A decent battery strap for micros
I'm yet to find a decent battery strap for a micro. So far I've been making do with the crappy velcro ones with come standard like in the picture below along with the nice silicon pads I've already reviewed. On tough crashes though I still get ejections which makes we worry about lifting a battery pad off the ESC.
The problem with micros through is you need a skinny strap that will fit between the standoffs underneath a 20 x 20mm esc AND a plastic or metal return feed clip that really allow you to tighten the strap down. The stock one for the baby hawk works but only for very small batteries - 2s 300mah and smaller. The standard 20mm wide ones I use on my 5 inch quads and have heaps of are just too wide (and heavy). Another option is to use a rubber band like Albert Kim which is lighter but doesn't have the security of a good strap.
Other than a few boutique options like the airblade UAV strap that Nick Burns has a bulk supply of, there is very little available, especially outside of the US. Thank goodness there are a range available now supplied by RJX hobby in varying material such as nylon, nylon with metal strap and Kevlar. Most importantly these are available in 15mm wide variants which is perfect for quads that are 3 inches and smaller.
The best all round one I have found that is also the cheapest is the 15mm wide x 150mm long one here. This fits on both my leader 120 and Furibee X140 and will accept down to 2s 300mah and up to 4s 850mah. The nylon version is currently available for just $2.17 on Bangood. If you are one of the high-roller types you can also also get an alloy-buckled 12mm wide version for an eye-watering $2.69. There are a range of lengths available so order several or just measure first but make sure you get the 12mm or 15mm wide variants as listed here.
These straps won't make your quad faster or give you a better FPV feed but will give you greater peace of mind knowing that in a crash you are much less likely to eject your battery and potentially damage your sensitive electronics or even lose your battery.
Get them here:
The Furibee X140 is a popular 3" quad for good reason as I've covered in part 1 (bench) part 2 (initial flight) and part 3 (long term use) of a review. It does however feel underpropped with the stock 3030 4 bladed props and on 3s felt sluggish with my biggest complaint being dulled recovery from freestyle manuevres like power loops and split S's. Upgrading the prop is the most cost effective upgrade I've found and something you'll need to do in the future anyway once you've destroyed the stock props that come with it.
The gemfan 3052 is very quiet - even more so than the stock 4 bladed props. This is actually very important for quads 3 inches and under since a large part of the appeal is the ability to fly them in smaller areas with more soft targets - much less intimidating to by-standers.
Power and efficiency
A small but noticable difference here that is probably coming from the increase in pitch, fewer blades and probably a more modern aerodynamic design. I found I was able to recover better from power-loops and split s manuevres in particular, with confidence to come on the throttle stronger and later to catch myself - probably 10-20% improvement at a guess. Punch outs although still not massively fast on 3s were improved.
Efficiency as measured by flight time was pretty similar - there was definitely more voltage sag on punch outs but at low to mid speeds I did not require as much throttle as I did on the stock props. Net net the battery life was similar (4:00 approx. on a 450mah 3s) but able to choose more where I put the power with a larger stick resolution between low throttle hover and maximum power.
I've only had one or 2 crashes worth noting so far. Both have caused the prop to bend near the hub but it was easy to bend back to true without any signs of stress to the plastic. I'll report back here once I've put more packs through. I can say they definitely seem more durable that the gemfan 2040 Hulkie props (review here) and this seems to be more through design rather than material since the plastic feels very similar.
Other than stressing the battery a little more on full throttle punch outs, I found these props better than the stock items in every way - especially in that they were quieter and had more power. I can't yet draw a firm conclusion on which is more durable because the stock props are tough and about 10 packs in I haven't had a really bad crash yet. One thing I haven't mentioned so far is that they look *great* colours are rich and the design looks cool with the wingtips but that is largely subjective.
I've named this article 'No-brainer' because at somepoint you are going to need new props. In my opinion these are the ones to get. Both suppliers listed below ship worldwide.
Buy them from gearbest (try code RC18off)
Buy them from banggood (try code toysho)