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May 04, 2019, 10:43 PM
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Need some advice on a drone in the $150 to $300 range


Need some advice on a drone in the $150 to $300 range. I've flown the Syma X8W and some smaller ones for a while now but was looking for something with further range and FPV as well as able to handle wind. I've read lots of reviews and was just about to settle on the Fimi A3 but the battery cost and charging time have me second guessing. I don't get a lot of chances to fly so I tend to leave my batteries at full charge and at $40 each they would either not last very long staying fully charged or I'd have to always run them down to 50% and then have to wait an hour or 2 to get them fully charged to fly. Any suggestions appreciated. I've looked at Xiaomi Fimi A3, Husban Zino, SJRC F11 Pro, Eachine E511s, MJX Bugs 5 W.

Looking for something that:

1. Handles 10 mph wind
2. Control and FPV range 300m minimum (preferrably 500m or further)
3. Batteries less than $30 each
4. 1080 camera 2 way gimble would be preferrable

Xiaomi Fimi A3 - batteries are $40 - $50 each and take a long time to charge
Husban Zino - battery cost and charging time
SJRC F11 Pro - not sure about the quality. with 3 batteries around $250 Fimi with 3 batteries would run around $350 (kind of on high side of my budget)
Eachine E511S - low cost battery but can't handle wind
MJX Bugs 5W - Not sure about FPV control distance only looks to be about 200m
Last edited by robgau; May 06, 2019 at 04:15 PM.
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May 05, 2019, 05:18 AM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Fimi A3 is your best bet imo. Love how quickly you can set it up and fly; super simple with that transmitter with monitor. Yes, its batteries are more expansive and they don't even have power-level leds and aren't 'smart' but overal it works great. Love mine

Regarding charging-time/discharging: the included A3 charger is rubbish; get a cheap hobby-grade charger (like for instance the Imax B6) and you can charge the A3 batteries much faster and use their full potential (supplied charger doesn't do that) plus a hobbygrade charger can also discharge your batteries when you're not going to use them for a while See the Fimi A3 thread for more info.
May 06, 2019, 09:17 AM
FA3PR9WM79
Oldgazer's Avatar
IMHO, your requirements, and in particular the one about handling 15 knot winds, are unrealistic for this class of aircraft.

To give you and idea of how strong a 15 knot wind is, look at a flag pole that is flying the average 3' x 5' US Flag. Under 15 knot winds the flag will be flying nearly straight out.

I've been flying RC for nearly 30 years, and when the flag in my yard is flying straight out, the only thing I fly is my indoor Whoop.

Battery charging is another issue entirely. For this class of aircraft the supplied chargers will always be "slow" for safety reasons, ie the average owner has no clue as to how dangerous mishandling a LiPo battery really is. In a worst case scenario mishandling of LiPo batteries can literally burn your house down.
May 06, 2019, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgazer
IMHO, your requirements, and in particular the one about handling 15 knot winds, are unrealistic for this class of aircraft.

To give you and idea of how strong a 15 knot wind is, look at a flag pole that is flying the average 3' x 5' US Flag. Under 15 knot winds the flag will be flying nearly straight out.

I've been flying RC for nearly 30 years, and when the flag in my yard is flying straight out, the only thing I fly is my indoor Whoop.

Battery charging is another issue entirely. For this class of aircraft the supplied chargers will always be "slow" for safety reasons, ie the average owner has no clue as to how dangerous mishandling a LiPo battery really is. In a worst case scenario mishandling of LiPo batteries can literally burn your house down.
Probably should have said 10mph wind. I fly all the time in 5 to 6. Thanks for the info.
May 06, 2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
Fimi A3 is your best bet imo. Love how quickly you can set it up and fly; super simple with that transmitter with monitor. Yes, its batteries are more expansive and they don't even have power-level leds and aren't 'smart' but overal it works great. Love mine

Regarding charging-time/discharging: the included A3 charger is rubbish; get a cheap hobby-grade charger (like for instance the Imax B6) and you can charge the A3 batteries much faster and use their full potential (supplied charger doesn't do that) plus a hobbygrade charger can also discharge your batteries when you're not going to use them for a while See the Fimi A3 thread for more info.
Thanks for the suggestion. Leaning back toward the Fimi A3. I have an Accucel 6 charger. Any idea approx. charge time?
May 06, 2019, 04:59 PM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
Thanks for the suggestion. Leaning back toward the Fimi A3. I have an Accucel 6 charger. Any idea approx. charge time?
Got the same charger, and charge the A3 batteries in about an hour I think (I never really push things when it comes to charging lipo's)
May 06, 2019, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpeter
Got the same charger, and charge the A3 batteries in about an hour I think (I never really push things when it comes to charging lipo's)
An hour's not bad. I was looking at the 3 or 4 hours with the supplied charger.
May 07, 2019, 05:28 AM
FA3PR9WM79
Oldgazer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
Probably should have said 10mph wind. I fly all the time in 5 to 6. Thanks for the info.
No problem. 10 mph is more realistic.
May 07, 2019, 07:55 AM
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Pixelpeter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
An hour's not bad. I was looking at the 3 or 4 hours with the supplied charger.
The supplied charger is a joke; I had to make due with it and it annoyed the heck out of me, before I received a small balance-port LiHV charger. Later I made a charge-cable so I can use the Accucell6 with all its perks
May 08, 2019, 12:08 PM
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What kind of wind can the Fimi A3 handle? Banggood is running a promo on it for $249 USD.
May 08, 2019, 12:15 PM
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Is the display on the Fimi A3 really hard to see outside? Kind of concerned about that.
May 08, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
What kind of wind can the Fimi A3 handle? Banggood is running a promo on it for $249 USD.
Not sure; I tend to be careful not to fly in too high a wind anyways. Still, the A3 is pretty fast for a GPS quad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
Is the display on the Fimi A3 really hard to see outside? Kind of concerned about that.
The monitor is indeed hard to see, even with the collapsable sunshade I fixed to the transmitter; the screen could do with a bit of a brightness boost. Not sure if applying a more matte screen-protector for instance will do anything
Last edited by Pixelpeter; May 08, 2019 at 05:21 PM.
May 08, 2019, 05:35 PM
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Is the monitor still useable in direct sunlight or is it impossible to see?
May 09, 2019, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robgau
Is the monitor still useable in direct sunlight or is it impossible to see?
You can use it in the sun, but only for the 'big picture'; you won't be able to see much detail; the screen isn't hi-res anyways. Staying in the shade improves viewability.

Remember: the A3 uses an analog 5.8gHz FPV setup, so you can use other FPV monitors or FPV goggles to view the video from the craft
May 09, 2019, 11:49 AM
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Ordered an A3 last night from Banggood.

Is there any support or warranty thru FIMI if I have issues with it? I didn't see much on their website.


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