TEST: MJX Bugs 3, the perfect first brushless entry model ?

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INTRODUCTION

After the Bayang X16, probably the first simple brushless 350mm machine without tons of flight assistances, targetting intermediate beginner pilots, here is the MJX Bugs 3. With this machine, no GPS, barometer, etc too… just a basic brushless large model ideal to learn how to handle the power of a brushless machine, to shoot basic videos thanks to its gopro camera mount. Versus the Bayang X16, the MJX Bugs 3 introduces two safety features: i) a low voltage alarm and ii) a low RSSI alarm (when the machine is close to be out of control range). Both alarms are transmitted by telemetry ant let the transmitter ring.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x MJX Bugs 3 (with a 2S 1800mAh 2S LiPo with XT30 connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 4 x Prop guards
+ 1 x GoPro camera mount
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Set of stickers
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

OVERVIEW

The MJX Bugs 3 is slightly smaller than a Syma X8, Banyang X16, to be more precise it’s a 310mm machine. Smaller and lighter. The Bugs 3 is fully plastic based, but a good quality and flexible one. Except the landing gear, the MJX bugs should handle moderate crashes pretty well.

-FRONT VIEW
If you don’t plan to use a GoPro action cam, no obligation to install the four landing legs, i.e. the motors pods playing the role of landing gear

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A super strong white LED is located front, ideal to keep your orientation even in the presence of strong day lights

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-SIDE VIEW

No USB or dedicaced port to connect the Bugs to any potential ground station software…. The message is clear: take it and have fun, no need to speed billions of hours to tune all settings.

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-REAR VIEW

Jaled into the tail, the battery connector… here a XT30 connector an uncommon choice for a 2S battery but in another hand, the XT30 can accept much more current Flux.

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-UPPER VIEW

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-BOTTOM VIEW

You can find the clips system to attach the GoPro mount. I noticed, it’s pretty hard to release the mount. You need to really press down the plastic tab without breaking it.

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A ground clearance of 80mm when the landing gear is installed

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Super strong lights are also located benlow. Strong white for front arms and blue for rear, turned on only when the machine is bound.

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-WEIGHT

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445g standalone

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Close to 540g with a gopro attached.

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Motors

1806 motors announced to be 1800kV
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with 5mm of shaft section

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A non-classic prop size with these 7.4″ autoseltighting model… moostly similar to the Hubsan H501’s ones. Maybe we can regret the uni-color choice for front and rear….

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Good news, you can also fit the Hubsan H501S 7.3″ model

LiPo

A 1800mah 2S LiPo with 25C of discharge rate is provided, itself installed into a plastic housing. Small originality, the battery connector is a XT30, the little brother of the XT60. Be aware, my LiPo came full charged… not a good option for transportation and storage.

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If the XT30 is not yet a popular connector, you can buy a XT60 male to XT30 female adaptor. You will be able to use your favorite 2S LiPo…

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Camera craddle

No problem to fit an original GoPro cam. Most of clones will fit also. For my Firefly 6S, I need to use an extra band of foam to fill the remaining free gap.

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Disassembling

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A large 2.4G RF shielded module, probably a A7105 chip able to handle 2-way protocols.

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Interesting, the MCU is the HL054, a clone of of the mini54zan ARM core. Eventually, bradwii could be installed if a SWD port is available

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A free FPV port (3 position 1.25mm mini-JST connector) is available where the central pin is the ground, the left is +3.3V and the right +5V. Ideal to plug any of your favorite VTX/AIO solutions.

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Independant ESC, but not informations about their max amperage supported…

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but good news, they can handle 3S LiPo !!!!!! giving even more power to the Bugs 3 🙂

Transmitter

The chassis is classic without LCD display. Just a large green central light when the radio is turned on. Four shoulder button.

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The more on the left select one of the two speed modes. The red left one if briefly pressed arm the machine. Long press on it to disarm. The top right button performs 360 flips, a small originality considered it’s a brushless model. The last button is not active for the basic edition. It’s triggering video or photos for the associated model.

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Inside, probably a A7105 RFchip, the same chip used for example for the FlySky AFHDS-2A and the hubsan protocols. Unfortunatly, the Bugs 3 don’t bind any of these protocols.

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I will try to capture SPI data for a futur DeviationTX hacking done by gurus.

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND DEMO FLIGHT

Whaoooh this machine flies beautifully !!!!!! Both two speed modes are very well tuned. The yaw rate is just perfect …. From beginner rate, the Bugs 3 already offers great speed despite being only in 2S. Even with the extra 100g with the camera attached, the 6-axis stabilization works like a charm… In this situation, the power lift is limited of course but as soon as you remove the camera rig …. what’ a super fast machine !!!! I like it, very siient by the way. You can perform 360 flips while moving :)… First regret, the camera mount unfortunatly don’t avoid jello in video at high speed… but in hovering conditions, videos are pretty stable. Another negative point is concerning the flight duration with the camera installed … Only 5min 🙁 … it’s not enough. Luckely, you can install a 3S battery to boost performances. Without camera, in minimum configuration, flight time reach 8-9min. We could dream to have a secret acro mode ….. but it’s just a dream. As soon as you reach the voltage alarm, all the bottom light are blinking as usual but now your transmitter will beep 🙂 Ideal situation when you are far… Concerning the radio transmission, as for most A7105 radio protocol based, you can expect a good 300m even reach 500m (by optimizing a little better the position of the 2.4G antenna of the quadcopter).

Here is small demo of the MJX Bugs 3 in 3S configuration in extreme Wind conditions

I used a XT60male to XT30 adopter to plug a 3S 2200mAH LiPO. Despite the strong Wind gusts, the machine manage to fly beautifully… with a lot of punch …. Impressive

CONCLUSIONS

A very nice surprize I have to admit and for the proposed price, I hightly recommmend this MJX Bugs3 (versus the Bayang X16 for example). It’s not a first quadcopter machine, but for intermediate pilots who want to feel more power. I like the great control range, the buitin alarms, the flight caracteristics, the good payload able to carry without problem a small FPV rig …. and it’s even cheaper than the X16… What else ?

PROS

+ Great intermediate beginner machine, ideal firt brushless machine
+ Powerful and fast despite being only 2S
+ Well tuned rates
+ 360 flip button
+ Good control range
+ Good general quality build
+ Easy electronic maintenance
+ Strong lights
+ Telemetry feedback alarms (low voltage & RSSI)
+ 3S compatible
+ Potentially bradwiizable (HL054 ARM core, A7105 RFchip)
+ Cheap RTF brushless machine
+ Far superior to the Bayang X16

CONS

– 5min of flight time when carrying a GoPro
– Camera mount introducing jello
– Unusual XT30 connector
– No acro flight mode
– Battery transported full charged

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 110USD at http://www.banggood.com/MJX-Bugs-3-Brushless-Independent-ESC-3D-Roll-for-Gopro-3-Gopro-4-RC-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1096795.html

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