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May 12, 2017, 01:46 PM
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Mini-Review

KingKong 90GT - very small, very agile, and super fun!


Hey guys, here is my review of the KingKong 90GT Micro Brushless copter. It is a pretty good model!

You can also find a complete part's list in my blog: ArxangelRC.blogspot.com

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It is amazing how small these things are getting! Just a few months ago the E 90X was about the quickest thing I've flown in this size, and it was GOOD... but the KingKong 90GT is just stunning! It is fast, it is tough and it is made very nicely and the build is good! It is simply a very good option for those who want to go a class smaller in size.




SPECIFICATIONS
Motor centre to motor centre (diagonally): 90mm
Dimensions: 80mm x 80mm x 28mm
Flying weight: 67.2g (47.2 w/o battery)


ARRIVAL STATE

As usual from GearBest, my package arrived in a perfect condition, and with DHL it takes only 3-4 days! Very nice work yet again!


WHAT I LIKE

First and foremost it has to be the size. I am just shocked at how things are developing in the racing drone scene and the trend is simply to go smaller! To what end... we shall see, but for the time being some amazing stuff is coming out, and it is working out of the box, with very good results. And that didn't use to be the case just a while back!

Now, 90mm drones have become mainstream and I have to say they are built amazingly well, come pre-assembled and pre-programmed, so all you need to do is match video channels with your goggles, setup 2 switches on your radio for arming and modes, charge the battery and you are ready to go! Simple as that!

And just look how small these things are now! On the left you can see the E 90X, which was one of the best performers in this size just a few months ago, despite it being brushed and on 1S battery... at least in my opinion and based on my experience! And now we have the KingKong 90GT - same size but with brushless motors, 2S LiPo, and a better camera! And further still... on the right we have the Jumper... at 73mm and brushless!!!!!!!! How far can this go? In the back you can see the Falcon 120, and even though this is a mere 30mm motor-to-motor difference, just look how much bigger and heavier it is than the three at the front!





And just look at the motors and props - 1103 7800Kv motors with 2030 3-bladed props! A few months ago such props did not exist... or at least not in this form and for such motors! The rate a which things are going is accelerating all the time! I mean by the time I will receive and review some of these they would already be considered sort of old... or at least a few new models would have been released in that time!



What further aids this miniaturization is this new host of micro radio receivers that have been released recently, some even lighter than 1 gram (0.8 grams to be precise), and they still have some pretty impressive range. The AC800 even has telemetry!



And just look how small, tiny, and tidy everything on board is, and the whole installation as well! There is just nothing to touch or do, except mount the props on. Back in the day I really didn't like those 4-in-1 ESCs, but they were only available for large copters, and for me they were just a very weird compromise. On these micro racing models, however, they are THE thing to do, it saves some much hassle with soldering and cables, and weight as well!









And in addition to all this minituarization, you still get a MicroUSB connector on the board to make connecting this to your laptop or smartphone as easy as possible for programming and firmware updates!



Actually one major reason why this miniaturization is possible so easily, is the predominant lack of altitude hold and position hold functionality that these models have. Back in the day when the first Naze32 boards came out of Japan, there were versions with a barometer and a compass, and A LOT of people tried to make altitude hold, and by adding a GPS module to the compass, and position hold work on racing quads at 250 size... with pretty much no luck for the most part! The reason being the inability to isolate neither the barometer nor the compass from the prop wash and magnetic interferences that were flooding the frame on account of everything being cramped together so tightly! Recently I've noticed that manufacturers have scrapped putting those sensors on the new boards altogether in favor of miniaturization, as they were useless anyway and were only adding to the cost and complexity of the whole controller! And I am very in much in favor of just using the good old accelerometers and gyros for racing quads, you really don't need much else!


WHAT I DON'T LIKE


As good as this is, there are some issues with the model. First, the stock battery. In addition to no name or label on it to let us know its C rating, the stated 350mAh capacity is also greatly overestimated!



When I did a few break in cycles of the battey it showed only 280mAh when charged from empty!



That is not a problem though as I got a few 2S 520mAh 30C packs from GensAce, and een though they are about 10 grams heavier than the stock battery, they are certainly holding their voltage much better and I can't really feel the 90GT being more sluggish with them!

My next issue is with the Vtx unit! WHY only 16 channels??? I realize they are probably chosen so they don't interfere with each other, which would allow up to 16 people to fly these at once without causing issues with each other... but we are not all professional racers and I have yet to see 16 people in one place doing this at the same time! Besides, there are lighter options (VTX03) for a video transmitter, with 72 channel options... I am seriously considering replacing this module and not having to move my goggles to another channel every time I want to fly this, because apparently the channel I use is not one of those 16.



My last issue is with the camera angle! I've noticed that a lot of these micro models have the cameras installed level, and don't even have a way of tilting it up! How is that supposed to work then? We all know that once you get some experience under your belt, you would absolutely want to start flying faster, but not necessarily want to change the copter! If your camera is level you will be looking at the ground most of the time, and that will not make for an optimal or safe flying experience!



Luckily, the camera is only glued to the top plate, so I was actually able to bend it up and insert a piece of a servo extension connector in order to raise the angle of the camera! As basic as this is, it actually worked pretty great, but later I will have to figure out a way to make this camera tiltable, in order to achieve the best angle for my flying style!




THE VERDICT

Right, so the KingKong 90GT has some small issues that can be easily addressed with a bit of work, and a few aftermarket batteries. On the plus side it is an amazing flying machine for its size and weight, even in wind! I have not yet played with the PIDs to tune it a bit more aggressively, will do that soon, but as it comes stock it is tuned pretty well and would definitely help somebody ease into the the world of drone racing before you can get to the serious bits!

Despite it being only capable of 2S for some reason, the copter is still pretty darn quick, and packs a punch! Adjusting the PIDs for more aggressive flying would surely satisfy even some of the pickier flyers out there, and would surely bring you countless flights of pure joy, as the camera is also not bad at all, and the image quality on the ground is better than average!

Another plus side of being so small and light, is that crashing doesn't generally break anything, so those props are bound to last a bit longer compared to a larger model! Also, because of its size, it is much easier to pack it away and carry it around with you more easily, especially if you have a smaller radio, like the Devo 7E, to pair it with.

Flight performance is very nice, and almost on par with the Falcon 120, although you do feel the lighter weight of the 90GT as wind tends to blow it away more easily, and in a dive situation it will not be as quick to try and reach the ground! Once you angle that camera up a bit, I am quite surprised at what speeds it is able to achieve, and it even stays quite stable and is very controllable.

Overall I am very pleased with this model! Definitely surprised me with its build quality and tidiness of the frame, not to mention the time saved from having to buy all the parts separately and do that fine soldering, which is not impossible, but certainly tedious! So, for me at least, the 90GT is worth what they are asking for it, but make sure you checkout my video review as well, just to get an idea what you can expect out of the box when it comes to flying. Enjoy!

KingKong 90GT a serious micro racing machine! (8 min 2 sec)
Last edited by Arxangel; May 12, 2017 at 01:55 PM.
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