BLH S1 Max Obstacle Avoidance Camera Drone Flight Test Review
So congratulations good morning, quadcopter 101, here back again for you after uh, i dont know several month, hiatus uh. I was taking care of family emergency there, folks but im back again to do reviews and what i got for you today is the blh s1 max. What is the s1 max? Well, looking at it, you can see its a small folding drone highly portable folding drone, mainly intended for beginners folks um. This is, you know its a low cost drone real, relatively low cost drone weighs about or costs about, fifty dollars, and when you talk youre talking that price range, you know youre in the beginner territory, okay, so thats. What this is. This is meant mainly for new flyers, who have never flown before um a cheap drone for them to practice on and crash, because you know everybody crashes when they first get into the rc hobby and you dont want to be crashing a thousand dollar drone. As you float on folks, its always a good idea to start with a a toy drone to learn the basics of the controls, you know the these controls are more or less the same with those thousand dollar drones that you see there. You know throttle yaw pitch and roll commands on those controllers and its good to learn those commands using a cheap drone. Okay, now again, my channel is focuses on beginner drones. It focuses on beginners, helping them enter the chant or the world of rc, and with that in mind, you see a lot of beginner drones on my channel, so thats why? I do them folks? Okay, again i mentioned this is a small portable drone.
It only weighs 105 grams with the battery inserted, and what does that mean? That means that in most countries this drone does not require registration, the exception being those countries that require drones that have a camera to be registered. This one does have a camera, so keep that in mind. So if your country says that drones with a camera need to be registered, this one probably needs to be registered, but in most other countries this does not require registration. It is powered by 7 16 brushed motors, okay with brushed motors. These will fail eventually, okay, but with time and practice. Hopefully, those motors will last long enough for you to learn the basics of flight. Before you progress onto a better drone um, it is powered also powered by a 3.7 volt 1000 milliampere hour battery now thats advertised that this is supposed to give this drone 25 minutes of flight time. I find that very hard to believe for possibility. After our battery. Maybe it was 1800 milliamp or higher, but um with a thousand milliamp hour. Im going to guess were going to get a flight time around 9 10 minutes well find out if thats true, when we actually fly. This thing downstairs in my flight test facility and outdoors too okay, putting that battery in oh, i forgot to mention its available with one two or three batteries. So if you want to keep flying, consider purchasing additional batteries, i dont think theyre much more costly.
There is going to be an increased price, but i dont think its very costly at the moment ill put a little blurb right here, how much that increased price is per battery. So okay, um lets talk more about the drone. It has front led lights, and these lights are help. You maintain orientation on the drone such that youd see the lights when the drones pointed toward you and you wont see them when its pointed away from you. They also blink when the battery power gets low. So when you see these things, blinking bring the drone in close, because this is about to land because of low battery um other things about it. It has a lot of beginner features built into it, since it is a beginners drum, and these include 6g stabilization and what that means is. If you let go over the controls, this thing will automatically write itself. Okay, you know if youre going real, fast or banking real hard, let go of the controls again. This will level off by itself in flight. It also has altitude hold headless mode and flip features, which is what you normally see on. A bigger drone altitude hold means. This drone will maintain altitude using a built in barometer pressure sensor in this drone. It uses the inputs from that to maintain altitude. There are some limitations to that. Youll see it when we go flying particularly downstairs in my indoor test facility down in the basement when you get close to ceiling pressure, seems to change that that these type of drones will try to go into the ceiling so stay away from the ceiling when youre Flying these drones other things about headless mode.
What does that mean? That means no matter if you turn on headless mode and you have a direction set forward of the drone, it doesnt matter which way the drone is pointing um. The this drone will fly forward and back right and left based on what you put in on the right stick and ill try to demonstrate that too shortly to show what headless moon does. And finally, it has a flip feature, so you press a button on the controller and move the stick either up forward back right or left, and the drone will flip in that direction automatically again thats a feature you normally see in beginners drones. Use that feature sparingly. Folks, because that tends to damage these uh little brushed, brushed motors, um other things about it. It does have obstacle flow optical flow capability. What this is is a little camera in the belly. You can also record through this camera, if you wish, but the main uh reason for this camera in the belly is it looks directly below the drone and uses the view that it sees to maintain its horizontal position automatically hovering in that horizontal position. So, with the altitude hole feature and with this optical flow feature, it should be able to automatically maintain a steady position in space. Now that depends on the lighting in your area that youre flying um and also the surface that youre flying over. If theres enough contrast for that camera to see to help maintain its position, it should be able to hold that position now.
There are exceptions again im in low light conditions, particularly in my basement. I think this thing might have problems, but in bright light conditions. Outdoors grassy areas seems these seem to work well over grassy areas, so were going to try to demonstrate this indoors and outdoors to see how well this optical flow sensor works, and, finally, the big thing about this, and why i was interested in reviewing this drone. It has obstacle avoidance, sensors, thats unusual in a toy drill; okay, so each one of these little sensors here are little infrared sensors theyre on the front and on both sides of the drone, and what these do folks is if this drone, if you turn on the Optical flow by the way or turn on the obstacle void its off by default. You have to press a button on the controller to turn it on, but if you turn it on, it will sense things in front of it and automatically stop and bounce away preventing the drone from impacting obstacles. There are limitations, particularly in bright sunlight. These dont normally work well but indoors. These work very well. So if youre, you know these cool winter months ahead and you wouldnt want to be flying this indoors. These sensors come in to play very well and youll, see again when i take it down in the basement to demonstrate that feature. Lets see other things about it. It has a camera, as i mentioned, and this camera views can be swiveled up or down manually using your fingers before you take off.
It does not have a remote up or down control on the via the controller. Again, you have to manually adjust the the angle of view now other things about this. It does not have any sd card writing capability. If you look around the drone, there is no slot for recording to an sd card. Instead, the video is transmitted to your phone via the drones app and the video and photos is recorded directly to your phone. Only so i need to mention that other things about it, it provides fpv video to your phone, so you can view real time. Video from the drone, while its in flight using the wi fi cam, is that it yeah wi, fi, cam uh app available in google play and uh for ios on the app apple store apple app store. Now this uses 2.4 gigahertz wi fi to transmit that video to your phone and 2.4 gigahertz is available on most peoples. Phones, so that shouldnt be a problem. This isnt one of those 5g 802.11 ac, wi fi flyers. This is uses the basic 2.4 gigahertz wi fi. So its usable by most should be usable by most folks on their phone. The video thats recorded to your phone is 1080p video at 20 frames per second and it records a 4k a photo to your phone. If you select photo thats 4096 by 2160 pixels. Now let me make something very clear here: this is not true, 4k video and its not true 4k to your phone in the photos, its not being transmitted uh, true, 4k, what it is is called interpolated and what that means is theres.
A much lower resolution image sensor in this camera and its using your phone app to electronically enlarge that video and photos to a larger size like 1080p video and that 4k photos um interp electronically enlarging does not add any uh is no theres, no real benefit whats. What ive been trying to say in electronically enlarging thats called interpolation uh, because it maintains the same uh low resolution artifacts that you see on the original image. So you know its more of a sales pitch theyre saying this is 4k. It is not true, 4k folks, but again you should not expect to be getting a drone with real 4k, especially in a 50 price range. Okay, which just drone currently is um. If you believe that you know i got a bridge in new york id like to sell you so, okay again, its not true, 4k um lets see what else um the range on this. I forgot to mention the range um. It is advertised at 300 meters thats. Maybe true, if you turn off the wi fi on this and fly blind with the controller only but expect to see a true fpv control range of about 60 meters. Folks and the reason im saying that is this is again is operating on 2.4 gigahertz, wi fi and this controller is also operating in 2.4, gigahertz, wi fi, so the or 2.4 gigahertz uh frequencies, its not wi, fi out of this, its uh analog, but again the 2.
3, 4 gigahertz wi, fi and 2.4 gigahertz controller tend to interfere with each other and because of that, it greatly reduces the possible fpv range and control range, and i expect to see ranges of about maybe up to about 60 meters with this particular drone. Again, a toy drone: you should expect that, but again, if youre a new flyer, a beginner flyer, you should not be flying 300 meters away. Believe me, folks, you should be keeping this close to you and just practicing using the controls with this particular drone. Um lets see. Finally, i forgot to mention it does come with a nice carrying case for the drone and its accessories, and also i need to talk about the controller. Now. The controller is a basic controller. These antennas on here are not real antennas, theyre just for display only okay, theres no wire going up in this theres, nothing, nothing attached to these antennas. They are fake, but lets go over the other features of it. It does have a holder for your phone now. This holder works with narrow phones. You know thin skinny phones, it does not work with my um armor 6e from ulefone because its too thick to fit in there, but i still have some old phones around here that i will be able to use with this particular controller, and i will um other Things about it is the controls, lets go over them individually. This button here is for adjusting rates on the drone.
You press that and it makes the drone fly faster. If you want to fly faster or you know, it has three positions, i believe beginner intermediate and expert. I recommend keeping it in beginner. If you are a true beginner, you might lose the ability to control this drone and crash it. If you go to higher rates as a beginner, i recommend staying a beginner. It also has automatic takeoff, which you activate by pressing this button here. It does have headless mode, like i mentioned, which you activate by pressing this button here, you can turn it off again by pressing this button here and the obstacle avoidance again obstacle avoidance is on. Is off by default? You have to turn it on. If you want to use it, and you turn it on by pressing this button here. This is the power switch for it turns it on and off it is powered by three aaa batteries in the back there. You see um other things we got on here for control are, let me turn it off right now is we have um trim buttons? These are for helping to steady the drone. If it starts drifting a bit, you can adjust that or control that, if its drifting forward, you press this back button, one two or three times to uh slow down forward. If its drifting backward, you press that forward button its drifting to the left. You press the right button and, if its shifting to the right, you press the left button to counter that drift and, finally, if its drifting excessively, you can recalibrate the six g gyros in this picture.
Your particular drone by bringing both sticks down and out like so and that will, while the drone is on flat level surface and that will recalibrate the drones gyros so thats, the blh s1 max lets. Take it first down to my indoor flight test facility in the basement and then following that lets, take it outdoors so hope you enjoy this flight hi quadcopter 101 here and welcome to the quadcopter 101 indoor flight test facility. Now, before we get started, i want to show something, because this might come into view during the flight, this isnt, what some of you think out there. These are pepper plants, okay, pepper plants. I brought them in theyre gon na im, going to try to winter them over the winter by growing them down here in my basement. So just let you know what those are. Okay to start this up, i need to press and hold the on off switch right. There on the drone and put it on a flat level surface and then to connect the drone to the controller. We turn the controller on and then we move the throttle, stick full up then full down and the blinking light on the back of the drone should stop blinking telling you that the transmitter is connected to the drum, so we should be ready to fly. While we are ready to fly except, we dont have fpv yet now to get fpv on your phone. You need to turn on your phone and go into your phones, wi, fi settings and look for the signal coming from the drone.
The drone is emitting a wi fi signal. It is not connected to the internet. Dont get confused thinking, youre getting internet connection with this drone. All it is, is its emanating a wi fi signal like your home, wi fi would do and its sending the video information from the drone over that wi fi signal to your phone okay. So as long as youre within wi fi range of the drone, you should be able to receive wi, fi signal and again to pick up that signal. You need to go into the phone settings into the wi fi settings and connect to the drones, wi fi. The same way that you would connect to home, wi fi, except theres, no password but once youre connected, then you open the app and youll be able to see the fpv video from the drone. So, hang on a second while i do that folks, okay, we are connected to the drone signal, so um and again, this is the wi fi cam app available on google play and the app store, and we all we need to do is hit the start button And we should see fpv video from the drone and right now, im seeing orange so thats telling me that the drones camera is pointed downward and to fix that too far downward. You just push it up with your finger like so okay and that thats, how you adjust the angle on this particular drum. Okay, before we take off theres a couple things, i need to do in the upper right corner notice that rectangular box press on that press on that again and you get a some functions that you can select but select the bottom one, the one that looks like A wand and that controls the zoom on the camera.
This camera does have digital zoom, which you can zoom in, but i dont recommend them doing that now, keeping i want to mention one thing: this is already zoomed in by default. You need to unzoom it before you take off, or else youll have a very narrow field of view on your camera. Okay, so remember that go into that settings and unzoom it and now im going to hit record on the camera and we are recording and before i take off im going to do one thing: im going to calibrate the compass on the drone by having it on The flat level surface and both bringing both sticks down and outward until the light flashes on the back and then it stops and the drones gyros are now calibrated. So we should get semi stable flight, but once we get into the air, if i notice any drift im going to use these trim buttons to counter that drift and to get in there all we need to do is press. This take off button, quick press and there we go and right now im seeing a drift backwards. So im going to press forward trim to counter that, and now it seems to be flying nice and stable okay im going to go up a little bit higher right about here and were going to check the stability of this thing, hows that optical flow system working. I dont know its drifted a little, but not much.
Okay, with that in mind, lets go a little bit higher and push forward now, im going to turn on the obstacle avoidance feature: okay, its drifting back and to the right okay, i press forward and to the right to counter that drifting left right, left button trim. Okay, turning on the obstacle avoidance by pressing this button here and the blue light starts to flash now lets, let it drift and see what it does see, how its bouncing off the wall now its coming toward me and bouncing off of me bouncing off the wall. You got ta go for it, so the obstacle avoidance system is kind of working lets, see it work against the wall over there. Okay pushing forward dont fly too fast, bouncing off of it. Now this obstacle avoidance only works in low rate. Okay, if you go to medium or high rate, its not going to work, and also if you keep pushing on the stick its not going to work either, you got to let go of the stick its just for drifting in effect, controlling drift again to something like Me so, okay, thats, the obstacle avoidance, turn that off now. The next thing i want to do is show headless mode. What that does now im going to turn on headless mode by pressing this button here, quick press and im going to turn the drone to the left. Now, if i push forward notice that the drone is flying sideways im pulling back, the drone is flying sideways.
Pushing forward lets rotate the drone it doesnt matter pushing forward. It goes that way, pull pulling back. It comes this way so with headless mode. It doesnt matter which direction youre pointed im going to push forward. Itll fly in the direction. It was pointed the reference direction. It was pointed when it took off it remembers that direction and that direction is always going to be forward right and left and backwards. Once in headless mode, okay, coming out of headless mode, oh wait before i come out of headless mode. I want to demonstrate one other thing: um return. It has an automatic uh one key return. What that does, is it flies in the opposite direction of the headless mode direction by pressing and holding the headless mode button see how its flying toward me pushing back going back over to the wall there turning one key return on again, and here it comes again Now keep in mind, this is not a true return home feature and ill demonstrate that what if the drones over here is it going to come toward me? If i press that button? No, it actually might fly away from me, so dont depend on that. As a return to home feature, it is not its just a g whiz item, it remembers the direction it was pointed when you took off. But if you press the button that button to return to home or one key return, it will fly in the opposite direction.
Okay, those are the main features ive demonstrated on this. I am recording video over the wall, but lets try out some other features of this. Like flip, this does have a flip control feature pressing the flip button and right flip and thats about the last flip im going to do here, folks, its not good to do flips and doors i almost hit the ceiling ill demonstrate it outdoors when we fly here In the follow on flight, okay, how about the rates lets go to a higher rate, see what see what the flight performance of this is like indoors almost see. Even i can crash these things so, but its flying relatively nicely boy. I havent flown drones much the past few months because of uh again i had family issues here my father passed away and i had to take over as executor of his estate and thats a real job folks, i didnt realize how much paperworks evolved, but this is Flying nicely, it should be a good beginners drone, especially for the around the price, its flying its going for, but um lets go to higher rate third rate. Oh, that turns nicely in third rate, not bad go any other way. How am i doing that folks ill? Show you both sticks to the left, then both sticks to the right and try to maintain orientation on that as a beginner yeah, by the way, as a beginner flyer flying in your home learning the the basics of this, you should really hear im going back to Uh low rate, you should be flying indoors in low rate and just practice hovering in position.
Okay, right now, im telling you the optical flow feature on this that bottom camera there does not seem to be working. It does not seem to be working as an optical flow sensor. I dont know why, but its not okay notice were flashing right now the lights are flashing. What does that mean? That means this battery is about done, so you know they predicted 25 minutes of flight time uh. Obviously they mean 25 minutes using three batteries. Maybe but it does not have 25 minutes of flight time that little 1000 milliamp hour battery its just not enough to fly for 25 minutes. Youre gon na need a lot more power than that, but its still flying sufficiently for you to learn how to fly so. For you, beginner pilots, looking for something to learn how to work. These sticks and these controls work for all drones. Okay, unless youre as mode 2, i recommend learning mode 2. Folks, if you have a choice, select the mode 2 feature and what that means is throttle on the left and were running out of power and tried to give it throttle, but it aint going up its landing itself. So that is the flight time that you get with this little drone and im going to turn off the video recording and ill give you my thoughts so um. Why not lets take this outdoors next folks and see how it flies? Im hoping itll perform nice outdoors because it seems to fly while indoors so well see how it fly.
Oops, theres, my my shorts and my fortnite shirt, and by the way this is how i videotape indoors, with this camera, its a different camera than my hat camera. So lets take it outdoors now and see how it flies. Folks, hope you enjoyed the second part of the flight good morning, quadcopter 101, here on a cool gloomy day here in erie pa late october day, to fly the blh s1. It is overcast, but uh well see how the camera handles uh, lower light conditions on an overcast day by flying it today. Okay, to start this up, what we need to do is have the battery fully charged and then turn on the drone by pressing this button. Right there and holding it down and then immediately place it on a flat level surface, let its gyros calibrate. And then you turn on the controller like so by pressing the button and then move the left, throttle stick up and down and that binds the controller to the drum now. The next thing i need to do is connect my phone to the wi fi being emanated from the drone, and to do that, i need to turn on the settings or open the settings in my phone. Look for the wi fi signal from the drone and connect to it same way that you would connect to home wi fi except theres, no password involved so hold on. While i do that folks, okay, this is the wi fi cam app available on google play and itunes and uh, just proving that it is october folks theres about one of my pumpkins around here.
Okay, to start the video recording you click on that uh video camera button in the upper left corner, and that should start the recording and to take off. All we need to do is press the automatic takeoff button hold it down. No, oh thats, not automatically. That was obstacle avoidance im. Sorry folks, automatic takeoff is this button here lets see if that position holds working optical flow lets, take it up and leave it right there, and we see its drifting to the left. So were going to counter that with left drift, correction and right about there is good okay, so you may need to adjust the drift now its drifting to the right, so give it right drift correction. So the optical flow system again is very sketchy on this, because it needs a lot of light. I guess to work properly, but lets just fly around and show the camera im going to keep it in low rate for now going up higher, showing you the camera. Now one thing about this camera is that you cant adjust. Let me try to find it here. Uh there is a setting where you can adjust. Oh, i better keep my eye on the drone come back here. You increase the rates to fight the wind. The winds blowing over the neighbors house so bringing it back toward me coming back down lower, but i wanted to show you something on this camera and ill probably have to land the drone to do that.
So, coming back and over here lets lay it on my driveway and land right there. Now i want to show you something in the lower right corner. I had to you, click on the or the upper right corner. You click on those rectangles and it brings up this menu here and in the very bottom. There see that little wand looking thing, click on that and that brings up the zoom mode on this camera and right now, im also in split screen mode vr mode. So let me turn that off click on vr to turn it off now. This thing is zoomed in by default. Okay, you want to reduce that zoom by sliding that bar down to the left and that reduces the zoom effect. I dont know for some reason they have this all the way zoomed in or halfway zoomed in, and that really messes up the video so were recording again were still recording automatic takeoff and im just gon na fly it around im gon na practice with headless mode. First, thats the headless mode direction im pointing in that direction, so im going to use that as my reference direction for headless mode, so pressing automatic take off there we go taking off and again i want to go to higher rate. I am at high rate still. I guess pressing headless mode. Oh, it has one key return: thats, actually, one key return lets go over there and ill show that pressing the one key return now its in headless mode.
If you press it a long time its hit return to home and this return to home, all it does folks is fly the exact opposite direction. It was pointed at take off. Okay, so lets demonstrate that one more time going over there and holding down the headless mode button for two seconds and it flies back now – lets go forward again and this time lets turn to the right and press that one key return and still it flies back In my direction now keep in mind, if let me turn off headless mode, if im over here and i press that button its going to fly to the right it aint flying back toward me in this case, so im coming out of that. So do not depend on that as a return to home feature. Okay, the video camera looks relatively good. Let me turn off that ringtone thing there coming out of headless mode make sure that no its doing headless mode. So let me demonstrate what headless mode is by bringing it close, bring it closer to me now it doesnt matter which way the drone is pointed um right now, its pointed to the left, but if i push forward its flying sideways flying okay and i can rotate The drone, while its doing this too, flying to the left flying to the right it doesnt care what direction that drone is pointed its just going. It goes forward backward right and left and thats all.
It knows so again, thats a feature thats good for beginner pilots. Coming out of headless mode by pressing the button one more time and now i want to come over and bring it closer, i want to show you another features. This has for beginners and thats. The flip feature pressing the flip button and then tell them to do a right, flip, pushing forward coming toward me pressing the flip again and lets. Try left flip okay coming forward one more time. Well, do a forward flip right up close now again. Do not do these flips very often, okay, those do put a strain on a motor, so i dont recommend you fly normally doing headless mode, so lets go back up again. Show the camera lets see what were looking at and rotating around the area like yuris down there somewhere im just showing the neighborhood flying around with the camera. Now again, the lag is relatively low on this im kind of surprised at that lag is good. In other words, but it does break up quite a bit as you can see on uh the recording on my screen recording. So there is some breakup, so, okay, we tried obstacle. Avoidance lets turn that on obstacle, avoidance is on lets, see if it notices me pushing toward me, see outdoors obstacle avoidance, doesnt work very well. Oh im in high rate, wait a minute. You got to be in low rate folks for obstacle avoidance to work lets see.
If it works now turn it on yeah its on now lets push it away. Okay lets see. If i can fly into me, flying in my direction, doesnt want to go any closer, yeah, see ill pull forward and it wont fly into me. So the obstacle avoidance is working im, pushing full forward on it and its just bouncing off of me. So that feature does work, but i recommend turning it off if youre, outdoors, folks or or if you dont, really need it and the reason being is that does probably use extra battery power because its energizing those little sensors, those obstacle avoidance sensors, now lets try the Flight capabilities of this thats beginner rate, intermediate expert rate expert rate lights are flashing. Right now were probably in low battery lets see how this flies. It is a nice little flyer ill give you that flies well, but we are in low battery power already. Let me see if thats true by turning off high yeah the lights are flashing. Lets bring it in close to show you see that i think you can see that cant, you folks. That means low battery when theyre flashing like that. So, in that case, keep the drone close to you, because any minute its about to land, it should land itself on low battery going to high rate again so well burn out the rest of the battery just flying around the area. So again, 25 minutes advertise flight time.
That might be. If you buy three batteries and thats it wait. No, i wanted to land there for a second there folks, so i think were getting low close to low battery and bringing it back to where me final thoughts. Yeah, this is a nice little beginners drone. The optical flow feature doesnt seem to work very well, but then theres its flight time, its landing itself so thats, the flight time you get with this lower drum, so the blh s1, mainly intended for beginner for pilots lets, get me a view here, mainly intended for Beginner, pilots uh: it has the features you need to learn the controls of a drone, but again do not expect to get cinematic photography out of this drone, its a beginners drone. Okay, so hope you enjoyed this flight quadcopter 101 signing out hi quadcopter 101. Here again, hey, if you want to get your own shout out in one of my future, videos make sure you subscribe to my channel its real simple, just go to my channel page and click on that subscribe and also make sure to click that bell button right. Next to the subscribe button that way you get notified when i release a brand new video immediately and give you a chance to get that first shot at so give it a try.