The Happymodel Mobula7 (reviewed here), Eachine Trashcan (reviewed here) and many other brushless whoops use generic 4 bladed 40mm props that are cheap and readily available but are they the best? Simply put, no. They are from a toy grade mould and we have accepted them because when these brushless whoops were first released there was simply nothing else available. Fast forward to the present day with the growth in popularity of these models there are a lot more options, some readily available internationally, some not so much. In this article I'll give you my experiences on what I found to be my favourite prop and the justification of why (what it is I look for in a propeller).
This is the sixth article in my series of HappyModel Mobula7 upgrades, many of which can be used for the Trashcan too. Also to come are:
What props are available?
If you're in North America probably the full list of what is below. I'm not in North America though so I was limited to what was locally available and what had low (or no) international shipping cost. Therefore this is not an exhaustive test, my approach was more on of pragmatism.
I'll compare all my findings back to a baseline result of the stock props for simplicity
Gemfan 1636 (4 blade)
I used these when I was running the v3/trashcan frame which I blogged about here. These were a direct improvement over the stock props in all aspects but were a little more amp-hungry. Grip and speed was improved and control felt better. Props are well balanced but heavier than stock. They are extremely durable especially when you consider the protection afforded by the ducts. You will achieve hover at very low throttle
These props are a good upgrade but not my personal favourite.
Note: These are more like 41mm than 40mm and frustratingly don't quite fit in the ducts of of the v3/trashcan frame - the ones you see above were painstakingly sanded down and even then still rubbed every now and then. I hear TBS props have the same issue
The Happymodel Sailfly X is my favourite quad I've reviewed so fat this year (review is here) but as with any product, there are shortcomings especially when is it built to a price. Like I did with the Mobula7 I'm starting a new series of articles on upgrading and customising the Sailfly-x.
Step 1: Software only
The most simple mod to do is ensure the onboard receiver is given an armchair ride from a software standpoint. This means changing D16 to D8 mode in betaflight and turning off telemetry which has been known to lock up the flight controller. This can be done as below.
I promise I'll keep this one short. We are forever taking antennae on and off our quads and goggles as we arrive and leave our flight locations. I'm guilty of being too eager to get in the sky and not tightening my antennae correctly thereby leaving a poor connection to the active element on both the quad and goggle ends. Using a spanner is not a fix I'd recommend as it is easy to over-torque and damage the antenna or mount.
The fix here is really easy and I got the tip from my favourite VAS antennas which all include a plastic knurled grip (now I know why). Using a knurled grip that sits over the hexagonal drive on an SMA-style connecter allows you to get a better grip and more torque on tightening whilst avoiding over torquing as above. To put this another way - using these grips allows you to get the right tightness every time - good for the best connection and it will also help them coming loose in flight.
The crazybee F3 and F4 series of all in one boards that are the heart of the mobula7, m7hd, eachine trashcan, snapper7, ur65, uk/us65 and even beta75pro2 are an amazing piece of technology that incorporates a flight controller, 4xBL_HeliS ESCs and a receiver. Cramming all of this on one board does mean some compromises though and the biggest one for me is the poor receiver range. This brief article will show how to get a minor improvement with zero investment. Note: this mod is relevant for all the models listed above.
This is the third article in my series of HappyModel Mobula7 upgrades, many of which can be used for the Trashcan too. Also to come are:
In order to run 2s, the Mobula 7 comes standard with 2 x PH2.0 connectors that allow you to run 2 x 1s batteries in series. When running in series the strength of the connection is determined by the weakest link in that circuit. The strength of connection determines the maximum current that can pass and the voltage drop that results. Although it works this system has a very low current overhead from a design perspective - 2 x budget PH2.0 connectors with the dreaded 'folded' pin and very lightweight 26AWG wire. All this adds up to a lot of voltage drop when even reasonable current is pulled - something all will be familiar with on the mobula where you see voltage drop to scary levels (6v and below) during punches even when you have a full battery. Although it recovers almost immediately it does mean you don't get access to the battery's full voltage potential.
Introduction and why I like the Mobula7 better.
It's been a few months since I reviewed the HappyModel Mobula 7 (here) and have more recently reviewed the Eachine Trashcan here. Since reviewing the Trashcan I've been flying the Mobula 7 more and find I actually prefer it. Why? Even thought the image quality is better I can't get used to the narrow vertical field of view on the traschan's EOS2 16:9 camera and I find the 0803 motors on the trashcan draw too much power on without delivering a whole lot more speed. The Mobula7's major downside is the frame which breaks easily even though the v2 frame is an improvement and e6000 glue (as tested here) is great for repairs.
For this reason I've written an article for newcomers on how to upgrade to the V3 (trashcan) frame which completely addresses the strength issues.
Recently I've reviewed the Eachine Trashcan and in many ways it is superior to the Mobula7 as I found in my review here. One omission from the trashcan though compared to the Mobula7 is the lack of a physical beeper. On the upside though is that the trashcan (like most other brushless quads) uses Dshot as the ESC protocol meaning you can use the motors as a beeper. This is in fact immediately available on the Trashcan with some simple software changes which I will outline below.