TEST: XK X100 Dexterity, the compact micro3D quadcopter trainer

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INTRODUCTION

Since mid-2015 a lot of quadcopter are offering some 3D capacities, i.e. a 180degrees flips but almost all of them can be so called “Easy3D” model in the sens as soon as you are flying inverted, the MCU is reversing for you associated commands and throttle behaviour. In practice with such model, there is no flying skill challenge…. Here with the XK X100 dexterity are introduced two main features: i) a microquadcopter with accro/rate mode and ii) a real 3D quadcopter who have to be flown like a Helicopter CP machine.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x XK X100 (with a 1S 250mAh LiPo with microLOSI connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 2xAAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x USB charger with two microLOSI ports
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

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OVERVIEW

First of all, please check also the excellent review of microrcfiend, a much better 3D pilot that me :).

Basically, the XK X100 is a micro X-quadcopter where the main structure is based by the PCB layer supporting all electronics, a kind of Hubsan nano on steroïds. For such machine, two major ingrédients: i) some 3D capable props and ii) 3D’s capable control algorithm implemented into the MCU.

-Front view

After the first contact, you are suprized by the super lightweight of the X100. A basic X-frame with on each extermities some plastic motor pod holding each motor and a thin canopy protecting more or less upper layer electrinic conpounds.

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-Side view

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Two tiny o-rings lock the top canopy plastic cover

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-Rear view

The battery must be inserted into the small compartement.

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In practice, the provided LiPo is slightly smaller than classic 250mah models… So without compartement modding, not a lof of choice of compatible batteries.

-Upper view

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-Bottom view

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There is an aileron installed on the bottom side. For me it’s main function is to avoid a too strong central deformation if a high pressure is applied on top.

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Notice, the presence of a lot of MOSFET on the bottom surface. For 3D function, since a MOSFET is unidirectional, we need to double these elements

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-Weight

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Around 36g for the total weight…. A very lightweight model.. The XK X350 is more than ten time more heavy in comparaison.

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Props & prop guards

Prop guards can’t be removed

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WIth 3D props, since you need to be efficient in both direction, no free lunch, you are less efficient in term of thrust capacity versus a one way prop.

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I found this model prop really robust even after many many crashes.

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Motors

Good news, motor maintenance is ultra easy thanks to the presence of 1.25mm miniJST connector. For 3D model, I strongly recommand to stock in advance at least one CW and one CCW motors.

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Motors are some light 8mmx20mm

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with a 1mm shaft

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In practice, motors are twice lighter than classic 8.5mmx20mm.

-8mmx20mm

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-8.5mmx20mm

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If you want, you can install 8.5mmx20mm Inside the motor housing

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LiPo

A 1S 250mAh LiPo with microLOSI. No discharge mentioned.

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6mm of height. Usually it’s more 8mm … so some diffculties to find compatible LiPo

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Nanotech 300mah are directly compatible.

Disassembling

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On the bottom side, some CMN2310M 00A8C SOT-23 MOSFET. According to the datasheet I found, they support up to 5A. So for me no problem for 8.5mmx20mm motors.

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The other side of the PCB welcomes the CC2500 associated with the S-FHSS Futaba protocol.

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To bind to any compatible transmitter. Just press the bind button more than 1s. The rear leds are turned off. Then lunch the bind process of your radio in close distance (<1m). I was able to bind the X100 with my devo 7E with the beta version of the S-FHSS protocol.

Transmitter

I reeived the BNF version of the XK X100. The RTF version comes with the basic X4 radio supporting the S-FHSS protocol. With this latter, no easy real possibility to change some setting. XK have also two other transmitter, i.e. the X6 which comes with last Deluxe helicopters & X350, X380, X500 and the X7 with an extra channel which come with the XK X251.

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Basically, the two left switches select flight modes. One (the “GEAR” bottom one) selects between the 6G (horizon with autoleveling) and the 3G (accro). In practice, the gyro value set to 100 is a pure 6G/stabilization mode while set to 0 represents a pure accro mode. The associated gyro value for the 6G/3G is 75/00 respectively. The top left shoulder (“FMOD”) button selects the 3D/non-3D throttle behaviour. When FMOD0 is selected, the throttle stick vary linearly between 00 to 95 only with positive thrust. When set to FMOD1, the throttle stick range is divided in two: for positive thrust, throttle stick should be between [50%-100%], for negative thrust (so in inverted flight situation), betwwen [00%-50%]. When you fly inverted (FMOD1) and in accro (GEAR1), two commands over three are inverted: the ruddler and elevator. In practice, it’s possible to train to fly inverted (FMOD1) while being in 6G iif you took off inverted but in this case no more command inversion a contrario of the 3G mode. With the X6/X7 radio, both the throttle cuver and pitch curves can be ajusted but not for the roll. You can still play a bit with the roll individually with the expo rate. I regret the non-possibility to save sereral configurations into the memory of the transmitter…. There is a way to cycle between 10 memory bank. First of all, you need to press and hold boh “mode” and “back” button during more than 2s to enter into “system”. Then if you press the “push” button, you can select one of the 10 profiles between 0 to 9

Independently, I attached the DeviationTX model file more dedicaced to the 7E (you will need to install a CC2500 RF chip and to install: http://www.deviationtx.com/forum/builds/5569-xk-k110-s-fhss-build-for-devo-7e-and-devo-10?limitstart=0 )

The 6G/3G is the right yaw trim button, the 3D switch the GEAR one. D/R is FMOD.

FIRST USAGE

First of all, in 6G mode, the XK X100 is a super smooth and docile flyer & huper stable. Thanks to its good ratio motor thrust capacity vs weight ratio, the X100 is punchy. Definitively, this machine requieres a LiPo with a high discharge rate value. A minimum of 30C IMHO if you want to enjoy full 3D acrobatic capacities.

The control range is excellent … thanks to the Futaba protocol. The X100 is so light that you can’t really enjoy it with strong Winds… Large indoors or windfree open spaces represent the best location to play with it. When accro (GEAR1) is active, stick control impact are much more amplified since no more autolevelling here to correct the situation. I found the default value of 60 of the first 3 points of the pitch curve is maybe too spory. Personally, I set mine to 40,50,60 instead of 60,60,60 respectively. With these new value, I got more precize control in the central right stick position.

When you will be more accustomed to the accro mode, you can practice it indoors with DR1…A second step consists to turn on 3D mode (FMOD1) and to fly accro only while keeping the throttle stick above 50%. Another step consist in Learning to fly inverted by first take off in inverted situation…. When all these steps are controlled, you are ready for 3D IMHO.

I found the XK X100 super crash resistant, especially like a 3D beginner pilot like me …..iif used over grass. In any case, I strongly advise to stock at least one CW and one CCW motors. Two drawbacks for me: i) the LVC alarms comes very late when the battery voltage is below 3.6 even 3.5V (It can damage seriously the battery) and ii) no visual sign to distinguish the 6G with the 3G modes. Flight times are also short around 3-4 min with the default 250mAh battery. Noticed that if you reach each time LVC, the battery performance will decrease very fast.

CONCLUSIONS

The X100 is for me the machine to have you have already a nominal level skill. It’s light and crash resistant and represents the perfect step into racing & real acrobatic figures. The X100 is for sure the perfect trainer model for large 3D model such as the XK 350 of a stingray 500. The RTF version would deserve more a X6/X7 radio than this X4. I advise more to take the BNF version and the X6 radio standalone. One more time XK delivers a product that I recommend.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ A real 3D quadcopter
+ Durable
+ Easy motor maintenance
+ Accro mode
+ Lightweight machine
+ Futaba S-FHSS
+ Perfect 3D trainer
+ DeviationTX compatible
+ Settings can ajusted with the X6/X7 radio
+ Cheap for a real 3D model

CONS

– LVC alarm poorly visible and comes too late (< 3.6V)
– No different LEDs indicating 6G/3G (Horizon/accro) modes
– Short flight duration time with the original battery (3-4min)
– No possibility to save model file with the X4 radio
– Prop guard can’t be removed

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2652974

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 34/45USD (BNF/RTF) at http://www.banggood.com/XK-X100-With-3D-6G-Mode-Inverted-Flight-2_4G-4CH-6-Axis-LED-RC-Quadcopter-BNF-And-RTF-p-1039066.html

19 Comments

  • Hero79 says:

    Since I got neither: would you recommend buying a separate xk x6 or should I invest in a devo 7e and mod it?

    • SeByDocKy says:

      In general, the modded Devo 7E will be more useful …

      • VLisboa says:

        Tks for the answer SeByDocKy, was a long time doubt: XK X6 or Devo 7E…

        So Devo 7E, and the mod is just plug the CC2500 ? Why its necessary ?

        And it needs an extra antena ?
        (15cm U.FL/IPX to RP-SMA Female Antenna Pigtail Jumper Cable)

        Thanks

  • Onclefly says:

    Seb, La radio X6 et X7 on m’a dit 10 models différent dedans, c’est vrai ?
    et un model à la fois normal ?

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Oui c’est vrai. Il faut appuyer sur “mode” et “back” plus de 2 secondes pour rentrer dans le système. Après tu peux accéder 9 autres modèles.

  • Onclefly says:

    Ah bonne nouvelle pour elle, donc tu peux mémoriser tout tes joujoux XK sur une. 🙂

  • Onclefly says:

    Salut Seb, ça y ai, je l’ai, super content, je vais pouvoir apprendre à voler en 3D avec lui comme avec un hélico 3D s’en rien casser.
    Il est super, faut que je rajoutes point de colle à chaud sur câble d’antenne et batterie et modifie l’attache de batterie pour mettre autre batterie déçu.
    Pour le moment il marche avec la radio de mon avion XK A600 super bien, faut juste trouver les commandes, c’est facile est super simple.
    Je suis super content, le premier miniquad 3D vrai comme un hélico 3D pour moi.
    Vivement le XK X251 que j’attends pour la radio top que tuas en plein d’exemplaire, cela sera plus fun pour le pilotage. 🙂

  • Indy says:

    hello,
    Cool test as usual…
    I had it for a few weeks and I experience quite some vibrations when descending and pushing again the throttle…
    Plus the props are fragile according to me.
    For the rest its an interesting and nice quad…

  • Matthias says:

    Hello Team,

    i fly the Xk x100 and i am very amazing of this 3D quad.

    My transmitter is the Xk x7.

    I have two questions:

    1) How can I adjust the gear rate on the transmitter x7 ?

    2) what ist the different oft he gyro in mode 75/00 and 75/25 ?

    Greetings vom germany
    Matthias

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Well for 2), in 75/00 when your turn the 3G, you are in full acro…. with any stabilzation. with 75/25, you

      1) What do you call “gear rate” ? for the pitch ? roll ? yaw ?

      • Dreer says:

        Hello

        thanks for answer.

        I mean the gear rate for pitch, roll and yaw., how can I adjust it with my transmitter Xk X7? With dural rate and Expo or other method?

        How can I make the Xk x100 agile for flips and rolls in a small room?

        In Transmitter x7 you can adjust channel 1,2 and 4. Whar Channel is pitch, roll and yaw?

        Greetings from Germany
        Matthias

        • SeByDocKy says:

          Pitch = channel 1;
          Rool = Channel 2
          Yaw = channel 4 …

          Generally, I gave good settings (for D/R & sexpo) in this review or in the associated RCgroups thread.

          • Matthias says:

            Hello,

            how long is the life period from the stock motors from the Xk x100?

            My Xk x100 is loosing the power from the motors about 48 flights.Is this normal?

            Greetings
            Matthias

  • Matthias says:

    Hello,

    how long is the life period from the stock motors from the Xk x100?

    My Xk x100 is loosing the power from the motors about 48 flights.Is this normal?

    Greetings
    Matthias

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Yes brushed motor performances are decreasing versus time and the LiPo even faster …. so time to change for fresh new motors and battery ….

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