I was (and still am) a big fan of the first Tinyhawk, especially the RTF kit with goggles and controller. This is how got my wife into flying quadcopters. Now there is a new, improved version available - the Tinyhawk 2.
In this article I am going to take a look at what sets it apart from its predecessor and give you a general overview of this quadcopter.
This review sample has been sent to me by banggood.
- Motors, Frame and Props
- Video Transmitter
- Battery Options (and Demo flights)
Let’s first take a look at what you get. The copter comes in a nice carrying case which contains:
- a quick-start guide and some stickers
- a set of spare props
- a 1S, 450mAh HV battery
- a 2S, 300mAh HV battery
- a USB 1s and 2S battery charger - you can charge two 1S and two 2S batteries at the same time - you can also choose if you want to charge them to 4.2V or high voltage to 4.35V
- Some spare screws, a small screwdriver, spare rubber bands and a spare PH2.0 connector
- And of course the star of the show - the Tinyhawk 2
You can also get a RTF(Ready To Fly) version of the Tinyhawk 2 - it contains the same goggles and transmitter that the first version came with, check out my review of that, if you are interested in those components.
Version 2 of the Tinyhawk fixes a couple of shortcomings of the first version. Most importantly, the camera tilt is now adjustable. The camera has also been upgraded to a Runcam Nano 2. Personally I would have preferred a Runcam Nano 3, but that should be easy enough to upgrade. You can also stick any other Nano sized Cam into the canopy.
It seems, I had bad luck with my camera, I have dirt on the sensor and a couple of pixels on the sensor seem to be defective. I can fly without any issues, but I still notice them from time to time. Call me pedantic, but once I notice the dirt on the sensor I can simply not unsee it. But this is an easy fix - at least with the Runcam Nano 2 you can unscrew the lens and carefully blow the dirt out.
Motors, Frame and Props
The frame has also been changed significantly - it is way more edgy than the first version, which was basically round all the way around. The struts connecting the motor to the hoops are also a bit more chunky. In my tests I have had quite a few bad crashes, but the frame survived without any damage.
To accommodate 1S and 2S batteries the battery cage now consists of 2 rubber bands securing your batteries in place.
LED’s have been added to the hoops, they are not programmable but instead are directly connected to the motor outputs and the brightness adjusts to the amount of throttle. They look pretty fancy in flight (especially when it is darker) and are great if you are intending to do some follow footage or maybe even draw with your quadcopter in a long exposure photo.
The motors are still 0802 motors but now have 16000KV instead of the 15000KV of the predecessor. They are no longer plugged into the flight-controller but instead directly soldered to it, which is not a bad thing technically, since no power is lost at the plugs - the plugs are still available though. I am not entirely sure why this is.
The Tinyhawk 2 comes with 40mm, 4 blade props, and I had absolutely no problems to flip over after a crash, even with 1S although being on a smooth surface. This was basically impossible with the original props the first Tinyhawk came with.
The VTX can now be switched between 25mW, 100mW and 200mW and comes in a locked state where only 25mW and a limited selection of channels is available. Unfortunately this is not reflected in the VTX table setup, this means you can still switch to a frequency that is actually disabled and are thus left in a state in which you need to connect to Betaflight in order to change your channel or set it via the button on the video transmitter.
The video transmitter can be unlocked by pressing the button on the VTX and powering up the quad by attaching a battery. All LED’s on the VTX are now lit to indicate that you have unlocked it. At this point you can use every frequency that is available in the Smart Audio configuration screen.
The all in one flight controller has been slightly upgraded with 5A ECS’s and you can run RPM filters and 48kHz via JESC on the Tinyhawk 2. The exact BLHELI_S version that they Tinyhawk 2 comes flashed with is:
The flight-controller comes flashed with Betaflight 4.1.0 (the target is MATEKF411RX) and the tune is pretty decent. EMAX does not recommend to change the tune or upgrade to a different version, since they claim their settings provide the best performance. And I have to admit the Tinyhawk 2 flies pretty great out of the box.
The SPI receiver supports D8 and D16 mode. I had some problems with D16 mode on my Taranis X-Lite Pro. I got a lot of random RXLOSS, even at relatively close range.
What fixed it for me, was to change the PID and Gyro loop frequencies to 4kHz. Other people seem to have no issues with the default settings of the Tinyhawk on D16. So maybe this is just an issue with my setup. Let me know if yours behaves similarly.
If your transmitter supports it, I would highly recommend running the Tinyhawk 2 in D8 mode.
If you got the RTF kit from the first Tinyhawk, you can continue to use the controller but depending on the version of your transmitter you might need to update Betaflight to a version provided by Emax. The later version of this transmitter is completely D8 compliant and will work with the stock images, but for the earlier version you will need a custom firmware.
The Tinyhawk 2 is quite a bit heavier than its predecessor, coming in at 31.2g without a battery and 43.5g with a 1S 450mAh battery. If you want to shed some weight a quick and easy way, would be to get rid of the LED’s.
For 2S you will need to have either a quite big indoor space or fly it outside. Also if you want to fly on 2S I would highly recommend to swap the PH2.0 connector for an XT30 connector. At 2S the PH2.0 connector is really a bottleneck.
But not only on 2S, since EMAX decided to use the rolled pin PH2.0 connector I would highly recommend upgrading it to a solid pin PH2.0 connector. This ensures way better performance on 1S and the solid pin connectors are way more durable then their rolled or folded counterparts.
With stock settings and connectors I get a flight time of around 4 minutes and 20 seconds on 1S. Outdoors I get a little bit over 3 minutes on 1S.
I did not like the 2S battery indoors so I only flew it outdoors and got around 2 minutes of flight time. I am pretty sure you will get better results with an XT30 connector.
I compiled a video with a couple of demo flights. The first ones are on default, out of the box settings, the last flight is on Betaflight 4.1.4 with JESC 48kHz and RPM filtering enabled:
After flashing the 48kHz version of JESC the indoor flight time went up to over 5 minutes. Since the deadtimes of the ESC’s are pretty high I was not expecting much improvement, but 25-30% more flight time is not bad at all.
Even if you are not interested in RPM filters, I would still recommend getting the 48kHz JESC firmware for your ESC’s - as long as you are not using RPM filtering you do not even need to pay for that extension of flight time.
The RPM filters are another topic - technically you can use them, but I had big problems while also using the receiver in D16 mode. My initial problems of random RXLOSS came back again after enabling RPM filters.
Decreasing the PID loop even more did unfortunately not help this time. I had to revert back to D8 in order to get rid of the random RXLOSS. But with D8, bi-directional DSHOT worked like a charm with 4k/4k and DSHOT300.
I am having lot of fun with the Tinyhawk 2 - I can recommend it to anyone who is looking for a 1S indoor racer. The stock tune is really good, you can basically take it out of the box and start ripping. You might want to adjust your rates though.
I am a bit hesitant to recommend the Tinyhawk 2 to you, if D16 is your only option and you want to use RPM filters. Although it seems that other people do not seem to have the same issues I do, a couple of them have - so your mileage may vary.
As mentioned a couple of times before, the out of the box tune is pretty decent. I had absolutely no problem with yaw washouts or prop wash, something that some other quads of this size have a problem with.
If you want to fly outside on 2S, I would not necessarily recommend the Tinyhawk 2 - at least not without modifying the battery connector for something that can actually properly handle 2S. Instead you should probably go with something like the Tinyhawk Freestyle or Tinyhawk 2 Race.
EMAX has improved the TInyhawk quite a bit from the first version, but there is still room for more. I am personally not a big fan of the Runcam Nano 2 - so this could also be improved, at least in my eyes. When it comes to the settings I would like to see a properly configured VTX table for the locked VTX. Also the battery plug should definitely be updated to a solid pin PH2.0 connector. I do not quite understand why manufacturers still chose the rolled version over the solid pin version, the price difference can not be that high.
Other than that, for around 100$ the Tinyhawk 2 is a solid whoop, well capable of freestyle and racing. It comes with everything you need to get you going.
I would highly encourage you to get a couple of spare batteries - I personally got a set of 1S 450mAh GNB batteries to keep me in the air for longer. It is also not a bad idea to get some spare props.
You might also want to look into getting a better battery charger.
Without hesitation I would recommend the Tinyhawk 2 to anyone wanting to get into FPV. If you do not have anything yet I would even recommend the Tinyhawk RTF kit - For less than 200$ you get everything to get you in the air within a couple of minutes.
Chris is a Vienna based software developer. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all sizes and making stuff.
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