HiSky is made by Chinese R/C helicopter company Chiyuan ELectronics and is sold in two forms which appear to be identical other than the color. One version is the HiSky FF120 and the other is the Hobbyking (HK) Micro Q-Bot. We will use the term “Micro Q-bot” throughout this review to avoid confusion.
Appeal to users:
Advanced Beginners UP who want to try flying a Micro which binds to a standard programmable R/C transmitter
Type of Quad: Consumer / Hobbyist
Cost: < $55 with 2 batteries, spare props, charger and Receiver module Crashworthiness - Good The Basics
You may be wondering why there is a need for yet another micro quadcopter. The Micro Q-bot, however, fills a nice niche in the space between the toy grade models and more advanced and larger quads. Read on…
Most quads come with their own transmitters (TX) which make it simple to get flying. The Micro Q-Bot, however, instead is designed to bind (work with) standard R/C transmitters, which allows for better control and adjustability. The use of a standard R/C TX can also help your transition into larger quads, as many will use the same control.
As with most smaller quadcopters, you get a LOT for your money with the Micro Q-Bot. The standard package includes:
Micro Q-Bot fully assembled
Battery Charger and USB Cable
1 set spare propellers
Module and cables for hookup to standard R/C TX.
In order to fly the Micro Q-bot, you must add (or already have) an R/C Transmitter with 4+ channels. We used a Turnigy 9X for this test, however the manufacturer and other hobbyists have reported success in getting this quad to bind with Futaba, JR, Spectrum, Walkera and compatibles.
Unlike most micro and mini quads (RTF or Ready-to-Fly), the Q-bot needs some setup before you can lift off. Specifically, you need to properly install the included module to your R/C TX and then bind it to the quad. This is best not attempted by complete newbies to the hobby, which is why we rated this model Advanced Beginners UP. The exact series of steps to do this may differ slightly with various models of transmitters. We have, however, placed a series of steps on our Forum Continuation Thread which should help those with 9X or 9X compatible radios.
An overview is as follows.
First, a new model should be set up on your TX – give it a name such as qbot or FF120 so it is easy to identify. This should be a regular plane model (ID’ed as acro on most TXs).
The stock module on the rear of the R/C TX must be removed from it’s socket and (usually) held onto the TX in some way – off to the side. See the picture showing the stock module velcroed to the left of it’s normal mounting. The Q-bot TX module is then held to the back of Tx in various ways..rubber bands, velcro, etc.
The Q-Bot module has two plugs, one “JR Style” and one Futaba. This needs to be plugged into the trainer port on the rear of the TX.
The Q-Bot TX module has it’s own internal battery which needs to be charged using the included USB charger. There are alternative ways to power the module (from the TX), however those are beyond the realm of this review – we will link to some of them in the Forum thread.
One important point is that the R/C transmitter is used in the ‘off” position. Power is fed into the TX from the Q-bot module mounted on the rear, at least with the Turnigy 9X. The TX will work as normally with the full LCD display and settings screens.
Another very important note about setup – make certain you have the Q-bot tied or weighted down when you are first attempting to bind it to your transmitter. The throttle channel on many Txs needs to be reversed, so it’s very likely that your motors may start up at full blast when you first set this model up. Another option is to remove the props until you are certain that the unit is properly bound and your TX throttle channel in the proper mode. On my 9X, the channel assignment for the first 4 is this:
But enough with the technical stuff – let’s talk about how this thing flies!
The Q-Bot, in this authors opinion, flies like a bigger quad and therefore provides a perfect segway from beginner quads and/or a fine piece for the more advanced hobbyist to add to their fleet. Although advertised as a “6 axis” quad, the Q-bot is not programmed to use the self-leveling and other such advanced features – rather it flies in a more manual “3-Axis” fashion, with you providing the skill to keep it in the air and on the right path. This type of flying allows skills to be honed without the higher expense (purchase and post-crash repair) of larger quadcopters. More experienced pilots will enjoy many facets of this quad, including the ability to fly it in more confined spaces.
Another plus is the ability to easily set how the quad reacts to your R/C TX. These settings are familiar to most TX users and include the Dual Rates (D/R) as well as others. Since I’m a newbie, I have dialed down the AIL and ELE settings to about 60% of stock.
Longevity and Crash Worthiness
I’ve learned to fly my quads over grass whenever possible – especially when I have a new model and am becoming familiar with the flight characteristics. Very few quads, even the tough micros and minis, can survive multiple hard crashes against concrete and blacktop. This quad is quite tough – I’ve knocked it into a couple tree trunks, branches, bushes and even fences! So far, the only part I have had to replace are a couple props. Oh, make certain you buy a LOT of props…these micros can go through them fairly quickly!
All parts are replaceable – and available. One possible strategy when it comes to spares would be to buy two of the Q-bots instead of one. The Hobbyking pricing is about $37 each…and for that price you get extra batteries and props also! If you have a decent sized order, it’s possible the shipping on your 2nd quad will be little or nothing.
Note that the motors plus into the main board – this makes them easier to replace than those which are soldered. I think most will agree that the HiSky engineers and designers did a bang-up job on this little quad.
As with other micros, a bit of extra protection will help your A-bot last longer. Two mods which are especially helpful are the “straw mod” to protect the motor shafts and padding the bottom of the motor casings for softer landings.
Conclusion – A Keeper!
This is a quad which should appeal to most all multirotor addicts except for complete beginners. Fans of micro quads would do well to add one or two to their hangars!
As with most of these chinese quads, the documentation is poor and will not help you much in setup and use. Use google as well as our Forum Continuation Thread to learn about the details of getting this quad to work with your TX.