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ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF
Enter the world of FPV racing on a budget
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Flight video by Clark Ponthier
Posted - 11-23-2015
The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF (ready to fly) comes fully built and its CC3D flight control system pre-tuned to help get the new pilot into the air quickly with a relatively stable quad. But, don’t let the beginner-friendly description fool you. The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter can also hold its own in the wildly popular FPV racing right out of the box. A fully integrated Power Distribution Board makes it easy to replace parts when you inadvertently fly into something substantial.
The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF comes with a FlySky i6 transmitter and a matching 6ch receiver installed and communicating with the CC3d board. Four 10A~12A electronic speed controls deliver power to the four ROC2204-3S motors. All of the on-board electronics are mounted to the lower frame where they are out of harm’s way in the inevitable crashes. However, that limits access to things like the USB port and the channel dip switches on the video transmitter. You can get to the USB port with the battery removed from the lower mounting position. Changing frequencies is going to require taking the top plate off with the video transmitter left in its factory position. I expect many ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF fliers are going to move the video transmitter to the top plate as I did. I also chose to mount the battery to the top plate so the video transmitter is still fairly well protected.
To make the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF FPV ready it comes with a Sony 700 line FPV camera installed along with a 5.8g 200mw video transmitter that sends the video to your FPV headset that you have to buy separately. The Sony 700 line FPV camera produces a surprisingly clean, sharp image which makes flying overall much easier. The camera is mounted at a slight angle that lets you see farther ahead when the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF is in its go-fast attitude.
When you get brave you can fly the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF in the evening with its pre-installed headlights and LED bar at the rear to help you to maintain orientation. The tail light can be made to flash in different patterns or shut off completely using a pressure button on the back of the LED light bar.
This kit also comes with a 11.1V, 1300mAh flight battery pack and a 110V charger. Remember that this quad is easy to fly so you will need more battery packs and if you are like the rest of the racing quad world, a more capable fast charger is in your not-so-distant future. Incidentally, the included battery has an XT60 connector that plugs directly into the chassis/power distribution board. You can get an adapter that converts the on-board socket to the popular Deans style plug as I did. Most people will wind up with all of their flight batteries using the same connector.
FlySky i6 Transmitter
The radio demands of a FPV quad are not high and the ranges we are dealing with are very short in terms of today’s radio control so the FlySky i6 radio is a good fit as a dedicated transmitter for the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF. The gimbals are smooth, the adjustable (for length) sticks have no-slip ends.
Overall the FlySky i6 radio feels small in your hands but that goes away in short order when you start dodging trees and gate frames with the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF.
There are two no-critical downsides to the FlySky i6 transmitter. One is the lack of a built in flight timer which seems like an odd omission in a modern, computer-based transmitter these days. However, since so many of us have cell phones that often have a timer utility there is an easy work-around for the timer. Also, the FlySky i6 transmitter uses four AA batteries (down from eight AA cells in previous versions of his radio) and according to FlySky the i6 runs longer on fewer batteries due to increased efficiency. There is no charging system built into the transmitter so you are stuck with conventional AA’s or recharging similar batteries with a stand-alone charger. Again not a real big deal for the relatively short duration FPV racing.
In the Air
Overall the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF flies very well. It comes with three blade props that work OK but felt a little “soft” in the controls to me. I replaced them with some DAL 5X4.5 two bladed props and the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF had a little more snap or sharpness in response to the controls.
After a few minutes of hovering around my yard I decided to try the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF on my personal practice track that roughly goes around the perimeter of my yard. I left the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF in attitude mode but it remains surprisingly agile and capable of carrying a good bit of speed.
A few days later I was able to get the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF to our flying site to try some gates and more open flying. Again the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF surprised me with its quickness and the ease of control. I did manage to blast it into the earth a few times during FPV flight, probably because it looks so cool to see the ground rushing by during a low, fast pass.
I had one particularly spectacular crash that sent the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF cartwheeling along the ground. It has survived several at-speed encounters with the gates and a couple earlier bashes into the ground with no damage but the big one finally cracked one of the motor arms ($3.99 or so repair) and the evaluation was over for the day.
The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF may not be the fanciest quad on the block but it is a solid performer that will help you get into this kind of flying with surprisingly few repairs along the way. The handling right out of the box is pretty docile yet the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF remains very maneuverable. As your flying skills progress you can tweak the setup and turn the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF into a rate mode animal capable of rolls and flips as you celebrate race wins.
The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF is surprisingly tough for this price point but when things do break the parts are reasonably priced and so far look to be in stock most of the time. The ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF has a street price of $379.99 (11-22-2015) in the RTF kit described here. This is an exceptional value for those who do not have a compatible transmitter or just want to have a dedicated radio for this quad. You can also by this copter on its own, in kit form or just get parts and add your own idea of the perfect motor etc. No matter how you do it, the ROCHOBBY X-ROC250 FPV Racing Quadcopter RTF is a rugged machine that will provide lots of fun hours with a bit of common sense flying and upkeep.
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