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TEST: Eachine Falcon 120, the little monster in the familly ..


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INTRODUCTION

The Eachine Falcon 120 is smallest element in the Falcon’s familly after the 250, 210, 210 Pro and the 180. With this 120mm version we have a X-brushless racer with strong 1306/3500 Kv motors, 4-in-1 20A ESC board multishot compatible and also officially Dshot600 is supported. For the RTF version, a flysky AHFHDS-2A radio solution is integrated. Finally, three choices of flight controllers can be selected: CC3D/Naze32 and SPF3. I will review the SPF3 version.

BOX CONTENT

No specific packagaging for the Eachine Falcon 120 (EF120)…. to reduce costs main probably.

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+ 1 x Eachine Falcon 120 (with a 3S 850mAh LiPo with XT60)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Emax B3 charger
+ 4 x Spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x 5.8G cloverleaf antenna

They had no time to provide an instruction manual… 🙁

OVERVIEW

The falcon 120 is small (120mm) but look strong with all carbon elements integrated. The main lower carbon structure welcoming arms is a 2mm element covered by a 1mm foam protected all the botton surface.

-FRONT VIEW

A X-frame is adopted. No landing gear so th battery will be in direct contact with the ground and won’t allow perfect horizontal take-off.

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The central tower is tall enough to welcome all electronics: PDB + 4-in-1 ESC for the first floor, SPF3 board rotated of 45 degrees on the second then FPV rig on top. The stem of the 5.8G cloverantenna (RP-SMA connector) is semi-regid but very short. It will limit a bit the FPV signal propagation and more will also limit the maximum uptilt angle of the FPV camera

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As you can see, the FPV camera is absoluptly not protected. Probably the first victim of a massive frontal crash.

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Quadri-blades 3″ props coming with two different colors, a good point for LOS flights.

-SIDE VIEW

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All UART ports and microUSB port if the SPF3 are accessible. By default Betaflight 3.0.1 is installed.

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As said previously, the max uptilt angle (30-35 degrees= of the FPV camera is limited by the bottom power connector and the short length of the antenna’s stem.

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-REAR VIEW

6 LEDs bar programmable through Betaflight and installed centrally a small buzzer, in practice not super loud be enough to hear it in a radius of 10m

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-UPPER VIEW
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A super compact FS-A8S AFHDS-2A compatible receiver is installed and connected via i-BUS protocol.

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By default the 2.4G antenna is no properly installed. You can install it more vertically by blocking it via the holes located on the top carbon plate.

The main connector for ESC command

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-BOTTOM VIEW

The 1mm foam element protecting all the bottom carbon surface. It help a bit to secure the battery installation avoiding the battery to slip.

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-WEIGHT

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232g in total … so not super light for a 120mm machine but at least under the 250g limit. The EF120 is abosoluptly not a indoors flyer !!! Acro outdoors only 🙂

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Motors and props

Stronge racerstar 1306 motors announced to be 3500Kv !!! so super strong for a small 120mm machine

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5mm of shaft section

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LiPo

Despite being 4S compatible, a 3S 850mAh model is provided. This battery uses a XT60 connector. IMHO, a XT30 smaller model would have been a better and lighter chose.

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Camera module

A 700TVL, 1/3″ CMOS camera

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A tiny switch to select between NTSC/PAL system. Notice also the main connect (power + video + audio) is installed bottom limiting also the maximum uptilt angle of the camera. More in case hard frontal crash, probably the connector will be at minimum disconnected or even worse broken. You have also to check before the first take off that the lens is correctly locked. If not add a drop of hot glue after beeing sure the focus is correct.

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A M12 lens thread for the 120degrees DFOV lens.

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A raw sample of the FPV camera

If the video signal is clear, the light sensivity/WDR is far to be perfect. Good news, the sound is correctly broadcasted. Can be usefull.

Video transmitter

A 200mW VTX 5.8G 40 channel is installed below the last upper carbon plate. On the left side, a tiny button is here to select the current Vfreq (short press) and the current Vband (long press)

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Two small red lights on top indicate the current selected Vfreq and Vband

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Transmitter

A classic Flysky i6 model rebranded by Eachine. As usual to enter into the setup, you have to press inner both horizontal trim buttons while powering the radio

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Three 2-way switches and one 3-way selector are installed.

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At least switchC (3-away) and switch

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS, CONFIGURATION AND DEMO FLIGHT

The promised Dshot600 compatible ESC are not here 🙁 …. only MultiShot is supported by these BLHeli_S ESC. It’s already not bad because in practice, they already offer super smooth flights. Unfortunatly also, they can’t be flashed via BLhelisuite & BLheliconfigurator passthrough 🙁 ….
In term of power even from 3S setup, the machine is super fast !!!! and strong : whaoohhh 🙂 it’s great. No problem for powerloop 🙂 I like it…. banking well and classic betaflight settings already offers great performances. Better can obtained with last BF 3.1 where looptime can be even more reduced. Well the main negative point, I would say is the presence of jello with high throttle inputs whetever TPA ajustemment settings …. No miracle with powerfull motors installed on 2mm arms …. a 3mm solution, probably would kill the jello effect. The FPV camera is also maybe a small weak point. Light sensitivity with the WDR don’t do miracle. I would dream a CCD camera installed instead and even more a SPF3 including directly betaflightOSD ….

This machine is fun to fly with… it’s really fast. Flight times are in average of 4Min30-5min with the original battery. The buzzer can be more loud too. For LOS flight, no frontal light … 🙁

CONCLUSIONS

I would say probably the best Falcon machine….. Strong and fast, BLHeli_S ESC, strong FPV signal and powerful F3 board… The FPV camera is not only weak for light adaptation but is absoluptly not protected against frontal crash. The Dshot600 is not here with the first batch but I have being said it will added for the new batch. In anycase, it’s not a drama since I really enjoy the EF120 in the current state. What we can expect in a new revision of the EF120 ? (EF120 Pro ?) A F3/F4 board with builtin OSD, Dshot600 compatible ESC, CCD camera ….. would be a major forward step.

PROS

+ Powerfull and fast machine
+ 4S compatible
+ 1306/3500 motors
+ SPF3 board
+ Compact 120mm
+ Multishot BLHeli_S ESC
+ Builtin buzzer
+ Programmable LEDs

CONS

– Exposed FPV camera
– Limited uptilt angle by FPV antenna
– Jello for high throttle inputs
– Light sensitivity
– Short antenna stem
– No Dshot600 compatible (at least first batch)

Default EF120 Betaflight configuration

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 166USD at http://www.banggood.com/Eachine-Falcon-120-F3-CC3D-NAZE32-FPV-Racer-RTF-with-4-IN-1-ESC-700-TVL-Camera-5_8G-40CH-VTX-p-1112795.html

Cet article TEST: Eachine Falcon 120, the little monster in the familly .. est apparu en premier sur Drone-Maniac !!!!!!!.

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