E_Fly H377 CP FBL Helicopter Review - RC Groups
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Oct 30, 2013, 01:38 AM
Vids: YouTube.com/FyreSG
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Mini-Review

E_Fly H377 CP FBL Helicopter Review




Introduction

Looking at the microquad market, I would expect more rebrands or clones of HiSky FBL100, but to my surprise, there was only WLtoys V922. Almost a year after V922 was released, E_Fly Hobby produced H377 that looks like a cousin of WLtoys V922. James mentioned that the an engineer from HiSky had joined E_Fly. Perhaps that explains why H377 looks so much like FBL100 / V922.

Thanks to Banggood, I am able to review E_Fly H377. I hope my short review can answer the following questions:

1. How is H377 different from V922?

2. Is H377 better than V922? Should I get H377 or V922?



The Package

The label “Volitation” on the box reminds me of V922.



No surprises inside the package.



Batteries are identical to my V922 batteries.



The LCD on the transmitter looks different from the V922 but the way it behaves reminds me of the V922 transmitter.



The most annoying similarity is the throttle hold warning during power up. Having TH activated is a good habit but they don’t want us to do that.



The blades are 114mm blades, like those found on V922 / FBL100. I did some quick pitch calculations.

Normal
0% -2.5 degrees
50% +3.8 degrees
100% +14.5 degrees

Idle-Up
0% -12.7 degrees
50% +0.5 degrees
100% +14.5 degrees

It was impossible to achieve zero pitch at 50% throttle Idle-Up. Also, lengthening and shortening the rear push road was significantly more difficult than doing so for V922. The frame gets in the way.



Comparison

It is obvious that the size and shape of resembles V922.



Without a fat chin, the H377 is a clear winner in the aesthetics department!



The green canopy looks nice and the white landing gear looks pretty refreshing.




Key Similarities with V922

- Transmitter supports Beginner mode - inverting of controls during inverted flight.
- Comes with a simulator port.
- Shares many parts, e.g. batteries, main motor, tail motor, main gear, ...
- Suffers from the same tail wag when it exits a turn or a fast tail stop (think high tail D-gain).
- Flies really like the V922!

Key Differences with V922

- Different protocol
- Has the same D/R (i.e. same “sensitivity”) for Advanced vs Beginner Modes
- Non protruding bullets on rotor blades
- Servo carbon strips are non-replaceable
- Frame (especially the antirotation guide)
- Swashplate
- Bends of the push rods (not 90-degrees)
- Round tail boom
- Tail rotor blades
- Receiver board
- Landing gear (color and stiffness)



There are no english spelling mistakes for H377! Perhaps to avoid lawsuits from WLtoys?



While the receiver board has a similar shape to that of the V922, the layout is different.





The label on the board reads: .JR-H377R REV:02 2013.07.30



But the servo and motor connectors are at the same spots as V922.



H377 has a different power up sequence. When power is connected, it spins the tail rotor for a half a second. As tail rotor spins on power up means a blown tail FET, I felt disturbed every time I power up the heli.

It’s disappointing that E_Fly used enamel coated wires for the tail motor, and linear servos that do not allow carbon strip replacements.



The tail boom is round; that means the boom has to be glued to the frame. What happens if the boom breaks? How to replace it? Hmmm.



I flew the bird a couple of times but I couldn’t feel any advantage the different swashplate and antirotation guide provide to H377 as compared to V922.





Flight Experience

The helicopter is able to achieve a very stable hover. It feels slightly more stable than V922 but I could be wrong. When the tail stops abruptly during a quarter piro in either direction, the tail wags left/right/left very slightly. Not a big deal. The same tail wag also occurs when the heli exits a banked turn.
Piros do not stay on the spot. This is not surprising because a $100 RTF is unlikely to come with advanced piro optimization.



At Idle-Up, the bird loses a little altitude. The bird is able to pull off pitch pumps “well”. Motor bogging can be heard, and the tail drifts a little, but not a major cause of concern.

H377 flies well in high speed circuits. It can pull off fast figure-8s effortlessly. Flips and rolls can be easily done even if collective management is poor. But to do an axial flip / roll, timing has to be precise. I took many tries before I got one. The heli can handle fast flips and rolls, but not as fast as those by FBL80. I wish I could try some tick-tocks but my 3D skills are very limited. Maybe try some half piro flips the next time.



Key Questions

1. How is H377 different from V922?

While H377 has a handful of differences from V922, I was unable to tell if they allowed it to be a better helicopter. It shares very similar flight characteristics with V922 as it even has the same tail wag that V922, FBL100 and FBL80 have. I’m quite sure if i had swapped the canopy, a V922 pilot would not tell he’s flying a H377.


2. Is H377 better than V922? Should I get H377 or V922?

No. It flies like the V922 but it has a few issues. I don’t like the use of non-replaceable carbon strips, no RF module support (means no tweaking of curves), and a round boom that is held together by glue. If you don’t have a V922, get the V922 instead. If you already have a V922, you could get H377 as a second helicopter to fly, while you wait for your V922 motors to cool down.





Conclusion

I believe that E_Fly H377 is a clone of V922 but tries also to be different. Some of the differences are supposed to be improvements from V922 (e.g. antirotation guide) but I couldn’t detect improvements while flying it. There are no compelling reasons why this is a superior helicopter than the popular V922. To be fair, it also doesn’t have strong reasons why this is a bad choice either.



Pros

+ Flies perfectly out of the box
+ Nice looks
+ Stable flight
+ Good 3D performance


Cons

- Enamel wires may short the tail FET when worn out
- Difficult to replace tail boom
- Does not support programmable transmitter



Links

- Photo Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fyresg/...7637073834986/
- H377 RTF: http://www.banggood.com/Efly-MDPX280...F-p-88049.html



Videos

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Oct 30, 2013, 02:26 AM
Registered User
Nice review I wonder what protocol it uses. It would be good to pick up a bnf as I don't want yet another transmitter!
Oct 30, 2013, 02:41 AM
Registered User
Zaphod69's Avatar
Nice review as always.

What parts are compatible? Hopefully the canopy is but other parts? Will also be interesting to see the parts pricing especially for the ones that are compatible
Oct 30, 2013, 04:15 AM
Registered User
joeclone's Avatar
Looking at the pics dun think the canopy is plug n play coz of the different post positions onthe frame but should be easy enough to make new holes? Thanks for the review Frye. So just confirming, the landing skid holes are the same as the v922?
Oct 30, 2013, 06:04 AM
Screwed Again My Friend
jombo's Avatar
Great review! IDN, the round tail boom may be a blessing. If the 922 breakers and the wires get pulled out , we locate them to the outside . We'll if the round boom brakes we could use a wood food skewer or bamboo stick I place of the boom. I find it harder to find a square than a round boom in the kitchen lol.
I just wish the H377 had a programmable dr on the radio .
Oct 30, 2013, 10:48 AM
Team WarpSquad
Daryoon's Avatar

E_Fly H377 CP FBL Helicopter Review


Thanks for the review FyreSG. So the boom is glued into the frame. No way to tell if the boom is keyed with a flat side like the mCPx? edited (2014-01-02 - From the spare parts page on BangGood, I can see a flat section)

The good thing about round is being able to install a solid boom for those of us still crashing a lot and need something more robust.

Also, despite not having the ability for replacing the resistive strip, the upside is the servo is less weight and more importantly, may be compatible in mCPX frames. Especially considering all the aftermarket frames are designed for the mCPx.

I tried installing the v922 onto a Tarot Frame (microHeli clone). Unfortunately, the v922 servo will not fit at the rear. I am hoping the H377 will fare better. Resolved: See this post for resolution.
Last edited by Daryoon; Jan 02, 2014 at 12:10 PM.
Oct 30, 2013, 10:54 AM
Team WarpSquad
Daryoon's Avatar
I forgot to mention. Not being able to bind to one of the popular programmable radios is a big drawback IMHO.

Heli's that can do so can garner the beginner markets as well as cater to hobbyist who expect the ability to use a programmable radio.

Have you tried binding to FlySky yet? I know in your review, you said it's not HiSky compatible.

Also, wonder if the noisey tail signal has been fixed versus their HiSky competitor who suffers from this.

The waggy tail doesn't give a good feeling that the issue is resolved. Possibly because the engineer isn't aware there is an issue to fix.
Oct 30, 2013, 01:17 PM
Registered User
Also wondering about the protocol. Any chance you can get some photos of the back of the PCB to see what RF chip it has? So far I can see from the one photo the hardware for the FBL system

Invensense MPU-6050 3-axis Gyro

Nuvoton M058ZBN Processor

I don't see an RF transceiver on that side of the board though. My guess is that is is on the bottom right of the board looking from the back, probably right above the battery tray. More than likely this bird can be controlled by the Devo Tx series with a module add in if someone puts in the work to crack the protocol.
Oct 30, 2013, 07:40 PM
Vids: YouTube.com/FyreSG
FyreSG's Avatar
Thanks guys! Glad you like it.

I need to examine the heli closely to really determine the parts that are swappable with V922. I'll do that after recording the H377 video.

Ah, I see that the round boom could be a blessing. How do I check if it is keyed? I could twist the boom but if it's actually glued, I may damage it. Maybe we wait for the tail boom replacement part to be released, then from the photo we could get the answer.

Before I try it with my 9X (with FlySky RF module), could we identify the RF chip from the RX? Jensen, here goes!



Oct 30, 2013, 09:53 PM
Team WarpSquad
Daryoon's Avatar
That's not FlySky.

HiSky and WLToys v2xx protocol uses that. I think AnyLink too.
Oct 30, 2013, 11:41 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the pic!

RF Transciever chip is an nRF24LE1 which as Daryoon has already pointed out is the same as HiSky and V2x2. He is also right about the AnyLink using it. I see this is an nRF24LE1E vs the nRF24LE1G used on the V922. Not sure what the E vs G denotes however.

Regardless I believe this should be an nRF24L01 compatible Rx, so the Devo series running Deviation with an nRF24L01 module installed should physically be capable of binding to it. We just need someone to reverse engineer the protocol which is unfortunately where my knowledge stops currently since I only just got my Devo 10. Knowing the hardware is a good first step though.

It is quite possible it uses one of the many protocols already known for the nRF chips, which one is the question.
Nov 03, 2013, 11:11 AM
v922 130x 300x
matthew0220's Avatar
From looking at the close up pics of the ball links they seem to be different sizes than the 922, but i may be wrong, and it could be a easy fix prob for those thinking of attempting to put their 922's in this airframe, simply get a set of h377 control arm rods and swap the ends out with your 922's, of course we are still waiting to hear if the servos will even fit in this frame...


Edit: after closer inspection of the pics provided, it looks like the servos are wider than our 922's...
Nov 03, 2013, 11:23 AM
Team WarpSquad
Daryoon's Avatar
I hope it's not wider and same size as Blade mCPX and nCPX. I am still waiting on a set to come from BG.

Only FyreSG can answer out questions at this point.

I don't know anybody else who has this Heli as well as the HiSky ones.
Nov 03, 2013, 05:55 PM
Vids: YouTube.com/FyreSG
FyreSG's Avatar
I measured the V922 and H377 servos. They are the same dimensions: 16mm by 19mm. But I discovered that the front servos of H377 are too near to the board that they cause the push rods to be non-parallel to the main shaft. That's not the case for V922.

Recap:



When the front servos moves up, the force is not a pure 12 o'clock "up", but a 11 o'clock "up".
Nov 04, 2013, 02:39 PM
v922 130x 300x
matthew0220's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FyreSG
I measured the V922 and H377 servos. They are the same dimensions: 16mm by 19mm. But I discovered that the front servos of H377 are too near to the board that they cause the push rods to be non-parallel to the main shaft. That's not the case for V922.

Recap:



When the front servos moves up, the force is not a pure 12 o'clock "up", but a 11 o'clock "up".
Great news! Lol, the servos will fit. Yea, them bein closer to the board must be the reason they look bigger in the pic, but i dont like the sound of the 11 o clock servo, i wonder if making th tiny hook end face the other way would help or if its even an issue...