Blade 200 QX Quadcopter – First look, review and rating

200 QX in it's element

Introduction

Blade is the brand name given to R/C Helicopter and Multirotors (Quadcopters, etc.) by Horizon Hobby, an American company which has been in business since the mid-1980′s. They have offices and manufacturing around the globe and, in this sense, differ greatly from many of the current “toy grade” vendors.

Horizon Hobby products are sold through various outlets – including many local hobby shops. You can also buy products directly from their web site or from Amazon and other online vendors.

200 QX in it's element

200 QX in it’s element

In this review, I’ll look at their 200 QX quadcopter, a small quadcopter with powerful brushless motors. Horizon Hobby describes this as a “compact quad loaded with tech”.Droneflyers.com focuses on beginner and intermediate pilots – so this unit was purchased with a “starter” TX – the Spektrum DX5e. This is also made by Horizon and can be used for many of their other models as well as some other brands which use the DSM R/C technology (this is a wireless protocol type).

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New ebook – Buying and Flying the DJI Phantom Quadcopters – Learn Before you Buy

New Ebook

We are pleased to note the immediately availability of our new ebook:
Buying and Flying the DJI Phantom Quadcopters: Covers all Current Models – Learn Before you Buy!

This book is designed as an educational resource and as a guide to help beginning flyers make an intelligent purchasing decision. Those just entering the pursuit will learn all the basics – and more. However, if you are already experienced with R/C flying or quadcopters, you are probably familiar enough with the DJI products to research them online and make an informed choice.
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DJI PHANTOM 2 VISION PLUS + First Look and Review & Rating – Part 1

Sample Still Shot (downsized) - click to enlarge

Note – if you are looking for an article on the differences between the DJI Phantom models, click this link.

DJI is well known as a leader in the RTF Quadcopter market. The first Phantom, released at the end of 2012, provided a new standard and value in a mid-sized GPS quadcopter. In the time since, DJI has grown quickly (now over 1,000 employees) and invested heavily in R&D and production.

The PHANTOM 2 VISION + represents many of their innovations all rolled up into one customer-grade quadcopter. But is it for everyone? Or, more importantly, is it the right machine for your needs?

Unlike many other reviewers, we will not try to reinvent the wheel by providing you with duplicates of every specifications on this model – the specs and features are clearly stated on the DJI site and elsewhere:
http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2-vision-plus

Rather we will try to help with more subjective views on this aerial robot – how does it “feel” to fly? Can you get parts and repairs for it? Who is the target customer? How does it compare to competitive models? This, and much more, will be covered below.
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DJI PHANTOM 2 VISION PLUS + First Look and Review & Rating – Part 2

Basic Telemetry and Control Functions

Note: you can follow this link to part #1 of this review.
(This article is still in draft status with more information added each day)

P2+ will sometimes be used below as an abbreviation for Phantom 2 Vision+

The DJI Vision App and Extended Features

Unlike most other quadcopters, the Phantom 2 Vision+ uses a smartphone for many functions. The TX itself is used to power and steer the craft, while the smartphone – loaded with the DJI Vision App – adds an impressive array of features. Telemetry is very important when piloting remote vehicles as it lets the operator know the status of battery life, altitude, speed and heading. It also allows full control of the camera – you control when to take video or stills as well as the quality settings. For the beginner, telemetry can be defined as the quadcopter and the ground station (your smartphone) talking back and forth. Such features are not included on many earlier models and are part of what sets the P2+ apart from any similar machines.
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Opportunities in Aerial Robotics 2014

Opportunities in Aerial Robotics 2014+
By Craig Issod
ccc Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

PDF Copy of this Document:OpportunitiesinAerialRobotics2014forward

Overview
The author believes that aerial robotics is a burgeoning new field with numerous opportunities. However, overestimating the market may cause a classic “bubble” in these companies as the buzz around the industry grows. As with other budding technologies, the vast majority of companies entering this field will fail. This is especially true with aerial robotics as much of hardware is produced by large commodity manufacturers (intel, etc.). Also, much of the software is open source – which means there is unlikely to be a “Microsoft of the drone biz”.

On the positive end, it appears that the use of aerial robots is only limited by our imagination – technology has already produced most of the parts and will move forward much quicker than the total integration of any particular package(s). To the uninitiated, I like to explain it as follows. The real nerds among us have been pining for the “robotic revolution” for 30-40 years, but vast barriers have always stood in their way. As an example, look at the products from the robotic leader – Boston Dynamics:
http://www.bostondynamics.com/ [Read more...]

Eye One Xtreme – The Bridge Between Toy Grade and Hobby Grade Quads (Full Review)

xtremeRecently I wrote an article on moving up from a toy grade quad to a hobby grade quad.  In the past this typically meant a serious commitment in money and/or time as you either had to build a quad from scratch or opt for an expensive RTF (Ready to Fly) option such as a DJI Phantom.  Enter the Eye One Xtreme from RC Logger.  This quad hails the emergence of a brand new class of quad, the affordable brushless mini.  Packing options galore, many advanced features found on more expensive RTF quads, and powerful brushless motors capable of carrying a GoPro, the Xtreme has emerged as the perfect bridge between toy grade and hobby grade quads. [Read more...]

Quadcopter Aerial Photography and Video on a shoestring budget

Taken with a Mobius Cam and older Model Phantom I

Drone and Quadcopter Aerial Photography and Video (APV) on a budget.

A large percentage of of the new hobbyists taking up this pursuit have interest in the photography and video aspects of quadcopters. People are often impressed when you show them amatuer pics such as the one below – and they want to know how much it costs to set up a similar rig.

Taken with a Mobius Cam and older Model Phantom I

Taken with a Mobius Cam and older Model Phantom I

This article will explain some of the options available from $80 to $700 (total) for getting aerial pictures and video.

———————Lowest End – under $200 Total

WL Toys Model 222
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