The Diatone (SNT) Y60 3005 is an absolute mouthful of a name but this is a super tiny 1/64 scale 4wd Crawler RC truck that I have reviewed. The version I have reviewed has a built in First Person View (FPV) camera that transmits the image to a set of goggles that gives you a view from the car in real time. The amount of technology crammed into this tiny hotwheel-sized cars is just crazy and I hope to give you a full feel for it in the review.
If you haven't been involved with quadcopters before you probably won't know the brand "Diatone" but if you have you will know they are one of the bigger and well-supported brands that have become very popular due to the balance of quality and performance they have struck plus have the most aggressive product development schedule I've ever come across. They have partially re-branded to "SNT" as they start making consumer RC cars, working exclusively on the micro (1/64) scale which is roughly the size of a hotwheels car. I've reviewed 2 generations of these in the Q33 buggy and the Q25 240z replica which have both shown substantial improvements over the models they replace. Both are bult for speed but the weight and location of the FPV camera lets down the experience. As you'll see in this review the Y60 truck is built to crawl slowly over bigger obstacles and so is much better suited to FPV.
What's included in the box?
Well, since 2 versions are available, here are what is included with each. As I reminder, this review is the full FPV set version but the same stands true for the regular RTR version:
It appears Diatone SNT are selling themselves a bit short here as my FPV model also included a spare set of tyres and a AV cable that will allow you to show live or recorded FPV footage on your TV (which is hillarious BTW).
Since there is a Lithium Polymer (Lipo) battery built into the truck this is covered and needs nothing more. Unlike the earlier Q33 car this body is not designed to be removed because the electronics are complex. You will need either 3 x AAA or 1 x 18650 LiIon battery for the remote. It is a shame the 18650 cell was not included as it was with the Q25 but I still recommend this as the battery of choice given the capacity and here is why: you charge the car from the remote. You can of course charge from a regular USB C port but this ability to charge from the remote means you should never need to complain about a flat battery.
With a quick charge you should get about 60 minutes of driving time or 30 minutes if in FPV mode
If you bought the FPV version like me you'll want to screw the antennae on to the goggles as below. You can of course get better antennae if you wish but we aren't pushing the range capabilities of this little car at all so these are well and truly fit for purpose. If you want to record your hijinxes I'd recommend adding a micro sd card too. Before you get your expectations up just understand that analogue FPV recording is very low resolution so you'll see I included some DVR later in the review.
You can change a lot of settings in the goggles as well but they are set up fine from scratch and will connect directly with your camera on default settings.
Lots of settings available in the goggles but defaults are fine
To power on you'll need to turn on the car and the remote. If you have the FPV version you'll also need to turn on the goggles and chose a spot for the FPV camera at the front for first person view or rear for 3rd person view. Changing is easy as the camera or covers are held in place by strong magnets - a very clever design allows you to run camera or no camera at will. Lastly you can toggle power to the camera using a button on the remote
Looking at the car in more detail
The amount of detail and functionality is hard to believe especially when you consider the size of this car so lets break it down:
Driveline, steering and suspension
This is not just a cheap little toy, the driveline and suspension is put together like a genuine RC crawler with very little in the way of compromise. There is a rear-mounted coreless brushed motor that sends power front and rear by an articulated driveshaft after passing through metal-geared reduction gearbox. Power is then send to front and rear "locked diffs" by worm drive, again with metal gears. There is a solid rear axle like real crawlers and the front is split with 1/2 dogbone driveshafts and outer drive cups that allow full steering. Speaking of steering it is full articulated with good lock and of course is proportional but it also quite accurate. Trim and dual rate can be adjusted on the remote.
The measure of a real crawler is the suspension articulation or 'flex' as we sometime call it. Just because it is tiny doesn't mean the Y60 misses out - there is a massive amount of movement available front and rear - probably why they included a rock in the kit (seriously!!)... just to show this off.
I've seen more and more RC cars take advantage of lights recently and the tiny scale used on the Y60 has been no excuse to break this trend. It has working headlights, tail light and even indicators that blink when you turn left and right - both front and rear. Better yet there is a button on the remote that allows you to cycle between lights off, low beam and high beam. Lastly, all lights flash when your remote is not connected
I just wanted to point out how clever the camera mount is. Although the FPV camera is much better suited to this car than previous versions, the top heavy weight of the camera can make it a less capable crawler for tricky obstacles. Since the camera attaches by magnetic coupling, it only takes 5 seconds to remove and you are no disadvantage to the non-camera version. Conversely if you bought the non-camera version, this gives you and upgrade path should you wish to do so in future
I'll split this review into 2 parts, the car only aspect and the FPV aspect as they are 2 legitimately different experiences
Running in non-FPV mode
For it's size this is a suprisingly capable crawler but be very clear - for it's size. When the tyres are only 14.3mm high it's not going to over anything massive so think crawling over pens, pencils and things around the house rather than rocks, streams and big dirt piles. Tyres offer good grip though and they have sourced some nice soft springs to offer good movement to keep good contact with the surface and therefore maximum grip.
Steering is, as I mentioned, surprisingly precise and there is of course the ability to adjust dual rate and trim through the remote although it is a little drawn out since it lacks analogue dials. Throttle control is really good too although there is a bit of bind in the driveline the causes a small loss in resolution. On the whole the, the performance is astounding given the size.
Centre of gravity is reasonably high so can be a little tippy but no more so than a regular scale crawler without weighted wheels.
I would avoid water altogether with this car, on this scale it would be practically impossible to waterproof and because electronics are integrated you would lose all systems if something failed.
If you want to film your crawling adventures there is a mount point on the remote that allows you to fix a phone or go pro which is handy because the shape of the remote makes one handed driving a little difficult. In the video below I had my little helper film with an old selfie stick to get close to the action.
I did notice a bit of bind in the drive train, notably where the central driveshaft transfers power to the front and rear diff. It wasn't terrible but did want to mention here for completeness.
Running in FPV mode
FPV mode is soo much fun. Because the gearing is so much shorter here than Diatone SNT's earlier FPV releases like the Q33 and Q25 it is less likely to get stuck or tip over since it has less speed and more torque. This is important because running FPV is more about exploring and you don't want to get up and remove your goggles ever 2 seconds to put the car back on it's wheels or rescue it from getting stuck on something. With this car you can truly go and explore an indoor area or flat outdoor area.
FPV cameras like the one used here have a very wide Field Of View (FOV) so you get a lot of peripheral vison. When combined with the small size of the car it gives you the sense that a) you are going faster than it appears and b) you can drive through gaps that you would think would not be possible from the view in the goggles. It makes for a really fun experience and as you can see in the DVR footage you can get into all sorts of weird and wonderful places.
Just to manage expectations, analogue FPV is very low in resolution but has very little lag which is why it is still so popular with FPV quadcopters. This means that the view in the goggles is not super crisp but gives you very up to date data so you can comfortably drive with. The goggles also have a DVR that allows you to record what you are seeing in the goggles albeit at a lower quality than what your eyes see in the goggles. See below for what I mean - a recording from my phone of the goggle screens and the goggle DVR:
Speaking of the goggles, they are compact with comfortable padding and have a screen that is large (4.3" with 2.8x magnification fresnel lens) and clear. As mentioned they have DVR record and playback functionality. The built in battery is very good too and can be charged using the included micro USB cable. The goggles are light and comfortable to wear. They have signal diversity with 2 antennae and provide crisp, static-free reception at typical ranges you would be using with a micro RC crawler. I really like that they have a beginner mode that drops the number of usable channels to 4 but you still have the ability to unlock all 40 channels if needed - something you'd only use if you happened to use them for a quadcopter as well.
In the videos above you can see the hood of the little truck but you can actually mount in two locations for a different experience as per the image below:
When running in FPV mode it is hard to crawl over big obstacles because you lack the depth perception and ability to judge the size of things but I think crawling is best enjoyed when you can see the whole car anyway. I think the best way to enjoy the FPV mode is simply to drive around, it's a lot of fun that it really hard to convey. I had most fun sneaking up on my colleagues in the office...
The Diatone SNT Y60 is a tiny, 1/64 rc truck designed for very small scale crawling - it is slow but powerful and good for driving over scale sizes obstacles. They level of technology in this car is amazing and makes for a fun RC car than you certainly don't need space for. The version with FPV camera sends a video feed directly to the goggles so you can drive around feeling like you are onboard this little truck and is a different experience altogether. This little truck is the culmination of several generations of micro rc cars made by SNT/diatone and in my opinion the best, especially for FPV where it doesn't suffer from lack of power and top heaviness like the Q25 I reviewed here. The ability to add/remove the camera with a magnetic latch system in particular is very clever.
This is not a cheap little car but it is a heck of a lot of fun and something both myself and my kids have enjoyed a lot in both regular and FPV modes. The battery last for ages between charges and charging with the remote means there is no excuse for it to be flat for any long period of time. Obviously the tiny size makes outdoors more tricky for all but fairly smooth surfaces, but it has to be said that the size a big part of the charm.
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