Several factors came together this weekend. First, a cold front is rolling through Central Texas, the net result is cold, wind and rain. Being from the North West that usually would not be a deterrent but A) I have adapted to the heat quicker than I expected and B) the dirt around here + rain turns into an insidious clay that, once applied, will never come out. Meaning if one of my planes took a dirt nap, the air to ground impact would be the least of the problems.
Secondly, I had heard some positive things about the new Blade Nano Qx. Its priced around $70 and readily available. So it was inside impulse purchase territory.
Third, my new home in Texas is multiples larger than in Vancouver. So smaller quad, bigger house means the potential for lots more indoor fun. Also, housing is cheap here, FYI.
Finally, XBox Ones seem to be impossible to get. Which is annoying for everyone except my bank account.
I have a love/hate relationship with unboxings. 90% of the time they are 100% crap and provide no value at all. However, when you are considering purchasing the product a view of the packaging can tell you: how much the company cares about the product (which translates, sometimes, into quality), what actually comes in the box so you know what else you need to buy.
So here are the obligatory unboxing photos:
As you can see it comes in a box.
No styrofoam! Oh god, how I hate styrofoam.
Dam this thing is small. It seems to be powered by tail motors normally used on Blade micro helis.
Extra canopy, thats nice. USB battery charger, interesting. Much less bulky than the old method.
Spare props, various bits and a manual that is actually helpful (except for one thing, more later).
I used to have a fleet of these things, but I gave them to my brother when I moved. So I got a few more. From what I have seen so far, two batteries is probably enough, three is actually kinda annoying.
On the surface, this thing flys great!. but thats is not the best part. The best part is how it handles abuse. I have now crashed it well over 100 times and I have yet to break anything. The recommended Dual Rates for the Nano, I thought were a bit off. They seem to make the ailerons and elevator numb. So rather than changing the endpoints I programed the F-mode switch with the following:
0) 20% expo
1) 0% expo
3) -20% expo
A note on domestic tranquility: The nano Qx is much better than its predecessors in terms of noise. My wife is much happier. Sounds like a swarm of bees.
The only annoying thing about the Nano that I can find is it wobbles when descending hard. I have had several crashes caused by dropping 10 ft at 10% power and then going to 100% for the save. Turns out this is more like going to 100% for the death knell.
First Problem: Switching to Agility Mode
The manual says to set the trainer button to AUX1 for switching into Agility mode. Apparently the control board is looking for a momentary change on that channel. That probably makes sense with the ready-to-fly controller, but on a big-boy controller a switch would have been much better.
Anyway, at first when I switched into agility mode, the light on the quad would change but I would have no cyclic (elevator or aileron) or rudder control. Annoying! A little googling and I found out I needed to reverse the the AUX1 channel.
Apparently the NanoQx is looking for -100% to 100% to -100% on the switch, rather than the inverse. Since I followed the directions in the manual exactly, I wonder how many people are also typing into google, “Nano Qx does not move in agility mode” or “NanoQx no control in agility mode”
Agility Mode vs Stability Mode:
Two factors seem to constitute the difference. First, Stability mode limits how far you can roll on an axis. Agility mode will let you roll all the way over. Second, Stability mode will return you to level when you release the controls, Agility move seems to lock your attitude until you correct it.
If you wanted to learn to fly collective pitch helicopters, agility mode on the NanoQx would be for you.
Non-issue. This thing is tough. Actually more accurately, its VERY light. Which mean moving at 100% the kinetic energy is tiny.
How does it Compare to the mQx?
First of all the Nano is WAY smaller. Its props are tiny.
The mQx’s control board.
The Nano Qx Control Board
Side by site comparison. Basically they did a lot more in a lot less space. I kinda wonder why they just did not do the Nano originally. Maybe an EE will take a look at the chips they are using one day and tell us.
Major difference here is frame. The mQx’s frame is a lot stiffer.
Since the Nano Wx frame is 100% molded plastic, it could stand to be stiffer. But I am not sure if the added weight would actually improve the quad.
So what happens when you munge a Nano Qx and the mQx?
The 180 Qx apparently. From looking at their product page it seems to be an mQx with slight changes. I bet they took a Nano control board and changed the motor connector pins. They might have also done something to deal with larger amp draws from the slightly bigger motors.