Eachine Wizard X220 ARF F3 - Updated Version (review) - RC Groups
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Oct 18, 2016, 06:09 AM
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Mini-Review

Eachine Wizard X220 ARF F3 - Updated Version (review)


After the RTF version of the Wizard X220 turned out to be a rather well performing FPV quadcopter (https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2731894) Eachine is coming with an updated version, featuring some interesting improvements. I've been given the opportunity to also check out this new ARF version, and see how it compares to the RTF.



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!


Warning! There is a chance the motor screws can create a short between the LED boards under each motor, and cause all kind of problems.



To prevent failure and crashes, it's best to install some non conductive washers between the screws and the bottom of the LED boards. X220 which are purchased from Grayson Hobby (btw, thanks for posting about this issue, and uploading the explanatory picture) already have this fix incorporated, and Eachine seems to be working on fixing the issue on newly produced batches.




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

1: Specifications (posting #1)
2: Unboxing (posting #1)
3: Receiver Install and Setup (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,




http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Wiza...p-1085802.html


Most of the specs are identical to the RTF version, except for these two striking changes:

- F3 flight controller, instead of Naze32
- 2205 2300kv motors, instead of 2204 type



2 - Unboxing:


As almost common thing now, the box arrived pretty banged up, as a little foam and a plastic bag, don't offer much protection from the harsh handling during shipping:




Good thing there is some good amount of foam inside. The vacant spot where the transmitter would be, with the RTF, is now taken by the 20 (!) props:




The new version X220 looks much like the RTF one. Same 4mm thick frame, side protection plates, etc... Basically a good thing, as it adds to the durability.




Another F3 X220 owner mentioned a thinner rubber ring being fitted near the VTX connector. Well, mine still came with the too thick ring, which prevents the antenna to be fully screwed on. So time to get a sharp hobby knife, and trim a little off the top again...




The VTX frequency selection dipswitches are also as "easily accessible" as on the RTF:




Here we see the USB port, the BL_Heli ESCs and the receiver connection wire. The USB ports looks the same as the one on the RTF, but on the other side of it is the F3 board, instead of a Naze32. Since there is no manual, it will take some searching to figure out if the receiver wire is connected to a PPM port or SBUS, or maybe there is only one port on the FC, that allows both communication protocols...




And the 2205 2300kv motors, one of the other changes compared to the RTF. Still using stickers though, instead of printed markings. On the RTF, I had to remove the stickers, as these kept coming loose, and binding with the motor guards:





3 - Receiver Install and Setup:

To install the receiver, it's necessary to "pop" the cover, and look inside:






There is a receiver connection wire, that has been "specially prepared" by cutting off unused wires:




The quad comes with the receiver wire plugged into the port at the front of the flight controller, which is for PPM. To use SBUS, the connector needs to be plugged in on the opposite site of the F3 board, so at the rear side of the board. For the receiver I first tested with the X8R but then I remembered still having an Eachine RX800 receiver, that I couldn't test earlier on, since at that time I didn't yet have a FrSky compatible transmitter. This seemed like a much better option than the big X8R receiver:




Indeed, the small RX800 receiver could easily find a place inside the frame:




With the top cover again in place, and a battery, it's almost ready for action:




Update 29 october 2016:

It was indeed almost ready for action, even after fitting the props. During the first test hover, I ran into the same issue as another Dutch RC flyer has experienced. No yaw response, despite the bars moving with transmitter powered up, and looking on the receiver tab, in Betaflight. Turns out that the rate for yaw was set to 0.00 instead of 1.00...


Update 17 october 2017:

The bug in the settings, as mentioned above, resulting in zero yaw action when moving the stick, has been corrected. Can't tell exactly when this was done, but at least all F3 ARF that are sold now should not require this adjustment. Though it can never hurt to verify settings before first flight.




4 - Flying Performance:


With the yaw rate issue fixed, it was time to see what this updated version can do. All settings were kept stock, except the RC-rates were set to 0.25, for a better comparison with the RTF version, which I also flew with RC-rates set to 0.25. Battery, as some may have recognized from the picture, is a Turnigy Multistar 3S 1400mAh. And here's a video:

First testflight with the Eachine Wizard X220 ARF, stock PID settings, RC-rates 0.25 (2 min 23 sec)



The motors seem more quiet than the 2204 of the X220 RTF. But have nice power, especially considering the Multistar battery is rather heavy, with 140g weight. With a lighter battery, or 4S, it will be much faster, I think.


Update 29 january 2017:

Still waiting for the better camera I ordered for this. Meanwhile having a lot of fun flying it LoS. It's so stable and yet agile and powerful. Easily one of the best FPV quads that have been released in the lower price range, the past 6 months or so:

Eachine X220 Wizard - Flying on a cold winter's day (2 min 11 sec)






5 - Preliminary Verdict:


The RTF X220 is certainly no pushover, but the ARF cranks it up a notch. More power, flight controller capable of lower looptimes and with more processing power. Some refinements have been incorporated as well, like the leds now being powered by the PDB instead of by the flight controller. All these changes make it an even more capable flyer, without the issues that some of the owners of the RTF encountered. It would have been nice though, if a manual had been included, to help with connecting the receiver, and other info.



Pros:

- SP Racing F3 flight controller
- Leds no longer powered by flight controller, but by PDB
- Nice amount of spare props, total of 20 are supplied with the quadcopter
- Strong frame, 4mm for arms, and electronics well protected
- Good ESCs, with modern firmware
- Flies well with stock settings




Cons:

- Included CF wrenches don't fit the prop nuts
- No documentation, needed Google to see that receiver wire needed to be connected to different port for SBUS
- Default settings have yaw set to 0.00, so quad doesn't respond to yaw stick inputs




6 - Suitable for a beginner?


The RTF is already a challenge, due to the power and agility with default settings, but installing a receiver on an ARF, setting it up, and getting it safely in the air without help from others, is an even bigger task. This is no ideal beginner quad in that aspect. However, with some help, and willingness to learn, perform the needed modification on the LED boards, and other fine tuning, the X220 has some things going for it when it comes down to novice pilots. The frame is durable, and the inside electronics are well protected with the CF side plates. So the hardware is up to it, the biggest challenge for a beginner will probably to get it ready to fly, and if needed, reduce the rates, so the gap between a much more tame quadcopter and this, while stepping up, isn't too big.



(to be continued)
Last edited by SoloProFan; Oct 17, 2017 at 01:47 AM.
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Oct 18, 2016, 06:10 AM
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7 - Camera & FPV Performance:

The stock Wizard FPV camera is somewhat it's Achilles' heel. FoV isn't very wide, and it also has some issues with different light conditions. I tried some FPV with it, but never felt comfortable. Some have replaced the lens for a wider FoV, making it somewhat better, but instead I opted for a different camera, with better light handling, and FoV. When this camera arrives, and gets installed, this part of the review can continue.




8 - Hints, Tips & Modifications:



9 – Suggestions for Improvements:

- Better camera
- Better quality control
- Use different led boards, or washers to avoid the leds boards causing a short circuit
Last edited by SoloProFan; Oct 15, 2017 at 03:45 PM.
Oct 18, 2016, 11:17 AM
Registered User
Watching this one as well.
Oct 18, 2016, 03:19 PM
Registered User
I've been debating on either buying this or building something similar from scratch. The problem is, when I price out the parts to build my own, it always ends up more expensive. It's impressive that they can give you an assembled quad for less than the price of the parts, although I guess they're buying them wholesale.
Oct 18, 2016, 04:09 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodoo_operator
I've been debating on either buying this or building something similar from scratch. The problem is, when I price out the parts to build my own, it always ends up more expensive. It's impressive that they can give you an assembled quad for less than the price of the parts, although I guess they're buying them wholesale.

That's probably the reason. The assembly isn't costing too much, it seems.
Oct 19, 2016, 12:11 PM
Born again RC'er
Howdy -

comparing the ARF to the RTF-

ARF - with the same FS-i6 and 1500mah 3s would be about $210, vs $200 for the RTF. Seems like a no-brainer?

For the noobs in the crowd (like me) how big an upgrade is the F3 flight controller and the 2205 motors?
Oct 19, 2016, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryRigged
Howdy -

comparing the ARF to the RTF-

ARF - with the same FS-i6 and 1500mah 3s would be about $210, vs $200 for the RTF. Seems like a no-brainer?

For the noobs in the crowd (like me) how big an upgrade is the F3 flight controller and the 2205 motors?

Hard to compare a quad that I've flown, with one that is still on it's way. The RTF Naze32 equipped Wizard is by no means a pushover, it's solid, but also agile and powerful. And feels pretty locked in too. An F3 would allow to use higher gyro frequencies and lower looptimes, which can give an even more locked in feel. On a Naze32, to be able to run the same looptimes, you would have to disable some features, like self leveling, or risk overloading the CPU which can cause it to refuse to arm, or even in theory have it lock up, when it happens when airborne.

If you notice it, is hard to tell. I've also flown a few F3 board quads lately, and I must say that once tuned, the handling was very good. But whether the F3 board Grasshopper outflies the Naze23 board X220 Wizard, I have to do some more back to back flying.
Oct 19, 2016, 01:48 PM
Born again RC'er
So in a nutshell, as a semi-noob, don' be afraid of the Naze32? Sounds good.

For the motors, are the 2205 just more powerful than the 2204? I am still trying to figure out the outrunner motor sizing...
Oct 19, 2016, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryRigged
So in a nutshell, as a semi-noob, don' be afraid of the Naze32? Sounds good.

For the motors, are the 2205 just more powerful than the 2204? I am still trying to figure out the outrunner motor sizing...

No need to be afraid. The Naze32 has lower specs, but it can still fly a quad really well. Even some pro flyers have a hard time telling the difference, when both are well tuned. Until recently I often chose the Naze32 version of a quad which was offered for review, as I had no complaints about that flight controller. Just with newer firmware like CleanFlight 1.13 and BetaFlight the firmware demands more power from the CPU, and the F3 has more power to spare, plus an extra serial port. So for some upcoming reviews, I've opted for the F3 version.

2205 is more powerful than 2204. But if you've seen my X220 RTF flying vids, or those from others, you will have seen it's already plenty fast with the 2204 motors.
Oct 23, 2016, 06:41 AM
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Quad arrived few days ago, added unboxing report, with pictures and screenshots of most BetaFlight settings, as well as CLI Dump
Last edited by SoloProFan; Oct 23, 2016 at 07:05 AM.
Oct 23, 2016, 07:07 AM
Only nerd in the village
I'm still mulling over whether to buy one of these. It seems that with ARF's there is alway one or two components that are not great. Often the camera. I live in a place where we often have strong winds so a quad this size might be more useful at times than a micro.
Oct 23, 2016, 07:23 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epilot
I'm still mulling over whether to buy one of these. It seems that with ARF's there is alway one or two components that are not great. Often the camera. I live in a place where we often have strong winds so a quad this size might be more useful at times than a micro.

Often there are some things a little less than optimal. This one will handle the winds really nicely, at least the RTF I've flown was agile, and yet very stable at the same time. Btw, it's not always the size that matters in a breeze, I've flown the Tarot 150 in strong winds, and it was very much at home in those conditions. Or the Rodeo 150, same thing.
Oct 23, 2016, 07:55 AM
Only nerd in the village
Very true, however mass does provide some dampening. Of course the advantage of the smaller quads is that the lipo packs are less expensive and I assume to some extent they are better able to handle crash damage.
Oct 23, 2016, 08:37 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epilot
Very true, however mass does provide some dampening. Of course the advantage of the smaller quads is that the lipo packs are less expensive and I assume to some extent they are better able to handle crash damage.

Most of the damping comes from the ESCs and flight controller. Inertia only start coming into play with much larger quads. Naturally something like the Tarot 150 can't carry an action cam, you would have to record FPV footage then. 175 to 220 is probably more suitable for what you want, if carrying a camera is a must. Though the Rodeo 150 can also carry a Mobius.
Oct 23, 2016, 05:27 PM
Only nerd in the village
The fact it can carry a camera is a bonus but not a must. I'm building a cruiser with Emax 1804 or 1806 motors for some aerial filming.


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