Today I am checking out NewBeeDrone’s latest tiny whoop – the AcroBee65 BL V3. BL stands for brushless because this quad uses brushless motors instead of brushed ones, which is more durable and powerful. There are a few improvements which we will talk about in this review.
Where to Buy?
Get the NewBeeDrone Acrobee65 BL V3 here: https://oscarliang.com/product-d397
In the box, there’s only the whoop, and no accessories.
Improvements from the V2
The new BeeBrain BLV3 flight controller has been improved for easier DIY builds and maintenance.
It offers more range: 50% increased in radio receiver range and VTX power is increased from 25mW in previous version to 125mW.
Upgraded ESC MOSFET for higher power.
FPV camera angle is not adjustable, but in my opinion it’s set at a decent angle that doesn’t require adjustment for indoor flying.
The weight of the Acrobee V3 without battery is 23.0g.
The frame is the same plastic design from previous Acrobee whoops, which has been proven to be really strong.
Here we have a refined power system – new Gold Unibell 0802 18000KV motors and Azi Triblade propellers. Newbeedrone seem to be going back and forth with the number of blades, V1 was tri-blade, V2 was quad-blade and back to tri-blade in the V3.
I like the translucent props and frame canopy, it makes the RGB LED onboard even more visible and impressive in the air.
Talking about LED, there are two bright RGB LED on the FC. By default it fades on and off which look really cool. You can configure them in the LED Strip tab in Betaflight to do other stuff like throttle indicator and battery voltage indicator.
Micro USB connector is easily accessible from the bottom. All the motors have connectors that plug straight into the FC, making replacement easy.
VTX power has been increased from 25mW to 125mW, therefore they added a little heatsink on the bottom.
Radio range has been improved by using diversity receiver – as you can see there are now two RX antennas, one on top of the FC and the other on the bottom. Both the RX and VTX antennas uses U.FL or IPEX connectors, which makes it easier for repair.
The battery fits perfectly in the battery bay, but it doesn’t have much resistance. I think it might be a good idea to use a rubber band to hold the battery more secure in place just in case it slides around.
These are the LiPo batteries recommended by Newbeedrone, 1S 300mAh HV Battery: https://oscarliang.com/product-ensh
These battery weigh 8.5 grams each.
This is the charger I am using to charge those batteries. Get it from Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-hf2v
Do I Recommend It?
Yes. It flies great, almost plug and play with my TX16S radio, and the hardware quality is overall excellent.
The other tiny whoop options that I’d recommend would be the Happymodel Mobula6 and Moblite. Compared to the Acrobee, the Acrobee is noticeably more powerful that the Mobula6, but it’s not as powerful as the Moblite6 because it’s about 3 grams heavier. If you want pure power and speed, consider the Moblite7 instead. However, both the Moblite6 and Moblite7 are very flimsy, for example the camera constantly requires adjustment after every crash. Happymodel makes some of the cheapest models that fly well, but if you got the budget and want a reliable whoop to fly at home, I’d definitely get the NewBeeDrone Acrobee V3 instead.
How to Setup?
Setup was very easy. The FC is already flashed with the currently latest Betaflight firmware, 4.2.9.
FC board target is BEEBRAIN_BL_V3_BASE. The stock CLI dump can be found here.
The Beebrain BLV3 has two UART’s, UART1 is set to MSP, UART2 is unused. There’s no UART setup for SmartAudio but somehow you can still change VTX channel and power via Betaflight OSD. It’s probably built into the Betaflight firmware for this FC.
Gyro/Looptime is set to 8K/8K, running DShot600 ESC protocol. Note that bidirectional Dshot and RPM filter are not enabled. I don’t feel it needs it anyway. It flies very stable and smooth out of the box.
You can bind the Acrobee BL V3 in Frsky D8 protocol. To enter bind mode on the quad, simply enter bind_rx in CLI (or press the “bind receiver” button in the Receiver tab). It can also bind D16 (V1) if you set Receiver Provider in the Configuration tab to Frsky_X, but make sure you disable Telemetry feature or you will get bad range.
Finally, set Arm switch, Angle mode switch and flip over after crash. You are good to go.
I tried setting DShot beeper, but it didn’t seem to save the setting and doesn’t work for some reason.
Balloon Racing Gates
NBD also sent me some of these gates for practicing at home. Get them here: https://oscarliang.com/product-yvmt
The Newbeedrone balloon gates are affordable and super compact as they can be folded. Obviously you can’t fly any quad without prop guards around them as the spinning propellers will break the balloon. They are only designed for tiny whoops.
Inner diameter of the gate is 37cm, outer diameter is 60cm.