TEST: Eachine Lizard 105S

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INTRODUCTION

The Eachine Lizard 105S is the successor of the top seller Lizard 95. So a lot of pressure over the Eachine’s shoulders to propose an even better machine. First, they upgrade most of the electronic elements. Now we have a F4 board running @8Khz and of course with a builtin OSD. The ESC are rated 28A !!!! Just impressive and by consequence, the 105S runs in 4S directly out of the box. Motors are 1104 but spinning only @6000Kv to be 4S compatible. One of the main novelty is the camera-VTX rig. Not only the signal is broadcasted classicaly among one of the 48CH either @25mW or 200mW but !!!! cherry on the cake, the clean inboard video signal is also directly recorded in 720p@60fps without extra latency. It’s a kind of 720p version of the runcam split mini… All these ingredients look terribly interesting. Let’s check if in practice… no bad surprizes are not around the corner.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine Lizard 105S
+ 1 x 550mAh 4S LiPo with XT30 connector
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 4 x Prop guards
+ 8 x M2x7mm hexscrews
+ 2 x Zip-ties
+ 1 x Velcro band
+ 1 x Damping band
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Allen key
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

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OVERVIEW

Here is the complete technical caracteristics

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The machine is a 103mm … so slightly larger than the former 95

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The most surprizing point is the complexity of the frame structure. The main lower structure is not a unique carbon element. In fact it’s a mixture between aluminium brackets and carbon arm/bar elements. The idea is to reinforce by two latteral bars the durability of arms to crack. More these latter offer their main section vertically. Motors themselves, are attaches to these arms with two aluminimum elements. The assembling/disassembling of this frame is long. The only advantage is the extra durability….. but comparatively is at least 10g more heavier vs other 110mm frames.

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Thickness of the main arms

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and for the latteral bar

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The latteral vertical plates are also 1.5mm carbon based.

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-FRONT VIEW

The 105S offers a central main hub section where the camera is fully protected to any frontal shocks

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What a pity, there is no frontal white light for LOS/night flights.

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As you can see, the battery plays the role of podium…. be aware in case of hard landing to not damage it.

-SIDE VIEW

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The left side shows the main rubbon cable linking the flight controller to the external dampned MPU (6800 based). This ribbon cable is fragile. Notice also, for the best 2.4G antenneas positionning, you can use the two zip-ties provided to install them more solidely vertically a bit more further of the 5.8G antenna.

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More just above this ribbon cable, upside down, you can guess the microSD card slot… It’s tricky to insert it but it’s possible with fingers. Be sure to insert it gently by not domaging the ribbon cable nearby. No click feedback for the insertion. For the extraction, you need a twizzer, it’s not possible even with your nails.

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The right side presents the microUSB port. No specific board alignment is required in betaflight configuration. More the third board from bottom is the DVR one. A unique button is here to start/stop 720p recordings. Notice, when you will power the machine, the recording will be automatically turned on. Don’t forget to stop recording. When recording, the blue light will blink and stay solid when no recording.

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If you press and hold this button while plugging the battery, you can change the system either in NTSC (default) or PAL format.

-REAR VIEWnull

Out of the box, you will need to fix the small bar with two LED lights and the buzzer on the rear tail just below the prop. This bar has a simple double side tape… The installation versus time will fail and you will need a better fixing solution… with glue for example. At least the two lights can be programmed via betaflight, but out of the box there are well configured: indicating throttle inputs and turning directions.

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You can also cleary see that the IMU modul is softmounted to absorbe vibrations.

-UPPER VIEW

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The FrSky XM+ with its ultra tiny bind-F/S button. Good news, the firmware installed (international) exports the RSSI for the OSD!!!

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-BOTTOM VIEW

A small carbon plate protect the bottom part of the electronic tower.

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In addition of the slim battery strap pre-installed, tape the velcro band to completely secure the battery installation.

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-WEIGHT
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About 146.5g AUW… with a 4S LiPo… so around 36g more heavier than the original Lizard 95 in 3S setup (110.4g)

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Motors

Motors are 1104@6000Kv models…. Maybe we could expect some 1106 version here … to boost even more performances.

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Notice this strange motor support system based on two aluminimum brackets jailing the arms. At the base of the arm, the arm is attached via two screws to the main frame aluminium bracket. Unfortunaly some little play can be here, especially after few crash. Inspect regulary these screws.

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LiPo

Among the novelty, a pretty good 4S 550mAh LiPo ending with XT30 connector.

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The discharge rate is 60C … so no problem to feed hungry motors and VTX.

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Camera and VTX modules

The VTX board is the top one under the cockpit. It’s a 48CH divided into six sub-bands.

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One unique button is available, in practice not super easy to access, at least it’s not possible without a screwdriver/stick. Unfortunatly, as far I know, this VTX is not compatible with the IRC Tramp/Smart audio protocol to change settings through Betaflight. Vband/Vfreq selection is classic. Short press to cycle among the eight Vfreq inside the selected current Vband. Long press more than 3s then release the button to change the Vband. I would prefer an automatic Vband shifting without requiring the release of the button… For the 105S, you can change by accident the output power by accident via waiting hold more than 10s this button.

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The Cloverleaf antenna is connected via a uFL connector, a good point for maintenance… but I advise to secure completly the installation by adding a small drop of hot glue on the connector.

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The camera got a 1/4″ CMOS sensor and record natively in 1280x720p. The signal is directly send to the DVR and recorded @60fps. Of course to be transmitted via analog 5.8G link, the video signal is then downscaled to either NTSC or PAL format. The good news and probably the best argument in favor of the 105S. All the procedding, i.e. DVR recording and FPV transmission don’t introduce any extra lag quantified in total about 30-40ms with or without recording.

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The camera can be uptilted up to 40-45 degrees, so compatible with severe acro free flight style.

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The camera sensor is blocked by a plastic bar into the camera hoursing. In practice this bar is doing its job correctly. It means that the camera is still free to move a bit inside the housing, especially after high throttle inputs. That’s the main source of the camera’s jello/vibrations we can observe out of the box. The devil is in the details!!!. It’s not a problem of PIDs, frame, softmounting… but a question of fraction of free millimiter in this bay.

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To solve this problem, it’s super easy…. just install some electician tape around the lens and reinsert gently without damaging the camera ribbon cable. The more tricky part is to reinstall the plastic bar to be attached with the two latteral screws. It’s a 5min fix… but improving drastically the situation.

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I really hope in the next batch, everything will be fixed out of the box.

Files are recording @720p/60fps is a rather good bitrate.

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Here is a raw video recoded on the DVR.

It’s super smooth…. thanks to the 60fps. More the sound is also recorded. It’s a nice bonus. Unfortunatly, you can already observe the light sensitivy is poor, colors not super rendered… turning a bit too much on the blue/purple colors.

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS, BINDING, CONFIGURATION AND DEMO FLIGHT

First good news, the machine comes with Betaflight V 3.2.0 very well configured out of box. You don’t really need to touch the OSD layout, LED light programmations, receiver settings. PIDs as well as the rates are the default Betaflight ones. A three way swich (AUX2) select acro, angle and acro+air mode respectively. In first testings, as many other reviewers, I noticed some vibrations especially after middle throttle inputs. I immdiatly applied the camera housing fix mentioned previously. After that…. no more jello reported. That’s great.

The machine strangly seems to vibrate according the sound emitted…. but in practice no negative impact in the FPV result. The video signal is clear and stable !!!… but my main negative comment comes more from the poor light sensitivity… really not good enough IMHO. Shadowed zones are not well rendered … :(. The WDR is rather slow….. What a pity 🙁 🙁 … With a better sensor, the 105S would have been almost perfect :(. Thanks to the 4S setup, the machine is a monster of power !!!!! Punchouts are impressive… and with default betaflight PIDs, results are already really really good. It’s a super fun 100% acro style machine definitively. Another drawback can be observed… Amperage reading on the OSD are wrong… It’s linked with a bad connexion of the lead wires to the FC. Except if you really want these informations, you can disable the display in the OSD settings. Flight times with the 550mAh LiPo is about 4min in acro style mode.

CONCLUSIONS

The Eachine Lizard 105S is a really good machine as soon as you apply the camera’s housing fix to remove definitively the jello. The 105S got supe strong ESC, a F4 w/OSD board and pretty well configured out of the box. The 720P recordings are good and super smooth the 60 frame per second rate. My main concern is more about the relatively poor light sensitivity of the camera sensor….

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PROS

+ Powerfull machine !!!
+ 4S 2.5″ quadcopter
+ F4 + OSD
+ Great acro flyer
+ Great 720P@60fps recordings
+ FrSky XM+ flashed with RSSI for the OSD
+ No drift in angle mode
+ Frame more robust for direct crash on arms

CONS

– Jello/vibrations in the video signal linked with a small gap in the camera housing
– Below average light sensitivity of the camera sensor
– Amperage reading false
– Difficult microSD card insertion/ejection
– Rear LEDS/buzzer bar not solidely installed
– Complex frame structure
– VTX no IRC Tramp/Smart audio compatible

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 170USD at https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Lizard105S-FPV-Racing-Drone-BNF-Omnibus-F4SD-28A-Blheli_S-ESC-720P-DVR-5_8g-25200mW-VTX-4S-p-1258632.html

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