Friday, 27 November 2015

Eye of God Drone - The Verdict


DRONE GEEK ALERT!

Got the replacement bits for the Eye of God drone the day before yesterday and had another go at flying it. Here's my pre-Christmas verdict:

Nice to look at and a reasonable price, but some very basic design flaws; 

1. The landing skids are black and just four sticks - this means they are extremely difficult to find if they drop off (which they do at every conceivable opportunity), especially if they stick into soft ground and become detached. They should be a different colour (as should the underside of the unit) and made into two pairs with runners, rather than four individual sticks. I painted mine red after spending more time hunting for detached skids than flying the unit. 

2. If you switch off the control the rotors keep turning for at least 4 seconds, resulting in numerous fly-aways if radio contact is lost. I lost mine for 24 hours on the 2nd test flight. Managed to locate it at dusk as the LEDs were still flashing weakly. 

3. Range is reasonably good - further than my Syma X5C. 

4. Insufficient charging cables - you can only charge one battery at a time. Of the two USB cables supplied, one was faulty and didn't charge the screen and camera. Also everything that needs charging has a different connection - bad design - they should all have the same connector. Also, the two chargers supplied work in opposite ways; on one the LED lights up when the battery is charged, on the other it goes out when the battery is charged - illogical. 

5. On my  unit the FPV screen was installed upside down. Easy enough to rectify, but not what you'd expect from Quality Control. 

6. One Key Return is pretty basic, but what you'd expect when you realise the drone doesn't have GPS. If you change the orientation in flight, it won't return to you - it just flies backward from the orientation it's in. 

7. Camera is narrow lens, making FPV very difficult. Its main use is finding the damned thing after a fly-away - you at least have an idea where it is - like this from yesterday.



8. The LEDs on the unit are so bright that you can't see the on-off switches on the unit or the camera properly. They don't need to be so powerful, but I guess it's good for night flying. It could, however, be my early-stage cataracts that are diffusing the LEDs and blinding me.

9. The instruction manual is almost completely unintelligible (Chinese and English, with the English being very, very badly translated - probably by a computer). No instructions for One Key Return, or several other key features. 

10. Be careful when removing the rotors - there's a washer that falls out and you could lose it easily. Also, the rotor is held on by a grub screw in the side of the shaft (rather than through the top), which has to be seated exactly, but blind, as you can't see the hole in the shaft when the rotor goes over it and there's a lot of vertical play. Took me 10 minutes to get it back on. 

11. Be careful when removing a motor - don't take it out if you just want to inspect it, as the process needs a good tug, which is enough to part the wires. Use pliers on the body of the motor, if you can, rather than pulling on the thin wires. 

12. The motors are remarkably fragile and in just 3 days I managed to trash 2, simply by the rotor being stopped by an object (the Syma's motors are much more robust). Fitting the rotor guards is a MUST if you don't want to damage the motors on the first flight.

13. Because the charge point on the camera is so tiny, it's very easy to insert the charge connector upside down, which will kill the battery, and the battery is not removable unless you open the camera and unsolder it. 

14. Every attachment has such a flimsy connection to the main unit that the whole thing just falls apart on anything other than a perfect landing - the battery case, the skids, the rotor guards, etc. Some parts simply fall off with no encouragement.

15. Flying the beast is almost impossible. The speed in each direction is dramatically different and losing control is very simple. Same goes for up and down - up is bloody fast, whereas it can be difficult to get the damned thing to land. Nowhere near as controllable as the Syma X5C, which I can just chuck around in the sky with abandon.

All-in-all it seems a bit rushed in order to get it to market before Christmas. I would not give this to a small child as a present - it would be the quickest was to lose £70. Definitely a Dad Toy.

One tip - write your mobile phone number on it in marker pen before you first fly it, as I guarantee you'll end up with a fly-away. 

Another tip is to buy a couple of spare batteries for the drone itself and the screen. You might also want to buy a spare camera battery in case of failure, but you'll need to do some soldering to remove the old one and replace it. 

Good customer service though - they have been most helpful in ironing out some issues and sending me parts that were faulty. The main problem is the shipping delay due to the manufacturer being in China. No doubt someone will start stocking them here - and hopefully with the issues ironed out.


4 comments:

  1. So other than Nos 1 - 15 it's OK? Can it carry a payload?

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  2. That's all right then, no need to buy one for an IS Xmas present.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would as likely disintegrate in mid air, or explode in your face.

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