TEST: Eachine Blade 185

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INTRODUCTION

After the ESC fiasco of the Eachine Assassin 180, Eachine decided to release relatively fast a new compact racer. Here with the Eachine Blade 185 (EB185), all the design have been changed. The only common thing is the presence of a GPS module to feed with extra informations the OSD. A lot of pressure over the Eachine’s shoulders …. Let’s have a look.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine Blade 195 (with a 3S 1300mAh LiPo with XT60 connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Charger
+ 4 x 4040 Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

With the original packaging

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You cut the foam in order to install the quad with the props and cloverleaf antenna installed

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OVERVIEW

The EB185 is a little bit similar but in a shrinked version of the Redcon Phoenix 210: a read 3Dprinted latteral ring. The EB185 is effectively a 185mm quadcopter size mainly 3K carbon based but not only as we will see.

-Front view

The general shape is a modified H format where rear arms have 120 degrees angle versus the main axis. Covering the FPV cam more or less correctly a plastic front, not strong enough to absorbe a major frontal shock.

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I noticed, this front don’t protect really the lens from dust and vegetation. You will need regulary to clean it.

with the front white LEDs turned on

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Good news, they are less strong than the Assassin 180.. no more risk to become Stevie Wonder.

-Side view

The battery strap is pre-installed but in practice, when the LiPo is inserted, you don’t have a lot of freeroom to correctly tight the velcro due the presence of the upper plate. You have to insert the band in diagonal then start to tight it more or less efficiently. It’s tricky. Be aware, if not correctly blocked, the battery slides on the 3K bottom plate… and can be damaged by props.

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Initially, the GPS is installed over a dedicaced plate and the Flysky 2.4G receiver below

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-Rear view

Two cables are installed in the rear part. The left one is the PPM one connecting the flysky receiver to the FC. The right one is the GPS one.

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Be aware also in practice, props can hurt them if not correctly bent.

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RP-SMA connector for the VTX

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When the antenna is installed, the extremity is longer than rear arms ones. Conclusion, in case of vertical falls, the antenna connector will be first in contact with the ground and will be broken.

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-Upper view

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The upper plate is 3K CF based with a thickness of 1.6mm

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-Bottom view

The lower plate is not in carbon but glass based because it’s welcoming the electronics. conpounds on the other side. The plate, 1.6mm of thickness represents the weakest part of the structure. Especially in case of frontal crash with an arms, I am afraid some cracks will broke connexions especially between ESC and the FC…

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The rear LEDs can be programmed via Cleanfight

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Out of the box, the right turn is not working, only the left one

The OSD connexion is done via this serial port

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-Weight

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1.6mm too for the lower plate

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A little bit less than 380g AWG…

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Arms

As said previously the lower part of the part is glass based while the upper 3K carbon based. As you can see through holes of the arm structure, the ESC SMD conpounds as well as the MOSFET.

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For each rear arm, 3 individual LEDs can be programmed through cleanflight configurator.

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Motors

1806 motors announced to be 2300KV

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The thread is M5. For the first batch if EB185, provided props have a too thin hub diameter versus the shaft diameter. You can use a screwdriver to enlarge the situation but BG sent immediatly some fully working model.

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LiPo

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2.4G receiver

A Flysky module, a FS-i6 to be more precise in PPM output mode.

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In practice, it’s possible to install the receiver inside front. You will need to free a bit the antenna but cutting the edge of the heatshrink tube

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According to http://www.deviationtx.com/forum/protocol-development/5251-flysky-afhds-2a-protocol-as-used-i10-i6-it4?start=120

It would be possible to fly the AFHDS-2A protocol with DeviationTX as soon as yhe compatible radio have been modded with a A7105F RFchip. More by flashing a new RX firmware, it should be possible to read the RSSI by telemetry.

After modification

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The GPS Module is better protected by the latteral standoff and the front clean camera mount too.

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Clean Camera mount

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Camera module

A compact CMOS 520TVL camera with a FOV of 120degrees. IMHO it’s a right angle for outdoors FPV racing

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On the rear side, a tiny button to turn the camera into NTSC mode. By default is set to PAL.

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If you plan to turn it into NTSC, you will need to update the OSD options via the MWOSD GUI configurator.

OSD

After installing the last CP21x drivers, after plugging the USB, the EB185 will emit anoying beeps. To run the MWOSD 1.5 GUI configurator (http://www.mwosd.com/) you will need a recent JRE installed on your machine.

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If needed, just turn the NTSC option and write to the OSD.

Video transmitter

The DIP switches can be reached from outside the canopy via a thin screwdriver

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Good news, the race band is here

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Good news, the promised 600mW output power are here. For example for the E4=5645MHz Vfreq

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Disassembling

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The barometer & compass installed on a piece of foam but no other piece of foam covering them. In a future mod, it will be important to cover it to decrease interférences and increase compass/baro measurements. Good news, you have a buzzer (but you already know it if you tried to connect it in CF)

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Here two groups of DIPswitches. The first 2 position one select either a PPM or a SBUS receiver. The second 6p is associated with the VTX.
The first 3 position selects the Vfreq while the 3 last ones selects the Frequency band, 5 in total (race band supported). The Video Transmitter is assumed to be a 600mW model protected by the metallic casing. The OSD, mwosd compatible is articulated around a atmega 328p and the max7476 video chip.

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Voltage regulator delivering +5V is installed front. I noticed some video glitches/interférences with the FPV camera. Is the BEC section correctly doing its job ?

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ESC are announced to be 12A (with a peak of 15A) strong enough for 3S but not for 4S (it can work but you will cook them very fast). Even for a 3S system, 1ZA is the minimum acceptable value IMHO. If one ESC die, you will have to change all the lowerplate (around 60 USD …)

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Unfortunatly a very old BLheli firmware is installed and you will need BLheli flasher sticker like: http://www.banggood.com/Blheli-Hobbywing-Skywalker-USB-Constant-Speed-ESC-Programmer-p-937868.html to flash a more recent one. After, no more need of the sticker. Any new F/W update can be done directly by the BLheli suite.

Transmitter

A classic Flysky i6 model rebranded and locked by Eachine. 3 x 2-way swiches, 1 x 3 way one and two pots are installed on top. The AFHDS-2A protocol is a solid protocol offering around 500m of control range, largely enough for a racer.

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In practice, you can’t enter directly to the setup. Or it’s very important to be able to enter and modify some parameters. The first bad surprize concerns the default failsafe behaviour. [B]Out of the box, no throttle fail safe is programmed and if you loose the connexion, the quad will continue to fly!!!!![/B]. You need absoluptly to set the failsafe. To enter into the setup: press inner horizontal trims (yaw right & roll left) while turning on the radio. Go the config page and change the failsafe behaviour to the CH3 (throttle) by applying a -100 value.
Another drawback concerns the choice of the right pot (VrB) to select the flight mode: turn on the left to be in acron to the right for the stabilized mode (you can hear a beep between the transition) Very strange in the sens you have an unused 3-way switch avaible just on the right. On more time, in setting, I advise to change the aux1 to the SwC instead of the VrB. Finally, I also advise to use the switch D to trhottle hold and Switch B to activate the buzzer (it’s very important if you loose your quad into high grass).

Cleanfight settings

With last version of Cleanflight 1.1.13RC, with multiwii (rewrite) controller. For the GPS configuration, be sure to select the Ublox protocol, to turn on GPS in the list of feature and and enable GPS in the port section. An initial looptime over 3500 seems required (even if it can decreased later)

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Notice if you install Betaflight currently the GPS is not working. OSD won’t display all informations especially local coordinates.

FIRST USAGE

First attempt with Betaflight… PIDs settings are not yet perfectly adapted. As said previously, the GPS informations are lost

Even with the extra 50g of the runcamHD2, the EB185 keep a lot of power. The EB185 is fast !!!!

Notice some interférences with the HDcam installed not/less visible without….

With the quoted PIDs settings, the machine flies superbly, very precise in control.. In acro flips are so so fast… Notice the woobles in the runcam HD2 part. Bad PIds ? I don’t think so in the sens that the FPV part is super smooth without any vibrations. With the 1300mAh LiPo and the HDcam attached, you can expect 6min of flight duration.

CONCLUSIONS

If you are looking for a good RTF racer, the EB185 is for you only and only if can adjust/set important parameters in both cleanflight configurator and on the radio. The more important, I would say, the hardware base is pretty good and equilibrated. That’s the most important. A strong VTX, strong motor, solid structure, good FPV cam, OSD and last generation of FC board Only the factory settings are far to be optimized and requires 30-45min of tuning out of the box. Some small détails could be improved in the design like the position of the antenna connector, the non-support of 4S battery and the main open question is the robusness of the lower glass plate versus the strong carbon upper one.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ Naze32 Rev32 board
+ Relatively strong frame
+ Good FPV cam with ajustable orientation
+ FlySky i6A
+ OSD
+ Buzzer
+ GPS
+ Programmable LED strip

CONS

– No Oneshot125 support out of the box
– 4-in-1 ESC/FC board
– No4S support
– 4045 Props can’t be inserted (problem now solved by BG)
– Battery hard to strap potentially be damaged by props
– OSD not directly compatible with the NTSC camera mode (need to be ajusted via MWOSD 1.5)
– No default FS set (flyaway)
– VTX connector not fully protected for a rear crash
– Some inteferences in the FPV video

ECgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2673646

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Banggood in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 230USD at http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Blade-185-FPV-Racing-Drone-with-Mini-NZ-GPS-OSD-5_8G-40CH-HD-Camera-RTF-p-1052503.html

26 Comments

  • Onclefly says:

    Salut Seb, super ta review, dommage que sortie de la boite il y est t’en de boulot dessus pour qu’il vole correctement. Cela plus super fragile, cela fait 0. 🙁

  • Hello Sebastien,
    I absolutly love your post ! Thanks a lot for sharing this ! I share your opinions about the cons. I already broke 2 jst in the propeller as they are really close… Moreover I brake SMA connector at the rear… My idea was to change place of the mushroom antenna. maybe at the top. Do you think it’s possible ? Is there any connector on the board to do so ?
    I am a bit disapointed as I was thinking this fpv is 4S friendly. Appart from the fact that the 4S battery are too large to be fixe in the frame, my drone fly with it. I had to admit that the fly is not stable but I was thinking that it was because I mount the battery at the top… When you say ESC are not strong enought for 4S, do you mean that it’s possible but the flight is not optimum or do you mean that it’s going to be risky for the quad ?
    Again thanks !

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Thanks for your nice words

      1) Unfortunatly AFAIK the antenna is directly soldered on the VTX (in fact, connexion are directly integrated into the lower plate)
      2) I meant, the ESC will die if powered in 4S…

  • Quad quality is really not good ! first crash = 1 antenna (the welding and placement is inapropriate). Second crash = the M2 servo motor !!!Result is after 4 battery cycle, I have to buy new board as servos are part of the shield and because it’s a black box (there is no info about where are thoose part on the internet).
    Moreover, This is the second time I write a comment on Banggood. First comment was simply not publish ! Worst, comment is now completly delete from the site. The second one is still processing… This is crazy !! However, there was a perfect descriptive comment with funded arguments and I am a regular loyal customer…

    • SeByDocKy says:

      You burnt an ESC ? or kill a motor ? … Yes the full integrated 3-in-1 board … is not a good choice. How happens your second crash ? In 3S ?

  • Hello Sebastien,
    Thanks to offer me a bit of space for complaining 😉
    I broke the board controller. the M2 motor is not working anymore. Fortunalty, banggood sell the board but it 60 €…
    It happen with 3S battery. I was with original firmware in stabilized mode and I wanted to test to stop the engine to see the quad behavior… and I saw a crash… Carefull then, if you cut power, I don’t know why, but the quad stop definitively. At least until you put it on a decent take off area…

  • Just wanted to add that the board look like clean, no scratch, no bump… And it’s really complicated for a newbie in electronics to find the breakdown… Anyway, do you think it’s possible to change only one servo on this board ?
    Thanks

    • SeByDocKy says:

      One servo = One ESC you meant ? … … No I don’t think it’s easy to fix/Repair an ESC …. with such king od board. Did you try to test this motor with Cleafight ?

      • Hello Seb,
        Thanks for your answer.
        Yes I used cleanflight and a brand new motor for test…
        Actually, yes I mean ESC but you are right, it can be everywhere on this board…
        I already buy new one…

  • mick bates says:

    i plug mine into cleanflight i get constant beeping any ideas unchechecked buzzer etc

  • Cédric says:

    Salut,
    Merci pour ce test. Je viens d’en commander un, avec la reduc bangood je trouvais ça plutot intéressant : ).
    J’espère que je galererai pas trop, c mon premier racer dans ce genre là… Et apparemment pas ready to fly !
    C’est quoi le mieux, le forum rcgroup, pour apprendre a configurer ?
    Bonne journee

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Yes to be member of RCgroups is a must to do …. a lot of informations there. For the EV185, be aware of the FPV connector … can break easily during a rear crash. Apply PID settings and play also on the TPA to reduce the oscillation at full throttle

  • Cedric says:

    Thanks, I’ll join rcgroups : ).
    Another question, if you don’t mind. I’m stilli waiting for this quad, and also bought a tiny qx90 with flysky receiver, as the eb185 comes with a i6 rx. I’ve read the rx is blocked ? Do you know if I will nevertheless be able to bind it with the qx90 ?
    After this I promise I stop my questions : )
    Thanks!!!

  • Stanley Yong says:

    Hi ,

    I recently crashed my blade 185, initially M3 stutter (there’s smell and the motor get real hot) and now it will not run at all. is this the motor problem or ESC ?

  • Matt Simmons says:

    I think I have locked up the flight controller. (Bricked) as people call it. I need to short the boot loader out in order to get it to link back up with clean flight, do you know where the boot pins are located???

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Hard … Not precisely but IMHO it shoud be written in the board…. In the worst worst case, you can always short with GND and the corresponding pad of the ARM core but it’s tricky to access….

  • Mukhdi says:

    Where is the boot pins … I want to upgrade f/w
    My 4th motor is not running can somebody tell me why

  • Nick says:

    Hi,
    For the life of me I struggle with the different connectors, particularly JST. I bought the EB185 ARF version and bought 3 various TXs but I don’t have the right cable to connect to the EB185. What is the connector (link to shop if at all possible) for the VTX on the quadcopter?

    Regards

    Nick

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