The Feather120 from T-Motor is probably the most quiet FPV drone I’ve ever flown. It’s very efficient too great for cruising in a park. But is it for you? Let’s find out!
Where to Buy?
T-Motor Feather120 Product Pages:
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-ihot
- T-Motor Shop: https://oscarliang.com/product-49ro
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-d097
Note that this drone does NOT come with a radio receiver, you need to buy your own and solder it to the FC. I am using ExpressLRS receiver, but you can choose whatever you like: https://oscarliang.com/setup-expresslrs-2-4ghz/#receivers
You also need some 1S 300-450mAh batteries: https://oscarliang.com/best-tiny-whoop/#1s-lipo-for-75mm-whoops
You can get some spare propellers here: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DmKzaNZ
- 4x propellers
- 1x spare canopy (blue)
- 3x rubber bands (for holding battery)
- heatshrink (spare for VTX antenna)
- A nice plastic storage box
- Flight Controller: T-Motor F411 AIO Flight Controller with Integrated 6A 1-2S BLHeli_S ESC
- No blackbox
- No current sensor
- Motor: F1102 1102 7800KV
- Propeller: AVAN Mini 3024 Propeller
- VTX: 5.8G 400mW VTX
- FPV Camera: Runcam Nano3
- Radio Receiver: Not included
- Size: 160x160x26mm
31.5g33g Without Battery, 46.5g with 1S 450mah
Frame is 1.5mm thick carbon, it flexes quite a bit when you try to bend it. There are lots of large cutout in the center, reduces weight but also weakens durability, so I wouldn’t want to crash it on concrete.
Motors are 1102 7800KV, they have 3 hole base with 1.5mm motor shaft.
It’s a really quiet quad. I think the secret is the motor prop combo, they use these relatively small low KV motors with those heavy 3″ tri-blade props that have pretty high pitch. This will result in lower RPM than a higher KV motor with two-blade props or smaller triblade props. The trade-off is low responsiveness.
Canopy is moulded plastic, feels pretty durable. STL file available for download you can 3D print it yourself (on T-Motor website).
However camera angle is not adjustable but the default angle works quite well for me personally. The camera is only held in place by the lens, there’s no screws or glue is used so the camera can actually move when you push the camera. Not the ideal design but seems to work ok in flight.
I am not sure if this is the right way to mount the battery as there’s no manual or recommendations. But this is the only logical way I can come up with. And it would have look a lot better if those rubber bands was black.
RGB LED on the flight controller, looks cool through the transparent canopy.
VTX and camera are soldered to the FC, there’s no RX included.
How to Setup
It comes with a pretty old version of Betaflight 4.2.8 (Feb 15 2021). Board target: TMTR/TMOTORF411. Original CLI dump can be found here.
All the Betaflight settings seem to be on default.
First of all, solder your receiver to UART2 on the FC. There are only two UART’s on this FC and UART1 is used for SmartAudio. For ExpressLRS, you need to change receiver protocol from SBUS to CRSF in the receiver tab. I am using an ExpressLRS receiver from Radiomaster, the RP2. It has a built-in ceramic antenna which makes it compact and no antenna mounting required.
On the Configuration Page:
- Enable Dshot Beacon
- Set Maximum Arm Angle to 180
- Min Voltage: 3.2
- Max Voltage: 4.4
- Warning Voltage: 3.4
Modes Tab: Setup switches for arm, angle, beeper, and flip over after crash
Finally, to setup SmartAudio, go to Ports tab and enable SmartAudio in UART1. Then enter this VTX table in CLI:
# vtxtable vtxtable bands 5 vtxtable channels 8 vtxtable band 1 BOSCAM_A A FACTORY 5865 5845 5825 5805 5785 5765 5745 5725 vtxtable band 2 BOSCAM_B B FACTORY 5733 5752 5771 5790 5809 5828 5847 5866 vtxtable band 3 BOSCAM_E E FACTORY 5705 5685 5665 0 5885 5905 0 0 vtxtable band 4 FATSHARK F FACTORY 5740 5760 5780 5800 5820 5840 5860 5880 vtxtable band 5 RACEBAND R FACTORY 5658 5695 5732 5769 5806 5843 5880 5917 vtxtable powerlevels 4 vtxtable powervalues 14 20 23 26 vtxtable powerlabels 25 100 200 400 save
To me, the best thing about the T-Motor Feather120 is how quiet it is. It’s probably the most quiet FPV drone I have ever flown! You can hardly hear it 10 meters away, to the point it’s almost like flying in a simulator without audio :)
It’s got plenty of power, hovers at around 35% throttle. Lots of flight time, over 8 mins on 650mah, 6 mins on 450mah, 4 mins on 300mah, it’s a very efficient machine. However, as mentioned, the motors are very low KV for a 1S quad, and the props are heavy and high pitch, making the RPM very low and the tiny motors don’t have much torque, therefore the aircraft isn’t very responsive. It’s a bit wobbly when it’s windy, and got quite a bit of prop wash and bounce back when recovering from a roll, flip and dive.
I wouldn’t get the Feather120 for acro, that’s not what it’s for in my opinion. However if you are looking for a less annoying quad to cruise around a busy park full of dog walkers, it’s a pretty good option :)
T-Motor didn’t tune PID and filters, in fact all settings in Betaflight are default. You are basically just getting the hardware for the price, they didn’t change any of the config at all. I think flight performance could be slightly better if it were tuned, but don’t expect too much it probably won’t change the flight characteristics much due to the motor prop combo. I think they design it for a very specific purpose – to be efficient and stealthy, not acrobatic and powerful.