This review is for the Fullspeed Toothpick Pro, the more robust 4s-capable micro quadcopter made by Full Speed RC. It is available from the following retailers that will ship internationally with options for FRSKY, Flysky, Spectrum and now TBS Crossfire as well:
If you are looking for the the standard 2-3s Fullspeed toothpick, the full review of that can be found here and is available below:
Fullspeed RC were the first to market with a bind and fly quad inspired by Bob Roogi's "toothpick"design - an ultralightweight quad based on small motors and 65mm props suitable for park flying. This was a very good park flyer - quiet and well built with good performance on 2s or 3s. It does have a full micro camera and VTX meaning it has a very nice FPV feed but is slightly on the heavy side. This model has obvioulsly been successful for them so they have quickly followed up with the Fullspeed Toothpick PRO. Specs compared with the standard toothpick below which I will discuss further:
As you can see although they look similar with the same frame design, canopy and FPV system, the similarities stop there. All of the new updates are based around the much larger 1106 C2 4500kv motors (Taken from the Leader 3 V2) and the ability to run 4s. In order to support the larger motors the frame has gone from 1.5mm to 2.5mm thick and is much stronger and less flexible as a result. Propellers have changed from the lightweight 65mm push-fit bi-blade to a more conventional 2.5mm prop with t-mount and greater durability. Because of this dry weight has come up substantially: 24g more in fact. Also don't forget you will need a larger battery too so the all up weight is typically 50g more.
Therefore so far as I am concerned it is not really a toothpick any more - it is much too heavy with an all up weight of over 120g compared to a nominal weight for a toothpick build of around 73g. The next big question then is... so what? because 65g is VERY light for a 2.5" build, in fact the only 2.5: that comes near this weight is the original Leader 120 which is now 2 years old which weight around 65g when updated with a proper micro camera. The toothpick pro however is vastly more powerful on paper though with a 50% larger motor (1106 vs 1104) and the capability to run 4s over 3s. I think this is a better comparison - rather than considering this as a powerful toothpick, think of it is a very lightweight 2.5" micro in the more traditional sense.
Unlocking the VTX
Fullspeed use their own TX600 vtx in the Toothpick pro as with all their current model. It is a very good VTX but needs unlocking to make all channels and power settings available. I strongly recommend doing this before your first flight. Instructions are: Press and hold VTX button as located below for 20s. Release and power-cycle, now VTX is unlocked
Although rated for 1-4s, you will really need to run 3s or 4s to get the performance you desire. My recommendations for batteries are below:
Flight performance Intro
Unless truly innovative most micros I've flown before tend to fit into a particular category of performance. Since the Toothpick pro kind of straddles 2 categories I didn't know if this would be the best of both, the worst of both or a bit of a mix. Read through my results on 3s and 4s performance as well as the FPV performance and you'll get a feel for where I ended up or just jump straight to my summary.
I jumped straight into 4s flight to test my shiny new CNHL 450mah ministar batteries and find out once and for all if Fullspeed's electronics are now as reliable as they say given the unfortunate reliability with the very original version of this ESC which was found on the Tinyleader as I reviewed here. Fullspeed ended up sending a replacement to these customer which must have been a rather expensive exercise.
So, on with the 4s flight: it's quick. Probably in the same class as the Diatone GT R249+ on 4s which is the fastest 2.5" I've flown. Actually if I really push my memory maybe the diatone was a fraction faster in a straight line. Where the toothpick pro shines though is the impact the (lack of weight) has on performance:
One downside however was that it did feel more influenced by the wind and I think this is for 2 reasons. Firstly the lighter weight makes for less momentum and secondly the support spars connecting the front and rear arms may actually create more drag and pick up the wind more as a result.
Compared with the lighter style of toothpick I've been reviewing recently it is much louder, especially at the speed which 4s spins the props. By the way most testing was done on Gemfan 2540 props, my oldest and still favourite 2.5" prop. Although not bad I find the included KK 2.5 inch props to lack durability.
You may note the jello in this DVR. Props were a bit buckled in this flight but wasn't completely eliminated with new props. I suspect improving canopy fixing at the front would help but will follow up in a future article once confirmed. Didn't see this issue as much with 3s
I actually preferred this on 3s to be honest. The motors felt less hurried and the control felt more linear, largely I believe for the drop in weight - the 3s 450mah batteries I used were about 20g lighter. Since the props weren't being revved at hard, nor did they have to carry as much weight they were much quieter. Not as quiet as a toothpick but much more park-friendly.
Neither my 450mah or 850mah batteries are in great condition but due to the light weight of this quad AND low kv motors, this was not demanding on the battery and so had good flight time and less sag than other 2.5" quads I've flown, even more efficient than the diatone as mentioned above which was the most efficient I've used up until now.
FPV and control link performance
The toothpick pro shares the same camera as the Leader 3, Leader 2.5, TinyLeader and Toothpick - Caddx F2 CMOS camera and the switchable TX600 VTX. Like the other models this means the FPV feed is very good. The camera can get confused around reds but as you can see from the DVR above it generally produces a good image. The VTX is adjustable in betaflight OSD via the tramp protocol from 25mW up to 600mW, the most power in this class by a long shot. Compared to the regular Fullspeed Toothpick the extra power of the toothpick pro is better suited to this relatively heavy FPV setup. One thing I don't like about this though is the lack of fastening of the canopy which you can see leads to some Jello. Fixing this will be the topic of a future article.
The receiver is also the same FRSKY nano V2 unit as used in the other model as well and sadly it's not very good which is especially noticeable in this model because it covers ground so quickly. I'd strongly recommend buying without a transmitter and adding your favourite micro receiver (mine is the FRSKY XM+).
I'm only about 30 flights in and other than the props, everything seems to be holding up well. Frame looks sturdy and no issues with the canopy. Electronics seem to be fine and I've embedded a youtube video of Lewis (from Fullspeed) toturing the ESC on a 4s battery to show how tough it is. I don't think this is the defitive test but at least you don't have to hold the disarm switch like a hair trigger as you need to do with some of the early crazybee boards.
Without re-litigating which class of micro this fall under, the toothpick pro is a very light, very powerful micro quadcopter. This means you can get good flight time compared to traditionally heavier micros. The electronics are now in their third iteration and video seem to be reliable on 3s and even 4s batteries. Likewise with the motors in their second iteration. It ships with a well-tuned and thought out version of betaflight which is really good for those new to the hobby.
Both camera and VTX are good for this class and provide a good FPV feed once you unlock the vtx (a simple task). The receiver is underpowered so I'd recommend purchasing without then adding your own.
When you consider this is probably one of the fastest 2.5" quadcopters available against a backdrop of the price (currently around $130) it would seem a very good deal. Furthermore FullSpeedRC develop, test and fly their own products and while they have not been without issue in the past, they have done right by their customers and are very much involved in the micro community, active across all forms of social media.
Quick update - I have been given a coupon code to use with this one on Banggood. Use code BGToothpick to get 12% off here - brings the price to $111. Given what you get that is very good value. Code can only be used 20 times (5 already gone). Also they are offering a 12% discount on Fullspeedrc.com with code FSD12
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