TEST: Eachine E40G, the cheap Hubsan H107D+ competitor

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INTRODUCTION

The race of miniquadcopter offering 5.8G FPV was initially started two years ago with the Hubsan H107. Many copies/clones came later and recently Hubsan with the H107D+ introduced a new revision introducing some altitude hold stabilization, a 720p cam with a wide angle. Eachine with the E40G tries to mimic the H107D+ at least in term of look. The massive argument for the E40 is its price…. 73 USD versus 120 for the Hubsan…. Let’s see is the quality is still here.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine E40 (with a 1S 520mAh LiPo with prioprietary connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x 4.3″ FPV monitor
+ 1 x FPV monitor mount
+ 1 x USB charging cable for the FPV monitor
+ 1 x USH charger for the E40 battery
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

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OVERVIEW

The inspiration with the H107D+ is obvious… with the same curved shapes, big light for example.

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Props are thinner but more longer (65mm)

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-Front view

Large prop guard are installed but can be unclipsed.

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-Side view

The left side welcomes the microSD slot. Unfortunatly no spare microSD card is offered in the bundle. No “click” for the microSD card inserstion. The card can be ejected during a hard crash.

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-Rear view

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With the battery removed

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-Upper view

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-Bottom view

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bottom part of the motor pod welcome a piece of foam for soft landing

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The 2.4G antenna white wire can be guess from the bottom side. A battery charger plug is also here as well as a tiny powerswitch

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-Weight

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Motors

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Classic 8.5mmx20mm coreless brushed motors

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LiPo

A 520mAh battery model largely inspired with the Hubsan H107D+ model…. only the frontend differ

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The proprietary connector with 3 pads. The central one is the +3.7V, the two other are the ground

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The battery bay with at background the corresponding battery connector

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User the USB charger either on the LiPo standalone or directly installed into the quad

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The Led turns to red when charging and stop to blink is job is done

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Camera module

The black 5.8G antenna is foiled to improve impedeance matching and by the way, the transmitted power. The RTC6705 chip do the Frequency modulation at the default E1=5705Mhz in NTSC format I suspect the maximum transmitted power is limited to 25mW. The thinner white antenna is the 2.4G one associated with the radio control. If this one is long enough to do the antenna mod (see below), IMHO the antenna wire is too long… and not perfectly tuned to a n/4*lambda distance, i.e. another source of short range.

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The camera sensor is connected with a ribbon cable. Just pull on the latteral tabs to release the lens sensor.

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The 5.8G linear antenna is directly soldered

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FPV monitor

The 4.3″ FPV is a basic model with a builtin 1S LiPo. No external 5.8G FPV antenna but a builtin halfplan model. The FPV screen resolution is QVGA so far to be able to display the native resolution of the NTSC camera (720×480)

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No settings can be ajusted… luckely, the brightness is strong enough to be visible in daylights. Of course a sunshade would have been a big positive point.

Bad news, as soon as the FPV signal is lost, unfortunatly a blue screen emerge…. so clearly the FPV screen firmware is not FPV friendly.

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Disassembling

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Unfortunatly, I broke the microSD slot during the disassembling so I was not able to grab a lot of 720p recordings. When you remove the four screws locking the camera board, you can access to the FC board beneath.

The main PCB welcoming theLT5910 a 2-in-1 MCU 32 arm core + /2.4G receiver.

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Transmitter

A gamepad style radio with de-axed control stick; quiet original…. not sure it’s a big positive point.

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The top left shoulder button is associated with the camera. press briefly on it to take photos, long press to turn on/off the camera recording. You cann see on the screen the corresponding logo turning to yellow. The top right button is the flips one. To the left side o the big power button, you can find the headless mode button (homelock) and on the right the “one key return”. Finally, on the four buttons found on the cross section, only the two vertical are useful. The upper one turns on/off the lights while the lower one selects one of the three speed modes. To calibrate gyros, you have push both stick in lower-left position.

A small originality, the FPV camera mount welcomes also the battery cover door.

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From the TX side, a LT8910 is installed. No PA + LNA stage installed …. limitting the emitted power to +6dBm according to the LT8910 datasheet…. so far from the +13dBm maximum allowed in the 2.4G ISM band. Just by the absence of the PA+LNA stage, we can expect a poor control range….. what’s a pity Eachine….. Unfortunatly, the LT8910 is not supported by deviationTX. There is a small hope that the CC2500 can emulate it (the only one which can achieve such lower rate)

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FIRST USAGE

If I am clearly impressed by the quality of the FPV/720p part for this 70bucks with absoluptly the total absence of jello, perfectly fluid recording without any frame rate drop, the major disapointement comes from the control range…. Beyond, 20-25m, you can meet first drop out!!! Come’on Eachine !!!! a FPV machine with a control range of 20-25m is a non-sense !!!!. Anyway, the three speed mode rates are well tuned IMHO no too slow or too fast yaw at least. I noticed anyway, after a fast forward movement, some little instabilities sometimes in the autolevelling after a hard turn time to time. You have definitively to apply precize controls and with this radio is not really obvious. A small deadband is here in the control stick commands. For the FPV link, the situation is a little better, you can expect out of the box a good FPV link with a distance of 30-40m maximum.

Antenna mods

Unfortunatly, the antenna mod is a must to do to save this model…. especially the control range one.

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Installed front by drilling a small hole through the canopy, the 2.4G antenna. The wire is long enough

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I installed also the 5.8G antenne vertically.

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With this modification, situation is largely improved …. no more drop out at least in a range of 35-40m !!!! and you can even fly safely in radiius of 50m It’s not a huge improvement, I know but it’s better than nothing. The E40G is a pleasant machine to fly in an big open space. The throttle behaviour acts sometime like if a altitude hold is partially here, surprizing, In expert mode, this E40G is relatively fast. Really I am impressed by the stability in videos of this machine.

CONCLUSIONS

It’s really a frustrating situation with this E40G. Clearly, on the FPV part, Eachine have some good points not bad at all: a good 720p camera offering superb stable videos while broadcasting the FPV video without any frame rate drop. That’s definitively a good point associated with a 120deg FOV lens. Anyway, the control range and partially the FPV range are so limited out of the box with a poor 25-30m, it’s not acceptable for a FPV machine especially outdoors with a high probability to loose it in some grass after a drop out. Come one Eachine, release a machine with i) a 100-150m control range, 2) a 100mW 5.8G VTX and 3) ajustable lens orientation and you will have a “hot cake” best seller. Paradoxally, the H107D+ got a poor FPV range with frame rate drop but a good 2.4G, the E40G a good FPV ring but a poor control range. They should be combined to have almost the perfect 5.8G FPV RTF micro.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ Stable machine
+ 3 well tuned speed mode
+ Superb 720p recording
+ 120 deg of FOV
+ Jellofree videos
+ No frame rate drop when recording turned on
+ Bright LEDs
+ 6-7min of flight duration
+ Light radio+FPV monitor combo

CONS

– Blue screen for the FPV monitor
Poor short control range (< 30m)
– YaP (Yet another Protocol)
– Proprietary battery
– Props can pop off easily
– Unicolor props
– No microSD card

RCgroups review: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=34968416&postcount=39

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 73USD at http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-E40G-5_8G-FPV-With-720P-Wide-Angle-HD-Camera-2_4G-4CH-6Axis-RC-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1051223.html

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