TEST: JYU HORNET S, the multifunction brushless compact quadcopter

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INTRODUCTION

The JYU Hornet S is a 280mm brushless quadcopter announced to be a polyvalent model, i.e. able to carry indifferently a FPV module, a pure 1080 camera module or a 2D-gimbal+1080p module. The installation takes just in a fraction of second. In standalone configuration, the Hornet S is also announced to be fast, 120 km/h are promised … More via a wrist module, you can have a follow me function. I will review first the basic edition, the RTF quadcopter standalone without any module. In a second step, I will update with (I hope) the FPV and 2D-gimbal modules.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x JYU Hornet S (with a 3S 2500mAh LiPo with proprietary connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (with builtin battery)
+ 1 x USB to microUSB charging cable (for the transmitter)
+ 1 x LiPo charger
+ 8 x Spare props (4 CW, 4 CCW)
+ 4 x Landing plastic feet
+ 1 x Instruction manual (Chinese only)

Two very beautiful boxes are here, one for the quad, one for the transmitter

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Everything is very well protected for transportation.

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Only a small instruction manual 100% in chinese was there :(. Luckely you can find attached in #2 the English version.

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OVERVIEW

-Front view

The general design shows some flattened forms especially for the top part. All the structure is made of plastic not too hard, not too soft, seems to be a really good quality one…. but no sign of visible 3K elements.

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With these translucide landing gears, the ground clearance is pretty low, 2-3cm maximum.

-Side view

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Like for fishes, latteral holes are here to cool internal parts

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-Rear view

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Without the battery

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The last two right pins can be used to plug the +12.6V while the two left ones to plug the GND. I am pretty sure, we can build easily a DIY cable to connect any standard 3S LiPo. I will probably propose this mod in few days.

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On top, a metallic structure, probably to play the role of a Faraday’s cage to protect the GPS module

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With the battery inserted

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-Upper view

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a 280mm quadcopter

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-Bottom view

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A microUSB is here to connect the Hornet S to a ground station software

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With the basic edition, a front plastic cap is installed over front compartement. This bay can welcome either the FPV module or the pure 1080p camera module

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On the bottom part, another port to install main probably the 2D gimbal module

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Here is the voltage I measured associated with these two ports.

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For the Gimbal port, the max voltage is 3S between pins 5 (GND)&6 (VCC) (according to the photo annotation) while for the FPV port the max voltage is 3.3V between pin 2(GND) and pin 6 (+3.3V). Associated with the poor ground clearance offered by the feet, I am afraid that for the FPV module, a builtin linear antenna will be used …. I hope there will be at least a uFL/IPX connector to attach our own antenna.

Each landing foot is plastic based, probably not very robust to an hard landing. The lights of the front one can be tuned via the radio, a nice option to personalize your night flights

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-Weight

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Without the battery

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and with close to 588g….

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Props

Some selftighting 6032 props

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Motors

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For this categorie some classic 2206 type are installed

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with a circular 5mm shaft diameter

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LiPo

A proprietary “smart” battery with a 2500mAh capacity.

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A 8 pins connector

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As for the cheerson CX-22, in order to power on the Hornet S or to recharge the battery you need to first briefly to press the power button then within the same second long press again more than 2s to boot definitively the battery.

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I don’t know if this “smart” battery includes also some auto-storage functionality….

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4 green LEDS are located front to indicate the remaining amount of charge

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Here is the pinout of the actual connector

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Since my charger was out of order, I need to build a DIY cable to recharge the battery

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Charger

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Two outputs are present. One USB to charge the transmitter via the USB to microUSB cable

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The proprietary connector, a 8 pins models

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Disassembling

Actually, I was not able yet to disassemble the Hornet S…. 3xM3 hexscrews are stripped…. IMHO their quality are very bad and it can a source of problem for the general maintenance of the machine.

Transmitter

A superb DJI style transmitter very ergonomic is given

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On the front panel, two upper buttons. The left one changes the front LEDs quad animation. At least 3 different modes are available. The right upper button is used to turn on/off video recording (long press) or to take photo. In the central part, three extra buttons, i.e. two push buttons and one 3-positions vertical slider. The middle vertical slider permits to select one of three flight modes. The first (slider in bottom position) and second (slider in central position) are both a flight mode with GPS & Barometer assistance. The only difference are the limited rates and reduced max speed for the beginner mode versus the intermediate. The last flight mode, so-called “expert” mode, permits to fly the Hornet S without any GPS & barometers but the autoleveling of the 6-axis stabilization chip is still here. The expert mode is equivalent of the classic Horizon mode. Maybe there will be a way to fly the Hornet in real “accro”/”rate” mode via the ground station software but actually it’s not possible. The left push button is associated to the RTH functionalities. If briefly pressed on it, you engage RTH from the last default RTH point (if not reset previously, the take off point) but if you long press on it, you can set to your current position the RTH point. Be aware to never get wrong (like I was the first time) by first long press the RTH button because in this case, you won’t see the quad returning home. The right push button is associated with the autolanding/autotake off features. First of all, as for the RTH, you need a perfect reception of your GPS/glonass data (a solid green light on rear LEDs). If you briefly press the button, you will engage the autolanding (of course if the quad is in the air), if long-pressed, you start the autotake-off. These two functionalities are only available in flight mode 1 & 2 (beginner/intermediate)

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Two shoulders auto-centralized pots can be found. The left one is associated with front lights configuration. Via this pot, you can tune among 10 000 color combinaisons the front LEDs. The right one permits to control the tilt axis of the 2D gimbal module.

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Finally, two rear buttons can be found. They select one of the 7 5.8G frequencies of the FPV part. All these frequencies belong the Boscam Band E.

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Two USB plugs can be found too. The micro one is used to recharge the internal LiPo. The larger model probably power the FPV monitor associated with the FPV module bundle (to be confirmed)

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A small 2.5mm jack plug is present. Probably an AVout (to be confirmed)

When the pairing is done, you should see a green small light of the left side of the status notification zone. If the battery is correctly charged, you should also see a green light on the right side. It turns to red when below a nominal value
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The transmitter is relatively light

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I appreciate to foldable builtin FPV mount

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Ground station software

First of all, there is the V2 of the sotware available. Here is a step by step procedure to correctly install drivers & software:

1) Install the app 2.0: http://en.jyu.com/Download/HornetSApp.zip After installation, you can check but no possibility to connect successfully after 1)

2) During installation, it will ask to install some drivers… (2 in total), of course answer yes

3)USB not plugged yet, Power on the quad wait after talalatalala” the unique treeble sound …. then now connect the USB….
If don’t wait this second unique treeble sound, the port com won’t appear in the list.

4 Run the Groundstation software, select the COM available now

5) To calibrate transmitter, you will need to connect the radio via microUSB to another PC USB port.
For first time the associated driver should be installed

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Then go to the RC settings tab of the App V2.0

13) Turn on the radio …. Here no mouvements appearing on the scree when moving stics.

14) Press “calibration” and now you should see some mouvement. As soon as you don’t save … I don’t think there is an incidence

You have 4 tab for the sofware

– The first one tunes some flight caracteristic but more some ascend/descend speed, yaw speed and max elevation for example.
You have to press “read” to read current settings, save to save some new values … and a calbration button

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Actually the maximum altitude is limited to 120m with flight modes 1 & 2

Noticed when the USB plug is connected, the Hornet S is no more installed perfectly horizontally as you can see

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A solution: install the Hornet S over 4 identical cup of coffea:

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– The second tab controls the light bahaviour

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– The third the RC settings. you can calibrate transmitter with this way

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– The last tab is dedicaced to flash new firmware for the Hornet S or the radio
a) To flash a new firmware for the Hornet S, just press the associated button. If a new Firmware is available, it will write it after the loading. It’s a pity than no current installed firmware version is written somewhere and/or to proceed to an offline flashing to flash for example a formet known 100% working version.
b) To flash a new firmware to the transmitter, you need first to press the top left “light button” when powering the radio. If not, you will a error msg during the writing stage.

LED status signification

The two rear LEDS indicates the current status of the quad according to the following table

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Compass calibration

Everytime you moved more than 100km from your last flight location, you need to redo the compass calibration. Here two ways are offered

The “dizzy dance” method

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The “Kkd playing plane” method

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Here an official video from JYU with basic instructions, especially the compass calibration (from 3:17)

FIRST USAGE

New demo flight with full RTH & Failsafe testings

Out of the box, the first beginner mode is very slow in all directions, yaw, pitch, roll, ascent… This mode ultra assisted by the GPS is here to practice to fly. I have to admit associated with the auto-take off and auto-landing… this solution represents a much less stressing system for beginners and also well adapted to shoot some videos with the upcoming 2D gimbal system. The intermediate modes uses the same flight assistance (GPS + baro) but increased all rates … For Advanced flyer, the more interesting is the last flight mode supressing the GPS & baro helps. Here only the 6-axis stabilization algorithm is working. Of course, expect much sporty atttiude while keeping stable. To be honest and as you can see in videos, I don’t think the hornet achieves with actual default settings the top speed of 120 km/h more something like 70-80km/h IMHO. I noticed also the autostabilization is not so stronge like if P values are a little bit weak. It takes a fraction of second more to be perfectly stabilized. Maybe they will update a firmware with better tuned PIDs but actually I regret the non-possibility for expert to tune these settings via the Ground Station Software. In another hand I really appreciate how stable is the system in flight mode 1 or 2. Be aware, RTH can be engaged only in flight mode bigginners or intermediate (seems logical seems GPS & baro are turned off in expert mode).
With assistance, the deviation is less than 50cm in altitude hold and less than 2m in RTH. I really do hope that for FPV version some informations will be display via an OSD (I can’t confirm that one is installed actually)… If I can perfectly understand the choice of the Flight mode 1 & 2 for the gimbal & 1080p camera version, the expert mode with 6-axis stabilization raise an open question: Can we expect a real “accro/rage” modes for this “expert” settings if associated with the FPV module ?. I am also a little bit disapointed by the flight times 14-15mins before to have first alarm LEDs (18%-20% re^maining).

As you can see in this new video, the emergency landing at very low voltage is efficient. By the way it’s a pretty good machine. I hope they will be able to tune a little bit better some PIDs settings even if they are already pretty good.

CONCLUSIONS FOR THE BASIC EDITION

Let’s conclude first for the basic edition only. Do I highly recommend the hornet S in the basic edition ? Well to be honest, no so much… Why to have some efficient flight assistance functions if it’s to flight in LOS conditions at the end? no real interest except for a beginner who is sure later to add some Hornet S modules. More, I feel the FPV port system hard to mod/to install a none-JYU modules ….I found such moddings completly non-intelligent (if you want to install your own DYI FPV module into the hornet, start more from an open plateform instead). In another hand, Is the Hornet S a bad machine ? absolulptly not …. I would say it’s a pretty good machine, accurate relatively fast and stable …
To conclude, the interest of the Hornet S basic edition without any addicitional module is really limited, like a football match without pop corns …. :). Now, which extra module I would advise the more ? I will answer more the gimbal one because:
1) The expert mode don’t offer a real accro mode in general associated with FPV racer for the FPV module
2) The FPV module spécifications, espcially the goggles don’t impressed me (low res goggles screen for example)
For me, I see more the Hornet S as a mini Phantom plateform with potentially follow me functionalities.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ Beautiful packaging
+ Nice and confortable transmitter
+ Good radio range
+ Cool light effects
+ Builtin TX battery charged via USB
+ Ultra accurate GPS holding position
+ Ultra stable beginner rate
+ Auto takeoff/landing features

CONS

– Interest of the basic edition limited.
– With default setting, don’t run at 120km/h
– Bad quality M3 hexscrews
– No accro mode
– Proprietary battery
– Need to raise the Hornet S to properly calibrate accelero (USB plug let incline the quad)
– 120m altitude limitation with flight modes 1 & 2

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2641191

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 250USD (for the basic edition) at http://www.banggood.com/JYU-Hornet-S-HornetS-Racing-5_8G-FPV-With-Goggles-Gimbal-With-12MP-HD-Camera-RC-Quadcopter-p-1025118.html

32 Comments

  • Onclefly says:

    Super ta review , j’attends que tu l’ouvres, sinon ici BG m’a faire rire traduit du chinois.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziHeF1-WVLQ

  • Ivan says:

    Salut Seby, I am very interested in this Hornet S toy, assuming it is not so much toy … it s know…. Any way my goal is to have a drone of the hornet size (the best the Hornet S itself but I have not made up my mind 101%) with reasonably long range FPV (more then 500m) for sporty flying and some occasional filming (or at least the possibility of it with some extras). Thus the gimbal thingy is not the must but a good FPV it is (the cca 1km range and the on-screen drone status data). I have not much faith in the original modular FPV googles/TxRx, but I’ll be very happy to have my doubts dispelled. All this seems to lead to the idea to use the hornet as a platform …. I know you’ve expressed some doubts…still ….
    Many thanks for your effort
    Ivan
    PS: Je suis tres impatient de voire plus & savoire plus

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Hi,
      I can’t say more about the official FPV module of the Hornet S … I didn’t test it yet ;( … In the same caterogy probably the Hubsan H501S flew in manual mode …. I should do my H501S as soon as possible … but I am very late in review process.

      • ivan says:

        Seby, I understand and anticipated this kind of reply. It’s fine. I’ve already looked up the Husban. I do not like it. So I aw waiting for all you have to say on ththe Hornet then I’ll see. I am very happy with your review methodology. All the best. I

  • Ivan says:

    Salut Seby,
    in your review you’re mentioning a certain disfunctionality of the balanced charger. Could you have a look at the short video here https://youtu.be/_nQJSGGpfZA I’ve made for the Banggood customer support to showed them the issue. I’d prefer to go as many routes as possible so I welcome any help/comment/advice. In a nut shell: when the main battery is connected then the charger’s indication LED turns red and charger start frantically beeping (battery’s 3 of 4 leds are up so it is almost full). Thanks for any opinion/help.
    Bonne journee
    Ivan

    • SeByDocKy says:

      You have to power the battery in order to charge it. Press briefly the button then within the same second, long press on it.

      • Ivan says:

        Yupiiiiiiiiiii, That’s it. It is exactly as you say. Many thanks/ merci beaucoup.

        By the way don’t you know if the JYU Hornet S is compatible with the MAVLink standard or, even better (a preferred solution) if there is, on the FTP module “bus”, the video signal with OSD telemetry & battery status etc. My idee is to add my own wide angle quality camera with a OSD superposing capable Tx. Again thanks for your short opinion/directions/suggestions/inspirations

  • Igor says:

    Hi! Did you now how to activate a FOLLOW ME mode? and another functions to?
    Thank you.

  • Flyernorem says:

    Love how the transmitter looks, I found the FPV version with screen for $259 at Geekbuying so I might go for it.

  • John says:

    How to calibrate the gimbal?my video was crooked lo

    • SeByDocKy says:

      No idea… Unfortunatly, I don’t have the gimbal version. In the ground station software no specific buttons for the gimbal ?

  • kevin says:

    will the FPV work with any specific goggle? I am looking for a good goggle that will work with the Hornet FPV module.

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Yes since the Hornet S broadcast signal in the 7 channels of the Boscam Band E supported by 99.99% of receiver (For Fatshark, be sure to have a 32CH receiver)

  • CrDronePilot says:

    Is the LED display accurate regarding battery capacity

  • albiac says:

    bonjour j’ai acheté ce drone mais je n’arrive pas a le connecté a la manette. merci de m’aidé

  • Dome says:

    Good Day I Caught a jyu bumblebee That was also good, but I had a problem with the room remained dell’Accesa with the image for two minutes about then gray screen and warmed a lot, I noticed That the contacts of the cam on the drone Pictured USA are Gold color have contacts WHILE 4k cam on my drone were of balls Pond

  • Dome says:

    volevo anche chiedere se e’ possibile inserire un’altra batteria nel porta batteri bianco per poter aumentare la capacita della batteria per aumentare il tempo di volo.
    volevo mandare anche delle foto a riguardo dei contatti della cam sul drone ma non e’ possibile qui.

  • Dome says:

    I also ASK IF ‘can INSERT Another battery in white bacteria door to be able to increase the capacity of the battery to increase the flight time.
    Even wanted to send a photo of regard of the cam contacts the drone, he has not ‘here possible.

  • Dome says:

    Answer please wait

  • Dome says:

    YES I meant if you can ‘A Change rate to change battery?

  • Dome says:

    and whether and ‘Change the battery can be do? because if you could increase the flight time it does not SEEMS to me but come drone

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Sorry, I guess you are using a goggles translatator….. 🙁 and I didn’t really understand your question. I guess you are spanish, write in spanish directly

  • Dome says:

    My question ‘if you can replace the owner with a 2500 mAh battery 4400 mAh standard as always in his
    white plastic container, but the connection to the board for the power button and green LED

    • SeByDocKy says:

      If you want to install a non JYU battery, you will to build your own lead cable for connexion. Check the pinout I gave in the review. Mainly you have to plug the GND and +12.4V to the associated pins in the actual connector

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