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Archive for October, 2017
Posted by fastmax | Oct 31, 2017 @ 04:37 PM | 9,778 Views
EDIT-3/10/2018 Now on sale for only $87.99

The new iSDT T8 1000W 30A battery charger with BattGO technology has arrived!
I have been a fan of iSDT chargers since getting my first SC-608. It is a fantastic little charger that makes an excellent travel companion. Well, I'm happy to say that the new T8 has taken that same small form factor to a whole new level. One of my favorite features of the iSDT chargers that I have owned is that I can use my larger LiPo batteries to charge my smaller ones. I love that I can just toss this charger into my travel case with a couple 1000-2000mah 4s batteries and use those batteries to charge my smaller micro quad batteries in the field. I fly a lot of 250-350mah 2s batteries on my 90-100mm quads, and I can charge quite a few times without having to go home which is very convenient when the weather is nice and you just want to get in some stick time.

Don't be fooled by the small size of the T8 charger though. It can pack a serious punch for those that want to charge larger capacity batteries. This little charger has an input voltage of 12-40V and a charge current of 0.1-30A and can balance charge up to 8s batteries. The charger supports 1-8s LiFe/LiIon/LiPo/LiHv 1-21s NiMH/Cd and 1-4s Pb batteries, so all of your bases are covered with one compact charger. iSDT was also kind enough to give us a 2.1A/5V USB port for charging our mobile devices.

To make things even better the user interface is highly intuitive, and perhaps one of the easiest to navigate menus I have ever seen on a multi chemistry battery charger. The BattGO technology is a step into the future, and once we start to see BattGO plug equipped batteries, we should have more accurately balanced cells, which will increase the usable life of our batteries.

If you're in the market for a new charger, don't hesitate to check out this new beauty from iSDT. Here are some pics of the charger in action. The last pic with the 100mm quad is just to give you an idea of how small this charger really is.
Posted by fastmax | Oct 31, 2017 @ 03:48 PM | 8,993 Views
As any RC hobbyist knows, safe battery charging practices are a must. With today's Lithium based batteries, it is even more important than ever that we take care not to overcharge, over discharge, or mistreat our batteries. The threat of LiPo batteries bursting into flames is very real, and is not meant to be taken lightly.

I'm pretty sure many of us know someone, or have a friend that knows someone that has experienced a household, or garage fire due to a LiPo battery bursting into flames. Many times this is not even due to misuse, or bad charging practices. It can happen at any given time. Therefore, it has become important to find ways to charge more safely, and with a little added protection in the event that the worst does happen.

Most of us nowadays have begun using what we call LiPo safes, or LiPo charging bags. I use LiPo bags not just for charging my batteries in, but I also store my batteries in LiPo safe bags. It simply gives me a little peace of mind knowing that if something does happen to go wrong, the fire should be contained to the bag, and not spread to the rest of my garage/house etc.

My biggest issue with the LiPo bags I was using was that they just didn't seem to close securely when charging in them. They would seal up just fine as long as there were no wires going into the bag, but during charging, I just wasn't happy with a simple velcro closure.

Well... HOBBYMATE to the rescue! As soon as I saw their new bag with its double zipper closure,...Continue Reading
Posted by fastmax | Oct 31, 2017 @ 03:12 PM | 9,311 Views
Aurora RC is at it again! They just keep on bringing us awesome new FPV racers. First was the ARFUN 90, then in my last review of an Aurora quad, we looked at the Bfight 210, and now it's time to check out another of their new quads. This time it's a new brushless micro. The QAV105, is modeled after the very popular QAV250, and QAV210.

This little 105mm racer comes loaded with features. You get the popular Omnibus F3 FC with integrated OSD pre-loaded with Betaflight, a 48 channel 5.8ghz VTX, and 4 in 1 BLHeli-S 10A DShot ESC. For power we get some very peppy little 1105 7000kv motors swinging 2345 quad blade props, and to top the package off they've equipped this little drone with the amazing RunCam Micro Swift 600TVL FPV camera featuring a Super HAD II CCD sensor, and 165-degree FOV.

All of this in one great little frame could make for one of the best equipped micro FPV racers currently available. It certainly looks the part, and I expect it to perform just as good as it looks.

Here are some detailed pics of what you get in the box. Stay tuned for flight video coming in just a few.

LOS flight video. Very stable little quad, even in some nasty wind gusts.

Aurora RC QAV105 Brushless Micro FPV Racing Drone (2 min 57 sec)
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Posted by fastmax | Oct 26, 2017 @ 02:08 PM | 8,933 Views
I just received the Mango No. 30 220mm frame, and I managed to get it built, and have it ready for its first flight.Anyone else here building any of these new Mango frames? I love the looks of the No. 30 210 and 220. They remind me of the KingKong Fly Egg quads which I think are some of the best looking micros available.

The frame is quite nice. The description says the arms are 4mm thick, and they seemed even thicker than that to me so I got out the calipers, and I got 4.4mm readings on them. The frame goes together pretty easily. I used the new ARTOWER F4 Plus with 30A 4 in 1 ESC and I had to use four small standoffs to get the aluminum cage raised up a little to clear the stack. Otherwise though everything went together without a hitch.

Here's a few pics. You can see in the one with the motor that the arms are indeed quite beefy. The aluminum bits also have a nice anodized finish.

Here's a quick video of its first flight.

MANGO No. 30 220mm FPV Racing Drone Frame First Flight (3 min 26 sec)
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Posted by fastmax | Oct 26, 2017 @ 11:10 AM | 9,597 Views
My FuriBee H801 arrived today, and I am pretty stoked about this little guy for some FPV buzzing around the house. This is basically an updated, FPV'd F36. A couple differences I noticed right away (aside from the obvious) is that the motors now plug into the board, so no more soldering to replace burned out motors. 7mm motors instead of the F36's 615 motors, The yaw is much more docile which IMO makes this little guy easier to fly, and there's a third speed rate instead of just the two that the F36 has. It also comes with a 260mah battery instead of a 150mah.

I have only flown it for about a minute so far, but I am very impressed already. More info coming soon! Here's some pics. I'll get the battery charged, and the APP installed on my phone and get some video shortly.

Edit 11-8-2019 These are now on sale for only $18.68 during the 11-11 sales event! Click me to purchase.

Here is a quick flight video. The second half of the video shows the footage from the WiFi FPV camera.

FuriBee H801 RTF WiFi FPV Micro Quadcopter (3 min 28 sec)
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Posted by fastmax | Oct 24, 2017 @ 11:16 AM | 10,124 Views
The MANA M285 is a 295mm FPV quadcopter that is perfect for park flyers, and for those pilots that want a quad that can carry an HD camera, yet easily fit in a backpack. Thanks to its folding design it can easily slip into even small backpacks and totes. Best part is, it is highly affordable and is currently available for only $121

Even though this quad has been designed to be compact when folded up, it is still big on features. You get a carbon fiber frame, and arms, and a vibration dampened carbon fiber plate for mounting the HD action camera of your choice.

You also get an excellent electronics package with an SPRACINGF3 flight controller with MWOSD, 20A 2-4s ESC, and 2204 2300kv motors. If there's a downfall to this electronics package it's that it ships with an older version of Cleanflight, and will either require you to use to an older version of the Chrome APP, or update the firmware on the FC. I chose to update the firmware, and installed Betaflight 3.1.7 and it installed easily, and without so much as a hiccup. If you have, or get this quad and need any assistance, just ask and I will help walk you through the process.

On the FPV side you get an excellent performing 700TVL camera, and 600mw 40 channel 5.8ghz VTX.

I managed to get mine set up, and got a receiver installed, and of course it is raining, so a test flight will have to wait. For now here are some pics. Flight video coming as soon as the rain stops so stay tuned!

First LOS flight on 3s

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Posted by fastmax | Oct 22, 2017 @ 08:10 AM | 9,610 Views
AWESOME ASUAV have been releasing some quite, well, awesome quadcopters over the past couple years. The AWESOME Q95 which I reviewed earlier this year was an excellent flying brushless micro. Let's see if the AWESOME F100 follows suit.

This little quad is equipped with an Omnibus F3 flight controller with integrated OSD, A 4 in 1 BLHeli-S 10A ESC running DShot600, and 7500kv 1103 motors spinning 2035 four blade props. For the FPV we get a 600TVL camera, and 48 channel 25mw VTX.

The package includes the quad, as either a Frsky BNF, or as a PNP version ready for the receiver of your choice. They also give you a a 500mah 2s 7.4v battery, two sets of props, a set of prop guards, and a couple extra bands for securing the battery. All in all it is a very complete package for those that already have a radio, and a charger.

The quad itself looks great, and has a very high quality feel to it. If you like purple, you will really like the frame, motors, and props. Kelly loves it. Personally, I'm ok with plain old black, but I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there that will dig the purple color scheme.

I managed to get my F100 set up in Betaflight yesterday, and will be getting it in the air this morning, so stay tuned for flight video, and more info. For now here are some pics.

Here's some flight video. Much like the Q95 this little F100 is a very smooth, and quiet flying quad.

ASUAV AWESOME F100 Brushless Micro FPV Racer First Flight (3 min 20 sec)
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Posted by fastmax | Oct 17, 2017 @ 03:09 PM | 10,466 Views
All BNF versions are currently on sale for only $169.99 Click me.

With the popularity of Drone Racing growing more and more by the day, manufacturers are hard at work to bring us the latest, and greatest features. FuriBee is no exception to this, and they have been steady releasing some awesome new products, including some very nice FPV quadcopters. One of their latest releases, the DarkMax 220 is turning the BNF quad world upside down.

The FuriBee DarkMax 220 is absolutely loaded with features! It starts with the new ARTOWER F4 Plus flight controller with SD card slot, integrated OSD, VTX, and current and voltage sensor. Next is a 4 in 1 BLHeli-S 30A DShot ESC, capable of handling up to 6S power. They also teamed up with DYS to bring us some excellent new SR2205 2550kv Race Edition motors. To make things even better they used the popular 960H CCD FPV camera for some of the best FPV image quality currently available. As if all this wasn't enough, they also include 2 sets of Gemfan Flash 5152 tri blade props. The end result is one heck of a bind and fly package, and all for only $169

I managed to get my DarkMax set up in Betaflight this afternoon, and got it out for its first flight. I am very impressed with this quad! It is fast, smooth, and agile. It actually surprised me how much power it has even on 3s. I can't wait to get some 4s and 5s flights in with it. I can only imagine what the speed, and power will be like when I hit these motors with more voltage.

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Posted by fastmax | Oct 03, 2017 @ 01:57 PM | 10,298 Views
EDIT 11/7

During the 11.11 sales get the BFIGHT 210 FPV Racer for only $119.99

Aurora RC earned themselves quite a few fans earlier this year, when they released the ARFUN 90 brushless micro FPV racer. It was an instant hit with quadcopter pilots. Shortly after that they released the ARFUN Pro 95, which quickly became even more popular than the original ARFUN. Now they've stepped up their game and released an ultra light 5 inch racer, the BFIGHT 210!

Upon opening the box, I was immediately impressed with this quad. It has a very high quality look, and feel to it. I was also surprised at just how light it actually feels for a 210mm racer. I am super stoked to get this one in the air. I expect it to have impressive punch outs.

The quad is well equipped, and has an Omnibus F3 Pro FC with OSD, and micro SD card slot, a 4 in 1 30A DShot ESC, and 2205 2300kv motors. The FPV system is also well put together, and has a 960H 1080p Full HD CCD camera, and 25/200mw selectable power output VTX. This should give an excellent FPV experience with a very clear image transmission.

As if that's not enough Aurora RC has also included some awesome Gemfan props. The Whisky props are super cool, and the color is almost spot on to the color of good ole Jack Daniels.

With all of these great features you'd expect to have to pay quite a bit for this racer, but to make this package even better, all BNF versions are currently available for only $183

I will be getting this connected to...Continue Reading