August 1, 2015

FQ777-124 Pocket drone

Banggood sent me the latest in the never ending series of micro quad copters; the FQ777-124 Pocket drone. This a new incarnation of the Cheerson CX-10 with a few differences like a bigger transmitter, headless mode and "one key return".

I fly a lot with the CX-10, the X4 and now this pocket drone. They are perfect for playing around calm evenings with friends, annoying the wife while she is reading and while on break at work. In particular the CX-10 is a fantastic flyer. And the pocket drone is no less!

Pocket drone to the left, Cheerson CX-10 to the right

One of the main differences is the transmitter. It is configurable for mode 1 and mode 2 operation. The quad copter can be stored inside the remote, protected during transport as well as charged via a cable using the 4 AA batteries inside the remote. It is also more ergonomic due to its bigger size compared to the Cheerson remote.

Headless mode is an excellent addition to this generation of micro quads. When headless mode is activated, using a button on the transmitter, the quad adjust cyclic commands according to the quads orientation in relation to the starting position. In effect, independently of the quads orientation, any commands given will be in relation to the pilot and not the heading of the quad itself.

I tested this mode outside, when it was a bit windy, and I was surprised how well it worked. It is important to note that the quad must be properly oriented when switch on and activated with the transmitter or it will become very hard to fly.

One key return is supposed to be a magic mode that on the click of a button on the transmitter will make the quad return to back where it started. This works not so well. It is a bit hard to determine what it actually does. It does try to come back. It has some idea of what direction home is. But not where. It misses its target and it does not stop when it should.

But the manual states that the mode should be used if the quad flies to far away and the pilot is unable to control it. And yes, it might be a saver in that case. But it is nowhere near what the icon looks like, coming back and landing on the starting point.

In addition to these two modes the pocket drone has the usual set of functions like different speed modes (2 modes), flips and rolls, trims on all channels. It also comes with some spare propellers, a USB charger and propeller protectors.

Update: Having flown it more this weekend I have discovered that

  1. It does not fly as well as the CX-10. The CX-10 has a more precise feel to the controls.
  2. Headless mode works fantastically well. No problem to pull full yaw and fly eights. Just ignore the orientation.
  3. One key return does not work. It just slowly drifts off in a random direction.

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