The Vortex

The end of April, beginning of May 2015 will bring us the new 280 size racing quad called Vortex. The Vortex is manufactured by Immersion RC and it is a highly anticipated product all over the FPV community. NGHobbies is happy to bring the Vortex for the Canadian customer. Ontario, Toronto and Quebec based racing groups and pilots are eagerly waiting to put their hand on the Vortex and see its full potential.

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With its Carbon Fiber and custom injected plastic design the Vortex is indeed a real racer and it will definitely give the Lumerier QAV250 a run for the money. The Vortex has an Integrated Flight Controller, pre-loaded with Cleanflight, full-graphic OSD, with on-screen control of.. everything. The FPV video is provided by an integrated 40 channel NexWaveRF 5.8GHz Video Tx which gives the FPV pilot the possibility to use the standard Fatshark/Immersion 5.8Ghz FPV channels, all other (DJI, Foxtech, Boscam, TBS, etc.) channels as well as a new invention from Immersion called 5.8Ghz Race Bands where the 8 channels are allocated over the whole 5.8Ghz spectrum with wider band separation to avoid overlapping from your racing buddies. The NexWaveRF 5.8GHz video transmitter, ensures compatibility with any 5.8Ghz A/V Rx on the market. The RaceBand is Immersion RC exclusive (till other Chinese manufacturers start to copy it) allows 8 pilots to fly together, while being 100% legal for US resellers to distribute. All channels fall within the legal US Ham band. The on-board OSD allows video transmitter channels to be chosen using the R/C transmitter, no more dip-switches to flip, and no more frequency lists to remember.

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The integrated flight controller, with 3 axis Gyro, 3 axis Accelerometer, and barometer, is pre-programmed with CleanFlight, and is future-proof, supporting future updates. A direct, high-speed interface to the full-graphic OSD, and a USB port on the back of the quad for programming and updates, complete the package. PIDs are adjusted on-screen, in easy-to-use menus, driven directly from the R/C Tx.

The below notes and features are from the ImmersionRC website’s Vortex page:

Flexible Camera Options

The flexible Vortex camera mount supports both a flight cam, and an HD camera such as a GoPro, or Mobius. The flight cam is protected from impacts, and is suspended from a vibration-dampened carbon-fibre plate. An adjustable bracket allows the camera to be tilted to ensure a good forward view during high-speed racing. As the icing on the cake, a monster 3A switching regulator allows any HD cam (GoPro included) to be powered from the flight pack, allowing unnecessary camera batteries to be left at home.

Pro-Tuner, In The Box

The Vortex includes an industry-first, tuning parameters from Pro-Racers right in the box. Just select the racer, prop size, HD camera choice, etc. and the Vortex OSD will setup the flight controller for you. Some of the biggest names in FPV Quad Racing have abused countless LiPos tuning the Vortex for peak performance, and have produced some stunning videos in the process.

Lights, LED’s

A set of 8 24-bit RGB LEDs sit on the tail of the Vortex, sandwiched safely between the upper, and lower frame plates. These LEDs, controlled by a dedicated 32-bit ARM processor (yeah… what were we thinking!), can show something as mundane as the pilot’s favourite color, just about anything else we decide to roll into the user-upgradable firmware. Brake lights?, Shift to white for max. acceleration?, Indicators for polite left/right turns?, or just a pattern to remind you of 80’s Discos. Since Airgonay’s now-famous ‘Star Wars’ video, rear lights on miniquads have become not a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘no fun without ’em’

Custom 32-bit, 12A ESCs, with OneShot125

Custom 12A ESCs (16A Peak), with OneShot125, and regenerative braking, for crisp-responsive flight using CleanFlight. A 32-bit ARM processor runs each ESC, ensuring plenty of processing power to drive even the most fussy brushless motors. These ESCs are the first worldwide to use our unique rotorSENSE, which programs prop direction with the flick of a finger. No more swapping motor wires. ESCs so thin, that they fit completely into the arm tubes, protected from the elements, and the occasional passing tree.

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Recliners, and Incliners

As racing quads approach race-speeds, HD cameras have a habit of recording very high definition footage of… the ground. Two optional kits available for the Vortex provide a recliner for the GoPro, or an incliner for the Mobius camera. These kits are shipped with the appropriate rubber dampers, and in the case of the GoPro kit, also a plug-and-play power cable, to allow the GoPro to be powered without an internal battery (and it’s unwanted weight).

Full Graphic OSD, with EzOSD pedigree

An on-board full-graphic OSD provides in-flight updates of critical parameters, and sports a menu which allows all options to be programmed in the field using the R/C Tx, and a set of goggles, or an LCD screen. A real-time interface with the flight controller enables artificial horizons, F-18 style displays, and exchange of flight parameters.

Seven! 32-bit ARM processors

There are not many quads out there with that claim to fame… the Vortex sports no less than seven 32-bit ARM processors, all working together for maximum fun-factor. A dedicated ARM for the flight controller, another for the full-graphic OSD, even another for the LED board at the back of the quad, and then four high performance ARMs for the custom ESCs.

Custom OSD Layouts

Several OSD layouts are included in the package:

  • A classical EzOSD-type layout, with all critical parameters available on-screen.
  • A Heads-Up display which would be more at home in a fighter-jet, with artificial horizon and altitude indicator.
  • A Race layout, with just the critical parameters, tucked around the edges of the display.
  • A Gaming layout… we’ll explain that one just before launch

All OSD layouts include screen-center alerts for critical warnings, such as battery voltage, EzUHF Link Critical, etc.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Retail Price ($USD), Race Motors: $449.00
  • Initial Release Date: April 2015
  • Weight: ~350g without battery, or HD camera
  • Power Requirements: 3s-4s LiPo (typical)
  • ESCs: Full Custom, 12A cont. 16A peak, rotorSENSE, OneShot125
  • Flight Camera: FatShark 600TVL CMOS (std), FatShark 700TVL CMOS, and 900TVL CCD optional
  • HD Camera: GoPro Hero, Hero 3/4  (Optional power from onboard BEC), Mobius, Runcam
  • Receiver Compatibility: CPPM Input, with S-Bus, and Spektrum™ Satellite converter cables optional
  • Flight Time: Highly dependent upon battery, and flying style
  • Where to purchase it: Purchase the Vortex from NGHobbies