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WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter With FPV Camera

I was offered to test the toy by a Chi­nese online store. Why dis­sem­ble, I took it for myself to play, and for a hol­i­day to whom to give. For me, this is far from the first quad­copter: acquain­tance with this type of tech­nol­o­gy began with a sim­i­lar toy Syma X5C, and fur­ther pas­sion grew into the pur­chase of a Cheer­son CX-20 and a series of arti­cles on its sub­se­quent mod­i­fi­ca­tion in three parts.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera

On the X5C, at one time, a review was also planned and even pho­tos were pre­pared, but the mod­el was pop­u­lar at that time and there was sim­ply no desire to repeat it once again, and in fact the toy nature of the device made itself felt. WLtoys V686G is no less toy, but at least more inter­est­ing due to the pre-installed FPV sys­tem (cam­era with trans­mit­ter and mon­i­tor with receiv­er).
We are talk­ing about a mod­el with the G index with an FPV sys­tem oper­at­ing over a radio chan­nel at a fre­quen­cy of 5.8 GHz, there is also a ver­sion with a Wi-Fi cam­era for broad­cast­ing images to a smart­phone.

The text may con­tain and cer­tain­ly con­tains gram­mat­i­cal, spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and oth­er types of errors, includ­ing seman­tic ones. I do my best to ask read­ers to point out these errors and cor­rect me through pri­vate mes­sages.

Declared characteristics

Dimen­sions: 270 x 270 x 85 mm
Weight: 132 grams (with bat­tery and blade guard)
Onboard cam­era: 2 MP, video records in HD (720p), FPV at 5.8 GHz
Radio con­trol (remote): 2.4 GHz, back­lit infor­ma­tion dis­play
FPV Mon­i­tor: 4.3 inch­es with sun­shield
Bat­tery: 1C (3.7V), 730 mAh, JST con­nec­tor
Flight time: up to 8 min­utes
Price: ~$80 + $3 extra bat­tery

Equipment and appearance

The large card­board box reached me safe and sound. The pack­age con­tents are as fol­lows: a quad­copter with a set of pro­pellers and an FPV sys­tem, a charg­er (in my case with an euro plug), a bat­tery, a set of spare pro­pellers (4 pcs.), plas­tic pro­peller pro­tec­tion, a con­trol pan­el, an FPV mon­i­tor with a sep­a­rate USB charg­er, a microSD card 4 GB, USB-card read­er for it and instruc­tion man­u­al.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera

Instruc­tions in Chi­nese and Eng­lish. Obvi­ous­ly machine trans­la­tion, but the text is very sim­ple, so it will not be dif­fi­cult to fig­ure it out.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera
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The con­trol equip­ment is made with a twist under the “adult”. It is pow­ered by six AA bat­ter­ies. The left but­ton on the top is respon­si­ble for the oper­a­tion of the cam­era, and for Roll (som­er­sault in the air) — the right one. There are no com­plaints about the con­trol sticks. At the bot­tom is a blue back­lit LCD. From the infor­ma­tion dis­played: the quadro­copter’s con­sump­tion mode (more on that lat­er), the posi­tion of the trim­mers, the lev­el of charge of the equip­ment and the activ­i­ty of the onboard lights.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera

The FPV mon­i­tor with a fold­ing sun­shield is pow­ered by a built-in Li-ion bat­tery. Res­o­lu­tion, off­hand, 240 x 320 pix­els. Bright­ness is not enough on a sun­ny day, even with the use of a spe­cial pro­tec­tive cov­er. Mount­ed on the body of the remote con­trol with two screws and a spe­cial plas­tic fix­ture. Its exact auton­o­my remains unknown, tk. there is no charge indi­ca­tor on the screen, but it lasts exact­ly more than 5–6 flights (30–40 min­utes).

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera

The case of the device itself is com­plete­ly plas­tic and very light (130 grams with all body kit). Land­ing gear and a set of pro­pellers are already installed on the quad­copter out of the box. I installed the pro­tec­tion of the lat­ter after unpack­ing and did not remove it any­more, if only because it is fas­tened with three small screws.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera
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The bat­tery com­part­ment is cov­ered with a door. In each beam there is a piece of LED strip, which plays the role of the side lights of the quad­copter. They can be dis­abled from the remote con­trol by press­ing the mid­dle key to the right of the screen.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera
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The cam­era mod­ule is remov­able, pow­ered by the quad­copter. The set of con­nec­tors on the bot­tom is for con­nect­ing cam­era mod­ules and water or ball guns (mod­els V686L and M).

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera
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Motors, of course, col­lec­tor. The screws are con­nect­ed through a gear­box, and fas­tened with a small screw (pic­tured above).

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera
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Flight characteristics

Expect some­thing super­nat­ur­al from the toy is not nec­es­sary. I do not ful­ly under­stand the con­cept of a low-pow­er quadro­copter of this size. Due to the large vol­ume and low weight, and, con­se­quent­ly, the high windage, the posi­tion of the quad­copter in the air is affect­ed even by a slight blow of wind. Hav­ing tak­en off to a height of 15–20 meters, the quad­copter does not fly even at max­i­mum costs against the wind.

By the way, about expens­es. There are 4 modes to choose from: 40, 60, 80 and 100%. The set lev­el affects the tilt of the device left-right (roll) and up-down (pitch). In very sim­ple words: the stronger the slope, the high­er the speed.

WLtoys V686G Quick Review: Cheap Quadcopter with FPV Camera

At home, the V686 holds the set posi­tion with­out any prob­lems. On the street, it was not pos­si­ble to catch the calm, and in the pres­ence of wind, the quad­copter con­stant­ly blows to one side. The stronger the wind, the stronger it blows. Posi­tion sta­bi­liza­tion in the air is per­formed accord­ing to data from a stan­dard com­bi­na­tion of accelerom­e­ter and gyro­scope (6DOF). There is no barom­e­ter, so the alti­tude also floats.

In any case, basic maneu­vers on such a device can be per­fect­ed: cir­cle, fig­ure eight, reverse con­trol, etc. It is quite dif­fi­cult to break a quadro­copter due to the light body. Free fall from 10 meters with­out any vis­i­ble dam­age.

I start­ed talk­ing on the video there, because. on the street is not some­thing that is pos­si­ble, but you need to fly on 100% con­sum­ables. The FPV real­ly ran out of bat­tery. I apol­o­gize for the run­ny nose.

Additional Modes

It is impos­si­ble to make a full mode

return home

, like the same DJI Phan­tom, hav­ing only two sen­sors at its dis­pos­al. In the case of the V686G, by long press­ing the back­light key (cen­tral to the right of the screen on the remote con­trol), the quad­copter will sim­ply fly back rel­a­tive to the posi­tion in which it was launched. And it will fly until the first move­ment of the right stick. Of course, if the quad­copter was already direct­ed towards you at that moment, then it will fly in the absolute­ly oppo­site direc­tion.

Head­less mode is a stu­pid mode that can real­ly help in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. It is called by a long press of the func­tion key (low­er to the right of the screen) and is char­ac­ter­ized by a vile con­stant remote con­trol sig­nal. In this mode, no mat­ter where you point the nose of the quad­copter, it will still “look” ahead. And even after mak­ing a 180-degree turn around its axis, by mov­ing the right stick for­ward you will con­tin­ue to move for­ward (it still turns out “but­ter oil”, but I don’t know how to explain it in anoth­er way). A kind of begin­ner mode, which should help in the devel­op­ment of the air­craft. By the way, I did not suc­ceed in switch­ing to this mode in the air. There­fore, it is desir­able to launch it from the ground.

As the bat­tery runs out in the air, the quad­copter will alert you in advance by flash­ing onboard lights. At a crit­i­cal charge lev­el, a grad­ual decrease begins in the place where this lev­el was reached, with­out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mak­ing adjust­ments. When the con­trol equip­ment sud­den­ly turns off, the quad­copter sim­ply falls like a stone down, so at least I rec­om­mend peri­od­i­cal­ly mon­i­tor­ing its charge.

Camera and FPV

Enough for recre­ation­al flights. My video and radio range checks were lim­it­ed to the school sta­di­um, and it was quite scary to fly because of the strong wind for most of Decem­ber. The wind died down, if it hap­pened, in the late after­noon, when it was already dark. By the way, you won’t be able to fly FPV even at dusk due to the low light sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the cam­era.

Results

In my per­son­al opin­ion, in the role of the first quadro­copter, in order to famil­iar­ize your­self with this type of tech­nol­o­gy and hone basic maneu­vers, it is bet­ter to pur­chase some­thing small­er in order to be able to fly at home. Some­thing like the Floure­on H101, which is not at all a pity to kill (although it will be oh so dif­fi­cult to do) or, if you real­ly want FPV, the time-test­ed Hub­san X4 H107D, which you can fly on the street with a lit­tle wind.

Where can I buy?

You can buy a quadro­copter in the pre­sent­ed con­fig­u­ra­tion in the Gearbest online store for ~80 dol­lars. I imme­di­ate­ly rec­om­mend buy­ing a cou­ple of addi­tion­al bat­ter­ies for it, oth­er­wise it’s some­how not kosher to go out­side for the sake of sev­en min­utes of enter­tain­ment.

Related links

Review from RCbuy­er
Dis­cus­sion on RCde­sign
Review on the Eng­lish forum RCgroup

I am wait­ing for feed­back on the mate­r­i­al here, in the com­ments, or in social net­works: Face­book, VKon­tak­te, Twit­ter, Insta­gram. On my web­site, I dupli­cate my pub­li­ca­tions from all over the Inter­net, so you can also look. 🙂

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