The good and bad of the Sailfly-X and Red Devil
Happymodel have launched two of the better value toothpicks recently of which I have reviewed both - the Happymodel Sailfly and the Eachine Red Devil. Unfortunately both have minor niggles on the FPV side of things -
The objective of the mods:
Since the underlying powertrain of these quads is light and effective I set out to improve the above issues while trying to stay as light as possible. Also, in order to keep things simple I wanted to avoid soldering where possible to provide an easy and cost effective upgrade path for those who wanted to emulate the build. The result? I'm super pleased:
Total specs on the above build are:
Full list of parts used:
The build is very straightforward, especially if you are coming from an Eachine Red Devil. I have however included the steps unique to the Sailfly-x in italics:
1. Change components to the Eachine Red Devil Frame
2. Remove canopy and unplug camera
3. Replace AIO camera from Sailfly-x with the Red Devil Nano VTX listed above
4. Replace 4x nylon screws for mounting crazybee board and canopy with the steel ones from the larva-x listed above
5. Mount the Runcam Nano 2 camera to the Larva-x canopy.
6. Plug the Runcam Nano 2 camera into the nano-vtx
7. Install the canopy and secure with nylon m2 nuts
8. Loop the rubber bands over the end of the m2 screws on the side of the canopy as below.
Super pleased with the outcome. Firstly all jello related to the awful red devil/trashcan canopy is gone. I love the larva-x canopy - it is strong yet lighter than any TPU canopy due to injection moulding. It is also super compact and has and excellent range for camera angle adjustment.
The camera is not a million miles better than the EOS2 in direct sunshine but it really comes into its own in low or less than perfect lighting conditions. The flight below was a late dusk and I has no issue with colour aberations or missing obstacles. The VTX from the Red Devil has proved sound as well - I like to run it on 100mW so as not to stress it.
Rubber bands are a much more practical mounting solution meaning I can quickly switch between mounting types. Anything with a battery less than about 35g should be using rubber bands.
HQ props are excellent. Personally I've had no issues with the regular 65mm but I hear some batches have had problems with balance whereas the t65mm have not. Also the t65mm cost slightly less and have the option for using screws if needed although I prefer no to on these motors.
Conclusion and recommendation
If you have a Eachine I'd definitely recommend upgrading to the canopy at minimum plus using rubber bands to mount your battery. From there the camera is a bit more expensive and perhaps not necessary but worth thinking about especially if you fly in less than perfect light.
For the Sailfly-x the decision is hard due to the extra parts needed - frame and vtx. Personally I'll be keeping my sailfly stock but if I only had that then the power bump from vtx and image bump from the better cam is well worth pondering as is the ability to adjust camera angle.
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