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Nov 10, 2017, 07:55 PM
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Discussion

Mana 285


I was considering getting a Mana 285. First of, will it bind to my DXe transmitter? Secondly, does anyone have any experience with it? If so, what do you think? Is it a good product?
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Nov 11, 2017, 12:39 AM
Time For Me To Fly!
fastmax's Avatar
Welcome to RCG quadcopterguy34!

It's a great flying quad. It will bind to your radio as long as you install an RX that is compatible with your radio. You have plenty of options available to you, and the M285 comes with two pigtails coming from the FC for you to use depending on how you want to connect.
Jan 30, 2018, 12:22 PM
Registered User
I just ordered one...

Didn't find a dedicated thread, so I guess this could be it.. Looking forward to it, after the Dark Max debacle...

Anybody else got one? Post opinions, pics, vids, etc..
Jan 31, 2018, 12:16 PM
Registered User
Bump.. Let's hear about them..
Jan 31, 2018, 08:49 PM
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JohnCC's Avatar
The mana 285 looks absolutely terrible to me. It appears they went and copied the Vortex 285 design. That's like a 3 year old design at this point... off the bat based on some reviews I found out it runs cleanflight (yuck). VTX antenna mounting design is asking for trouble too and it was one of the flaws with the 285 I believe as well. It doesn't use a pigtail. You break it you are going to rip the connector right off the board. I wonder how good this clone is; do official 285 replacement parts fit it? There are plastic covers keeping those arms in place.

I might be overly cynical about a racing drone that you can snag for $100 basically with a coupon code though. :\
Feb 01, 2018, 01:42 AM
Registered User
I am not one to give in to hype about needing the newest and shiniest. I don’t care about fads. Or flashing every device I have the minute an update is released. Far more important to me is that I have something which works.

I like the size - allows for a good range of batteries. Also,for mounting different kinds of cameras. It’s foldable too, which is a neat aspect allowing for better portability.

I wanted a cheap quad to “go 4S” with. I have the X220, which so far has been great for me. I then got the Dark Max, which is the dumbest piece of crap RC product I ever made the mistake of buying, and I have been overspending on RC for well over a decade.

This thing cost like €87 shipped.

Reviews I have seen seem pretty positive. I don’t need the fastest craziest performer. I can’t take advantage of it anyway.

My experience with BNF mini quads at this stage suggests that you should never trust a new one, and it is better to buy an older model which was proven. Again, I don’t care about peer pressure to constantly have the newest whatever.. It looks like it should suit me fine. A 4S FPV cruiser which is tough, user friendly, versatile, and cheap. And not some toxic piece of garbage like the Dark Max. Sounds good to me.
Last edited by Herrsavage; Feb 01, 2018 at 01:54 AM.
Feb 01, 2018, 02:03 AM
Registered User
And as for Betaflight, that’s a big time “YUCK” for me. For two quads I currently have on it, I need two different Configurators. It is so completely unintuitive I don’t even know how to set up the modes. There’s absolutely nothing on the mode page that tells you how to do it. I have to go research it yet by watching God knows what videos etc.… BF for me is a giant PIA mess...

On my older Spedix MR’s, still on Openpilot, even I managed to get everything set up right. No YouTube problem solving wild goose chases required.

And none of that is to even talk about the initial mountains of hassle with drivers etc.. Probably the biggest headache of all.

Betaflight blows, basically, afaic.
Feb 01, 2018, 04:37 AM
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JohnCC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
I am not one to give in to hype about needing the newest and shiniest. I don’t care about fads. Or flashing every device I have the minute an update is released. Far more important to me is that I have something which works.
Maybe I should have communicated better what I meant when I groaned about the "old" design. An old design is not necessarily bad unless it's full of some serious flaws for durability and flight.

The Vortex 285 was notorious for having the arms go all the time. Those plastic covers on there will be prone to cracking due to their location, just like they were on the original Vortex 285. And the VTX antenna being put right onto the FCB/VTX is a bad design element in general because if you have a crash that tears it up you can't replace the connector so easily without soldering. It has a million screws as well apparently to get to it to do any work on it. Since the design is so funky too I'd be concerned about parts.

You got it hella cheap though. I mean, $108 usd / €87 for a big model like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
And as for Betaflight, that’s a big time “YUCK” for me. For two quads I currently have on it, I need two different Configurators. It is so completely unintuitive I don’t even know how to set up the modes. There’s absolutely nothing on the mode page that tells you how to do it. I have to go research it yet by watching God knows what videos etc.… BF for me is a giant PIA mess...

On my older Spedix MR’s, still on Openpilot, even I managed to get everything set up right. No YouTube problem solving wild goose chases required.

And none of that is to even talk about the initial mountains of hassle with drivers etc.. Probably the biggest headache of all.

Betaflight blows, basically, afaic.
I'm not gonna comment about the betaflight rant... but now you can add a third configurator to the mix... say hello to CleanFlight. it also needs to be installed into Google Chrome. CF is basically what everyone was using before BF became preferable due to slow and unreliable CF development.

I don't mean to be pooping on your purchase, sorry Just posting my observations. While were on the subject of vortex clones did you see the Detrum TOMBEE 250? That's a model you could consider for the future. Looks like an extremely cheap clone of the vortex 250 pro which was the successor to the 285.
Feb 01, 2018, 04:41 AM
Registered User
Well I have no experience with Cleanflight, but apparently flashing to Betaflight is easy enough. I'll sort that out when it gets here.

I don't intend to become an acro jedi master or competitive racer with this thing. More just strap a Mobius on it and use it as a poor man's faster Mavic ha ha...

The couple reviews on it looked good. I tried to differentiate between this approach and my approach to the Dark Max, which was to trust reviews more blindly in the case of the latter. The Mana seems older and to draw less hype, which after my experience with the BM DM seems like a good thing.. Even if something is wrong with it, like the board, surely I would not have to expect Gearbest to send me the same d.amn defective board to replace it...

We'll see. For €88 shipped (including €2 shipping insurance) it's worth the risk. And having blown €130 on the Dark Max, I needed a cheap replacement.. So I can actually use the batteries I bought for the DM...

This is one of those cases where the saying "Buy cheap, buy twice" really does apply. I don't think that saying always applies, but yes, it does with respect to the bad joke Dark Max.
Last edited by Herrsavage; Feb 01, 2018 at 04:47 AM.
Feb 02, 2018, 12:38 AM
Registered User
So how would one flash it to Betaflight then? Just plug in the USB, and BF will recognize it?

I never know which version of BF to use. 3.1.1 I think on my X220. Something newer on the DM, which is useless anyway, but 5he same thing seems to work on my Fly Egg 130...
Feb 02, 2018, 10:43 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
So how would one flash it to Betaflight then? Just plug in the USB, and BF will recognize it?

I never know which version of BF to use. 3.1.1 I think on my X220. Something newer on the DM, which is useless anyway, but 5he same thing seems to work on my Fly Egg 130...

Hi I have not flashed betaflight on my Mana, but I have the latest Cleanflight F3 firmware on the drone. I have used the pids and rate from the Andy RC video review , and it flies very good. I use 1300/1500mah 4s batteries and the stock 5 inch props. Yes the Pids look strange at first, but they do work, if you are still learning to fly, you might change the rates to help you out, as they are a bit aggressive for beginners.
Mar 10, 2018, 03:20 AM
Registered User
Got a couple flights in yesterday. Really pretty good, except the pids I was told to copy from that guy on YouTube are too aggressive. In Horizon mode it flips and rolls way too fast - for me. Went to do a double roll in Horizon yesterday, and quickly lost orientation and crashed. Luckily, in a soft muddy farm field. The front arms bent back, which was actually cool. I wiped a fair bit of mud off, put the arms back in position, and flew some more.

The FPV experience is very good. I’m new to OSD, and like the low voltage warning. The cam image is good, as is the range.

Power is not insane, but decent. Basically, perfect for somebody like me still learning the FPV ropes. With a Mobius on the cam pad, the recorded video is very smooth - except for my flying.

The low voltage warning is quick to come it seems. Or maybe the Graphene 4S 1300 65C are not totally up to the task? (Flying with DAL 5045 tris...) Flight time is low if you want to fly fast - three minutes is probably the absolute max. I think I was flying about three minutes max per pack, and came down with cells at about 3.8 - 3.82. I think 2:30-2:45 would be a good orientation flight time to aim for - with those batteries.. Will see if the 1500’s are better...

All in all, I’m happy with it. Just need to tone down the pids some. Next thing to figure out...
Last edited by Herrsavage; Mar 10, 2018 at 03:30 AM.
Mar 10, 2018, 05:20 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Sounds good. Hope you figure out the difference between PID settings and Rates settings. Since you copied Andy's settings, you also have his Rates settings, which are fairly aggressive, 1.00/0.80 for RC Rate and super rates, respectively. I think for your flying experience the stock rates of 1.00/0.70 would already be really agile, maybe even drop down to 0.95/0.70 instead and increase in small steps as you gain more confidence when flying.

Just hope you will leave the P, I and D values alone, these are not your problem, and mostly function to make sure the quad is stable under all conditions, and will respond well to control inputs. Your issue is mostly with the rates, which determine how fast the quad will react to the controls around center stick and near full stick.

And while you will probably learn that eventually if you just start experimenting, you could again save yourself many hours of frustration by just taking a few words of advice. Which you probably won't see, if you are still blocking my messages...
Mar 10, 2018, 05:33 AM
Registered User
I viewed this one, and appreciate the input. So OK, rates and pids are different. I will try to tone down the rates…

It’s actually nice weather today, but of course I have other errands to run…
Mar 10, 2018, 08:28 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herrsavage
I viewed this one, and appreciate the input. So OK, rates and pids are different. I will try to tone down the rates…

It’s actually nice weather today, but of course I have other errands to run…

Glad to hear you appreciated the reply. While it is true that more aggressive PID settings can also make the control response feel more "snappy" and direct, these are mostly to make sure the craft remains stable and under control, and it's best to change rates when something feels too twitchy on the controls. RC Rate affects control reponse overall, while Super Rate affects control response near stick max.

Notice the graphs on the right side of the PID settings page. These represent the expected effects of the RC Rate and Super Rate settings. If you increase Super Rate value, you will see the graph reach a higher peak value (measured in degrees per second rotation around roll or pitch axis) when sticks are near full movement. The response curve will be more exponential shaped.

If you reduce the Super Rate value, you will see the peak value for full stick become lower, and the response curve will become more flat and closer to a straight line. The max value in degrees/second will be reduced. You can play with RC Rate and Super Rate value till it feels right for you.


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