Review: HGLRC Drashark 1.6-inch Toothpick Micro FPV Drone

by Oscar
Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Size Hand Palm

The HGLRC Drashark (Dragon Shark) is a 1.6-inch micro FPV drone, a compact 1S powerhouse, designed to deliver excellent performance both indoors and outdoors. In this review, I’ll walk you through my personal experience with this tiny yet mighty quad and how it compares to other competitions on the market.

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Where to Purchase the Drashark?

For those interested, you can snag the Drashark from:

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Unbox Accessories

The package includes the following:

  1. A TPU battery holder
  2. 4x Gemfan 1610 two-blade propeller 1.5mm hole
  3. A compact plastic storage box, measuring 82 * 82 * 40mm

I must say, I do wish the storage box was just a touch larger. The current dimensions mean you’ll need to remove the drone’s propellers first to fit it inside, which is a bit of an inconvenience.

A small heads-up though—the package doesn’t include batteries, spare parts, or extra propellers. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

You can procure 1S 550mAh LiHV batteries (A30) here:

Get spare propellers here:

Specifications

  • Frame: Drashark 75mm frame.
  • Flight Control: ZEUS5 ES24 1S 5A AIO
    • MCU: The unit features a powerful STM32F411 microcontroller unit
    • Gyro: Fitted with a BMI270 gyro
    • Built-in receiver: The SPI ExpressLRS 2.4GHz
    • Built-in VTX: adjustable 25-100-200 mW VTX
    • Integrated ESC: continuous current rating of 5A and a peak current rating of 7A (for 10 seconds)
    • ESC firmware target is O-H-5, preflashed with Bluejay
    • Flight Control Firmware target HGLRCF411SX1280
    • Input Voltage: 1S 2.9V to 4.35V LiPo/LiHV
    • Mounting:  25.5X25.5mm M2
  • Motor: SPECTER 1002 21000kv Motors
  • Propeller: Gemfan 1610 two-blade propellers
  • Weight: 29.5g

A Close Look at the Drashark

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog

The HGLRC Drashark’s dimensions are indeed compact – 70mm in width and 60mm in length, and a wheelbase (the diagonal distance from motor to motor) of 75mm. The drone itself weighs a mere 29.5g (excluding battery), and 42.5g with a 1S 550mAh battery installed. It’s this petite form factor and feather-light weight that make it an ideal candidate for both indoor and outdoor flights.

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Side

The drone’s frame consists of 2mm-thick carbon, which is quite sturdy for its weight class and size. It offers the right blend of resilience and rigidity, paving the way for impressive flight performance.

I was particularly pleased to discover the integration of the new Zeus 5in1 AIO flight controller. It has the ESC, FC, 5.8GHz VTX, ELRS receiver, and Betaflight OSD all integrated in a single board.

One minor setback is that the ELRS receiver is SPI, not UART. While fully functional for now and compatible with the V3 ELRS transmitter, it may not be supported by ExpressLRS in the future. It also requires flashing both the Betaflight and receiver firmware during updates. On a brighter note, the flight controller boasts 16MB of onboard flash memory, a feature usually missing in drones of this size even in more expensive models. This is a handy addition for PID and filtering tuning as well as troubleshooting.

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Bottom

Not exactly sure what FPV camera they are using, all we know is that it’s branded as Caddx. It’s a 4:3 NTSC camera, offering acceptable image quality for a drone this size. One downside is the non-adjustable camera angle, potentially making slower indoor flights challenging, though it works well outdoors. The camera is housed in a 3D printed TPU canopy resembling a shark. It’s cute but could use less material and made lighter, and it doesn’t even offer full protection to the camera PCB, which could pose a problem in crashes.

The built-in 200mw VTX impresses with its performance – I managed to fly around 200 meters with minimal break-up. But a word of caution – don’t stray too far. This little flier is tough to locate if it crashes in tall grass, given its silent motors and lack of an onboard buzzer.

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Front Camera

The Drashark comes with SPECTER 1002 motors. These motors have a larger stator compared to other drones in this size category, which usually have 0802 or 0803 motors. This grants the Drashark extra power and torque making it faster and more nimble. Also, these motors are conveniently connected to the flight controller via a plug, making replacements hassle-free without the need for soldering.

The drone uses Gemfan 1610 two-blade propellers, which contribute to its efficiency, agility and quiet operation.

The recommended battery is a 1S 550mAh (LiHV 4.35V) LiPo. It connects via an A30 plug – the latest micro battery connector from GNB. Note that batteries are not included, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. These can be charged using a charger compatible with either A30 or BT2.0.

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Rear

Despite its larger motors, the Drashark manages to stay under 30g, which is remarkable. You can expect an average flight time of about 4 to 5 minutes.

One small disappointment is that the battery lead is a tad too short. Plugging in the LiPo battery requires you to push it forward, shifting the drone’s center of mass, which is not ideal for optimal flight performance. It may be worthwhile to consider replacing the battery lead with a longer one (around 2-3cm longer) or getting batteries with wires.

Flight Performance

The flight performance of the Drashark genuinely took me by surprise. The drone’s control feels incredibly precise – it was so locked in that I had to double-check if I was flying in angle mode on my first flight.

While it’s powerful enough to execute freestyle maneuvers smoothly, I noticed that it tends to wobble a bit in windy conditions and exhibits vibrations in gusts. This makes it better suited for large indoor spaces or calm weather conditions.

The radio and video links perform well within a 200-300 meter range.

When comparing it to the Flywoo Nano Baby Quad I recently reviewed, I must confess that despite the DraShark’s lack of accessories, its superior flight performance earned my admiration. Furthermore, I found the Drashark’s image quality preferable, though it’s possible that I had a faulty camera in the Flywoo.

With a 1S 550mAh LiHV battery, you can expect to enjoy about 4 to 5 minutes of flight time.

Conclusion

The HGLRC Drashark and the Flywoo Nano Baby Quad V2 were launched almost simultaneously, both share similar specifications and targeting the same audience. So, let’s touch on how these two stack up against each other.

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Compare Flywoo Baby Nano V2

Originally, the lack of accessories and the Drashark’s design didn’t exactly impress me at first glance. However, once I experienced its flight performance, coupled with its reasonable price point, my impression quickly changed! The DraShark has a more optimized stock PID tune, and it comes in $30 cheaper! (It’s worth noting that Flywoo did send me an updated PID tune to try, but ideally, they should have taken care of this from the start).

In summary, the HGLRC DraShark represents an outstanding option for both beginners and experienced drone pilots searching for a budget-friendly, compact, and fun drone experience. Its solid performance and wallet-friendly price make it a worthy consideration in the crowded micro-drone market.

Get the Drashark from these vendors:

Hglrc Drashark 1.6 Inch Toothpick Micro Fpv Drone 1s Analog Size Hand Palm

You can procure 1S 550mAh LiHV batteries (A30) here:

Get spare propellers here:

How to Setup

Prior to your maiden flight, ensure the drone is set up correctly. The Betaflight (BTFL) version in use is 4.4.1, and the flight controller (FC) target is HGLRCF411SX1280. The stock CLI can be found here.

Here’s what I did for first flight:

  • Bind radio (instructions: https://oscarliang.com/setup-expresslrs-2-4ghz/#Binding-Receiver)
  • In Configuration tab, set arming angle to 180
  • In Configuration tab, enable DShot beeper
  • In Modes tab, setup arm switch, beeper switch and turtle mode switch
  • In Preset tab, load ExpressLRS 500hz preset
  • In OSD tab, set video format to NTSC, setup elements to your liking
  • In Power tab, set low voltage alarm to 3.3V, min voltage to 3.1V
  • In PID Tuning tab, set your own rates

That’s it, happy flying.

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2 comments

Yannik 22nd June 2023 - 3:46 pm

This is the frame what I need to my own build:⁠-⁠)

Reply
Dan 20th June 2023 - 10:24 pm

Do you think this would work well with the 300mah folded cell whoop batteries? I have a ton of those and am looking for an upgrade from my mobula6

Reply