This release cycle took a bit longer than usual, but now it is here, the newest release of Betaflight - Betaflight 4.0. A lot of brushless whoops that came out in the past couple of months already come with Betaflight 4.0 flashed. But why did it take so long and what exactly did change?
A lot of people (me included) have been waiting for it - an ND filter for the Caddx Turtle - wait no more, the ND filter is here.
Currently the ND 8 filter is available for the Caddx Turtle V2 with the plastic lens and the Caddx Ratel, but there are more to come. On the Caddx facebook site they state that there will be different strengths of the ND filter and a version for the Turtle with the glass lens.
An ND filter helps to prevent Jello, which especially the small HD FPV cams like the Caddx Turtle V2 or the Runcam Split Mini have real problems with.
Happymodel just released the V2 of their popular CrazyBee F4 Pro flight controller.
The mein differences to the V1 are, that the new version is 1-3S capable and the battery connections are through hole instead of the small pads. Other than that everything seems to be the same: The flight controller comes with integrated FrSky, FlySky or DMX receiver. There is also a version without integrated receiver if you want to run your own.
The Boot and Bind button are now real buttons, instead of flimsy foil ones. The BEC seems to still be the same, on the V1 board a lot of users reported that the BEC spontaneously died - I am not entirely sure if this issue has been addressed.
This is basically the spare FC for the Mobula7 HD but I am sure this FC will be used in a lot of different builds, especially toothpick sized builds.
iFlight is bringing a new HD Whoop to the market - the CineBee 75HD. This one also promises 2-4S capability - let’s hope they can live up to their promises in comparison to the BetaFPV Beta85x.
The 2-4S compatibility is solved by having different versions, according to the vendors page the 2S version is ready now, the 3S and 4S versions can be pre-ordered.
This model is designed for HD and there will not be a non HD version. The camera used will be the Caddx Turtle V2. There is also a 4K version planned, but there are not details for that yet.
You will be able to get the model with different receivers: DSMX, Flysky and two different FrSky receivers, the R-XSR (which I would prefer) or the XM+.
As the name suggests this whoop will have a wheelbase of 75mm.
The top and bottom plate are made from carbon fiber, the hoops are made out of plastic. The motors mount directly to the plastic hoops, those are then screwed to the carbon frame.
Today BetaFPV released a statement about the failure rate of the Beta85x. They have identified the ESC as the source of the problem, more specifically a component that was not soldered properly.
From 2000 models from the first batch at least 100 seem to be affected, the number could be much higher since some of them might still sit on a retailers shelf and just wait to burst in flames.
The problem seems to mostly show on 4S with a more aggressive flying style (going fast, lots of dives). In their tests BetaFPV found that there is a 50% failure rate on 4S. The errors could not be reproduced in their test when using 3S, although on Facebook some people report that their quadcopter did go up in flames while using 3S, BetaFPV states that this could only occur due to prior damage.
Betas recommendation is to not run the Beta85x with 4S.
BetaFPV seems to have pulled the Beta85x from their webstore (currently has the state of sold out).
Countless customers had problems from the start: They plugged in the battery and the Beta85x went up in flames.
Many think that the release was rushed and that BetaFPV wanted to get it out before the Chinese new year. A lot of customers got it during the festivities and encountered problems. It did not help that there was no reaction from BetaFPV for almost a whole month.
BetaFPV is trying to find out via Facebook how the Beta85x was failing. It seems that a lot of the porblems could have been caught in QC - if there was any. Had they just taken the time to plug the quadcopter in a single time, they would have caught 90% of the copters that went up in flames.
This article is about something, that I am very excited about - the EMAX tinyhawk ready to fly kit - it comes with everything you need to start flying FPV. The entry into the FPV hobby has never been easier and cheaper!
The kit comes in a sturdy carrying case, it was shipped to me in the black plastic bag with the carrying case inside - if it survived the shipping from China, it should survive any abuse you put it through.
Let’s first get a quick overview of what is in the case. The kit contains FPV goggles, a battery case for the googles with 18650 battery and a USB cable for charging. Further it contains a gamepad styled transmitter, again with 18650 battery and another USB cable for charging. Of course it also contains the star of the show, the tinyhawk itself with one battery and a USB battery charger from which you can charge six 1S high voltage batteries. The kit also contains a set of spare props, some stickers, a small screw driver, some spare screws and a quick-start manual.
After the great success of the he URUAV UR65 and the general craze regarding HD whoops, URUAV are the next ones in line to release an 85mm HD brushless whoop.
It will be available in two different versions, the HD and non HD version. The HD version will be quipped with a Caddx Turtle V2 and the non HD version with an Caddx EOS2 - this is very similar to BetaFPV’s Beta85 setup. But this time the two versions will also have different motors. Which is good, since the HD version is almost 10g heavier, weighting in at 52g without battery, than the non HD version, weighting in at 43g without batter.
It can be powered from a 2S or 3S battery, comes with a switchable VTX, up to 200mW.
A lot of flight controllers that come with integrated receivers have them connected via SPI to the processor. If you have an AIO flight controller where the receiver is connected via SPI you do not need to push the physical bind button on the flight controller anymore - you can simply bind from the Betaflight CLI.
This is especially handy when the bind button is hard to reach. In the future bind buttons might be omitted on the boards at all - mechanical parts are expensive, so the manufacturers can save a couple of cents.
After the great success of the he Mobula7 and the current craze about Cinewhoops like the Tinyleader or Beta85x it was just a question of time for an HD version of the Mobula7 to be released.
According to a conversation with Jason from happy model, the release of the HD version of the Mobula7 is planned for the 18th of February, 4 days earlier and it would be a great Valentines days gift for us Whoop pilots.
Unfortunately there are no pictures yet, but I got quite some informations about its technical specifications and price.
Just a couple of days after the first samples have hit the test users BetaFPV is taking pre-orders for the Beta85x. According to their website shipping will start on the 25th of January.
The Beta85x comes in two different version regarding the camera. One with a Caddx EOS2 for $159.99 and the second one, the HD version - or Cinewhoop as they call it - with the Caddx Turtle V2 for $199.99.
A 4S, 450mAh battery is recommended but neither is one included nor can one be ordered from BetaFPV as of now. I guess a lot of early adopters will go with two 2S batteries they have from their Beta75x. But I am sure it will not take long until there will be different battery options for this form factor.
Regarding receiver there are a lot of different options available, including the TBS Crossfire.
BetaFPV seems to be working on a new whoop. A whoop capable of carrying a HD cam, similar to the tinyleader.
First images have surfaced on facebook. The new Model, the Beta85x will be available in a non HD and in an HD version. The non HD version seems to be equipped with an EOS2 4:3 camera.
The HD version will come with a Caddx Turtle V2 (Hopefully shipped with the joystick needed to make the settings).
The camera tilt will be adjustable in both versions.
Unfortunately no release date is known yet, but I would suspect it will be releases in a few weeks from now. As usual I will keep you posted and update the list on the homepage accordingly.
The people from Banggood were kind enough to provide me with some coupon codes valids through 2019.
The coupon codes are valid in different categories and you can save up to 15% with the following codes. You just need to fill them into the Coupon field on the checkout page.
The Emax tinyhawk RTF starter kit is now up for sale on banggood.
This package seems to be a perfect entry point for new pilots, it contains everything you need to start the hobby: Goggle, remote, carrying case, batteries, charger, accessories, and of course the tinyhawk itself.
And with a price point of just $165, there is really nothing to complain about. In fact the entry into the hobby has never been easier and cheaper.
Goggles and transmitter are both powered by a 18650 battery and can be charged via included USB cable. All the parts fit into a nice carrying case. You even get a screw driver for maintenance.
After my last articles on parallel charging and serial charging I would like to explain how to serial charge 2S batteries.
As mentioned in my serial charging article, there is no dedicated hardware (at least that I am aware of) to serial charge your 2S batteries, but the technique is the same as with 1S batteries - instead of building a 6S battery from six, single 1S batteries we are building a 6S battery from three 2S batteries.
Building this kind of adapter can be accomplished with a hand full of passive components and some minimal soldering skills. A 3D printer capable of printing TPU for the enclosure comes in handy, but you can also use liquid tape to secure the contacts on the bottom of the adapter.
BetaFpv just release two new models: the Beta65 Pro 2 and the Beta75 Pro 2.
They are somewhere between their respective Pro and X versions. The main difference to the X version is, that the ESC are slightly less powerful and that flightcontroller and ESC are all on one board.
Another change is that you can fly this models with 1S - this is great news for everyone flying in small indoor spaces where the X version simply has too much power. Both models actually come with two HV 1S batteries.
Both models are cheaper and lighter than their X version counterpart and BetaFPV claims that the washout problems from the X series are completely solved.
After my last article on parallel charging someone on facebook mentioned that they prefer serial charging.
Serial charging? Never heard of that.
Turns out this method is mainly used for 1S batteries, you basically build a 6S battery from six single 1S batteries and charge this constellation like you would charge a normal 6S battery. This is all done via a simple harness to which you plug in your 1S batteries in series.
When it comes to parallel charging there are a couple of ways that you can interpret it:
You have multiple chargers and thus can charge multiple batteries at one time. This is the most obvious version, but comes with the big draw back that you need multiples of everything, multiple power supplies and multiple chargers.
Multi channel chargers: Those are chargers that have multiple dedicated charging circuits, so you can charge two ore more batteries at once. The great thing with those is, that you can charge different batteries (different cell count and different capacity) at once. The bad thing is, the more channels they have, the more expensive the tend to get.
Parallel charging boards: A special board that allows you to attach multiple batteries, usually six, to the same charger. There are some things you need to consider when going this route, but I will explain all of them in detail, since this is the method we are going to look at in detail.
Good news for all Mobula7 owners: Happymodel has released an upgraded version (V2) of the Mobula7 frame.
They state, that this one should be able to take some hits before it breaks, actually, that it is nearly indestructible. This in fact is not true, it holds up far better than the original frame, but is still not up to par with something like the BetaFPV frame.
New batches of the Mobula7 will come with this improved frame by default.
The frame comes in two colors: Transparent or Transparent Black. It weighs in at 4.2g, so it is even lighter than the original frame that weight 4.8g.
Buy it from banggood.
This news just came in via Facebook. Nate Payne seems to have received a couple of 300mAh, 80C/160C graphene high voltage batteries from TBS.
They come with an XT30 connector and weigh in at about 20.39g. They are high voltage and thus may be charge up to 4.35V per cell. Thanks to graphene they have a high continuous discharge rate of 80C and a peak discharge rate of 160C.
The cost of $ 8.95 is not too bad either - I will definitely get some of those.
What are the best 2S batteries for the Beta75x?
Now that the Beta75x is out for a couple of months, we have quite an option regarding batteries. In this post I would like to showcase some of the available batteries and which performs the best.
In a previous article I talked about battery specifications you might want to take a look at this too, before continuing.
I will focus on the Beta75x option that comes with XT30 connector and thus use 2S batteries, further I will only showcase batteries that fit into the battery holder without modifications, so basically only 300mAh batteries.
Unfortunately, most of the options do not come with a XT30 connector and you will have to add it by yourself - but this is not all too hard if you know what you are doing, I will explain it a little bit later.
C Rating? Mili Amp Hours? How many cells?
When it comes to the LiPo batteries we use in our hobby, there are a couple of specs you should know about, what they mean, how to interpret them and most importantly how to compare them.
At first all those specs seem a little bit overwhelming, but when you look at them one at a time, they all make sense and are not all too complicated.
And this is what this post is all about, I will look at all the different specs and explain what they mean and how they interact with each other. I will also give you some general LiPo related tips.
The Tiny Leader has been announced to be released in December of 2018. Definitely not your cheapest option out there but the frame will be carbon fiber and plastic - it looks pretty sturdy.
The Tiny Leader comes with a XT60 connector and you can power it with 1-3S. At least the ESC’s are specced for that - I can not imagine it really running on 1S, seems to be a little too heavy for that, so I think, the target battery will be a 300mAh, 3S battery
The cam will be a Caddx Micro F2 with 1200 TV lines and can be adjusted from 0° to 45°. The video transmitter will be switchable and will output up to 600mW power - pretty impressive!