TEST: Zhicheng Z8

DSCF9249

INTRODUCTION

The Zhicheng Z8 is probably the fiftieth WiFI toyquadcopter of the year. In the menu, nothing really original, i.e. a brushed quadcopter with altitude hold and a 720p FPV feedback for the 2mpx version. There is also a deluxe version integrating a wide angle (not yet sold). Let’s have a quick tour of this basic toyquadcopter mainly targetting beginners

BOX CONTENT

DSCF9238

+ 1 x Zhicheng Z8W
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x 450mAh 1S LiPo with JST XH 2.5mm connector
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English/chinese)

OVERVIEW

The machine uses the Moment Selfie drone rectangular design with a cage surrounding all the props. Here no real risk to hit the props with fingers. The plastic quality is in the average… a relatively hard plastic … probably a recycled one.. In case of major crash, the plastic will crack in several pieces.

-FRONT VIEW
A central pinhole for the WiFi camera module. I regret the absence of a front light for LOS flight. It helps a lot to keep your orientation.

DSCF9249

-SIDE VIEW
DSCF9250

-REAR VIEW
DSCF9251

-UPPER VIEW
One unique button to turn on/off the machine. Press & hold this button more than 3-4s. One small green light is present.

DSCF9252

-BOTTOM VIEW
DSCF9253

DSCF9254

Not a lot of free room available when the battery is installed. Probably a 0.5cm longer model could be installed.

DSCF9255

-WEIGHT

DSCF9239

Close to 59g with the battery installed

DSCF9240

Motors

DSCF9256

8mm coreless motors are installed. Notice for motor maintenance, you will need to remove all the top canopy structure. A relatively long unscrewing session will be required.

DSCF9260

DSCF9264

DSCF9263

LiPo

A basic 450mAh 1S LiPo with JST XH (2.54mm) connector. It’s not a frequent connector met.

DSCF9241

DSCF9242

DSCF9243

DSCF9244

Camera module

A builtin 2.4G WiFi module is integrated. Two CMOS sensor are propsed: one 0.3mpw with VGA resolution and one 2mpx module with 720p transmission

DSCF9257

The lens can be oriented from 0 degrees down to -90.

DSCF9258

We have a M6 pinhole lens. Probably the Wide angle version has a larger thread.

DSCF9259

Transmitter

A good radio gamepad style easy to grab. The two sticks are flat more adapted for thumbers.

DSCF9245

Two shoulder buttons are here. The left one select one of the three speed modes while the right one performs a 360 degrees flops.
Notice there are also four button on the right side of the front panel. Unfortunatly the camera & photo ones are not working directly. TO trigger the photo/video recording, you will need to use the Application…. 🙁 So no video session without a smartphone installed. By consequence a shorter range.

DSCF9248

To arm the machine you have to click on the left stick. Be aware, if you click on the right stick you can stop motors immediatly even if you are mid-flight.

DSCF9246

No problem to install a smartphone up to 6″ format

DSCF9247

You have a 2-in-1 MCU+2.4G RF chip

DSCF9265

It’s a MX5323. In practice, it will be very hard to hack the radio protocol. Unfortunatly I was not able to bind this machine with an existing radio protocol available in DeviationTX. According to the datasheet, the max output power is 13dBM.

DSCF9267

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND DEMO FLIGHT

The application can be dowloaded for iOS and Android via their respective QR code. The WIFi link is 2.4G based only so no problem of compatibility if it were in pure 5.8G WiFi. The interface is classic. You can trigger the photo and video recording, select the speed mode. You can also control the machine via the smartphone

If you plan to use the transmitter, you will need to bind first the transmitter to the quad before to connect the machine to your smartphone.
As for all WiFI FPV link, this one offer an important latency > 300ms and a poor frame rate (maximum of 15fps). More versus distance, the frame rate will decrease more and more. Clearly it’s not possible to fly FPV precisely in tiny spaces but outdoors and in calm wind conditions, the WiFi link is usefull to monitor the current scene. The 720p preview is good with a relatively good light sensitivity.
When you arm the machine, motors will start to turn at low speed. When you will apply a first throttle input, the machine will take off super fast and be stabilized relatively well. In windfree conditions and without any object below, the altitude stabilization is efficient but versus time the machine will drift horizontally. Without GPS, no miracle. The first speed mode is really slow for forward/backward/left and right mouvement. It’s more adapted for indoors applications. In the other hand, the yaw rate is relatively fast. From the second and the last third mode, rates are increased. Whatever even in sport mode, the machine is not super fast but turn well and is stable. Without any inputs commands and EIS, the video feedback can be relatively stable. The flight duration is limited to 4min…. a bit disapointing. The control range is ok within a radius of 30-40m. One remark, I was not able to have a working file when I pressed the video recording button.

CONCLUSIONS

A basic WiFi machine relatively stable and safe. Rates are more adapted for beginners. This machine is more dedicaced for indoors applications since it’s a super wind resistant model. The 720p preview is crisp and precize. The Z8 has a limited field of view (~70 degrees) and I advise more the wide lens version. To resume, no real positive point but also not very negative ones too…

PROS

+ Easy flyer
+ Indoors beginner trainer
+ Correct 720p WiFi feedback
+ Full props protection
+ Lens orientable
+ Good radio

CONS

– Not wind resistant
– Current Android not recording video
– 4min of flight time
– No wide angle
– YaP (Yet another Protocol)
– No frontal light

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 41USD at https://www.banggood.com/Zhicheng-Z8-WIFI-FPV-With-720P-HD-Camera-Alitutde-Hold-RC-Drone-Quadcopter-RTF-p-1231239.html

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.