JJRC H66 "X-Mas Egg" Quadcopter Mini Review - RC Groups
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Dec 07, 2017, 01:37 PM
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JJRC H66 "X-Mas Egg" Quadcopter Mini Review


As I’d mentioned at the start of my last mini-review here on the RCGroups.com blogs, the joy of the Christmas season brings out some rather fun, but seasonal, items. That marketing angle is making its way into the hobby market.

Here for your consideration is just such an item, one which also qualifies as one of the strangest flying models I’ve ever reviewed. It’s the JJRC H66 X-Mas Egg quadcopter from GearBest.com, complete with a 720p camera which connects via Wi-Fi to a smartphone. The app also allows control of the model via Wi-Fi.

It’s easy to imagine such a bauble with a fun, secular Easter theme. But Christmas? Eggs?

That got me to thinking how eggs and Christmas are somehow related – and then it hit me.

Eggnog! If ever there were a holiday treat which should be available year-round, eggnog is above and beyond my first choice. I’m kind of kicking myself for not remembering that sooner. Now that I have, let’s crack this open.

Specifications:

• Dimensions (L x W x H): 105 x 105 x 80mm
• Construction: Injection molded plastic body, landing legs and radials; plastic propellers; steel radial springs
• Motors: 7mm coreless
• Battery: Built in 300mAh 3.7V lithium polymer
• Transmitter: 2.4GHz four-channel with various flight modes
• Claimed Range: 30 – 50m
• Claimed Flight Time: Six minutes after 45-minute charging period
• Camera: 0.9 megapixel/720p resolution via Wi-Fi
• Operator Skill Level/Age: Beginner; 14+
• Price (USD): $29.99 with free shipping to the USA via unregistered airmail
• Available From: GearBest.com

Contents:

The H66 is a complete package with the following:

• Assembled model
• Wand-styled transmitter
• USB charging cable
• Spare propellers
• Propeller removal tool
• Illustrated instruction booklet
• Pamphlet with QR codes for a JJRC augmented reality game

Needed to get started:

• Computer with USB socket or USB wall adapter
• Two AAA-cell alkaline transmitter batteries

JJRC seems to have gone to some lengths to coordinate the packaging between the H66 and the H67 “Flying Santa” quadcopter. The H66 is a compact little machine, roughly the size and shape of a jumbo chicken egg.

Or, if one prefers, a key ingredient of eggnog.

It’s available in red with green radials and landing legs or green with red radials and legs; mine came as the former. The front is marked by a stylized “Merry Xmas” and the white silhouette of what’s clearly supposed to represent Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Snowflakes both front and rear with vines (vines?) on the radials round out the graphics. The silhouette resembles a stag more than a reindeer, but the reference is clear enough. The red comes from the H66’s body – but buyers of the green version will have to contend with a green-nosed reindeer. This, quite naturally adds to the overall weirdness of this quad.

Getting Started:

The 300mAh 3.7V flight battery is built in and charges in about 30 minutes or so with its USB charger. The red light in the charger glows (like Rudolph’s famous nose) and goes out when charging is complete. Close examination shows that the very top of the egg can be popped off with a small, slotted screwdriver to access the battery, flight control board and motor connectors. Total disassembly will require a very tiny jeweler’s screwdriver to further separate the body.

No tools are required to open the transmitter to insert the batteries. The one tool which is provided is a very useful propeller removal tool. This is a terrific way to remove a damaged prop without undue strain on the motor.

Flying:

Firing up the H66 begins with first opening the radials with a press of a spring-loaded button underneath. It’s then placed on a level surface and powered it up by pressing and holding the power button on top.

The transmitter operates much like that of a Nintendo Wii U controller with accelerometers controlling pitch, bank and tilt depending on how the transmitter is oriented. To assure accuracy, the transmitter must be held parallel to the ground as it’s switched on. Once armed by moving the throttle stick fully forward and back, the onboard LEDs glow steadily indicating that it’s ready to fly.

Since the H66 uses barometric sensors to maintain height, the throttle neutral is at center, normal for quads of this type. Pressing the throttle/rudder stick starts the motors in idle while advancing the stick makes the model climb.

One really needs to be ready to compensate at liftoff. The model will lift off and begin to move in the direction indicated by the transmitter’s angle. Ground effects are an issue as well, but once the H66 rises above ground effects level, it’s very stable in hover.

One of three flight speed modes can be selected with the trigger atop the transmitter; the unmarked buttons control headless mode, calibration, emergency stop and onboard lights.

I strongly suggest that anyone attempting to fly this little quad for the first time to do so in a large area. Even experienced multirotor pilots are going to discover that a learning curve is necessary. I stuffed in the quad several times before I started to get a feel for how it works. Fortunately, the H66 is a rugged little beast.

The underslung motors make for some rather noisy flight, reminding me of the sound of my very large Armattan V-tail quad with its underslung motors at the rear.

Since it’s intended to be a party novelty, flying basic maneuvers such as coordinated turns are nearly impossible with the unusual control setup. Slow, gentle inputs are the order of the day and while I never thought I’d admit this given my feelings regarding headless mode operation, it’s a benefit when flying the H66.

App:

Here’s where this model really shines. The app is an incredibly powerful tool which allows camera control for both video and stills, virtual joystick control and even selfie mode, image beauty mode and waypoint operation via its own Wi-Fi link. Or, trace a flight path on the phone with a finger or stylus and the H66 will follow that path. The virtual joystick control allows the model to be flown in a more traditional manner and it works without having to power on the transmitter. It works well, although I seem to have trouble getting the right yaw to work properly.

Video is amazingly clear and in true HD, but there’s some latency and blurring as the model moves. If one owns a pair of smartphone goggles, it’s clear enough to fly FPV; there’s even a simulated 3D view function for goggles so equipped.

Conclusion:

I can sum up the JJRC “X-Mas Egg” thus: very strange in both style and flight but still fun. It will add a lot of laughs and cheer to any Christmas party once one is comfortable flying it.

A possible alternative is sold by GearBest as the Yuxiang 668. For $32.99, the buyer gets a standard transmitter along with a 720p camera, but the flight battery is only 220mAh.

As for the H66, I’m somewhat torn. Its non-standard flight controls make it difficult for experienced pilots and won’t properly teach the basics of multirotor flight to new pilots. Those factors keep me from giving it a full two thumbs up, but because of its seasonal nature, excellent app and total “weird factor,” I’ll happily recommend it based on those factors. I'm toying with the idea of redoing it as a tribute to the made-up holiday of Festivus since I aired many grievances while learning to control this model.

After all, what could be stranger than a flying Christmas or Festivus egg…?

My thanks to Anny at GearBest for offering this offbeat little contraption for review.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Dec 15, 2017 at 07:02 PM.
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