Ever since someone took a Blade Inductrix, threw a camera on it and called it a Tiny Whoop, the drone world has went nuts for the things. And why not! The ability to fly FPV indoors while not killing yourself and your pets appeals to anyone who flies drones.
If you are like me you probably just held out for the inevitable clones to appear on the market. For me it wasn’t the cost of the Tiny Whoop, rather it was the inability to use FrSky protocol natively that was the was the deal breaker. The number of people building up Tiny Whoops meant that the OrangeRX modules needed to connect the Taranis controller that many of us use to the Whoop became gold dust. There are also many stories of the range being poor and packet loss. I didn’t have to wait long until Eachine announced their ‘Turbine QX70’ in November 2016. So I pre-ordered and it arrived late November.
What are you getting for your money?
Answer: Quite a lot actually, the QX70 is about half the price of a Tiny Whoop, this FrSky enabled one was about £55 from banggood.com. For the money you are getting a bind and fly micro quad with ducted fans to stop it falling out of the sky when you hit walls, a multi function LED strip, a 600tvl camera with 25mw transmitter, 4 x 8.5mm motors and doing all the clever stuff is a F3 EVO brushed flight controller.
What actually comes in the box?
- QX70 Micro Quadcopter
- 600mw 1S Battery
- USB Charger
- Spare Set of Props
- USB Cable for connecting to configurator
Getting ready to fly
OK so the first thing that has to be said is yes it can be a pain to get to the bind button as its under the camera mount, but actually binding the thing is very easy. I’ve been told it also binds to the EU LBT firmware Taranis without issue, and it connected to my non-eu Taranis without any problems. Once I setup my aux channels I’ve not really had any need to make any further adjustments to the control link.
The stock firmware is CleanFlight 1.13 but you can easily flash to BetaFlight. Just make sure you note the settings to get everything working on beta, namely the LED settings and the receiver.
The first thing I noticed was the throttle required to hover is quite high, actually that’s a lie, the first thing I noticed was the camera quality: it is really good for the tiniest camera and video transmitter combo I have ever seen.
The stock settings in CleanFlight are fine for indoor flying. It’s smooth and controllable but the rates are quite low and if you want to fly outdoors some re-tuning will be required.
The next thing is that LED strip. It’s clever and VERY bright, but that got me thinking that its probably an idea to put is on a toggle switch to power it off to save batteries, so that’s how I setup my AUX2 in CleanFlight.
Flight time is about 3mins. I later tried changing the battery to a 25C 1S I had from another quad and I felt like the QX70 benefited from that.
The build quality of the ducts does need a mention here. After getting my hands on an E010 before the QX70 the build quality of the cheaper E010 is very good so I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the ducts on the QX70. They do catch the props from time to time and could have been made a little better. To get around this I have moved the motors up a little which does seem to have cured the issue. The QX70 is also quite a bit louder than the E010 but that doesn’t bother me as the drone isn’t often in the same room as me.
- Tiny Whoop with FrSky compatibility for cheap
- Spare Props
- BetaFlight ready
- The duct build quality is poor
- High throttle needed just to idle
The next steps for this micro is to get it flashed over to BetaFlight. I am also going to install the 3 blade Hubsan props everyone is raving about to see if that brings my idle throttle down a little.
I’m not going to be chopping the thing up and removing the LED bar or battery tray just yet to save every tenth of a gram. I actually do enjoy this quadcopter but as a last thing I will get myself a better battery to have a spare and also to have more punch than the stock.