Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter:
1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter
- On-board camera takes in-flight video or
- LEDs on each motor pod allow for flying in
- Excellent durability with no assem
- bly required
- Auto-Flip feature and stabile TAGS-FX flight
allow new pilots to fly like a pro!
The Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter adds
several new features to its previous 1SQ release. The added
3-axis accelerometer enhances the TAGS-FX 3-axis gyro for even
greater stability than the previous release. It now has a
built-in camera for shooting aerial video or photos, an LED on
each motor pod for improved orientation or flying in the dark,
and, still comes in two versions; RTF and TxR. An added
Auto-Flip feature allows beginners to flip the 1SQ V-Cam like a
The quadcopter measures only 14.5 x 14.3 cm
(5.70 x 5.62 in) and the frame is made of sturdy lightweight plastic. The
palm-sized quad feels very light when picked up as it only weighs just 32.9 g
(1.2 oz.) without the battery.
On the Transmitter-Ready version, a 7-channel
transmitter is required to access all three features for flipping, video, and
photo taking. A 6-channel transmitter will allow only the flip and video
The Transmitter-Ready version, used for this
review, comes with everything you need to fly except for the SLT-compatible 6-7
channel transmitter. You can use a Tactic (TTX650) 2.4GHz 6-channel transmitter
to directly link with the 1SQ quadcopter or alternatively use the AnyLink SLT
2.4GHz Radio Adapter (TACJ2000) on most other brand transmitters to adapt them
to be SLT-compatible.
The 1SQ V-Cam package includes a 250mAh Lipo
battery, USB charger, 2GB micro SD card, USB micro card reader, four extra
props, screwdriver, and 20-page manual.
There is no
assembly required but my transmitter-ready version required me to first
link to the receiver using my AnyLink SLT 2.4GHz Radio Adapter and JR
x9503 9-channel transmitter. The 1SQ V-Cam and AnyLink manuals are well
written so after switching to the alternate channel mapping, and
programming my Flip, Video, and Photo channels, I was ready to fly!
Before testing out the 1SQ V-Cam's micro
camera, I wanted to see how well the TAGS-FX Sensor Fusion stabilization system
worked indoors. Upon power-up, the 1SQ calibrates itself after sitting on a flat
surface for a few seconds. Once airborne, the system uses a 3-axis gyro and a
3-axis accelerometer to keep the copter level and centered. It needed only a few
trim clicks to keep it hovering in place so I was off to a good start!
I didn’t see a need for the supplied
screwdriver other than being used as an aid in pressing the Link button on the
TxR version. The 1SQ body removes easily to access the Link button.
Since the previous release of the 1SQ
Quadcopter proved it is capable of both intricate maneuvers and stable precision
flying, my focus in this review was mainly on the new V-Cam features, Auto-Flip
function, and, motor pod LEDs.
The motor pod LEDs are quite bright so they
can be seen in most any light indoors and even outdoors. The white front LEDs
and red back LEDs help maintain orientation in the air and their intensity
changes with throttle level. The tiny 1SQ frame gets small quickly as it travels
away from you and the LEDs help to maintain the travel direction.
Once outside, I tested the Auto-Flip feature
and it worked great as long as you were climbing up before moving the right
stick to any extreme end.
Indoor flying was easy as the 1SQ was both
stabile and maneuverable. When flying outdoors, you really need calm conditions.
The bright sunlight helped to make better video and photos. The tiny built-in
camera can take 1280x720 MPEG video at 30fps in an AVI format or still JPG
1280x720 JPG photos at 96dpi. The supplied 2GB micro SD card allows for a good
amount of video storage and hundreds of photos.
The V-Cam works best in bright light. As with
any video, the faster you move the more the video gets blurred. When you slow
down your flight speed you can get some nice video clips. The still photos seem
to work well at almost any speed and you can easily discard the ones that are
not properly focused. I waited for a calm morning and went down the street to a
local office park for some high up photo fun!
The V-Cam feature did affect the flight times
as I measured around 4 minutes with V-Cam record on and about 6 minutes with the
V-Cam off. The video quality is similar to a standard cell phone recording a
1280x720 resolution at 30fps. The still JPG photos come out pretty good and I
discovered that the camera angle can be tilted for different angles. An onboard
LED flashes when the camera is recording or a photo is being taken.