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Posts from the ‘RC’ Category

8
Oct

Quadracopter – Blade Nano QX

I’m kind of a big fan of the eFlite Blade series. I have an mSR and 120SR that I fly with my Spektrum DX6i. For indoors the mSR is a relatively good flyer, even though it sounds like a mad wasp. The SR120, not much fun indoors since it wants some wide open spaces.

I was watching some videos of guys flying some rather larger helicopters with a movie camera hanging off the bottom between the skids. The videos were breathtaking to say the least and the guys flying these were using point of view headsets so they could “see” what the copter was seeing. Slick.

It was then that I found a company that was doing the same but with something called a Quadracopter. I’d seen an ARDrone last year, four motor flying slab of styrofoam for around the $300 mark and while it was okay, it really didn’t do much for me.

Of course one thing leads to another, I call them bunny trails, and the next thing I found was something called a DJI Phantom. They strap a GoPro to the bottom of it and the videos are, for the most part, amazing. Course the price of the quadracopter and the GoPro tops a grand, and a lot of guys use FatShark to get a FPV when it’s flying. Pretty slick setup and I’d really love to try one. Unfortunately, a little too pricey for me.

Then I found what has to be the worlds smallest quadracopter. Blade makes it. The Nano QX. It almost fits in the palm of your hand, can do flips (on purpose) and goes about 30knots flat out. Best part? It’s dirt cheap and uses the same batteries as the mSR. So I ordered one.

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I ordered the “bind and fly” version since I was going to use my DX6i to control it. When the box arrived I couldn’t believe just how small this thing is. I got some spare batteries with it, spare props, and canopy. I scanned the internet for how to setup the DX6i with it since the instructions on doing so were a little vague. I happened across RC Pro Reviews and they have all the settings listed there in an easy to follow format.

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I have the DX6i set up in stability mode for 50% control, 70% control and 100% in agility should I feel the need to test my skills. Oddly enough you set up the DX6i in ACRO mode not HELI mode as one might think (the manual suggests you do it that way too).

In stability mode, the thing almost fly itself. I swear anyone within a single battery could fly the thing. It’s that easy. In agility mode, and I’ve flown it there to, well, best to be outside. Since I fly mostly indoors, I use a beginner setting and it works perfectly. The right amount of control.

The nice thing with this copter over the mSR is you can bump things without taking chunks out of the things you bump. You can even stick it to the ceiling and it doesn’t leave a mark. Who ever came up with this design should get an award at the very least.

Battery life, flying outdoors in a pattern, I was getting 6 minutes (I have a timer on the DX6i I use). About then you’d better be coming in for a landing because at about 6:15 it loses the battle to gravity when the shut down happens. These are 1S 150mAh cells. Indoors there is significant motor whine noise, outside you’d be hard pressed to hear it from any appreciable distance.

Outside I found I could fly about 60-80 feet away from me and at that point, I really don’t have much of a clue what direction it’s pointing. Imagine trying to read a pocket book from 80 feet away. Unless you have the eyesight of a raptor, this thing gets small. Fast. None the less I was doing high speed sweeping turns and figure eights around the lamp standard and the neighbours tree in the front yard.

That’s when I noticed something. On the mSR or 120SR when you turn left, the copter sort of fights you a bit. They just don’t do it all that well (counter clockwise turns). When you turn clockwise, they perform much better. No doubt the way the rotor works. With the Nano QX, turning either way doesn’t seem to affect it at all. On stability mode, let go of the “cyclic” stick and it levels itself.

As far as I am concerned the Nano QX is a hoot to fly, takes a beating like the mSR and even flying in 5-8mph gusts wasn’t any trouble at all. Just a fabulous little performer. +1 to Blade for another home run.