Thread Tools
Dec 19, 2018, 03:55 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
Mini-Review

Emax TinyHawk - a fresh take on a brushless "Whoop" (review, work in progress)


With the days shortening and weather generally getting worse (at least on the norhern hemisphere) indoor FPV quads are more popular. This year the brushless "Whoops" have really emerged, with stuff like the UR/UK/US65, and other offerings, from BetaFPV, HappyModel and more. A little while ago, Emax also joined the party, with the TinyHawk. And it like with the BabyHawk series, it looks quite different from the average similar size quad. Now that the first hype about it is over, does it still provide an interesting option to consider getting?




Disclaimer: I don't get paid, or in any other way make money with reviews like these. Product specifications and quality may vary at the manufacturer's discretion, and are beyond my influence. I cannot guarantee you will get a product that performs exactly the same as seen and described in this review. There is always room for a general discussion on the reviewed item, feel free to comment, but if you are planning to add a long written review, instead of some summarizing remarks or a single video, it would be appreciated to put these in a new review topic or on your RCG blog page. And please, no affiliate links!

Note: When clicking a link that is posted in this review, some text or numbers might be added to the link, making it appear to be an affiliate link. However, all links I post in the review are clean, and this addition is done automatically by your browser and forum software, so sadly beyond my influence. If you don’t want this to happen, copy the link, then paste this in an address line of a fresh browser window/tab.



For easy navigation, here's a list of contents:

1: Specifications (posting #1)
2: Unboxing (posting #1)
3: Preparing for 1st Flight (posting #1)
4: Flying Performance (posting #1)
5: Camera & FPV Performance (posting #1)
6: Suitable for a Beginner? (posting #1)
7: Preliminary Verdict (posting #1)
8: Additional Tuning, Modifications & Other Info (posting #2)
9: Suggestions for Improvements (posting #2)




1 - Specifications:


First, let's start with a picture and a link:




https://www.geekbuying.com/item/Emax...NF-408372.html

By the time this review was started, the price for the BnF was 99.99 USD

Update 21 dec 2018: Currently available for 89.99 USD with coupon BPPUYPGK



2 - Unboxing:

The first impression of the TinyHawk is a very good one, as the quad comes in a nice zipper case, where it is held neatly. This case can easily be used to store and take the quad with you wherever you go.






Inside the case, there is also a manual, a USB charger with 4 outputs and a small bag with an extra battery wire, a few spare grommets to mount the FC, and some extra screws. The included 1S 450mAh LiHv battery comes installed in the quad.




The frame is a very unique shape, which might even seem toygrade, but is in fact a pretty clever design:




At the bottom a single plate provides protection for the electronics, while also holding the battery snugly in place. Due to the pusher props setup, it's highly unlikely a prop will fly off during flight:




There is also easy access to the motor wires, and the USB port, as well as the VTX channel/band selection button. Or at least, where the button should have been, but more on that later...




With the stock battery installed, the total weight comes at around 42g,

The included 4-port charger (there is word that in later batches a 6 port charger will be included) has the option to charge LiPo and LiHv. To switch between these two types, there is a small hole with a picture of a finger pointing at it. Using a thin pin or precision screwdriver, it's possible to reach the button beneath that small hole. Plugging in the charger to USB port, and then press and hold the button for a few seconds, adjusts the charging mode. If the Larson scanner moves from left to right it's set to LiHv, if it moves from right to left, it's set to regular LiPo, finishin at 4.20 volts.



3 – Preparing for 1st Flight:

Emax provides a nice manual with the TinyHawk, showing how to bind, unlock VTX, and more. The flight controller is identified as MATEKF411 (MK41) and comes with a solid setup and tuning. Emax is so confident of their tuning, that the manual gives the advice to leave settings alone and refrain from upgrading, because it's already tuned optimally. We'll see how accurate that claim turns out to be.

Binding is done in D8 mode, and involves keeoing the bind button pressed when powering up. After veryfying the controls following the sticks, a few small changes were made to some settings, like modes, etc, to match my personal preferences.




4 - Flying Performance:


First indoor LoS flight went just fine. The quad is very solid in hover, not too noisy, and responds well to throttle, though not as punchy as the 2S "whoops" or even some of the other 1S flyers.



5 - Camera & FPV Performance:

Out of the box, the VTX is in "locked" mode, meaning some frequencies are unavailable. These can still be selected using the Smart Audio feature, but then the image will be black. To unlock the VTX, and gain access to all available 37 channels (even when unlocked, channel 4, 7 and 8 in the Boscam E-band are still greyed out) the VTX button needs to be pressed when adding power.

Here the first hurdle presented itself, the top part of the VTX button was missing on my TinyHawk...




With a screwdriver, it was still possible to sometimes get the switch to make contact. And eventually, during one power up attempt, the blue and green led stayed on, indicating a succesful unlock. The next power up, these leds will be off again, which at first made me think the VTX had gone back into locked mode. But turns out that this isn't the case. The LEDs only indicate the locking or unlocking if the button is pressed when adding power.

The camera sits at a fixed angle, which is rather steep for indoor flying, navigating around chairs and tables, etc. Unless flying faster forward, there isn't much of the ground visible, which makes it harder to do precision flying, even though the stable handling characteristics of the TinyHawk make it very suitable for this kind of flying.

The low width, combined with the quad being low profile as for height as well, make it easier to move through smaller gaps. Not as easy maybe as a 65mm, but still less likely to get stuck than similar size "Whoops" which are wider at the front. The excellent stability, combined with smooth trottle response, helps here too.


Update 24 december 2018:

After days of rainy weather, the sun started to shine, so the TinyHawk could stretch it's wings outside.

First outdoor flight with the Emax TinyHawk 1S brushless "Whoop" (2 min 31 sec)



Outside there is also very good control, but the FPV signal shows some glitches, even when not too far away. There was another FPV flyer active at that moment, at some 500m away, which might have caused extra interference, but also indoor, the FPV image shows some short flicker at times too.


Update 29 december 2018:

Been tweaking the rates a little. The first rate profile generally works quite well for indoor precision flying, but the yaw felt way too slow. So expo was removed on the yaw, and rates set to regular BF values. The second rate profile was left as is.

Also occasionally have an issue with the receiver. Sometimes, right after plugging in the battery, the rssi shows a very low number, below 50%. Then when I go flying, it drops from the sky at a few m away, If I reconnect the battery, the rssi pops back up to 99% and the remaining flight goes without a glitch.




6 - Suitable for a beginner?


The TinyHawk scores some bonus points here. Props are well protected, there is a decent manual, it has received a proper setup at the factory, and is a solid flyer. The frame design is not overly complicated, and it looks like the quad should be able to withstand the inevitatable crashes that a novice pilot is likely to have.




7 - Preliminary Verdict:


Emax has clearly put some thought into their first entry into the indoor "Whoop" market. A sleek looking frame, that at the same time is also very practical, with good access to the USB port, motor wires, and buttons. And it flies as it looks, pretty fast, and very controllable. Compared to some other "whoops" it may not be the one with the best throttle punch, but definitely a strong contender.

The neat packaging and well usable manual add to this being a complete package, both for novice and more experienced "whoopers".



Pros:

- Flexible frame
- Very easy access to USB port, despite being a small quad
- Extra battery wire and some extra screws+grommets
- Neat zipper case, very convenient for storage and transport
- Sleek and unique design, easy to handle
- Very stable in flight




Cons:

- No spare props
- VTX button broken (QC issue?)
- Fixed camera angle, bit too much for slow precision flying
- Yaw rate on default rate profile is very slow
- Turtle mode doesn't work well with 3-blade props
- Just a single battery included
- No extra power settings for VTX
- Some extra breakup in FPV signal, even at close range


(to be continued)
Last edited by SoloProFan; Dec 31, 2018 at 06:57 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 19, 2018, 03:56 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
8 – Additional Tuning, Modifications & Other Info

Adding capacitator to prevent brownout issues

Some TinyHawk owners reported issues with the quad browning out when the battery gets below 3.5 volts. Apparently this can be fixed by adding a small capacitator to the 3.3v power line, to stabilize this. On newer batches of the TinyHawk, this fix has been applied already.

A ceramic capacitator of 10uF should be enough. Youtube contains quite a few videos on where to solder this capacitator. Here's one that gives a good explanation:

Emax Tiny Hawk Voltage Issue FIXED/how to (7 min 22 sec)



Different PID Settings

Stock tuning for the TinyHawk seems to focus on smoothness, and controls aren't very lively, even with increased rates. KababFPV came up with some different PIDs, that seem to be liked by quite a few people. Haven't tried these myself yet, but here's a screenshot:




Installing DSM receiver

For those who don't have FrSky compatible transmitter, installing a different receiver is the only way to fly this. For Spektrum users, another RCG member, DesertClimber, came up with a nice "how to" guide, and a suggestion for a receiver that fits the frame well enough.









For those of you wanting to fly the TinyHawk on Spektrum, get you one of these tiny DSMX RX SATs on Amazon for $16 and solder it in yourself: https://www.amazon.com/LongBow-DSMX-.../dp/B07CGNLYBN

It needs to be soldered to 5V, GND, and RX2. I used the same ground the camera is on, & there is also 5V on the same side of the board. The RX2 pad is on the opposite side of the board (battery side)...

In BetaFlight, disable serial port (UART) 1 and enable port 2. Set port 2 to serial, Spektrum 2048.

I'm not sure if using the command line or a combo of that plus plugging in the flight battery got the binding process started, but it works great once I got it to bind!

The RX fits inside, but just BARELY, and only in a specific spot. In the last photo you can can see the extra wiring, antenna sticking out, and a tiny corner of the RX under the main board in there.




9 – Suggestions for Improvements:

While a very good attempt, some things might be improved if there will be a "V2" of the TinyHawk:

- Adjustable camera angle
- VTX with extra power settings
- Spare props
- Different receiver options for those who don't have FrSky compatible transmitters
- Buzzer
Last edited by SoloProFan; Jan 01, 2019 at 06:27 AM.
Dec 19, 2018, 04:15 PM
Time For Me To Fly!
fastmax's Avatar
Really looking forward to your take on this quad. I am weighing all my options for a brushless Whoop, and this seems like one of the top contenders in this segment.
Dec 20, 2018, 01:45 PM
Registered User
It is the best on the market right now for indoors. Emax did a lot of development for this, custom new style frame, that is very stable, F4 chip instead of an F3 like almost every other similarly sized product, and you can tell by the stability this makes a huge difference for this sized product.

35mph on 1s? Its very good. I posted a review video in the tiny hawk thread if you want more details and indoor/outdoor flight footage
Dec 20, 2018, 02:13 PM
Registered User
Merch's Avatar
Don't forget you can use the CLI to change the bands channels if you ever find yourself at a black screen,these are the defaults if i remember right.
set vtx_band = 5
set vtx_channel = 4
set vtx_freq = 5769
Dec 20, 2018, 03:16 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonE5
It is the best on the market right now for indoors. Emax did a lot of development for this, custom new style frame, that is very stable, F4 chip instead of an F3 like almost every other similarly sized product, and you can tell by the stability this makes a huge difference for this sized product.

35mph on 1s? Its very good. I posted a review video in the tiny hawk thread if you want more details and indoor/outdoor flight footage
Not sure if it's the best, it is indeed very stable, though the UR65 for instance feels more agile, also on throttle response. And the TinyHawk lacks the ability to adjust the camera angle. But there is no denying Emax spent a lot of effort on trying to create something special.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Merch
Don't forget you can use the CLI to change the bands channels if you ever find yourself at a black screen,these are the defaults if i remember right.
set vtx_band = 5
set vtx_channel = 4
set vtx_freq = 5769
Could be, but if the VTX is in locked mode, you can't select each available frequency. So that's something to keep in mind.
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
Dec 20, 2018, 03:44 PM
Registered User
Merch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloProFan
Could be, but if the VTX is in locked mode, you can't select each available frequency. So that's something to keep in mind.
Looking in the manual helps to get the right frequency when the VTX is locked because changing setting using the button is a nightmare don't ask how i know that's why i used the CLI to help out then after that smartaudio.
Dec 20, 2018, 04:16 PM
Registered User
I reviewed both the UR65 and the Tiny hawk on my channel but found the Tiny hawk more manueverable. :shruggs:

Tiny hawk review

Emax Tinyhawk review (17 min 49 sec)
Dec 20, 2018, 04:16 PM
Registered User
UR65 Review

URUAV UR65 micro drone Review! Indoor Acro BRUSHLESS WHOOP (15 min 12 sec)
Dec 23, 2018, 07:20 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
Added info on installing DSMX receiver, and how to use the bundled 4-port charger.
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
Dec 24, 2018, 03:24 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
Added outdoor flying video
Latest blog entry: For the love of the hobby!
Jan 01, 2019, 06:28 AM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Thread OP
Added screenshot of alternate PIDs, as supplied by KababFPV, which are apparently liked by a group of TinyHawk owners.
Last edited by SoloProFan; Jan 01, 2019 at 07:13 AM.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini-Review Makerfire Armor 67 - Brushless Tiny Whoop Challenger (review) SoloProFan Micro Multirotor Drones 36 Jan 05, 2019 08:48 PM
Mini-Review Emax BabyHawk-R - 4S capable Micro FPV Racer with CCD (review, work in progress) SoloProFan Micro Multirotor Drones 4 Apr 22, 2018 09:04 AM
Mini-Review Hubsan X4 Pro H109S - 1 axis gimbal brushless GPS Quad (Review on hold indefinitely) SoloProFan Mini Multirotor Drones 8 Aug 23, 2016 12:13 PM
Mini-Review XK Innovations X252 "Shuttle" - Brushless FPV 3D Quadcopter (review, work in progress SoloProFan Mini Multirotor Drones 1 Jul 12, 2016 11:56 AM