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HomeCreative IdeasDarwinFPV BabyApe Ⅱ: Supercheap FPV drone

DarwinFPV BabyApe Ⅱ: Supercheap FPV drone

DarwinFPV BabyApe Ⅱ

A number of weeks in the past DarwinFPV launched their new BabyApe Ⅱ drone with primary waterproofing and different nifty upgrades, together with a extra sturdy body construction. Our assessment covers unboxing, options and technical specs, preliminary setup, and flight efficiency.

3.5″ FPV drones, such because the DarwinFPV BabyApe Ⅱ, are thought-about extra appropriate for rookies or those that are new to flying drones than 5″ ones. They’re usually used for indoor flying with blade protectors, close-quarters maneuvering, and studying primary flight management. In idea, smaller drones are usually extra agile and responsive in flight on account of their compact measurement and decrease weight. They will change path shortly and carry out acrobatic maneuvers with ease. With 3.5″ drones, you may keep underneath 250 grams and fly with out registration, the load restrict in most international locations.

Regardless of its compact measurement, the BabyApe Ⅱ guarantees as much as 13 minutes of battery life, a 1.5km vary, and a most flight velocity of 92km/h. Along with the onboard FPV digicam, it may be geared up with a GoPro Bones-like 4K motion digicam. Moreover, it comes with an IP54 score, which suggests that’s protected in opposition to contamination from restricted quantities of mud and different particles.

Technical specs

Dimensions Wheelbase: 156mm
Weight Analog: 135.4g
HD Digital: 151.4g
Flight controller F411 AIO with 30A Bluejay ESC
Motors 4S:1504-3600KV
Propellers HQProp T3.5x2x3GR-PC
FPV system Analog: Darwin FPC digicam + 600mW VTX
HD Digital: RUNCAM LINK Wasp Digital
Radio receiver PNP or ELRS 2.4Ghz
Battery 650-1100 mAh (4S/6S)

DarwinFPV Child Ape V2 assessment

Disclosure: I acquired this 3.5″ freestyle FPV drone in a product assessment collaboration with DarwinFPV. Product specs and high quality could differ in response to the producer’s reliability, so I can not assure that you’ll get a drone that performs the identical as seen in my article.

DarwinFPV has at all times been dedicated to designing cost-effective FPV drones. Based mostly on pilots’ suggestions, they continually enhance their merchandise to unravel the issues that customers are most involved about and convey higher merchandise to everybody who makes use of it.

DarwinFPV BabyApe Ⅱ unboxing

The second iteration of BabyApe comes precisely in the identical kind of black/yellow field as the opposite two DarwinFPV drones I reviewed earlier than. They despatched me the PNP model with no radio receiver and battery. Along with the drone, the field features a set of HQProp T3.5 propellers, two spare touchdown dumpers, two battery velcros, and two sheets of brand name stickers. The included person handbook is pretty detailed and covers the FC wiring diagram, primary BetaFlight settings, and propeller set up.

At a look

In comparison with a full-size 5″ FPV drone, the DarwinFPV Child Ape Ⅱ is far smaller and lighter. It suits in your palm with ease. It adopts Extensive-X (Hybrid-X) body construction that takes one of the best of the H and X frames and joins them collectively. The three.5mm arms are in a sandwich of 2mm backside and 1.5mm center plates. The 1.5mm prime plate has anti-slip rubber padding for safe battery set up.


The BabyApe V2 3.5″ body has a wheelbase of 156mm and measures about 126*150*50mm. It could possibly accommodate two 20x20mm stacks. Within the entrance half has an F411 flight controller and a 30A 4in1 Bluejay ESC with waterproof coating. The FC options two UART ports and a buzzer out. It has a built-in barometer and SD card slot for black-box information logging. Out of the field, it comes with BetaFlight 4.3.2 firmware and a pre-wired SBUS radio receiver connector. The 25-600mW VTX and its mini dipole antenna are on the again. Contained in the body, behind the FPV digicam, is a tiny however load buzzer and a low ESR capacitor.

Buzzer and low ESR capacitor

It has six standing LEDs on every arm. Clear white on the entrance and yellow on the again. The sunshine depth modifications on the throttle stage and the drone’s flight path. The XT30 battery connector is situated in entrance as an alternative of the tail to keep away from interference with radio antennas. The TPU bumper within the entrance may also be used as a T-type ELRS antenna mount.

504 motor and LED lights

The 1504-type brushless motors are geared up with HQProp 3.5″ 3-leaf propellers. Whereas the 4S model comes with 3600KV, the 6S version with 2300KV. The motors are protected throughout a collision by two “fingers” on the top of the arm.

To put in my Insta360 GO 2 digicam, I needed to print a TPU mount. The STL file was despatched to me by DarwinFPV, and so they mentioned that’s not formally out there but.

Pricing, availability, and choices

The analog BabyApe 2 is out there in lots of package deal choices with a beginning value of $139.99 for the analog model with no radio receiver and flight battery. On the other facet, for the fly extra combo digital version (RunCam Hyperlink Washp) with an ELRS radio receiver, 4 packs of propellers, and 4 850mAh batteries, you’ll need to pay $412.94. Each choices can be found with 4S and 6S energy choices. If you wish to construct a customized construct, the naked body (w/o TPU components) is out there for $29.9.

BabyApe Ⅱ FPV system

The BabyApe V2 has two FPV system choices: analog (proven on this assessment) and digital (RunCam Hyperlink Wasp). Analog FPV remains to be a wonderful choice for these on a decent finances. Possibly doesn’t present the identical immersive person expertise as digital FPV however is more cost effective, simple to arrange, and has wider compatibility. When it comes to latency, analog FPV remains to be higher than digital FPV, which is crucial if you’re a freestyle pilot.

inside view of BabyAPE II drone

The digicam mount permits angle adjustment, however the wires are super-short, and after I tried to decrease the angle, the connecter disconnected. To place it again, I needed to take it aside. Once I eliminated the screws, I seen they don’t have any thread locker glues, so you may lose them midflight.

Moreover the poor shade replica and gradual publicity change to lighting circumstances, the largest downside with the digicam is the slim subject of view (160° FOV). The “Cement” 1200TVL digicam includes a 1/3″ CMOS sensor, 2.1mm lens, and IP67 waterproof score.

FPV camera mount

The VTX output energy might be toggled between 25, 200, 400, and 600mW. Energy and channel changes might be made through the onboard management button or remotely utilizing BetaFlight, due to the SmartAudio function.

Preliminary setup, BetaFlight configuration, OSD, and binding

As I acquired a PNP package, the very first thing I needed to do was to put in a radio receiver. As with all my latest FPV drones, I opted for an ELRS receiver. I used UART1 pads for wiring the RX module. Do not forget that FC’s TX1 pin goes to RX pin on ELRS, respectively FC’s RX1 goes to the TX pin on the radio module. To enter the binding mode, you have to plug/unplug the drone’s battery thrice.

BetaFlight configurator settings

Subsequent, I related the Child Ape II with BetaFPV configurator by the micro USB port and checked the motor structure and path. I modified the receiver mode from SBUS to CRSF and assigned motor arm/disarm and flight mode switches. Lastly, I personalized the OSD display with my standard telemetry information and structure.

Utilizing Blackbox Explorer and PIDToolBox you may analyze the flight logs recorded on the micro SD card for tremendous tunning filters and PIDs. Blackbox provides you an entire perception into what’s actually occurring with the drone midflight, what alerts are collected from the sensors, and what response provides to the ESC, permitting you to unleash its full potential.

When every thing appeared configured appropriately, I put in the propeller on the motors. From unboxing to the primary hovering take a look at, took me solely half-hour, which included soldering the ELRS module as properly.

Binding with ELRS RX

Flight expertise

When you discover 5″ quad too highly effective and scary to fly in city parks, this 3.5″ may be a greater choice. It’s quieter and handles very a lot identical to a 5″. Anyway, hovering at 50% of the throttle will not be precisely what you’ll count on from a freestyle drone.

I crashed it on my first flight because of the inventory aggressive digicam angle. Principally I solely noticed the sky and a darkish floor because of the poor publicity management. The mount permits you to modify the digicam angle relying in your flight fashion and the environment the place you’re flying the drone, however the digicam wires will have to be changed (at the very least in my case). The navigation LEDs on the arms are seen after sundown, however they’re barely noticeable in sturdy daylight. The loud buzzer helped me discover the crashed drone within the excessive bush.

The 13 minutes battery life proved to be too optimistic. Throughout my assessments, I received 5-6 minutes of flight time with a 4s-650mAh pack and 6-8 minutes with an 850mAh LIPO. When you take it simple, having only a enjoyable flight cruising round the home, it would provide you with 11th of September minutes of flight time on 4S 1000mAh.



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