***BEFORE YOU READ***
Note that this is a work in progress, since I am interning at a hospital, my work hours are quite strange compared to that of the gf's or my cameraman, Nutta. So I'll find time for them to help me make a flight video when possible. Bear with me please! I've tested the quad extensively though, so here's the review in it's current form:
After much anticipation, my RC EYE One from RC Logger has finally arrived! I was supposed to receive it long ago but it was stuck at the customs office due to a month-long ban on R/C products (Politics, sigh). Anyways, it has arrived and here is what hopefully is an unbiased and helpful review about the RC EYE One. Before we start the main part of the review though, I would like to thank RC Logger (Chris, Tracy, Doris and Adam in particular) for providing the sample and sending it all the way to Beijing. Although they are representing the manufacturer, they have asked me on numerous occasions to make sure that the review is unbiased (as always). Oh, and I want to point out that I rarely see any company in the industry (or in other industries even) that do customer support/service as well as they do. They are a very professional team and dealing with them is a pleasure!
From the box
The RC EYE One came well packaged in a very compact and well designed box...no wasted space at all.. it reminds me of the boxes that other consumer electronics come in. The contents are well protected and arrived with no damage.
Contents:The RC EYE One is very unique in design; it uses a 7.4V 350 mah battery driving 4 brushed motors. They seem quite durable but I'll have to test them in the long term to find out. Another thing that I really like about the design is that the motors are independent units from the arm (see the "maintenance" section).
RC EYE One x1
4 channel transmitter (915Mhz) x1
7.4v 350 mah Lipo battery x1
USB Charger x1
Instruction manual x1
Spare props x 4
Spare landing pods x2
AAA Batteries (for the TX) x2]
One thing that brings a little bit of a concern is the use of a non-industry standard 915 Mhz radio system. This means that there is the possibility of interference although none were experienced in the few days I've flown the RC EYE One. I didn't like the fact that the flight mode had to be changed by pressing a button on the quad itself instead of being transmitter based, and I think it would be a little better if the battery leads were more accessible. RC Logger has informed me that a 2.4ghz version of the RC EYE One would be available in the future, so that's something to look forward to. The RC EYE One will also be available with a transmitter module called the onelink (similar to the anylink system) that the user can attach to their full sized transmitters.
The transmitter that's bundled in the RTF package is based on the Playstation controller, so I think that most users would be quite familiar with it (even for a non gamer like me). I like its portability and ergonomics. The feel of the sticks is quite nice, the throttle is smooth and the stick tension is acceptable. I need to point out that the location of the elevator trim buttons are on the right side of the elevator stick instead of the usual left, so trimming does take some familiarization. (by habit, I often trigger the βCHβ button instead of elevator trim). Also, the close proximity of the βdownβ elevator and the βrightβ aileron trim buttons are too close in my opinion, requiring the operator to look at the controls during flight.
***There is a Gyro recalibration function; activated by leaving the throttle/rudder stick at zero throttle whilst pushing the elevator/aileron (right stick on mode 2)stick to the top right hand corner (elevator forward and aileron right). The RC EYE One will provide an audio cue and flash a green status light to signal successful recalibration.***
Charging the batteryIncluded in the box is the USB charger designed specifically for the 350 mah 2 cell battery that powers this quad. The manual does warn against charging from a computer's USB port as some of the older computers may not be capable of powering the unit. Since my laptop is quite old; I decided to stay on the safe side and plugged the charger into a usb adapter that I have for my phone. 2 red lights indicate the charge status of each cells;they dim out once the battery has been fully charged.
Flight performanceThe flight performance of this aircraft is certainly the biggest selling point of the RC EYE One. Featuring not only a three axis gyro, there are also onboard accelerometers; this makes the RC EYE One exceptionally stable in flight... Below is a description of my experience flying the RC EYE One.
*Note: flight mode is switched via a button under the frame of the quad. I really hope that future revisions would allow flight mode to be changed in flight.
Basic/ Beginner flight performance (Default flight status, green LED)
I am amazed at the stability of the RC EYE One under the beginner flight mode. Other than the throttle, it really requires minimal input to stay aloft. For the seasoned aviator, this flight mode is definitely going to be a little dull; for the beginner however, I think this really lowers the learning curve. I would, without any hesitation, recommend this quad to any beginners out there.
Intermediate flight performance (Amber-red LED)
In the intermediate flight mode, the quad has sharpened responses and could pick up a bit of speed without having a compromise on stability. The accelerometers along with the gyros do a superb job of stabilizing the quad. When I find myself in trouble, I'll just let go of the right sticks and the RC EYE One would go back into a relatively stable hover. The intermediate flight mode is stable enough yet nimble enough for most flight situations. I think most users would probably fly under this flight mode in most situations.
Advanced flight performance (Red LED)
Under the advanced flight mode, there is minimal input from the gyros and accelerometers. I recommend flying under this flight mode only in large open areas since it is relatively less stable and much, much faster. It can get out of hand quite easily at first, even for the seasoned flyer like me; after some familiarization though, I always fly with the advanced flight setting outside. It's very rewarding and a heck of a lot of fun. I think I would describe it as a perfect combination of fixed wing and rotorcraft flight characteristics.
If you feel the need for speed, look no further. I have never flown any rotorcraft (of its size) at the speeds the RC EYE One is capable of. I think the RC EYE One could easily outrun my brushless Hoten X!
The RC EYE One in its current form has no ability to flip...I know some of you look for aerobatic ability in quads; but for me, it really isn't a big issue. I think its ability to do high speed flybys, flights through very small spaces and precision landings etc. more than makes up for its current inability to do flips and rolls. (RC Logger is working at adding flip capability to the RC EYE One in the near future).
Let's face it, crashes do happen from time to time no matter how experienced you are at flying. When I purchase new aircraft, the ease of maintenance is a very big factor in the decision. Quads in general are very easy to fix, but the engineers at RC Logger went one step further and designed the motors of the RC EYE One to be independent from the rest of the (metallic) arm. This means there will be less wasted material and less time spent on repairs.
A screw holds the arm onto the frame of the quad; another holds the motor to the arm. to remove the motor assembly, un-tighten the outboard screw and unplug the motor... It's that simple. Other than the motors and possibly the rotors, there's not a lot that could be damaged in the average crash (I have yet to damage any parts other than losing a prop); the RC EYE One is extremely robust!
The RC EYE One's performance and build quality really does set a new standard for micro quads. I applaud the highly functional and innovative design. In terms of flight performance, the stability is amazing, it feels as if the quad is on rails; I personally think it's a better flyer than my current favorites- the Walkera QR Ladybird series and the Hubsan X4.
Sure, the lack of flip capability, the flight mode button location and the use of the 915 mhz system does leave a little to be desired... But RCLogger is addressing most of these issues. Once implemented, I think this quad will come very close to being the "perfect quad" (absolutely love it as it is already).
RCLogger also mentioned that an onboard camera could be available in the future, and that is something that I really look forward to.
The RC EYE One has met and exceeded all of my expectations. I would be more than happy to recommend it for the novice and the experts alike. I must say that I've been very critical with the review for the RC EYE One and it has passed with flying colors. Great job RC Logger!
This review was written on November 27th, 2012 and is accurate per my findings. I will post the standardized review chart when I reach 100 cycles and that should provide a somewhat objective comparison with the other quads that I have tested. Let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding the review either in this thread or via PM. Thanks for reading!
Pros and Cons
+ Build quality
+ Flight performance
+ Accessories (Camera, available soon)
+ 7.4v system
+ Ease of maintenance
+ One link system (available soon)
+ Great technical support and service
+ VERY robust
+ Cool drone-like appearance
- 915mhz radio (being addressed)
- No flip capability (being addressed)
- Flight mode is controlled by a button on the quad instead of via the transmitter
- Battery plug is somewhat difficult to access
The RC EYE One is available atΒ*www.rclogger.comΒ*or at distributors specified on the website for $69.
#1 RC EYE One/ RC Logger
#2 QR Ladybird V1/ Walkera
#3 X4(H107)/ Hubsan
#4 QR Ladybird V2 (Stock with Devo 4, tied in second place if flown with a programmable radio) Walkera.
#4 X100 (Mini Pet)/MJX/XinYuDa
#6 V929 WLToys