So as usual our sponsor came up to me again to offer another quad copter thingy (again) for a try out and to review but i say no no that's enough of flying buzzard clogging my blog, it makes my overall flying ambition looks very amateur. I'd like to do my own handpicking stuff that looks pretty potential at their website rather than they pick it up for me. To be honest at them i did mentioned there's not much of 'FPV' thing or flying stuff that interested me within provided price range, i did ask for YUNEEC TYPHOON Q500 for me to do test and review since it fit my overall FPV theme and goal at my website but yaahh you know at $1, 256 its too much to ask for...so i can understand that. My uncle was looking forward about that YUNEEC TYPHOON Q500 so does people at my local club but lets try that next time if 'm lucky to get one. So there's lacking of serious FPV stuff for me to toy around at their website, not much spotting any good quad to get my attention or at least an FPV equipment to get me excited about. Actually i got tired of quadcopter, its like eating the same sandwich everyday but i really want serious FPV stuff but it cost more than they could offer. So i flipped the book around trying to find something else more creative yet get the spark of interest back in me in more honest way....something more enjoy to thinker around and still able to get crowd attention in R/C community.
So what's the best coolest thing they have at GearBest.com? This: FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle rock racer/crawler. Although its not something that flies or FPV/UAV but my heart says its beautiful! Awesomely the best toys for boys. Seeing it makes my adrenaline pumping. All i can visualized on this is bunch of hill climbing, gnawing big rocks, spewing dirts and staring on those sexy mechanical suspension and drivetrains. This thing looks very mean looking machine, very scale like, doesn't look toyish and something i would like to put my fist on the ground on weekends. Yes this one fits my overall theme! Infact before i'm into FPV/UAV, flying models and stuff you see right now i was previously an avid car Radio Control modeler ...an R/C off-road fan years back. I used to own bunch of buggy, monster trucks and bunch of dirt pounding 4x4, which then later jump into virtual world building 4x4 models for gaming/simulator as you can see in my website content archive. I stopped spending these back then because it was a costly hobby which i need to spend $$ ever month for maintenance of wear and tear parts unlike flying models. I did try to return back into off-roading after those scale 4x4 trends such as rock crawling and trails getting popular but i'll have to spend at least around $250 for a basic model from good brand such as AXIAL, RC4WD and VATERRA. But what GeaBest.com got was a $64/- dollar scale 4x4 truck with all those good stuff just like high performance models from rival brands...except its 1/12 scale....but don't put judgement on that yet because i was wrong too looking down it. Priced at $64 i thought it was a cheap junk, was impossible how they could build such good looking thing at such price. The build almost looks like something from high end brand TRAXXAS models almost cloned, had to admit the FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle sure looks too good to be true. So i contacted GB representative Ms. Tina that FY03 is a go for me. I had to wait weeks for it to get it restocked as i assume it must be hot on sale. A week later i was inform its in stock, immediately they packed in send via DHL and 4 days later i had it in my hands. They box was big for a 1/12 scaler. I thanked GB for their fast priority service, the box was mint in condition.
Specification (as describe by vendor/manufacturer)
Model: Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 1/12 2.4G 4WD Desert Off-Road Truck RC Car
Body color: Green or Red
Vehicle model size: 28×19×10.5cm
Wheel gauge: 21cm
Wheel width: 3cm
Tire diameter: 4.5cm
Motor: 390 size brushed motor.
ESC: 40A on integrated board with radio receiver and servo controller.
Steering servo: 19g High-Speed Servo (1kg Torque Force)
Front suspension system: Independent - Flat horizontal struts
Rear suspension: Solid axle - Mc Phearson style struts
Shocks absorbers: Semi plastic and metal wit dampers
Wheelsets: Scale like fully bead locked wheel. Soft rock crawling style tyres.
Battery: 7.4V 1500mAh Large Power Li-ion Battery (Included)
Radio controller frequency: 2.4Hz 2x channel
Remote Control Distance: ≥80m
Use time: Around 15~18 minutes (Depending on driving style)
Charge time: Around 2.5 hours
Remote controller battery: 4 X 1.5V AA Batteries (Not included)
- Low Voltage Protection: Receiver stop working when batteries voltage is lower than 6.5V
- High-Temperature Protection: When receiver working temperature is higher than the pre-set temperature, receiver will protect drive and control circuitry and work again after cooling down to the pre-set temperature.
1x Truck model (FY03)
1x Radio transmitter
1x Truck main battery - 1500mah 2s li-on (however this may varies from different vendor)
1x Battery charger (however this may varies from different vendor)
1x Bag of spare parts (2x pinion, 2x battery tray pins, 2x allen hex tools), 1x wheel nut multi tool)
1x Manual book
After unboxing the FY03 i found out the model itself looks very impressive just as advertise online. Indeed slightly smaller than usual 1/10 at 1/12 size yet it has all the quality of serious rock crawler/racer by tinkering every corner of the parts for being extremely curious about it. After looking around and compare to so called the original build from rival version of this model at 1/10 scale the VATERRA TWIN HAMMERS which FY03 assume have cloned 98% of its similar build and structure the FY03 who is at 1/12 scale has far more scale like in design and details.... for example VATERRA TWIN HAMMERS have lexan molded fog light while FY03 have realistic detachable and scale detailed fog lights, you can also insert your custom mods LED light to add inside the foglight for scale functional light LED mods. The tyre size are proportionally looks more scale matching the model size rather than being overgrown tyre size on TWIN HAMMER. Its fully bead locked with hex bolt which you can easily remove tyres without glueing hence that's how a rock crawler wheels should be so i gave it 10/10 ratings on that for having great detail attention to the wheel designs. Overall in photogenic terms the FY03 looks more true to scale version of actual desert truck cum rock crawler/racer as seen in real world. Being at 1/12 the size are just right for being portable and looks good on any table at home or office as being shelf queen....sometimes it looks so good you wouldn't want to take it out to run over rocks and dirt where it was intended to build far fear you might scratch it, lol. The suspension system was impressive, the shock layout looks exactly like Twin Hammers and also as seen on high end TRAXXAS models. The coil shocks are adjustable, semi plastic with metal cap and adjustment ring....however its not oil filled but still extremely supple and smooth. It has long travel suspension enough to clear rocks and obstacles beneath the chassis...much higher than average Twin Hammer setup and yet doesn't look out of proportion like an ostrich or a giraffe as seen on cheaper version of rock crawler such as the high towered AX10....so FY03 looks structurally normal in wheel stance. Chassis and roll cage made out of elastic and impact resistant plastic however upon further investigation during dismantling parts and reassembly the plastic threads that hold the screw in-place on chassis seems to strip off easily if slightly over screwing, so caution when you do happen to do that...almost every plastic parts does that despite being elastic plastic...that include the coil shock set too so careful when you screw back the suspension aluminum cap on plastic cylinder shock body. The drivetrains seems to be designed as beefier as it could get, drive shaft is thick telescopic plastic as like as seen on TRAXXAS builds, have Slipper on spur gear to avoid wear and tear on spur and pinion gears especially when bashing around on full throttle or during jumps which stresses these gears.
The radio controller looks just like any average 2 channel transmitter with another unexpected extra feature that caught my attention, it has dual steering knobs to cater both left and right handed driver just like you seen on MODE 1 and MODE 2 type 6ch~8ch radio transmitter for air models. Push or pop-out the steering knob to the left and you get a left handed steering knob. Push or pop-out the steering knob to the right and you get a right handed steering knob. Commonly most ground model radio are right knob steered internationally but this is first time seen left side capable steering knob which both mode are easily switchable.....kudos to the FEIYUE manufacturer for being creative and resourceful on such compatible design for everyone to enjoy.
And finally upon unboxing it comes with twice of extra spare parts such as 2x spare metal pinion gears, 2x spare tray holder pins, 2x allen hex tools and 1x wheel bolt tools for maintenance purpose. Its a complete set of tools need to accomplish general maintenance on FY03 without coughing extra cash of essential tools to keep the model in tip top shape, so another great deals and cash saving effort included inside this package.
Outdoor performance, off-roading and rock crawling.
If you ever own an off-road model ranging from 1/10 scale to atleast 1/18, you'd predicted how 1/12 may perform as usual base on popular consensus much of how people would think 1/12 model sucks at terrain handling, it would probably as jumpy as 1/16 or 1/18 due to lighter body weight ratio to suspension recoil when roam around terrains plus too small for being grippy over rocks and obstacles......pretty much the same thought i have before i put trigger on the throttle. Well all this turn out to be untrue after i put FY03 for test drive around the tracks, through rugged terrains and steep rock climbing. To my amaze FY03 performed very much like 1/10 size scale 4x4 models. They was it suck up the bumps, how the suspension move with terrains and grips around rocks and slippery obstacles made an eye opening experience to everyone who witness how this 1/12 scale perform. If runs the dirt track like off-road buggy and rock crawling obstacles like 1/10 scale rocks crawlers! Magnificent!
My buddy who is a big fan of full scale HONG NOR race trucks who had the first laugh ended having the last laugh after trying out FY03 over bumpy dirt tracks and rocks, was speechless when he saw how the suspension keep the truck linearly stick on the ground and moves like a wave. He hardly able to bounce the truck into unstable tip over which he expect a mini size scale truck do but yet FY03 survived the bumps and torture. Many attracted by its quality, performance and scale details despite being portable in size. When i say i just bought it for $64 bucks, everyone was in disbelief! I say i wasn't joking about the price. To cheap to be true i guess. You can watch the video of FPV modded FY03 as i weave around the crowds and beaches, those are the crowds that was stunned seeing how it weave around obstacles and roam stable like a real scale truck. No matter how hard i hit the bump 85% of the time it stays glued on the ground like huge gravity suck in like magnet. I attribute this thanks to FY03 extremely long shock absorber, if you look at the rear that long travel motorcross like coil shocks and linkages can take all the bumps all day. Not only that the tyres too very soft and grippy helps overall stability and grip on the ground.
At rock climbing section/rock crawling the FY03 excel well with flying color being able to crawl and lunge over the rocks kept going up at unstoppable rate despite being small scale. It perform equally same as its counter part 1/10 scale rock crawling truck such as AXIAL WRAITH, YETI, AX-10, VATERRA's and RC4WD models. The stock rubber tyre really grips the rock like glue! Awesome. The suspension system soak up bumps and mold with terrain like spiders legs. The front independent suspension seems to works as good as solid axle when passing through gap and sloppy ridges. The shock absorber coil spring really compress nicely and rebound when really needed, not over rebound like typical cheap truck setup. The 390 size brushed motor and 40A combo seems to have lots of excess torque to push the truck weight up nicely, unfortunately some minor issues of overheating if you throttle too much on the throttle stick causing overall electronic to shutdown and regain back to normal status after cooling down which prevent electronic burn out....is that good or bad? ..i must say since we're paying at such price being integrated with the electronic that is pretty much understandable. The issues isn't much a major problem if you drive as scale speed and manner in a way it was build for so during my playtime it only occur 10% of the time for going into thermal shut down. The stock steering servo doesn't have much torque to hammer the steering wheel when the front wheel stuck or wedged between rocks however just enough to carry on normal steering once the truck start moving...as for me i don't complaint much as this is good enough to protect overall steering joint from blown a part or crack the steering knuckle due to over-torqued servo. While climbing the rocks i do notice how good the drive terrains distribute its amount of drive power to each wheel keep it moving up with minimal slippage, it seems that the differential gear on axles and mid terrain did well to make this model a great rock crawlers.
A single supplied battery rated at 1500mah 2s Li-ion (7.2 pack) at full charge can provide 10~12 minutes of constant normal throttle on both flat dirt terrain and also on steep rock crawling at scale like speed. Based on my observation and via FPV OSD/GPS mods on FY03 the radio controller/transmitter indeed had average range of ~80 meter straight line of sight as depicted on the manual book. After running the truck almost every day on loose sand, dirt and hilly rocky climbs for almost a week i did check through every parts to audit its condition, my findings found out that the parts on thr truck held well except for missing grill cap on its decorative for light on the roof toop of the truck due to tumble down from rocky hills during hill climbing...no injury or major scratches yet. So far no loose screws, no broken parts, nothing bent parts can be found or nothing worn out visible from the naked eyes. Drive terrain looks great with no play on the ball bearing and wheels neither same thing happen to the steering wheel too. I must say i'm really impressed with the quality and durability. Do take note that i drive my truck as scale like driving and at pace where brushed motor could push in its limit. At the end of the day the FY03 looks good on with dirt, soil and dust covered all over its body, really make it looks realistically like a real truck. As for me i start to love driving on the ground again than being in the air.
FPV setup/modification for in-cockpit driving.
As you all notice that at the end of the day i did modified this model FY03 as ground FPV platform similar setup that can be found on my FPV/UAV flying platform. Which is the reason i pick up FY03 from GearBest.com instead of multi-rotor for my FPV project. Being scale without looking like Frankenstien modification this truck has the best or should i say layout to put FPV modification to work. The tube like chassis and lots of space to mount and cling the camera and FPV module around make the setup easier to install than typical smooth plastic LEXAN shell like body on normal R/C cars or full bodied truck model. Due to shortage of FPV parts required to implement FPV system on FY03 sadly i decided to rip out a EACHINE FPV 700TVL/200mw combo set and G-OSDII/GPS module from previously reviewed YIZHAN TARANTULA X6 that flew on that FPV system. Did i regret about it? Nope i was damn more happier than ever after made full setup and run outdoor for ground FPV experience on FY03 than on X6. The FPV installation on FY03 was straight forwards far easy than installing on flying platform; just couple of hot glue, zip tie camera to the cockpit tube frame, video module tied behind roll cage, GPS/OSD module under the front chassis tubing and feed from single main li-on battery 7.2v (2s) and off were go for ground adventure! Overall FPV cockpit driving experience on FY03 was fun! Its like driving a real car, able to see your front wheel suspension in action and how it maneuver over obstacles just like you're driving on PC game and simulator. Rock crawling FPV are much challenging and yet thrilling too, it gives great pleasure to enjoy new perspective of FPV experience than being just in the air for too long. Its really a bumpy ride which is much understandable since i drive it on the ground but comparing to other smaller or similar FPV platform on small scale the FY03 drives like a big r/c scale just like its 1/10 scale counter part thanks to fully active suspension that dampens any vibration and bumps that minimized disorientation while driving in it. It does lack of pan-tilt setup but being simple front focus viewing still give overall pleasant joy of driving. The video range is very satisfying and no interference or constant bad lines on the FPVscreen/cameras as displayed/reported by other ground FPV builders which need filtering hardware this and that setup to make it work which is good news on FY03 FPV modders at the same time keeping the wiring build simple with less budget required. In-cockpit handling, steering and control is very predictable so as you can see from the FPV video i publish on my Youtube channel its easy for me to navigate around patch and people walking on the side walk.
Here are the list of FPV parts i used on FY03:
- FPV camera: EACHINE 700TVL FPV camera.
- Video transmitter: EACHINE 5.8ghz 32ch 200mw video transmitter module with 5v built in BEC.
- OSD module: HK G-OSDii @ mini OSD module with GPS flashed with UOSD firmware
Upgrade recommendation, customization and advices.
People like to upgrade their rides, R/C modeler enthusiast are more likely to put metal parts upgrade, alloys, high torque digital metal gear steering servo and most likely a brushless motor and ESC combo setup for extreme speed basher. So is FY03 upgradable? I received many enquiries about mod ability from many guest and i should yes this model can be upgraded like any other 4 wheeler kit. Unfortunately you'll need to spend more cash if you want it to convert to brushless system and use your hand picked servo because overall the electronics on FY03 are mostly integrated where ESC, radio receiver and servo channel controller are All-In-One board which is very typical hardware setup mostly found on any mini size RTR (Ready to Run) set just to save up space and weight such a small compact platform. With all said before you'd probably spent cost more that the truck model itself to upgrade FY03 into competition worthy truck on the track but may i remind you again this is not designed to race around the track or jumping high into ramps like monster truck or race buggy. The model is aim for 4x4 scaler enthusiast for rock crawling, scale like apperance and trail adventure around obstacles so stock electronic that comes in the package is good enough for its intended driving experience. If you like speed, jumping, bashing and crashing into your buddy truck then turn around buy a proper big size monster truck or race buggy. If there one thing i would do to do upgrade on FY03 is i would change the motor pinion gear to smaller count "T" value for more torque and slower precise driving pace to upscale any rocks and steep climb over the hills. Appearance or physical customization is a plus side on FY03, like i said before fog light can be modded to add internal LED lights, plastic LEXAN covering body/roof panel are detachable via hex nuts from the model exo tubing...which still looks good when drive with just tubing frame/roll cage only, You can cut out our own plastic panel, paint it and screw it back to the tubing to make your unique personalized truck appearance, wheels sets can be change with after market wheel choices and many more. You can also remove the internal stock cockpit with maybe miniature scale doll like driver and dashboards too. Overall FY03 is a great model, portable size to be adore anywhere and great looking truck model to be display or showcase in your room or publicly......yeah not that big or intimidating for you married guys who have problem with wifey, that for sure.
Here are sample of video of unboxing, testing and FPV driving on FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle rock racer/crawler i posted on my Youtube channel, i will keep update on latest video on this product soon:
- Product gallery: FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle rock racer/crawler
- Video: FPV cross road cockpit drive - Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 Desert Truck
- Video: FPV Fun beach drive - Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 Desert Truck
- Video: Part 3: Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 Desert Truck - FPV cockpit drive
- Video: Part 2: Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 Desert Truck - Extreme rock crawling
- Video: Feiyue FY03 Eagle-3 Desert Truck - Review 1 Unboxing
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:
Seller GearBest.com: FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle rock racer/crawler
Spare parts and upgrade support: http://www.gearbest.com/fy03-_gear/
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
Topic: FEIYUE - FY03 Desert Eagle aka look like Twin Hammer rock racer
Topic: FY03 rock racer aka twin hammer
Troubleshooting and FAQ
Here are common things you need to know else if you do encounter problem with HORYZON HD4
- Stop running after several full throttle runs? :
Answer: Its over heating, let the truck cool down for few second and the electronics will recover back to normal status. So careful when you trigger the throttle. This truck meant for scale driving only.
- Should i insert some shock fluid/oil shocks? :
Answer: Nope you shouldn't, keep it empty dry as it is else you'll ended up leaking it, soiled up by wet damper and causes the sand/dust accumulate around the cylinders and finally jammed the movement.
Even at 1/12 scale the model performance was jaw dropping. I'd never expect such small package could perform similar performance and driving quality that you would find on branded 1/10 rock crawler and racer such as its expensive rivalry such as AXIAL, RC4WD and VATERRA lines of trails and rock climbing performance models. At such size it still retain proportional accurate details of a desert truck theme with sets of configurable yet supple shocks, great scale like chassis layout, small parts such as fog lights, rear spare wheels, scale beaded wheel sets and much more at affordable price. Plastics are impact resistance but not really good with over screwing in with screw and bolts. The stock electronics which is default on FY03 offer great fun and reliability both on flat off-road and rough rocky climbs. Upgrade to brushless motor/ESC combo and others usual enhancement to its performance are welcomed but i'd say its overrated not because the truck can't handle it but because its already run awesomely good and fun as original as it is. Best to keep it stock and just customized its appearance which is main purpose for 4x4 scaler junkies...you'll gonna love it. For me splashing those dusty pale biege sandy dirt and dusts all over the truck is the best paintjob which makes FY03 looks sexy and irresistible. I did post at my facebook and forum photos and videos on FY03 and the crowds go wild. For your information and if you old timer fans already knew i did own several rock crawler especially 4x4 scaler such as RCTRAX MINIQLO, AXIAL clone AX-10, DIY 4x4 axle 1/12 scaler and some SC truck model in the past then sold of because frustrated because it couldn't satisfied my need that have attribute of good looking scaler that not only good at rock crawling, trail driving but also speed driving and FPV driving experience...when FY03 appeared online i knew i've found my love match and its true i found the perfect ride 100% had me hook up like made into 4x4 back again....damn i missed my routine R/c flying this week. So to sum up everything if you're looking for true 4x4, true scale styling, budget, originality, less modification time, low maintenance, huge fun factor, all terrain capable and crow pleaser the FEIYU FY03 - Desert Eagle rock racer/crawler is a real deal. Heck!, i highly likely would get another one soon...we'll i need to save up some money again. Stay tune for more video and updates on my adventure with FY03 soon, See ya!.