TEST: GEPRC Hummingbird

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INTRODUCTION

The GEPRC Hummingbird is a new 110mm FPV brushless racer based on the 1106 motors/2″ props combo. There are a lot of competitors in this catergory. Among them the Aurora RC mini. As most of recent models, a CCD camera is now directly integrated, here a runcam model. The 48CH VTX can delivers different outputs power: from 0mW (for pit stop stage) up to 200mW. The Humminbird is massively 3K carbon based. At each arm’s extremity, 1106/6000Kv motors are installed. For the ESC, a 4-in-1 12A BLheli_S/Dshot600 solution. The machine can be found in PNP or BNF version with a FrSky XM+ receiver. Let’s check if this bundle represents the state of the art for microbrushless FPV racers.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x GEPRC Hummingbird
+ 2 x Battery straps
+ 2 x Antenna tubes
+ 12 x Spare props (6 CW, 6 CCW)
+ 12 x M2 hexscrews
+ 1 x XT30 plug
+ 2 x Allen keys
+ 1 x Double side tape band

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A spare XT30 connector is here…. Why this one is not prefered out of box instead of the JST connector ? Maybe to be sure to not attempt any 4S tries ?. The instruction manual is only available online (attached below)…. No printed version.

OVERVIEW

The general structure uses an H design. Here is the full caracteristics of the machine. The Flight controller is neo-classic F4 Omnibus

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With 12A only ESC…. unfortunatly this machine can’t be run in 4S setup…..

It’s confirmed to be a 110mm machine

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and all thickness measures are confirmed. 3mm for the arms… They look super strong.

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-FRONT VIEW
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The battery is installed beneath as for most FPV microbrushless racers.

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Unfortunatly, only 2″ props can be installed.

-SIDE VIEW
The microUSB port of the F4 board is located on the left side without any specific board alignement. Betaflight 3.2.1 is pre-installed with some fine-tuning in term of PID, light controls and OSD.

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For the VTX module located on the top tower layer, three lights are here, each of them can be red,green,blue. As we will see below, the VTX’s tuning procedure is different but not so hard in practice.

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Good news, thanks to the two latteral screws, the runcam FPV camera can be oriented from 0 degrees up to +45 degrees. More in case of frontal shock, the two latteral carbon plates protect the lens from most type of accident.

-REAR VIEW
The rear side welcome by default the JST connector… strange choice for a 3S brushless racer…. probably limiting the unload capacity of the battery. The FrSky XM+ antennas can be installed vertically via the 3D printed tube support. More a vertical columns of programmable lights is here and pre-configured. By default, you have a vertical scanner effect. It shows also left and right turns.

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-UPPER VIEW
The unique VTX button is easy to access and the corresponding three lights as well.

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-BOTTOM VIEW
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Here a 350mAH 3S LiPo model is installed. 4min can be obtained with such model… Main probably a bit more with a 450 mAh model.

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-WEIGHT
A little bit less than 120g with a 350mAh. Expect around 125g with a 450-500mAh model.

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Motors and props

Branded directly by GEPRC, we have 1106/6000Kv. They are know to draw a lot of current and you need definitively a super good battery to feed completly the system. Be aware, the spare M2 hexscrews are only for the props…. They are too long for the motors

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Associated with, 2 full bags with 8 2035 triblades props inside. They are known to offer jellofree FPV feedback…. but with 1106 motors, is the 2″ only prop choice only represents the best solution ?

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Camera and VTX modules

The classic micro runcam CCD model with a large FOV. If it’s a 600TVL only, it’s probably one of the best camera in the market currently.

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No real direct contact with the lens

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The camera can be uptilted massively for agressive FPV flights.

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The VTX controls is a bit different than usual. The principle is pass sequencially from the Vfreq, then to the Vband and finally to the ouput power selection instead of parallel selection for other VTX. It means you enter first in Vfreq selection…. then only here, you can enter into Vband selection and one more time from here to the Power selection. Everything is explained in the following scheme.

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UNBOXING, ANALYSIS, CONFIGURATION AND DEMO FLIGHT

The FrSky XM+ must be bound in D16 non-EU mode. The bind button is easy to access from the rear side….. but first bad news, no RSSI exported to the last AUX12 channels. Fortunatly, the XM+ receiver is plugged via a 3positions JST connector It’s possible to disconnect it, then remove wires from the JST connector and use some pincher probes to flash a RSSI friendly firmware via a Taranis radio under OpenTX. After the flashing procedure, of course you will have to add manually the RSSI on both the receiver and OSD panels. Another strange thing I observed. In the configuration panel the IRC Tramp protocol is selected for the UART3…. but in practice, via the OSD when you try to apply new VTX settings, nothing change…. In practice there is no physical connection on the VTX to support this option.

Despite being a 3S only machine, the machine is powerfull… and punchout really not bad at all…… but …. but immediatly a major concern can be raised. As soon as you input more than 35% of throttle, some video horizontal bands noise is here ….. and it’s really annoying. Probably linked with an inefficient voltage regulation from the BEC part… Don’t forget the 1106 motors draws a lot. The battery I used was only rated 30C…. so probably with a XT30 model based with a discharge rate > 45C… this noise will be limited.

The machine flies pretty well… largely strong enough for any type of acro figures style. The control and the FPV range are great. However I also reported some little oscillations when recovering from a massive altitulde lost… Some little PID finetuning is still required for this machine. With the 350mAh battery i had in average about 4min of flight time. At least no problem of micro failsafe cut as we can meet with the default receiver of the Aurora RC mini.

CONCLUSIONS

The GEPRC is first of all a super strong and durable machine thanks to its great 3K frame. The CCD camera offers great FPV performances but unfortunaly corrupted by the motor’s noise captured by the BEC. The machine is powerfull despite being a 3S machine. In another hand I regret the usage of a 12A ESC solution only…. not strong enough for 4S setup and the JST connector in the lead connexion. With the XT30 instead, a super strong battery (>=45C) and main probably a 220uF caps soldered the Hummingbird can be one of the best 110mm in the market… but out of the box is not and I prefer a little bit more the Aurora RC mini or the 2″ version of the Emax babyhawk.

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GEPRC-Hummingbird-Manual-EN-V1

PROS

+ Super strong frame
+ 1106 motors
+ Powerfull
+ Good CCD Runcam camera
+ Programmable light
+ FrSky XM+ receiver
+ 3 sets of spare props

CONS

– Video noise in the FPV link due to motors
– 2″ props only
– Default PIDs not perfect
– JST default plug
– Not 4S compatible (12A ESC only)
– FrSky XM+ receiver not flashed with the RSSI compatible firmware
– No IRC tramp direct support

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 189USD at https://www.banggood.com/GEPRC-Hummingbird-110mm-FPV-Racing-Drone-Omnibus-F4-12A-BLHeli_S-5_8G-48CH-VTX-RunCam-Micro-Swift-p-1245041.html

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