Review: Diatone GTB229 Cube Micro Drone

Not sure what “gtb229” means, but basically this is another “toothpick” class ultra-light micro drone. What I have here is a prototype, so if you have any ideas please let them know in the comment below to help shape this product.

Where to Buy

The Diatone Cube offers two different KV motors, 8500KV and 10000KV. Since this quad is only rated for 2S, I personally would go for the 10000KV for the extra power. I am still trying to confirm with Diatone if the 8500KV can actually support 3S or not since the ESC is rated for 4S.

Accessories including:

  • 5 zip-ties
  • spare female cable for connecting different radio receiver
  • a spare battery strap
  • various spare screws
  • buzzer & cable

Specifications

The one I have is a prototype, but I’ve updated the specs below to the production version. Not much has changed except the better FPV camera and new canopy.

  • Mamba F411 16×16mm Nano Flight Controller Stack
  • 12A 4in1 ESC
  • Mamba 1103 10000KV Motors (1.5mm motor shaft with two screw holes)
  • HQ 65mm Bi-blade Props
  • Runcam Nano 2 FPV Camera
  • 200mW TBS Unify Pro 32 Nano VTX

The quad weighs at around 43g without LiPo battery. The Cube is one of the most compact micro quads running 65mm props I’ve reviewed so far.

diatone cube gtb229 size comparison with sailfly and talon x110

From Left: Sailfly, Diatone Cube, Talon X110

Frame

If you’ve been reading my reviews long enough, you know I am not a big fan of this “box” style frames because pn a bigger drone like the 5″, they tend to be too heavy and not very aerodynamic. But Diatone managed to create a unique “box” frame for this little beast that is very strong and light weight, and it’s very stiff too.

This is nothing like a typical toothpick frame I have been flying. The black canopy appears to be injection molded, but it looks like the production version will have a 3D printed TPU canopy.

This is one compact frame, with a wheelbase of 105mm (motor to motor distance). The struts (arms) are 3mm thick (height) and 1.5mm wide.

I really like the battery straps provided. Those are proper straps with a metal buckles unlike those crappy ones you see from other models. They should put some foam tape at the bottom of the frame though to help hold the battery in place. And also I find the strap is slightly too long, it would be nice if it’s 1-2cm shorter.

Motor

Here are some closeup shots of the motor. Motors are soldered to the ESC directly – great to see it’s not using small connectors which create bottlenecks for performance.

Two options available, 8500KV and 10000KV. However both versions are rated for 2S LiPo only (at the time of publish).

FC Stack

The Mamba F411 Nano is a 16x16mm FC/ESC stack that hasn’t been released separately, so I don’t have the full specs yet. But we know that the ESC’s are BLHeli_S, 12A 4in1 ESC.

Here is a more indepth overview of this FC stack.

They used a bunch of tiny o-rings for soft mounting the FC and ESC, which are nice for dampening vibration. But it can be quite messy when you take the FC stack apart and you can lose them easily. I wish they used something that is one piece for soft mounting.

Note that the Cube didn’t come with a radio receiver. I confirmed with Diatone and they won’t offer BNF (bind and fly) option to avoid “unexpected problems”. That means you’d have to install your own receiver. If you are using Frsky, the popular options would be R-XSR (with telemetry) and XM+ (no telemetry).

The USB connector is facing forward, which is a bit unusual. Not sure how well that’s going to handle sand and grass juicy getting in there…

FPV Setup

The FPV setup is one expensive combo – Runcam Nano 2 with TBS Nano Unify Pro. VTX antenna is just a dipole.

I wish camera angle is adjustable, and they also need to mount the VTX antenna better, it’s dangling a bit in the canopy. Edit: looks like they addressed both of these issues in the production version with the new canopy.

Other Remarks

XT30 battery lead is 20AWG wires, there is no external capacitors attached to it.

It comes with a micro buzzer. It’s not much smaller than the buzzer we normally use on 5″ quad, but it has a flat surface which is easier for mounting.

I will take this quad apart and make a separate review of the nano stack shortly.

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