Walkera Devo 7E Unboxing

The Walkera Devo 7E is a smaller size transmitter (Tx) for flying r/c helicopters, multirotors and air planes. Being that it is not a full size transmitter, it is great for people with smaller hands (kids and ladies), but I actually prefer the smaller size myself. I’m a big guy and I fell comfortable holding it. I purchased a mode 2 Devo 7E from banggood.com. The transmitter is 145 mm tall (not counting antenna, 155 mm wide and 44 mm deep.

What’s In the Box

In the box, you will find the devo 7E, an instruction manual on a CD-ROM, the Micro USB cable and the cord to connect 2 transmitters together for instructional flying.

Devo 7E BoxDevo 7E what's inside the boxDevo 7E Cables

Out of the box, it provides a full 7 channels:

  • Elevator
  • Aileron
  • Throttle
  • Rudder
  • Pitch
  • Gear (Throttle Hold switch)
  • Aux2(Flight Mode switch)

Downside of the Devo 7E is that it  is not a full powered transmitter, it has about 7 mW of output transmission power.  This can be remedied by adding modules or modifying the stock module. More on this later.

The Devo 7E has a very nice look and feel to it. It doesn’t feel cheap and feels very ergonomical.

Devo 7E front viewDevo 7E back viewDevo 7E top view

The sticks feel very smooth and are great on my thumbs (I am a thumb flyer).

Devo 7E throttle stick removed

The sticks are also replaceable, if you want to go with something custom or a different color. I was planning on getting some blue sticks. The the thread is 3M.

The screen is very good as well. It is easy to read, even in bright light. There is a backlight as well, for nighttime flying.

Devo 7E front screenDevo 7E booted up

The batteries go into the bottom of the Devo 7E.

Devo 7E battery compartment empty

Inside, you will find a battery tray for 4 x AA batteries.

Devo 7E battery tray

You can use normal AA bateries or you can use NiMh or NiCd rechargeables. I opted to use 4 x Amazon Basics High-Capacity NiMh batteries. Each battery can hold about 2400 mAh, so they should last a while in between charges. The connector, for the battery tray, is a JST connector, so you could also purchase a LiPo batery to use in this. I think that would be overkill, but if you already have one, why not.

You can also charge the batteries straight through the Transmitter. In the back, you will find a 8-12 Volt input, up to 200 mAh. So, if you already have one (like the ones that come with laptops), charging will be easy without having to pull out the batteries.
Devo 7E charge port and buddy port

On the back, you will also locate the buddy cord plug on the right. On the side of the Devo 7E, you will locate the micro USB port. This port can be used for flashing the Devo 7E with new firmware (or different firmware) and can also be used to fly flight simulators on your Pc or Mac.

Devo 7E micro USB port

Firmware

The stock firmware that comes with the DEvo 7E is very good. It provides you with up to 30 models that can be programmed. I am, however, not planning on using the stock firmware, as the main reason I purchased this transmitter, outside of the smaller size, is that it can handle DeviationTx firmware. DeviationTx will allow me to use this one transmitter to control all of my multirotor models (with addition of modules that I will be installing in another post) Here is a blurp from the DeviationTx site explaining more about the firmware:

Major features include:

  • Support for multiple protocols without any modifications to the transmitter:
    • Walkera DEVO
    • Walkera WK2401/WK2601/WK2801
    • Nine Eagles J6 Pro (requires telemetry module)
    • DSM2/DSMX
  • Support for other protocols with very easy transmitter modifications:
    • Flysky/Turnigy 9X
    • Hubsan-X4
    • Skyartec (thanks to the Skyartec folks for providing hardware for testing)
    • Hisky
    • Tactic SLT/Anylink
    • V202
    • Syma
    • Cheerson
    • …and more! See the Supported Models list for current protocols in the Nightly Builds.
  • Support for up to 255 different models in transmitter memory
  • Transmitter can act like a USB drive. Managing models, configuration, icons, and themes is as easy as copying a file… No more need to use the Walkera DfuSe tool for that.
  • Fully configurable themes including bitmaps, fonts, and colors (color models Devo 6/8/8S/12/12S)
  • Flexible transmitter configuration. Support up-to 12 channels on a Devo8; remap any switches or buttons to any purpose. Also Virtual Channels for additional functionality.
  • All text is localized. Available translations for Hungarian, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, and Afrikaans. Adding a new translation is as easy as editing a text file, and copying it to the transmitter.

Conclusion

I am highly excited about this transmitter. The Devo 7E is a perfect size, can handle rechargeable batteries, can be used on flight simulators and supports DeviationTx to make it an all inclusive transmitter for a great price. Only downfall is that it is not a full powered transmitter and, to make it one, does require a very tricky modification to the stock module. But, with addition of other modules, you can easily fly pretty much any multirotor with this transmitter. m

Again, I picked mine up from Banggood.com, for around $60, but you can find this transmitter on Amazon or Ebay as well. It is a great value for the money and I look forward to using it to run all my quads (after a few more posts on how to install the needed modules). Stay tuned for more posts on the Devo 7E, as I make modifications to it to make it better/best transmitter you can have.

Review: GEPRC GEP210 Carbon Fiber FPV Quadcopter Frame

GEPRC GEP210 review on what's in the box

For my first custom FPV quadcopter, I chose to purchase the GEPRC’s GEP210. It is a 210mm quadcopter frame designed for FPV racing. I purchased mine from banggood.com for $39.89. It was shipped from the International warehouse and took 10 days to get to me here in Maryland. Not too shabby!

In this review, I will cover what comes in the box, I’ll take some measurements of the parts and frame for you, and we’ll put it together with what comes in the box. Lastly, I will cover my first impressions on what I find good about the frame and what I do not like.

What’s in the box

In the box you will find:

  • A single sheet assembly instructions
  • Main frame
  • Bottom plate
  • Side bottom plates
  • Side plates for the camera mount
  • Camera mount
  • Top plate for the action cam
  • Back LED plate and power wire
  • XT60 connector with power cord
  • Power distribution board
  • Zip ties
  • All the screws and bolts

GEP210 All PartsGEP210 Assembly Schematic

The main frame is carbon fiber and is 3 mm thick. All the holes and slots seem to be nicely machined and none seem off shape. The frame feels very sturdy.

GEP210 Main frame

The frame is a true 210 mm frame.

A few other measurements:

  • Left to right motor to motor front: 165 mm
  • Left to right front wing to wing: 195 mm
  • Left to right motor to motor back: 165 mm
  • Left to right back wing to wing: 195 mm
  • Front to back motor to motor: 131 mm
  • Front to back wing to wing: 160 mm
  • Total front to back length: 185 mm
GEP210 Frame - back left to right motor to motor 165 mm
Back left to right motor to motor 165 mm
GEP210 Frame - Back from left to right 195 mm
Back from left to right 195 mm
Front left to right motor to motor 165 mm
Front left to right motor to motor 165 mm
GEP210 Frame - front from left to right 195 mm
Front from left to right 195 mm
GEP210 Frame - Front to back motor to motor 131 mm
Front to back motor to motor 131 mm
GEP210 - Front to back 160 mm
Front to back 160 mm
GEP210 Frame - Diagonal motor to motor 210 mm
Diagonal motor to motor 210 mm

All the other carbon pieces, on the GEP210, are 2 mm thick.

GEP210 Side piece width

The PDB provides you with nice big pads to solder your ESCs to, but are located on each side. ThiS may make the installation challenging with the side plates. It does provide you with both a 5 volt output for the FC and a 12 volt output for your FPV camera. It weighs 5.9 grams.

GEP210 Power Distribution Board

The camera mount is very small and does not seem to offer great ability to attach a camera to it. Most FPV cameras come with holes in each corner and this does not. It is adjustable on the angle, however, up to a 45 degree angle. It is 30 mm x 30 mm in size. It weighs 4 grams.

GEP210 Camera Mount

The LED plate, for the back of the GEP210 quad, offers you 6 ws2812 LEDs. This means that they are programmable, as long as you have a flight controller capable of controlling them. It weighs 1.9 grams.
GEP210 LEDs

Assembly

The frame was a fairly easy assembly. Things to note are:

  • The main frame must be in a certain orientation. There are indented screw holes on one side, that side is the top side.
  • The advertised pictures show the PDB attached to the bottom of the main frame, instead of the top of the bottom plate. Putting it where they planned it would mean that the battery strap could not be used. Mount it on the bottom plate.
  • Don’t forget to put in the FPV camera sides before you finish attaching the main frame to the bottom plate.

GEP210

There were a few extra/spare screws.

Total weight, with everything from the box (minus the XT60) is 126 grams.

Without PDB and legs, 117 grams.

Without PDB, legs and LED strip, 115 grams.

The battery area, on top of the GEP210, is very nice. The battery gets mounted on the same level as the motors, keeping the COG gratify even. There is 106 mm of length and 37 mm of width for the battery. Below you will  see a Bonka 3S 1500 mAh battery on top, so a 4S should have no problems either. There are little tabs on both the left and right sides to help keep the battery in place.

GEP210-23GEP210 Battery LengthGEP210 Battery Width

Between the bottom plate and the main frame, of the GEP210, you will 15 mm of height to play with for the FC and PDB to be stacked.

GEP210 Inside Height

The LEDS look really nice in the back, can’t wait to take advantage of the programming through my F3 flight controller.

GEP210 Rear LED

The FPV camera bay is definitely tiny, but having the adjustable camera mount is a nice touch.
GEP210 Camera Bay

Below is a picture of the GEP210 with an 1806 motor and a 5 inch, 5045, prop. You can see that these props are as big as you should go and will make the mounting of an action camera on top a challenge. There is about 2 mm that rides on top of the top plate.

GEP210 with motor and prop

Pros and Cons

Overall, I am very excited to build the GEP210. It is fairly light and has a low center of gravity with the battery mounted on the same plane as the motors. The built-in LEDs look excellent and will look better when I program them with the flight controller.

I am a little nervous with the space I between the bottom plate and the main frame and also the space for the FPV camera. Also, the action cam mounting will be a challenge.

Now the fun part of building the GEP210 will start. I’ll make another post on how the entire build goes and what my thoughts are of flying this frame. For the money, the GEP210 seems like a great little frame.

You can pick up yours at banggood.com

Dedicated Desk for Multirotor stuff

And that’s how quickly this hobby is growing for me. I had to setup a dedicated desk to keep everything on and there is a ton more stuff in the mail. Waiting for all the new toys is definitely the worst part of this hobby:)

You’ll see some new products there that I will be reviewing soon, including:

Walkera Devo 7e – I am going be installing DeviatonTx to this transmitter, along with 1 or 2 modules, to allow me to have a transmitter (Tx) that will control all* of my multirotors.

Bonka Batteries – I opted for a few 3S 1500 mAh 35 C batteries to start with. As soon as I have the GEP210 frame built out, I’ll be putting these through their paces.

Cheerson CX-10A – A great little nano quad for a fantastic price. The transmitter is not the best. More on this soon.

Bangood 60W adjustable soldering iron – Haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but seems like a nice one for the money.

Etekcity MSR-R500 – A great economical digital multimeter.

Accucel-6 80W 10A Balancer/Charger – This little charger is fairly powerful for it’s little size and cost.