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Posted by Ssayer | Sep 09, 2017 @ 08:11 AM | 3,569 Views
I received the Eachine E56 from Banggood for testing and review.

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There are already a number of reviews on this, so once again, I'll limit my review to mainly observations and opinions.

To me, at the same time, it is both innovative and a novelty. It's new, so the app is still having some growing pains, but they seem to be getting there. In it's current incantation, it works fine on my Samsung Galaxy S5, but merely loads onto my tablets and errors out immediately when I attempt to launch it. I'm presuming that it needs a minimum Android version that is higher than my old(er) tablets which (if this is the reason) they should state in their description, but I can't say for sure.

If you want video, you need to use the Android device (or Apple, I guess ). If you want to control with the remote controller and view with the Android device, you need to do it in this order:
1. Turn on quad
2. Turn on and pair remote control
3. Change WiFi network on Android device to the quad
4. Run App on Android device
5. Play
If you connect with the Android device first, then it won't pair with the remote control (at least with my device).
Obviously, you can both view video and use the Android device for control, I just like to check out all the options. Also, I prefer their Remote Controller as it's the "fun" part of this quad.

Flight time, I get between 6 and 7 minutes, so with it being rated at 7 it's about...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Aug 07, 2017 @ 03:51 PM | 4,096 Views
Just in case it matters to anyone. I put one of my Runcam Split cams on my Hubsan H501A mainly for looking down when flying high. But, I've found that I really prefer the FOV of the Split as I have a lot easier time hitting the gaps. Here's what the setup looks like and then some side by side comparisons taken from the video when I was flying. What do you think?

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Runcam Split....................................... Hubsan H501A
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Posted by Ssayer | Jul 30, 2017 @ 01:20 PM | 5,150 Views
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I kept hearing how the Advanced Transmitter was so much more precise than the Standard Transmitter, so not being happy enough with the slop in my Standard Transmitter's gimbals, I finally broke down and bought one. No contest, the Advanced Transmitter is simply that much more precise. I finally feel confident flying through the trees with this quad!

So let's compare:

Standard Transmitter:
Larger screen
Way easier to insert batteries (more on that in a minute)
Easier to feel good about setting the darn thing down! (sounds dumb, but it matters to me, the Advance Transmitter just doesn't lay down as well)

Advanced Transmitter
The gimbals are rock solid in comparison (we will give it 10 bonus points for this alone!)
It feels better in your hands (my opinion, YMMV)
Easy to turn on/off OSD while flying

Which one is better? IMHO, had I known then what I know now, I would have gone with the Advanced Transmitter right off the bat. It's that much better!

Now, on to the battery thing. With the Standard Transmitter, you simply insert 4 AA batteries. Done... With the Advanced Transmitter, you have to put them (8 AA batteries) into a battery brick and then plug them in via the JST plug. That might be easy for you young guys, but for this old dude, reaching down into the battery bay to plug that thing in with almost no clearance is a chore. The first time I did it, I thought I'd screwed up royally. I plugged it in and pushed the brick down. Man!!! The springs...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Jul 30, 2017 @ 12:29 PM | 4,437 Views
I drew and printed up some legs for my Hubsans to get them further off the ground (both for prop clearance in higher grass and for ground clearance for my Runcam Split). If you want them longer or shorter, it's easy enough to change that size in your 3D Printer's slicer. I picked this particular size as it is the minimum size which allows ground clearance for my Runcam Split at any angle.

I've attached them with 2 small zip ties and then (because I'm persnickity), I UV welded them in two spots. If you tighten the zip ties well enough there is no problem, but... with the UV weld, they won't budge (with the added benefit that a quick snap of the wrist breaks that weld if you want to remove them). Everything total (legs and zip ties) weighs in at 14g and doesn't make much difference in flight time.

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Quad with Runcam Split and quad without:
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More of a side view of quad with Runcam Split and a close up:
...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Jul 19, 2017 @ 03:42 PM | 5,805 Views
Like my Hubsans (which I felt needed a downward facing cam), I just thought a cam that recorded in 1080P would be pretty nice on my racing quad. I had a Runcam Swift 2 on it already, making it pretty darn easy to change over to this one since the connector is the same (and obviously, was already there.) So, I designed an insert to go between the quad and the battery to hold the PCB from the Runcam Split and printed it on my 3D printer. It fits between the battery connector at the rear, screws toward the rear of the quad and has enough room to not hit the FPV antenna. I glued it down with some Gorilla Glue since that stuff hold tight but you can still pry whatever loose (from carbon fiber anyway) if/when you feel the need.

It's funny that I've heard people saying that the Runcam Split has too much lag. Not mine, I zip through and around the trees with no problem at all. Also, some people have complained that it doesn't fill their 16/9 frame well enough. It works just fine on my Dom V3, my Aomway 7" monitor, and my Boscam 5802 monitor. Go figure, eh?

What the quad looks like with the Runcam Split and the 3D printed adapter
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Close up
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...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Jul 13, 2017 @ 09:05 PM | 5,900 Views
I couldn't decide which thread to put this in, heck there are about 5 or so that I could, so... I'm putting it here.

My 501A/S both default to 5828, so that made this pretty easy. I set the Runcam Split to 5645, which is what everything else I own runs at.

So, first... why? Well, where I fly has way way way more trees than open area and the Hubsans look out, not down. With the Runcam, I can set it (before flight) to look down at whatever angle I feel like and get both FPV video and HD recording (with very good WDR!).

What's my setup for the quad? I drew up and 3D printed a part that everything mounts to. It mounts to the quad with two Reusable Releasable Zip Ties. It takes a whole... 30 seconds to attach or detach the setup. I elected to run it from a 350maH lipo since I have a bunch of them and they are more than enough for a 18 minute flight. So...
1. Runcam Split
2. Eachine TX02
3. 350 maH battery
4. 3D printed plate
5. Velcro strap to hold battery on
6. Two releasable zip ties
7. 3 zip ties to hold TX02 and antenna on
8. 4 nylon screws and 12 nylon nuts
9. 1 losi connector to connect TX02 to Runcam PCB

What do I lose? About 25% of my flying time with the extra 51g of weight. On average (since I don't fly it to LVC), I drop from 18 minutes of flight time to 14 of flight time.

What do I gain? Heck, I wanted both of these to use as a "relatively" inexpensive AP platform. Being able to fly slowly over any given area and accurately line up...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | May 24, 2017 @ 03:03 PM | 8,626 Views
First, I got this from Banggood for testing and review. Thank you very much!

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Both Pics=H501A on left, H501S on right. Please note that I changed the front props to gold.

Unlike other things that I've reviewed, this review is a little tricky because there are three different ways to review this quad and I would like to give each way it's due. The three ways that I will review it are:

1. Stock quad (what you get in the box is what you've got) plus cellphone (the Android App is great!).
2. Stock quad plus cellphone plus FPV Monitor (or goggles).
3. Stock quad plus cellphone plus Standard Transmitter (that's what I already own). It would be the same for the advanced transmitter. I'll add also using an FPV Monitor at the end of this particular segment.
3a. add FPV Monitor.

Ok, here we go (short version):

1. Stock quad. If you're flying low and close to stuff, the only way to fly it is LOS. Period. Flying it LOS, you will see that the controls don't have any discernible lag, so... have fun. FPV though, I see the video seesaw between practically no lag all the way up to around 6 seconds lag, and if you're flying it strictly looking at your cellphone, you're cruising for a bruising. Once you get above the trees, who cares about the lag, you have time to react.
Why fly it with just your cellphone? To me, the biggest reason is way points on a map. It flies them and it does it well. That said, it also has Orbit, Follow...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | May 21, 2017 @ 02:12 PM | 6,760 Views
I've been looking for a case for my Hubsan H501S (and soon to be H501A), but everything I've seen that isn't humongous makes you have to take the props off. I've got some old quads that I'm decommissioning and slowly giving away to family, so I have the cases that I bought for them. Out of the blue I thought, hmmm.... this might just make it. Well, it makes it with about 3/8" to spare, so... I grabbed some of my velcro strips, my hot melt glue gun, and... voila!

The case :
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Velcro is hot melt glued in (and 4 pieces cut from the foam that comes with the case):
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Quad w/battery, 2 batteries (I made the strap long enough for 3), spare props and prop wrench (I made the straps long enough to hold a bunch of props):
...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Feb 21, 2017 @ 06:52 PM | 9,597 Views
Banggood sent me a DM002 5.8G FPV With 600TVL Camera 2.4G 4CH 6Axis RC Quadcopter RTF for testing and review.

DIY Quad FPV footage (0 min 42 sec)

IMHO, it's main selling point is that you can buy it for your kid who can then put it together and fly it (and it flies pretty darn well). As someone that put together many, many, many, models when I was a kid... to me, this works. It takes a whole 4-1/2 minutes for an old fumble fingered guy to put together, so you know it's not too tough. What's more, because it has it's own transmitter, it's almost (needs assembly!) a RTF FPV quad. All you need is a monitor (of course you can just not put the camera on and fly it LOS). Heck, for the price, how can you beat it? Having seen all too many high priced kids toys that don't do a darn thing, this really isn't that expensive.

There are three rates and high rate will work fine outdoors, but no acro. The way the motor connectors are on the FCB, you don't get a whole lot of room between the motor wires and the propellors, so you have to make sure that you have the motor wires out of the way.

The AIO camera has a good video and is power switchable at 0Mw/25mW/80mW/200mW with 40 channels. The AIO camera almost looks like a mirror image clone of the TX03, though there are some obvious differences. But frequency, band, and power are adjusted the same way. The wires for the camera are way too long. In all honesty...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Jan 30, 2017 @ 02:24 PM | 9,187 Views
Banggood sent me a VTX02 200mw mini (micro?) video transmitter for testing and review. If you're familiar with their AIO cam/transmitters, you already know how small this thing is. If you aren't, well it's small and it's very light weight (2.8g)...

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So, the big question is, how does it compare to a regular sized 200mw transmitter. I'm a tree flyer, meaning that 95% of my flying is done on my moderately to heavily tree'd 4-1/2 acre lot. Since that's where I fly, that's how I compare. I did a quick band-aid job of putting something together to test (I ran the cam off of the transmitter's 5v out),

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Posted by Ssayer | Jan 17, 2017 @ 11:09 AM | 8,919 Views
I got the Fatshark Dom3 goggles for Christmas. I can't believe how many times I've had to charge it's LiPo battery already.

We've got some really nice and very bright flashlights that use 18650 batteries and so we have a good number of spare 18650 batteries. We also have numerous "2 battery" chargers that came with the batteries (we have a real charger that we charge our batteries with). So, the other day I just happened to notice one of them and thought... hmmmm......

I rummaged through my bit boxes and found an old 12v brick power supply that had the proper connector on it, an old 2S LiPo with a long enough balance plug, a small switch, and a LED battery voltage readout (I got a few of these from BG when they had them on sale last year). I also jumped into Blender and drew up a back for it with flanges on it to hold it between the straps similar to the stock battery. Heck, you could make a back piece out of a hunk of plastic or even a piece of cardboard. So... on to the pictures!...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Jan 15, 2017 @ 08:13 AM | 9,846 Views
Holybro Shuriken 180 PRO - DSM version

I believe I'm the first to review this one, so that means I should add some more info as a preface to what I observed while I was testing it. When doing reviews, a lot of other people tend to copy and paste everything from the sellers or the company's site, but that seems a tad redundant (I'll add my own pics here at the end of my post). For any and all pertinent information, by all means check the specs out first, they're easy enough to find.

For sure, it has some pretty nice specs. From this point on, I'm presuming that you checked out the specs and all the pics. This is important because I'll give observations based on what you saw.

1. The camera is pointed up at approximately 35 in those pics. While that might be great once you've tested it all out and start really flying it, there is no way in this world that I'd have a new quad with the cam pointed at anything more than about 10 or so until I've completely familiarized myself with that quad. Here's where I ran into my first problem. At 35, the bottom of the cam is tight to the frame of the quad (If you read reviews, you'll see that this problem isn't limited to only this quad). As is, there is no way to adjust the camera to a lesser angle. So, I went into my bit box and found some 1/4" spacers (and longer screws) so that I could adjust the camera angle. Problem solved (pretty easy, eh?) I'll have a pic at the end of the review with that minor mod. The camera...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Dec 15, 2016 @ 06:08 PM | 10,527 Views
It's winter. I'm inside. I've got these neat micro quads all set up for FPV that I've been flying around the house. I wanted to "add" to the enjoyment, so... I jumped into Blender and drew up some connectors to fit some el cheapo, sub 3 buck, Wally World carbon fiber shafts (I used these same shafts in the 3D Printed lawn spinners that I drew up). It took two shafts plus 4" from a third to make one gate - 4 pcs @ 10" and 6 pcs @ 4". So the next few gates will only take two shafts plus leftovers from that 3rd shaft. The gate size is 10"x10" (just seemed like a nice size and is a breeze to change later if I want since this is all press fit). I dressed up the gate with some stuff I made up for my Ink printer...

What do you think?
Posted by Ssayer | Dec 07, 2016 @ 02:03 PM | 10,568 Views
As in my previous review, let me re-state this so you know what I'm comparing to... I have seven different 250 brushless quads for outdoors (all self builds or modified) and several different brushed outdoor quads of assorted sizes. Everything has now been converted over to FPV, because one you get bit by the FPV bug... well you know...

Banggood offered the JJRC X1G - - for an honest and unbiased review, and for the second time, they somehow figured I should get one (Thank you again!).

There are already numerous reviews on both the JJRC X1 and the JJRC X1G, so I'm going to try to not simply rehash what everyone else has come up with, but rather offer opinions and perspectives from my own flying experience (and a few pics).

Before my first flight, I perused the manual (you know how readable those normally are), charged up a battery, and attempted a trial flight. Nope. It wanted to veer left and turn left all at once, even with my moving trims to try to compensate. So... I went back inside and did a little researching. Here is the tidbit that I didn't (and still can't) find in the manual:

Calibration: Move both sticks to the lower right max position until you hear beeps.

Problem solved! I went back out and flew a battery without issue (LOS). Not bad, not bad at all...

So now that I know it's safe to hook everything up, it was time for the camera, transmitter, and monitor. I don't fly something new until I know what kind of lag there...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Dec 06, 2016 @ 05:08 PM | 10,461 Views
Just for comparison, I have seven different 250 brushless quads for outdoors (all self builds or modified) and several different brushed outdoor quads. For indoors I have ProtoX(s); and modified for FPV - E010(s) and JRRC H36(s). When Banggood offered the EX100 for an honest and unbiased review, I raised my hand as I figured it'd be a nice "tweener" and they somehow figured I should get one - the DSMX/DSM2 version (Thank you!).

I'd never fly the 250s in my house, and (though I tried each once just for range), I'd never fly the indoor quads outside. Each has it's own purpose. The EX100, being in between, is a bit of a conundrum. Though I've flown it around and around and around in my house, I feel that it's a little too large and fast for my 1850 square foot house as it's across the house in a couple of seconds. On the other hand, for outside on my 4-1/2 acre lot, it's a tad small. I'd say it's about perfect for someone on a city lot or in a small neighborhood city park. Or, if you have access to a gymnasium or other indoor flying area, you'd be set.

Binding was a breeze using the Cleanflight Configurator, but DSMX is dodgy. DSM2 works great, so that's where I have it. AIL and RUD both were backwards and had to be reversed. The receiver pretty much fills up the space that they show the battery goes, so the only logical place to put the battery is on top. I routed the diversity antennas through the top plate. It might not be necessary, but it just seemed like...Continue Reading
Posted by Ssayer | Dec 06, 2016 @ 09:10 AM | 10,467 Views
I have really bad eyesight, both near and far. That has always made any type of goggles a challenge, at best. But I also really wanted a set of goggles that I could bring around with me that didn't have to be monstrous so that I could focus in them (i.e. modifying a monitor type goggle to get the monitor further from my eyes).
After researching for what seems like forever, I finally opted to go with the Fatshark Dominator V3 goggles (because I wanted non blurry, corner to corner focus) and a set of prescription inserts. Checking locally, and looking over the online sites, I settled on for the inserts. I've had the Doms for about a week now and have only been able to look through them to see blur. The inserts came in yesterday, and YES!!!!!, I can see clearly now in the goggles. They're a breeze to insert into the goggles (they make them for Fatshark, Skyzone, etc (they ask which brand you want them for because apparently there is a slightly different fit and they make them accordingly).
The first thing I noticed when I put them on is that I had a smudge on the right lens. I couldn't figure out how that happened as I handled them very carefully. Turns out that the smudge was on the Dom's lens . I took the insert out, cleaned the Dom's lens, put the insert back in, and all was good.
What a difference! Up until now, and after trying numerous setups over the past couple of years, I'd finally settled on mounting my Boscam 5802 monitor on top of my transmitter while wearing prescription reading glasses. No more! The old faithful Boscam will now become yet another buddy monitor.
If you're on the fence about a good pair of goggles because of your eyes, you can get off of it. These work!

1st pic is what I got.
2nd pic is the inserts in the goggles.
3rd pic is a close up of the inserts (with the thickness attesting to how bad my eyes are).
Posted by Ssayer | Nov 18, 2016 @ 08:40 PM | 10,385 Views
Flying from inside my garage, I happened on a bunch of big oversized rats in my back yard. They're no match for one of my 250mm minions, so I sent them packing...

Hosta Eaters (1 min 16 sec)

Posted by Ssayer | Nov 18, 2016 @ 08:33 PM | 10,544 Views
I can't believe that the ClearBoost thread has basically gone dead. Maybe it's just because of the way I fly (I'm a through-the-trees flyer), but I use my ClearBoost every single time that I fly outdoors. I tried with and without it numerous times and I know my main flying area very well, so I know it works.

Here is a typical side by side comparison with, and without ClearBoost. I have three different receiver/monitor combinations and it doesn't matter which of the three got the ClearBoost when I was testing, the ClearBoost combination was always the best...

ClearBoost (0 min 35 sec)

Posted by Ssayer | Oct 09, 2014 @ 05:20 PM | 11,097 Views
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For something totally different for my little buddy (a Shih Tzu) and I... I picked up an Orbotix Ollie. It just got released in September, so it's definitely got some quirks that need updating, but... it's also a lot of fun with caveats.

Pros: It moves fast and is highly maneuverable. It also takes a beating.

Cons: It loses it's bearings often and needs to get re-calibrated (easy, but a pain in the rear if you do a lot of tricks with it because the more you do, the more often you need to recalibrate). Your phone (or tablet) must be Bluetooth 4.0. It's new, so there are currently only three apps for it (verses about 40 for the Sphero 2.0).

Adding an update here. Every time I did a spinning "trick", Ollie lost it's orientation and needed to be re-calibrated. Watching their videos, I figured I must have gotten a defective one, and returned mine for exchange. Well, the new one performs exactly the same. I now have a message in with their tech support to see if mine came from a bad batch or if that's just the nature of the beast with this device. I'll update when I get a message back.

Final update
The manufacturer's response was, "The adjusting of the aim after a trick is normal. Ollie get disoriented easy and needs to be fixed. It is like this for all Ollies. Replacing the device will not fix this."

It may be "normal", but that sure doesn't make it "ok" in my book. For me, it was a quick return of what I most certainly consider a defective device.
Posted by Ssayer | Sep 22, 2014 @ 07:54 AM | 12,251 Views
Do you think FPV goggles are too expensive? Do you wear glasses and wonder how they'll impact your wearing goggles? Not with this Quanum DIY setup from Hobbyking. The parts ran somewhere around $77US (don't quote me on it, I don't have receipts handy as some of the parts I've had hanging around for a couple of years ). It weighs in at 377g including battery.

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...Continue Reading