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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:13 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Joined Aug 2004
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Mini-Review
The WLToys V262 Review (brushed A.R.Drone clone)

**I was told that Banggood lowered the price to 75.99USD if you purchase from one of their overseas warehouses! **


The WLToys V262 Review
Introduction


Hey guys,
My apologies for being absent from the forums for a while, got a lot of private messages and I'll answer them as soon as I can. While I was gone (graduation+ family visit), WLToys released the V262: a clone of the Parrot A.R. Drone with brushed motors and a much lower price.
Sounds like a very promising combination, but with the V2x2 family being plagued by the dropout problem lately, it'll be very interesting to see if the problem still exists.

Before we look into the various aspects of this quadcopter, I would like to take some time and thank Jacky from Banggood for providing the sample and for their constant support of my unbiased reviews, no matter the outcome. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to read the review, cheers!


From the box


The V262 that I received was a pre-production model. It arrived in a ridiculously large box, and in it were the following (I am told that this is consistent with the contents of the production model).

The V262 quadcopter
A V222/ V959 styled tx, running the V2X2 protocol
7.4V 850mAh Lipo
4 spare propellers
2 cell lipo balance charger (wall charger)
No instruction manuals (though the production model will most likely come with one)

The cockpit

The transmitter is the same unit as the one that comes with the V222 quadcopter, it runs the V2X2 protocol as do all other WLToys' accelerometer equipped quadcopters.
As there are no modules like those found on the V222, the function keys do not work. A difference is that the right shoulder button now beeps continuously in flip mode (the screen will also turn orange) until a full aileron or elevator input is given. It will then stop beeping and go into normal, non-flip, flight mode.

The aircraft

The V262 has a protective outer-ring almost identical to that found on the Parrot A.R. Drone; at a whopping 80g , it really does add a bit of weight to the aircraft. If you are not a beginner, or you aren't trying to fly the V262 indoors, I would suggest that one flies without it in order to prolong the flight time.


In terms of the airframe design, the 262 is basically a large V959/212/222. All the parts are similar in looks to its smaller counterparts, but they are larger and seem to be more robust. The motors are much larger than the coreless ones found on the minis and micros.



There are 4 LED lights, one on each arm, that assist in orientation during night flights. These can be turned on and off via the light button on the transmitter.


Flight performance

As soon as I throttled up, the V262 flew into a level hover without needing any trim. I started to push the sticks around and at 60 and 100%, the V262 responded with precise and accurate movements; it was really surprising because I flew the X30 just a day earlier (the X30 being the same exact quad with a different transmitter and protective ring) and it felt like a completely different quad; I guess this may be down to the transmitter.
Flips can be achieved in the same way as they are on the V212 and 222. There is no drop in altitude during the flip if you throttle up before initializing the auto flip.
Carrying the Mobius camera (highly recommended) while flying without the protective ring was no problem for the V262 either, it doesn't notice the 39grams in weight and at the 10 minute mark it still has more than enough power to climb at a very brisk pace.

I would say that without the canopy, it wouldn't have any problems carrying 100 grams+ of weight slung underneath... and 100grams is a very conservative estimate.

The WLToys V262 Review (7 min 52 sec)

So that's the good news so far, absolutely terrific flight performance, plenty of flight time (without the foam canopy:10min+ , 7 min with the canopy on) and plenty of lift.
That's not it though, oh no, the even better news is that for me, dropouts are a thing of the past! WLToys sent me the revised TX and reflashed RX for the 262 and the connection is absolutely fantastic; there are no more dropouts and I can comfortably fly it as far and as high as I could see, even in the interference prone park that I fly my quadcopters at. This compared to the original prototype 262 that I got, which only flew about 30 meters and had so many dropouts I actually trashed it, was night and day. I'm not saying that it's impossible to get dropouts though, as this was only tested in the environments that I fly at, but I really think the possibility of it dropping out again is very minimal.
For those of you who have removed the foam ring but want even more flying time, you could strap a larger battery underneath the battery bay with a velcro tie. I've been flying my 1200mAh pack and it performs very nicely.


Conclusion

The V262 is a superb flying machine. It is nimble, robust and extremely stable when you want it to be. I am glad that for now, it seems that the dropout issue is solved once and for all. There is lots of lifting power if you fly it without the foam ring, and it has absolutely butter-smooth flight characteristics. Along with bringing it home to Taiwan with me in 3-4 days, I will also ask WLToys to send one to MassiveOverkill and a couple of the guys in order to see if the quad will dropout in their environments. Hopefully they will be as surprised as I was at the now solid connection; if so, this is definitely a worthy addition to the fleets of those who like to take videos and do FPV flights.

Hope you've enjoyed this review guys, I will be updating this thread if any news appears regarding the dropout or range issues, but these are my findings as of July 17th, 2013.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via PM or this thread and I'll try my best to answer them!



Pros and Cons


Pros
+Very precise and direct flight characteristics
+ Lots of lifting power
+ Protective ring for beginners
+ Lights
+ Long flight times
+ NO MORE DROPOUTS!
+ Very robust

Cons
- Heavy foam ring, no available body-only shell as of yet.
- foam ring is not easily detachable from the body


You can find the V262 at banggood's website: V262 link
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 01:14 AM
The flightless bird
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Additional information- before your first flight (by massive overkill)

Sorry to hear about your luck Matthew. Can you inspect the top of the motors for crossed wires that may have melted and caused a short?

Those of you getting your V262's I HIGHLY suggest you resist the urge to immediately go out and fly it...........especially just hovering indoors with the canopy on (don't know if you had the canopy on Matthew). That is the worst possible load both stress and heatwise you could put on it without breaking the motors in.

I recommend you charge up the battery and while it's charging remove the canopy and remove the booms in order to take the motor covers off (and leave them off!!). Inspect the motors to make sure the leads are not crossing each other and the positive lead has plenty of clearance so it's not touching the motor can or anything else metal where a short would occur if the wire insulation should melt from heat.

Make sure your antenna is pointing up and oil the bronze bushings and make sure that no prop assembly has higher turning resistance than the others. You can't flick the props like you can on our 1S minis\micros as the motor magnetism prevents free spinning. Remove either the propeller or the gear (I removed the gear). Once the gear is removed the prop assembly will free-spin where you can check for binding. Make a mental note of how freely they spin with the bronze bushings as you'll kick yourself once you install ball bearings and see the difference in the amount of friction they reduce.

Once your LiPo is charged, LEAVE your gears off, hook up the battery, bind as usual and apply just enough throttle to spin the motors up. Use your trim to fine tune the throttle to where you have just enough to barely make the motors spin up. You have to do this on a level surface and you'll notice the motors RPM fluctuate and surge. Adjust the throttle as needed to keep RPMs as low as possible. You may have to baby sit for awhile until the brushes do their initial break-in and RPM stabilizes somewhat. Even when the RPM stabilizes I wouldn't leave the room.

You want to monitor the motor temps by touch to make sure they don't get too hot. If you have a small fan to blow over them to cool them off great, if not stop and let them cool down every few minutes. If you really have a lot of time on your hands you can go one step further and unplug the other 3 motors and break each motor in one-by-one.

Once your motors are broken in, reinstall your gears and then lube them with a #2 pencil. You may want to Loc-tite (blue) the screws holding the gears on.

I recommend your first few flights be without the canopy installed for final motor break in and don't go crazy on throttle.

The V262 is a closer step to hobby grade and having the 'hobby mentality' in mind becomes more important.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 02:03 AM
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Very nice review as always. Are there any bodys that fit if the foam ring is removed?
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 02:05 AM
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Nice review James.

Do you have any pictures of the bare frame and centre section?

Or any info from WLToys as to delivery date at banggood?

Very keen to see video from the Mobius on this frame too.

Cheers mate


edit... Awesome, thanks for posting them mate. Great to see the construction.

It looks like spacers could be added between the lipo tray and frame for thicker lipos, or just removed and velcro on.

And those landing leg slots do hint at future models, camera maybe?


At the risk of being demanding. Could you measure the mounting screw dimensions of the flight control board please? Hopefully 30mm square!!!
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 02:30 AM
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Very nice reviews ... the fixed V262 will be a best-sellers .

If I am not wrong, there are 4 holes in the mainframe ? . I guess to install a landing gear ?

EDIT : did u try to install the V212/V222 one ?

More of 100gr of payload ... it's much better than I am expected... So the V262 aka as "the flying mobius FPV station"
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 02:49 AM
The flightless bird
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Cheers guys, the review has been posted in its complete form without the video so far (which I am editing and uploading at the moment).
@Ryan, perhaps the A.R. Drone outdoor canopy will do...but I'm not sure how that's mounted to the frame compared to the V262. I've told WLToys about this and they are looking into making a canopy without the rings. For now though I'm just going to cut into one of my canopies and remove the rings. It won't look pretty but at least it'll protect the board.

@Soma, 3cm square indeed, according to my digital screen ruler on the phone.. will double check that one and get back to you

@SeByDocKy, It could lift the 80g foam ring with ease, and the mobius camera on top of that, it shouldn't be any problem at all.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameschen072 View Post
@Soma, 3cm square indeed, according to my digital screen ruler on the phone.. will double check that one and get back to you

@SeByDocKy, It could lift the 80g foam ring with ease, and the mobius camera on top of that, it shouldn't be any problem at all.
Thanks very much James! That's extremely good news. +1 for standards

Also while your ruler's out, the arms look like 5 or 6mm carbon, could you confirm that too?

Looking forward to vids
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 03:00 AM
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Can you mesure blade's size ? length and diameter of boons/tails ?, battery bay dimensions . The type of brushed motor ?. Length of RX antenna
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 03:34 AM
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Nice Review. Thanks.

Those who already have a V2X2 will not be able to use their TX on this unit, correct?
As I understand it the V2X2 drop out problems are two fold TX and RX.

You got a "revised TX" with this unit as well as a "reflashed RX".
So for those of us or anyone who doesn't have a revised TX just the originals are still S.O.L.. Not cool IMHO.

Unless of course WLToys is going to make good and replace all the TX's out there first. I say first because I hope they do not expect those with a V2X2 RTF to buy a whole new TX for this new WLT bird. Maybe they should offer a BNF for much cheaper and add the "revised TX" for free to anyone who has proof of purchase of the V2X2 series.

With that a BNF version is not showing as available. I also do not see an offering as I suggested to take care of the v2X2 customers first.

I am not seeing any spare parts out there.

I am sure people are somewhat wary and possibly a little upset over this new offering without taking care of the existing customers and problems first.

Thanks James for the work on the review but IMHO it is in bad taste for WLT to do what they are doing.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 03:46 AM
The flightless bird
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@SeByDocKy, whoa! I'll get to it... let me finish editing first :P
@Buckaroo Banzai, I understand your frustration, I'm not very happy about having a couple of quads in my possession that have this fatal flaw either. For now it does seem that the problem is mostly tx related as when I flew the 252 with the new tx today I didn't experience a single dropout either. The engineers told me that the changes to the FC were minimal.
I'm just happy to see that at least they have fixed the issue (as far as I've tested) and hopefully we will not have any dropouts with their future 2x2 protocol'd products.
As to whether or not they will do good on swapping out the tx/rx, this has been discussed at length on other threads and while I too would like to see that happen, the economics of such a move would probably mean that it would not happen.

I'll talk to the factory, banggood and other distributors to see if they have anything planned. I promise to let you know if I have any news.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Buckaroo,

I hear you, and I also think James is right. Generally these products are so cheap because costs and margins are kept to minimum. Our part of the bargain is knowing support will not be on par as products with higher price tags.

Either way it will cost us at some stage.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 05:43 AM
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You can send me one. I'll test for drop-outs all over the city for ya ;-)

Has massive decided to carry these sans foam as was being considered? He asked if no foam would be ok to save on shipping in the other thread. I was thinking he could even ship them with the arms off if it helped.

If he is going to carry them I will wait for him. I hope he does and he gets parts too. If he's not going to let us know so we can go with BG. I would prefer waiting for Massive so I hope he is going to have em. On the 212 I ordered from Bangood and it took so long I should have just waited for Overkill. I would have gotten it a day or two earlier.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 05:55 AM
The flightless bird
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@foxactual, we are still thinking about carrying the 262.. It's just a pain to ship to be honest, even with the arms off and all. I'm still talking to the suppliers to see what the damage will be if we ship it via air freight as we do now
BG even told me that they might lose money for every unit they sell because the 262 is so relatively heavy and takes up so much volume
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 06:08 AM
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@foxactual, we are still thinking about carrying the 262.. It's just a pain to ship to be honest, even with the arms off and all. I'm still talking to the suppliers to see what the damage will be if we ship it via air freight as we do now
BG even told me that they might lose money for every unit they sell because the 262 is so relatively heavy and takes up so much volume
You can pass on to WLToys James, that I for one, and I have heard others say the same, don't want the foam. So its a waste of money for me to buy, and for them to ship. I would be totally happy to buy it as Foxactual suggested, BNF, no foam and packed up with the arms removed for a cheaper price... and a better deal for everyone, including WLToys

Some do want the foam and that's totally understandable, and very worthwhile WLToys selling and shipping those units. But for those that don't, its a big waste of money all round.

I'm sure that model will come, this frame looks too good to not offer in that form

Cheers mate
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 07:34 AM
The flightless bird
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You can pass on to WLToys James, that I for one, and I have heard others say the same, don't want the foam. So its a waste of money for me to buy, and for them to ship. I would be totally happy to buy it as Foxactual suggested, BNF, no foam and packed up with the arms removed for a cheaper price... and a better deal for everyone, including WLToys

Some do want the foam and that's totally understandable, and very worthwhile WLToys selling and shipping those units. But for those that don't, its a big waste of money all round.

I'm sure that model will come, this frame looks too good to not offer in that form

Cheers mate
Roger that, the boss of WLToys said he's thinking about it. I definitely don't think the foam is much use for those of us who are experienced already and it does add a lot of wind resistance on top of the weight itself... the quad livens up and performs much, much better with just the frame.
My concern is that without the canopy, the exposed RX would be more prone to damage from crashes or the elements even.. so that's not really a good long term solution.
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