TEST: HB68, a 32.2g AUW brushless FPV TinyWhoop

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INTRODUCTION

There have been several attempts to produce brushless TinyWhoop FPV machine, among them the excellent Boldclash B06 in pratice slightly larger and heavier. With the HB68 we have a real brushless Tinywhoop format with the same dimensions and amount of weight. Here the maximum AUW is about 32g… Thanks to 0603 motors ..even smaller and lighter than 0703. More the HB68 integrates a F3+OSD flight controller, a 5A BLheli_S/Dshot 600 ESC solution and a 600TVL NTSC CMOS camera coupled with a 25mW 48CH VTX. Let’s review this new indoors FPV machine.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x HBRC HB68
+ 1 x 260mAh LiHV with JST PH2.0 connector
+ 1 x MicroUSB to MicroUSB extender board
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Wrench prop remover tool
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

As instruction, a simple piece of paper with the flight controller F3 omnibus layout

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Another bag with the microUSB extender. Thanks to it, you can calibrate the machine more easily on a flat surface.

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OVERVIEW

It’s effectively an 68mm machine mostly plastic based…. but built with an flexible good plastic. No problem to absorbe shocks. Only the main X- structure is in carbon. Arms are in plastic.

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In comparaison with the Boldclash B06.

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The HB68 looks much more compact and smaller.

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The carbon chassis is a 1mm model… A mixture between plastic and carbon, maybe to save some weight.

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-FRONT VIEW
The look is classic, a large “Dark Helmet spaceballs” canopy style surrounding perfectly the AIO FPV camera. All the electronic is perfectly protected.

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2.4G antenna can be installed vertically via the two holes located on top of the canopy

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The camera is not specifically tilted for agressive FPV sessions.

-SIDE VIEW
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-REAR VIEW
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-UPPER VIEW
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The left hole allows you to insert a thin tip to press the VTX button. Unfortunatly the top canopy is not translucide enough to guess the green and the blue lights associated with the Vfreq and Vband selection respectively.

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-BOTTOM VIEW
The battery tray is based on two rectangular plastic pieces holding the battery. In practice, versus time, some little loose can be observed. The risk that the battery can be ejected midflight is then non-zero.

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Good news for maintenance, all motors are connected via plugs to the main board.

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The microUSB port is located below. Thanks to the microUSB extender, you will be able to level the HB68 in betaflight without problem.

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Even if only plastic based, the arms are solid.

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-WEIGHT
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32.2g AUW with a FrSky XM+…. Maybe a 31.2g machine can be obtained with a lighter and more compact receiver.

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Motors and props

The magic ingredient to save even more weight, i.e. the 0603 motors annouced to be 14000Kv…. so clearly 1S only.

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Battery

2018 is the year of shifting between LiPo to LiHV batteries. Here we have a 260mAh model with micro JST pH 2.0 connector. LiHv pushes the max voltage up to 4.35V vs 4.2V for a LiPo. You will need a modern charger to enjoy this technology.

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Camera module

A classic AIO combo is installed. A 600TVL CMOS camera with a Field Of View of 120 degrees. Large enough for indoors applications. The VTX is 25mW broadcasting the FPV signal within one of the 48 different available Vfreq divided into six subbands.

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Long press the button the change the Vband (blue light) and short press to cycle the Vfreq inside the current selected Vband. The module is a NTSC only model.

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Disassembling

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UNBOXING, ANALYSIS, CONFIGURATION AND DEMO FLIGHT

Since it’s a PNP model, the pre-installed Betaflight 3.2.0 must be configured for almost everything from scratch. I installed a FrSky XM+ where by flashing an adequate firmware you can enjoy the RSSI feedback on the 16th channels. The receiver is about 1.6g with antenna… There are even light receiver, around 0.8g… every grams matters . With Sbus, iBus or spektrum serial connexion, the UART3 serial port must be turned on. Classic settings must applied: Dshot600, PID Loop up to 4Khz/8Khz… and rates must be pushed up to 1000 deg/s (and more) to flip/roll relatively fast. OSD informations also must be limited to the strict minimum: battery voltage, flight mode, time ellapsed, and eventually throttle input, crosshair and if available the RSSI. For the last setting, you need first to match the RSSI input to the right receiver channel in the receiver section. With BLheliconfigurator, I strongly advise to push the buzzer strength to 255 to make the ESC buzzing more loud and decrease the beacon delay to the minimum value of 1min.

With first take off…. I was not impressed by the powerlift…. A minimum of 65% of throttle input 🙁 …. but the relative good news, above 85%, the thrust can be felt and effectively, no doubt the machine is more powerfull than any Brushed TinyWhoop machine equiped of 0615 motors… But is-it suffisant to be a super acro flyer ? IMHO … not yet…. or not with a AUW of 32.2g, it’s already over the limit for acro-style flight session with flips & rolls. Another hand, the machine is super stable…. no instability even after a fast forward or hard U-turns… that’s great. The machine with a moderate wind, can be super fun to fly outdoors…. and is faster than any brushed competitors. The flight time is in average between 2min30-3min …. It’s not impressive… despite the LiHV battery… The FPV link is rather good, in the average of this kind of AIO camera.

CONCLUSIONS

For sure we can mark this machine as “not far to be the right brushless TinyWhoop machine”….. Yes it’s more powerfull for sure …. but not yet enough. No really negative points for this machine except the flight duration. Everything works flawless… robust, relatively fast, good FPV link…. A good indoors trainer for winter time…. With 32g AUW, no risk of damages/hurts. Ok maybe a bit expensive versus competitor (Boldclash B06)… Notice also is announced he HB64 with a builtin FlySky receiver under 30g…..

PROS

+ Brushless TinyWhoop
+ Super stable machine
+ More powerfull than 0615 brushed machines
+ F3+OSD
+ 260mAh LiHv battery
+ 32.2g AUW (w/ FrSky XM+ receiver)
+ Tiny 0603 motors
+ Strong enough for outdoors

CONS

– Still lack of power for being a great acro flyer
– 2min30-3min of flight time
– Expensive

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 134USD at https://www.banggood.com/HB68-68mm-1S-Micro-Brushless-RC-FPV-Racing-Drone-PNP-F3-OSD-5A-BLHeli_S-25mW-48CH-600TVL-p-1228472.html

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