Finally, a micro quadcopter with decent range. BetaFPV HX115 LR with built in ExpressLRS receiver!
Is it a toothpick were going to compare this toothpick to what is probably the best performing example of the category? The fpv cycle baby tooth im, joshua bardwell youre, going to learn something today: Music, the beta fbv hx115lr, that youre seeing me review in this video was sent to me by beta fpv. I did not purchase it with my own money. I have not received any other money or any other form of compensation in exchange for this video and none of the content that you see has been pre approved by anybody other than me. While you take a look at this sample flight footage from the hx 115lr, let me tell you the thing that makes this quadcopter so unique. It is a bind and fly quadcopter with a built in receiver yeah. I know i know theres lots of those, but this receiver is built into the flight controller yeah. I know theres lots of those, but all of the tiny whoops and other micro quads out there, with receivers built into the flight controller theyre. Typically, like a free sky receiver or maybe a spectrum receiver, they are a old, antiquated im saying it long range protocols are the wave of the future and when you think long range protocols, you probably are thinking something like crossfire or immersion, rc ghost or maybe tbs Tracer but im talking about express lrs express lrs has similar technology to those other long range protocols that i talked about, but it is open source and that means anybody can implement it.
And that means that when people said hey, can you give us a tiny whoop flight controller with crossfire built in tbs, went well think about it. But when people said hey what, if we made a tiny web flight controller with, or i should say, toothpick flight controller with express lrs in it, nobody was there to say no its open source and anybody can do it. And that means that the crappy range im just gon na, say it. The crappy range that you usually get from the built in receivers on this type of quadcopter. Its not a factor with the hx115lr yeah were gon na. Do a full flight test with commentary im, not just gon na show you this fancy footage looking its best, but more importantly, were gon na acknowledge that beta fpv has done something with the hx 115 that people have wanted for a long time and havent been able To get if youre like me, then you were probably a little bit confused when you saw me call this an hx115. I actually reviewed the beta fpv hx 115 hd previously on my channel. I loved it, but it was more like a toothpick. In other words, it had this purex frame it had the flight control stack in the middle, the camera. On top it was a toothpick, this hx 115. It doesnt even have a 115 millimeter wheelbase its something like 120 725 millimeters and it doesnt have a toothpick style frame.
It has a traditional, you know, top plate bottom plate style frame and a top mounted battery. But hang on set aside the semantic arguments over what isnt isnt a toothpick, because, frankly, i kind of like that. I, like top mounted batteries for sort of freestyling quads, so maybe theres something to this. Now. You probably cant see this just by looking at the flight controller, but the thing that has never been done before, as far as i know, is that this is a bind and fly quadcopter with a built in express lrs receiver. So you can see right here at the front of the quadcopter, is a little 2.4 gigahertz dipole antenna and it goes up and it connects right here at the front of the flight controller, the receivers built in so when they call this little guy long range, like It comes with 450 milliamp hour 1s batteries, its not going to fly that long on these batteries. Its long range, in the sense that it comes with a long range control link built in and yeah. They say in the product listing that you can put an 18650 battery tray on top of it and fly it for like 15 minutes, and that may be true, but they dont ship it. With the 18650 battery tray in the box, you have to sort of source that yourself and wire it up yourself and install it yourself. The pictures in the listing are a little misleading.
You could do that, but most people are probably just gon na fly. It like this and thats. Okay with me, because im way more interested in fun micro, freestyle rippage than i am in long distance, heres, the flight controller that comes with this quadcopter and it may not be entirely obvious because were only looking at one side of the flight controller. But this is an all in one toothpick style flight controller, so it is 25 millimeters on a side on the underside. Theyve got the esc, fets and controllers. Its a built in esc here are the motor pads where you solder up the motors, and they are relatively big pads. Some of these, all in one toothpick style, flight controllers, have really really tiny pads that are difficult to solder. To these will be a little easier, although youre still going to struggle theyre. Still i mean youve got a lot of stuff to put on this board and its pretty crammed in here. Weve got some uarts tx2 and rx2, and a 5 volt and ground output and weve got the video transmitter output here. Theres vtx camera ground 5 volts and smart audio thats, going to be a uart tx pad for smart audio. Various other things lets see. Buzzer weve got outputs for a buzzer here: buzzer, minus and buzzer plus, as well as an additional 5 volt and ground. Here is the output for the express lrs receiver, so, as flight controllers go, this is not a super remarkable one in terms of its capabilities and, frankly, its not super remarkable, even in terms of other all in one toothpick style flight controllers, which may have more.
How many uarts do we have here? Weve got one two full uarts rounding out the specs on the hx 115, its got 1102 sized motors in 18, 000 kv, the motors do take t mount props and although the props do have holes for screws, these are press on. The motors do not actually have screw holes now. 1102 was a size of motor that was commonly used on small toothpicks, so thats not a bad choice. But if we look at the fpv cycle baby tooth, we can see that the state of the art in toothpick motors has come a long way. These are 1302.75 at 11, 000 kv and yes, they are pushing the same three inch. Props kebab has worked a lot to try different sizes of motors and figure out which ones he thinks works the best so theres nothing wrong with those 1102 motors. But when we get to the flight test, we may see that its not performing quite at the level that it would, if it had a larger motor. Well, we cant talk about motors and props without talking about weight, and if we look at the weight of the baby tooth, it comes in at 44 grams dry or with its battery 58 grams uh thats pretty light. If we look at the hx 115lr, it comes in at i swear, thats a coincidence: 44 grams dry and 58 56 grams, almost the exact same weight. Well, okay! Suffice it to say that, coming in at the exact same weight with larger, more powerful motors is going to give this guy a little bit more torque, but theyre lower kv motors, so theyre probably going to make less rpm and less top end speed.
What about the batteries? The hx115 is paired. With this 450 milliamp hour 1s high volt battery, you can see it says 4.35 volts there, so it is intended to be charged past the 4.2 volts that you normally would, and that means that its milliamp hour rating is a little bit bigger because the more volts You push in there the more milliamp hours you get out. It does have a bt 2.0 connector. I did a comparison of bt 2.0 and ph 2.0 previously on my channel ill, put a link to that down in the video description as well long story short. I found that bt 2.0 does have a significant performance advantage over the ph 2.0 connector used on most other 1s batteries. However, fpv cycle doesnt use a ph 2.0 connector. They use an xt30 and xt30 is even better yes, its heavier, but on a quad this size we can afford a gram or two its, not like a tiny whoop. Where every gram matters we can afford an xt 30 and its going to deliver even better performance. Due to its lower resistance, the main limitation is that 1s batteries with xt 30s on them are fairly rare. This gnb, 600 milliamp hour pack was sent to me by kebab and basically he has them made specifically for him. Almost nobody else uses them, but they should. They perform better. If you do end up getting a bunch of bt 2.0 batteries, you might wonder how youre going to charge them.
Beta fpv also sent this 6 bay 1s charger that charges bt 2.0, whether theyre tiny, what batteries or whether these big 450 milliamp hours charges up to six of them at a time, and it also has ph 2.0 connectors here for your traditional, tiny white batteries. If youre still switching over well, the only thing left to do is to take this guy out and fly it and before we do that. I got to take it over to the computer and set it up, and there are a couple little quirks in it setup that i think youre going to want to know about and specifically youre going to want to change before you fly it so lets head over To the computer ill show you what those are now. The first thing i recommend you do is update the firmware on your express lrs receiver and because that is the simplest way to bind an express, lrs receiver to an express os module. And if the express alerts, module and receiver dont have the exact same firmware version on them and if the options dont match up, then they they wont bind or they wont, work together right now, one way to flash the espresso receiver on this quad is using wi Fi uh: this is something that most express lrs receivers have built in. You can see i plug in usb this blinking orange light is the receiver led and after about 20 seconds, it begins fast flashing.
If it doesnt have a bind after power up, itll fast flash and enter wi fi mode, and then you can connect to it with your phone or your laptops, wifi and update the firmware that way. Ive got a separate video about how to do that and ill link it down in the video description. But that is not what were going to do here. Theres an easier way, so the app were going to use is express lrs, configurator, its used to compile and flash firmware on express lrs theres. A link to that in the video description were going to select the beta fpv 2.4 gigahertz category and the beta fpv 2400 rx receiver. The method were going to use to flash, is betaflight passthrough and that means were going to flash directly through the usb port. On the flight controller, following that, we will leave all the options at default. Probably, but you do want to set your binding phrase, thats going to be like a wi fi password that you use on all your express lrs gear and itll automatically bind and then, when youre done, youll select your com port, that the flight controller is on and Youll hit the build and flash button and then the next thing thatll happen may take like as much as 5 or 10 minutes. If its the first time youve done it because it has to download a whole bunch of other stuff. But it will compile your firmware and it will automatically flash it through the usb port on the flight controller in very rare cases that doesnt work and you can then just you could take that same file and you can flash it via wi fi.
If you prefer, the next thing you got to do is you have to update the cli dump on the the betaflight configuration on the quad, because beta fpv says that the default pits that they ship with are fd up whyd they ship it. That way i dont know – and i would love to say that if youre watching this at some point in the future, surely theyve updated the flight controller to have this configuration from the factory, but i dont think thats true, i think theyre going to keep shipping. This f configuration forever and just rely on you to do this – that im about to show you to do uh cli dump of the hx15 115 pid update of the hx115. Yes thats. What we want um this is: are there two of them find the jitters updating version download? Okay? So this is the factory, and here is the updated one. Why okay uh, and is this a complete firmware update? No, so this is just an update to the pids. Its not a complete firmware, update, fine lets, go ahead and just copy paste that copy and go into betaflight configurator, and we will right click paste in the text and hit enter great here in the configuration tab. We can see that they are not using bi directional d shot. The flight controller comes with a blheli s e s c. It does not support bi directional d, shader rpm filtering out of the box, whether thats absolutely necessary on a quad.
This small is certainly debatable. It would be nice to support it. You certainly could flash the blue, j or j esc firmware to the esc. If you wanted to and then theoretically, bi directional d shot would work, although i have to point out on some beta fpv flight controllers, it doesnt work because the flight controller cant do it, so we cant be sure there i like that they ship with the maximum Arm angle, disabled to let it arm, even if its not perfectly level since theres no buzzer on board, i would prefer that they ship with the motor beacons, enabled so that if you lose your quadcopter, you can make it make the motors beep help. You find it. Well, save and reboot on that here in the power and battery tab theres an important change youre going to need to make if you use high volt batteries and the beta fpv batteries that come with the quad are high volt batteries betaflight expects the maximum that your Battery is going to be to be 4.3 volts, but high volt batteries go to 4.35, and that means when you plug one of those batteries in if its fully charged betaflight will mistakenly think it must be a two cell battery that is discharged down to around two Volts and youll see in your in your osd youll, see like 2.3 volts youll go wait. I thought id charge these batteries whats going on here. Well, betaflight is just misinterpreting how many cells the battery is the way to fix that is to raise that to a minimum 4.
35. But we could just crank that give us a little head room here as the maximum cell voltage again only if youre going to be using high volt batteries. Otherwise this number is fine. Lets just put that in just put that at 4.4 and well call it good here in the pid tuning tab. We can see their custom pid tune and well do a flight test in just a minute and see how that goes. The rates are lame. Betaflight default rates so lets go ahead and put my good old freestyle rates on there here in the receiver tab. You can see. Ive already got my channels working and ive got my channel map correct um. One thing thats really weird about the way they shipped. It is theyve shipped it with the stick: low threshold set to a thousand uh ive set my end endpoints correctly to 1000 and 2000, and that means with a stick low threshold of a thousand the quadcopter wont arm. It needs to be at least 1001 if your throttle goes down to a thousand. I normally set this to about 10 10 to give me just a little bit of headroom at the bottom of the throttle, but i guess theyre relying on the fact that normally, when you bind a receiver, the default endpoint is 998. So you can arm at a thousand but theyre, not taking into account people like me who actually set their equipment up correctly, its kind of weird that they ship it with a stick low of a thousand.
Now here we can see they ship with the rssi channel disabled and you might think that thats incorrect, but betaflight has the capability to read rssi and link quality directly from the telemetry of the express lrs system. You do not need to use an rssi channel bit. Fpv ships with a pretty decent osd setup. I it actually looks a lot similar to how i usually set my osd up. The camera is a ntsc camera and they ship it set to auto. It shows pal. We can just manually set that to ntsc, and then our osd elements will display correctly. The other thing that i i think i would do differently. Is they ship it with rssi, dbm, enabled and rssi? I dont care about rssi percent. What i usually want to see is rssi dbm and link quality or lq, so im going to turn off rssi and enable lq the rest of it. I guess i can leave where i am where it is by the way, if youre interested in learning more about how to set up your rssi and lq thresholds in betaflight, when using express lrs ive got a video about that. Its linked in the video description. There are a couple more things that you should do so that you can be sure like that: youre not going to fail safe, but thats. A topic for another video link down below here in the video transmitter. Tab im very happy to see that the vtx table is set up and ready to go.
We can easily change this. I like to use race band 8. The reason i use raceband 8 is because it is always going to be away from the frequencies used by any nearby wi fi networks and will not get interference from wi fi networks and the power goes up to 350 milliwatts. Finally, we need to set up flight modes and beta fpv ships with a pretty decent setup of sort of default flight modes, but im going to go ahead and set it up to match my my normal switch configuration and youll probably do the same or you can Set your controller up to match theirs its up to you. Well just about to do the test flight and i was getting really really bad video range. I want to show you how i fixed it: im, not 100 sure that yours will come this way, but just in case so were going to go into the betaflight osd were going to go to features vtx and i had pit mode on and even when i Tried to turn pip mode off it didnt work. What you need to do is go into config and then go into up mode and youll see the op mode is set to race. You want to change that to free or freestyle in race mode. It always powers up in pit mode in free or freestyle mode. It will power up at full power and lets just go back and save and exit or save and reboot lets just see.
If that sticks, config is free, okay, great for the record uh. It will go out of pit mode as soon as you arm, so you may prefer it to be that way. If you want it to stay in pit mode, while you wait to arm and not overheat itself, but personally i just like it to go to full power as soon as i take off most of the time. Speaking of full power, we are at 350 milliwatts its. The max power of this video transmitter and we will see what kind of range were going to get off of it and express lrs is at 250 milliwatts and 250 hertz and honestly, as far as express lrs goes, we should have no trouble with the range we Really shouldnt see the lq drop much at all as far as the video transmitter goes flying through that little path behind the barn thats, my sort of gut check for video transmitter power, and if i, if i get through there, with very little breakup like that, that Is consistent with about a 200 or 350 milliwatts? We can put this guy on the immersion, rcrf power meter and just check the power, but got almost no breakup pretty clean. So i feel like the video transmitter is offering about what it says it should uh flying, slow and smooth. Like this. I have no complaints. I dont see a ton of like jitter or vibration. The camera looks really nice.
This is a really nice analog camera. I love the dynamic range. I love the detail that i can see in the shadows. I tend not to like a super contrasty camera for fpv, because uh it looks its because it a super contrasty camera hides details that you might want to see while youre flying. I think, with these little 1s batteries, you really have to fly them down as close to 3.0, as you feel like you can get away with. I would not expect this guy to have enough oomph to be able to tolerate smacking a leaf or smacking a branch. The motors just dont have any torque, not much torque, so if i did hit something, i would expect to fall out of the sky. This is a perfectly you know this isnt, this isnt bad, its perfectly fun to fly 3.3 volts. Video transmitter is not the best 350 milliwatts is its. I feel like were getting roughly what we could expect from 350 milliwatts and, of course, express lrs. Lq is not even thinking about dropping its just hanging right in there perfectly nice, 3.2 volts. All right. Weve got about uh four minutes of very gentle flying on this 450 milliamp hour 1s high volt. Now, certainly one of the most fun things about flying a toothpick is the ability to do some acro and some racing, and i have a real question of how these 1102 motors are going to perform when pushed lets just start with a nice full throttle, punch, ready, Watch my throttle in the lower left by the way here we go so yeah, not a lot of power and not a lot of responsiveness from the throttle watch the throttle again.
Look how slow it is to punch up, not a lot of responsiveness. What if we try to do any flippy floppies a little jiggle thats, really honestly, not a terrible tune? I mean, if im a little gentle on the sticks. No, there was a little gentler on the sticks and i was able to kind of remove that shutter at the end of the flip manually. But if we try and do some flingy flange well already im getting low battery, oh no, no theres, no weight right! Thats! Not this quads fault thats, just how toothpicks are. Let me get some speed, its not the worst ever. I still would love it to have more thrust honestly, its im able to kind of push it, but it just doesnt have enough thrust to really feel sharp through the corners and some of thats due to its light weight. Just a lightweight quad isnt going to feel like it corners the same but, like i said, flying the 1s toothpick from fpv cycle, you definitely can get a little better. I dont hate this though the thing i hate the most is the battery. The battery is already down to 3.4 and were at two minutes flight time i dont know. If this is, i mean it needs an xt 30. To be honest with, you really needs an xt 30, but the battery itself may not be that great either im having fun, though oh so that brings us to the end of the video and as always the question should you buy it and the answer to that Question is not an unequivocal yes, but its not an unequivocal, no either.
The flight performance of this quadcopter was better than i expected, but nowhere near as good as the flight performance of the fpv cycle baby tooth. Unfortunately, i cant show you the flight performance of this because i crashed it in a pile of metal shavings in my barn, a while back and the motors arent, not in stock at fpv cycle. So i havent been able to replace it but ill put a link in the video description to some flight tests. I did of this quad and you can see just how freaking good this little guy flies. This little guy flies better than i thought, but i think it is significantly held back by its tiny 1102 motors, and i ran this past some of the people on my discord and one of them said yeah. I bought this whole quad because im a fan of the flight controller and im a fan of the video transmitter and im a real fan of the express ls. But then i just im gon na put some different motors on it. It sounds like a fantastic idea to me. These are the 1302.75 fpv cycle motors. I think a 1202 would probably be fine. 1302 would probably be better yeah. I would totally do that. The other big improvement that i think would i would make if i were going to fly this quad like on the daily by myself, would be to take the bt 2.0 off and put an xt 30 on and get something like these 600 milliamp hour.
Gmb batteries. Theyre, basically, the same weight and size as the 450 beta fpvs, but theyre way way better quality cells and the connector is going to give you way way better performance. So with a little bit of tweaking, this could be a decent quad. The unknown quantity here is the beta, fpv, electronics, the flight controller and esc beta fpv products are at their best. They are average like theyre still not. They still have some failure rate, but thats kind of to be expected for most things in fpv, but at their worst they are terrible. For example, the beta fpv light radio, a controller that they make uh. I knew somebody who bought tens of them for a classroom and said that they had a 100 failure rate like all of them failed. So you never know with any new beta fbv product what youre going to get in terms of reliability, and that can change from batch to batch too. This first batch is probably good if youre watching this video six months from now, you may be rolling the dice and theres nothing. I can do to make that better. For you, the performance of the ex the receiver, though, is exceptional, and i do hope that we see more express lrs receivers built into more products, and i kind of dont want to poo on this product too much, because beta fpv is the one who did it. Who gave us a flight controller with express lrs built in, and i want them to be wildly successful so that more people do it, but i cant promise you that the flight controller is not just going to crap out two weeks after in a crash overall, i Think the the design of this quad is not bad.
Camera is great video transmitter, okay motors a little too small passable for some people and frame. I mean its kind of wiggly but thats kind of true of all the frames in this weight class. So you just hope its not too heavy, and you hope the durability holds up if youve decided that this is a product youre interested in based on that semi enthusiastic endorsement, then there are links down in the video description both to this product and to the flight Controller, if you want to build your own and those links are affiliate links. What that means is that when you click that link, then you do your shopping at the store and you check out. I get a small commission off the sale and its an easy way for you to support the channel it doesnt cost you anything click the link do shopping check out. I get a little bit of money im, also going to put down in the video description, a link to my rundown of the express lrs modules that are available today. If youre thinking about getting into express lrs, there are several different modules you could be buying in several different manufacturers. Making receivers and ive got a rundown video to help. You pick the one thats going to be best for you. I think i know the one thats best because you watch the video and decide for yourself all thats down in the video description. Thank you so much for watching happy flying you guys.
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