TEST: Eachine E511S

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INTRODUCTION

The Eachine E511S is a new advanced WiFI Toysquadcopter with brushed motors but with GPS & barometer flight assistance. The Eachine E511S is proposed in a basic 720p+2.4G WiFi link, an intermediate (1080p+2.4G) and an advanced (1080p+5G). I will focus on the 1080p@2.4G version. It’s a foldable machine easy to transport inspired by last DJI designs with a builtin 1080p@25fps/5mpx Cmos sensor. More the tilt orientation can be controled via a 1-axis micro servo controller via the radiotransmitter. Associated with the GPS presence, the iOS/android application offers: RTH, orbit mode, path planning and GPS-follow-me functions. In term of price segment…. the E511S turns around 100USD…. so a bit expensive for a brushed Toyquadcopter but twice cheaper the than Hubsan H510S for example. Let’s discover this product.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine E511S
+ 2 x 1200mAh 2S LiPo (proprietary battery)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 2 x Spare props (1 CW, 1 CCW)
+ 4 X Prop guard
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

The instruction manual is badly translated and the results of many upgrades versus earlier Eachine products. For example, the transmitter button list is not fully exact.

OVERVIEW

The machine folded occupies a 15cmx10cm rectangle and unfolded the E511S is close to be a 350mm machine. In term of structure, it’s a 100% plastic one.

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The general quality of the plastic is good with two types of plastic for the canopya and for the arms.

-FRONT VIEW
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Two white front LEDs are here to help you to keep orientation in LOS conditions

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-SIDE VIEW
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-REAR VIEW

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The battery compartement. No difficulty to insert or to extract the battery. It’s a good point.

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On the top rear location, the barometer sensor is installed.

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-UPPER VIEW

The E511S show a column of 5 LED lights. They are flashing until the GPS system fixes at least 7 satellites. As soon as it’s done, lights become solid.

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A unique power button. Hold 3s to turn on/off the machine.

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-BOTTOM VIEW
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A little bit hidden, the microSD slot to welcome a card up to 32Gb.

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For the 1080p only model, we can find the 2.4G antenna of the WiFi builtin module.

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-WEIGHT
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290g without propguards…. so exceeding the 250g limit….

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Motors and props

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1020 brushed motors…. They are associated with a gear/pinion of course to increase the lift capacity. In the other hand, the stress on motors is increased. And the main open questions will be the durability of these motors and the availability of spare. Don’t expect more than 30 flights without problem and be sure before each take off/crash to inspect manually the free rotation of each props.

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LiPo

The E511S is proposed either with a 1, 2 or three batteries in the bundle. They are basic 1200mAh 2S LiPo with the 2S balancer plug available

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The USB charger shows a red light for USB connexion, a flashing green light for charging and a solid green light when it’s charged.

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Full charging takes about 2h…. it’s long. I strongly advise to make a DIY charging cable to be plugged on your favorite professional charger.

Camera module

Since close to one year, most of toysquadcopter come with a wider Field of View more compatible with video filming application. Here we have a 120 degrees model. The lens is by default oriented to -45degrees after eaching booting. You can set the orientation from 0 degrees down to -90 degrees.

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The camera record in 1080p format with a datarate about 5mbit/s… Far from 50Mbits+ for advanced and more professional video plateform. Only 25fps in term of frame rate….. but at least the recording seems to not loose too much frames over time.

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A raw sample recorded on the microSD card

Notice the presence of vibration and props occlution when the gimbal is set to horizontal. The color rendition is better than we can find usually for toyquadcopter…. the light sensitivity also….. but we are still (very) far from even a Xiaomi Mi A3 in term of video quality.

Disassembling

To open the machine will have to unclip first two parts: the very top canopy structure surrounding the power button and the two latteral silver plastic tabs. After, you will be able to access to all screws to be removed.

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On front, the camera is held by a servo block motor. 4 screws attach the system and the camera is plugged to the main WiFi module via the orange rubbon cable to be detached as well.

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The GPS chip on front, the barometer rear. The shielding for the GPS module is here.

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Transmitter

The same Eachine radio chassis we can find with their last product. 4 shoulder buttons and 6 front ones. To take off with the radio transmitter you need first i) to receive at least 7 satellites, to ii) calibrate the compass (press the left arrow button to start the calibration procedure) then iii) press both sticks in bottom outter direction to start the engine.

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To start a video, you can press the top right shoulder button. To take a photo the rear right shoulder one. Notice, if you inserted a microSD card, the recording will be done on it. If not, the recording will be the received video flux on your smartphone.

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Ni-Mh 4xAAA batteries are working but they need to be very well charged to be able to turn on the radio

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Without problem you can use a 6″ smartphone…. with a bit of extra force, I was able to use a 6.26″ model…. but for larger model no more room available.

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UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND TESTING

As said in the introduction, I received the 1080p version but also including a 2.4G WiFi Link…. so no problem for android connexion (can be a problem for the 5.8G version and android europeens users). No password required. Notice with the last software android version, now the 1080p preview and metric unity are here. Before each take off, it’s strongly advice to perform a compass calibration to be sure to have best GPS holding results. You can run the procedure either with the left arrow button on the RC or via the option in the app setting menu. First rotate three times clock wise the machine horizontally until the transmitter emits a beep & the app shows to change to the Y axis then install the machine noze down and rotate one more time clock wise three turns until a second beep.

The application is largely inspired by the X-hubsan application…. and I feel it’s the same team who developped the software. For example all flight mode selection is the same, the way-path planner uses the same principles, etc… It’s a good thing I think since the Hubsan app is a good one…. Except that the E511S is not fully polished IMHO. For example, the google map is not automatically centered on the drone location for example. The Orbit flight point of interest selection was not clear also.
To fly the E511S only with your smartphone, you will need 1) to let appear the virtual sticks, 2) to press and hold 3s the lock button, click yes to confirm the take off and then 3) press the auto-take off button.

The machine can fly only in GPS stabilization mode and I can say it’s stable !!!! rock steady… not bad for a toyquadcopter.
The machine offers 3 speed modes via the radio and only 2 if you plan to fly the machine only with your smartphone. The video feedback is not bad at all… precise…. and I was also positively surprized to see a good link up to 100m. In winter time with a low sun, don’t expect miracle with the camera sensor…. but resuts are acceptable. Of course no EIS and this machine is in practice usefull only in windfree conditions. The RTH is very precise in practice a good point. The way point definition super easy thanks to the draw options. I don’t why, the machine waits a couple of second in each waypoint even if set to 0 in settings. Now it’s time to more negative points…. the first one is about the battery duration… we are far from the 13-16min advertized…. more about 10min… and notice the huge voltage drop under load…. sign of poor default batteries. Another problem I had …. the servo motor of the gimbal stopped to worked after 4-5 flights ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ I never tried to force on the mechanism….. so a weak point of this machine main certainely. Concerning the follow-me GPS based, I also noticed than the machine was not perfectly on-axis with the holder of the smarphone. Maybe a biased link wih the GPS fix option available in the parameters. In general such king of follow-me obtains results far to be perfect….. slow/delay in reaction and of course time to time unfocusing the target.

Look attentively to the vibrations transmitted at arm’s extremity….. the main source of jello in the video….

CONCLUSIONS

I have a strange feeling with this machine. In one hand, I found this machine easy to fly, with godo advanced features usually no present in toyquadcopter segment. Camera results are better than usual…. it’s 1080p… color are correct, frame rate still a bit slow but without frame lost at least. The radio and FPV range are ok… the application user friendly…… but in another had… it’s about 100USD ….. and with almost this price you can find a MJX bugs with a 1080P camera as well but with brushless motors….
Functionalities are the same more or less. At least the E511S is foldable. If I go further, for 200 bucks we have the FIMI A3…. so the real question to ask if you plan to purchase the E511S: do you want a first machine to shoot basic but working 1080p videos to enter into the drone’s world…. or if you want wait a bit more to afford for example the FIMI A3. That’s the question.

PROS

+ Cheap GPS quadcopter
+ Very stable GPS hold
+ 1080p camera @25fps
+ 120 degrees FOV
+ Good radio and FPV range (at least 100m)
+ 1080p version includes a 2.4G WiFI
+ 1-axis contralable gimbal (only via the remote)
+ Better color and light rendition than previous generation CMOS sensor (but still far from average 1080p results)
+ Foldable
+ Good quality build

CONS

– Jellos linked with vibrating arms
– Fragile 1-axis gimbal servo motor
– 8-9 min of flight time
– Voltage drop under load
– Can’t install 6.2″>+ smartphone
– Android software not yet mature: not saving all parameters, not center map on the quad’s position, etc…
– No selfie drones specialized flight modes

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 112USD at https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-E511S-GPS-Dynamic-Follow-WIFI-FPV-With-1080P-Camera-16mins-Flight-Time-RC-Drone-Quadcopter-p-1373965.html

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