If you want speed, if you want sleek, and if you want cool, this is the racer you are looking for. A few months ago, I was in the hobby shop, and someone brought in a homemade 130-millimeter brushless racer. He was proud of it as well as the fact that there wasn’t anything like it on the market. That is, until now. People have been looking forward to Nano brushless quads for a while, but the smallest I had tested before the Eachine 130 was the Rodeo 150; and, comparatively speaking, it was quite big.
The Rodeo 150 was an amazing little aircraft, and one of my favorites, but it was pushing the limits of small brushless aircraft. Nano receiver and flight controller technology has advanced over the past year, along with the size of brushless motors; so a whole new crop of Nano brushless racers is about to hit the market.
When I say small, I mean small, because this aircraft is tiny and powerful. It’s not the smallest brushless racer in the world, but it is one of the smallest and most affordable. At 130 millimeters, it will easily fit in the palm of your hand and fly through the tightest obstacles.
This little aircraft is trying to pack everything you need into the smallest package possible. That means brushless motors, a high quality FPV camera, a video transmitter, a signal beeper, and even an onboard camera for recording static-free video.
The visual quality between the FPV camera and the 720p action cam isn’t that big. The FPV camera has a better wide angle lens, but it gets static in the video stream. The 720P camera gets static free video of the flight, but the lens isn’t as wide, and the field of view isn’t the same as the FPV camera’s FOV.
The range was great for both video and transmitter. I didn’t go as far away as it could go, but I had no trouble flying hundreds of feet away without interference.
|Battery type, Input Voltage||LiPo 3S 450 mAh, 11.1 V|
|Camera FPV||700 TVL Eachine AIO camera|
|Camera run cam||720 p action cam run cam|
|Motors||4 x 1105 4000 kv motors|
|Speed controllers||4 x 10 A ESC|
|Flight controller||Naze 32 6D flight controller with pdb|
|Size motor to motor max distance||130 millimeters|
|Flight time||5 minutes|
Quality of Build
This is a nice looking little racer. It has little horns on the front for repositioning the camera, and the carbon fiber frame is well designed. Someone clearly put a lot of work into it. It’s made from all the same components that larger racers are made from, it’s just smaller.
It uses 3-inch propellers, and the buzzer is located on the bottom of the frame. It doesn’t have any landing gear, so it sort of sits on the zip ties that are used to hold the speed controllers on, so I might add some foam pads for landing gear.
It’s a durable aircraft, and it can handle crashing a lot better than larger aircrafts because it has much less kinetic energy.
Assembly and Tuning
At the moment, they are only selling the ready-to-fly version that comes with an Eachine I6 transmitter, the run cam, and a carrying case. It also comes with a battery charger and a bunch of spare parts and zip ties. You will need to provide your own FPV VR glasses.
It appears the company selling it has a large volume of extra transmitters, cases, and run cams in stock that they need to get rid of. It’s the same case for the one that was designed for the unsuccessful Eachine assassin, and it seems there are quite a few lying around. The Eachine 130 racer fits in the case just fine. The run cam isn’t new or special, it’s just old stock that needs to be unloaded. I tried it out and it just uses power, adds weight, and doesn’t get video that is any better than the live FPV stream that I always record anyway.
It has a micro USB port and the ability to be reprogrammed with clean flight. The manual is also well refined for an Eachine aircraft.
Before I could fly this aircraft, I had to perform surgery. Apparently, at the factory, a small piece of metal wire had fallen into one of the brushless motors. It was only a millimeter long, but it was big enough to keep the motor from spinning. It was also magnetic, so it became attached to the brushless motor’s magnets. It took about an hour to fish it out; but once I did everything, it worked fine. It’s something that can happen with brushless motors, especially when they are this small.
Once I got it up into the air, it was obvious that this was a serious racer. Its speed was insane because of the small size and powerful motors. It was faster than the Rodeo 150 and faster than some 250 size aircrafts. It uses an 11.1-volt, 3-cell battery, so it has a lot of power and punch behind it. The flight time is obviously going to be short with the stock 450-mah battery, but the flight experience is great. It’s small enough to get through obstacles quickly without fear, and it’s stable enough to handle quick movements.
This aircraft isn’t designed for indoor racing, so if you want something that can fly indoors and outdoors, get a QX95. But if you only fly outdoors, you’ll want the Eachine 130 because of the added speed and power. You can hover indoors with it, but you probably shouldn’t try to fly it around the living room at full speed.
It has two flight modes: angle and horizon, and you can easily reprogram them with clean flight. It reacted just like a larger brushless racer in both modes except it was much more precise, especially when it came to making quick turns while flying through obstacles.
The receiver used in this aircraft is the same type of nano receiver that is being used in Nano brushed racers like the QX95. It’s a compact unit with a tiny antenna, and it can easily be replaced with a frisky or DSM2/DSMX Nano receiver. I’m sure as soon as the bind-and-fly version hits store shelves, people will be snapping them up. The RTF version was selling for $209, but the price has recently dropped to $189, which indicates that RTF sales are a little sluggish.
I personally think it is a phenomenal racer and a good example of the size of aircraft we can expect to see over the next year.
When it comes to the 720p action cam, I would suggest just taking it off. It adds weight, sucks up power, and the video isn’t worth the sacrifice. You can’t reposition it, so most of the time it is pointing down at the ground instead of straight ahead as is the case with the tilted FPV cam.
I also had an issue with the low voltage beeper. I think it needs to be reprogrammed to go off at a lower voltage. Every time I start flying, the low voltage beeper starts to give me a slow beep warning. I should be able to go into clean flight and change the setting easier. The beeper is a nice feature for such a small aircraft. If you’re flying and you crash far away in the tall grass, it can take hours to find your aircraft; but if you have a beeper on it, you can hear it beeping a hundred yards away. If you’ve ever spent hours looking for a crashed aircraft, you’ll know how valuable this feature is.
Ground Station and Controller
I’m a fan of FLYSKY fsi6 transmitters, and you can control this aircraft with your fsi6; but the ready-to-fly version comes with the Eachine i6 transmitter, which is the cheapest version of the FLYSKY fSi6. The transmitter works great, and it seems to have PPM support because the receiver that the aircraft uses is a 3-wire PPM receiver. However, the Eachine i6 transmitter doesn’t have a built-in option to turn on and off PPM, unlike the FLYSKY fsi6.
There is no telemetry like voltage or horizon, but I’m sure we’ll see people removing the camera and adding OSD modules. With the loud, low-voltage beeper, it doesn’t need any low voltage OSD.
The camera is an advanced version of the Eachine MC02 camera, but the video transmitter is different and not connected to the camera. Eachine knows how to do FPV cameras, and I had no trouble with it at all.
I enjoyed the flight experience, and I think any serious racer would be proud to have an Eachine 130 racer this holiday season.