Saturday, 28 January 2017

DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone


As this quadcopter was lent to us by NFoxTV i couldn’t unbox the cardboard housing but luckily the quadcopter comes in 2 boxes, an external cardboard one and a polystyrene, hinged, and lockable box that is used when carrying the copter outside.
Once the lock is in the unlocked position and the box is opened the quadcopter and accessories are laid out right in front of you, the quadcopter is in the middle, battery to the left, propellers to the right, transmitter to the top, manuals to the bottom and some accessory cables (micro USB) in the top left of the box.  All in all, a very neat layout.


There aren’t a lot of assembly steps required here, what is required (in no particular order):-

  1. Attach propellers - silver dot on propeller to silver dot on quad and black dot on propeller to black dot on quad.  Once placed onto of the motor arms, twist and they lock into position.
  2. Attach battery
  3. Unlock gimbal and camera from its housing. 


These drones are automatically linked to their transmitter, all that needed to be done is to attach phone to the holder, plug in USB cable charger, open the DJI GO app on our smart device and touch the take off button.  
I must admit this drone not being mine had me quite apprehensive so i worked out how far i was going to take it and kept within that range.  Having never flown a Phantom before its stability astounded me.  The camera records at a maximum resolution of 4K it can be turned down to 1080p if required.
The battery is another incredible feature, its high capacity means you get 20 minutes of flight time and with the very bright LEDs on the battery meter you can see from quite a long way away, of course you can see how much flight time you have left from the DJI GO app.
Landing the drone is so easy also, the decent is very controlled and within a few seconds the copter is safely on the ground, to switch off the motors pull the left analogue stick all the way down until you hear a click.

An excellent quadcopter for Beginners, Intermediates or Advanced fliers, also can be used in the professional sector for film making.

Overall 9.8/10  

Positive - Amazingly polished design, light, well balanced when battery is added, flight is incredibly smooth, motors are incredibly powerful,  

Negative - obstacle sensors only on front and underneath, no smart device chargers included, oversized transmitter

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Hubsan X4 Desire H502E - GPS, Return To Home, Follow Me functions make this an excellent quadcopter


Boxed with heavy duty cardboard you can be rest assured this package is going to travel well.  Once it gets to you and you open the box you will be greeted with a warning sign alerting you to the problem of flying without enough satellites, as this quadcopter has GPS built in, i was quite impressed by this.  Unfolding the 2 flaps reveals the quadcopter on top of the internal space diving petitions, under the copter is the transmitter, once again, with a warning attached to it explaining about the issues faced with flying without the minimum amount of satellites (6) quadcopter and (6) for the transmitter .  Along side that is a spare part box which contains the following:-

  • 8 x propellers - 4 x spare
  • 1 x USB charger
  • 5 x screws - 1 x spare
  • 1 x Philips screwdriver
  • 1 x FPV sun screen

Underneath the copter is a mini SD card slot, although no SD card is provided, so you will need to buy one separately. 
Now we have removed all parts out of the box, lets start on the assembly.


This quadcopter requires a small amount of assembly, this only consists of attaching the propellers, although that is quite a fiddly job.   On the propeller, next to the Letter ‘A’ or ‘B’ you will notice a small mark that looks like ‘ I ‘ this matches a small ridge on the propeller arm.  As long as they both match then the propeller will screw in with ease, repeat this method for the other propellers.  


Once the compass has been calibrated, and over 6 satellites locked on the copter is ready to take to the skies, as with most flights they can start off quite shaky, while the quad was getting its bearings (literally). I found there was a whirlpool effect making the copter sway slightly from side to side, fortunately I found the more i flew, the more stable the copter got.  
This quad is fast and moves at quite a steady pace, and shifting to ‘expert’ mode (mode 2) the speed increases again but is still very manageable, really opening this drone up to Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced fliers 
Whilst piloting i notice the transmitter being really comfortable in hand, and with the added altitude meters built in you get a real sense of being up in the clouds with the quad. 
The in place camera isn’t great at shooting video, its slightly whitewashed, and the resolution is quite poor but it doesn’t get affected by the usual jello effect as its built in to the body and not hanging under the copter.

Overall 8.5/10 

POSITIVES = Stylish design, built very sturdy, GPS stability, built in camera, 12 minute battery life, great feeling transmitter, altitude and distance meter built in, FPV, real RTH function.  

NEGATIVES = You need to stop the video before turning off the controller or you loose the video, waiting for satellites can take up to 10 minutes to complete for the quadcopter and an extra 3 - 4 minutes for the transmitter.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

UDI U42W Auto Take Off + FPV Quadcopter Drone Flight Test Review


The box is pretty standard with a nice big high quality picture of the drone on the side, by removing one of the flaps at the top of the box a small plastic insert can be pulled out containing the quadcopter and transmitter.     Dotted around inside the box are some small accessory bags that contain the following:-

1 x Screwdriver
1 x set of screws 
4 x spare propellers
4 x propeller guards
1 x USB battery charger
1 x FPV sun shield
2 x Landing Sprigs
1 x spare battery (2 in total)

The only parts that needed to be attached were the two landing sprigs, this took approximately 3 minutes and teh 4 screws were included inside the springs themselves.
Charging took 1 hour per battery, flight time should be 10 minutes each battery.


The flight was incredibly smooth from the get go, its automatic take off function worked fantastically well first time and i was astounded when i landed her and the motors automatically shut off.  The drones altitude hold feature is again excellent this barometer seemed to be a bit more technically advanced as even on the most still day there is still some movement, with this there was not.  The movement of the quadcopter  is very smooth, no jerking or sudden movements at all.


Verdict 8.8/10 

Positives - Good Design, Bright colours and LEDs, Incredibly stable flight, good altitude hold feature, FPV, transmitter or app control.   

Negatives - Small battery bay making it hard to replace battery, no GPS.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

JJRC H37 Elfie Selfie Quadcopter Drone with FPV, altitude hold, and folding arms.


This box is small and packaging is minimal which is a refreshing change, once the box is opened the drone is waiting for you inside its snug plastic bag wrap.   Under the quad is a small accessory pack which contains:-

4 x spare propellers
4 x spare propeller motor cogs
1 x manual
1 x USB charging plug

Along side all those goodies is a small velvet quadcopter carry bag, this is great for taking your drone out with you and keeping it tidy, clean and in one piece.

Charging will take approx 50 mins to 1 hour, flight time is between 6 to 10 minutes.


We have changed location this week, and we are now in the Woods instead of the park.   I was dead excited to be taking this quadcopter out it very much appealed.   We started off, found our take off point, did our pre flight checks, bound the copter to our smart device, and opened the JJRC app, now with the touch of the ‘up' arrow we were airborne.   A lot of trim was needed to stabilise this quad as even with us setting up the gyros we were pulling to the right, badly.   Now we were set up and all good to go i could see what this quad was made of.  The speed as standard was set to 30% (Novice) so i increased this to 60% then 100% i was shocked to see that even at 100% there wasn’t a massive difference in speed.   Video was recording all this time, i started with the lens pointing straight forward then changed to a downward perspective, one thing that really stood out then flying was the noise from the motors, so loud doesn’t really cut it, this thing screams! 
All in all as a straight flying quad it holds up quite well, as a photo or video quad it is terrible!  All video footage is dark, no sound and very grainy.   The photos just came out black.  There are examples of this in the flight videos. 

Total flight time was approx 8 minutes on one charge.


Verdict 5/10 

Positives - Drone folds away, very small, very light, flies well once trim is used to balance, altitude hold works very well, LEDs are bright.

Negatives - Camera is terrible, flips not compatible with model, very loud motors,