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 🙁 🙁 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

13 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Too much Jello. To shaky. Don’t know why they keep making quads with such bad characteristics.

  • sam says:

    Excellent Review. How hard is it to change the engine ? One of the engine on my drone no longer spinning. Checked the motor and it doesn’t seem moving freely.

    • SeByDocKy says:

      I guess you will need to inspect the meshing between the motor’s pinion and the the main gear. In practice you will have to disassemble/open the machine. As written the review, you will need first to unclip the very top plastic cover surrouding the power button and unclips the two silver latteral front covers. All screws will be free to open the machine. Then you will need to open the arms with the corresponding screws….

  • Michael Grau says:

    Hello.
    Yesterday i haved received the new eachine e511 s.

    The first look was great, but now some troubles.

    I have some trouble with the possibility to move the camera up and down- it does´nt work, by pressing the up or down button on the left side on the controller -no reaction

    I’m not able to starts the drone on thenormal way
    I must take the 2 controller sticks at must They move in all directions Suddenly the drone starts.
    Very strange🤔

    Also it seems that the description about the funktions for the controller are not right. Some funktions are not the same like in the manual

    In the set up menu from the app, i can set the possybility „ starting without recieved GPS signal“ , i have try it yesterday 3 hours in my living room, but the drone will not start, in the app display was written:“ callibration lock“

    Because this problems I am waiting now since thursday of an answer from EAchine

    • SeByDocKy says:

      1) Yes as I mentioned in the review, the servo motor of the gimbal breaks super fast 🙁 I don’t know why… maybe too weak 🙁

      2) To take off with the smartphone, you have first to enable the virtual sticks, be sure to have enough satellites then press the take-off/landing button on the appz interface.

      3) Try 2) for indoors take-off

  • Alfredo Crolle says:

    I got the same problems, I just received my E511s and I am testing it.
    1)The camera gimbal worked a few times, then it got silent ….
    I will try understand the issue, as soon I will open the drone.
    since everybody complains about this, I think that the problem will be very simple to be identified. Since the controller is the same for other drone types, I do not paradoxally exclude that it could be a sw/controller issue.
    2)The gps / altitude mode button on the controller is the video start/stop button, I guess that gps mode starts automatically when gps signal is good, I succeded in taking off indoor by unlocking on the controller and then playing with the throttle stick, with no gps.
    3)Lock/unlock in the app does not work.
    4)You must first connect the controller and then the wifi, otherwise the controller does not connect to the drone
    5)Gallery tips for album handling are in chine language 🙂
    6)Google maps do not always load , in spite of saving them in the phone, it might depend also by the android and phone version.
    7)gps: I did not yet test it completely, I succeded in having “good” signal from the drone after half an hour and only for a few minutes on my balcony not totally sky free, phone was connected after 10 seconds …. it depends by the kind of chip there is inside the drone, my old Nokia 5800 phone was also very slow in finding gps, in spite of the good quality of its navigating features (nokia maps).

    Hope to share these notes among E511s users !!!

    Alfredo

  • Alfredo Crolle says:

    Addendum:
    I tested the gps in an open space today, connection was quite fast, less then a minute, not bad.
    I succeded also in unlocking by the phone just only once, i tried several times, so I confirm there is something wrong in the phone unlocking, as there is something wrong in the setting use/save (may be save setting does not exist at all :-), and some settings do not work).
    Important:
    1)>>DO NOT RELY THE APP<< if You do not see the battery level, it means connection is not complete and telemetry is fake.
    2)App Eachine Gps does quite same ops than Lw-Fpw, last update is very recent (a few days). it show camera up and down in place of lock/unlock.
    It show same behaviour than lw-fpv.
    I could not try the gimbal with the Eachine-Gps app, because the gimbal is "gone" like quite all E511s customers report, SIGH …!!!
    3)Priorities in connecting remote controller and phone are a big mistery, I suggest to swithc off everything when swapping between phone and remote controller.
    4)Some reviewer report compass calibration not working from the phone, I think it works with app Eachine-gps, but connection wifi-phone-drone must be ok, see point 1 in this comment.
    5)Acustic signals are a mess and they are not documented.
    At startup, calibration and gps sounds mix each other, while performing calibration.
    6)I did not yet understand how it works Surround function of the remote controller, it seems to have nothing to do with the app surround mode.

    And now the good news …:
    … this machine has a very nice gps hovering, it is very stable also against wind.

    Hope these notes help E511s users,
    Alfredo

  • smog says:

    Few words about camera gimbal servo. Mine is gone after 1 use (like many others).
    I disassembled the drone just to discover what’s happened on gimbal servo.

    And… The servo main pinion was melted… And the servo motor was so hot it melted even the servo box. I suppose the whole rotating gimbal is a bit locked in a tight area and doesn’t allow the servo to be set in the correct position… I think the servo motor will continue to push to reach the correct position… without success… and the servo motor becomes hot and melt the main (plastic) pinion…

    Just ordered a new 2grams submicro servo… I will try to replace it… in a more efficient way…

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Incredible …. very poor original design …. Crap…

    • Alfredo Crolle says:

      HI Smog,
      I disassembled too the drone, found melted servo.
      I suspect more a min max range not handled bug, than one electric overload.
      It might be that the servo control does not stop when You reach end positions …
      (It is just a feeling – I m a sw electronics real time engineer).
      >>WHERE DID YOU GET THE REPLECEMENT PART<<? I would like to post a photo of my melted one, but I do not know how it is possible here in the comments part.
      Please share/write the link here, so I can order a new servo toofor my E511s.
      Thanks in advance,
      Alfredo

      • smog says:

        Hi Alfredo,

        I ordered this one:

        https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hk-282a-single-screw-ultra-micro-servo-2g-0-2kg-0-08sec.html

        It seems similar to the original one…. don’t know. They have the same weight (2.4grams) and the same micro servo connector….

        I’ll let you know…

        I’m going to throw away the whole gimbal mechanism, glue the servo in a convenient position near the front hole, and glue the camera on top of the servo arm: free to move without al the plastic support/shield.

        I ordered also a bigger 3.7grams. With 2 different servos i hope i may have more chances 🙂
        [https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbyking-s0361-3-6g-45kg-12sec-micro-servo.html]

        Throwing away the actual gimbal mechanism, i think that a common 5g or a 9g servo will be put in place without problems…

        I made some other tests about the servo… I cut servo wires, passed the wires throug the little holes you may find on the drone belly. With this servo wires outside the drone I connected a common 9 grams servo that worked perfectly… This test showed me that the main board is still working correctly.

        Bye. Smog

        • Alfredo Crolle says:

          I just disconnected the external white cam/rod and put everthing back in place.
          In such a way I can move by hands the camera that seems to behave not bad, in spite of the “free” rotation state.
          I do not know if there is still any kind of active short circuit somewhere, but everything works, so the melted motor should not hurt….
          I noticed that the front bottom part of the drone under the camera board gets very hot after a few minutes, at least during indoor testing, , and this could be a reason for the melt ….or not .. Who knows ..!.

          Thanks for the links.

          Ciao,
          Alfredo

          • SeByDocKy says:

            I guess it’s the main camera chip encoding 1080p videos which is producing this amount of heat …

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