The Walkera QR W100 review (Wifi based FPV!) ***Updated:Video!*** - RC Groups
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May 04, 2013, 08:50 AM
The flightless bird
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Mini-Review

The Walkera QR W100 review (Wifi based FPV!) ***Updated:Video!***


The Walkera W100 review



Introduction

Hey everyone,
 I've been very excited about the Walkera W100 ever since it was recently released. A Devo-compatible micro quad with a science-fiction inspired canopy which could also be flown with iOS devices. On top of all that, the W100 has a wifi-based FPV system that beams a live, recordable video to your iOS device. That is quite a lot to fit into a relatively small package, let's see if Walkera could work their magic and make the W100 meet all of its promises.
 Before we start, I would like to thank Jacky from Banggood.com for providing the sample and for the company's support of my fair and unbiased reviews as always.

From the box

As the W100 is designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, it is not bundled with a transmitter.

Box contents include:
1x W100 quadcopter
1x 3.7V 600mAh 20C Lipo
1x Spare propeller set
1x Instructional CD, instruction manual and bind plug



The walk-around

2 W100s ready for an afternoon worth of flight demos at the Beijing RC Expo 2013


[/IMG]
Underneath the futuristic frame, the W100 is built on a brand new frame. The arms are modularized, which means that replacing the motor pods take only about a second or two. Re-designed landing pods take the brunt of landings and crashes so I'm guessing that the motors would last much longer under normal operation as they are not subject to the repetitive impacts of landing.
 A hatch underneath the rear fuselage holds the FPV antenna in place and it covers the space in which the battery has to be inserted into the frame. The battery leads also fit into the cavity quite well. Covered, the fuselage looks clean and sleek.

The battery is a 3.7V 600mAh 20C unit that provides about a 6-7 minute flight-time.


The PCB/FC is a 3-axis gyro+3 axis accelerometer unit. It is attached to the top of the main frame while the FPV unit is underneath.

Flying weight is 78 grams (the battery itself weighs 18 grams!)



The flightdeck


Other than all Devo transmitters, the W100 is intended to work with any iOS (Apple) device. Go to the App Store and search for an app called "WK-Remote", it is quite intuitive and works quite well in my opinion.

If you intend to fly with a Devo tx, bind the W100 to the tx first. Then go to "settings" on your iOS device and search for your quad's wifi signal. Every quad has a different wifi name, mine is WK08280347 for example.
With the Walkera app, there are 2 methods in which you could fly the quad. One is with on screen "sticks" superimposed onto the video link, the other one depends on the accelerometer of the phone/tablet... tilt the device fore, aft, left and right and the quad will respond accordingly.


Flight Performance


For me, flying with the tablet or iphone is very awkward... I tried flying it with my iPad and it felt vague at best. I felt that the ability to fly the quad with iOS devices is really more of a gimmick, although the Walkera staff flew the W100 just fine with their iPhones. I really don't think most of the readers here would be doing so. It just doesn't seem as refined as flying with a traditional transmitter (for me at least).

With my Devo 8S, the W100 really comes to life. First of all, THEY SOLVED THE RUDDER/AILERON MIXING PROBLEM! It responds to simultaneous rudder and aileron inputs just fine. Speaking of the rudder, the yaw rate is fast and the W100 is probably the closest thing I've flown that could do a flat pirouette.

Like its predecessors, the W100 does have accelerometer and 3 axis gyro modes (indicated by the blue or red LED visible through the windshield). In 3 axis mode, the W100 livens up for manual flips and under the accelerometer enabled mode, it'll fly like it's on rails.

Other flight characteristics are in line with the other Walkera micros: surgical precision, impressive stability and the feeling of direct control.


So all in all, I'd say the W100 has flight characteristics that leave other quads in the dust; that said, it isn't without its flaws. The flight time is around 6-7 minutes but towards the end of the flight, the W100 does seem to struggle a bit more to remain airborne. The motors get quite warm and the batteries alarmingly hot (though they weren't over discharged).

An even bigger issue is that if you are flying and someone accidentally binds to your W100's wifi signal, the W100 could drop out of the sky. Walkera assured me that this would be fixed in the next upgrade so hopefully this would be a non issue soon.

FPV performance


One of the biggest differences between the W100 and other Walkera FPV quads is that it uses wifi instead of a 5.8GHz unit to transmit the video signal. The Walkera app is quite nice and allows the video to be recorded for later playback. I've tried to fly the W100 purely with FPV and a spotter, but it seems to me that the frame rate is just too low for one to do so (unless you intend to just hover and yaw VERY slowly). The video also lags quite a bit sometimes forcing me to spot the quad to keep it flying.
The video quality is also a bit disappointing, especially when you are accustomed to other micro cams like the 808#16.


The Walkera W100 review (3 min 9 sec)
Conclusion


The W100 is a head turner and a crowd favorite. I did flight demos for Walkera at the Beijing R/C show this year and even though I was flying the QR Ladybird V2 under helicopter skids and really maxing out my skills, it would never draw as big of a crowd as the W100 would. I could be just hovering the W100 and a bunch of people would comment on the wifi system's cool factor and it's futuristic canopy.

You could tell that the engineers at Walkera really did their homework and I'm so glad they figured out how to solve most issues found on the QR1. It is really a pilot's quad that appeals to a wide range of audiences from the beginners to the experts.

The introduction of modularized motor and landing pods make removing and replacing parts a breeze, while the rest of the quad remains well protected under the fuselage.

A few issues I've had was with the heavy frame, hot motors and batteries after flights and video quality... I guess that these issues are the result of trying to pack so much into such a little package. I don't think these are fatal issues, they are just things that you would have to live with if you do decide to get the W100.



Pros & Cons


Pros
+ Great flight characteristics
+ Modularized motor pods
+ Aileron to rudder mixing issue solved!
+ re-designed landing pods
+ Innovation (wifi-based FPV system)
+ Devo compatible
+ Robust frame and fuselage construction

Cons
- Battery and motors get quite hot after flights
- Video quality and frame rate are quite low
- Heavy frame (shorter flight time)


I would like to thank you for taking the time to read the review. It was written on 5/4/2013 and is accurate per my findings. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know on this thread or via PM.
Last edited by jameschen072; May 07, 2013 at 11:05 PM.
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May 04, 2013, 08:52 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Here are all the pictures used in the review and some that were taken but did not fit.
If any other photos of the W100 are requested, they will be posted here also.
Last edited by jameschen072; May 06, 2013 at 05:42 AM.
May 05, 2013, 01:43 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Reserved for further information

If you are interested in purchasing the Walkera W100, please visit the following link: Banggood.com (Walkera W100 BNF) . They are selling the W100 for 89.98 USD

Or the updated version- the QR W100S can be found here
Last edited by jameschen072; May 30, 2013 at 01:35 AM.
May 05, 2013, 04:34 AM
Jacky Banggood RC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameschen072
Reserved for further information

If you are interested in purchasing the Walkera W100, please visit the following link: Banggood.com (Walkera W100 BNF) . They are selling the W100 for 89.98 USD
Well done.James.maybe with the video everybody will know more about the quality of the Video.
May 05, 2013, 12:01 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
James,

Once again an informative and excellent review.
What type of range did you get with the iphone/pad as the transmitter control?
I have used the I-phone as controller only on games and simulators of helicopters and I was unimpressed with responsiveness. I guess it's my old proprioceptors requiring more inputs.

Ben
May 05, 2013, 06:15 PM
Working to make things happen!
HeliStorm (FPV America)'s Avatar
As always, great review. I patiently await the video.
May 06, 2013, 12:04 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Cheers guys,
@Aaron and HeliStorm, the video shall be ready as soon as I figure out how to download the FPV video off my ipad into the laptop. Attached are 2 screenshots though..and that's about as good as the quality gets.

@Ben,
Cheers man! I flew with the ipad and about I'd say 40-50 meters is the max range of the video before it becomes too laggy. It does depend on location somewhat though.
Last edited by jameschen072; May 06, 2013 at 12:21 AM.
May 06, 2013, 03:38 PM
It got away...
Awesome!! I think with a nice transmitter this could be a real fun quad!!!
May 06, 2013, 09:51 PM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Number2pensel
Awesome!! I think with a nice transmitter this could be a real fun quad!!!
Indeed, it really needs a nice tx for you to see what it's made of... I don't think the rx fits other quad frames but if there's a way to make it work, I imagine it would be awesomely powerful and maneuverable.

I've figured out a way of downloading the video onto my laptop...uploading it onto youtube at the moment, stay tuned!
May 06, 2013, 10:10 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameschen072
Cheers guys,
@Aaron and HeliStorm, the video shall be ready as soon as I figure out how to download the FPV video off my ipad into the laptop. Attached are 2 screenshots though..and that's about as good as the quality gets.
I'd like to know how to get video to the computer from the iPad or iPhone. This would be a good feature but I can't tell if it is possible. Everything else looks good though
May 06, 2013, 10:26 PM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehelidude
I'd like to know how to get video to the computer from the iPad or iPhone. This would be a good feature but I can't tell if it is possible. Everything else looks good though
You'll need some kind of a file explorer and you can find the saved videos under the WK-Remote app file... may do a tutorial later if you or others can't find said files.

Speaking of videos... here it is!
The Walkera W100 review (3 min 9 sec)
May 07, 2013, 12:57 PM
Live to learn. . .
Rafa's CB100's Avatar
Nice write up, as always. I bought one if these last week from HobbyOne, and was also pleasantly surprised by the ability to do a banked turn. I think you should list that in the 'Pros' section, considering that that is one of he few gripes that folks have with the Ladybird.

Rafa
May 07, 2013, 11:08 PM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa's CB100
Nice write up, as always. I bought one if these last week from HobbyOne, and was also pleasantly surprised by the ability to do a banked turn. I think you should list that in the 'Pros' section, considering that that is one of he few gripes that folks have with the Ladybird.

Rafa
Cheers man! Thanks for pointing that out, I was planning on writing it in but forgot I guess... The ability to simultaneously give rudder and aileron input is indeed a great improvement over the ladybird's flight performance!
May 10, 2013, 12:13 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
So has no-one received their W100 yet? Am I the only one having all the fun again? :P

Bringing my W100 to the park tomorrow to hopefully get a better video
Last edited by jameschen072; May 10, 2013 at 09:08 AM.
May 11, 2013, 01:33 PM
Registered User
I would buy one if walkera releases a android app that works with the W100... They are missing a big chunk of business by forgetting about android users..


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