Review: Holybro Kopis 2 SE FPV Racing Drone

I highly recommended the Holybro Kopis 1 as a pre-built racing drone, one year later they stepped it up with the Holybro Kopis 2 SE! Let’s check out the new features and hardware and whether it’s better than the first version.

Where to Buy?

There are two versions, PNP and BNF.

The PNP version is $15 cheaper but doesn’t come with a receiver while the BNF includes a Frsky R-XSR. I have the Taranis X9D-Plus TX and don’t have a spare RX, so the BNF bundle is perfect for me. Just bind it to your TX and it’s ready to fly!

Here is a flight video of the Kopis 2:

Specs/Features Overview

Holybro has brought just about every latest and greatest tech in the hobby you can think of into the new Kopis 2.

Here are the specifications:

  • Kakute F7 Flight Controller
  • Tekko32 35A 4in1 BLheli32 ESC
  • T-Motor F40 Pro II 2400Kv motors
  • DALPROP Cyclone T5046C propellers
  • RunCam Swift Micro FPV Camera
  • Atlatl HV V2 VTX
  • Supports 4S-6S Li-Po batteries
  • Weight: 308g without battery

The first generation Kopis had a decent setup, even for today’s standard. But the Kopis 2 SE is even better as it focuses more on performance. See my review of the Kopis 1 to gain a more complete overview.

Here is a comparison table between the Kopis 1and 2.

Kopis 1 Kopis 2 SE
FC Kakute F4 Kakute F7
ESC BLHeli_32 30A ESC (Single) Tekko32 35A BLHeli_32 4in1
Motors T-motor AIR40 2450KV T-motor F40 PRO2 2400KV
VTX Atlatl HV (max 600mW) Atlatl HV V2 (max 800mW)
FPV Camera RunCam Swift Mini RunCam Swift Micro
LED Tail Light Yes No
GoPro Mount Yes No
Dry Weight 290g 308g

The Kopis 2 and Kopis 1 side by side.

Holybro Kopis 2 SE Unboxing

The Kopis 2 comes in a familiar suitcase style carrying bag that was seen in my Kopis 1 review. It’s pretty big and should be enough to store the drone with propellers mounted on, along with a few spare sets of propellers, a couple of batteries and other small accessories.

Accessories including:

  • 2 sets of DALPROP Cyclone T5046x3 props
  • a LiPo battery strap
  • Foxeer Lollipop Antenna
  • Heatshrink tubes and ziptie for mounting RX antennas
  • Runcam camera setting keypad
  • M2 Screws and adapters for 20x20mm FC stack

Unfortunately GoPro mount is not included this time.

Closer Look at the Kopis 2

Kudos to Holybro for the top notch build quality.

As always, I check every bit of the quadcopter very carefully when I take it out of the box. Holybro has done a good job on the soldering and assembly. The wires are nicely organized between components, and there is no loose screws in the frame or motors.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the pink and black color combination in the Kopis 1, and I much prefer the fully black and meaner look in the new version (with the black Cyclone props!).

 

Let’s discuss each component of the drone in more detail.

New Frame Material

Do you see that white line in the middle of the arms and bottom plate?

Apparently that’s high strength carbon foam, which is sandwiched between carbon fibre sheets. This new material should ideally have high rigidity and strength but lighter than pure carbon fibre. This is the first time I see it used in mini quad frames.

However when I try to bend the arms, it clearly flexes more than pure carbon fibre. But it’s just a little bit more so I am not sure if that would cause any problems, guess we will find out in my testing!

Frame Design and Build Quality

The Kopis 2 has a “stretched X” design where the front to back is longer than left to right. This has become very popular in racing frames in recent months due to the better stability as explained in our Mini Quad Buyer’s Guide.

The arms are 5mm thick 3K carbon fibre, while the top plate and bottom plate are 3mm and 4mm respectively. The frame feels premium thanks to the chamfered edges.

The body (top plate) is considerably longer than its predecessor so it can comfortably fit an HD camera on top such as the GoPro Session, or even the Runcam 2. However I am a little disappointed that it doesn’t come with a GoPro mount like the old Kopis did.

I like the extruded bits on the motor mounts, they provide additional protection to the motors in crashes.

The frame is designed to be battery bottom-mounted, so there is no limitation of battery size you can use with this frame (e.g. 1300mAh to 2200mah should be fine!). There is “anti-slip” rubber pad to help secure the battery.

All the screws on the bottom are countersunk so your LiPo battery won’t get punctured in a crash or landing. Very nice!

Lastly, thanks to the simple frame design it’s very simple to replace the arms as they are only held in place by 2 screws.

Spare arms and plates can be bought separately. You can also just get the frame if you are interested: http://bit.ly/2NRzUwN

F7 FC

This time HolyBro stepped up from F4 to F7 flight controller in the Kopis 2 SE. There are more benefits than just faster processing speed, find out more in my review of the Kakute F7 FC.

Because the quad has a 4in1 ESC, they’ve gone with the non-AIO version FC. I have been running the Kakute F7 AIO for a few weeks now, it has been rock-solid and just flies really smooth. So I have high hope for the non-AIO version. You can run both 32Khz looptime with Dshot1200 out of the box.

Note that there is no low ESR capacitor soldered to the XT60 pads, I guess Holybro is confident about their electronics? We shall find out in our testing :)

They removed the RGB LED panel at the rear to save weight and cost, but kept the buzzer which is way more important IMO.

The BNF version I am reviewing comes with the FrSky R-XSR receiver already installed under the top plate, which is mounted with strong double sided foam ape. The antennas are nicely mounted on the arms with heatshrink tubes and zip-tie.

ESC & Motors

Holybro upgraded the motors from Air40 2450KV to the F40 Pro II 2400KV. Although they are both made by T-Motors, the F40 Pro II has been proven to be one of the most powerful and efficient in its class.

The DAL Cyclone 5046×3 is a great choice, I actually prefer the 5045×3 because they feel a bit more responsive and efficient to me.

You will need a lot of spare propellers :) Buy some Cyclone 5045×3 here:

I have been using the Tekko32 35A 4in1 ESC for over 4 months now (re-branded Airbot Typhoon 32), they are probably the best on the market in terms of performance and reliability along with Aikon’s. See my list of “best ESC”.

However, it’s not that easy to replace the motors because the motor tabs are all buried inside the frame. You would have to take the top plate off and possibly the FC too first. Not a problem if you don’t change motors often though.

There is liquid tape on the XT60 soldering joint to reduce chance of electrical short, very thoughtful.

FPV Setup

The FPV camera is a Runcam Swift Micro (PAL). It’s mounted in a 3D printed TPU holder and allows for a tilt angle between 0° to 90°! The Swift Micro is not the best FPV camera in terms of image quality, but it’s acceptable for an FPV racing drone. The image tends to be warmer, you can adjust the camera settings using the keypad it comes with.

The camera is much better protected than the first version: firstly the camera is smaller, secondly you can slide the TPU mount up and down the standoffs. Pushing the mount down provides more protection to the camera, however you will also get more props in the camera’s view.

The camera mount is soft, rubbery TPU which can dampen vibration getting to the camera. Another good thing about this simple design is how easy it is to replace the camera if it gets damaged!

The Atlatl HV V2 VTX is a great VTX, see my full review of the Atlatl HV V2 VTX.

The key features are: it has SmartAudio, which means it can be configured through OSD and Taranis LUA script. The maximum power is switchable between 25mW to 800 mW. And it has a built-in Microphone so you can hear the motors while flying FPV (you will need a headphone like this).

Further Reading: What Makes a Good VTX?

The Kopis 2 SE Racing Drone comes with a Foxeer Lollipop antenna (V1) which is known to be a durable antenna. I have been using them for weeks now and have yet broken one!

Setting It Up for First Flight

The Kopis 2 comes with Betaflight version 3.4.1. I just set it up for my first flight without updating the firmware.

The first thing you want to do is binding the receiver to your radio.

In the Taranis’s Model Setup page, you need to set “Internal RF” and “D16” mode. To access the receiver’s bind button, you will have to remove the top plate of the quad.

Once the radio is bound, you will have to verify if the channels are responding correctly in the receiver tab in Betaflight. Then assign switches for arming and beeper in Betaflight’s Modes tab. See this tutorial for basic Betaflight setup. See this guide for Betaflight tuning.

Here is the official Kopis 2 manual for additional setup instructions.

Here is my PID and Rates. I have only spent 15 mins tuning it, so it’s no where near perfect; I am still using 8K/8K looptime here. I shall share my BF3.5 settings once I have more time to play with it.

set p_pitch = 54
set i_pitch = 50
set d_pitch = 38
set p_roll = 48
set i_roll = 45
set d_roll = 35
set p_yaw = 65
set i_yaw = 45
set d_yaw = 0
set roll_rc_rate = 128
set pitch_rc_rate = 133
set yaw_rc_rate = 125
set roll_expo = 19
set pitch_expo = 18
set yaw_expo = 18
set roll_srate = 69
set pitch_srate = 68
set yaw_srate = 68

Note that I have slower roll rate, I think that’s because of the stretched X frame.

How Does It Perform in the Air?

Two words: FAST and AGILE! It’s simply awesome! It’s got so much raw power when I punch the throttle, it just “teleports” away.

Comparing to the Kopis 1, I can feel the weight difference, the Kopis 1 is lighter so it feels even more nimble and it can literally stops on a dime. There is a tiny bit more momentum with the Kopis 2. But the Kopis 2 definitely has got more power and acceleration to it.

The Kopis 2 flies okay with the GoPro on, but the Kopis 1 struggles a little bit.

Part of the motors and propellers are visible in the FPV feed, and it annoys me sligtly, but I am slowly getting used to it.

FPV feed is super clean even without additional capacitors.

Improvements!

If you decide to get the Holybro Kopis 2 SE Racing Drone, make sure to check out these improvements.

GoPro Mount

Looking for 3D printed TPU mount for GoPro Session? This is what I am using: StayUpFPV (thanks for sending it to me!)

It’s mounted with zip tie only, with double sided foam tape to prevent the mount from sliding. It works like a charm. Anyway I hope Holybro will release a dedicated design soon, or even supply it in the kit.

Protect your motor wires!

In one crash, the props bent and struck the motor wires.

Therefore it’s important to add some protection to the motor wires. For example, cut some hard plastic pieces from a water bottle, or from broken props, put them on top of the wires and tape them around the arm.

Something like this should be fine, instead of putting the hard plastic on the ESC, you put it on top of the wires.

XT60 wires too long/heavy

I will probably replace the XT60 pigtail for some shorter and lighter gauge wires. It comes with 8cm 12awg wires, but I think 4cm to 5cm 14awg or even 16awg should do just fine. This will probably shave a few grams off.

Get a better FPV camera

Like I said in the review, the Micro Swift is completely fine. But if you are picky about image quality like I am, you probably want to upgrade it :) I guess i am spoiled by the Runcam Eagle 2 and Micro Eagle, I just don’t like the look of CCD cameras.

Conclusion – Do I Recommend?

Totally, yes!

If you don’t like building, getting the Holybro Kopis 2 will not disappoint. The build quality is top notch and solid.

This drone is built with some of the best parts, it’s simply the cutting edge of the hobby at the time of release. I have no major complaints about the Kopis 2, except the little details I mentioned in the review, which you can get around quite easily.

Experienced pilots will enjoy the power and speed and new pilots will enjoy the ease to setup and durability.

The goods

  • Fully assembled, great build quality
  • Nice carrying case
  • Durable frame with 5mm arms
  • Lots of power!
  • Video range is great thanks to the powerful VTX (up to 800mW)
  • Designed for 4S, but also 5S and 6S compatible when using the right motors

The bads

  • No GoPro mount
  • Motor wires not protected
  • Props visible in camera’s view
  • XT60 pigtail a little too long

11 thoughts on “Review: Holybro Kopis 2 SE FPV Racing Drone

  1. Adam Morris

    Durability thoughts. This is my second pre built ready to fly. I soldered in my radiolink r12dsm bound it and went to go fly for my second time ever. Well it was fast and I was still getting my legs under me and I crashed several times in dirt and it held up really well not even marred blades. Well my last battery I decided to try my luck at LoS. While flying in acro trainer mode I pitched forward and slammed on the throttle, well I pitched too far toward and it freaked out and went full speed into the ground from about 20 feet up. Broke the arm off and ripped the wires out of the motor.

    Worst part was finding a replacement arm state side. But I got it from banggood and soldered in a new motor and I was back in the air. I love this quad but I can only compare it to the two Arris quads I picked up for cheap. Definitely addicted and looking to build my first light weight racer.

    Josh you literally taught me everything I needed to get into this hobby rather flawlessly I feel and not be lost at all. Thank you man!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Not pre-tuned, it flies okay out of the box, but not perfect, that’s why I’ve provided my own tuning in the review :)

      Reply
  2. Dominik

    Hi, great summary.

    I own a Kopis 2 SE as well and I totally agree with you.

    One Thing I still wonder is what battery is best for the quad…

    I own different ones, in size, capacity and C rate.

    What would you suggest?

    Regards Dominik

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      As far as I know, there is no Kopis 2, and it’s just Kopis 1 and Kopis 2 SE? I am not sure why they added “SE” to the name and that’s confusing people :)

      Reply
  3. Renato

    Thank you for you review. I’m waiting for arrive the kopis 2. For the first time that I connect to pc, have I to press the bootloader button while plug usb in my pc? thanks

    Reply

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