I did a thing. After reviewing the new FullSpeed TinyLeader 2s-3s brushless whoop (review here) I learnt to fly around the heavier weight which has come about because of it's larger motors and better FPV system. I still think that 1103 motors like on the TinyLeader and Beta75x are better suited to a lightweight 2" propeller like my ultralight build here rather than the 40mm props (1.6") as we see so commonly on the brushless whoops now. I decided to put my money where my mouth is so to speak and prove it rather than just hypothesing.
Since my objective was to retain that character of the Tinyleader I knew I wanted to keep the canopy and FPV system as this is one of the defining advantages of the TinyLeader. It would have been much easier to lose these in favour of an AIO cam andjust use one of the emerging frames from FlexRC (Mira95 to launch shortly), Tomoquads or even the Lil Bandito. The problem is however the canopy and camera mounting means there needs to be a lot of chassis in front of the centreline of the quad as you can see from the frame image below. Note - front of quad is at the right of the image.
Rather than tell you the frames I tried that didn't work I'll tell you what did - the trusty Eyas X2 Elf from Banggood which coincidentally was the first micro I built a year and a half ago. Rather than tell a bring story I've captioned the images below to let you know my though process and the outcome. FYI the X2 Elf frame is available from Banggood for less than $10 ($7 at time of writing). It requires minimal modifcation as you'll see below. Click on any image to embiggen.
As you can tell the Tinyleader frame has front motors spaced much further apart than rears which allows you to keep propellers out of view which was obviously a consideration for the TinyLeader HD in particuar. This frame shape is know as a 'deadcat'. In a stroke of skill (read:luck) The X2 Elf frame has a slight deadcat to it mean this will keep props out of view too.
After test-fitting I found that full 2" props are bit of a push with connectors and cameras screws. Luckily the Gemfan Hulkie 1940 1.9" is an excellent propeller and fits perfectly with no fouling.
I love the new 2s brushless whoops - I have the TinyLeader (review here), the Mobula7 (review here) and the Eachine Traschcan (review here) but feel they are pushing the limits of this design and result in some odd flight behaviour in propwash - yaw twitches where betaflight seems to freak out. Without so much as touching the tune the move to the new chassis has completely solved this.
There is so much more thrust and efficiency on this quadcopter now which was not unexpected - this behaviour is typical when you go from an over loaded prop to one with the correct load. I'm up by about 30 seconds of flight time and have much more power and control now - I can pull out of dives much later and the 'point and shoot' flight characteristics of the ducted frame is gone - it is now much more like a conventional micro where you can bank and slide through corners rather than being more yaw-based.
Size comparison to the Leader 2.5 (review here)
Test flights so fare have been using a GNB 2s HV 300mah 80c which is now available at banggood. This is a really good battery and gives me around 3 minutes of flight as below coming down at around 3.75v per cell rested. Although the TinyLeader can run 3s I believe these motors are too high in kV for this with this larger prop size. Conversely I intend to try with 1s (for science!) but will realistically just run a betaflight throttle scale if I want to tame it down for small areas.
As you can see from the DVR footage above there are no props in view on this new frame which stays true to the TinyLeader Design (and all Fullspeed Leader designs actually). This is good news for the regular TonyLeader but great news for the HD TinyLeader in that HD footage will be very clean.
That's it for this mod session, it was easier than expected given the frame but is not for noobs. It has been very rewarding though and intend to keep the TinyLeader in this configuration. Thanks for reading and if you found this helpful please share this blog using the FB link below or with whatever platform you use. Product links are affiliated and help me keep tinkering and sharing like this article.