MJX Bugs 3 Brushless Camera Quad - Great or "Buggy"? (review) - RC Groups
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Dec 17, 2016, 02:08 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
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Mini-Review

MJX Bugs 3 Brushless Camera Quad - Great or "Buggy"? (review)


Since the JJRC X1, there have been more and more quads that try to bridge the gap between brushless racers with programmable flight controllers, and brushed toy grade stuff, that has no programming options. For people that want the extra lifting power, and low maintenance of a brushless quad, but don't need/want the extra complexity that comes with configuring a brushless racer. Will this MJX be an asset, or live up to it's name?


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: Performance as Camera Platform (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.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters/pp_495562.html



2 - Unboxing:

The Bugs 3 comes in a strong box, with carrying handle:




Inside the quad and various accessories are held in foam:




The props are the self locking type, and are screwed directly onto the brushless motors:




Even without the printed eye graphics, it looks pretty lean and mean.

The stock battery is 2S and weighs 112g. The actual lipo is encased in a plastic frame, keeping the battery more safe from impact, and allowing the battery to fit in the holder.



3 - Transmitter:

The transmitter uses 4 AA batteries, and at first glance it looks a little bland, with only the brand name, and the word "Bugs" printed on it, no labels near the buttons etc.




At least the button that controls motor start and stop (short press to start, long press to stop) has a different color, so it's easy to identify:




So far the transmitter looks nothing special, but inside it has a few interesting surprises. It has 2 way communication, in the form of some basic RSSI and battery telemetry. When the quad threatens to get out of range, the transmitter will sound an alarm, and also when the flight battery starts getting low. How well this works, remains to be seen, but it sounds like some really neat features.




4 - Flying Performance:


Was hoping to get a testflight in, but when I got outside, it has started to drizzle, so no outdoor flying possible. Instead I did an indoor hover test, and that went really well. The quad hovers stable, motors run smoothly, and it's also well behaved when close to the ground. Control response on the low speed setting is good, not overly mellow, as on some quads, where you barely get any movement, and beginners that start in that mode, seeing their quad drift away helplessly in the slightest breeze. On high speed setting, it becomes more agressive, but still very well behaved when making sudden moves, like pitch forward, punch throttle, rapidly hit the brakes by pitching backwards, and punch throttle again. Despite being a rather big quad, and definitely not the best choice to test inside the living room, it felt very safe to do this testing.

Not sure how it behaves outside, in a breeze, and when moving faster, but based upon these initial tests, I am expecting it to do well there, so far it feels well tuned, as if an advanced flight controller is used.


Update 18 december 2016:

Weather allowed a first outdoor test. Started on low rates, and flew around a little, then switched to high rates, to see how it handles on higher speed. Flies smooth and stable, with good power, though not very punchy compared to the X251 of JJRC X1. So it can be flown quite sporty, but it won't blow you away by it's performance. So instead of being a sports flyer, that can also carry a camera, it seems to be more intended to be a camera platform, that can also be flown more sporty, but not on the "adrenaline rush" level.

First outdoor test with the MJX Bugs 3 (3 min 28 sec)





5 - Preliminary Verdict:


The Bugs 3 is a solid performing quad. Motors run smoothly, and the rates are well chosen. It responds well to the sticks, and range appears to be good. Punch power isn't extremely high, so it's options as sports flyer are somewhat limited, but it still performs well.



Pros:

- Nice design
- Smooth running motors
- Excellent led setup
- 4 spare props
- Good control response
- Range easily enough for LoS flying
- Smooth and stable
- Rates are well chosen
- Transmitter remembers last set rate



Cons:

- Not extremely powerful for a brushless quad, can be used as sports flyer, but not the fastest toy grade brushless I've seen
- No labels on transmitter, to indicate button functions




6 - Suitable for a beginner?


Though I generally advise against putting brushless power in the hands of a beginner, this MJX might just be quite suitable. It's not overly powerful or twitchy, but also doesn't suffer from having the rates dulled down so far, that it's barely flyable. Same applies to the power, well controllable. Hover is rock solid, and the long flight time means the fresh pilot can have a good opportunity for a long practice session.


(to be continued)
Last edited by SoloProFan; Mar 09, 2017 at 05:04 AM.
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Dec 17, 2016, 02:08 PM
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7 - Performance as Camera Platform:



8 - Hints, Tips & Modifications:

The Bugs 3 flies pretty well right out of the box. One thing that could be better, is the power. Punches could be faster, and on the fastest rate, it struggles a bit to keep altitude. The stock battery is aimed at getting long flight times, and weighs about 112 g, with it's protective casing. A Turnigy Graphene 2S 950mAh LiPo should be more than enough to power this quad, but with barely 51g, would mean a considerable weight reduction. This should give a nice boost to the performance as a sports flyer.



9 – Suggestions for Improvements:
Last edited by SoloProFan; Dec 18, 2016 at 05:05 PM.
Dec 18, 2016, 02:16 AM
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Added some comments on first indoor hover tests.
Dec 18, 2016, 06:53 AM
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Added flight video, and more comments on performance.
Dec 18, 2016, 10:02 AM
GOT WINGS
siriusflier's Avatar
Nice review Solo, looks like a decent kwod for the money.
Dec 18, 2016, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siriusflier
Nice review Solo, looks like a decent kwod for the money.

Thanks, and it seems nice indeed. Smooth, rather quiet, well visible, and the "nearly out of range warning system" seems to work. When I put the quad on the ground, and walked away, at a good distance the transmitter started to beep. Next time I will take binoculars with me, to see if there is still throttle response when the transmitter starts to beep, to the warning actually helps to prevent flying too far, or comes too late to be of use.

So far it ticks a lot of positive boxes, it could be a little more powerful. When on fast rates, and flying full speed forward, it struggles to keep altitude, and when you ease back on the elevator stick, it directly gains altitude, because you need full throttle during fast forward flight.
Dec 18, 2016, 04:22 PM
Epilepsy Awareness
Chap1012's Avatar
Very good review Henk. What do you think about the durability of this quad as far as standing up to a crash, etc?

Mike.
Dec 18, 2016, 04:36 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chap1012
Very good review Henk. What do you think about the durability of this quad as far as standing up to a crash, etc?

Mike.

Thanks Mike. I haven't crashed it yet, but it does feel just like it flies, very solid.
Dec 19, 2016, 02:52 AM
Registered User

Battery


Thank you for a nice review, I am sure it would be a good decision to get B3. They have a promo at GB but when I asked about spare batteries, the answer was negative.

Could you please get us dimensions of the battery? There are 7,4 V / 1800 mAh 25C on the market, just to be sure it fits well.

Also, in all YouTube videos there is a lot of jello, what is your opinion?
Last edited by cavendish15; Dec 19, 2016 at 03:06 AM.
Dec 19, 2016, 08:19 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavendish15
Thank you for a nice review, I am sure it would be a good decision to get B3. They have a promo at GB but when I asked about spare batteries, the answer was negative.

Could you please get us dimensions of the battery? There are 7,4 V / 1800 mAh 25C on the market, just to be sure it fits well.

Also, in all YouTube videos there is a lot of jello, what is your opinion?

Including the protective case, the stock battery is 115 x 36 x 20mm. Keep in mind Bugs 3 uses XT30 connector, and not the more common XT60

I have attached a camera to it yet, so I cant comment on the video. But the camera holder just clicks on the bottom of the quad, without and rubber dampers, so it's well possible that any prop/motor vibration will shown on the video.
Dec 19, 2016, 09:05 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloProFan
Including the protective case, the stock battery is 115 x 36 x 20mm. Keep in mind Bugs 3 uses XT30 connector, and not the more common XT60
Perfect, I am going to send a request to the vendor, thanks...

Looks like there are no experiences from particular users regarding tuning camera mount yet, one of great advantages of older models like Tarantula X6 is that we can learn from mistakes of others :-)

Enjoy the experimenting and let us know, please. Based on flight tests on YouTube there is a difference between flight time MJX claims and the reality, so it means advertised range 300 - 500 could be a fairy tale too.
Last edited by cavendish15; Dec 19, 2016 at 09:18 AM.
Dec 19, 2016, 10:27 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavendish15
Perfect, I am going to send a request to the vendor, thanks...

Looks like there are no experiences from particular users regarding tuning camera mount yet, one of great advantages of older models like Tarantula X6 is that we can learn from mistakes of others :-)

Enjoy the experimenting and let us know, please. Based on flight tests on YouTube there is a difference between flight time MJX claims and the reality, so it means advertised range 300 - 500 could be a fairy tale too.

Claimed flight times are almost always overrated by the seller/manufacturer. On some occasions, you are lucky to get half to 2/3rd of the listed amount, especially on the smaller ones. Often I've seen 6 minutes claimed for a CX-10 size, when in reality you get between 3 to 4 minutes, and less as the battery ages a little. Very few live up to the claims, at the moment I can only remember the JJRC H11D getting indeed the claimed 11 minutes of flight till LVC.

I have good hopes for the range, yesterday I did a quick test, putting the quad on the ground, and walking away. It was foggy, so range was probably affected, but still I could walk away some 100m, before the transmitter started to beep, indicating the radio signal was getting weaker. I will do another test in better conditions, and see how far I can walk before transmitter starts to beep, and then see how much further I can walk, while still being able to arm and disarm motors.
Dec 19, 2016, 10:34 AM
Lurking...posting...
Pretty nice detailed look at this quad Solo. You'll be surprised to know that the Bugs 3 can actually run on a 3S battery as the ESCs are designed for 2-3s lipos according to the MJX site.

Frequent Flyer has made a video of it and it seems to have similar punchout with the X1 on 3S though it does wobble on hover slightly( could be a PID issue ) but for the most part flies fine
Dec 19, 2016, 11:18 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloProFan
I will do another test in better conditions, and see how far I can walk before transmitter starts to beep, and then see how much further I can walk, while still being able to arm and disarm motors.
I like this safe approach to the range test
Dec 19, 2016, 01:16 PM
Epilepsy Awareness
Chap1012's Avatar
Hey Guys, they are having a Flash Sale on this beauty. $89.00 bucks

http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopte...=linkconnector

Henk, This is the link you provided from "gearbest."

Mike.


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