After gazillion years of waiting finally the prodigal son has return back to its rightful owner. Why?.....it was reported MIA (Missing In Action) on it way during delivery to my home for many weeks, was in fact stuck roaming too long in various parts of China. It was delivery man problem...can't blame GearBest.com not because they are my sponsors but they did deliver on time. Using China Post services is like playing Russion roulette, random guess whether it arrive on time or not. Well i can't complain since i get stuff for free, another happy note that during its MIA good people from GearBest.com did help track it down real-time even when i'm not even bother to look at it and compensated me another replacement product which is the MJX X600 free of charge (which i did review earlier in this website) to keep me happy. Now that's customer services. 10/10 star rating i give to them for great support. So now i got 2x goodies. SSswwweeeeetttttt!
Ok lets back to drooling my X6. The TARANTULA X6 by YIZHAN company looks very elegantly design, looks solid and the confusion on the brushless look alike rotor design get the best out of audience's curiosity including me. I was fall for it after thinking it was brushless motor which in fact was brushed driven and spur geared rotors since the blade and the bulkiness of the rotor case look like something out of my old 350mm WALKERA X8 and DJI PHANTOM V1.1.1 build. But hey don't stop there, you'll be surprise this old tech brushed motor offer surpassed performance and stamina for less bucks after you read this review..keep on reading. The quad gets its name from the spider like legs and overall physical looks hence TARANTULA with glowy blue eyes. In the market it offer both non-camera and with camera including camera dampener. So i got the non-camera that worth under USD$55 priced as stated on 12 July 2015 at GearBest.com. The quad also was much talk about product in most of R/C and multirotor forum which because of its physical attractiveness and similar size to popular FPV350 multirotor frame.
Physically the quadcopter looks sturdy and durable enough to bash and knock around object such as trees and walls. I did had an incident where i burn my rotor brushed motor after trigger bunch of 360 flips on the left rear arm and it stop running causes the quad to stall from 50m into air and hit the ground at construction site. Upon retrieving it no visible broken parts of surface on the quad been scratch, everything looks mint and in good condition...wow! i'm very impressed with the durability, however things are vice versa if you hit on real concrete cement/tarmac so caution when you flippin around 360 in the air our you'll burn your motor too soon. Flipping 360 need more burst of current to the motors to get some punchy thrust thus quickly wears out your motor so be careful.
Model: Yizhan Tarantula X6 New Version Yizhan Tarantula X6 - 1 2.4G 4CH RC Quadcopter Hyper IOC UFO with LCD Controller.
Stabilization/gyro: 6 axis gyro stabilization system
Control mode: Low rate (for beginner/intermediate) + High rate (for expert)
Quadcopter battery: 2s 7.4V 1200 mAh li - poly battery
Flight time: Flying Time: 8~9mins *Manufacturer claim at 7min
Charging Time: Approx. 150mins
Frame material: Plastic (Black color or Blue color) *Mine is black pattern.
Night flight: Yes - 4x LED luminance on rotor arm and 2x on the head and top main body. (2x Blue LED below front and side arm + 2x Red LED below rear arm)
Battery warning level: Yes - On board LED blink.
Rotor: 4x Brushed motor on spur gear drives. (Quadcopter configuration)
Quadcopter size: 350mm rotor to rotor (Similar to DJI Phantom or FPV350 frame)
Remote Control: 2.4G wireless technology
Control Distance: 280m (Tested - Max) *Manufacturer claim at 300m
Control Height: 255m (Tested - Max)
Basic functions: Forward/backward, Turn left/right, Speed up, Sideward flight, With light, Up/down, Slow down, 360 degree flip.
Optional feature: Add-on wide angle 5MP HD camera.
Headless mode: Yes and One Key Return to Home.
Transmitter battery required: 6 x 1.5V AA battery (not included)
Age group usage: 14 and above
Handling: Indoor and outdoor. Windy weather required to activate "High rate" mode on controller.
1x Tarantula X6
1x Balance charger for charging x6 li-po battery
1x English Manual
4x Spare blade
4x Prop guards
1x Pair of landing skid installation
1x Mini screw driver and screws set.
1x 2s 7.4v 1200mah li-po battery
Beautiful and rigid airframe. Very arachnid like designs.
Body size including propeller almost siwhy is muchmilar to 350mm size DJI PHANTOM category. Which is much hyped about quadcopter in the R/C forum all over the internet.
Able to carry popular aerial photography/action sport camera such as GoPro Hero3/4, SJCAM cameras or any extra payload below 200gram.
At cheap price and being a toy grade it able to fly proven at distance of 280 meters and max height 255 meters all on stock radio. A handful flight range adequate enough for park size FPV adventure and aerial photography over property lot.
6-axis gyro allow better control and stability. Flip function works extremely well. Can handle windy condition when "High rate" mode is switched on the controller.
Big brushed motor and propellers have high thrust and flying loading. Rotor pod design looks intimidating can be confused as brushless motor driven as in external appearance.
Rotor does spin very smoothly, at least two rotor have binding problem (gear grinding) or rough spins on the between motor pinion gear and rotor spur gear. You'll need to do manual re-aligning the motor so it doesn't sit too tight with the gears.
Some screws threads are too small and loose easily when screw in parts such landing skid cause it to collapse the legs to collapse after two flights.
Propellers guards too flex and have high possibility getting tangled with the rotors propellers which then causes the quad to stall. Best remove when no needed or remove when you fly in open space free from people around you.
First flight impression and maintenance
My first impression on its maiden flight...hmmmm.....i like they way it flies, very stable no matter how clumsy you handle your controller, very good maneuverability under moderate wind, great line of sight visibility and most of all it has very punchy throttle. On the other hand for the bad part the controller is extremely too small for my thumbs to control the stick as if i'm holding a kiddy grade radio controller toy car, both my hands almost collided with each other as i try to swing around the stick....felt so toyish contrary to the size of the quadcopter...something not right about it. The neck strap holder to hold the controller isn't helping much...hole too small to fit in the clip.
On overall flying performance side (which after add-on FPV mods) i can say its very hard to find a cheap toy'ish quad copter than can fly around over 200 meters both distance and height considering the fact minimal price limit and FCC requirement caps the radio range distance to at least average 100 meter on off the shelf consumer or Wallmart type toy quadcopter under $55. But for TARANTULA X6 the radio range seems to be higher offer better than average with test proven to have horizontal radio range of 281 meters and max height of 255 meters of flight radius (as published on my Youtube video channel via live FPV OSD). At these flight range its very handful for those wanted to go in the path of FPV flight and aerial photography. Another plus is that only running at stock full charged 2s 1200mah 7.4v li-po single battery i can fly at average 8~9 minutes of flight time fully with all FPV gears onboard such as camera, video transmitter OSD/GPS hardware. Voltage level cut-off is at approximately 7.0V as indicated on OSD. Btw please watch my TARANTULA X6 in action at my Youtube video channel, seeing is believing.
Along the way before and after several flight i do encounter several issues and troubleshooting solution that need immediate attention once you get to own a TARANTULA X6. Listed below are need to be taken care of:
- Do not over tighten the screw when installing the prop guard and landing skids because the plastic threads that holds the screw in place will easily loosen when over tightens. For landing skids its best if you can find slightly 2x bigger screw for the assembly because after 2x landings it will loosen again.
- The prop guards are flex and flimsy but yet durable which is good. However it will more likely to get entangled with the main propeller blade causing on rotor to caught in and stall. Will likely happen if the prop guard have slight brushed with obstacles such as tree trunk or heavy wind. If you intend to fly far and high remove the prop guard to avoid such happen. Use it only if you need to fly around short distance obstacles.
- The receiver antenna was bend down due to upper plastic body case cramping its space. Solution: bore a small hole on top of the case exactly above the antenna and let the antenna trunk it straight upwards to get an improve radio transmission.
- Before maiden flight do some 'motor break-in' procedure for brushed motor driven quad such as TARANTULA X6 using low throttle run in while the quad rooted on the ground. A mild throttle spin without throttling off from the ground (fly off) allow the fresh internal brushed pad inside the motor to 'groove in' with the shape of motor stator shaft and improve its lifespan.
- Do not do lots of short interval 360 flips/stunts. Quick bust of power pull during flipping causes the motor brushed to be jolted by higher electric amperage to perform the flip and may accidentally burn the motor. It happened to me. Lesson learned.
Yes yes, anyone can fly it. Don't need flight lesson. It leveled so perfectly you can fly without holding the controller...it will drift with the wind of course. Quad nowadays are so advance in electronics they stabilized themself in the air automatically. You just need to know where's the front and back of the quadcopter in order to visually orientate/navigate the controls....unless its flown in FPV matter.
When i first time saw much hyped TARANTULA X6 in R/C community forum i knew that this the best and most perfect el-cheapo grade quadcopter highly potential to be converted into FPV...not just basic FPV add-on...advanced pro FPV add-on. Based on the size, flying load and 7.4v power supply it can carry serious grade FPV equipment and provide adequate power supply to run mini OSD with GPS module onboard which is useful to give stats info during flight. Below are FPV add-on stuff i chuck into the X6:
With the above setup the overall flying weight was approximately at 270gram and able to fly approximately 9 minutes of flight time outdoor with stock battery. I also did a simple minor modification to improve the stock radio range on the TARANTULA X6 radio receiver antenna within the body. By default the antenna was cramped and bent inside the plastic housing which is a bad way to receive radio frequency from the pilot controller. The solution is to poke a hole on the plastic body cover exactly above the antenna and then let the antenna stand straight and through the hole to get much efficient area to be expose to radio transmitter frequency and improve flight distance/range.
Here are sample of video of unboxing, testing and flight on TARANTULA X6 i posted on my Youtube channel, should give you some glimpse of how it runs and handles, Enjoy.
Here are list of reputable vendor/seller which i bought from and also verified by community forum discussion groups. Also i've experienced buying from these places that have good support and services:
1. Seller GearBest: Yizhan Tarantula X6 New Version Yizhan Tarantula X6 - 1 2.4G 4CH RC Quadcopter Hyper IOC UFO with LCD Controller ( No Camera ) - BLACK
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
Topic: Rcgroups.com YIZHAN TARANTULA X6 quadcopter discussion groups
Troubleshooting and FAQ
Here are common things you need to know else if you do encounter problem with TARANTULA X6. Some of the troubleshooting and problem similarly discussed previously above but below are the common vital ones:
- Propellers get tangled with prop guards:
Answer: Try to trim/cut the prop guards outer edges that looks dangling freely without support. This part seems to flex much when pummel by the wind and causes it to flip flop towards the spinning propellers.
- Rotor binding/grindings:
Answers: If the rotors set is unable to spin freely or grinding between motor pinion and rotor gears unlike the majority then you'll need to re-seat the main motor by unscrew it and then re-adjust until the pinion gear is not tight enough to cause rough meshing against the rotor spur. Unsolved gear binding will cause friction and high motor loading resistance which causes motor wear and tear quicker thus motor coil/brushed burned.
- Hey!, where's the unboxing video?
Answers: Well like i said before after the parcel went MIA for many weeks and travelling across the globe i don't think the parcel look that much presentable...lets skip the horror part. Only the internal guts looks ok...hehehehe.
The X6 dubbed to be the best "poor man's" DJI PHANTOM which can perform similar task as the expensive model, the differences are that i came without the GPS driven automation, capped radio performance and cheap brushed motor just enough to keep you happy for few month of normal flight before next motor replacement. You can't go wrong using cheap grade quadcopter such as YIZHAN TARANTULA X6 as your FPV and aerial photography platform, honestly there no shame to fly around in front of your club member who flown quality grade $1k drone...if it does the job then why not go ahead for the sake of your wallet..you'll have surplus money to put food on your table for the whole family. I myself become a true believer of brushed driven motor rotor multirotor since i had gazzillion FPV adventure and thrills such as on super el-cheapo WL-TOYS V929 and other brushed driven rotor enough to stunned my local FPV flyer who spent triple for the same purposes. The TARANTULA X6 has the stability, maneuverability, adequate flight range, load carry power, fun flying factor, durability, lots of flight stamina, lots of many after market spare parts, and lots of space to add-on your FPV modification based on your creativity without tearing hole in your pockets.. Hey! its only $55 dollar quad and perform just the same like any expensive grade quad. It have lots of PROS than CONS and you don't notice anything missing from your wallet.