If you haven't yet seen the first part of my review of the new T-motor FT5 5 inch freestyle quad, I looked at the specification of the components used, the build quality and betaflight setup here:
T-MOTOR FT5 PNP REVIEW PART 1: FIRST LOOK AND BETAFLIGHT SETUP
This means that for this second part of the review I can focus in on flight performance and any recommendations. For the purpose of flight performance I'll break this down into FPV performance, performance on 6s and performance on 4s
The Caddx Ratel has been around a little while and has been hugely popular. This is the second commercial FPV camera made with the massive 1 1/8" CMOS sensor that makes for an image that is pushing the quality limits of the NTSC/PAL protocols for analogue FPV. This is my first chance to use one and I've been impressed. It is comparable to the Runcam Micro Eagle but more compact, lighter and at a much more reasonable price. Caddx camera QA has been benefiting from their partnership with DJI as well, presumably from an upgrade to their manufacturing facility. My guess is they have a better, cleaner manufacturing error that keeps the dust off their sensors. The unit included with the FT5 has a 2.1mm lens which offers a fairly mid-range field of view. It's a really nice camera from the goggles especially since I have been flying micro quads a lot recently but of course the DVR (below) never really does it justice.
Because this frame is made for analogue and digital I don't love how the camera is mounted here, the location feels like a bit of an afterthought. Sure there is no frame in view but it does sit proud of the frame and is more prone to damage depending of course on how you fly.
The new T-motor FT5 PNP is a new 5 inch freestyle drone from T-motor.
It is available in the following options:
Analogue video with 4s 2306 2400kv motors
Analogue video with 5s/6s 2207.5 1950kv motors
Digital video with 2306 motors in 4s 1750kv and 2550kv options
I've chosen to review the most powerful of these options - the Analogue 6s with the largest 2207.5 motors in 1950kv. In this part of the review I'll look at the components in the build, the quality of the build and will comment on the default betaflight settings. I'm currently test flying and once I have at least a dozen packs under my belt will start the main review.
The best way I have of summarising the specs is that it does the basics really well and this is not to damn it by faint praise. Other than the removable top deck for easy electronic access there is no F7 processor, no bluetooth access, no 4k HD recording on board. What you get instead is:
Introduction and spec
The Eachine Lal5 is a new 5" freestyle quadcopter from Eachine. It's most notable features are the new Caddx Tarsier V2 camera system that offers a high quality analogue feed and up to 4k HD recording. Also worth pointing out is the impressively specced powertrain - high quality 2507 1850kV motors that look like they are made by the same OEM as flywoo. These are the biggest motors I've seen on a 5 inch quad before. Further details on specs:
Update: See the unofficial part 2 of the review here with low cost and effective upgrades
Build quality and component choice discussion
Electronics: Looking more closely at the electronics build it seems to be fairly well thought out. The primary stack contains the 50A BLHeli_32 esc, f4 flight controller and the TX805 VTX (my favourite budget vtx as reviewed here). Looking a little closer at the flight controller it actually has a barometer (for accurate altitude readings and bluetooth for connection via speedybee app. It also has a 10v rail for super clean video much life the Airbot Omibus F4 V6 which I love. Behind this there is a separate 20mm stack that holds the 2 boards that run the Caddx Tarsier v2. Aluminium standoffs are 30mm high so definitely not a low rider but the advantage is plenty of room to fit the stack with good spacing. The ESC has a 35v 470microfarad capacitor that should help manage voltage spikes and keep video clean and up front is the dual lens tarsier camera unit. Included is their ND8 filter which is a nice touch. The TPU 3d printed camera mount does a good job of bringing the camera forward to minimise props in view but still protects that camera well. Print quality is the best I have ever seen. Antenna is well integrated with the TPU mount but I fear signal will be blocked by the battery when flying towards myself - something I must test for sure. There is no receiver included but there is a loom pre-wired to 5v, ground and sbus for a frsky receiver. All pictures below can be embiggened
Recently I've built a 5" Freestyle quadcopter based on the best value components - not the cheapest but the best price/performance ratio (i.e. bang for buck). The components I've chosen plus comparison to alternatives can be found in the component selection article here. As it stands the build cost of this one is around $150-$170 depending on which specials you can take advantage of. I see the RC Addict (His YT channel here) has done a similar thing for a race build and he refers to it as the "The cheapest quad worth building"
This quad has since been built, setup, flown, adjusted and then flown a lot more. I'm now in a position to pass judgement over all of the components and will then cover as the quad in total. For each I'll look at the positives and negatives and then go into a little more discussion with my recommendations
Discussion and recommendation
At the time these Emax Eco were chosen as they were the standout budget motor. They have been available for $10-$12 and based on how they perform represent outstanding value - the top equal standout recommendation for this parts list. Emax had the original breakthrouhg brushless motor in the quad scene - the RS2205s which changed the industry. While others have caught up since they still make well-researched high quality motors. The Eco series draws off the learnings from the LS and RS2 series - they remain VERY light but have increased the bearing size from 8mm to 9mm to improve durability significantly. Retained from the RS2 and LS series however are the thin magnets. Although these mean the motor doesn't make the same peak thrust as heavier motors with larger magnets, it does gain in improvements through being lighter, more efficient and smoother at throttle transition. This makes it a great match to freestyle where these positive attributes tend to be preferred over peak thrust @ 100% throttle. In use these are very nice motors to fly. They are quiet, smooth and cause less battery sag and longer flight time than more expensive motors I use such as the brother hobby returner R6 2306.
Interesting that based on the success of the Emax Eco, iflight and brotherhobby have followed suit. 3bhobby also have the training motor although this may have just been out when the emax eco was launched.
I have decided to piece together a bang for your buck freestyle build to coincide with the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. My objective for this build was not to build the cheapest quad but the best value. This means parts will be from recognised brands with a good track record of performance and reliability with a good degree of future proofing. To be clear, this is not a $99 build, it is more like $150-$170 but will be more reliable AND outperform any pre-built quad and will easily hold it's own against something double or triple the price - I like to think of it as the Sweet Spot.
This Sweet Spot Quad will be split into 3 parts:
For each key component I'll show you what I chose, a cheaper option and a more premium option with price indication and justification. Let's get straight into it!!
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