I bought the Eachine E013 micro quadcopter for a friend who wants to get into FPV flying, and I thought it might be a good idea to give it a go myself and do a mini review. :) So here we go!
The E013 comes with everything you need to start flying, it’s a pretty fun model but it only comes with 1 battery, so make sure you get some spare! One battery only lasts about 3 to 4 mins and takes 40+ mins to fully charge.
Spare batteries for the E013 are available here: http://bit.ly/2mDz4ea
Specifications of the E013
The E013 Small Pepper quadcopter has a built-in video transmitter (VTX) and FPV camera. It comes with a radio transmitter (TX), and an FPV goggle so you can see what the quadcopter sees.
There is also a 1S 200mAh Lipo battery and a USB charger. Other accessories including some stickers, a screw driver and spare props.
- Color: Red
- 6mm brushed motors, which means they can ideally go through 100+ flights before performance starts to degrade noticeably (Spare motors: https://goo.gl/pMjDgS)
- The only flight mode available is Angle Mode (aka self-level mode)
- FPV camera: 120 degree FOV, 1000TVL
- VTX: 25mW 40ch with linear polarized antenna
- The quad weighs just under 20g without the battery
- It comes with a 200mAh LiPo that weighs 6g
- Size: 82x82x43mm
VR006 FPV Goggle
- Built-in 1S 500mah battery, rechargeable by USB cable
- Resolution: 500px * 300px
- 40 channels
- Weight with antenna: 209g
- RP-SMA antenna connector
- The VR006 Goggle is sold at $60 on its own?! (update: it’s a two-antenna version, but it’s not real diversity anyway, so who knows if that matters at all?)
- Requires 3x AAA batteries
- Trim buttons for both sticks, buttons for adjusting rates, flip/rolls, and enabling headless mode
A Close Look at the E013 Quadcopter
I previously bought and modified the E010 for FPV, it was the cheapest tiny whoop solution at the time and it was phenomenal. But now Eachine released an even easier and cheaper solution for FPV and that’s the E013!
The design of the E013 has matured significantly after a couple of generations, every part on the E013 is functional, crash-resistant and light weight.
You can change VTX channel and band by pressing the button on the top of the canopy, next to the antenna.
The size of the E013 is exactly the same as the older E010.
The battery is installed under the quad. Beware that if you are buying extra batteries, they are the 260mAh packs which are bigger than the stock battery and can go over the connector. You will need to modify the battery compartment by removing the front wall in order to fit it and plug in the connector.
I really like the new stick ends on the TX. Although the control and precision on these tiny TX are still not optimal, but the extended stick ends do help a little bit.
To bind the transmitter and receiver, you just need to power up both the quadcopter and the TX, and move the throttle up and down to get them bound.
There are trim buttons on the TX, you can use them to remove any drifting and make your quad hover more steadily. There are buttons on the top for changing the sensitivity level of your sticks, there are 3 levels: slow, medium and fast. I find medium to be the easiest to control.
The TX takes three AAA batteries which aren’t included.
The FPV Goggle
The VR006 FPV Goggle is smaller than I expected.
Despite the low resolution, the image is surprisingly clear and sharp.
The battery voltage of your FPV Goggle as well as the frequency it’s on, are displayed on the bottom of the screen. That’s a very good feature as your goggles won’t just die in the middle of a flight because you know when you should recharge it.
The battery lasts about an hour.
Operation is simple on this goggle, there are only 4 buttons on the side for changing brightness, contrast, receiver channels and bands, scanning for live channel and turning it on and off.
On the left side, there is the Micro USB port for charging the internal battery.
On the top of the goggle, there is an AV input for connecting to an external video receiver, but it doesn’t come with a cable for that. Unfortunately it doesn’t have an AV output so you cannot connect it to a second display, or DVR to record your flight.
With the foam padded face plate, it’s pretty comfortable wearing them.
Finally, I recommend using a circular polarized antenna such as a cloverleaf or pagoda on the Goggles for better range. I found it gives me more reliable and stable signal even flying in short range such as in the house, than the dipole antenna that comes with it.
- Cheap cloverleaf antenna: Banggood | Amazon | GetFPV
- Further Reading: Circular Polarization vs. Linear Polarization
For your reference, here are the manuals, click to enlarge.
What’s good about the E013 micro drone?
- It’s an affordable, complete, ready-to-fly kit
- Flight performance is very stable
- Prop guard does a good job protecting the propellers, this is especially important for beginners
- No configuration required, it flies right out of the box
- The TX comes with better stick ends than the original version (E010), this slightly improves flying experience
- The FPV Goggles are pretty nice, image is very sharp and clear
What is bad about the E013?
- The quad is a little under-powered compared to some other “Tiny Whoop” style quads
- You cannot tune the quad to fly the way you want
- The radio controller is not easy to use, and precision is not as good as a full size TX
- I personally find the goggle’s screen too close to my face, and it’s a bit difficult to focus
- The USB battery charger that comes with the kit only seems to charge the battery to 4.15V, and not 4.20V. That means we are potentially losing flight time… However you can get a better charger like this one, which will fully charge your battery, and it allows you to charge multiple batteries at the same time as well
- The E013 is using an unknown RC protocol which is incompatible with some multi-protocol TX and modules. That means you might be stuck with the stock TX for now
- You can’t adjust the lens distance in the FPV Goggles, making it difficult to use for people with different eye sights
The whole kit is only $65 and everything is budget part so we can’t expect too much quality at this price. However I do think it’s a decent enough product for giving someone an intro to FPV, especially for young pilots who just want to have fun flying in the house.
But if you want a more powerful machine with better quality, you should definitely look into building your own 5″ racing drone and just skip the tiny whoops.
If you really want a proper tiny whoop that flies really really nice, I recommend the BeeBrain V2 setup, but of course it’s not cheap.
If you are looking to get the VR600 Goggles, you might as well just get this whole package because the price difference is only $6, and you get a little quad with an FPV setup.