This is a new series we are starting up where we show you our current favorite gear. Enjoy!
My favorite gear hasn’t changed a whole lot in the last few months. I’ve been busy experimenting with some of the new brushless motors out there and a few of the cheap frames on the market. But when it comes down to it and I just want to have some fun, I always reach for my Bolt 210.
I’ve voiced my opinion on frames in several posts – I think frames are mostly an aesthetic decision, and I just can’t fall out of love with the Bolt 210 in the looks department. The frame is just so clean and sleak. I actually expected to have busted it by now being that it’s a unibody but I’ve had no issues – though I don’t generally reach for this quad when I’m trying to shoot new gaps or am flying in close proximity to concrete.
Lets take it apart:
I’m still running the RCX 2633kV motors I originally installed in the build log. There are much, much more powerful motors than these on the markets – and they don’t match the props all that well (at least in static thrust), but I still have a blast with them on this quad. The thing is just so damned light I don’t think it really matters what you put on it – it’s going to go like stink.
Again – still living in the past with the good ole reliable Littlebee 20As. I have yet to have a problem with my Littlebees. I’ve even had one that blew it’s power capacitor and continued working fine until I noticed it while fixing another broken part. Amazing. It’s just so hard to beat these for $10 a pop. I will say that something has gone wrong with these ESCs recently. With damped light mode they cause brown-outs without a big electrolytic capacitor which I’ve soldered onto my battery connector. It was an easy enough fix but I would have liked to have saved the weight. I’m currently waiting for the Littlebee_S ESCs to come out for the upgrade.
The DAL 5″ tri-blade racing edition are still my go-to props. I originally intended to use the DAL 5040 tri-blades on this Bolt but after flying with them for some time I opted to go back to the racing editions. They just seem to fly better to me. Plus, testing has shown that they are the most efficient of the DAL tri-blade lineup. I have tried the HQ props 5040 tri-blades on this quad and it flew great – I just can’t stomach the cost of them, though.
This one’s a bit of a cop-out, but my current favorite battery is the upcoming Tattu Pro Pilot series battery. This thing beat or matched the Turnigy Graphene packs in all the tests I threw at it in the most recent Graphene battery test, and did it at 14g less weight. I don’t have any pricing information on these guys yet but if they’re under $35 this will be my new go-to battery.
VTX & Antenna
I’m still running the Hawkeye Raceband VTX on this quad. It’s not my favorite VTX out there, but its the only one that fits very well on the Bolt 210’s small body. Plus, I’ve been flying this quad at club races recently and the ability to change channels while powered off is nice.
For my VTX antenna I’m using the Aomway RHCP antenna. Numerous tests have shown this antenna to be competitive with the best on the market, costing twice as much. It’s also way more durable than it looks. The lobes are super strong.
HS1177 – Really the only camera supported by the Bolt.
The BeeRotor F3. I love this thing. $60 for a flight controller, OSD and PDB with built in 5V and 12V rails. Awesome. The wiring is easy and clean, and set-up is a breeze. My only complaint is that it uses the MPU6050 gyro so I cannot run a 8kHz update rate. Not like the LittleBees support the requisite multishot anyways..
I’m still on Betaflight 2.6.2. Part of this is because I’m lazy, but it’s also because I have the tune so locked in on this thing right now I really hate the thought of ruining it by upgrading to 2.8.2. Perhaps when I get some new ESCs.
Being that i’ve stuck with Spektrum on this quad, I’m using my favorite Spektrum satellite – the LemonRX diversity satellite with the long antenna extensions. It has great range, but still not FrSky range. It also doesn’t have telemetry. One of these days I’m going to just have to go ahead and take the plunge..
Speaking of Spektrum – the reason I’ve been sticking with it is I just love my DX-18. It’s been with me through most of my hobby career – through planes and gliders and helicopters. I just like the gimbal feel on it way better than on my Taranis (yes I have one… I just don’t use it..).
Nothing exciting here – just the same Fat Shark Dominator V3s everyone else is using. I have a pair of the headplays, and I still love them. They are way more immersive – but I find it harder to focus on things I’m seeing with them. It’s also a pain to carry them around as they don’t really fit into my backpack very well. I’m using the standard Nexwave RX chip and I hate it. I don’t recommend it to anyone – it has far worse range than any other video RX I use. If you are going to go with a solo chip in your fat sharks, do yourself a favor and get the Blacksheep one. Better yet, get a LaForge set-up…
Speaking of – I recently upgraded to a LaForge diversity setup! You can see the modification process and a review here.