We took the DJI Mavic Air out

After unboxing, we really didn’t like the charger… nor the battery. Since the Phantom 3 to Phantom 4, the Inspire 1 to Inspire 2 and maybe the Mavic Pro to the Maciv Pro 2, the batteries have always been redesigned. Nothing is usable after an upgrade. Upgrading your DSLR from a Canon 60D to 70D or upwards to a 6D, 7D or 5DMK2 or MK3 do not require you to change the battery. It all uses the same LP-E6.

Come on DJI. It’s something that’s adding costs to users who upgrade. Reasons of profit or trying to squeeze it into a newly designed body of the drone are simply too expensive for end-users.

We didn’t like the charger either. It has to unfold, batteies stand vertical. The cube charger for the Mavic was better.


the mavic cube charger.
The new mavic air charger where the battery have to stand.

Option of the transmitter stick to be removed is good for those longer haul transport/ trip. Careful of dropping them onto grass in the field. A pair of spare is provided but we’ve installed it and has never removed it since.

Wind

It doesn’t handle wind well. Simple as that. We saw it drifting as we were flying near waters and usually what the Mavic Pro can handle, the Air could not. It wasn’t even huge gust of wind to begin with but we have trouble bring it back, lowered it to behind some trees and flew back behind trees.

Asteroid Mode

It is cool but if you were to get the Mavic Air to do one thing, this is about it.

Can you do car chase with it?

In 1 word. Yes, albeit a slow car.

Conclude

It’s small, it’s compact so you have to know the battery life is affected. The Mavic Pro seems to still have hit the balance better of weight vs flight time.

The build quality isn’t fantastic but you pay for what you get. It feels plastic and not as sturdy. We don’t think it’s meant to replace the Mavic Pro. It sits squarely between the Spark and Mavic Pro. Distance wasn’t great but we hit 1.8km easily before getting video signal lost but when back at our regaulr flying field, we can’t manage anything more than 400 meters.

We did some slow 8 to 12 meters/ Sec, car chases shots at 4K. Front and back obstacle avoidance is a great feature. If you don’t own one yet, get a Mavic Air, if not go for the Mavic Pro. By real commercial work, don’t get Mavic anything, look at the Phantom 4 or the Phantom 4 Pro.

The DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro are available from Camera Rental Centre at a limit rental price. Check them out.

We broke the Xugong Pro V2

Update: 18 Dec 2015

The top and bottom plates from Red20RC are great! We order 2 sets, one with 2mm thickness and another with 1.5mm. The original ones are 1.5mm. Red20RC provides good quality carbon fiber.

Along with this build, there was a Hobbyking sale and the gimbal is frame were on offer. We got another set and love the gimbal.

ImmersionRC XuGong V2 Pro Quadcopter Kit With Integrated Printed Distribution Board 1   US$118.96 IN STOCK
Immersion RC XuGong V2 Pro 2-Axis Brushless Gimbal Upgrade 1   US$109.96 IN STOCK

Thus, born, the Twins!

 

Updated: 7 Aug 2015

So it’s been 4 months since we crashed the Xugong V2. Replacement parts are finnaly up at GetFPV and ReadymadeRC with real stock on hand but not the PDB or the carbon fiber frame. Frustrating…

Some replacement we got:

Yep, we broke even the round red “washer” installed on the folding arms.

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No more Red. Replacement parts for the longer screw is now black. We checked with some others on Instagram who just got their Xugong V2, out of the box, theirs are now black.

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Arm replacement and center spider assembly

We knocked this back but wasn’t as nice looking ever again, replacement arm.

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Frame Damages

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Finally some spares that we know will need.

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April 2015

We crashed while flying near the Cleantech Park. Warning, dont use the spring retainer for Xugong V1 on your Xugong V2. The arm will sweep back if there’s wind.

We broke the same PDB at the exact same location.

 

 

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Even with the retainers installed, the whole PDB got ripped out and the Video TX port was broken off.

Our first stop was ReadyMadeRC who got back to us really quickly, they however, understandably couldn’t offer repairs.

Then we went around and checked out Digikey, there’s so many components, it gave us a headache.

Then we wrote to ImmersionRC who got back to us quickly to get this replaced at a fee, since many retailers have yet to have the parts, we hope not to disclose the prices. Do wait for your favourite retailers to have the replacement parts.

We’re pretty sure it’s a simple repair but looks like the “legs” are broken off from the whole circuit board that’s the whole integrated PCB, video switcher, ezOSD all built into it. The board still beeps when it’s powered up meaning it’s sure to be working fine. So we took the road less traveled AFTER paying and getting the replacement PDB from ImmersionRC.

Building: Immersion RC Xugongs

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1 March 2015

This is a compiled article of the Xugong 8, 10 and 10 V2 Pro that’s also posted to Flitetest. We do not hope to post 3 separate article to have visitors having too long articles to go through.

The Xugongs has got to be one of the smallest-when-folded travel quad you can find out there with innovative folding of the arms. It may not be the cheapest to replace during a crash, we know, we crashed shortly after getting the Xugong 10 on the 3rd flight and had to replace the top assembly (USD$32 here). The arms collapse into itself which when folded, is like a tiny 250mm based quad. When unfolded, it takes 10 inch props for the Xugong 10, carries a gimbal and easily carries a 4S 5000 mAh lipo with small modifications.

With the V2, Immersion has made it even better with improvements on the PDB to integrate video camera switching, OSD in a nice red based board (officially these are stated OSD, Camera switch,GoPro Power Supply (5.0 V), GPS Interface, Current/Voltage Sensor, PPM in/out). It’s also a great system if you are already on ImmersionRC system, you’ll be familiar on the setup however, on the other hand, it does locks you to the brand. With ImmersionRC making some leading technologies and constantly improving on it, we think it’s not an issue.

We’ll provide a short introduction to things that’s the same across all Xugongs here before we delve more into each. For even more details, refer to the links of each individual Xugong at the end of this whole article.

The Xugong T Nut System.

It’s quite a good system but with out big fingers, at times, it’s not easy to insert the nut.

The Xugong Foldable Arms

This is one of the best among the many types we have seen and we’ve tried quite a few, from folding backwards to folding inwards. One type we didn’t try is the “umbrella” type where the arms fold down. A famous and popular example are on the DJI S1000/ S900 series of multicopter. We just think it won’t make it small since you’ll have a “bucket” of a quad to deal with, trying to fit that into a bag.

The problem of a heavy butt

This is prevalent immediately after you have assemble any Xugong. The Center of Gravity (CG) is simply off by too much. That said, the Xugong was not designed to hold what we prefer, the 4S 5000 mAh lipo. Even with the 3S 2650 mAh, it’s out of balance. You must fit a gimbal with camera to balance out the quad. To overcome this, we removed the original side covers and replaced them with standoffs from Goodluckbuy. Those standoffs are what’s used in TBS Discovery, just taller.

Rubber Balls

All Xugong uses the rubber balls vibration system totalling 8 each that isolates the whole frame from the motors and propellors. You can get away with slightly balanced propellors and get no vibrations/ jello on your video footage, however, when you do crash, they can be tiny little pesky things to put back.

We fly all the Xugongs with a Turnigy 9XR.

Summary:

Xugong 8
– Unpack
– Assembly
– Parts List
– Likes
– Dislikes
– Conclude

Xugong 10
– Unpack
– Assembly
– Parts List
– Likes
– Dislikes
– Conclude

Xugong 10 V2 Pro
– Unpack
– Assembly
– Parts List
– Likes
– Dislikes
– Conclude


 

DSC09023Xugong 8
– Unpack

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The Xugong comes in nice boxes and a egg shell type holders for the many items that’s included.

– Assembly

The included instruction is more than enough to put the whole frame together. We drill holes and mounted the Tarot gimbal in front while strapping the 5000 mAh lipo under that allow us to shift it front and back to balance the whole quad. We also use some stand offs to make the center of the quad taller to fit the tarot gimbal motors.

– Parts List

xg8

Our Xugong 8 original setup uses:

– Emax 2213
– 20A ESC SimonK from MyRCMart
– DJI Naza M V2, DJI mini OSD
– Frsky D4R-II
– Boscam 200mW Video transmitter
– Tarot T2-D Gimbal
– 4S 5000 mAh Lipo

– Likes

It’s even smaller, the XG8 being our 2nd XG was smaller and it’s great to bring overseas. We brought it to Bintan, crashed it and still had a blast!

Video below – XG8 hand launched.

The Crash

– Dislikes

The back heavy design. Not that we don’t like it, there’s limited option to what kind of lipo you can use to offset and balance the weight of the whole quad. You can’t go too heavy for longer flight time.

– Conclude

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A nifty and easy to travel with quad!


 

DSC08626Xugong 10
– Unpack

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Same box, instructions and egg shell box.

– Assembly

It’s straightforward with the instructions provided.

– Parts List

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– MyRCMart 2217 800kv motors
– 20A ESC SimonK from MyRCMart
– DJI Naza M V2
– Frsky D8R-XP
– Boscam 400mW Video transmitter

– Likes

It allows us to put on 10 inch props for even longer flight time with the same 4S 5000 mAh lipo.

– Dislikes

Same back heavy design.

– Conclude

We guess, you cannot like the small folding of it while not liking the back heavy design that all XGs have. It’s still a really portable quad.

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Xugong 10 V2 Pro

The Xugong 10 V2 Pro (XG10V2) is basically a supercharged Xugong 10. It folds the same but with no more FR4 materials. It’s all carbon fiber now. The real magic is in the newly designed PCB that’s an awesome red! It has a video camera switcher, OSD and PDB built in. If you take into account getting a camera switcher, ImmersionRC’s OSD separately, the price of the Xugong 10 V2 Pro is actually quite an economically priced.
– Unpack

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– Assembly

Immersion RC is experimenting as of writing, a Google Docs that’s online and allow for anyone to edit it. It’s call a “live” instructions manual and throughout the month or so that we have that page open, it does have more and more great information. Immersion does moderate it fairly fast so garbage or misleading information gets deleted quickly.

– Parts List

After returning from Bintan island with the Xugong 8, we have learnt our lessons and started trying out Hobbyking’s Multistar wooden propellors that balanced out of the box. They are surely more rigid than those broken ones at the beach on Bintan.

– Emax 2216 810kv motors
– DJI 30A Opto
– DJI Naza M V2
– Frsky D8R-XP
– Boscam 400mW Video transmitter
Multistar 10 inch wooden prop
– Multistar 4S 5200 mAh Lipo 10C constant
– Zippy compact 4S 5000 mAh
– Likes

The Integrated PCB board with built in ezOSD. It’s easily modified to use a mobius or even the SJ4000 that we use. After 2 broken Gopro 3 Black, we’ve not been using any GoPro for a while.

– Dislikes

Same back heavy design.
– Conclude

Great value for money quad with built in ezOSD, camera switcher and PCB.

Links

Links below are permanently links to the individual Xugong build and are updated as we change update, change, crash and replace anything on the Xugongs. There’s also more pictures. Enjoy!

Xugong 8 detailed article
Xugong 10 detailed article
Xugong 10 V2 Pro detailed article
We bought all our Xugongs from ReadymadeRC
Xugong V2 pro product page

Build: ImmersionRC Xugong V2 Pro

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We are addicts of the Xugong and this is our 3rd Xugong after the Xugong10 v1 and Xugong 8 v1 but we weren’t able to get it till recently as it’s popular after many has found out how small it is and travelling with it is a breeze but finally, ReadymadeRC stocked it, notified us and immediately, we placed an order. Today, it arrived.

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Above: Why those motors mounts screws, we will never know. It’s too short!   DSC09310 DSC09308 DSC09305 DSC09304 DSC09303 DSC09302 DSC09301 DSC09296

Above: Side plates compared. V2 and Xugong 10 V1. The V2 is slightly taller.

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With the V2, Immersion has made it even better with improvements on the PDB to integrate video camera switching, OSD in a nice red based board (officially these are stated OSD, Camera switch,GoPro Power Supply (5.0 V), GPS Interface, Current/Voltage Sensor, PPM in/out). It’s also a great system if you are already on ImmersionRC system, you’ll be familiar on the setup however, on the other hand, it does locks you to the brand. With ImmersionRC making some leading technologies and constantly improving on it, we think it’s not an issue. The below is an overview diagram from their documentation that’ll be easy to understand.

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We can now strike of one of our dislikes in the Xugong10 build. The FR4. No more FR4, all carbon fiber now! We also opt to not get the gimbal as of yet and to utlises the existing Tarot T2-D gimbals that we have.

Conclusion

Nifty quad with built in Immersion ezOSD that folds small. Great for travelling.

Likes

– Carbon Fiber.

Dislikes

– As with all the other Xugong(s) not being able to shift the CG as and where we like it to maintain the CG at the flight controller. It’s either front heavy or more often, back heavy when we choose to fly even with the recommended Multistar 4S 5200 mAh lipo.

– A longer frame so the lipo do not stick out. At the expenses of weight.

Upgrades

– Maybe the T Motors Airgear 350 that runs 2213? This was poisoned by Jakub. Follow or (by the time we run this article) see his build at http://instagram.com/jimmacfx

– The same inabilitiy to balance the quad with the lipo if you want to use a huge one like we, preferring the 4S 5000mah Turnigy. They recommend a Multistar 5200mah (constant 10C) that we’ll try out soon but we fail to see how it will counter the weight of a gimbal installed at the front of the XugongV2.

Links:

Our Xugong 10 build
Our Xugong 8 build


 

ezOSD with a Mobius

Modifying the GoPro cable that’s supplied to take the mobius is straight forward. Yellow to yellow and black to black. just cut and solder them together.

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Lipo size Compare

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Below: The Zippy Compact 4S 5000 mAhDSC09485

Below: The Multistar 10C 4S 5200 mAh

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3 Sept 2015

Rebuilding started. Killed our Naza M V2, got a Taranis, some new EMAX 2216 and a new Flytrex for this rebuild. Ordered new frame plates from Red20RC.

17 Sept 2015

All Parts arrived. Motors took really long as it was out of stock and there’s a Version 2 of the popular EMAX 2216 810kv but we decided to stick to V1 as we already have a set of them and spares.

Top and bottom plates are awesome from Red20RC. After some discussion via email with Mike, he cut, packed and delivered the plates. The journey took about 10 days from Australia to Singapore. We ordered 2 sets of 1.5mm and 2mm ones. We started the rebuild with the 2mm ones of course.

18 Sept 2015

Found that the miniOSD is faulty, white dots appear all over the LCD screen. Darn…

Dec 2015

What started as a “repairing” post on our Instagram got some great guys offering help on our frame.

Here, we present, The new and improved Xugong Pro V2 top and bottom plate with:

– 1.5mm and 2mm thickness. (original plates are 1.5mm thick)
– Bigger FC installation clearance on top plate
– Improved thickness on the taper tail end for Lipo on top plate making it more stiff

Price, USD 44 vs these USD60 for 1.5mm and USD70 for 2mm

Eletronics will be exactly the same, running Naza M V2, EMAX 2216 (v1), Multistar 1033 props, 5000 Multistar low C lipo or 5200 Zippy Compact weighing in at about 1.6kg for about 20 mins of flight.

We added isolation dampening from Banggood and it works. Extra plates are from Red20RC, if you have seen the previous build. It’s all above now.

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Flight Video before and after the double plates were added.

Before

After

ImmersionRC – Vortex

We’re liking the direction change ESC a lot!

– You can tell the ESC you want the motors to be clockwise or counter clockwise just by spinning it, beep and spin it in the direction you want. Done. It now spins in the direction you want.

– Built into the arms for clean look, the bad if of course, you may only be able to get parts from ImmersionRC.

– Will like the arms to fold inwards for all 4 arms to the sides of the frame and not like Alien style fold where all arms goes back in one direction. Into the frame kind of fold will allow the whole quad to be smaller when folded.

– The mobius/ Gopro anti vibration/ jello mount looks really nice.

 

 

Build: ImmersionRC Xugong8

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We like the Xugong 10 so much, we bought the 8 shortly after and it’s as awesome. Waiting for the Xugong Pro v2 to launch and making one more purchase. The Xugong seem is all we need to pack, go and fly. It’s small and the Xugong8 is even more impressive.

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Purchased the “crash kit” and extra rubber balls and the red ones that’s suppose to be harder.DSC08998

Same eggshell type tray in the box.DSC08999 DSC09000 DSC09001 DSC09002

ESC power cables shorten.DSC09003 DSC09004

Size compared as seen on our Instagram account previously.DSC09005 DSC09006  DSC09008

Going with a DJI Naza M Lite v2 first, would like to have the Naza M V2 from the Aliencopter soon after we tear that down.DSC09009 DSC09011 DSC09012 DSC09013 DSC09014 DSC09015  DSC09017

Compared folded…DSC09019

…and ready to fly  DSC09021

Gotta change that blue GPS folding mount to a red one!DSC09022

We really like the size but the space within the Xugong8 is like the Xugong10, it’s oddly hard to balance the whole quad. We always like the Naza to sit right in the center with proper Center of Gravity (CG) with front and back balanced. To achieve that, the lipo has to be mounted below the whole quad meaning the Xugong has to be modded to be taller. We hope to keep it at this size.

First Flight

We’ll be able to move the electronics like the LED module, PMU and Frsky D4R II receiver into the current lipo compartment too if we move the lipo to the bottom.

You can add a gimbal to the front to add weight to it and try to balance it. We flew it with Emax 2213 935kv motors, 8 inch propellers, a gopro3 black in the underwater housing and it lasted about 10.5 mins on a Turnigy 3S 20-30C 2650mah lipo.

Conclude, you can’t find a better travel quad as of Jan 2015. The arms folding mechanism is simply well thought through and is genius! It unpacks, unfold the arms in seconds and ready to fly. No screws and nuts to fiddle with or to tighten before you can fly like the Aliencopter 430mm we have! It makes it a pain when we tried flying the Aliencopter at St John’s Island/ Kusu Island we simply stop disassembling it and hung it outside the bag. It’s sure to raise questions and unwanted attention at certain areas to fly.

The 8 inch version of the Xugong is really small for it’s class, when folded (and we’ve looked at what is available and tried just about all of them backwards folding, fold inwards etc etc) and we see ourselves travelling with it overseas even.

Links:

Our Xugong 10 build
Xugong Pro V2 build
Discussion – http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2068755
We bought at – http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_310&products_id=2145