The NewBeeDrone AcroBee changed the way I looked at the entire FPV hobby. It wasn’t the first 65mm brushed micro I’d flown, nor was it the first 1S I’d flown, even on Betaflight. But NewBeeDrone brought the best of these all together into a comprehensive package that was easy to build, tuned perfectly, and a ton of fun to fly. This craft pretty much cemented my love for indoor racing and is responsible for keeping my angle-mode skills sharp. Since then I’ve acquired a small fleet of micros including a BeeBrain Lite, Pro, Brushless, and Brushless V2; all of them equally great craft in their own right. While NewBeeDrone certainly shines in this category, it would be a mistake to pin them down as a micro quad manufacturer.
The NewBeeDrone store has a lot of products under their own name. It’s common for brands to release accessories with their name on it. All too often, these are low or medium quality generic goods with a bit of branding applied. Unlike these, NewBeeDrone appears to have a genuine desire to design and produce products that do the job better than others. This might be why I seem to have acquired quite a collection of these items—and continue to use them in my day-to-day flying instead of the throw-away versions from other brands.
Lanyard/Radio Neck Strap
One of the first NewBeeDrone accessories I got my hands on years ago now was the lanyard/radio neck strap, which they threw in as a freebie with the AcroBee I reviewed. It was immediately obvious that this strap was superior to the one FrSky included with my Taranis X9D+. NBD’s strap is higher quality material with better stitching, but also includes a plastic quick-release parachute clip. That clip seems pretty minor, but it’s difficult to put a strap over your head while wearing a pair of FPV goggles on that have antennas sticking out. The metal fastener that came with my strap several years ago wasn’t perfect so I replaced mine. NewBeeDrone has addressed this issue, too—the lanyard now ships with an improved metal clip.
When I purchased Fat Shark HDO2s, I found the included goggle strap wholly insufficient. I happened to have a NewBeeDrone goggle strap and quickly swapped it in. It has a nice amount of give, hold, and adjustability. I have an older version with a silicone strip as well. While I do not have a problem with it, some did not like the silicone as it could pull hair so the current product no longer has this.
Like just about everyone else, NewBeeDrone offers a battery strap with their name on it. Unlike any of the others I have come across, it’s about twice as hefty. This strap feels far more durable and has a rubberized lining to prevent slippage. I’ve had a NBD battery strap on one of my race quads for years and never suffered a broken strap or battery ejection. Only just now after a few years of use, I’ve retired it after the lining started to come away from the nylon strap. The straps are available in Large (240mm) and Small (203mm) sizes.
Micro Quad Prop Tool
Getting props on and off micro quads without breaking anything can be harder than it looks. Micro frames have a lot of flex which can transfer stress to your electronics when bent. On brushed quads, there can be more friction between the prop and the motor than between the motor and the frame—sometimes leading to ripping out the whole motor when trying to change the prop. The best way to remove a prop is to only put force between the prop and the motor. NewBeeDrone has a prop remover tool for this job. The important thing to remember about using this tool is to come at the prop from the bottom side, as this avoids levering against the frame. Check out NBD’s amusing video on the product page! This tool works almost effortlessly and prevents breaking your frame, motors, or electronics. If you fly micro quads with press-fit propellers, it’s a must have. This tool is $3 and replacing a pack of motors may cost from $10 to $30. Some cheap quads come with tools similar to this, but NewBeeDrone’s is of superior quality and won’t easily bend or break under normal use or in a bag.
Linear Patch Antenna
There are a lot of antenna options out there, but NewBeeDrone offers one in particular that’s unique: a linear patch antenna. A patch antenna is directional, meaning it picks up signal much better in front of itself than behind. This means it has higher sensitivity in that area than a typical omni-directional sleeved dipole. Most directional antennas are designed to pick up circularly polarized signals, but most micro quads have linear dipoles in order to save size and weight. Receiving a signal transmitted from a linear antenna with one that’s circular polarized results in loss of signal strength. In practice, the patch outperformed a basic sleeved dipole omni though I had a more difficult time noticing a difference between NBD’s linear patch and a high quality RHCP patch. NewBeeDrone also offers these patch antennas in LHCP and RCHP.
Another quality-of-life accessory for your face, NewBeeDrone ships “Max Comfort” goggle foam. These are available for Fat Shark goggles (Dominators, HDO, and HDO2) and (older) Skyzone goggles—and some stores may still have stock for AOMWAY Commanders. This appears to be a synthetic rubber pad (like Neoprene) that’s been mated with a thin fabric layer so it will stick to the Velcro pad on the goggles. A replacement adhesive Velcro is also included, though it shouldn’t be needed if the old pad is removed carefully. Using a goggle pad like this is a deeply personal choice. I like the feeling against my face, but I find that the extra distance between my eyes and the lenses on the HDO2 cuts off the corners of the picture just slightly. Some users may have a reaction to the foam if they have severe latex sensitivities, but this is unusual with synthetic rubbers. I can’t speak to its long-term durability, but it certainly seems like a longer-lasting solution than the open-cell foam that often ships with goggles. The google foam and strap can be bought together as a bundle to save a couple bucks. I might not personally call this a must-have, but I’d definitely pick up one of these to replace an existing foam pad that’s degrading instead of looking for OEM.
While the round-up concludes here, the list of NewBeeDrone products goes on and on. NBD produces race flags, micro race gates, frames, motors, hardware, receivers, LED strips, flight controllers and ESCs, carrying cases, batteries, and other hidden gems like the tool set shown above and this DIY antenna kit. And this is in addition to their impressive RTF lineup.
These smaller products are often inexpensive and make a big improvement in quality of life for a pilot. They can also make great gifts since they’re less dependent on the specifics of a pilot’s fleet. In addition, I’m happy to support a company where research and development, support, marketing, and fulfillment happens in the United States.