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Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter:

 

Product: 1SQ V-Cam Quadcopter

Maker: Heli-Max

Stock No: HMXE0837-TxR

MSRP: $159.99

 Availability: Hobbico/Tower Hobbies

 Bottom Line

  • On-board camera takes in-flight video or photos
  • LEDs on each motor pod allow for flying in the dark
  • Excellent durability with no assem
  • bly required
  • Auto-Flip feature and stabile TAGS-FX flight allow new pilots to fly like a pro!


   

Product:

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 pro!

 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 features.

 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.

Performance:

 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.