Eachine Assassin 180 V2 - True "Killer Quad" or still "Fatally Flawed"? (review) - RC Groups
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Jun 26, 2016, 02:03 AM
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Mini-Review

Eachine Assassin 180 V2 - True "Killer Quad" or still "Fatally Flawed"? (review)


When the first Assassin 180 was released, and tested by pilots all over the world, it was found to be a good performing flyer, but only after some serious mods and tuning. One of the most annoying features, were the "self destructing" ESC's, that could fail any moment, whether throttling up, or when in the air. I believe someone even called it the "Suicide 180".

Here's my review of the first version of this quad: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...w-%28review%29

Also no spare batteries were available, basically forcing people that wanted to fly longer, to modify the quad, and add a battery wire so that other packs could be used, and there were other flaws or questionable design choices.

Now we get the V2 version of the Assassin 180. Will the Assassin redeem itself, or still go down in RC history as a quad with potential, but still requiring a lot of effort to make it shine?



Disclaimer: I don't get paid, or in any other way make money with reviews like these. Product specifications and quality may vary at the manufacturer's discretion, and are beyond my influence. I cannot guarantee you will get a product that performs exactly the same as seen and described in this review. There is always room for a general discussion on the reviewed item, feel free to comment, but if you are planning to add a long review instead of some summarizing remarks, it would be appreciated to put these in a new review topic. And please, no affiliate links!



For easy navigation, here's a list of contents:

1: Specifications (posting #1)
2: Unboxing (posting #1)
3: Transmitter (posting #1)
4: Flying Performance (posting #1)
5: Preliminary Verdict (posting #1)
6: Suitable for a Beginner? (posting #1)
7: Camera & FPV Performance (posting #2)
8: Hints, Tips & Modifications (posting #2)
9: Suggestions for Improvements (posting #2)




1 - Specifications:


First, let's start with a link and a picture,


2 - Unboxing:

It is clear that during transport here, someone already did an attempt, or maybe multiple ones, to kill the box and it's contents...






Really, really wish that Banggood will start using boxes for things that are shipped long distance. Imagine you are a first time customer, order something, and then see this arrive at your doorstep. Not very confidence inspiring that the contents will have survived the trip...

Inside we find a large foam block, that hopefully has been enough to protect the contents:




However, the foam is pretty beaten too, and on some corners, there isn't much foam between the frame arms with motors, and the outside:






Due to the deformed foam, getting the quad out, takes some careful wiggling, to make any progress.


One of the most highlighted features of the Assassin 180 V2, are the ESC specs, the original ones being rated at 6A, and now it's double, 12A. Several peopla, including me, have flown the first A180 with success with a 10A ESC, so 12A should be sufficient. But how did they achieve this? Actually by using a solution that was brought up by other RCG members, to "stack" the FET chips on the stock ESC, and thus effectively doubling the current handling capabilities of the ESC:




As the chips share a common ground, on the other side the legs of the chips are joined in pairs of 4:




To make room for the extra FETs, the battery bay has a small portion cut out from it, so it still fits over the now higher "stack":




The GPS is now held in place with shrink wrap as well, besides the double face tape between mounting plate and chip bottom:




There is already a wire installed on the port where the receiver connects, using this connector on the other end:




I need to look for a compatible receiver. There is also a different wire included, that can be connected to other type receiver connectors.

Not sure if this warning was also present on the first version of the A180, but it's a good thing it's there:

[img[https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachmentNew.php?attachmentid=9121348[/img]



3 - Installing Receiver and Setup Flight Controller:


As mentioned earlier, this proved to be a puzzle. The Aux channels would respond, but the steering controls did nothing. Turned out that you will only see any response on Clean Flights "receiver" tab, when all the 4 control wires, corresponding with roll, pitch etc, are connected to the first 4 channels. But with a total of 7 wires, of which 2 are the same color, and not being aware that all wires needed to be connected, I was first just putting in a single wire, and watching for what bar to start moving. So I was getting nowhere. With all wires connected, the "winning combination" was finally found:







4 - Flying Performance:


(currently on hold, due to excessive vibrations in one motor, seriously affecting flight behavior. Have bought a spare motor, to continue testing, but still not here yet.)


Update 4 september 2016:

Last week the replacement motor finally came. First order went missing, presumed lost, and it was resent. Soldered the new motor back in place, and now it's much better. Weather conditions weren't very favorable, but managed to get a short test flight done.

Testing the Eachine Assassin 180 V2, in a strong breeze (1 min 47 sec)



No more high throttle vibrations, but power was still lacking. So it wasn't the bad motor holding it back. The first version Assassin 180 wasn't exactly a racer, but it seemed to have better climb rate and speed. Maybe the improved stock props, that are much better balanced than the first version ones, are providing less thrust. On my V1 Assassin, I replaced these with KingKong 4045, as the original props were unflyable. If that doesn't account for the lower "punch", and the motors are the same, then maybe somehow the upgrade ESCs are giving less power to the motors. Maybe programming with lower timing, or something else, to reduced the current draw. Which would be odd, as even 10A ESCs have proven to be able to handle bigger props than stock with ease.




5 - Preliminary Verdict:


The V2 version of the Assassin 180 does redeem itself in a few ways, compared to the first version. The ESC's have been upgraded, though in a very rude manner, by stacking FETs, but it works. It does mean though that you still get the high pitched sound, which is almost deafening when flying inside. Good thing this quad is more meant for outdoor, but when doing a quick indoor test, you will likely keep this test time as short as possible.

The props are much better, no more poorly centered insert rings, and overall bad balance. The fragile landing gear hasn't been adressed, but a spare one is provided in the box. Nice gesture, but a stronger design would have been better. If you expect to crash often, or fly low above grass, better remove it.

When flying this LoS, the lack of a beeper is very inconvenient, no indication of quad being armed, except the small FC mounted led, and LVC is only apparent by the flashing of the rear leds, which are not that well visible. When the battery dumps, the quad will go down fast, risking breaking the landing gear, and the props.

The manual hasn't been altered afaik, and doesn't even contain info on how to connect the different receiver wires. Bottom line, Eachine did listen to a couple of the complaints about the first Assassin 180, but that still doesn't make the new version rank as a very good choice. Unless you like the design, with the "scorpion tail" so much, and are looking for something different, after flying quads with a more conventional frame design.



Pros:

- 8 props, in 2 colors
- smooth flyer (if you don't get one with a dodgy motor)
- 12A ESC
- Interesting design
- Spare landing gear included


Cons:

- Proprietary battery
- Incomplete manual, no info on wiring up receiver, even while it's ARF
- Fragile landing gear
- FC tuning could be better, especially yaw is painfully slow, right out of the box
- No LVC beeper, only warning on OSD or on the small leds on the rear



6 - Suitable for a beginner?


While the first version of the Assassin 180 already needed some tuning to get it right, an ARF package will probably prove too much for a beginner. Once tuned, the EA180 can be a smooth and stable flyer, at least that is what I've learned from the RTF first version one. But without backup from an experienced pilot, it probably won't end well. Also, the fragile landing gear makes this one less beginner-friendly. Besides, a brushless quad isn't exactly beginner material.


Links:

Other review of the Assassin V2: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2707573




(to be continued)
Last edited by SoloProFan; May 27, 2017 at 05:08 AM.
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Jun 26, 2016, 02:03 AM
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7 - Camera & FPV Perfomance:

Range and camera are ok, though the camera is very susceptable to motor/prop vibrations. Compared to other 180 size quads, there isn't much surplus power, so best to fly it smoothly, and carefully, as it's likely not to withstand crashes really well.


8 - Hints, Tips & Modifications:



9 – Suggestions for Improvements:
Last edited by SoloProFan; Jan 12, 2017 at 03:14 PM.
Jun 26, 2016, 06:08 AM
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Added pictures of the quad, showing the "new" ESC and some other details
Jun 26, 2016, 07:05 AM
Registered User
That box looks so beaten up Solo. Hopefully that quad is not damaged.
Jul 05, 2016, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjlow5
That box looks so beaten up Solo. Hopefully that quad is not damaged.

It seems to still work. I had an issue connecting to Cleanflight, but that was caused by a dodgy USB cable.

Second isssue was more challenging, when checking receiver response in Cleanflight, ony the Aux channels were moving. Turns out you need to have all 4 control wires connected on the naze and receiver. Now I had 4 wires with no markings, no manual on what wires to connect. Read about this ib another thread on RCG, and after some attemts, found the 4 out of the 5 wires that needed to be connected to channel 1-4. Then it was just swapping pairs till each stick axis was controlling the right function.
Jul 05, 2016, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjlow5
That box looks so beaten up Solo. Hopefully that quad is not damaged.
the good thing about these quads are they come packed in a bunch of foam. I dont think a 50 ft drop would damage that... maybe slightly exaggerated, but it looks like it can handle a few kicks/ tosses/ drops
Jul 24, 2016, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danq0
the good thing about these quads are they come packed in a bunch of foam. I dont think a 50 ft drop would damage that... maybe slightly exaggerated, but it looks like it can handle a few kicks/ tosses/ drops

I think a drop would not matter much. Most of the damage my parcels show, when getting here, is "crush" damage, item has been at the bottom of a pile, or something heavy was dropped on top of it.


Still waiting for the replacement motor I had to buy, to continue testing.
Sep 04, 2016, 06:43 AM
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Finally got a replacement motor, so I could update the Flying performance chapter with some comments and a video.
Sep 04, 2016, 12:09 PM
Registered User
Can anyone take a look at my post and give me a clue as to what and or why this thing the second Assassin V2 I have gotten will not work?????? Cleanflight does not see it I guess and I yes have many cables and just purchased a brand new data/Charge/sync cable that does all so should work perfectly, but Cleanflight will not open the serial port and I don't even know if it knows I downloaded the driver and the application and ran it or not it desn't seem to have a clue and will do nothing at all when I connect my Assassin here is the link to my post someone please help for this is the second one so it must be something?? Post--- https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2733185
Please help any help would greatly be appreiciated emensly!!! I'm lost and about to give up and sell them I guess?? Turbo.
Sep 04, 2016, 12:17 PM
Registered User

Help me someone please help me!!!!????? Cleanflight ??????


Can anyone take a look at my post and give me a clue as to what and or why this thing the second Assassin V2 I have gotten will not work?????? Cleanflight does not see it I guess and I yes have many cables and just purchased a brand new data/Charge/sync cable that does all so should work perfectly, but Cleanflight will not open the serial port and I don't even know if it knows I downloaded the driver and the application and ran it or not it desn't seem to have a clue and will do nothing at all when I connect my Assassin here is the link to my post someone please help for this is the second one so it must be something?? Post--- https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2733185
Please help any help would greatly be appreiciated emensly!!! I'm lost and about to give up and sell them I guess?? Turbo.
Sep 04, 2016, 12:20 PM
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When you plug in the USB cable, does a led light up on the Assassin 180 board? If so, is there no pop-up from Windows telling you it's found new hardware, and wants to install drivers for it? If there is no pop-up, maybe you see an "unknown device" at the Windows "Device Manager"?
Sep 11, 2016, 10:45 AM
Registered User

Mini-Review


SoloProFan
Thanks for posting your personal Mini-Review. Obviously you've spent a lot of time and work getting this put together. It's something not everyone can do - let alone be willing to do. I applaud your desire to share your thoughts, experiences this V2 version of the Eachine Assassin 180 quadcopter. Well done!
I'm waiting on the delivery of a V2 ARF version I snapped up during Banggood's Snap-up Sale. Thirty pieces were offered at an astonishing low
price of $119.00 USD with free shipping. I just couldn't resist.
Subsequently and a bit of an embarrassment was my total absence of due diligence before snapping up one (lesson learned - maybe) I've discovered an unpleasant history of issues and problems surrounding this model. Yet, I'm determined to be proactive - to seek out as many workarounds, enhancements, mods, whatevers' to make this another respectable addition to my RC aircraft collection - before I throw this baby out with the bathwater and move on.
Should I change my thoughts of simply not opening the package when it arrives and just resale it, I'll post any and all helpful solutions found or completed.
Sep 11, 2016, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4FunRC
SoloProFan
Thanks for posting your personal Mini-Review. Obviously you've spent a lot of time and work getting this put together. It's something not everyone can do - let alone be willing to do. I applaud your desire to share your thoughts, experiences this V2 version of the Eachine Assassin 180 quadcopter. Well done!
I'm waiting on the delivery of a V2 ARF version I snapped up during Banggood's Snap-up Sale. Thirty pieces were offered at an astonishing low
price of $119.00 USD with free shipping. I just couldn't resist.
Subsequently and a bit of an embarrassment was my total absence of due diligence before snapping up one (lesson learned - maybe) I've discovered an unpleasant history of issues and problems surrounding this model. Yet, I'm determined to be proactive - to seek out as many workarounds, enhancements, mods, whatevers' to make this another respectable addition to my RC aircraft collection - before I throw this baby out with the bathwater and move on.
Should I change my thoughts of simply not opening the package when it arrives and just resale it, I'll post any and all helpful solutions found or completed.

Thanks for the praise. I'm glad to be in the position to test these quads and share my findings on stuff like these, and try help decide if a product is what someone is looking for, or should stay away from.

The Assassin 180 isn't a bad quad, the biggest problems on the V2 are the proprietary battery, though replacement batteries are not that expensive, and it's not very powerful with the stock props. And the yaw rate is very slow with the stock settings.
Sep 12, 2016, 12:06 PM
Registered User
Still haven't found anything to do a battery mod to use regular lipos.
Please someone post a link, information, anything.
Sep 12, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4FunRC
Still haven't found anything to do a battery mod to use regular lipos.
Please someone post a link, information, anything.

Actually, I posted a link in the other thread, where you asked the same question.

But I don't mind posting it here too: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=799


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