UPDATE: This post is already pretty outdated. Don’t buy the Eachine QX65. A whole mess of better, more durable brushless indoor quads are available now. I’ve upgraded to an EMAX Tinyhawk. I haven’t written about it yet, but I highly recommend it. It is a great way to get started in FPV, and it is an excellent indoor Whoop-like for experienced pilots. The bundle includes everything you need to get starts for $165—including goggles and a controller! Six additional batteries will set you back another $25. If you already have goggles and a Taranis, the Tinyhawk is only $99.
- So You Want To Get Started Flying FPV Quadcopters at Butter, What?!
- The EMAX TinyHawk is Fun, Inexpensive, and Awesome! at patshead.com
- Emax Tinyhawk Ready-to-Fly Bundle at Pyro Drone
- Emax Tinyhawk at Pyro Drone
- 6 pack of batteries at Pyro Drone
My friends and I have been talking about buying Tiny Whoops for ages. Not necessarily real Tiny Whoops, but one of the clones. None of our FPV quads are gentle enough to fly indoors, and we all want to have an option for flying on rainy days.
I’m not interested in the real Tiny Whoop. They use the original flight controller from the Inductrix. They say it flies better, but even if it does, I’m not excited about flying an unconfigurable black box.
The next model I looked at was the NewBeeDrone AcroBee. Their full kit comes with the parts to build the brushed micro drone, four batteries, a charger, and three different sets of motors. You get all that and a case for about $136. That’s pretty reasonable.
Then I found the Eachine QX65 bundle. Eachine’s bundle isn’t directly comparable to the NewBeeDrone kit. The QX65 is assembled and ready to fly out of the box, but it doesn’t come with any spare motors.
With the QX65 advanced bundle, you get a drone with an F3 flight conroller, two spare frames, two spare sets of props, six 250 mAh HV LiPo batteries, a six-port charger, and a single-port USB charger. You don’t get a case, but you do get all of that stuff for about $90.
I’m not interested in becoming a professional Whoop racer. I just want to goof around in the house. More batteries, a parallel charge board, and the lower price convinced me to give the QX65 a try. I’m glad I did, too!
If you’re more serious than I am, the NewBeeDrone AcroBee might be a better choice
I’m certain that the AcroBee is a better quad, but probably not by a huge margin. The AcroBee uses the newer, larger battery connector. That bigger connector can push more power to the motors.
It would be easy to solder an upgraded connector onto the QX65, but you’re going to be stuck with half a dozen batteries with the puny connector. I don’t think this is a big deal—you can always have two connectors on your quad! It is just something to think about.
The AcroBee comes with better motors. It also comes with three different grades of motor, so you can try each one and see what you prefer.
- NewBeeDrone AcroBee at NewBeeDrone.com
I didn’t buy the AcroBee! I bought the QX65!
I’m pleased with the QX65. It was an amazing value. I was up, flying, and having fun in about five minutes. Since it runs Betaflight, I was able to quickly configure the rates and switches to match all my other quads, too!
I did some test flight at home, but a few days after I got my QX65, my friend Brian closed on a new house. His new house has a pretty good route where you can fly up the stairs to the second floor, through a room, and back down to the first floor.
Here’s some video of Brian flying his QX65 that day!
I noticed a problem at Brian’s house that I hadn’t experienced in my single-story home. When flying in angle mode, there’s a ton of prop wash when descending from the second story. So much prop wash that it is very difficult to not smack into the ground! For some reason, I didn’t experience this prop wash in air mode, but it is nearly impossible to fly well indoors with a Whoop in air mode.
- Eachine QX65 Brushed Micro Quad at Banggood
The Project Mockingbird settings are fantastic
I had already heard about Project Mockingbird long before I even ordered my Eachine QX65. Even so, I wanted to try the stock settings before messing around too much with Betaflight. The stock settings work. Project Mockingbird is just so much better.
I’m not sure how close they’ve gotten, but I can tell you that the Project Mockingbird settings are a huge improvement over the QX65’s stock settings.
The prop wash in angle mode is gone. It feels much better when banking or turning. You can definitely fly your QX65 with the stock settings, but I highly recommend trying out Project Mockingbird.
I didn’t follow all of their instructions. I thought their rates were much too high for me. My other quads all fly identical rates for roll, pitch, and yaw. I modified mine to match Project Mockingbird’s ratios. It seems to be working well!
Some minor issues
I’ve had trouble with the motors working their way loose from the frame. It was a minor annoyance on my first day of flying.
I had already decided that I was going to add a 3D-printed brace to the frame. When I installed that brace, I glued it in place with Welder glue. I’ve been using this stuff since I built my arcade cabinet, and I like it a lot. It is a bit like hot glue, but without the heat. It is a little stickier than hot glue, but not by a lot, and it doesn’t cure as fast, but it is more convenient.
While I was tacking my frame brace in place, I made sure to add a bit of glue to each motor. They’ll still be easy to remove when they fail, but they’re not getting knocked out of place anymore.
I bought a whole mess of four-blade props. I’m not sure if they’re an upgrade. They don’t seem to have diminished my flight times, and they have made the QX65 a bit more twitchy on sharp stick inputs.
That leads me to believe that they’re providing more thrust. The quad is acting like it has just a little too much P-gain. I might try to tune that out.
- Four-Blade Tiny Whoop Props at Amazon
The 6-way charger is awesome!
The 6-way battery charger that comes with the advanced QX65 is fantastic. You can set each battery to 4.2 or 4.35 volts. You can also set the charge rate to approximately 1c or 2c for each battery.
The input for the charger is an XT60 connector, so you can charge your batteries in the field using the LiPos you already have for your 5” quads!
I fried my charger. The label on the input claims it can handle 25 volts. I plugged it into the 23.8 volt power supply I use to power my ISDT Q6 Plus charger, and I let the magic smoke out.
The charger definitely handles 4S just fine. I want to tell you that I’ve used my 5S packs to charge my Whoop batteries, but I can’t say for certain. I’d suggest sticking to 4S packs!
The heart of the QX65 is sound. The BeeCore V2 is an F3 flight controller with an integrated OSD. I have mine running with an 8k/8k PID loop, and the CPU utilization doesn’t even reach 40%. It should be a good, relevant flight controller for quite a long time!
I’m patiently waiting for my motors to wear out. A while back, Ready Made RC included a set of upgraded Whoop motors in one of my orders—they’re always throwing something extra in the box!
When those wear out, I’ll probably try one of the outrageous sets of motors from NewBeeDrone.
I tried really hard to convince myself that I should buy an AcroBee instead of the QX65. I love NewBeeDrone. Their battery straps are top notch. Their neat Fat Shark headset foam is amazing.
What sort of indoor quads are you flying? A brushless quad like the Tiny Whoop or QX65? Are you flying a 1S brushed micro? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below, or you can come chat about it on our Discord server!