Review: Eachine H8 Mini with headless mode

I purchased my H8 Mini from banggood.com for $15.98, shipped from their US warehouse, so not a bad deal for this size of a qudcopter.

Banggood offers the H8 mini in 2 colors, a black and a white version. I opted for the black one.

It is also offered in Mode 1 and mode 2, which is a plus. I personally prefer mode 2, with the throttle being on the left stick.

H8_Mini_BoxH8_Mini_Box_Back

What’s in the box

In the box you will get the H8 Mini, the battery, a mini transmitter, the USB charger, a bag of goodies and the instruction manual.

In the bag you will find an extra pair of propellers, a clockwise and a counter clockwise, some foam pads for the bottom of the quadcopter, and a mini Philips head screwdriver to help you open the battery door on the transmitter.

H8_MiniH8_Mini_and_TransmitterH8_Mini_AccessoriesH8_Mini_Transmitter

The Transmitter

The transmitter is very tiny, but it still seems to be a fairly nice size to hold in your hand, even for someone like me with pretty big hands. As mentioned, this one is the mode 2 transmitter, so the throttle is located on the left, along with the yaw left and right. The pitch and roll are located on the right side. The remote also offers trim buttons for the pitch and roll. The speed key is located on the bottom of the throttle stick and the headless mode is activated by clicking the throttle down. To perform a flip, press the right stick down and move the stick in any direction. For example: pushing up will make the H8 Mini perform a forward flip.

The transmitter does require 3 x AAA batteries, which are NOT included.

The Battery

The battery is a LiPo 1S battery with a capacity of 150 mAh. It is good for about 5 to 7 minutes of flying, depending on how aggressive you fly and if there is any wind. The charger is a USB charger. So, to use it, you will need to either plug it into your PC or a USB use a wall wart, like the ones you get with your cell phone. To install the battery into the H8 Mini, simply push it into the slot below the quad. There is no on/off button, so to turn the quad on, just plug the battery in

H8_Mini_BatteryH8_Mini_Lights

Additional Details

The H8 Mini offers lights, to help with orientation and to also help fly in low light conditions. It has blue lights for the back and red lights for the front. For as small as they are, they are pretty darn bright.

The H8 Mini is 13.5 cm wide, 2.8 cm tall, and weighs 20 grams, so there is no need to register with the FAA to fly this one.

Getting you ready to fly

The Eachine H8 Mini is a RTF model. The only thing you must do is throw some AAA batteries in the transmitter and charge up the battery. The battery takes approximately 25 minutes to charge, but does come partially charged.

The Flight

This drone is a great little flyer. I was very impressed with how responsive and fast it is, even on the slow speed mode. On the high speed mode, the yaw is actually insane and makes it harder to control.

Flipping the quad is simple. Hover at least 4 feet off the ground, press in on the right stick and pull the stick forward/back/left/right to do a roll or a flip in that direction.

The H8 Mini does also come with Headless mode. This means that you can place it on the ground, facing in a specific direction, and turn on the headless mode by clicking the throttle stick down. When you enter headless mode, and start flying, forward is always facing the front of you, left is left and right is right. This is a great setting for new flyers, as it makes orientation of the quad a lot easier.

I would definitely recommend this quadcopter to anyone, from beginner to experts, as it is just a fun little flyer. With all the bad weather we have been having here, having a multirotor that you can fly indoors is a blast!

Check out banggood.com and pick up one today, you won’t regret it!

Review: Protocol Dronium Two

For Christmas, my wife surprised me with my first drone, the Protocol Dronium Two. The Dronium Two is a clone of the popular Syma X5C, but is a little more expensive.

What’s in the box

The Dronium Two is a mm toy grade drone that has an X frame. It has an all plastic body, in silver color with black propellers, and comes with an HD camera, 2gb memory card, a USB micro SD card reader, a 2.4 Ghz transmitter and one 500 mAh rechargeable 1S LiPo battery and USB charger.

The Dronium Two also comes with some spare parts, for when things break:

  • 4 extra propellers
  • 4 extra propeller guards
  • Extra pair of landing skits
  • A small Phillips screw driver

Protocol_Dronium_Two

Transmitter

The Dronium Two transmitter (Tx) requires 4 AA batteries, which do not come with in the package. Make sure.
you pick up a pack when you purchase. Installing the batteries requires the use of the small screwdriver. The nice part of the transmitter is that it is not a micro size. Even for persons with large hands (like me), the transmitter is comfortable to hold.

It is a mode 2 transmitter with an extra button on each top corners. The left button changes the copter from intermediate to expert mode and the right hand button, when no camera is attached, allows you to do 360 flips. The transmitter also has a switch, on the right side of the throttle, that allows you to snap a picture (push up) or start taking a video (push down). There are also trim buttons for the pitch, yaw and rate.

Protocol_Dronium_Two_Transmitter

Camera

The camera that comes with the Dronium Two is not of the greatest of quality. It touts that it is a 720 HD camera, but the picture quality does not resemble HD video at all. Although, for the price of this quadcopter, the quality is exactly what I would expect to receive.

The camera comes pre-installed with a 2GB micro SD card. The size is perfect for at least 3 of 4 flights with of video, so I don’t think a larger card is needed.

Because the camera is installed directly to the battery door, it has no stabilizing abilities. You will see all of the shakes of your flying the quadcopter. Still, this drone is not meant to be a professional quality video drone, it is meant for fun flying and the ability to capture your fun flights in video.

A word of warning about the video capture. Always ensure that you press the stop recording button, on the transmitter, before your battery dies or before you turn off the power switch. 8f you do not, you will lose your video and the file with show up as a 0kb file on the card.

Getting you ready to fly

The Protocol Dronium Two is a RTF model. The only thing you must do is throw some batteries in the transmitter and charge up the battery. The battery takes approximately 90 minutes to charge, but does come partially charged.

Flight

The Dronium Two is an excellent beginner quadcopter. It is not too small and provides an easy flying experience. The intermediate setting may become quickly too slow for you, but the expert mode will deliver nicely.

On the intermediate setting, the yaw rate is extremely slow. If you are going to fly in any wind at all, you will quickly find that the drone just does not respond agressively enough to fight the winds. I still highly recommend that a first time flyer start at this setting. It is the default setting when you first power on the quadcopter.

The expert setting is where this quadcopter really becomes fun to fly. The yaw gets considerably more responsive and the pitch gets a ton more agressive. The pitch is actually so agressive that the quadcopter will start to fly towards the ground.

Flying at night time is also fun. The Dronium Two comes with green LED lights on the front arms and red ones on the back arms. These also make orientation easier, day or night, as you can easily find the green lights and know where the front of the quad is.

Flips are also easy to perform. Simply press the right top button and pull the right stick up, down, left or right to perform a flip or a roll. Please note that that the flips are only possible when the camera is not attached.

The stock battery gives you approximately 5 minutes of flight time with the camera and all accessories and about 9 minutes with all accessories off the quad.

Last note about flying. Once you get proficient in flying, I found that the most fun you can have, with the Dronium Two, is when you strip everything off of it. When I say everything, I mean it. Take off the prop guards, the camera, the landing skits and even the little covers over the LEDs (don’t worry, you can still see them well). The loss in weight really makes this drone come alive and you can push it to its limits.

Final thoughts

As a beginner quadcopter, the Dronium Two is an excellent option. It can take a beating and will keep on going. I have crashed mine from over 100 feet up and it is fine. The camera is a novelty more than anything. I find that I enjoy this quad a lot more without the camera. I have also discovered that it is a clone of the ever popular Syma X5C but, instead of being black or white, it is silver. Spare parts for the X5C work on the Dronium Two. For example, I purchased a pack of 5 extra batteries, from Amazon, that were meant for the X5C and they worked great on the Dronium. Speaking of batteries, I definitely recommend a 5 pack. You can pick them up from Amazon or from Banggood.com. also, if you want to save a few dollars, instead of buying the Dronium Two, order the new Syma X5C-1 from banggood.com. Same drone for half the price.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop a line below, thanks for reading!