TEST: Cheerson CX-32S, an easy 5.8G FPV plateform for beginners

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INTRODUCTION

After the excellent Cheerson CX-33S, an original Y6 5.8G FPV hexacopter with altitude hold fonction, here the CX-32S quadcopter variation. Here the same ingradient are used with at least the same FPV part and altitude hold feature.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Cheerson CX-32S (with a 2S 450mAh LiPo with microLOSI connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x 4.3″ FPV monitor (using 4xAAA batteries not inclided)
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

Notice the absence of a microSD card & a USBcard readear.

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OVERVIEW

Versus the CX-33S, the CX-32S transportation box is much larger

-Front view

The general design represents a basic UFO model. In a first glance, props are indentical to the CX-33 model.

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-Side view

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-Rear view

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-Upper view

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-Bottom view

The same 5.8G FPV cam module than the CX-33S is installed on the battery’s door compartement.

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A power switch button as well as two camera ports are present: one 4positions for the FPV cam combo and one 3p probably for the WiFi version.

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The 2S Lipo fills almost the battery compartement. Maybe a slightly longer model could be installed. You have to insert the balancer plug Inside the body to lock perfectly the compartement.

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Three blue LEDs and one red for status

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-Weight

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Around 166g with the FPV cam module. Paradoxally it’s just 10 grams more than the CX-33S …. but here only 4 motors. By consequence, motors are potentially much more stressed than for the hexacopter version… Durability of these “2S” coreless motors is a real open question

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Motors

As usual for this size of quadcopter, some 8.5mmx20mm coreless motors are installed butworking in 2S configuration.
Since the weight is relatively important (more or less like the JJRC H8C), you have to be vigilant with them. I would say two positive aspects reduction the stress : i) absence of flip button and ii) altitude hold feature. Flips are known to stress a lot motors…. and altitude hold feature will reduc/control e extra amount of current on motors…. In practice, the CX-32S motor durability shoudn’t be the like the H8C fiasco.

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The originality, motors are installed perpendicularly (90 degrees) to the principal wheel/gear. I have no idea if it will be more or less efficient than a classic 180 degrees solution

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For each arm, a ball-bearing is located on the top of the shaft to reduce friction. It’s a good point.

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Props

Props are identical to the CX-33 model. High pitch but too fragile at extremity IMHO

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LiPo

A 2S LiPo ending with a microLOSI connector. Here it’s a 450mah model versus the 360mah for the CX-33S. No discharge rate mentioned.

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Camera module

The same 5.8G FPV cam combo shooting at 720p while broadcasting FPV signal in NTSC format at 5705Mhz like the CX-33S. Via the remote, it’s possible to cycle between the 8 Boscam frequencies. A good point if you want to fly with several CX-3xS. The lens mount is in M6 format and unfortunatly the sensor’s ribbon cable is directly soldered on the video PCB. The camera is pretty good but as you can guess the field of view narrow (around 70 degrees). In practice, no real possibility actually to install a lens with a wider FOV. The FPV transmission is not perfectly fuilde at 30fps but more around 20-22 fps. The good news, no frame rate drop when recording is turned on.

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Disassembling

It’s really easy to open the CX-33S, just a little bit long since you have more than 20 screws to remove

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Everything is well ordenered and clear inside. Some zip ties jail some wires togather

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No surprise, the XN297 is here as well as the Invensense 6050 for the 6-axis stabilization and a ARM core STM32. A strange point for my specific machine: out of the box, it was impssible to bind the radio. I discovered as soon as I was touching with finger the antenna, the binding was done. I drilled a hole to do the antenna mod and by consequence I can touch the antenna for the binding. Probably a problem of GND somewhere….

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You can guess also a large voltage regulator (AMS1117) probably the 5V version. It means that motors probably receive at max +5V

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The two cam ports

Transmitter

The same radio + 4″3FPV monitor as for the CX-33S. You will need 4xAAA to feed the screen. Unfortunatly, this FPV monitor turns into black as soon as you lost your FPV connexion. The screen resultion should be a little bit better than a QVGA resolution but the brighntess/contrast have been largely improved versus the first edition of cheap 4″.3 FPV screens, Even without sunshade, you can see it (not yet perfectly).

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No shoulders buttons and to be more precise only one unique speed mode is available. The associates rates are not too fast, not too slow and by consequence as for the CX-33, the CX-32 is not a sporty flyer and not really Wind resistant from moderate breeze.
After pushing up the throttle to finish the binding, you have to push both stick in lower outter position to start motors. The motors spin at a nominal RPM. You just need to touch the throttle stick above 50% to take off. An easier option is to press the “take off” button and your CX-32S hover at 1m high. The stabilization is really efficient… for a cheap toy it’s impressive. The auto-landing button is practice less accurate coz the algorithm used to determine of the quad have landed or not is oscillating before convergence. In practice your CX-32 may bounce on the ground. My main concern is about the failsafe behaviour. You have to wait around 10s to see your CX-32S gently go down standalone. The same situation occurs when the quad reaches LVC. During 10s, especially if the conditions is windy, the CX-32S offers a potential flyaway

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Some minor OSD informations are displayed: monitor battery, video recording or photo shoot

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Inside the monitor, a half-plan 5.8G antenna directly soldered on the VRX

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With such antenna, vertical distances are more favorized and amplified also by the linear 5.8G transmitter antenna location. If you plan to practice more low ridng FPV, you can replace half-plan antenna by a linear/CL antenna and install the CX-32S antenna more vertically.

FIRST USAGE

As soon as you press the take-off button, your quad is stabilized at 1m high and the z-deviation is pretty low…. In presence of strong Wind, the stabilization can be a little bit altered. The system is really efficient and you can almost fly your quadcopter only with the right stick. It’s great for beginner to practice FPV, it’s almost impossible to crash strong. If you are in panic mode, just release all sticks and “voilà” :)… The FPV quality is good. I was not impressed by the FPV range in low altitude around 20-30 maximum. WIth more altitude, the video link is extended but the general sensitivity of far to be competitive versus a real 5.8G VRX. The field of view is limited as expected. As for 95% of toys-model, the first compagny who will offer a wide lens in M6 format will make fortune. The control range is good, out of the box at least 70-80m is measured. Good news, the radio protocol is almost fully impremented in deviationTX via the CX-10/blue-A protocol. Some butons need to be captured in the protocol for a full implementation. Flying duration thanks to the 450mAh LiPo exceed at least 6min. As said previously, when LVC is reached … the quad engage the auto-landing procedure.

CONCLUSIONS

Like the CX-33S, cheerson released a good FPV beginner plateform. The altitude hold feature is a big plus to “unstress” pilots of the throttle control. The FPV cam combo offers nice 720p footage but the FPV link is more efficient as soon as the CX-33S have a minimum of 15m of altitude. The field of view of a little too narrow to be really confident in FPV but all models suffer from the same syndroma. With a good radio link, bright LEDs, almost jellofree recording in complement of the altitude hold, the CX-32S is one the most competive 6.8G toy FPV plateform.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ Super stable flyer
+ Efficient altitude hold
+ Perfect FPV beginner plateform
+ Good 720p camera
+ Almost jellofree
+ Good control range out of the box (>60m)
+ Good flying duration
+ Good RTF package
+ Improved 4.3″ FPV monitor (in term of brighness)
+ Nice LEDs for night flight
+ Almost DeviationTX compatible (CX-10/blue-A)

CONS

– Blue/black screen for the 4″.3 FPV monitors
– 10g more heavier than the CX-33S with two motor less
– FPV screen sensitivity relatively por (~20-30m)
– No LCD settins/sunshade
– Narrow FOV and M6 lens mount
– One unique speed mode
– No flips
– More than 10s of potential flyway
– Slow descent rate
– No microSD card provided
– Motor durability ?
– Fragile props

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2564160

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Gearbest in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thanks them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 96USD at http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters/pp_268204.html

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