Racekraft 5051 Propellers

We just receiver a shipment of the new Racekraft 5051 propellers what the racing community was buzzing about for the past few weeks. I did not spend a lot of time researching these propellers, but some pilots swear that this is the next best thing what happened in the drone racing.

My personal opinion does not really matter, because I am only a “once a month” racer, and I am not burning batteries like most of you guys do. This is mostly due to the fact that running a hobby shop for the past 9 years kind of eats up my time. However when I heard about this I started reading and researching and I was barely waiting to get these in and test them on the thrust meter.

I realize measuring the thrust of a propeller might not be an ideal way of measuring the propellers performance in flight, but I would not claim that anyway. I am just simply comparing the two propellers on a thrust-stand to see what thrust factor can one expect during flight.

A good resource which I read about these propellers was written by the folk on Propwashed: (http://www.propwashed.com/racekraft-5051-prop-review/) If you want to know more about these propellers I highly recommend reading their article. I don’t even pretend to understand propellers as well as these guys do. So without a delay then after you read that article come back and watch the video below on the results of the thrust testing and comparison of these propellers with the Dalprop 5045 V2 triblades.

 At the end if you like want you see and would like to purchase these propellers, you can click on the following picture and link to take you to the website where you can order these:

Racekraft 5051 Racing Propellers

EMAX 2205 Red Bottom Parts

The EMAX 2205 red bottoms have been in use now for over a year. These motors still seem to dominate the racing grounds, even though newer motors were developed since. some of the newer ones have better bearings, some even have ceramic ball bearings which will minimize the noise.

The EMAX 2205 however is still a strong competitor to most motors our there. Many people walked by to our store and were asking for parts on these motors. It seems that the low price on these motors have a toll on the quality of the parts they are coming with. We know for sure that the bearings are not the best, but they do the job. In most cases people start hearing the bearing noises after a few flights.

While it is very rare to bend the shaft of these motors, a hard hit to a soccer pole can do the trick. We have seen some requests for these as well.

To accommodate all these requests, we are now bringing you the most essential replacement parts for the EMAX 2205 red bottom motors. The pictures below link you to the product pages where you can purchase these.

The Ball Bearing:

Red Bottom RS2205 Ball Bearing

The RS2205 3mm Motor Shaft: RS2205 3mm ShaftThe RS2205 Bronze Collar: RS2205 Bronze Collar The RS2205 U Clip:RS2205 U-Ring U-Clip

Dominator HD3

The release of the Fatshark Dominator HD3 is around the corner now. It is time to take a look at what these goggles will offer our customers and what will be the benefits of using these new goggles.

Fatshark Dominator HDV3As one can notice there is a slight change in the naming convention, till now the HD goggles contained the letter V for “Version”, these new goggles were released as “HD3” without the letter V.

Continuing the trend of using high resolution LCD modules for the HD line of goggles, Fat shark’s new flagship goggles, the Dominator HD3 will come with set of 800×600 SVGA resolution LCD modules. Just like it’s predecessors the HDV2 or the HD. The Dominator HD3 will provide a huge screen size compared to the other goggles, and it will eliminate all the complaints from the previous versions regarding the blurriness around the edges. These goggles have a diagonal FOV dialed back to 42 degrees to maintain large screen experience while delivering a crisp optical performance and perfect OSD readability.

Pilots flying with digital video transmitters like the Connex or the Prosight will appreciate the new 16:9 display format when in HDMI mode. The HDMI input will detect and match the display aspect ratio for HD systems and automatically present the image in a 16:9 (letterbox) format.  The native resolution of the LCD display module is 4:3, and pilots flying with a built in receiver or an analog video input will enjoy a huge full screen 4:3 image providing a crisp and clear image received from the 4:3 FPV cameras.

Specifications:

The official specifications released by Fatshark are as follows:

– FOV 42° Diagonal
– 59-69mm IPD Range (adjustable)
– SVGA 800 X 600 Display
– Support Side/Side 3D
– NTSC/PAL Auto Selecting
– High definition media interface 720p Support
– Modular Head Tracker Bay
– Modular Receiver Bay
– DC in: 7-13V (2S/3S)
– Power Consumption: 4W
– Integrated Analog DVR (does not support HD recording)

PACKAGE CONTENTS

What you should expect when opening the box:

– Dominator HD3 Headset with fan-equipped faceplate
– Zipper Case
– 7.4V, 1800mAh Battery with LED Indicator
– AV Cable
– Mini to Mini high definition media interface cable (include Mini to Micro, Mini to Standard high definition media interface adapters)

The HD3 ships with new lower profile Velcro backed (removable) faceplate foam for a more accommodating fit.  The HD3 is the most powerful, most versatile and portable FPV goggle which appeared on the FPV market yet. This will and the top choice of drone pilots.

We will receive the first shipment around November 1st. You may preorder these amazing new goggles till then by clicking here.

 

Fat Shark Dominator SE

Today we received the first shipment of the new Fat Shark Domintor SE goggles. Looking at the box the first time it seems that there is a typo on the label, it says “Dominator SE Modular 3D FPV Headset” while these are not 3D goggles. If 3D display is important to you, then these are not your goggles 🙂 The box looks like this, as you can see you can ignore the 3D from the titel as specified above.

Dominator SE Box

Unboxing

The box is a high profile box to allow space for the tall zipper case holding the goggles with the faceplate installed. the box size is 21×14.5x11cm and the total shipping weight is around 850 grams or 0.85kg. Once you remove the zipper case from the box you can see a second layer underneath, where the manual, foam inserts for the face place and stickers are neatly arranged. With this packaging Fat Shark made a huge leap forward in packaging, the foam inserts come nice and straight ready to install.

Dominator SE Box

Inside the zipper case are all the goodies:

opened boxAccording to Fat Shark, the content of the box is:

  • – Dominator SE Headset with Fan equipped Face plate
  • – Tall Zipper Case
  • – Raceband 5G8 Receiver module
  • – Spironet RH Omni antenna
  • – 7.4V 1000mAh battery with LED indicator
  • – Battery charge adapter cable.

In addition to the above we also found the following:

  • – Lens cleaning cloth
  • – one set of two -2 Dioptre correction lenses
  • – 2 sets of foam and the walcro plate for the face place
  • – Startup manual in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German languages

The Dominator SE (FSV1065) features a 0.44″ VGA LCD display set to provide this large FOV goggle at fraction of the price of the popular HDV2 used by most of the top racing pilots around the world. For analog video the difference one can see with the bear eyes between the Dominator SE and Dominator HDV2 is almost imperceptible. The orange and black color scheme makes this goggle a really unique and standing out from all others.

Specifications:

We can find the following specifications on the goggle box:

  • – 59-69mm IPD range (adjustable with sliders on the bottom)
  • – VGA 640×480 LCD Display
  • – NTSC/PAL auto signal selection
  • – Modular head tracker bay (No head tracking module included)
  • – Modular receiver bay
  • – DC In: 7-13V for 2S or 3S batteries
  • – Integrated DVR.

Fat Shark included the latest DVR technology in these goggles, where the file is saved automatically even if you forget to stop the recording before unplugging the battery.

This new set of goggles is a steal for the MAP of 349.95USD. You can buy it from New Generation Hobbies, by clicking on the following link or on the image below: Buy Dominator Se Goggles.

Dominator SE

 

IBCrazy Cyclone Racing Antennas

We received a shipment of Cyclone racing antennas a few days ago from Video Aerial Systems. So far there is not much information about these anywhere, so we are trying to fill the gap with this article to do a physical comparison between the three flagship racing antennas: RaceSpec, Duraspec and Cyclone.

VAS Flagship Antennas

But first let get some answers from VAS on some of the most pressing questions:

What are these Cyclone antennas?

The official announcement is the following:

“The Cyclone antenna is the highest performing Omni Directional antenna at the entry level price point. While the Cyclone has a Gain of only 0.71dbic it boasts a mind blowing Axial Ratio of 0.94 making it the most Circular Omni Directional antenna on the market at any price point.

Originally designed with the Professional Aerial Photographer in mind, the Cyclone’s Axial Ratio makes the Cyclone ideal for the Hobbyist looking to fly in previously “un-flyable” terrain or environments. Indoor, Underground and Urban flying present special circumstances that the Hobbyist must find “work-around” to fly comfortably, the Cyclone excels in these types of environments. We recommend only experienced pilots place the Cyclone on their Race Quads, but anyone flying Fixed Wing or larger AP platforms will love the performance of this antenna and should have this RF marvel in their arsenal.

Durability may be an issue for those newer race pilots who tend to crash a lot, and is therefore not recommended as a beginner transmit antenna, unless mounted to the vehicle per our instructions. The Cyclone makes on heck of a receiver antenna and anyone looking for a new one should take a serious look at the Cyclone. The Cyclone can be used as a Transmit or Receive antenna, no need to question which one of the pair goes where.”

Since they mention durability in the above announcement and we have all seem the video of Alex trying real hard to destroy the Duraspec antenna, I posed the question to VAS:

Are these Antennas indestructible just like the Duraspec?

Here is the answer: “It is durable, however we do not claim it to be Unbreakable. As you know the operators in this hobby could destroy a titanium frame if they put their mind to it. The antenna head will survive most any crash but the SMA may fail on impact.”

There you have it. So the design of the antenna head and casing around the antennas active elements are to withstand most of the crashes you can throw at them, it is logical that the SMA connector is the weak point – like on any other antenna. However I think that the benefit of using these antennas in difficult environment – as described above – will outweigh the weak link of the SMA connector and crimping.

Now, let’s see how is this antenna different design wise to the other two flagship antennas from VAS.

Length:

Duraspec LengthCyclone LengthRacespec Length
The length of the Duraspec antenna from the bottom to the top is about 110mm - or 11cm. That translates to about 4.33 inches.The length for the Cyclone antenna is about 90mm, 9cm which is about 3.5 inches.The length of the Racespec antenna is about 60mm, 6cm which is 2.35 inches.

The above table helps identify how tall these antennas will stick out from your quad. Of course on smaller – 150-180 size quads one tends to install shorter antennas – avoiding to stick the antenna head out un-proportionally above the quad.

Head diameter:

Duraspec head DiameterCyclone Head DiameterRacespec Head Diameter
The diameter of the Duraspec head is about 45mm.The diameter of the Cyclone head is about 50mm.The diameter of the Racespec head is about 33mm.

The size of the head of the antenna is really important for several reasons. Once – and not negligible – even with todays very powerful motors, is the air resistance. The bigger the head is the more air resistant it is. the more air pressure on the antenna head, the more torque (if installed vertically up) is applied to the SMA connector – or the shaft of the antenna. Also the heavier and more air resistance to the head, the (again if installed vertically without any additional guying or anchors) the antenna shaft moves just a tiny bit with every movement of the quad, this in a longer run will enlarge the pin/hole combination on the SMA connector and make it an erratic connection. On the other hand we also have to consider the lifespan of these antennas – it is very unlikely that one will survive crashes long enough to enlarge the hole on the SMA connector 🙂 🙂 🙂 The Racespec antenna will excel here, as it does not have a bulky protective case around it and air can flow freely around it.

Head height:

Duraspec Head HeightCyclone Head height
The Duraspec antenna's head is 24mm tall.The Cyclone antennas head is only 21.65mm tall.

For the same consideration as above the height of the head is just as important as the diameter. We did not measure the Racespec, because that does not have considerable air resistance.

Antenna Weight:

Duraspec WeightCyclone WeightRacespec Weight
The Duraspec is the heaviest of all with a hefty 24 grams. This is due to all the reinforcements to make this antenna s durable as possible.The Cyclone is not too far behind with a measured 21 grams, this indeed shows that the antenna head is built beefy, will withstand most of the crashes, just like the Duraspec.The lightest of all is the Racespec, with only 6 grams measured. Like I said before, use this if you are building a lightweight quad and you are not looking for maximum performance.

That’s all the measurements for today. I hope this clearly describes the mechanical differences between the antennas.

Many asked about the performance of the Cyclone antennas. Here is a quote from a guy on facebook (Shane Matthews – thank you) who already tried it:

The antenna is awesome. I have some rejected ones that didn’t pass QC from Alex and they are still better performing than any other antenna I have ever used. I highly recommend.

Updated on April 25th:

To do a fair comparison between two identical priced antennas on the market, we prepared a video over the weekend where we compared the ImmersionRC/Fat Shark Spironet antenna set to the above described Cyclone antenna set. The video with the results is embedded below. Please note the following:

  • – both tests were flown with exactly the same quad, same battery
  • – both tests were flown with the same power output – 25mW race-band TX, on channel 4 to be around the middle of the band.
  • – recording on both tests was done with the Dominator V3 goggles built in DVR, and the receiver in both cases was the standard Raceband RX module from Fat Shark
  • – for both tests we used a brand new antenna set out of the box – one was the LHCP Spironet set, the other was the LHCP Cyclone set
  • – I tried to match the flying course to show the results dropouts, cutouts in the identical spots and tried to line up the videos to match this.
  • – the first flight was the one on the left- with spironets – after we swapped the antennas on both transmitter and goggles and executed the second test.

I think this is the most fair test I can imagine to compare these two antenna sets. So if we call the iBcrazy Cyclones are an excellent set of antennas – the in all fairness we have to call out the Spironets from Immersion/Fat Shark being and performing at least the same good. So you folks who own Spironets out there – do not feel intimidated by the folks with Cyclone antennas on their quads. 🙂

Here is the video:

Fat Shark Antenna Diversity Module

Update, July 5th, 2015:

The new V2 Fat Shark Diversity modules arrived. If you purchased this from our store, please drop in and bring the original with you for replacement. If you purchased this online we will send a replacement by mail in the next two days.

Announcement from Fatshark:

Dear valued customer,

we made a production software error on the 5G8 diversity receivers sent on this order. We are doing a 100% recall. If you still have stock, discontinue selling immediately. Once we have the new receivers (about 2 weeks but no more than 3) we will send the replacements to you. Please send on the replacement receiver to the end customers who previously purchased diversity receiver modules, when you receive them. There is no need for the customer or you to return the defective units (customers should hold onto the SMA adapters and doors as we’ll just be replacing the receiver module).

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your help in resolving this embarrassing situation.

Best regards, Gregory French, CEO, Fat Shark 

Please note New Generation Hobbies will contact every customer who purchased these diversity modules from us online  the moment we have the replacement units for you. We will send out these modules to you with no charge to you. Please stand by for further news. Customers who purchased these over the counter at our showroom location should contact us to arrange pickup replacements for their modules.


Fat Shark announced the new FSV2444 Diversity Antenna modules will be shipping form their facilities around April 29th 216. We hope the get the first shipment of these the following week.

To be clear and for all to understand, this is not a true diversity module. A true diversity would require two separate receiver modules and a control circuit which analyzes both signals and compares them – switching and keeping the best of the two signals on the video output. The module announced by Fat Shark is an antenna diversity which checks the signal quality and switches to the other antenna if the quality suffers without the capability of checking if the other signal is better or not. If the signal is worse then it will switch back very quickly. You can find images of the module in the following pictures:

Fat Shark 5.8Ghz Antenna Switching Diversity ModuleFat Shark 5.8Ghz Antenna Switching Diversity Module

The module ships with 2 SMA adapters, one is a right angle (90 degrees) one and the second is a 45 degree adapter allowing to easily mount a Spironet patch antenna on the lower antenna connector. The package also contains a what bay door to match the Dominator V2, V3, HD, HDV2 series of goggles to replace the existing bay door. This module is also compatible with the Attitude V3 goggles, however a black bay door has not yet been made available.

Even if this is not a true diversity, the following demo video shows the power when used with a high gain directional antenna in conjunction with an omnidirectional Spironet antenna:

As you can see as long as the high gain antenna is selected when flying forward, the reception outperforms the standard Omni antenna on the right side of the image. However when the racer flies behind the ground station, the two images are identical as both have the omnidirectional Spironet and breakups, interferences are identical on both.

On this video – as the overlayed text tells us – the flying Vortex had its VTX power reduced to almost nothing to demonstrate the selectivity of the antennas and to clearly demonstrate the power of the high gain directional antenna over a simple Omni. Please note in your case the results will not be so accentuated because most of you fly with power levels over 25mw, in which case even the Omni signal will be clear at the end of such field.

 

EMAX RS2205 Motors

It seems that the cream on the cake these days are the EMAX RS2205  Racing Motors. In the middle of March we received a shipment of these motors and waited anxiously to have this mounted in our NGH 250 Diablo racing quad. There are a total of 4 different types of motors we received:

These motors look great, EMAX claims that because of the cooling technology built into the bells of these motors, these should run about 30% cooler than any other motor the same size and type. They also claim these motors provide superior thrust compared to the competition. We did some testing on our own and compared it to several similar size motors and indeed the thrust seems to outperform any of the competiton motors.

Emax RS2205 2300KV Race MotorEmax RS2205 2300KV Race MotorEmax RS2205 2300KV Race Motor

I spent some time setting up a thrust table and testing the 2300kV version of these motors against some other similar size and KV motors. The results of that testing can be watched on the video below:

After seeing more more that  800grams thrust output from these motors, I felt that I have to upgrade our test racing quad called the 250 Diablo:

250 Diablo Racing QuadOur test racing quad is called NGH 250 Diablo. This is not really available for purchase, we designed it to do some testings on this frame. We tried differet types of motors, different types of FPV systems and different types of flight controllers. Right now the quad had 1806 motors and 16A Opto Speed controllers with BL Heli firmware, Oneshot 125 enabled.

IMG_4457The upgrade was done in stages, since the integrated distribution board on the bottom had to be removed. The first two motors were easy to install, these had not cables running through the frame. Once these were installed, we had to unsolder several sets of wires going to the main distribution frame and only then we could remove the back motor arms, so the motors there can be replaced as well.

IMG_4464

The finished quad then went through several measurements to make sure the windings of the newly installed motors are not grounded to the frame through the installation screws. We did find out the hard way previously that such a short circuit can blow up speed controllers and can smoke out motors.

When everything tested positively, I took it out for a quick run, since the sun was going down pretty quickly, all I had is a few minutes of flying time. Once thing I figured out right away, if I want to run this at high speed, I will need to increase the angle of my cameras to loo more up. Here is the video of the first run.

Mach 25 FPV Racer

Like many of you, I am a builder. That is one of the main reason people drop by our store very often and as for advice on a very wide range of things. This includes RC models, FPV setups, Drone racing, Home automation, Internet security, different IT and network issues, etc. Over the past tens of years I played around – on a hobby level as well as professionally with several systems, I implemented province wide networks for healthcare, and I designed server farms as well.

I never turn down a challenging build and I enjoy every second of it. I personally run this store based on the principal of building and educating, for me it is more important to pass on the knowledge to our younger generation who came to grow up in a world where everything is “readily” given to them to use – but they have no idea what’s inside and how that thing works. I would hate to live my old days in a world often envisioned in Sci-Fi movies where the old people died out, and the young are left with the technology they have no idea how to repair or fix when it breaks. I know this is pretty far fetched, but open your eyes, we are really heading that way.

So even with the above mentality and principals – because we have to have out principals we live by – here and there I still enjoy to fly a model, drone, helicopter which is RFT or ARF, really well built and put together set up properly out of the box. This is the Mach 25 FPV racer from Horizon Hobby.

Mach 25™ FPV Racer BNF Basic with SAFE® TechnologyThis is not only a stylish FPV racing drone which will make people turn around to look at it, but it is also a very well built and put together racer. The Blade® Mach 25™ multirotor makes getting into 250-class quad-racing easy. Thick carbon-fiber plate construction with robust aluminum support makes this fully assembled racer lightweight and incredibly durable. In the event of a mishap, replacement of the self-tightening propellers is all you’ll likely need. Brilliant LED lighting helps with orientation and identification in the heat of a race. Powerful motors that are canted forward help give you the performance edge while the protected ultra micro FPV camera is soft mounted for the best view. The streamlined body combines improved aerodynamics with an additional level of protection that makes your Mach 25 machine stand out from the pack.

Exclusive SAFE® (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology built into the Spektrum A3174 flight controller is a revolutionary electronic flight envelope protection system that makes it easy to stay in control. Multiple flight modes with increasing levels of agility are provided and just a transmitter switch away. From maximum assistance with self-leveling and envelope limitations to full-range aerobatic agility, SAFE technology gives you the ability to get up to speed at your own pace.

The installed Spektrum™ ultra micro, 25mW airborne FPV camera system is mounted to a damped carbon-fiber plate and features excellent range for approved AMA line-of-sight FPV flying. All you need to enjoy the view is a Fat Shark compatible headset or 5.8GHz video monitor. This Camera/Transmitter combo is pretty powerful, with it’s 25mW and built in antenna will give you the same results as the Immersion RC 25mW 5.8 Ghz transmitter. The only one thing it lacks though, it is the race bands – which we hope Horizon Hobby will implement on the next edition.

Here is the demo video of this BNF bird:

Now the amazing thing is that Horizon dropped the price of this racer down to around 350USD which makes this very well built drone as affordable as the Chinese “thrown-together” FPV drones one can buy in bulk from any of the aliexpress, banggod or any other mass sales sites. The quality of this is way superior for the same price.

RC Helicopter Models

In our effort to keep improving our selection of products we are determined to give our customers the best toys for the buck. We recently started bringin in RC helicopter models which can be used from the beginner to the advanced pilot. While FPV and drone racing seems to be in the center of attention these days, let’s not forget the classic RC Models and what got us to the racing world.

Without previous experience with RC helicopters the drones and FPV racing would have never emerged. The process of getting the RC helicopters fly more stable and lately on their own without much pilot input lead to implementing gyroscopes, accelerometers and lately even magnetometers on a single board to electronically stabilize the flight of these otherwise hard to control birds.

Younger people will not know this, but old RC pilots remember the days when flying an RC helicopter took quite a bit of skill. In most cases with even the best electronic tail gyros it felt like you are balancing a small ball on top of a bigger ball. Imagine that you had to move the bigger ball all the time a tiny bit, so the small ball does  not fell off. This is how we hovered the RC helicopters when I started flying them.

Well, those times are over now and the new “Safe technology” designed and implemented by Horizon Hobby makes our life much easier when flying RC helicopters. Today we present you 3 of the new products we carry in our store, these are 3 RC helicopters from Horizon Hobby. All of these can be flown by beginners as well as advanced pilots. Difficulty settings can be enabled on the RC Radio Transmitters, and when set up properly these are a blast to fly outdoors and some indoors as well.

I have been flying RC helicopters for a long time, but never actually had the guts to try to fly inverted the real thing. I did it on simulators and had quite a bit of success, but when it came to the real helicopters, I always had my doubts if I could do it. The first helicopter I purchased and I was able to fly “3D” with was the Nano CP. I am bringing you a more advanced version of the Nano CP now, that is the Nano CP S, that is the smallest of the 3 helicopters I am presenting in this article.

Blade Nano CP S

The Nano CP S is the smallest and the lightest – but might as well be the toughest of the 3 helicopters presented here. We banged this helicopter against the hardwood floor in the gym, against the driveway in front of my house and grass and trees in the park – and even after it got a pretty good beating from an unexperienced 3D pilot, it was still flying and providing fun for us. This is one higly recommended bird, onle you can fly in your living room and around your house – as well as outdoors in light to medium wind conditions. See the product video below:

 

The Blade Nano CP S is available from us in a Bind and Fly version – meaning that you will need to have a compatible 6 channels Spektrum transmitters something like a DX6 and up.

The second helicopter on the list is the Blade 200 SR X BNF with SAFE® Technology. While I did not personally fly this, I have seen many of my friends buzz around with this helicopter and have lots of fun:

200 SR X BNF with SAFE® TechnologyAdvancing from an intermediate heli to an advanced flybarless heli has never been more seamless than with the 200 SR X. The Blade® 200 SR X is the first fixed pitch heli to employ SAFE™ Technology for an unparalleled flybarless heli experience. SAFE technology helps to facilitate the learning process with beginner, intermediate and experienced flight mode options. Each flight mode utilizes varying amounts of bank limiting and advanced stability characteristics to assist pilots. Here is the demo video of this helicopter:

 

The 200 SR X BNF with SAFE® Technology is available through our showroom and our online store alike.

The third helicopter is the Blade 230 S BNF with SAFE® Technology:

230 S BNF with SAFE® Technology

This size might be a bit intimidating for the beginner pilot, so for that reason we recommend this to the intermediate to advanced pilot. The Blade® 230 S helicopter is the ideal platform for getting started in aerobatic helicopters because innovative SAFE® technology and its progressive flight mode system makes flying a collective pitch heli easy, even if you’re a beginner. Until now, learning with a collective pitch machine still had an intimidation factor. The Blade® 230 S collective-pitch electric heli is engineered to meet and go beyond the needs of the new heli pilot by offering a highly-tuned machine with innovative SAFE® technology so that it’s easy for any pilot to achieve first-flight success, prevent crashes and then move on into advanced flight, all with one heli. Here is the demo video:

 

Beside all the FPV and drone racing going on these days, I think we deserve a moment of fun and enjoy these line of sight flying helicopters, just for fun.

Runcam 2 HD Cameras

We received a shipment of RunCam 2 cameras today. The new shipment had Silver and Orange RunCam 2’s as well. I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about the features of the new RunCam 2 as well as highlight some features of other RunCam cameras as well.

I was a Mobius person just until recently. I tried the RunCam HD earlier, but I did not think the quality of features would make it a worth while camera over the Mobius. Even with the lower price I still kept my Mobius till I crashed hard into a pole. The lens is broken but the camera was still working fairly well, not much influence on the image quality.

Mobius Broken Lens

Then the fall and cold kept me grounded for a few weeks, and after about 2 months I went to charge my Mobius again to go to fly – at which point all I get is a slow flashing blue light and no other response whatsoever. I am not the type to give up, I spent hours on the internet trying to see if other people have experienced the same thing and some did, but none of those solutions were working for me. I guess it was time to retire the Mobius – forever. It just happened, that right around that time we’ve got a stock of the RunCam 2 Silver edition in. I was hesitant at the beginning – thinking that we have only limited quantities, but then I convinced myself that this is for the better good, get one and start using it to see how that compares with the Mobius. And man, what a difference. See the image below, these are the Mobius, RunCam HD and RunCam 2 side by side, barely any difference in size. Indeed the RunCam 2 is a bit higher than the other two:

HD Cameras

So one thing which caught my eye from the beginning was a few things:

  • – Interchangeable battery
  • – SD card slot inside behind the battery door makes it almost impossible to lose the SD card on impact
  • – WiFi button – ability to connect to the camera form a phone and view the video or images back right away.

This last feature makes the RunCam 2 functionality wise almost as useful as a GoPrr camera for a fraction of the cost. So with that in mind I put the 3 cameras side by side and took another picture:

RunCam HD CamerasThe RunCam 2 is offered in Silver and Orange version. Some might find the Orange odd, but if you lost a camera already in the woods between the green foliage, you will definitely choose the orange this time, because that right away pops into your view.

While the weather is still not the best here, and certainly I cannot make beautiful outdoors videos for the RunCam 2, 3 weeks ago I had a chance to install it on a tricopter and run a course around the Winter Barn Burner race series in Clinton Ontario. I will cut out a sequence of that an post it here, so you can see the recording quality indoors:

I checked most of the files we recorded and the bitrate seems very similar to each other – of course this is due to the fact that all videos were recorded under the same conditions:

RunCam 2 bitrateAs you can see, the recording was done with full HD, 60 frames per second, according to RunCam this camera also can do 720P at 120fps. I did not try that, I wanted to go for the maximum resolution. The Runcam 2 can be used as an FPV camera directly, RunClaims a 60mS latency when used in 1080p Mode and 40ms when used in 720p mode. Those values are quite low and would be acceptable for racing with it. I saw a video on the RunCam page where there is a comparison between the live feed and the recorded image and there is no noticeable difference with the naked eye.

I still would use it as a recording camera only, and use a standard FPV camera as my main flying camera. The RunCam2 can be powered from an external battery as well, while in flight – this will make the battery in it long lasting,

The WiFi feature is excellent, there is an application available for IOS and Android as well. The battery should last between 60 to 90 minutes depending on the recording resolution.

The package contains several accessories and several cables which can be used as power or video out cables. Also there is a mount, tripod adapter and manual included.

This camera is the best alternative to the GoPro at the moment with a much smaller size and cost.