The HX100 is BetaFPV’s take on the “toothpick” style micro drones, capable of running either 65mm two-blade props or 48mm four-blade. This is one of the lightest 2.5″ micro quad we’ve tested so far.
Are you in the market for an ultra-light micro quad? Here is the round-up of the ones I’ve reviewed so far.
Where to Buy HX100
Available receiver options are: none, Frsky XM, Flysky, Futaba, DSMX and TBS Crossfire. There is no accessories included, only a set of 65mm props and 45mm props.
Specs and Features
- FC / ESC: F4 AIO FC board with 12Ax4 ESC
- Motors: BetaFPV 1103 8000KV
- Props: 65mm 2-blade or 48mm 4-blade (1.5mm shaft hole)
- Camera: Runcam Nano 2
- VTX: A01 25mW – 200mW
- Supports SmartAudio
- Supports 2S – 3S LiPo
- Weight: 41g without battery (65mm props)
I am quite happy with the frame design overall.
The material used for the canopy is really stiff and tough! You can adjust the camera angle without getting any canopy in the view. and the VTX antenna doesn’t move and get in the way of the props.
The frame is 2mm thick carbon fibre, seems to be a durable design. The motors are installed with only two bolts, saving a bit of weight there. The extruded tips at each arm provide some protection to the motor in crashes.
Make sure to add some battery pad on the bottom to avoid getting the USB port and bolts digging into your battery when you crash or land. (The USB port sticks out just a tiny bit)
There is a piece of foam between the frame and canopy to provide stabilization to the canopy and the camera. It seems to be a cheap and easy work around, but it’s not quite enough to hold the canopy steady.
There are only two screws holding the canopy down on the sides, and I do think it needs one more screw in the front to completely stop the canopy from moving up and down. This movement causes the camera to vibrate (just a tiny bit) during flight sometimes. It’s not a huge deal, only bothers me when it’s really windy, or the quad has a bent prop.
Motors & Propellers
The motors are BetaFPV branded 1103 8000KV. The motors are connected to the ESC via Micro JST-1.25 3-pins connectors.
The HX100 comes with both 48mm four-blade props, and 65mm two-blade props. It’s recommended to run 3S LiPo with the 48mm, and 2S LiPo with the 65mm.
The 65mm props appears to be the Kingkong. They are one of the cheapest props that perform reasonably well, quite efficient and yet smooth. Part of that performance comes from the light weight, as they only weigh 0.4g each.
Here is a shootout of 65mm two-blade propellers.
On the contrary, the smaller 48mm props weigh twice as much as the 65mm. The weight of a propeller does change flight characteristics. But the 48mm prop can definitely hold up better to crashes.
Flight Controller / ESC
The FC/ESC is the F4 12A AIO board from BetaFPV, a whoop style FC, and so far a reliable board. The cool thing about this FC is the built-in current sensor, which allows you to monitor your battery level more accurately :) You can watch your voltage reading, but when you are flying so fast, the voltage tends to fluctuate rapidly, and the current sensor comes in handy in these situations.
The FC is soft mounted on a piece of foam and not using the typical rubber standoffs, which is an unusual approach. Anyway it seems to be working as expected for minimizing oscillation and providing protection to the FC.
If you choose Frsky receiver, it comes with the XM receiver, not the usual XM+. The XM is cheaper and smaller, but only has one antenna while the XM+ has two for diversity and better range. Although it’s not a deal breaker I still wish it was the XM+.
There is a capacitor soldered to the end of the XT30 lead, with a heatshrink wrap over it. I think it would be better if they flipped the cap over to other side (on top of the XT30) to make the lead more flexible.
The VTX is the BetaFPV AO1, a good VTX that supports SmartAudio, and capable of 25mW and 200mW output powers. The VTX antenna rests between the two rear props, but it’s really stiff and doesn’t waggle at all.
Recommended LiPo Battery
BetaFPV recommends either 2S or 3S 300mAh LiPo battery for this model, depending on the type of propellers you want to use (as mentioned in the motor/prop section).
I do think 2S 450mah is a good choice too. I tested a bunch of small 2S and 3S batteries for these kind of models, and determined which are the good ones.
How to Setup HX100
The flight controller comes loaded with BetaFlight version 3.5.3, quite an old version, but I don’t see the need to update. Firmware target is MATEKF411.
There are two UART’s – UART1 used for VTX SmartAudio, UART2 used for radio receiver.
The setup is quite simple, here are what I changed for first flight:
- Bind the quad to the radio (Frsky XM)
- Disable “Motor_Stop”
- Lower “Motor Idle Throttle Value” to 10
- Disable “RX_LOST” under DShot Beacon
- Setup switches for arming and beeper
- Setup OSD
Please note that the HX100 is configured to run “Props out” – the motors spin in reverse direction. According to BetaFPV, the default props direction causes the quad to dip and “wash out” in hard corners, and the reverse config fixes that.
As usual, BetaFPV always leaves the receiver antenna dangling around.
You can secure it to the arm with a zip tie and heatshrink like this.
If you are looking for a BNF Toothpick you will not be disappointed. The BetaFPV HX100 offers a wide range of receivers and all the components are have been reliable and well performed for me. Setting up was as easy as it can get, and it’s tuned to fly well out of the box. All that you have to do is binding it to your radio.
It weighs only 41g without battery, only 2 grams heavier than the lightest quad – the Sailfly, and that’s part of the reason that I am getting really long flight time – around 5 minutes of aggressive flying on a 3S 300mah.
It’s more floaty with the 65mm props, but it’s also much more powerful and efficient. I really don’t see the point of using 48mm 4-blade props on these type of quads. 65mm props works fine on 3S, just set up a throttle cap at 80% or 90%, and you are good to go!