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Mar 03, 2018, 06:45 PM
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Eachine QX65 FPV quad review


Many thanks to Banggood, who provided this quad for review. Full details are here:

https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-QX6...r_warehouse=CN

The QX65 is a bind & fly FPV quad, available for DSM2/DSMX, Flysky or FrSky transmitters and is supplied in three versions with varying numbers of batteries and spares. Mine was the ĎStandard Versioní which comes with a basic USB charger, three Lipos, a spare set of props, a screwdriver and a prop removal tool. A few people have reported issues with the Lipos and indeed one of mine was completely dead on arrival. The battery holder is a little loose with the supplied cells, but this didnít cause any issues in flight. The motor wiring is secured with a silicone ring round each motor and one of these was missing on my QX65 Ö I cut a slice from some silicone tube to make a replacement, although this is largely cosmetic.

The big plus for me with this quad is the F3 board running Betaflight, complete with integrated Betaflight OSD. This gives you both battery voltage and flight time in the goggles Ė no more guesswork about when youíre about to run out of power. I got the FrSky version, which bound easily to my Taranis (note that you must use D8 mode), following the supplied instructions. The quad came loaded with Betaflight 3.2.2 and connected to the Configurator I found that the channel map needed to be changed to AETR1234 to match my transmitter. I also noticed that the neutral point for each channel was slightly out Ė Betaflight expects 1500 uS, but was receiving 1520 from the receiver. So I used sub-trims on the transmitter to correct this. The voltage calibration needed a little adjustment in Betaflight as the OSD initially showed 4.0V with a fully charged pack.

The quad flew very nicely as supplied (default Betaflight PIDs), with plenty of power using the stock batteries. Duration was around 3:30 but this could be stretched to about 4 mins if flown gently. One thing I noticed was that the RSSI value is permanently fixed at 51 so this doesnít appear to work, although it is apparently fine on the same board (BeeCore V2, FrSky version) if purchased separately! The built-in receiver doesnít support telemetry so data is limited to what you can see in the OSD.

The combined camera/VTx works well however there are a couple of points to note. Initially I wasnít very impressed with the range or signal quality, but I found that the default frequency it uses is 5600 Ö and the nearest my goggles could get was 5665. After setting both to 5800 instead all was good Ė using MenaceRC ĎBandicootí linear antennas I can fly all round my house from the lounge, including all the upstairs rooms Ö which is pretty impressive on just 25 mW. The VTx does run hot though, to the point where it can actually shut down if stationary on the bench or just hovering. Itís fine in forward flight, indoors or out. I did cut a few cooling holes in the top of the canopy to let some heat out, and this appeared to help. Another small point about the camera is that although the tilt angle can theoretically be adjusted, the antenna is pretty stiff and exits through a small hole in the canopy so this effectively fixes the camera in position. The default angle is fine though.

Cooling holes in the canopy:



One thing I noticed quite quickly is that the motors arenít held that firmly, and after any kind of crash they needed to be pushed back down into their mounts. I added a small O ring round each one (pulling the mount against the motor), and this solved it completely:




Another thing to be aware of is that when inserting the USB plug itís very easy to push the rear corner of the board up and out of the grommet. If you donít notice this it this will cause the quad to drift backwards in flight due to the slight tilt of the board. I added a small piece of plastic tube underneath the rear of the canopy to reduce the chance of this happening.

The board has buzzer outputs and after initial testing I added a 0.65g 5V active buzzer (the smallest I could find), soldered directly to the pads to keep the weight increase to a minimum. This was very useful for finding the quad under/behind furniture when flying indoors, and itís nice to be able to hear the various tones from Betaflight. Unfortunately after about a week the buzzer came loose after a crash, and I found it had pulled both pads off the board. So if you do this mod I would recommend gluing the buzzer in place somewhere and connecting it to the board with thin wires.

The QX65 uses the smaller PH1.25 battery connector. I only had the two working Lipos and couldnít find a source for more, so I changed the flylead to a 2.0 one as this connector seems more common on Whoop batteries now. I have been using cheap Crazepony 260 30C cells Ö these are slightly heavier and have more voltage drop in flight so performance is reduced a bit, but duration is about the same.
Iíve also now updated to BF 3.2.5 and switched to the Project Mockingbird settings:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...H4-ivzjH4/edit

To be honest I didnít notice a huge difference, although Iíve only really been flying in Angle mode indoors (snow and strong winds outside). I did reduce the aileron & elevator mix values (on the transmitter) from 30% to 15%, which felt better to me.

Iíve been flying this quad hard for two weeks without any damage whatsoever Ė itís a tough little thing, great value for money, and I would highly recommend it. Hereís some DVR footage Ė as usual the recording loses a fair bit of quality Ö it looks much better in the goggles:

QX65 FPV 5 (2 min 23 sec)
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
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Mar 04, 2018, 12:12 PM
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QX65 VTX operating temperature sensitivity


I noticed that mine runs kind of warm for a 25mW rate transmitter too. I have yet to see it cut out though, even when I forgot and left it powered up through the USB from my computer for a couple of hours after doing some Betaflight adjustments. I'm not use to the VTx being able to run off the FC power via USB rather than direct connected to the motor battery. Think I'll add those cooling holes in the canopy although based on how I've abused my VTx, I suspect yours might be faulty in some respect.

I also agree that the VTx antenna is too stiff to allow the camera angle to be changed. I drilled and slotted another hole for the antenna to achieve the camera view that suited me.

I'm disappointed to hear that you find the Crazepony HV 260 mah batteries with JST-PH 2.0 connectors have more voltage drop than the stock Eachine's do. I have some of those ordered and on the way hoping that would head off the eventual deterioration of the PH 1.25 connectors. Have you found any of the HV batteries by Tattu, GNB, BetaFPV or others to be of lower internal resistance and comparable capacity to the Eachine?
Mar 04, 2018, 01:18 PM
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I have had the VTx cut out several times in flight:

QX65 FPV (0 min 19 sec)


It works ok in forward flight though, and range & reception are pretty good so I don't think it's defective. It definitely gets hotter than the 200 mW VTxs I use in my bigger quads!

The standard camera angle works OK for me ... the only time it's a problem is when coming down the stairs Good idea to open the antenna hole up ... that will help the cooling too

I haven't tried any other cells yet. It flies fine with the Crazepony ones but I'll see if I can rig up the connectors to check the IR vs the stock ones on my meter.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 04, 2018, 02:27 PM
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OK I rigged my cell ESR meter up for 1.25 and 2.0 connectors and tested the stock Eachine 250 30/60C HV Lipo against the Crazepony 260 30C HV.

For my two good Eachines I got 108 and 114 milliohms. The other one was 0.91V on arrival, effectively dead.

My 8 Crazeponys (ponies? ) tested as follows:

102, 105, 105, 105, 108, 111, 114, 117

So actually they seem pretty similar to the Eachines ... possibly a bit better. But the Crazepony cell is 0.5g heavier (6.8g vs 6.3g), so maybe that was influencing the feel in flight. Or perhaps the motors are starting to wear a bit now.

I've not measured capacity but duration seems about the same. As mentioned the Crazepony cells are a better (tighter) fit in the battery tray on the QX65.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 04, 2018, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
OK I rigged my cell ESR meter up for 1.25 and 2.0 connectors and tested the stock Eachine 250 30/60C HV Lipo against the Crazepony 260 30C HV.

For my two good Eachines I got 108 and 114 milliohms. The other one was 0.91V on arrival, effectively dead.

My 8 Crazeponys (ponies? ) tested as follows:

102, 105, 105, 105, 108, 111, 114, 117

So actually they seem pretty similar to the Eachines ... possibly a bit better. But the Crazepony cell is 0.5g heavier (6.8g vs 6.3g), so maybe that was influencing the feel in flight. Or perhaps the motors are starting to wear a bit now.

I've not measured capacity but duration seems about the same. As mentioned the Crazepony cells are a better (tighter) fit in the battery tray on the QX65.
Bill,

Thanks, those Crazepony IR values make me feel a little more optimistic about doing a changeover on mine to their batteries fitted with PH 2.0 connectors. I have ISDT chargers that "calculate" IR during a charge cycle and your numbers look in the range I get when charging these Eachine HV 250 mah batteries.

I did just see on Banggood that they are stocking spare batteries of the Eachine 1s-250 mah HV LiPo. However the price is quite nonsensical at $6.99 each plus $2.52 shipping. I got six with the QX65 Advanced package and a 6-place charger. Those items alone are $56 value, which is what the Basic QX65 package costs?

I battled long and hard with the PH 1.25 connectors on my Inductrix before I threw in the towel and moved on to higher power rated connectors. If I can't fly briskly for at least 4 minutes on a micro quad, I don't want to bother with it.
Mar 05, 2018, 05:02 AM
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Yup the 1.25 connector seems a strange choice, although I have to say the QX65 seems to fly fine in stock form. It's easy enough to change the pigtail if you already have batteries with the 2.0 plug or do want to switch.

4 mins flight time is a reasonable target and you should get pretty close here. These brushed micro quads remind me of electric flight in the early days with can motors and nicds ... you had to get everything (motors/props/battery/AUW) optimised just right to get decent performance and duration. We've become so used to brushless/Lipo setups with power and capacity to spare!
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 05, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
Yup the 1.25 connector seems a strange choice, although I have to say the QX65 seems to fly fine in stock form. It's easy enough to change the pigtail if you already have batteries with the 2.0 plug or do want to switch.

4 mins flight time is a reasonable target and you should get pretty close here. These brushed micro quads remind me of electric flight in the early days with can motors and nicds ... you had to get everything (motors/props/battery/AUW) optimised just right to get decent performance and duration. We've become so used to brushless/Lipo setups with power and capacity to spare!
I do want to switch to something other than the PH 1.25 connectors for the QX65. All four of my other micro brushed quads use a heavier duty connector of one type or another.

You are spot on about these micro brushed quads needing every optimization you can come up with. One I'd found for my Eachine QX70 turbos that I've also done with this QX65 is match the prop rotation with the motor nacelle support strut pitch. You simply swap the prop/motor combo side for side and enable the motor reverse parameter in Betaflight so they assume the correct rotation when plugged back into the FC board motor outputs. I think it gives both a performance and flight duration boost.

For the life of me, I can't see how Eachine imagines the airflow coming off the props to get it wrong on two of their successive quads. If they copied that, I don't know from who because every quad I've seen with angled struts, pitches them into the rotation of the prop. If the struts are oriented totally horizontal or vertical, there is no optimization of prop rotation.
Mar 05, 2018, 05:03 PM
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That's a great point about the motor direction. I already use reverse rotation on my bigger BF quads to help keep grass etc. off the FPV camera.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 05, 2018, 11:28 PM
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VTx Cooling


If you take a look at the new Eachine QX90c Pro on Banggood, they may have gotten the memo that their AIO VTx/cam tends to overheat. If I'd hazard a guess, they are now using the same VTx/cam in that quad as they are in the QX65. However, the canopy design both where the lens hood fits and where the antenna comes out seems to favor a lot more open area for cooling than on the QX65's canopy..

https://tinyurl.com/yb44hnhb

I have the original QX90c and it has no canopy and a really lame VTx/cam mounting. This new canopy is quite an elegant addition as is the BetaFlight OSD to the FC. But, the QX90c has a couple other serious shortcomings it doesn't appear they have addressed with the Pro upgrade.
Mar 06, 2018, 08:38 AM
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That canopy does look more sensible. Of course heat = wasted energy, which isn't ideal as far as duration goes. I've used other 25 mW micro AIOs without any obvious issue (although in fairness they were out in the open rather than under a canopy).

I changed the motor directions on my QX65 last night but have only done a quick test flight so far - will see if there's any noticeable improvement in flight time when I get a chance.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 07, 2018, 05:38 AM
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I flew 3 packs through last night and was getting about the same duration as before (could just stretch to 4 mins, flown gently) so it doesn't seem to have made a significant difference. But it's an easy change and certainly doesn't do any harm, so still worthwhile I think.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 07, 2018, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
I flew 3 packs through last night and was getting about the same duration as before (could just stretch to 4 mins, flown gently) so it doesn't seem to have made a significant difference. But it's an easy change and certainly doesn't do any harm, so still worthwhile I think.
Yes, that subtle of a detail can be hard to evaluate. Maybe that's why Eachine overlooked it in the first place. I did see a post in the RCG forum's QX65 thread where someone tried my suggested motor/prop reverse on his QX65 and reported that it seemed less twitchy when hovering in ground effect.

When I'm trying to evaluate a change in performance, one metric I like to keep tabs on is throttle position necessary to maintain a hover. I just put that onto my OSD to make it easier to do that. I have a second QX65 on its way and initially will use it to see if those Crazepony batteries with the JST-PH 2.0 connectors are a worthwhile change. For the sake of science, maybe I should see if I can detect a throttle position reduction associated with the change in prop/motor rotation, although that outcome does normally translate into flight duration gains as well.

In conjunction with the motor/prop reversal, I have done a little "detailing" on the QX65 frames. I noticed that most of the motor pod support struts had some mold flash on their leading and trailing edges. These flash "feathers" were sometimes a good millimeter wide and horizontal rather than in line with the vane angle. I know it sounds kind of anal to think that could materially impact the air flow pattern, yet I took a few minutes to surgically shave off these paper-thin feathers of plastic with a sharp X-acto knife. I rationalize that we already contend with meager performance margins on these brushed quads, so any fraction of a gram of thrust eked out may well add to their flying enjoyment...., and I've got to find something to do while waiting for batteries to charge.
Mar 07, 2018, 05:17 PM
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Ha - I also shaved the moulding flash off mine, and I have throttle percentage on the OSD

Today I re-positioned the receiver antenna as I've been getting occasional failsafes, at close range:



Last night I flew three batteries and had failsafes on every flight. I repeated this today after the mod. and no failsafes. So looks like it may be helping.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Mar 07, 2018, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
Ha - I also shaved the moulding flash off mine, and I have throttle percentage on the OSD

Today I re-positioned the receiver antenna as I've been getting occasional failsafes, at close range:



Last night I flew three batteries and had failsafes on every flight. I repeated this today after the mod. and no failsafes. So looks like it may be helping.
I was a bit concerned about the antenna routing on mine, although most of my micro quads have way less than ideal antenna placement. I've yet to have any range problems with them, the QX65 included. My daily indoor course is virtually every room on two floors of our 24'x40' home. I exclusively fly with a Spekrum DX9 transmitter and it's bound to the QX65 in DSMX protocol. I did take the QX65 to our club's indoor venue which is a 160'x140' inflated sports dome and was able to cover the whole place with no loss of signal. Don't know what radio you are using but I saw you reference an AETR channel mapping, so I presume it's not Spektrum.
Mar 08, 2018, 01:48 PM
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I'm using an X9D Taranis - my issue is not poor range but dropouts at relatively short range (usually in the same room). E.g.

QX65 dropouts (0 min 15 sec)
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review


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