XK is a subdivision of WLtoys. Like Nvidia is doing with some graphic cards, WLtoys tries to make something new with something already partially known. Anyway, this XK X380 can be viewed as the V303 V2. Main new features are: i) increased flight time (thanks to a 5400mAh Lipo), ii) a better range transmission via a new radio protocol and iii) auto take-off/landing functions. This quadcopter clearly targets beginners who are looking for a flying aerial plateform easy to pilot and carrying any actual action cam.
+ 1 x XK X380 (with a 3S 5400mAh LiPo, 20C ending with XT60 connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 6xAA batteries not included)
+ 4 x Spare 9047 props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Action cam mount
+ 1 x Charger (using balancer plug)
+ 1 x USB-microUSB cable
+ 1 x Prop wrench
+ 1 x Allen key (to remove motors)
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)
In a first glance, except the carbon style of the painting, no real difference with the WLtoys V303 canopy. It’s clearly a new revision of this model at least in term of design.
On the front part, you will find the battery compartement door. For this version, the bay’s size is increased to welcome the 5400mAh LiPo
Two bright “eyes” LEDs are located on front giving a cute aspect to this quad
A large and ultrabright LEDS status
This one can be turned in green, and/or yellow and/or red in sequences according to the current state of the X380. This list of sequence is given below.
A nice UFO disc design
Three port are available. From left to right: a microUSB port, a +12 power port and a servo port
No indications about polarities for the last two parts. It’s a problem if you want to be sure to correctly plug your gimbal. The power port is compatible with JST connector at least. Here is the pinout
The ground clearance is about 10cm so less than the V303 due to the extra belly part
Stand alone without the LiPo and the battery, the X380 reaches 614g, so a little bit more heavier for example than the naked Flying3D X8
925g with the battery installed
and a total weight of 962g with props installed
The provided camera mount add 34g
Some 2212 type rated 950KV
As far I know, there are the same as for the V303 and the V392. They are powerful.
The inner diameter of the shaft (screw part) is 6mm
While the outter below is 8mm with 2 flatted part with 7mm of diameter there
The 9 inch props shipped with (9047) offer great thrust capacity. You must balance prop to remove part of transmitted vibrations to the gimbal. You can install also some 10 inch model. I found for example the wingland minivet props are fitting out of the box.
It’s very easy to disassemble it. You will have to remove feet
In two of them are located the two antennas of the 2.4G receiver with diversity.
In the third one is located the compass connector with a 1.25mm microJST connector 4p.
The general view of the Power Distribution Board with the FC installed in the central part
Notice the presence of connectors and servo plugs for motor’s connexion to the FC. Only ESC power lead are directly and properly soldered on the PDB. There is a free UART serial port “UART3″
Here is a closeup of the FC
Versus the V303 with a zerouav model, here the FC is no more boxed. I am not sure it’s still zerouav based.
You can see a STM32F405 ARM is installed as MCU. On the right, the receiver connected to the FC in PPM mode. So you want to use your own PPM receiver, it’s pretty easy to install a new one. A close up on the receiver
The USB and gimbal port on the PDB
The GPS is perfectly shielded behind EMI copper paper
No specific sign on the ESC, probably some 20A model
The radio is quiet large with a large display. Just two 2-way switches are located on top. The left turn on/off the headless mode while the right one engages RTH. That’s all, no other flight mode possibility. It means the default flight mode is GPS+ALTH clearly oriented for beginners and aerial videos. Both sticks returns automatically in central positions. It means again that the altitude holding beheviour is prefered.
The pannel buttons. The upper right cycles between mode 1 and mode 2 while the bottom one permits to take off (1m of altitude) or to land if you long press on it (>2s). It’s a nice feature also oriented for beginners. Finally a wheels permits to control 1 axis of a gimbal for example and of you have the C-version to eventually take a photo (with a camera compatible with the associated trigger command)
I illustrate the gimbal installation with my plastic G-2D. it’s really easy to instal the rail of the G-2D: just take 2 screws of the gimbal mount and install the rail as indicated below
Here are the connexions
I was not able to correctly control the tilt axis with the X380 radio. It seems this port is not working in PWM mode. I have to investigate this point but I guess it’s a software configuration to fix.
GROUND STATION SOFTWARE
The software or at least a beta version have been just released. Paradoxally, all attempt to connect the X380 with the V303 software failed. This fact let me think that the FC is no more a zerouav based. Anyway, the new software requiers to install some VCP drivers (tested with V1.4.0 athttp://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/tools/PF257938# ) and some runtimes associated with of Labview of NI ( http://www.ni.com/download/labwindowscvi-run-time-engine-2013-sp1/4561/en/ ). The ground station software can be dowloaded here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=32285938&postcount=143
To connect to the software, you need first to i) plug the microUSB cable into the X380’s microUSB port (but not yet into the PC) ii)
turn on the radio, then iii) turn on the quad, then iv) plug the USB cable into the PC then v) run the software and finally vi) click on the “open button”
A lot of parameters can be tuned. For example you can tweak the altitude of the RTH mode, if the quad shows noze or back during RTH.
Also to flight parameters, for example you can increase some speed limits if you have find the X380 too wise. Be aware with some gain tuning whom can render your X380 completly instable. No sign of a potential mission planner pannel with the current version.
First you have to perform the compass calibration in take-off location for the first usage (video to come but it’s the same way as for the V303). Then you have wait 1 or 2min than statellites are fixed by the GPS. You should see two green flashing lights indicating you are receiving at least 6 satellites. If you see zero or only one green flash, your GPS positionning is not really accurate.
Here are all the different color sequences you can have
After these precautions taken, you have to arm the quadcopter by pressing both sticks in inner positions (left stick lower right and right stick lower left). Just long press the take-off button and voila !!! the X380 is locked at 1m high !!! with an amazing precision…. No nieed to move stick. In anycase, as soon as you release the sticks the X380 stay where he is…. pretty simple and avoid a lot of potential crashes as soon as you can trust at 100% the GPS informations….. If not…. no way to turn it into manual mode to save it from a flyaway….
The X380 offers pretty slow and smooth attitudes with default paremeters. It’s clearly not a sporty model… but an AP for sure. Ut’s very Wind resistant…. It’s very very easy to fly with.. So bravo for beginners…. The LED status is very visible even in daylights so you can know how well is your quad. I regret to not have some telemetry information s displayed on the remote…. The flying duration is just great: 25min with the 5400mAh… I know there is a 6600mAh model which can be installed ….so good …..
With a Plastic G-2D modded for a mobius cam (a 150g kit)
I was positively impressed by the stabilization of this model… clearly the advertised 0.5m of deviation is true. This model is a beginner model who want a simple AP easy to control. I strongly recommend it for this case. If you are hesitating between the V303 and this one, I advice more this one because the price difference (around 50 USD) is worthy to double the flying time duration, and control range and to gain stability. If you have already the V303, it’s not neccesary to upgrade. If you plan to buy directly the camera version… maybe a cheaper option should be to buy separatly a lightweight gimbal (G-2D for example) and a XIAOMI cam…
+ Ultra stable flyer
+ Great flying time duration (at least 25min without camera, 20min with an action-cam, no gimbal)
+ Ultra precize altitude holding
+ Great wind resistance
+ Great radio range
+ Nice and large RTF radio
+ 10 inch prop compatible
– No manual mode (Risk of flyaway is non-zero)
– No port pinout signs
– One gimbal axis-control (not fully working with PWM gimbal port)
– No mission planner (actually)