Let’s check out the first 3″ 1S micro FPV drone with built-in ExpressLRS receiver – the BetaFPV HX115 LR Toothpick. It’s stealthy and fast, but is it for you? I will also check out BetaFPV’s 6-port 1S LiPo charger.
Learn more about the toothpick class FPV drones.
Here’s a flight video of the quad:
Where to Buy?
Get the BetaFPV HX115 LR from:
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-mlvu
- BetaFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-i5g3
In the box there’s the drone, a spare set of props and 1x 1S 450mah LiPo (they gave me an extra battery).
- Weight: 44.5g (without LiPo), 56.0g (with 1S 450mah)
- Motor: 1102-18000KV
- Propeller: HQ 3020 2-Blade Propellers 1.5mm Shaft
- Input Voltage: 1S
- Battery Connector: BT2.0 connector
- Flight controller: F4 1S 12A AIO FC with ELRS 2.4G Receiver
- VTX: M02 25-350mW 5.8G VTX
- Camera: Caddx ANT camera
- Receiver: Built-in ExpressLRS 2.4G Receiver
Closer Look at the HX115 LR
The name HX115 is a bit confusing as the wheelbase of the frame is actually 126mm, not 115mm. The HX115 LR has almost the same power config as the HX115 SE that I reviewed a couple of months ago, same motors, props and battery.
However, in the HX115, they almost doubled VTX output power and is now using ExpressLRS radio system, hence they branded this quad as “long range”. The FC on this quad is the BetaFPV F4 1S AIO FC with built-in ExpressLRS 2.4GHz receiver. The VTX supports up to 350mW output power, along with that tiny RHCP antenna, you should be able to get a mile or two of range in perfect conditions.
But the supplied 1S 450mAh LiPo is clearly not an ideal battery choice for long range. It’s great for freestyle and acro flying though. I get just over 3 minutes of flight time flying aggressively. If you really want to go long range, you should consider using a 18650 Li-ion cell, which BetaFPV claims that would give you 15+ minutes of flight time.
I have not personally tested 18650 on this quad because it involves a lot of DIY. You will need to get a 18650 battery tray (with Nickel plated spring contacts) to replace the BT2.0 pigtail. If this is what you want to do, frankly there are better options that works with 18650 cells out of the box and slightly cheaper too.
The propellers are supposed to be pushed in, no screws included and required. It’s actually a very snug fit, actually I think it’s going to be difficult removing them from the motor shafts.
The FC has a current sensor, but I think it might need a little calibration as the reading is slightly off.
The BetaFPV HX115 LR actually flies quite decently, at least better than the HX115 SE given the fact that they are using similar hardware. I think either the new PID tune is better, or the new frame is simply better.
However, for freestyle flying, it still suffers from the same issue as the HX115 SE – those 1103 motors are a tad too small. It lacks torque when trying to perform acro moves and it doesn’t handle prop wash that well. They try to increase the power by using higher KV motors but it becomes power hungry and the 1S battery simply can’t keep up anyway when you punch throttle. I don’t think it’s the right KV for long range either, typical 1S long range build powered by 18650 usually use 11000KV – 12000KV motors, 18000KV is simply too high.
Anyway, I really like how the HX115 LR flies compared to the HX115 SE. It’s super quiet and agile, it doesn’t draw attention when flying in the park. After all it only weighs 56g (AUW).
How to Setup
Setup was simple, if you want to go back to the stock settings, here’s the default CLI dump.
- Bind the ExpressLRS receiver (follow my setup guide here), I recommend flashing the RX with the latest firmware for bug fixes
- In modes tab, assign Arm switch
- In Power tab, lower voltage warning to 3.3V and lowest voltage to 3.2V
6-Port BT2.0/PH2.0 LiPo Charger
- Banggood – https://oscarliang.com/product-3it1
- BetaFPV – https://oscarliang.com/product-x6ft
Pretty cool 1S battery charger, goes perfectly with the HX115, or any quad that uses BT2.0 LiPo. I like the fact that it has 6 outputs, each output has both BT2.0 and PH2.0, covers the two most common 1S battery connector types. It gets power from USB-C port, and takes 5V to 12V input.
Charging current for each output is 300mA, up to 1A. I found it depends on the input voltage. If you are using the optional wall adapter which provides 12V to the charger, it can do 1A. For 1S 450mAh, it would take about 20-30 minutes to fully charge it. If it’s just a normal 5V USB power supply, it will only do 300mA. There is no way to change charging current by the way.
You can however change the end voltage, between 4.20V (normal LiPo) and 4.35V (HVLi)
Hope you find this review useful.
A QC 3.0 (Amp) USB charger might be capable of providing enough current for higher amp charging, although whether it could provide 1A is unknown. It might also provide the possibility of charging Lipo’s in a car, although I think a hardwired charger is a better idea in those circumstances. I use a SkyRC B6 for that purpose.