the camera was pointed down too far to see the roof from the street.

I was curious to see what the display would look like at night, so I met a friend at a lit, open parking lot about 10:30 one night.
Night flight with the FPV LB (1 min 58 sec)
(Pardon my little f-bomb in there.) This was probably the first time I actually flew through the screen for a few seconds at a time, even though I didnít nose it in towards us using the screen.


(Start getting your red scolding pens ready at about this part)

This all leads to this last video, which some of you probably saw in one of the Ladybird threads:
Lost quad (0 min 36 sec)
I had been waiting all week to take this little beast out to the flying field on Saturday, knowing that there are no trees or power lines to worry about out there. Travis MCH was nice enough to meet me out there and film this video. I had been telling myself that I would finally force myself to fly thru the screen when I got to the field, and I did this by standing under a roof. The series of epic failures began there. The second epic failure was not having a spotter for the model itself. The third epic failure was not having a well charged tx battery. Anyway, the flight went fine for those first few seconds, but when the video cut out, it all went downhill fast (maybe Ďdownwindí is more appropriate). Travis and I ran out from under the roof, but the morning had been a bit foggy and hazy, and even though we had a good idea as to where the model was in the sky, neither Travis nor myself could visually see it. About 5 or 10 seconds after this recording ended, I was standing out there staring blankly at the gray sky, and I saw the video signal return for a second or so. I could see from the video image that the model was still in the air, but we still couldnít visually find it in the sky. That was the last we ever saw, or didnít see, of that little Ladybird. I didnít even get a chance to properly crash the darned thing before losing it. Travis, myself, and a few other friends at the field helped us look around for a long while, but no luck.

I felt horrible leaving the field that afternoon with less models than I had arrived withóespecially since the missing one was my newest. Heck, I should feel luck that it was my LB that was lost and not my 600! I kept racking my brain all day, trying to figure out how I could find that model. The best idea I came up with was a black light and yellow glasses that we use at work for leak detection. Come to find out that those orange rotors fluoresce quite well under a black light. My family went out to the field with me after dark, and my daughter and I walked around for a long while with a pair of black lightsóno luck.

It dawned on me the next day to check the failsafe settings in the tx, and I was horrified to learn that the default failsafe settings are set to Ďservo holdí, which means that itís going to hold the last stick positions it saw before losing signal. In retrospect, then manual even states that servo hold is the default failsafe option. Now it started to become clear to me, as before I had assumed that the model would just drop out of the sky when it lost signal (epic failure number 4?). That brief blip of video I saw after blue screen was just evidence that the model was hovering nicely when it lost signal. I now think that the model just drifted away, with itís fresh battery and high-ish altitude, into oblivion. Hopefully itís last flight was a good one, and if I would have realized this as it was happening, I would have at least saluted toward the sky or something. That thing was really fun for that short week!

Iíve ordered a replacement, and hope to have it before Saturday so I can take it to the field and try again.

In conclusion, I would say that for the price, the Ďturn key-nessí of this package is cool. I know that people have been putting those keychain cameras on Ladybirds for a while now, but to have it all ready to go in one package is nice. On the larger end of FPV, itís not long before youíre talking names like DJI and Fat Shark, and $241 isnít going to get you far there. That means that this will get your feet wet. As with micro helicopters, some people will be happy flying micro forever, and some will go larger. I think that some will buy this for the novelty of FPV, and decide how far to take it from there. Iím not sure how far Iíll take the FPV thing yet, but Iím glad I got to check it out for myself at this price point first.

My plan from here is to update this review with more video and actual pictures of the model and such when it arrives later this week. I also plan to test with more of the video channels, see how it affects the video quality. In the meantime, Iím open to questions and comments, so if there is something Iíve left out, please ask.

Thanks to all who read this, to my camera helpers, and to Lena at HobbyOne.

Happy FPV!!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:35 AM
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TurboRacer's Avatar
United States, CT, Waterbury
Joined Oct 2002
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Nice review!! I keep thinking about one of those TX5805's for my ladybird.

Sucks you lost it!! Damn!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:15 AM
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United States, NY, Amsterdam
Joined Dec 2012
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I'm so sorry for your loss. She will be missed
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:26 PM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
1,489 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboRacer View Post
Sucks you lost it!! Damn!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasakro View Post
I'm so sorry for your loss. She will be missed
Thanks! I still haven't given up all hope. One of the guys at the field said that a while ago, another one of the guys with a bigger FPV rig had recently broken his gps antenna. He decided to fly his rig anyway. There were a few people there, and finally one of them mentioned that it seemed like he was getting a bit far out. The pilot admitted that he had lost orientation, and wasn't sure where the thing was going. Between all of them, they tried to get it back, but one by one, they lost sight of it . . ... ...

A few days later, a farmer, who lives 3 miles away from the field, shows up with the almost intact quad--there was one bent prop. He had taken the memory card out of the GoPro, watched the video, and figured out where the thing had come from. How cool!

I'm not holding out much hope, but I'll be happy if it shows up someday. I left a note at the field in case anybody finds it.

Rafa
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:42 PM
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Joined Jan 2013
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Great review,seems this package is very suitable for my current level.LOL
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:45 PM
Hobbyone
Joined Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100 View Post
Thanks! I still haven't given up all hope. One of the guys at the field said that a while ago, another one of the guys with a bigger FPV rig had recently broken his gps antenna. He decided to fly his rig anyway. There were a few people there, and finally one of them mentioned that it seemed like he was getting a bit far out. The pilot admitted that he had lost orientation, and wasn't sure where the thing was going. Between all of them, they tried to get it back, but one by one, they lost sight of it . . ... ...

A few days later, a farmer, who lives 3 miles away from the field, shows up with the almost intact quad--there was one bent prop. He had taken the memory card out of the GoPro, watched the video, and figured out where the thing had come from. How cool!

I'm not holding out much hope, but I'll be happy if it shows up someday. I left a note at the field in case anybody finds it.

Rafa

I think the Ladybird will be still "alive" when you find it back after several months ;

Here is an email I received from our customer from Netherlands. FYI:


LadyBird V2 very reliable

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just like to tell you the following:

I lost my ladybird-V2 in a grassland the first day after I bought it, november 8 2012. Could not find it at all anymore! So bought a new one next day.

After over 2 months somebody walking her dogs found the first one and returned it to me. So this one had been in the grassland for over two months in horrible dutch winter weater: very, very much rain, snow, storm, freezing temperatures, etc.
I was realy amazed it is still as new!! It still flies perfect, even the battery is still OK.

I'd just like you to know this product is this good!!! (and much fun to fly as well).

Jan Verwoerd
Leibeemd 170
5121 RS Rijen
The Netherlands
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Joined Jul 2009
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Another great review Rafa! I can't wait to see more once the replacement arrives.
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Old Feb 01, 2013, 10:14 AM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
1,489 Posts
That's a great story, and gives me hope.

Happy Friday,

Rafa


Quote:
Originally Posted by one01 View Post
I think the Ladybird will be still "alive" when you find it back after several months ;

Here is an email I received from our customer from Netherlands. FYI:


LadyBird V2 very reliable

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just like to tell you the following:

I lost my ladybird-V2 in a grassland the first day after I bought it, november 8 2012. Could not find it at all anymore! So bought a new one next day.

After over 2 months somebody walking her dogs found the first one and returned it to me. So this one had been in the grassland for over two months in horrible dutch winter weater: very, very much rain, snow, storm, freezing temperatures, etc.
I was realy amazed it is still as new!! It still flies perfect, even the battery is still OK.

I'd just like you to know this product is this good!!! (and much fun to fly as well).

Jan Verwoerd
Leibeemd 170
5121 RS Rijen
The Netherlands
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Old Feb 01, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Malaysia, Penang, Bayan Lepas
Joined Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100 View Post
That's a great story, and gives me hope.

Happy Friday,

Rafa
Rafa,
Another story of lost and found - My v120d02s was crashed into a large bush, and I failed to find it after a long day beating the bush. But after a week of it being out there (it was a rainy season that time, it rained 6 out of 7 days), my neighbor found it and returned it to me. To my surprise it was still pretty good. Some parts had minor rust, but with some WD-40, it bling up in no time and flew exactly as before it crash. Battery is still good as well, but it needed a little surge to bring the voltage up so that my li-po charger can charge it.
Hope you'll find your LB soon
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Old Feb 03, 2013, 09:52 AM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
1,489 Posts
I put a few layers of foam tape at the rear of the tx5805 to tilt the camera more forward. Here's a few videos, quality is not great.

Here's the video signal going out to my tv. More info in the video's description:
More front yard flying with the fpv Ladybird. (2 min 22 sec)


This place has a great view of the downtown Austin skyline. Unfortunately, the camera doesn't seem to see well that far off.
Long flight at st Ed's (4 min 37 sec)


I'll call this aerial photography at a friend's apartment:
Ladybird aerial footage at Khalil's. 2/2/13 (1 min 52 sec)


Rafa
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Old Feb 03, 2013, 10:06 AM
Team WarpSquad
Japan, Tokyo
Joined Jun 2011
2,997 Posts
Bummer to lose it!

What cable did you use to get the video out of the F4? I thought I must have one but actually it seems nothing I have works and there wasn't one in the box...

So far 2 flights, it's compatible with my fatsharks and the TX batteries are on charge...

Can't wait for the weekend... shame it's Sunday night!
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Old Feb 03, 2013, 11:30 AM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thwaitm View Post
Bummer to lose it!

What cable did you use to get the video out of the F4? I thought I must have one but actually it seems nothing I have works and there wasn't one in the box...

So far 2 flights, it's compatible with my fatsharks and the TX batteries are on charge...

Can't wait for the weekend... shame it's Sunday night!
I had seen the CVBS port on the bottom the the tx. I googled CVBS to learn that it's composite video. It seemed common enough, so I went to Best Buy and asked them for a CVBS cable. They looked at me like I was from Mars.

I came home and started looking thru my box of spare cables. I was planning on getting a headphone plug and seeing if I could find the video wires on it and graft it to an RCA plug, but I found this cable instead. If I remember right, this cable came from a Sony Camcorder from back in the day. Seems like this should be common enought, but I don't know where to tell you to find it.

Now that I have this cable, I see a ~$35 contraption on Amazon that would take a the RCA inputs and convert the signal to USB. I don't know what you do from there. I'd like to find a device that would take the RCA input, or even the CVBS itself, and just put the video onto an SD card or something. Does anyone know if somethink like that exists?

Rafa
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Old Feb 03, 2013, 12:00 PM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Austin, TX
Joined Dec 2009
1,489 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100 View Post
I had seen the CVBS port on the bottom the the tx. I googled CVBS to learn that it's composite video. It seemed common enough, so I went to Best Buy and asked them for a CVBS cable. They looked at me like I was from Mars.

I came home and started looking thru my box of spare cables. I was planning on getting a headphone plug and seeing if I could find the video wires on it and graft it to an RCA plug, but I found this cable instead. If I remember right, this cable came from a Sony Camcorder from back in the day. Seems like this should be common enought, but I don't know where to tell you to find it.

Now that I have this cable, I see a ~$35 contraption on Amazon that would take a the RCA inputs and convert the signal to USB. I don't know what you do from there. I'd like to find a device that would take the RCA input, or even the CVBS itself, and just put the video onto an SD card or something. Does anyone know if somethink like that exists?

Rafa
Maybe this will do what I'm thinking: http://febon.blogspot.com/2012/02/1.html?m=1
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Old Feb 04, 2013, 02:27 AM
Team WarpSquad
Japan, Tokyo
Joined Jun 2011
2,997 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100 View Post
I had seen the CVBS port on the bottom the the tx. I googled CVBS to learn that it's composite video. It seemed common enough, so I went to Best Buy and asked them for a CVBS cable. They looked at me like I was from Mars.

I came home and started looking thru my box of spare cables. I was planning on getting a headphone plug and seeing if I could find the video wires on it and graft it to an RCA plug, but I found this cable instead. If I remember right, this cable came from a Sony Camcorder from back in the day. Seems like this should be common enought, but I don't know where to tell you to find it.

....

Rafa
I'm sure I have one of these in my 'knitting box of cables'... if I don't it must be the only one I DON'T have!!
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 05:49 PM
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Joined Feb 2011
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Very nice review, did anyone know what size of screen do devo f4 has?

Thanks
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