The Beta85 Pro 2 is a powerful 2″ micro drone you can safely fly indoor, yet capable of handling breezy conditions outdoor too. I will go through the features and hardware, and explain my experience flying this quad.
The Beta85 Pro 2 whoop is a brand new product, don’t be confused with the Beta85X HD, and Beta85X 4K I previously reviewed. Those models can take 3S and 4S LiPo because they need the extra power to compensate for the heavy HD camera. The Beta85 Pro 2 is designed primarily for fun freestyle flying, although it only takes 2S, because it’s so light, it actually flies better IMO.
Where to Buy?
There are two receiver options, Frsky FCC and Crossfire. Accessories include the following:
- Beta85 Pro 2 Whoop Drone
- 2S 300mAh 45C Lipo with XT30
- Spare camera mount with 25° tilt
There are no spare propellers included, so make sure to grab a few sets just in case.
Beta85 vs. Beta75 – Bigger is Better?
You can see the Beta85 is consierably larger than the Beta75. Is it really better?
Well, I would say it depends on the type of flying.
Even though both quads are powered by 2S battery, the Beta85 has gained more power from the bigger motors and props over the Beta75, it also gained some weight. Thanks to the increase in power you don’t get “yaw wash out”, and it comes out of power loops cleaner as well.
Overall, the 85 is more powerful but also more floaty than the 75. It does feel very predictable and controllable, and easier to pull off acro tricks in the open. However the 75 is more agile and you can probably fly a bit faster in tighter spaces.
One thing you can do with the 75 but not the 85, is you can run a 1S battery if you want to reduce the weight and power further for some precise, controlled and slow flying. With the 85, you can reduce max throttle to achieve similar result, but you are still stuck with the heavy 2S battery.
Beta85 Pro 2 Specs
The Beta85 Pro 2 only weighs 43g without battery, designed for fun FPV freestyle flying and racing. With the provided 2S 300mAh battery I get about 2min 30sec flight time.
- F4 FC with built-in Frsky receiver
- 5A BLHeli_S ESC (6A Burst)
- XT30 Battery connector, takes 2S LiPo Battery
- 1103 11000KV Brushless Motors
- Z02 AIO Camera/VTX
- EMAX AVAN 2 inches 4-Blade Propellers
- SmartAudio – what is that?
- Weight: 43g without battery, 61g including the 2S 300mah battery
The 85mm ducted frame is quite flexible, but that doesn’t seem to affect its flight performance. The frame can take a beating and still maintain its form, the material is very durable and light weight.
However I find the canopy to be fragile. The plastic is really thin and flexible, and it’s very likely to break in a hard crash on concrete, or against a tree. I guess they went for this design choice for weight saving. One way to make it more robust is covering it with packing tapes, a bit like lamination.
I believe it’s the same canopy used in the Beta65 and Beta75, so spare is widely and cheaply available. You can buy them here: http://bit.ly/328FMsx
I like the fact that they are using a LiPo strap instead of plastic holder for mounting the battery. This allows you to use batteries of different shape. There are a couple of rubber strips to provide more grip so the battery doesn’t slide out in a crash. Nice touch.
If you own a Beta75 Pro 2, you should be familiar with this FC. It’s an AIO (all in one) brushless whoop FC, with ESC integrated in the same PCB, which is a huge weight saving.
If you are getting the Frsky FCC version, the radio receiver is also built into the FC. FCC means the receiver is loaded with international firmware. If you are an EU-LBT user, see BetaFPV’s guide.
The RX antenna is simply wrapped around the FPV camera. I guess it’s great for durability and it looks neat when it’s hidden under the canopy, but I can’t say the same for range at all.
The FC has an F4 processor, and a MPU6000 Gyro. It supports Betaflight OSD and SmartAudio for VTX control.
It’s a shame the FC is flashed with a really old Betaflight 4.0 beta firmware, dated back in December 2018. The problem with it is, you can’t open the Modes tab and OSD tab in the latest Betaflight Configurator. Here is how to fix it.
The ESC is BLHeli_S, rated for 5A, 6A burst. Since it supports DShot600, you can use turtle mode and ESC beacon (using motor beeping as buzzer). Factory firmware is S_H_50_REV16_7.HEX
You can access the USB port of the FC from the bottom.
Here is the specs of the Z02 AIO FPV camera and VTX:
- FOV: 120°
- Tilt angle 25° or 35° (depends on the camera mount you use)
- Switchable VTX output power: 0mW, 25mW and 200mW
- 5.8GHz 48 channels including Raceband
- Supports SmartAudio – you can change VTX settings via Betaflight OSD
Image quality is not bad for a tiny little CMOS AIO camera. However the fixed camera angle is not very user friendly. True, you can swap out the camera holder of less angle and yet you only have 25° and 35° options.
The camera can slide out of the mount when you remove the canopy, that’s just how loose it is. I suggest putting some blue-tac or double sided tape on the sides of the camera to help hold it more securely. This will also reduce the amount of jello in your FPV feed.
The VTX rests on top of the FC, with a piece of foam in between as insulation. It’s literally only held in place by the canopy. I think it would be better to replace the piece of foam with double sided foam tape, so it can’t wiggle around which might give you vibration during flight.
There is a push button on the VTX for changing VTX settings, but it’s hidden inside the canopy anyway, so I suppose you would have to use SmartAudio most of the times.
It’s a shame that BetaFPV still hasn’t addressed the same VTX antenna issue we had with the Beta75 Pro 2. It’s resting freely between the two rear props, if it moves left or right during flight it will hit the spinning props. I think you should glue it down to the frame, or tie it down with floss/thin wires.
Motors & Props
In the Beta85 Pro 2, we have BetaFPV branded 1103 11000KV motors with connectors at the end that fit nicely on the FC – solder free and easy for repairing. These motors can handle up to 2S LiPo batteries.
The motors appear to be high quality, with curved magnets and tight air gaps. The motor bell is held by an tiny E-clip. The open-bottom design helps cooling but debris can get stuck more easily.
As you can see, the motor directions are reversed by default. This is preferred on tiny whoops as it mitigates the “yaw wash out” problem, and improves corner handling.
The Emax Avan 2″ 4-blade props are press-fit onto the 1.5mm motor shaft without mounting screws due to the fact that the motors don’t actually have these screw holes. As a result, the fit is not very tight, I don’t see them falling off in flight, but they might become loose over time. Inserting a piece of floss in the prop hole when installing them might help.
LiPo Batteries and Spare Parts
I think 2S 300mAh, 350mAh and 450mAh batteries are great. See my Tiny Whoop LiPo battery shootout for recommendations.
If you need spare parts, you can get them from here:
- FC: F4 2S AIO FC No RX – https://amzn.to/2HqExgp
- Motor: 1103 11000KV motor – https://amzn.to/3255Ww9
- Camera: Z02 AIO Camera – https://amzn.to/2KWTAR7
- Frame: Beta85X Frame – https://amzn.to/33YWXyk
- Props: EMAX AVAN 2 inch 4-Blade Props – https://amzn.to/342k6jA
- BetaFPV 300mAh 2S Lipo – https://amzn.to/2KTTnhf
- BetaFPV 350mAh 2S Lipo – https://amzn.to/2Hqcaii
How to Setup Beta85 Pro 2 for First Flight?
If you have Betaflight Configurator 10.5.1 or newer, it’s probably best to update Betaflight firmware on the quad, otherwise you won’t be able to access the modes tab (as mentioned in the review why). Before updating Betaflight, make sure you backup settings first.
If you have an older version Configurator, and you can access the Modes tab without problems, then you don’t have to update. I personally wouldn’t because I hate reprogramming everything again, but that’s entirely up to you.
The first thing you want to do is to bind the quad to the Taranis. Make sure to bind in Frsky_D and D8 mode:
- Connect the FC to computer, open Betaflight Configurator
- In Configuration Tab, Under Receiver, Change Frsky_X to Frsky D
- Go to the CLI tab, enter this command to force FC into bind mode:
- On your Taranis, set Internal RF to D8 Mode, then activate the bind option
- Wait a few seconds, then stop the bind function on the radio
- Reboot FC, done!
The reason for binding in D8 mode is because there is still a bug with D16 mode and Frsky SPI receivers. Basically it can cause your flight controller to randomly lock up. With D8 mode, you will lose Telemetry but it’s more reliable (for now). You don’t really need Telemetry anyway, since you have Betaflight OSD to monitor voltage.
After binding, check if the receiver channels are responding correctly to your stick movement. If not it’s probably just the wrong channel map.
Setup ESC Beacon, make sure you disable RX_LOST.
Setup your OSD elements, make sure to select NTSC format so your elements don’t get cut off.
Finally, in Modes tab, assign switches for arming, angle/horizon mode, and beeper.