Friday, December 15, 2017

Eachine E010s FPV Indoor Quadcopter

Winter is here, but that doesn't mean you have to stop flying :)

After comparing several inexpensive indoor FPV racing-drones, I found this Eachine E010s quad. It has a nice camera and F3-class Flight Controller. The 65mm ducted-fan design also provides prop-guards (to save the pets, furniture, and walls). Sure, it has brushed (core-less) motors and matching ESCs, but that helps to keep the price and weight down. I've since read the pilots call it a cheap Tiny Whoop or Inductrix clone. It's even Bind-and-Fly so you can use your favorite hobby-class transmitter. I have a Taranis, so I got the FrSky RX version.

 Eachine E010s FPV Drone

While the directions are fairly-poorly translated (no surprise there ... but we are used to it, right :), there ARE some good specs and tidbits of info. These are readable if you open them in a new window (and zoom-in). Hopefully this blog-post will fill-in the missing pieces and get you started in the right direction. I know the Blue-LED is for the FrSky (PPM) RX radio. Additionally, Red-LED appears to be Power, and I think the Green-LED might be the F3-Evo  Flight-Controller (complete with brushed-ESCs).

Radio Setup

I thought the setup was easy or fairly normal (if you have some previous experience with FrSky and CleanFlight).

First, you Bind the RX to TX and setup a new model on the Taranis. The Mode is D8 and Channel Range is CH1-8. I saw some pilots thought the Binding procedure was difficult, but I think it was easy and like any other FrSky Bind. Like always (with any FrSky equipment), the E010s should not be too close (within 3 ft) to Taranis or you might have communication problems. These FrSky radios are tuned for long-range.

  1. When you start, the E010s' Blue-LED for RX will be flashing (means it's un-bound).
  2. At Taranis, select Model. Go to Model Setup and click Bind. Taranis will start Beeping
  3. Carefully, hold-down tiny button on E010s FC PCB and apply power (connect it's battery completely). Blue-LED will turn off
  4. Stop the Bind-beeping at Taranis
  5. Cycle power on E010s (disconnect and re-connect it's 3.7v 240mah 45c 1-cell LiPo battery).
  6. The Blue-LED should now be solid-on (indicating it's successfully Bound).
  7. On the Taranis display, you should now be getting basic FrSky Telemetry and it will show the E010s' battery voltage (similar to your full-sized FrSky RX equipped multi-rotors).

Like other quads with F1-F4 based FC, the actual programming at the TX radio is fairly basic. You just need TAER1234. CH1-4 is TAER for main-control and 1234 are for any (AUX) switches you want to assign to CH 5-8.

I'm used to setting up for SBus (not PPM), but this seems to work (including switches). TAER is the important part. If you wanted to lock it into Angle-Mode, I think it might fly with as little as 4-channels.

CleanFlight 1.x Setup

Like many older F1 (Naze32) and even smaller current F3-based quads, you should use a CleanFlight 1.x. Even if you already have a newer v2.x version of CleanFlight installed, the old v1.x can also be installed or "side-loaded". v1.x can be installed as a Google Chrome App in Extensions Developer Mode. I still use CF v1.2.2, but I've also read about pilots using v1.2.4 (which is the last stable v1.x release).

Of course, (since you are using CleanFlight) you also have to install the SiL-CP210x Drivers (in my case, for Microsoft Windows-10). You will know that they are correctly installed when the (USB connected) quad appears in "Devices and Printers" with a Comm-Port at the end of its name.

Remember that while using CleanFlight ... after you make a change on any page, scroll to the bottom of that page and click Save. Also, I'm not really going to document each setting here now (especially if it's a default that is already set correctly). After you get CF installed and running, select your Comm-Port and then click Connect (top right).

  • Setup
    • Backup is the first thing I suggest you do. This should be the E010s' current "shipping defaults" ... to a file for safe-keeping.
  • Ports
    • Nothing to change here. Remember to never change or mess-with the first (UART-1) line, or you will lose USB communication with the FC :(
  • Receiver
    • Channel Map change to JR/Spektrum (and then click Save) to get TAER1234. At this point, sticks on Taranis radio should be moving the proper channels.
    • Direction say to set Serial Receiver Provider to "SPEKTRUM1024". It's the default first item so no changes required. However, since this quad is setup on PPM, I'm not sure it's even relevant.
    • I've never been able to find an actual "radio calibration" in CF over the years, and it seems to work fine without it. Of course, the Taranis itself is already calibrated (but that's not something you would do in CleanFlight).
  • Config
    • Mixer stays on Quad-X
    • Receiver Mode changed to RX-PPM . As far as I can tell, no SBus on this one (but it's not like we need the extra channels anyway).
    • The directions say to set Serial Receiver Provider to "SPEKTRUM1024". It's the default first item so no changes required. However, since this quad is setup on PPM, I'm not sure it's even relevant.
  • Modes
    • Aux-1 (aka 1st assigned switch on TX). I used Angle (flight mode) for all 3 positions
    • Aux-3 HeadFree. Set to the 3rd assigned switch. Bar takes-up 2/3 of line so it's active when the switch is in Position 2 or even Position-3
    • More experienced pilots might want other modes (like Acro) assigned to different switches and position. I probably add that or similar later.
    • I didn't have any problems Arming the quad the normal way (Throttle stick down and to right for a few seconds), but some pilots apparently do. They assign a switch to Arm.
  • CLI
    • I see a note in the directions-sheet to SET motor_pwm_rate=1000. Actually, I did NOT set this yet, but I'm thinking it's already set correctly because the E010s flies fine.
  • Setup
    • Setup screen one last time and calibrate accelerometer. It's real easy in CF since quad just needs to sit still on level surface for a few seconds.
    • Backup final settings to another file (since it's setup properly now).
    • AFAIK, there is no barometer, magnetometer (compass), or any other sensors to calibrate on this quad.

Plastic Body (Protector Shell)

Yeah, it's a strange looking robot head, but this is Quadcopter-Robotics :) Seriously, I thought it was a good idea to install it to help protect the camera, antenna, and FC-PCB. Installation is self explanatory. I did have to shave-off about 0.5mm of the two top guides to allow the camera to slide into place completely (you want the front of lens pretty close to flush in front). I think it also does a good job of supporting the camera/antenna.

I'm surely not taking off the body any time soon. I don't expect needing the Bind button again soon. However, it might be a good idea to carefully Dremel a little slot for the USB plug. I also saw a mod that puts a "arch protector strip" or loop over the antenna (for additional protection).


I tried Angle and HeadFree flight-modes so far, and it flies good for me indoors. Even for beginners ... while some simulator-time is a good idea, the Eachine E010s should also work nicely as a FPV trainer (when indoors or even outdoors with no wind).

Blue-LED (on steady) = FrSky RX and TX R/C radios are bound and connected
Green-LED (on steady) = F3-Evo Flight Controller is Armed (also visible thru body)

If I do any more mods to it I will try to post them here with an edit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The stupid spammers have now forced me to approve each Comment before it appears (but I am usually pretty quick about it).