TEST: FQ777-951C “mini”, a new nanoquadcopter with builtin camera

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INTRODUCTION

A new nanoquadcopter including a small camera is introduced by FQ777 with the FQ777-951C “mini”.
More this quadcopter also welcomes an open battery compartement to swap the LiPo with a full fresh charged one within 5s

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x FQ777-951C (with a 1S 150mAh LiPo with 1.25mm miniJST connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 3xAAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x microSD card reader
+ 1 x 2GB microSD card
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

OVERVIEW

In term of design, no real novelty here. a simple square X-design or 4cm square

-Front view

With the prop guards installed.

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I really like how easy to install or to remove each individual prop guard. A simple clip and voilà 🙂

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In practice, it’s a little bit more larger than a classic CX-10, around 15% IMHO.

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-Side view

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On the right side, the microSD slot.

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-Rear view

As for 99% of nanos, we have a 1.25mm miniJST connector to power the 951C. Versus some recent models (JJRC H20, Eachine H8), here no polarity inversion so be sure to not mix the provided LiPo with some other nano’s model
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-Upper view

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-Bottom view

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The microSD card is visible via the battery bay

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-Weight

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Less than 20g. Sounds 5-6g more heavier than a CX-10A. You will understand why

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Motors

Here some 6mmx15mm coreless motors are installed so stronger than classic 6mmx12mm

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LiPo

A 150mAh 1S cell LiPo with 1.25mm miniJST connector. No discharge rate mentionned.

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Approximatively 30min to charge with the USB charger (I measured the voltage to 4.21V). When charging, you can read a red solid led on the charger. When the LiPo is fully charged, the LED is turned off.

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Camera module

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A M5.5 mount lens with a very narrow FOV (around 60-70 degrees). The camera chip encodes video in VGA resulution officially @30fps.

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In practice, a lot of frame rate drops/ visual artefact are encontered.

Disassembling

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The XN297 RF chip is installed. Good news the radio protocol is the same than for the FQ777-955 “scorpius”. If don’t like the tiny transmitter it’s an option to enjoy a larger radio.

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Transmitter

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The transmitter is a nano model not adapted for large hands.. 3 speed modes (30%,60% & 100%) are available via the main latteral slider.
The left shoulder button takes pictures or if long pressed turn on/off video recording. The right shoulder button engages flips or if long pressed turn on/off the headless mode.

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3xAAA bateries. Ni-Mh accu are working with the radio.

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Good news for the failsafe test: The 951C stop motors after 1.5-2s gradually. Very acceptable. You can resume flight immediatly by turning on again the radio.
The 951C can be bound with some other 95x radios (955 for example), but the yaw command is inverted 🙁

FIRST USAGE

The 30% mode is very slow especially the yaw rate. For the 60%, pitch & roll rates are much faster but the yaw still rather slow. Thanks to the 6mmx15mm motors and larger props, the 951C offers nice punchout., Cleary with such power, it’s a sporty nano able to fight moderate Wind when prop guards are removed. The flight time are pretty good, 6min not bad all all.

The recorded files unfortunatly present time to time some frame rate drop, some visual artefacts despite a relatively good color rendition.

Without antenna mod, my 951C had a 30m control range. The Leds are not really strong enought for night flights.

CONCLUSIONS

The FQ777-951C, announced to be sold around 23USD is good nano without big weak points. Ok, the camera module is really limited with simple VGA records but the 951C have at least three main qualities: removable LiPo, strong motors and good flight duration. The control range is also very acceptable and more this nano can handle moderate breeze for outdoors flights.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ 6min of flight time
+ Powerfull nano
+ Removable LiPo
+ Solid-robust machine
+ Cheap nano with camera
+ Easy prop guard installation/disassembling
+ EDIT 04/02/16 Radio protocol compatible with FQ777-955 (and probably some other) Yaw command is inverted
+ DeviationTX compatible (Hontai protocol)
+ Good failsafe

CONS

– Slow yaw rate for 30% & 60% modes
– No constant frame rate in recorded video files
– No powerswitch
– Tiny transmitter
– 4 black props

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2636383

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 23USD at http://www.banggood.com/FQ777-951C-MINI-With-0_3MP-Camera-Headless-Mode-RC-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1040938.html

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