Adventures With The Eachine QX95: Building From Scratch

So, the magic smoke came out of the board on my printed brushed micro after it slammed into the ground and refused to disarm. Rather than buying just another board, I figured it was a good idea to build anew and test out one of these nice Eachine micros. They offer a fully built BNF version but I opted to buy the parts and put it together myself, meaning I could use their newest AIO camera with switchable power as well as a slightly smaller Frsky SBUS RX.

Read on to see how it went!

Specs

All the bits and bobs are basically exactly the same as the BNF QX95 (until later on anyway). Here’s a quick summary of the parts and where to get them.

First Looks

Frame

The frame is generally nice with lots of space to fit everything but it’s pretty weak, particularly on the back arms. Half way through the build I managed to snap one of them off pushing a motor through the rubber grommet. I’d recommend heating the grommets up a little bit beforehand!

The extra prop guards I ordered are pretty flimsy so I wasn’t too sure they would hold up in a crash. Thankfully, they are actually totally fine! They do seem to vibrate quite a lot while the props are spinning but no problems from it as of yet.

Later on I spotted someone that had the idea of chopping the centre of the guards off so it’s in two pieces, so I also did the same. Save a little bit of weight and makes it a little easier to see out of the camera!

Flight Controller

The flight controller is the Eachine F3 Brushed FC and seems really great! While it lacks the integrated DSM2 RX from the Scisky, it makes up for it with an F3 chip. three usable UARTS, a buzzer port, and support for six motors. Definitely want to make use of it for a tiny brushed hex at some point in the future. They also offer an identical version with an F4 chip, but I only spotted this after it all arrived!

Overall, it’s pretty much your standard flight controller. I stuck the latest Betaflight on it as soon as I took it out the packet.

The target for this particular board is the SPRACINGF3EVO build and I was able to ramp it up to 8KHz/8KHz gyro and PID tick without any problems.

Camera & VTX

The camera is insanely small, very impressed. I originally wanted to fit 65mm props but — despite them being listed as compatible — they hit against the antenna by a pretty large margin, so 55m props it is. I might trim the ends off and make some horrible bullnose props out of them later on.

Motors & Props

The motors are your standard Chaoli CL 820s found on other brushed builds. Nothing too exciting here!

Putting It All Together

Soldering everything onto the board was fairly straight forward though there’s no silkscreen telling you what the smaller pins are. Luckily there’s a full pinout on the listing. The hardest part was stripping the wires for the motors as my strippers are comically large compared to the wires.

Those LEDs…

The LED board I ordered didn’t work with the FC at all at first. After much searching I discovered this post on RCGroups that explains that on this particular version of the FC (i.e., not part of the BNF kit) has the pins hooked up incorrectly for LED strip usage.

A bit of a bodge along with some nerves later, it works! This was my first time trying to solder at SMD size and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I coated everything in a generous helping of liquid electrical tape afterwards to stop it from being ripped off.

Squeezing Everything In

It’s a fairly tight fit inside but with some wrangling, rubber bands, and blue-tac, everything fits in.

Fitting the VTX was honestly the hardest part. Whoever decided rubber bands are an adequate mounting solution is an arsehole. It falls off constantly and is just generally a bit of a pain. Further, the wires on the VTX are awkward and point downwards so it doesn’t sit flush against the frame. A little bit of servo tape helped but it still tends to wobble around a bit!

 

Taking It out for a Whirl!

I must say, flying it is excellent. It definitely lacks power a little but it’s hilariously fun to fly. I settled on flying mostly in self-leveling in the house as it makes it a lot less difficult to not bump into things, but rate mode outside is still a good laugh. Here’s a video so you can see it scooting about along with some glamour shots!

Troubles & Upgrades

Everything above was my initial thoughts around the QX95 but after flying it for a while I ran into a little issue, as well as performing some upgrades.

VTX Antenna

The VTX antenna is super weak so I managed to snap it off fairly quickly. It was a total right off but I had a spare I managed to jam on — soldering this was not easy at all but I got there eventually. I would highly recommend covering it in as much hot glue as physically possible as soon as you get it.

Losing Weight

There’s a big chunk of carbon at the back doing nothing so I chopped it off. Small weight saving here!

I also left some of my wires a little too long originally so I chopped them and resoldered. Additionally, the power cable that comes with the board is super thick compared to my battery so I replaced it with a thinner cable.

Racerstar Motors

This is probably the most significant upgrade though I’ve only been using them for about two hours as of time of writing! The original Chaoli motors are totally fine but definitely lack in power, so when I spotted these I ordered them right away. They come in a super nice red colour but appear the same otherwise.

I’ve only had a chance to fly it about with them in the house twice, but it is way more powerful in comparison. Before it would hover at around ~60% throttle, now it hovers at ~20%. It feels much more like a normal quadcopter. I tried one flip with the original Chaolis before but it doesn’t have enough punch to recover at all, whereas I’m sure these ones would be totally fine. Haven’t tried it yet though!

Conclusion

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the QX95. It’s super fun to batter about the house without worrying too much. That said, if I was starting over would I go from scratch? Probably not.

Get the kit.

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