Review: Diatone Hey Tinawhoop

The Diatone TinaWhoop is not a TinyWhoop, it’s a 2S/3S micro FPV drone which is named after one of their sales mangers, Tina :) I guess she probably has more followers than many top FPV pilots :D Let’s check out what’s special about the Hey Tinawhoop.

Where to Buy?

Banggood: https://bit.ly/2ZlvYNw

It comes in a really nice carry case, with tons of accessories:

Specs and Features

  • FC & ESC: Mamba Toothpick F411 AIO Board
    • MPU6000 Gyro
    • 13A ESC Supports DShot600
    • 5V 1.5A BEC
    • Takes 2S-4S
  • FPV Camera: Runcam Nano 2
  • VTX: TBS Pro32 Nano
  • Motors: MAMBA Racing MB1103 8500KV
  • Props: Gemfan 1636×4 (4-blade 1.6inch propellers)
  • Battery Input Voltage: 2S or 3S with XT30 connector (Don’t use 4S!)
  • Diagonal Motor distance: 86mm
  • Weight with R-XSR: 61.8g

 

My review unit comes with the TBS Pro32 Nano VTX, but Diatone has changed the VTX to their own branded MAMBA TX400MW in the production version. The main difference seems to be the halved output power (400mW vs. 800mW), everything else should be similar.

See this article to learn about how range is affected by output power.

My Experience with TinaWhoop

Very strong frame – although the arms are plastic, not carbon fibre, the structure seems to be sturdy enough and doesn’t cause any oscillation in flight. It’s the same material they used on the older GT-R239, which has been tested by many reviewers to be one of the strongest micro quad frames.

The Runcam Nano 2 camera is mounted in a flexible 3D printed TPU holder to further reduce vibrations.

The propellers are entirely protected by the prop guards from hitting obstacles. The motors are mounted upside down and there is an unverified theory that this improves efficiency. Anyway, this is a refreshing design!

If you use Frsky R-XSR receiver, it’s going to be plug and play as they’ve already soldered the cable. That’s what I’d recommend getting for this quad: https://amzn.to/3g2UatX

Diatone even put a label on the receiver cable so you don’t connect the wrong wires. The attention to detail is insane :)

Other SBUS receivers, as well as Crossfire, would also work, but involves soldering the wires to the flight controller.

I installed the R-XSR on top of the VTX with some double-sided foam tape, and put the antennas through the holes in the antenna holder provided. That was easy!

Note that the flight controller is loaded with FlightOne FalcoX, so do not panic if you cannot connect it to Betaflight Configurator :) FlightOne FalcoX is another flight controller firmware, which is closed source unlike Betaflight. It was previously only available to FlightOne’s own FC, it’s great to see they now allow it on FC from other companies.

Setting it up was super easy, everything can be done through the OSD menu, there is no need to plug it into the computer at all! I think that’s the beauty of FlightOne.

Like the FPV monitor? You have good taste, here is the build log :)

You just have to follow the instructions on the screen, which talks you through moving the radio sticks and setup your arm switch, it’s really intuitive. If that’s not clear enough, Diatone even provided the steps on a piece of paper in both Chinese and English.

The only changes I made was adding timer and amp draw on the OSD screen, and increasing rates as the default was way too low. There are rate presets you can select from well known pilots, I am using BlackBird’s preset rates and it feels pretty good. I didn’t touch PID and filters, and it’s already flying pretty nice out of the box.

If for some reason, your OSD menu isn’t working (maybe wrong NTSC/PAL setting), you can connect the drone to the FlightOne FalcoX Configurator, and it simulates the OSD menu. You have to use the provided angle USB adapter to access the USB port on the FC.

Because I am flying this drone indoor mostly, I’ve only tested 2S batteries of different capacity – 300mah, 350mah, 450mah, 520mah and 650mah. 3S is going to be more powerful, more suited for outdoor flights, or if you plan to carry some payload like an HD camera.

The Tinawhoop can handle all these batteries with ease, but I prefer 2S 450mah for the best balance between flight time and agility. 350mah is also nice if you are looking for even more agility. See my 2S battery recommendations.

I get about 2 minutes 40 seconds of flight time from a 2S 450mah.

This quad has WAAAY more power than a typical 1S tiny whoop, and therefore is also louder. But it can handle outdoor much better if it isn’t too windy.

With the extra power, I am not sure why Diatone hasn’t considered putting an HD camera in this beast :) I wish they’d make a version that supports the DJI Vista air unit !

However, let’s get to the negatives. Firstly, I have to say the frame design isn’t very convenient for building or repairing. To access the FC you’d have to basically dissemble the whole quad and remove all the ducts.

And some of the screws are hex screws, while some are Phlips… I wish they’d keep it consistent.

I love the fact that they provided four extra ducts of different colors. Just before I was gonna change them for the colorful ducts, I realized the motor wires actually go through the holes in the ducts. That means you can’t replace the duct without de-soldering motor from the FC… So in the end I just left it there. I wish they wouldn’t have done this, I know this is neat, but I’d rather just zip tie the wires to the frame for easier maintenance.

I have been hearing reports of burnt ESC due to “auto turtle mode” in FlightOne, I have not had this problem yet probably because I am flying gently in the house and only using 2S. However Diatone has reached out to me and suggest I should flash Betaflight on the FC to avoid this potential issue. It’s good that the Mamba Toothpick FC board supports both Betaflight and FlightOne FalcoX FC firmware.

What do you think of the Diatone TinaWhoop? Let me know in the comment.

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