RCU Review: Estes Proto-X SLT Nano Quadcopter


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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: May 2015 | Views: 11928 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Wings Maker DF032

    • The very sturdy and ergonomic remote
    • Easy to fly even for the complete beginner, and yet fun for the most weathered pilot
    • super fun!
    • Very affordable

    • Just to be picky: the flip maneuver would benefit from being triggered by a push button

    There is one thing for sure, there is no shortage of novelties in the multicopters world nowadays. Estes, the well-known rocket manufacturer, contributes to this ever-growing market with distributing the Proto-X line of nano-quads. The Proto-X was introduced a little over a year ago, and surprised everyone by its amazingly small size, and yet very stable flight behavior.

    The next generation and subject of this review, the Proto-X SLT. It builds from the success of the Proto-X and adds a couple of exciting features which includes the ability to do flip maneuvers. That is a promise for a lot of fun!

    I was impressed with the talented pilots who were able to perform a flip on the previous generation (Proto-X). I tried many time, and lets say that the success ratio was very low. Here is a nano-quad that offers to do it for me.

    Lets dive in.



    The box is not large, and yet it is huge in comparison to the size of the model. This is actually to fit the larger-than-usual remote provided with the quadcopter.


    The kit comes complete with the quadcopter, remote, manual, and the connector to charge the imbedded battery.

    The tiny quadcopter will amaze by its size. Hard to believe that such a small device can fly! Of course, the model is ready to fly out of the box - no assembly required.
    Manufacturer Information
    Price:
    $39.99 Ready to Fly (at time of review)

    Manufacturer's description:

    The Proto-X SLT makes the world's smallest quadcopter even more incredible! A larger 2.4GHz radio with dual rates is just the start; now, pilots can execute flips and other mild-to-wild maneuvers with a single button-push.

    An Auto-Upright system keeps the Proto-X SLT stable in any flight condition. Toss the quad in the air, and Auto-Correcting Technology keeps it level. Even beginners can fly the Proto-X SLT with complete success!

    The colorful body is designed for easy LiPo battery installation and replacement. Colorful LEDs make it easy to see the Proto-X SLT in any light condition.

    Also, since it comes with the SLT protocol built-in, pilots can fly this cool quadcopter with popular radio systems like the Tactic® TTX650.

    As always, the Proto-X SLT comes with a USB charger and four spare rotor blades. All you need to add are four "AAA" batteries.


    Specifications:

    • Dimensions: 1.8 in x 1.8 in (45 mm x 45 mm)
    • Weight: 0.4 oz (11.5 g)
    • Requires: 4 "AAA" batteries



    The Proto-X SLT is built around the control board, which  doubles as the mechanical structure for the quad's arms. Very simple and clever, as it makes for a light and yet very rigid model. The battery is pre-mounted and doesn't need to be disconnected to be charged. A micro-switch located under the quad is used to enable and cut the power.



    I was very pleased to see that the Proto-X SLT came with a "human-size" remote, and not a tiny controller we usually see. This makes the flying experience much more comfortable.

    The four required AAA batteries are not provided, so make sure you have some on hand if you want to fly right away!



    The Estes Proto-X SLT doesn't need a large area to fly in. Any bedroom or living room will do just fine. It was off the top of the workbench that the Proto-X SLT used for a lauch pad for the first take offt, and then off to tour the rest of the house.

    The first impression was great, the model showed impressive stability in the standard flight mode. The quadcopter showed a little bit of drift on the pitch and roll axis, but it is perfectly locked around the yaw axis. The drift can be corrected with the trim. I found the model very easy to maneuver and the drift didn't really impede the precision. If the drift is not acceptable, the manual describes a procedure to calibrate the sensors.

     In the standard mode, the Proto-X SLT will not tilt more than approximately 20 or 30 degrees in all directions and also limits the acceleration in similar manner. The quadcopter is capable of keeping a constant altitude while traveling, even if the pilot adjusts the throttle for a finer control.

    This is the first challenge a new multirotor pilot has to face; controlling the throttle. Lowering altitude is always much faster than climbing, and the pilot has to apply positive throttle input to raise the quadcopter, and be more gentle and subtle with the stick when lowering the machine. The Proto-X SLT is no different than any other quadcopter in that aspect.

    The EXPERT mode is where the next level of fun resides, as the flip-a-bility is now enabled! To perform a flip, the pilot just has to move the stick halfway in one direction and then quickly in the opposite direction. The quadcopter will do a flip around pitch and roll axis. With no throttle management, the quad will easily lose 3 to 5 feet in this process. It is best to increase the throttle just before the maneuver and reduce it once the flip is completed.





    The Estes Proto-X SLT









    The Proto-X SLT addresses a larger public than just the RC community. Its stability and ease to fly makes it a very good first flying machine. It is very fun to fly with little to no risk to the environment, quad, pilot, or the spectators. The Proto-X SLT will take a lot of abuse before giving up. During the course of this review, we didn't replace any components, and the quadcopter hit more than a few walls! Most of the time, one or two of the propellers will pop off after a crash, and it is a simple job to snap it back on the shaft...... and go flying again.

    With 2 to 3 minutes of flight time, the autonomy is on par with what would be expected for a model of this size. The flight time tends to decrease with the number flights, and after about 10-15 recharges it was much closer to 2 minutes than 3. We haven't replaced the battery, but it would be a simple process.


    The nano-quadcopter Proto-X SLT is a good machine, fun to fly and robust. It comes with what might be the best remote of all nano-size quadcopter currently available. All these characteristics, combined with a very affordable price makes it a must-have for guaranteed fun!
    Links



    Pictures and videos were shot at:
    http://www.bayoucityflyers.com/



    Comments on RCU Review: Estes Proto-X SLT Nano Quadcopter

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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