Review: Holybro Kopis 1 Racing Drone

I don’t review many pre-built racing drones, because I believe mini quad’s that are self built are usually better in terms of value and performance. But The Holybro Kopis 1 might have changed my mind about it.

The Kopis 1 is available at

Is it worth it? Let’s take a look at the parts!

For $300, you get the following parts inside the mini quad:

  • Kakute F4 AIO FC ($40)
  • Atlatl VTX with a Cloverleaf Antenna ($34)
  • T-Motor Air40 2450KV Motors ($56)
  • BLHeli32 30A ESC’s ($60?)
  • Frame
  • 2 sets of 5045-3 Hybrid Bullnose propellers (8 in total)
  • Runcam Swift Mini ($35)
  • Spare Battery straps (4 in total)
  • GoPro Session Mount
  • A very nice carry case!

By looking at the cost of some of the main components, i think $300 is very reasonable, not to mention the quad comes pre-built which saves you hours of labour.

And here are the accessories.

The frame is a 220mm uni-body stretch-X design, the thickness of the carbon fibre arms are 5mm. It looks like a very tough frame, but there is a little bit of flex in the arms probably because of how long they are and the unibody design. The edges are chamfered and feels much nicer to touch.

Do you want to learn more about mini quad frames?

The FC is the Kakute F4 AIO which we recently reviewed and we like it a lot! It has PDB, 5V BEC, OSD and current sensor all built into the same board which makes clean wiring.

The Air40 2205 motors are from T-Motor, and they are not as power-hungry as those huge 2306 size motors we see many people are running these days. Performance might be lower with these smaller motors, but I do think they are solid and probably more efficient. In my testing they actually fly really GOOD with the 5040 triblades props that come with it.

The ESC’s are BLHeli32 which gives you the option to run DShot1200 on this quad, which would have been impossible with the previous BLHeli_S ESC’s. These ESC’s are not branded, but they are rated for 30A which should be more than enough for our motors and the supplied 5040×3 props.

ESC’s are mounted on the bottom of the arms, the main benefit is to prevent ESC damage from prop strikes. Removing the heatshrink, I can see the ESC’s are protected by a piece of plastic cover from scratch when landing.

I really like the Runcam Swift Mini and I find it perform so much better than the HS1177 I recently tested on the Diatone GT2017, especially the WDR and colour that it allows me to see so much more clearly under the trees even on a sunny day.

However, similar to the GT200, one thing that really bugs me is the exposed the camera lens, I wish there is more protection for the lens.

By the way, it’s not a biggie, but the propellers get in the view of your camera even with a pretty steep angle.

The VTX is stacked on top of the FC and it makes a very clean build. It doesn’t have any button but it has the “Tramp Telemetry” feature that allows you to change VTX channel and power from your OSD menu (Betaflight OSD), or from your Taranis using LUA script.

This is so GOOD! :D

Despite there seems to be a mic on the VTX, I couldn’t get audio from my Goggles or recorded DVR footage.

I really like the compact yet thoughtful design of the Holybro Kopis 1. It even comes with a flashy LED’s and buzzer combo installed on the back of the quadcopter.

Flight Performance of the Holybro Kopis 1

The whole quad weighs at about 290g without battery, over 80g lighter than the Diatone GT200 we recently tested!

This thing is FAST! It’s even faster than some of my quads with bigger motors. The light weight of the quad is a massive advantage and it just shoots up like a rocket when doing punchouts.

I only wish they can make a traditional X frame (non-stretched-X) for this quadcopter. I’m personally not a fan of the stretch-X frames as I feel like the roll is too slippery (sensitive) and doesn’t offer FPV freestyle pilots the most precise control. Though it handles corner extremely well as it’s supposed to.

Honestly, the antenna that comes with the quad is pretty bad, the signal quality is very inconsistent. I had to swap it out with another antenna I have to get stable video. Here is a list of antenna recommendation in case you are looking for ideas what to get.

Flight time is about 4 to 5 mins with my 1500mAh 4S batteries (fast flying), overall very impressive efficiency.

What to do when you first get it?

It only took me 30 mins from unboxing to take off.

Here are the steps I followed to setup my Kopis 1 ready for flying.

  1. Remove all the props before connecting the quad to a LiPo battery! It’s safer to finish all your configurations before mounting the props. This can prevent risk of cutting yourself during the process of setting up if there were any glitches. Better safe than sorry!
  2. If you are getting the BNF version, you can bind your Taranis to the XSR Receiver that comes with the quad. If you are getting the PNF, then you will need to install your own RX and bind it to your TX
  3. Secure your RX antennas. Holybro provides 2 heatshrink tubes and a few zip ties for you to do so. If you don’t do this your antennas will get struck by spinning propellers!
  4. Connect the FC to Betaflight configurator, set up switches for arming, buzzer and so on
  5. Check if radio channels are working correctly. In my case the channel map was wrong and I had to change it  to “Frsky – TEAR”.
  6. I only realized my quad came with Pitmode enabled, which gave me very limited range. So you should set up VTX settings before take off. You can do it in the Betaflight OSD! (check here how to use it). Then go to “Features”, and “VTX TA”, there you can change VTX band, frequency and power.

And that’s it! I was able to fly the quad outside at this point. I will spend some time tuning this quad and I will share my settings in the next couple of weeks!

My Betaflight settings for the Kopis 1

After flying the Kopis 1 a few times now, I think:

1. The Kopis flies much better without the GoPro – I mean MUCH BETTER! Probably because the motors aren’t powerful enough to carry extra weight. When the HD camera is mounted on the quad, throttle becomes a bit hard to manage and agility suffers.

2. The stock tuning is okay, but not great. The default PID in Betaflight is really, designed for “normal X frames”, not “stretch X”, and thus the PID values on roll are too light and need to be cranked up.

3. It needs low ESR capacitor to clean up the noise in the power, as I was getting some lines in the video with a slightly bent prop.

Here is the second flight.

My current PID and rates are:

Looptime - 8K/8K
DShot600 (can't really tell the difference between 600 and 1200 in flight... )
set anti_gravity_gain = 3.000
------------------------
set p_pitch = 54
set i_pitch = 48
set d_pitch = 30
set p_roll = 46
set i_roll = 54
set d_roll = 26
set p_yaw = 70
set i_yaw = 45
set d_yaw = 20
------------------------
set rc_rate = 92
set rc_rate_yaw = 94
set rc_expo = 4
set rc_yaw_expo = 4
set thr_mid = 50
set thr_expo = 0
set roll_srate = 75
set pitch_srate = 76
set yaw_srate = 75

As you can probably tell, i have not touched on the filter stuff yet. I will play with blackbox in the future and then look into that. But as it is now, it flies pretty damn good and I am very happy with it.

7 thoughts on “Review: Holybro Kopis 1 Racing Drone

  1. Emilliano Zapatta

    I ordered the Kopis 1 FRAME with the idea to do a cleaner build with 4 in 1 esc …your thoughts if you were to build from scratch ? (the OTHER reason is my home was destroyed in the Caribbean US Virgin Islands from Hurricane Irma on September 6 and right now I cannot afford to buy a BNF …) ….If you have any “junk” lying around to help out a homeless extremely passionate FPV Flier get back into the hobby. I would be absolutely grateful. Currently living in Massachusetts recovering ..Thank You …

    Reply
  2. zzyzxFPV

    Did you ever get the audio from the mic to your goggles? I’m having the same problem & can’t figure it out. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Holybro confirmed there is an issue with the mic on their Atlantl VTX.
      There isn’t a fix for it unfortunately. They told me they will fix it in future batches.

      Reply
  3. Rishi

    Thank you for your excellent review.

    Code kopis1b does not seem to exist on gb site(?)

    Also, do you prefer the Kopis over the gt200N?

    Thanks

    Reply
      1. Rishi

        Yes, thank you for your most helpful reply. I ended up ordering a Kopis! Sorry I didn’t know how to delete this post.

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