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Jun 04, 2014, 12:03 AM
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Mini-Review

The Flypro Drone X400 review (450 sized RTF quad with Naza M Lite installed)


The Flypro Drone X400 Review


Introduction

Hey guys,
Iíve been flying micro and mini multicopters pretty much since they were first available, but Iíve never taken the first step towards more professional platforms (other than my Vision plus and a few other 350 sized quads); with flight controllers becoming cheaper and easier to set up- Iíve found that thereís no longer a reason for me to not get into more professional setups!

In this review I hope to find whether or not the Flypro Drone X400 from Hobbywow.com works as a one stop solution for those of us who want to move up without a lot of prior knowledge as to how to set up a multirotor from scratch.

Before we begin, I would like to thank Hobbywow.com for providing the review sample and for supporting my unbiased reviews.

From The Box
The whole Flypro Drone X400 comes well packaged in a blow-molded insert that fits into a cardboard box. Once unpacked, I found that the X400 was completely assembled except for the spongy landing pods (which are threaded and very easily installed).

All other components- the Devo 7 transmitter, the charger, camera mount, low voltage alarm and 11.1V 2200mAh battery pack etc. are all well protected in their respective cardboard boxes; Iím very happy with how well everything was protected and packed.

Officially:
ē1 * 100% Assembled Drone (Camera mounts, NAZA M lite Flight Control, Sponge balls/landing pods)
ē1 * Walkera DEVO 7 2.4GHz Transmitter
ē1 * 11.1V 2200mAh 20C Li-Po Battery
ē1 * Mobile phone Clamp
ē1 * Li-Po Battery Charger
ē1 * Adapter
ē1 * Alarm
ē1 * Gopro Strap

Oddly enough, no instruction manual or warnings were included in the package. Hopefully I could get the Hobbywow team to upload some instructions onto their website.


The Transmitter
The radio system that Hobbywow chose was the Walkera Devo 7 and the RX701 receiver; although the Devo 7 was never known to be a very user-friendly transmitter, the protocol is stable and proven.
The budget Devo 7 transmitter is well built and the quad-bearing gimbals as well as the overall ergonomics make it quite nice to hold and use. Like what other Devo 7 owners have found, I didnít find the UI very user friendly (quite unlike my previous experience with other transmitters in the Devo line).
No documentation was included with the Flypro Drone X400 to explain how the Devo 7 was set up, therefore figuring out if the quad has throttle hold or how to add GPS and FPV modules requires the user to do a little research on their own.

The Walk-Around

The frame of the Flypro Drone X400 is what looks like a clone of the DJI Flame Wheel 450. The way in which the frame was set up though is quite unique- the whole frame is built upside-down compared to how the original was designed; my guess is that they did this to elevate the camera unit and to replace the plastic landing gear of the Flame Wheel with the spongy yellow landing pods that come with the X400. Iím quite surprised at how stiff the frame is compared to the other units Iíve came in contact with in the past.

LEDs run along the inside of the arms, meaning that the lights are only visible if you are vertically below the aircraft

A Naza M Lite flight controller is pre-installed in the frame along with the RX, ESCs, motors and props. Hobbywow chose 10A ESCs, 1100KV 2208 motors along with carbon fiber props for the power system.

The stock battery is a generic ďHelicoxĒ brand 11.1V 2200mAh 20C battery with a Deans connector.

Remember to attach the included low voltage alarm to the balance plug prior to every flight.


Flight Characteristics

The Naza M Lite is a budget flight control system that has proven to be quite popular with quad flyers due to its low cost and great performance; Iím very excited that Hobbywow selected this flight controller for the X400. Iím not an expert with this flight controller by any means, but the X400 performs extremely well in the default attitude mode.

I suggest that buyers download the Naza M Lite manual (found here http://download.dji-innovations.com/...l_v1.00_en.pdf) before attempting to fly the X400; Iíve ordered a GPS/Compass module for my X400 in order to activate the RTH (return-to-home) function and the IOC functionality.

Drone X400 (5 min 2 sec)
Flight characteristics are pretty much in line with other quads of this size; itís smooth, refined and preciseÖ I would say that the X400 is tuned to be stable more than sporty, but it certainly isnít a slouch either; with the addition of the GPS/compass module, I believe that this would be one of the best ways to bridge the gap between RTF toy grade/semi-hobby grade quads and custom-built quads.


A standard camera mount is included in the package, upon which I mounted my RCLogger HD2 camera; the lack of jello effect and vibrations in calm conditions prove that the props were well balanced and the airframe is well-assembled in generalÖ that said, in any sort of wind there will be various levels of jello effect, which proves that the X400 needs an alternative method to mount the cameras instead of the stock hard-mount.
The biggest problem that I have with the X400 is that it is extremely hard to judge the orientation from far away; besides the LED strips (which are very hard to see from afar), there is very little else that gives the pilot a way to judge where the quadcopter is pointed. I have talked with the Hobbywow team about this issue and talked about the possibility of changing the color of the landing pods; having a camera on-board also makes the X400ís orientation slightly easier to judge.



Conclusion
I believe the Hobbywow Flypro Drone X400 is a great way to bridge the world of RTF consumer multicopters and the world of DIY units; the integration of solid hobby-grade components such as the Devo 7 and the Naza M Lite means that the X400 could be upgraded in the future (or the components could be re-used in other aircraft).
The optional GPS unit is something that I think X400 owners should purchase; having the extra layer of protection is something that I think most owners would appreciate (the price for the GPS unit isnít too bad at all either).
Despite the lack of documentation and the lack of visual cues for orientation, I think the X400 is a good and well thought-out product. If you are trying to move up from RTF units to DIY units, then I definitely recommend it.

Thank you for reading my review guys; this is my first review of something the class and size of the Flypro Drone X400, so forgive me if Iíve made a few mistakes here and there. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do feel free to make yourself heard in this thread.

Purchasing information:
Hobbywow Link The Drone X400 is currently available for 339.99USD

Pros and Cons

Pros
+ Name brand Hobby grade components used
+ Well balanced carbon fiber props
+ Robust and rigid airframe
+ Complete package/ Pre-tested

Cons
- Lack of visual cues for orientation
- LEDs are not well-placed (only visible when viewed from below)
-Hard mounted camera causes jello in anything but calm conditions
Last edited by jameschen072; Jun 04, 2014 at 12:37 AM.
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Jun 04, 2014, 12:03 AM
kiwi power!
jameschen072's Avatar
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Drone X400 (5 min 2 sec)
Jun 04, 2014, 03:03 AM
Registered User
What's the recommended max payload and how long can it fly?
Jun 04, 2014, 06:27 PM
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jameschen072's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witoldc
What's the recommended max payload and how long can it fly?
Thanks for the comment Witoldc, I got about 10~11 minutes of flight time even with the HD2 camera on board. I have yet to try out its max payload, but I don't think it'll have any problems carrying most consumer cameras
Jun 09, 2014, 05:38 PM
Registered User
Thanks! This looks awesome! Just what I have been looking for.

Maybe some Neon tape on the bottom of the front two arms. Or disassemble and paint the front two arms.
Last edited by kgoings; Jun 09, 2014 at 05:50 PM.
Jun 09, 2014, 05:55 PM
Suspended Account
Seems like you could spray paint the forward landing balls a different color to see the direction it's facing.
Jun 09, 2014, 08:22 PM
kiwi power!
jameschen072's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks guys, I am thinking of doing the same thing, just need to find a spray paint that won't eat through the foam-like pods. I'm still amazed at how amazing the onboard footage is since the whole camera assembly is hard-mounted.
Jul 06, 2014, 08:09 AM
Registered User
Hello,

I'm very happy with my flydrone x400 - until I've accidentally deleted some settings in my Devo 7 remote. Since then the naza controller stays in fail safe and the motors don't speed up

Can please anybody send me the exported original settings from the Devo 7 remote as *.bin file - so I can import them again?
Or at least post the settings as text?
Unfortunately I'm lost without the original settings - and I'm not able to find out the right settings on my own

any help is more than welcome...

Thanks in advanced, jrgen.


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