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Jun 16, 2018, 09:14 AM
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t00nz843z's Avatar
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Mini-Review

New MJX Bugs 3 Pro Brushless GPS FPV Windy Day Flier


This drone flies steady in strong winds due to its powerful brushless motors and accurate GPS/GLONASS positioning system. Optional C6000 802.11ac 5G WiFi FPV camera enables advanced features of FPV, follow me, circle me, waypoint flying. Find it here and more info here.

and here is its flight demonstration
MJX Bugs 3 Pro Brushless GPS FPV Camera Drone Flight Test Review (22 min 29 sec)


Pros
- Strong MT2204 1500KV motors (larger than original MT1806 1800KV Bugs 3 motors) with 8A ESC's provide plenty of lifting power enabling flight even on breezy days. Automatic landings in strong wind were uneventful. Many other GPS drones might flip when landing under high winds. This one did not seem to have such a problem.
- Accurate GPS/GLONASS system provides rapid lockon of satellites, and improved positioning accuracy.
- Includes action camera mount for GoPro and GoPro clones, along with the optional MJX C6000 FPV camera
- Available flight modes with the controller include GPS psotion hold, altitude hold, headless mode, and return to home/landing.
- Long range transmitter can control drone up to approximately 1 Kilometer.
- Automatically returns to home and landing on lost signal, low battery, or on command.
- Transmitter includes LCD screen for displaying telemetry information of battery power, altitude, distance, and satellite status. Also provides telemetry beep low battery warning.
- Optional C6000 FPV camera enables advanced features of FPV, follow me, circle position, and waypoints. C6000 camera records 1080p video directly to an onboard microSD memory card to avoid WiFi lag and frame dropping. I was able to achieve FPV range with my 802.11ac WiFi phone of over 400 meters with this camera. Features are enabled through Bugs Go app available on Play here https://goo.gl/5EGRJz and iTunes here https://goo.gl/9Qaivh

Cons
- Proprietary 7.4V 2800mah designed only for use with Bugs 3 Pro (original Bugs 3 uses 7.4V 1800mah with XT30 connector).
- Although it comes with a camera mount, no camera is provided. Purchase of the optional C6000 camera is necessary if you wish to enable and use advanced features of FPV, follow me, circle me, and waypoint flying.
- C6000 FPV reception has plenty of lag delay of over 1 second. Flying FPV requires very slow turns to minimize overshooting when maneuvering.
- Optional C6000 camera requires 802.11ac 5G WiFi for use. Not everyone has a phone capable of using this WiFi.
- Advertised flight time of 22 minutes. However, my drone automatically landed early at about 11 minutes with 50% battery remaining while under GPS mode. The drone would not let me fly it any longer, automatically landing the drone if I attempted to continue flying. (Maybe I could fly longer with GPS off and altitude hold on?)
- Waypoint maps screen does not allow Google satellite view if you wish to fly in remote areas. Thus you'll get a blank screen in such areas making accurate waypoint plotting difficult at such locations.
Last edited by t00nz843z; Jul 29, 2018 at 10:45 AM.
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Jun 17, 2018, 12:41 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
I do admit it's a pretty impressive quad for the price. A few years ago, a gps quad with altitude hold at that price point would have been unimaginable. Regardless, the proprietary battery combined with those fancy automatic flight modes that can only be enabled by purchasing MJX's own cameras are a big turn off. I really don't like to be 'locked into a brand' so to speak.
Jun 17, 2018, 04:14 AM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonblade
I do admit it's a pretty impressive quad for the price. A few years ago, a gps quad with altitude hold at that price point would have been unimaginable. Regardless, the proprietary battery combined with those fancy automatic flight modes that can only be enabled by purchasing MJX's own cameras are a big turn off. I really don't like to be 'locked into a brand' so to speak.
You could also consider getting one without that camera and skip those flight modes. My X380 does have POI but I never use it and I'm totally not interested in a quad that follows me around.; I try to avoid as much as possible to be in the shot anyway! You could consider getting this B3Pro instead of a X380 and get the benefit of telemetry on your transmitter, something the X380 lacks; only indication of status via the light on the rear of the X380. It's well known that it's quite easy to equip the X380 with a gimbal as many have been doing so; how the B3Pro will stack up as a gimbal-bird has yet to be determined. At least it has more powerful motors compared to the B2 so it should be able to carry some extra weight (yet to be detemined how much). As the B3Pro comes with a 'gopro mount' anyway, you could also first gain some experience with simply attaching your GitUp camera (which has very good EIS) and start flying & filming Just some thoughts
Jun 17, 2018, 04:36 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Pixelpeter, very good points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
You could also consider getting one without that camera and skip those flight modes.
Yea I wouldn't be interested in most of the fancy flight modes anyway except for the circle one. Though I wouldn't have much use for the quad circling me though circling around a feature in a landscape would be cool. Regardless, I wouldn't be able to do that without their cameras.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
It's well known that it's quite easy to equip the X380 with a gimbal as many have been doing so
Oh yea that's one of the main attractions for me regarding the X380. And I notice there's no balance plug on the Bugs 3 Pro proprietary battery so no hope of connecting a gimbal to that. Betting those batteries will be pricey too. I guess there's a chance that a gimbal may be able to be connected to the board inside the Bugs but electronics is something I know little about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
At least it has more powerful motors compared to the B2 so it should be able to carry some extra weight (yet to be detemined how much).
Yea it certainly has potential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
As the B3Pro comes with a 'gopro mount' anyway, you could also first gain some experience with simply attaching your GitUp camera (which has very good EIS) and start flying & filming Just some thoughts
Ive already shot a number of aerial videos with a GoPro attached to my Syma X8C. So now I'm looking for a more advanced setup with a gimbal. At this point, it's doubtful that I'll get my hands on an X380 as it's been discontinued and the few stores that are still selling it are charging more than what I want to pay. But I'll keep looking at different quad options.
Jun 17, 2018, 05:13 AM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Just had a quick look and Banggood doesn't offer the X380 any more, it's 'discontinued' on Gearbest (basic one there was reasonably priced) and Tomtop still sells them, but the basic one is ridiculously overpriced (US$290 )

Think you're kinda down to this new bird or a X16 or X21; think a lot will ride for you on how the batteries are priced. I can tell you the (also proprietary) batteries for the new Bugs5W are rather overpriced
Jun 17, 2018, 09:31 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Yea I think I'm too late to the party for the X380. I was really set on getting one but it has alluded me. I did consider both the Bayangtoys X16 and X21 but they have way too much vibration for my liking. There are a small number of videos shot with those quads that have no vibration at all but they are in the minority. I heard about one guy tried different tactics (including balancing the props) but could not get rid of the vibration from his X16. Yea that put me off those options.

I don't suppose you could power a gimbal from a light weight battery (as long as it reaches the gimbal's voltage requirements)? Just wondering if that kind of crude setup could work on the Bugs 3 Pro. Ya could duct tape the extra battery on to the Bugs body.
Jun 17, 2018, 10:03 AM
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t00nz843z's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonblade
Yea I think I'm too late to the party for the X380. I was really set on getting one but it has alluded me. I did consider both the Bayangtoys X16 and X21 but they have way too much vibration for my liking. There are a small number of videos shot with those quads that have no vibration at all but they are in the minority. I heard about one guy tried different tactics (including balancing the props) but could not get rid of the vibration from his X16. Yea that put me off those options.

I don't suppose you could power a gimbal from a light weight battery (as long as it reaches the gimbal's voltage requirements)? Just wondering if that kind of crude setup could work on the Bugs 3 Pro. Ya could duct tape the extra battery on to the Bugs body.
Yes others have attached a gimbal with an external battery. The disadvantage is the added weight of both the gimbal and battery will reduce flight time. Additionally, you won't have any signal control of the gimbal to raise/lower or turn it.

But an advantage that the B3Pro has over the others (B3, X380, X16/21) is that its provided camera mount is placed well forward. Thus it eliminates viewing the landing gear that is prevalent in videos taken on the others.

Regarding the X380, am pretty sure that's been out of production for a while. If you do succeed in finding one at an agreeable price, its battery has likely reached (or is approaching) its usable shelf life. LiPo's (espcially RC LiPo's) don't last forever. Additionally, if the battery has been in prolonged storage on a shelf with the drone, its voltage might have dropped with time. If one of the cells has dropped below 3V, the battery could be irreparably damaged.

I'll be doing a follow on video review this week attaching a GoPro clone to the B3Pro drone. Am thinking of recording it in 2K or 4K, then using electronic stabilization of my video editing program.
Jun 17, 2018, 10:25 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by t00nz843z
Yes others have attached a gimbal with an external battery. The disadvantage is the added weight of both the gimbal and battery will reduce flight time. Additionally, you won't have any signal control of the gimbal to raise/lower or turn it.
Yes I realise the disadvantages. I could try and find the lightest battery I could that meets the gimbal's minimum voltage requirements and hope for the best! The original Bugs 3 could lift a light weight gimbal and camera reasonably well. So hopefully, the Bugs 3 Pro with it's slightly more powerful motors can lift a light weight gimbal and camera and extra battery for a decent amount of time but I'm not expecting a miracle. And yea I could adjust the gimbal's pitch angle manually while on the ground prior to flight. By the way, I was surprised by the 10 minute flight time of the B3 Pro in your video review. I was expecting longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t00nz843z
Regarding the X380, am pretty sure that's been out of production for a while. If you do succeed in finding one at an agreeable price, its battery has likely reached (or is approaching) its usable shelf life. LiPo's (espcially RC LiPo's) don't last forever. Additionally, if the battery has been in prolonged storage on a shelf with the drone, its voltage might have dropped with time. If one of the cells has dropped below 3V, the battery could be irreparably damaged.
Oh yea. Spare batteries seem to be readily available so wouldn't be too much trouble buying another. I remember you saying how much you enjoyed the X380 when you reviewed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t00nz843z
I'll be doing a follow on video review this week attaching a GoPro clone to the B3Pro drone. Am thinking of recording it in 2K or 4K, then using electronic stabilization of my video editing program.
Nice. I'll look forward to seeing it. Would also be good to see it's performance in calm weather this time around.
Last edited by dragonblade; Jun 17, 2018 at 10:37 AM.
Jun 17, 2018, 10:46 AM
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t00nz843z's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonblade
By the way, I was surprised by the 10 minute flight time of the B3 Pro in your video review. I was expecting longer.
Yes but notice how windy a day it was. Just achieving hover that day would be the same as flying 10 to 15 mph, sucking extra battery power. Also, there still was 50% battery left. It's just that its automatic battery protection system wouldn't allow it to fly any longer. When I do the follow-on video, will try switching to altitude hold mode on low battery warning to see if it can keep flying for a longer time.
Jun 17, 2018, 07:48 PM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Oh yea you were battling the elements on that day. It'll be interesting to see if you can extend your flight times in altitude hold mode.

So I did a litte bit of research about gimbals and their voltage requirements and possible candidates for external batteries. One popular type of gimbal is the Walkera G-2D. It has an operating voltage range of 7.4V ~ 14.8V DC. And it's recommended to use a 12V 3S lipo battery with it. I couldn't find any 12V batteries but I did come across some 11.1V batteries (hopefully close enough.) The two lightest batteries I found so far have the brand name Zop Power. One of them is 2200mAh, 11.1 volt, 8C 3S and weighs approximately 103 grams. The other one is 550 mAh,11.1 volt, 80C 3S and weighs approximately 66 grams. Would the 'mAh' rating matter much for powering gimbals?
Jun 17, 2018, 09:24 PM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Another thing I'm curious about is the left stick on the controller which I call the throttle stick out of habit (which I know is not the case with quads like these as it only adjusts altitude and not throttle.) I do know that it's spring-loaded. Am I right in that when you raise the left stick and then release it, the B3 Pro will not drop down upon the release but will maintain the same altitude? In other words - returning the stick to center (after it's been raised) will not lower the quad?

Quite a while ago, I was using a Phantom 2 quite briefly and unless my memory's playing tricks on me, I think I recall the operation of the left stick was a little different. With the Phantom, I think I remember that I had to keep constant thumb pressure on the left stick (above center) to keep the quad at a certain altitude. And there was quite a bit of resistance in the spring-loaded mechanism which I didn't like. The only rest you got was when the stick was in the center position. I know the X380 is different to this and I'm hoping the Bugs 3 Pro is also different in this regard.
Jun 17, 2018, 11:12 PM
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t00nz843z's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonblade
Another thing I'm curious about is the left stick on the controller which I call the throttle stick out of habit (which I know is not the case with quads like these as it only adjusts altitude and not throttle.) I do know that it's spring-loaded. Am I right in that when you raise the left stick and then release it, the B3 Pro will not drop down upon the release but will maintain the same altitude?
Regarding your earlier question, the mah does not matter other than the larger mah, the longer you would be able to run the gimbal non-stop. But the 550mah that you mentioned should be sufficient for a couple flights before needing recharged.

And yes, the stick is spring loaded to center position. Pushing up raises the drone, pulling down lowers it. And letting go of the stick, it should maintain hover at the same altitude. There will be variation though if there's some wind as the drone (and most other GPS drones) use a barometer for maintaining altitude. Wind can cause momentary pressure changes which will affect the barometer sensor causing slight variations in altitude.
Jun 18, 2018, 12:48 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Thanks for the info. Quite recently, I came across a youtube video which gave some information which contradicts what a lot of people say about what flight modes to use for aerial filming. The guy basically said that altitude hold is not as good as full manual for shooting video because the quad is constantly adjusting the height with it's barometer. He seems to be suggesting that the height maintained by the quad won't be consistent. I guess this would depend on the wind conditions at the time. Regardless, many GPS quad operators agree that altitude hold is preferred for aerial filming.
Jun 18, 2018, 01:22 AM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonblade
Thanks for the info. Quite recently, I came across a youtube video which gave some information which contradicts what a lot of people say about what flight modes to use for aerial filming. The guy basically said that altitude hold is not as good as full manual for shooting video because the quad is constantly adjusting the height with it's barometer. He seems to be suggesting that the height maintained by the quad won't be consistent. I guess this would depend on the wind conditions at the time. Regardless, many GPS quad operators agree that altitude hold is preferred for aerial filming.
There might be fluctuations in altitude, but I doubt most will even be perceptible especially from higher up. Most cameras have a wide field of view which will also lessen the perception of a quad that might alternate its altitude a bit. And don't forget that you'll get the best possible video anyway when flying in low wind situations so there'll be less wind effect on the barometer anyway
Jun 18, 2018, 02:00 AM
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dragonblade's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
And don't forget that you'll get the best possible video anyway when flying in low wind situations so there'll be less wind effect on the barometer anyway
Exactly, I usually choose calm conditions when I do my aerial filming. When I first got my Syma X8C, it flew with an extremely consistent and level height during forward pitch. Just seemed dead level. Then later on during it's life, it did this weird thing where it would rise during forward pitch and sometimes quite high. Though even so, it wasn't really that obvious from the onboard video footage.


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