The WLToys V323 Hexacopter review - RC Groups
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Mar 16, 2014, 04:43 AM
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The WLToys V323 Hexacopter review


***Notice: This review was written after post #60 on page 4 was made. Prior to that, this post contained preliminary and speculative information about the hexacopter that is now covered by the contents of this review; the preliminary information was subsequently deleted and replaced with review content.***

The WLToys V323 Review


Introduction

Hey guys,
Many of you know that the V262 is one of my favorite aircraft in the WLToys line of quadcopters; its one of the most powerful brushed quads I’ve ever flown, and the ability to carry a Mobius camera when flown without the foam canopy makes it a definite winner in my books.
A few days ago, Tmart contacted me to see if I could teach some of their staff about the basics of R/C flight, and on a side note, they asked if I was interested in testing out the brand new WLToys Hexacopter.
OF COURSE! I’m always up for testing interesting products!

So long story short, I have the hexacopter in my hands and here is my review of the V323 hex. Before we begin, special thanks goes to Tmart.com for providing the review sample; their constant support of my unbiased reviews is also much appreciated.


From the box

photo courtesy of Tmart.com, my little photo studio isn't big enough to fit everything in...

So this was a pre-production unit without a “box” so-to-speak, but the foam insert was here and man, this is one of the largest foam container of any sort that I have ever seen!
It does seem to protect the aircraft well enough though, everything is well packed and nothing was damaged when it arrived. Excellent!

In the box sits the fully assembled V323 hex, a 4 channel transmitter, a big pack of props and a Lipo battery along with its charger. No instruction manual was included (as this was a pre-production unit), but expect to see one to come along with your production unit.

Officially, the box contents are as follows:

1x 4 channel 2.4GHz transmitter
1x Fully assembled V323 hexacopter
1x Instruction manual
1x Lithium Polymer charger
1x Fullymax 1600mAh 7.4V (2S) Lithium Polymer battery
1x Spare propeller set


The cockpit

Picture borrowed from my V262 review, same exact unit

Guys with the V252/262 would find the transmitter quite familiar, as it is the same exact unit found on these aircraft all the way down to the protocol used. For those new to the transmitter: it’s a very functional unit for what it’s worth… you can control lights and control rates with this transmitter, and there’s a flip ready key (which I think is just fantastic) that will make the transmitter beep until a full aileron or elevator command is given. When said command is given, the aircraft will automatically flip or roll (depending on input) and come back to horizontal, this is a safer feature compared to the button activated flips and rolls (found on earlier WLToys products and on products from other companies) which can be accidentally activated in certain circumstances.

The sticks are a little stiff for my liking; lots of practice is needed (for me at least) in order for me to control the aircraft in a very fluid motion. If you have a Devo transmitter, I recommend doing the required Deviation mods and flying the aircraft with that.



The walkaround

If you have a V262 in your hands, you’ll find that a lot of the parts found on the V262 are used directly (or via slight modification) on the hexacopter.

What’s different:
The frame (added slots for the extra arms, a larger battery bay for the larger battery), the arms (longer), the FC and the foam ring/attachment points.

The charger, transmitter, along with everything on the motor pod (motor, gears, shaft and prop etc) remains the same.

Seems like this may be a good option for those who want a larger aircraft compared to the V262, the sharing of parts along with the shared transmitter protocol (which is Deviation compatible) is a big plus in my books for those who already have the 262.


Flight characteristics

After a simple binding procedure (plug battery in, place on level surface, turn on tx and cycle the throttle), the V323 is ready to go. With about half throttle or so and a little bit of throttle management, even beginners could get the V323 into a stable hover without too much prior practice.

At eye level, it is quite hard to tell which direction the V323 is orientated, so I think I’m going to place a few stickers on the “front” of the foam ring to help me get my bearings.

At altitude, the red front propellers along with the white LEDs indicate the orientation of the aircraft rather well, but I still feel that the orientation is somewhat harder to tell than that of a quad.

With the stock transmitter, it is quite difficult to fly the 323 in a very precise manner; it almost feels like an on/off thing actually. I feel it may be to do with my particular unit though, as I’ve tried flying the V323 with the V212 transmitter and it seems to respond much better for one reason or another.

Another thing that bugs me- the VERY slow yaw rate, almost appallingly slow even under high rates.

Flips and rolls can be achieved quite easily by first pressing the flip ready key, then pushing either the aileron or the elevator sticks in the desired direction. Flips are pretty straightforward and not a lot of altitude is lost in the process; rolls on the other hand require a bit more altitude for some reason.

As with the V262, you could fly the V323 up high and cut the throttle… better yet, cut the throttle while the V323 is in the middle of a flip or roll… and the 323 will float or tumble towards the ground. Throttle up and give the V323 some altitude to catch itself, it’s quite fun to see how many were convinced that your aircraft was truly out of control.
Like its predecessor, the V323 is a very stable platform upon which many attachments (like the Mobius camera) could be mounted… but I haven’t had the chance to test out the platform with the Mobius as I left it home in Taiwan. I’ll hopefully pick up another one and show you the view from above.



Close but no cigar

Here's us trying to land a HCP100 on the back of the V323. We learnt that when you take on something the size of the V323 with something the size of the HCP100...the V323 wins.
Reliability issues

One of the motors on my V323 gave way about 3 or 4 flights into my test flight program. It had a very distinct high pitched whine and the motor stopped almost immediately afterwards.
The motor temperature was found to be extremely high and I don’t think that it would’ve survived a few more seconds of current before something fried.

Unfortunately, we knew about this problem way back in the V262 days, it’s a shame that WLToys continued their use of this particular motor (N50?). Reliability on my V323 has been decent after said motor was replaced, but I’m always on the lookout for that distinct whine during my flights, just in case the motor ceases up again.

Another issue was that when I tried to take apart the foam canopy, I found that the board was missing 2 of its 4 screws; I’m not sure if this happened in flight or if it came to me like that, but I think that this is a very serious issue either way. I’ve replaced said screws but will frequently check them as there is a definite possibility that this was caused by airframe vibrations.


Conclusion


The V323 is a fun, eye-catching upgrade to the popular V262; the flight characteristics of this aircraft feel extremely similar to that of the 262, but the added arms definitely add to the lifting power. I feel that the V323 will be a very good choice as a FPV platform due to its slow yaw rate and stable flight characteristics, but as a sport flyer, it’s probably not your best bet. I personally love it because it’s really a conversation starter when I bring it to the field, I love seeing how amazed people are when they see this awesome hex in the air.

If you have a deviation system with the V2X2 protocol enabled, then I think that take away many of the controllability issues as mentioned in the review.

Some reliability issues are still there, I’ll talk to WLToys to see if they can do anything about it before the aircraft reaches production.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the review, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to let me know via PM, or seek the collected wisdom of the guys here in the mini multirotors thread.
This review was written on March 25, 2014 and is accurate per my findings.

You can pick up the V323 via this link



Pros and Cons

Pros
+ Very stable flight characteristics
+ The ability to carry the Mobius camera
+ Crowd pleaser 
+ Parts compatibility with the V262

Cons
- Reliability issues
- Transmitter sticks are very stiff, hard to achieve precise controls
- VERY loud
Last edited by jameschen072; Mar 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM.
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Mar 16, 2014, 04:44 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Reserved for videos, faq etc
Mar 16, 2014, 04:59 AM
Wicked, tricksy, false!
mikefromgermany's Avatar
Will WL toys never learn after their V262 barely missed desaster?
Again a "too heavy for brushed motors construction" with high maintanance to expect.

At least the spare parts will be cheap (multiplied by 6, though).

*not thrilled*
-mike-

Edit:
Even after James' brilliant review my opinion hasn't changed.
Bound to die early motors and a "prayers-to-the-gods-to-stay-airborn" transmitting protocol.
Nevertheless, at this price point there will be a waiting line to hop onto the bandwagon, accompanied with the urge to put lipstick on the pig because the spareparts are so cheap, too.

The cheapest spare part is the not needed one.
Reliability is no magic but comes with a price (I'm not talking about selling your soul).
Last edited by mikefromgermany; Mar 28, 2014 at 02:30 PM.
Mar 16, 2014, 05:17 AM
Registered User
SeByDocKy's Avatar
If it's cheap why not ..... I guess it can be a little bit more power and stable than a 262 ...

Thanks James for this scoop

EDIT : 2 times that Tmart got some WLtoys exclusivity .... Have BG got some problems now with WLtoys ?
Last edited by SeByDocKy; Mar 16, 2014 at 05:22 AM.
Mar 16, 2014, 05:30 AM
Wicked, tricksy, false!
mikefromgermany's Avatar
I won't even think about any camera (over)loaded, cheap (not so anymore after needing to mod it with bearings, motors, props etc) toy this size using the still unreliable (better: erratic) WL-toys protocol available for everyone with his brain in his trousers doing aerials in wherever place he thinks to do so.

But that's just me.

We'll see after James' unbiased review and some further experiences in a few months

I would be glad to be proven wrong.

-mike-

P.S.
With 80cm diameter it doesn't really qualify for a "Mini", so I'd recommend moving the thread to Multirotor Talk
Last edited by mikefromgermany; Mar 16, 2014 at 05:36 AM.
Mar 16, 2014, 05:45 AM
Registered User
SeByDocKy's Avatar
Sure ... a V262 is not a DJIphantom for sure ... but for 70 RTF ... and a mobius camera, it's not bad to learn FPV. Such toy represents a training step for FPV.... nothing else. In this way, it should be encouragead. But if this V323 is >150 USD (even > 90 USD).... no way for me ....
About the WLtoys protocol, I don't see major drawback in fact.... It's based on nRF24L01+, for me one of the best RF chip in the market. My only concern is the choice of communication speed ....(@1mbits/). At 250kbits/ it would be enough and would increase range by almost 4.
Latest blog entry: Youbi XV-130 130MM FPV Racer
Mar 16, 2014, 08:44 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
I'm a little curious as to what protocol this hexacopter would use... I know that the V303 (clone of the DJI phantom) uses the HiSKY protocol, the V2X2 uses the Languang protocol..I'm guessing that the V323 uses Languang or KN (the protocol that their power star series uses)..but knowing KN, they don't do multirotor projects...

HMM....

my money is on the V2X2 protocol at the moment as they had a good thing going on there.

@Mike, I will see what the real exact size is when it shows up, but I think the guys on this forum are going to be more interested in this particular aircraft than the guys on the multirotor talk thread. I do agree that flying such a (if the 80 cm measurement is accurate) large aircraft with the previously unstable V2X2 protocol is slightly unnerving... Will definitely try it out in a VERY large and open space.
Mar 16, 2014, 10:33 AM
Registered User
SeByDocKy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameschen072
I'm a little curious as to what protocol this hexacopter would use... I know that the V303 (clone of the DJI phantom) uses the HiSKY protocol, the V2X2 uses the Languang protocol..I'm guessing that the V323 uses Languang or KN (the protocol that their power star series uses)..but knowing KN, they don't do multirotor projects...

HMM....

my money is on the V2X2 protocol at the moment as they had a good thing going on there.

@Mike, I will see what the real exact size is when it shows up, but I think the guys on this forum are going to be more interested in this particular aircraft than the guys on the multirotor talk thread. I do agree that flying such a (if the 80 cm measurement is accurate) large aircraft with the previously unstable V2X2 protocol is slightly unnerving... Will definitely try it out in a VERY large and open space.


@James ...

If it's using the 2x2 protocol, why call it V323 ? Is Wltoys factory close to a beer warehouse ? coz they are so illogical, they must drink all day long .. (they are already with their new Power series).... They should call it V282 or V292 ....

For the range test with cloverleaf antenna, I reached 320m of distance... added with a wifi booster, 720m and had to stop measurement (I guess i could go further 800 or even 900m)

KN compagny designed their new protocol Interesting...
Latest blog entry: Youbi XV-130 130MM FPV Racer
Mar 16, 2014, 10:53 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeByDocKy
@James ...

If it's using the 2x2 protocol, why call it V323 ? Is Wltoys factory close to a beer warehouse ? coz they are so illogical, they must drink all day long .. (they are already with their new Power series).... They should call it V282 or V292 ....

For the range test with cloverleaf antenna, I reached 320m of distance... added with a wifi booster, 720m and had to stop measurement (I guess i could go further 800 or even 900m)

KN compagny designed their new protocol Interesting...
Crazy I know, the new line of quads seem to follow a V3X3 naming scheme, and while the old one was easily understood (V9X9=Flysky, V2X2=Languang), there does not seem to be a logic behind the newer naming scheme for their products

example:
HiSKY protocol: V922, V933, V944, V955
KN protocol: V966, V977, V988, V930?!?!?! Even though the V930 is in the same family as the V966-988

and now with the quads, we know that the V272 still follows in the footsteps of the V2X2 series, but oddly enough the V303 uses the HiSKY protocol while the V323 uses a non-HiSKY protocol

Yeah, they've really gone crazy with their naming scheme, which I am not a fan of.
Mar 17, 2014, 09:43 PM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
OK, so our friends at Tmart brought over the V323 and I got to fly a it little (and keep it for review purposes)... this is an early prototype...

Good news- V2X2 PROTOCOL!! Just as I suspected, there's no reason for WLToys to go to another company for a brushed accelerometer-equipped quad. It does seem like it can lift A LOT of weight... and the running gear does seem to be derived from that of the V262 (could be good or bad, depending on your school of thought).

Bad news- I can't hear myself think when I'm anywhere near it... it's VERY big, hence it's quite hard to carry around... and orientation is a bit tough since the only identifiable feature on the aircraft that hints at the orientation are the 2 red blades... think I'll paint the 2 front rings white or something so that it's more easily seen at a distance.

More info to come as soon as I get the time to fly it a little more
Mar 17, 2014, 11:15 PM
Registered User
voltiosin's Avatar
OMG! Looks amazing, thanks for share.

but I hope better motors than the v262 ...
Mar 17, 2014, 11:36 PM
Registered User
Looks cool any idea on a price?
Mar 17, 2014, 11:40 PM
Registered User
richard9999's Avatar
Quote:
but I hope better motors than the v262 .
I would be very surprised if it wasn't exactly the same arms, motors and motor mounts as the V262, just x 6. I for one won't be getting one, as the thought of 50% more noise than the V262 doesn't appeal now that I have got used to the near silence of brushless quads, which don't cost that much more than the V262.
Mar 17, 2014, 11:51 PM
Vids: YouTube.com/FyreSG
FyreSG's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameschen072
KN protocol: V966, V977, V988, V930?!?!?! Even though the V930 is in the same family as the V966-988
Finally, the manufacturer the mysterious protocol is out! Shall we call it KN protocol, or KNN* protocol? Just kidding!

*swear word


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