Review: iFlight Turbobee 120RS or 136RS (V2)

iFlight recently released two new micro models – the Turbobee 120RS V2 and 136RS V2. These are 2.5″ and 3″ micro quads that are upgrades from the original Turbobee that was only released a few months back.

Check out my other “toothpick” style micro quad reviews.

120RS (2S Version):

136RS (4S Version):

You can choose different receivers, including Crossfire, Frsky XM+, Flysky A8S V2 and DSMX.

The accessories are the same in both kits, except the props.

  • RX antennas plastic tubes
  • A bag of screws of different length for mount the props (not needed for the 120RS)
  • Two battery straps
  • Two sets of props: 120RS, HQ 65mm props; 136RS, HQ T3x2 props
  • Sticker and leaflet

Both 120RS and 136RS use the exact same hardware, apart from the motors, props and frame.

  • SucceX Micro F4 Flight controller (16x16mm)
    • MPU6000 Gyro
    • 5V 3A BEC
    • Betaflight OSD
    • Flash memory for Blackbox
    • Firmware target IFRC/IFF411PRO (STM32F411)
  • 12A 4in1 BLHeli_S ESC (16x16mm)
  • VTX: 25mW/200mW Selectable Power with Tramp Protocol (VTX Control)
  • FPV Camera: Caddx Turbo EOS2  (2.1mm Lens 16:9 NTSC)

Here are the differences that set these two models apart.

120RS:

  • 120mm wheel base frame
  • BeeMotor 1103 4000KV Motor (for 4S) or 10000KV Motors (for 2S)
  • HQ 65mm Bi-blade Props
  • Weight without battery: 56g

136RS

  • 136mm wheel base frame
  • BeeMotor 1104 4000KV Motors (for 4S)
  • HQ T3x2 – 3″ Bi-blade Props
  • Weight without battery: 67g

Frames

The original iFlight Turbobee had a carbon fibre top plate which they replaced with a 3D printed TPU canopy, a weight saving and more functional choice. It’s also easy to remove the canopy and work on the electronics as there are only 3 screws.

Both Turbobee 120RS and 136RS V2 share the exact same canopy, both bottom plates are unibody, but the frame design is different.

The arms on the 120RS are very skinny, but thankfully they are 3mm thick so it should hold up well on a light weight craft like this. The 130RS’s frame, on the other hand, is also 3mm thick, but has much beefier design with all those arm braces and appears to be a lot more crash resistant and durable.

Antenna placement is very well thought out (for both VTX and radio antennas), they made good use of the 3D printed canopy. The RX antennas are well protected inside plastic tubes, and it looks slick.

FC/ESC/VTX Stack

Both Turbobee 120RS and 136RS have the same FC/ESC/VTX stack,

The flight controller stack is the Succex 16x16mm micro stack that consists of a 200mW VTX, F4 FC and 12A 4in1 ESC. I previously reviewed the original version of this stack, but the stack in these quads is the latest V2. Anyway they are actually quite similar except a few minor changes:

  • More powerful 5V BEC (from 2A to 3A)
  • Flash Memory for Blackbox logging – rarely seen on these micro quads!
  • Motor Connectors on 4in1 ESC

The connectors have “solid pins” which don’t impact performance as much as the “open pins” does. “Open pins” have higher resistance and results in worse voltage sag. I love connectors on these pre-built models, as they are easier to build and repair.

This stack works as intended, however, the biggest downside is probably the pin connectors between the three boards. There are tiny black push pin connectors between the VTX and FC, and between the FC and ESC.

First of all, they are not great for isolating vibration.

Secondly, the boards can move a tiny bit due to the fact that they are mounted on rubber grommets. It puts a lot of stress on these push pin connectors during impact, and might break in a hard crash.

Other 16x16mm FC stack, like the Mamba Nano stack, solves this problem by using silicone wires only.

The receiver is mounted under the canopy, which is a great touch.

FPV Setup

This quad has a top notch FPV setup: a proper nano camera with a 200mW VTX that has SmartAudio feature. IPEX/U.FL antenna connector, comes with a light weight dipole antenna.

The new EOS2 camera works much better than the previous versions, probably has a new firmware. Image is clear and handles lighting transition well. Also camera angle is adjustable and the lens is well protected by the TPU canopy.

But one weird thing is that my 120RS came with a PAL camera whilethe 136RS came with NTSC. On the product page it says they should all be NTSC, maybe they were sent the wrong camera and didn’t notice. Not a big deal.

Motors

The 136RS uses BeeMotor 1104 4200KV.

The “bumpers” at the end of the arm protects the motors in collisions. Here is a close up of the BeeMotor.

The 120RS uses 1103 10000KV which is rated for 2S.

Both motors have prop mounting holes. These motors are probably the least “notchy” motors I’ve tested so far (the resistance caused by the magnets when the motor is spun by hand), but it doesn’t seem to affect the quad’s performance in anyway.

Battery Mounting

The iFlight Turbobee comes with some high quality battery straps, and there is anti-slip rubber pads on the bottom plate to prevent the bolts from digging into your batteries. Great touch.

The 120RS offers two versions, 2S and 4S. The difference is in the motor KV:

  • 2S – 10000KV motors
  • 4S – 4000KV motors

I personally would choose the 2S version over the 4S for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, these small 2S batteries are cheaper and more widely available. We normally use “stick shape” batteries on these micro quads, and it’s harder to find them in 4S. Of course you can always use my hack to connect two 2S batteries in series to make a 4S.

Secondly, lower voltage tends to give less problems with voltage spikes, power noise and other technical issues on these micro quads.

I think 2S 450mAh is a good size. See my LiPo testing for some battery recommendations.

This is a tough call.

Overall the Turbobee 136RS and 120RS are both beautifully designed and built micro quads, but if I was forced to pick one, I would probably get the 136RS because it’s a more powerful model.

Buy the 120RS (2S Version):

Buy the 136RS (4S Version):

iFlight Turbobee 136RS (left) and 120RS (right)

Someone is going to tell me “you cannot compare apple with orange”. I know they are in different categories, one is 2.5″ (65mm) and the other is 3″, but the 120RS is just a tad too heavy for the “toothpick” class in my opinion. The larger 1104 motors and 3″ props are going to be better at managing that extra weight.

And the 136RS has much stronger frame design which should hold up to crashes better, and yet the weight difference is only around 10 grams.

But if you prefer a “safer” quad to fly in smaller parks, maybe the 120RS is a better option.

The 130RS is an ultra-light 3″ running on 4S LiPo, it’s bigger, noisier and more powerful. If you hit someone with it in the park, you probably wouldn’t get away with just an apology.  But still it’s much friendlier than a 5″.

For the 130RS, the recommended battery is 4S 450mAh. I also tried 4S 520mAh and 650mAh, the quad handled them well. But lighter battery = more agile and responsive. Check out batteries here: https://amzn.to/2lUC3Pc

The same steps apply to both models.

The flight controller is loaded with BF 4.0.2 (May 2019 release). It’s unnecessary to update firmware as this might erase the setting. Just set it up, go out and fly 🙂

It comes with a leaflet that shows you it’s got “reversed motor direction” and not much else.

There are two UART’s on the FC, UART2 is for serial RX like SBUS while UART1 is for Tramp protocol (VTX Control). No need to do anything here, all setup for you.

The first thing to do is to bind the receiver – to access the bind button you’d have to remove the canopy. If you are getting the XM+ version, see this tutorial how to bind Frsky RX.

It’s funny that iFlight actually asked me if I want R-XSR or XM+, and I said “R-XSR”. It turned out to be kind of pointless because there is no spare UART to run SmartPort telemetry anyway, and SmartPort isn’t connected. As a result it doesn’t have RSSI on CH16 either, which is inconvenient to setup. XM+ is a better option.

Adjust OSD screen.

Setup modes (switches) for arming and beeper.

Disable RX_LOST in ESC Beacon.

Change your rates.

PID and filter setting are not optimised out of the box and there is definitely room for improvement.

I will upload some FPV footage shortly so you can watch these quad in action and compare their speed and maneuverability.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *