Description – Review – Hints and Modifications
The Hubsan X4 ($60-$70) made a big splash when it was released a few months back. It’s a miracle of engineering, being one of the smallest quadcopters made and yet having very advanced features. Notice that it lack gears – this is a direct drive machine! It also features a 6-axis stabilization system, as opposed to the 3 or 4 axis on most lower cost quads – this results in an amazingly stable craft – even in wind!
However, you may notice that some reviewers love it and some hate it.
So, what’s the real story?
Appeal to users:
Advanced Beginners UP.
Type of Quad: Consumer Micro
In most cases, this should not be your first Quad or your first radio controlled flying machine! It is not for complete beginners, more for advanced beginners all the way up to expert.
It comes complete with the quad, a transmitter, a USB charger and a single battery. Some merchants and packaging contain an extra set of props. My advice, before you even start using this quad, is to purchase at least 2 extra batteries, 2 or more sets of props and one of each (CCW and CW) motors. This way you will be ready for the first repairs and replacements!
Flyers with no experience are likely to crash the Hubsan too many times before they get the hang of it, resulting in a poor experience and a broken quadcopter. How do I know this? Easy – I did it myself.
BUT, once I took more time to learn on the cheaper Syma X1 and read up on the X4, I then had the confidence to start using the X4 in the way it was intended.
A couple caveats – you must do a few of the “mods” suggested by other users before flying! These include at least putting some soft foam or other material under each leg and the “electrical tape mod”, which keeps the arms from detaching as easily as stock. There is a third mod called the “straw mod”, which you can look up – it helps make certain you will not destroy a motor as quickly.
Super-stable flight – corrects to level when you leave go of stick!
Works well in the wind
Can fly inside in decent sized room
Props not as likely to hurt you
Parts are inexpensive
The designers never quite finished this model – hopefully future versions will be improved…..
Mods need to be done – should have been designed into it.
You need good eyes and slight of hand to replace parts – and you WILL have to replace parts!
Parts can be hard to get without searching a lot or getting from China/eBay
No real support unless you buy the (more expensive) Traxxas labeled version.
In summary, if this is your first quadcopter it may be your last. But if you are a hobbyist and don’t mind working on your machines, you may love this thing no matter what level of flyer you are! If you are a good flyer and don’t crash it hard and often, it may just become your fav! When it works as it should, it’s hard to beat for inside and close quarters outdoor flying.
Charge your battery using the included USB charger or proper other charger. Do not overcharge the battery – read our article on Lipo batteries for best practices. Insert battery into X4 making certain you press it fully rearward into the copter body. Connect the battery terminals while the transmitter is still powered off.
Set the X4 on a level surface and turn on the transmitter. Make sure your transmitter throttle is fully in the down position. The blue Hubsan “eyes” will be alternately flashing at this point until you turn on the transmitter. A few seconds after you turn on the transmitter, a loud beep will indicate it has bound to the quadcopter – at the same moment, the two blue “eyes” will stop flashing and just stay lit.
Your X4 should not be ready to fly. Be sure to follow some of our hints in the videos in terms of learning to fly it.
Crashes and crazy flying can often confuse your little drone, but a full reset will usually fix these. This involves:
1. Disconnect battery and turn off transmitter
2. Reconnect battery – place quad on level surface and turn on and bind transmitter (BEEP).
3. Do a “stick wiggle” reset of your quad before flying. This is done by holding your throttle (left stick) in the lower right position as far as it goes, and then wiggling your right hand stick back and forth left to right (quickly). You will see the lights on the X4 blink, indicating you have reset the main board.
Inspect and replace your X4 propellers as needed. They will often be bent down after a bad crash – you may be able to straighten them out by hand. Make sure they spin freely and are as level as possible.
More Hubsan X4 Modifications
Battery Connector Improvements
There are some other small mods which will add greatly to your fun factor and ease of flying the X4. One involves the battery connector, a very small assembly commonly called the walkera plug or connector. The good news is that these connectors go together easily – the bad news is that it is near impossible to take them back apart! This can be very frustrating and lead to your ripping out the leads from either the battery or quadcopter. The solution is quite easy – use a very small file (nail file works well) to sand down the two small nubs which lock the connectors together. These nubs are on the BATTERY connector side – not on the quadcopter. Note the pictue below which shows the nubs (on your batteries) and the nub receivers (on the wire connected to your Hubsan circuit board).
Another easy modification keeps your battery wires out of the way. This involves putting a small piece of velcro on the flat side of the quadcopter connector and a larger piece on the bottom of the Hubsan body shell. Then, after connecting the battery spade connector, you can press the assembly against the bottom of the quad as in the pic below:
Here is a quick vid of inserting the battery, binding to the transmitter and indoor flight.
Here are some beginners tips for flying it!
Here is the forum thread on droneflyers.com for continuing tips on the X4: