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    All the Buzz!

    The Tiny Whoop FPV Build - NewBeeDrone - RCGroups Review

    The Tiny Whoop is all the rage! Let's build one from NewBeeDrone.com.

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    The Little Quad With A Lot of Performance

    Product: NewBeeDrone Style (Tiny Whoop)
    Retail price: $129.99
    Frame: Blade Inductrix
    Flight Controller: Stock Inductrix FC
    Motors: Micro Motor Warehouse CL 0615-14 brushed x4
    VTx: NewBeeDrone Stinger Vision Camera with 25 mW VTX - Linear Antenna Version
    Battery: NewBeeDrone Nitro Nectar 210 mAh 1 cell 3.7v LiPo
    Camera Mount: Included 3D printed mount
    Website: NewBeeDrone.com

     

    You've seen the videos of the Tiny Whoop banging through a house at warp speed, hucking over piles of dirty laundry, and blowing the dust off the HVAC pipes as it races through the rafters of a restaurant; this virtually indestructible LOS quad turned FPV phenomenon has, in a very short time, shown us how much fun micro FPV platforms can be (and the entire floor plan's of random stranger's houses).

    Without going into too much detail (you can read more about it's history here) the Tiny Whoop is the nickname given to the Blade Inductrix quad when it's stripped of it's body, had it's motors upgraded, and outfitted with a 25mW FPV camera/VTx combo. Blade had a real winner on it's hands when they created the Inductrix; a micro quadcopter with fully-protected fans that allow it to bang off of virtually anything without bringing it down. Team Big Whoop saw the Inductrix's potential with upgraded motors and a larger battery, and thus the Tiny Whoop was born. A few companies have started selling their own versions of this FPV quad with different names and slightly different components, but the overall design remains the same. In this review, I'll build and fly the kit from NewBeeDrone. There's not much to it, so lets get started!

    Review Video 

    The Tiny Whoop FPV Build - NewBeeDrone - RCGroups Review (14 min 1 sec)

     

    The NewBeeDrone Kit

    The Tiny Whoop kit from NewBeeDrone.com is called the BeeDuctrixThe Inductrix board and rubber isolators

    What's Included?

    • Inductrix frame
    • Inductrix control board
    • Inductrix props
    • Micro Motor Warehouse Upgraded CL 0615-14 (fast) brushed motors
    • NewBeeDrone Nitro Nectar Upgraded 210 mAh 1 cell 3.7v Lipo battery
    • NewBeeDrone Stinger Vision Custom Mico FPV Camera with 25 mW VTX - New Flexible Antenna!
    • Free ABS 3D Printed camera mount

     NewBeeDrone threw in an ABS 3D-printed camera mount. The file is available online if you want to print your ownMicro Motor Warehouse upgraded CL 0615-14 brushed motors are includedThe included 3.7v 210mAh 30c/60c "Nitro Nectar" LiPoNewBeeDrone "Stinger Vision" FPV Camera with 25 mW VTX. Note the flexible linear antenna

    Assembly

    The kit goes together quickly, with the hardest part being the soldering of the VTx camera power wires to the board... ok, I'll admit it was quick and easy to solder them, but since they're small wires and even smaller solder pads, I'd suggest getting some help if you're not sure of your soldering skills. Just make sure the polarity is correct and you're done.

    The Inductrix board mounts quickly to the frame with the provided screws; you'll need a very small Philips head screwdriver to drive them in. Install the 3D-printed camera mount at the same time you secure the flight board. Mounting the VTx and camera to the included mount involves removing the unit from the plastic case by gently pressing on the lens and bending the tabs back on the sides. Once it's out, route the wires through hole on the right side and press it into the mount. It's a snug fit and shouldn't need any adhesive to hold it in, but if you decide to use some, try a dab of hot glue or double-sided tape. Now you can solder the power wires to the board as I explained above.Flight board and 3D-printed mount installed. The camera was removed from it's case and placed in the mount. No glue is needed; it's a snug fit

    Flight board and 3D-printed mount installed. The camera was removed from it's case and placed in the mount. No glue is needed; it's a snug fit

     The VTx power wires are soldered to the Inductrix board. This is all the soldering that's required

    The VTx power wires are soldered to the Inductrix board. This is all the soldering that's required

    Next, press the upgraded motors into the frame, routing the motor wires inside towards the connection points on the bottom of the board. Twist the motor wires to reduce their length, and secure the excess wire to the motor housing with heat shrink or rubber o-rings from the original Blade Inductrix kit of you have them. Connect the motor-wire plugs to the plug closest to the corresponding motor.

    Motor and prop installation description for the Tiny Whoop

    Motor and prop installation description for the Tiny Whoop

     Motors installed

    Motors installed

    The excess motor wires were twisted, then folded over on the motor housings. Heat shrink was used to secure them in place

    The excess motor wires were twisted, then folded over on the motor housings. Heat shrink was used to secure them in place

    The BeeDuctrix a.k.a. Tink Whoop is ready to fly!

    The NewBeeDrone Style Tiny Whoop is ready to fly!

      

    Transmitter Binding

    If you're using a Spektrum transmitter such as the DX9, just power on the quad and then power on the transmitter while holding the bind button on top of the DX9's case. That's it! Don't setup any end points or expo in the transmitter, the Tiny Whoop flies great without any help from the Tx.

    Flight Performance

    I could probably just say "this thing is amazing" and stop right there. But if there are any of you left out there that are on the fence, here's the flight report. The Tiny Whoop gets about 4.5 minutes of flight time on the included 210mAh LiPo. You just can't squeeze any more out of it without going to a larger battery and in turn adding excess weight to the aircraft. Do yourself a favor and buy at least four of the 210mAh 1s packs and a parallel charging board to quickly top off all of them in 30 minutes. Trust me, 4.5 minutes goes past quickly when flying the Tiny Whoop; it's nice to swap packs with the LVC kicks in and auto lands you in the middle of a house hucking session.

    Handling at the sticks is superb; the flight controller's stock settings are right on the money and need no adjustments. It's plenty fast in forward flight, and isn't the slightest bit twitchy, all the while feeling locked-in as you cut corners close and swoop under the dining room table and chairs. Acro mode is available for flips and rolls, but I didn't explore it and felt perfectly content in leveling mode.

    The included Stinger Vision Camera with 25 mW VTX performed flawlessly with it's linear antenna that's designed to take repeated abuse from collisions and roll overs. The reception was good in the house and out towards the back of my property, with just a hint of static at distances. In fact, the most static I received was from my 5.8GHz wifi router in the form of horizontal moving bands every few seconds. Unplugging the wifi obviously solved that problem, but it doesn't bother me so I usually leave it plugged in.

        

    Don't bother painting the frame like I did... it won't last!

    Don't bother painting the frame like I did... it won't last!

    Conclusion

    I'm officially addicted to flying the NewBeeDrone Tiny Whoop. It's the type of aircraft that makes you say "where have YOU been all my life?!?" Flying one is easy with it's self leveling flight controller, it can be banged off of walls and furniture with no chance of causing any damage (stay away from the expensive china dinnerware), and you don't even have to leave the house! The size of the Tiny Whoop makes any house a massive playground with new areas to find and explore with every flight. A couple of extra flight batteries is a necessity to really enjoy this little FPV quad, as it's 4.5 minute flight times are on the short side, so don't forget to order some and a parallel charging board to top all of them off an once!

     

    Frame Design - Designing an X-frame for in-HOUSE testing

    Frame Design - Designing an X-frame for in-HOUSE testing

    And so the fourth little piggy built his house out of carbon fiber. With some 5 inch props, the wolf never saw it coming.

    Worker Bee #3 was not happy with the frame selections currently on the market so I set out to design a pure X racing frame myself.

    I got started with drones in the first place because at the time, everything was so poorly designed and everyone was flying the same thing. Fast forward a year or two and the choices are now endless. Not only that but there is a lot of actual thought being put into the current products on the market.

    I wholeheartedly support every designer out there putting in the effort to make a superior product (we have purchased and flown many of these frames), however for me designing and cutting out your own frame is just that much more satisfying than unpacking and assembling a frame from a box that UPS delivers. Still not as much fun as flying though!

    So without further delay, let's layout the design goals:

    • Small and lightweightI wanted a smaller frame. I have enough larger frames and more ZMR frames (in various states of assembly/disassemly) than I know what to do with. So I settled on something around 190mm.
    • Customize-able - There a bunch of extra parts laying around here which is great for replacing broken components, but only if you can use them. Everyone likes options so I decided that this frame should support up to 5 inch props and 2208 motors
    • Inexpensive - This is a bit harder to determine right off the bat, but bolt on replace-able arms along with no excessive curves and material help. Less excess carbon fiber and symmetric design with similar parts led to deciding on an X-frame.
    • Easy assembly - Building and flying quads is like standing in line at an amusement park, you spend 6 hours building and setting it up for 5 minutes of flight time. Less parts for easy assembly/disassembly means less time standing in line. Minimal bolts and pieces.

    So this is how it started:

      Vitruvian drone?

      This is about as close as you want to put 4 spinning props together. Resulting in a roughly 190mm frame. To avoid back pressure from the props against the frame, which cancels out some thrust, I wanted as little surface area as possible on the arms and for the body to not interfere. This reduces total surface area and drag. If the arms are too thin though, they will just snap, so this a good compromise. A straight line is the quickest way to the body so that's what I went with.

       This seems too naked somehow

      So here is what it looks like with just the base and the arms. There are vents on the arms to cool the ESC's as well as a small slot to secure a zip-tie (this also serves as a crumple-zone). Additionally the arms come together to distribute forces in the case of a crash. Two points define a line so that's really all we need in terms of bolts in this case.

      Check out that flight controller!

      Now its beginning to look like a quad! 2206 motors, ESC's, PDB, and a flight controller. lets add some five inch props and see how much room I have to work with.

      Eventually props will look like this right?

      Hmm, not much room to work with so we have to go up and get up over those props. We need room to mount things on top and need the top to be slanted for the fpv camera and the run camera.

      Looks kinda like a house, so why not?

      After cutting out the window for access to the flight controller it kinda looked like a house, so why not add a little chimney? It is after all, a "house" frame for testing. It can serve as stabilization and protection for the run camera. Ah, so this is how we ended up with such an ridiculous design. Somehow I love it.

      Flying house!

      Here's what it looked like with a battery and the rest of the parts mounted. Let's cut it out and see how it flies!

       That's cool!

      Neat!

      I'm using Solidworks with HSMworks. This is what the tool path looks like for two sets, after it's all laid out. I cut out this prototype with our mini CNC machine. I'll go over CAD/CAM and machining/printing in another blog post.

       What do I do with these?

      Here's the first prototype of this frame! We're still getting this CNC dialed in so we cut on top of some cheap wood for quick prototyping purposes. I'm not sure what to do with these, I think they look pretty cool. Maybe I'll frame them and put them on the wall or something. Maybe we can do a give away or something =P

      Look Ma no screws!Look Ma no screws!

       

      Here's the frame put together and the frame on the operating table. The frame snaps together with no screws, nuts, or bolts. Of course you want to bolt it down when really building but it's pretty neat that it can hold itself up. We learned a couple little things when putting this frame together that we will change on the next iteration. Building such a small quad definitely takes a lot of skill and attention to detail.

      Looking sharp!

      Decked out with some 4in triprops and a runcam. We flew a couple different configurations on this frame, some flew better than this one but this one definitely looked the best. 

       

      Update #1:

      After extensive crash testing, we got tired of having to take the whole frame apart just to fix one broken arm. So I updated the arm design to be more easily replaceable as well as harder to break. The arms are now slotted for the second hole and I have moved the vtx towards the rear to allow more room for a bigger camera. There are now a grand total of only 10 bolts, 8 nuts, and 1 spacer to hold the whole thing together. It can still be optimized further, especially for production, but our pilots love this thing and I always have to fight to get it back to work on it. Here's a half built v1.2

      Puff of smoke antenna?

      Look for our pilots flying this frame around San Diego! If you see it, ask to give it a whirl and let them know what you think!

      - Worker Bee #3