Holybro released a very small VTX recently, it’s designed specifically for racing drones and micro FPV drones. Let’s find out what’s special about it and how well it performs.
Don’t forget to check out our VTX buyer’s guide.
In the package, it comes with the the VTX and MMCX dipole antenna only, nothing else.
Here is the specifications:
- MMCX antenna connector
- Supports SmartAudio (a feature that allows you to change settings either via your transmitter or Betaflight OSD)
- Supports Pitmode – VTX transmit at ultra-low power (0.5mW), so you can still have the VTX powered on without interfering other pilots in the air
- Selectable Output Power levels between 25mW and 100mW
- Dimension: 19x16x4.5mm
- Weight: 1.6g without antenna and wires
- Input Voltage: 5V (4.5V to 5.5V to be precise)
The Atlatl Mini VTX comes with silicone wires already soldered so you won’t have to mess with those fragile plastic connectors.
It supports 5 bands, 37 channels in total (A, B, E, F, Raceband) – three channels on the E band are disabled because they are outside of the legal 5.8GHz band.
The pin-out of the solder pads are Video-In, SmartAudio, Ground and 5V – these are labeled in the above image. The color-coded wires are a nice touch on Holybro’s part to avoid confusion.
The Atlatl Mini is wrapped in PVC heatshrink, protecting it from electrical shorts when mounted in carbon fibre frame.
Output power is measured with ImmersionRC Power Meter V2.
25mW from my output power testing seems to be higher than it should, so I probably wouldn’t use it for competitions with strict rule on VTX power levels.
However 100mW is slightly under-powered, it was only putting out 70%-80% of the rated power. But the VTX seems to be doing well in terms of cooling, I was able to touch the VTX on both power levels during testing without burning my fingers.
Anyway this shouldn’t be a huge problem if you are only using it on a racing quad, or micro quad within 300-400 meters radius.
Purely based on the specs and power testing, it’s not as impressive as the Nano Cricket from ReadymadeRC. The Nano Cricket is even smaller in size with higher output power of 200mW. But the Atlatl Mini is a lot cheaper for sure.
I wish it comes with a MMCX to SMA (or MMCX) pigtail adapter, this would make it a lot more versatile. Although MMCX connector on the VTX is quite strong, it would make it a lot more crash-resilient if you strap the pigtail to the frame or standoff with a zip tie, than attaching an antenna directly to the VTX.
It doesn’t have any push button or LED on the VTX, not only you can’t change settings without a flight controller, you won’t know what power level or channel it’s on. It does have a LED to indicate it’s powered on or not, but that’s about it.
This is not a deal breaker since a lot of us have already been using SmartAudio in our mini quad. But it’s not ideal for those who don’t use SmartAudio or flight controller. Check out this article if you don’t know what SmartAudio is.
Anyway, it’s an affordable option for micro drones and racing drones, where space and weight are critical.