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Spedix Black Knight 210 Carbon Fiber BNF FPV Quad
Tough, economical and faster than my skills!
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 5-19-2017
When I decided to get back into quads it wasn’t with the intention of becoming a racer or other competitive quad pilot. Like most of you, I wanted a good quad for knocking around our flying field with friends or zooming around my yard during the week when I had a few extra minutes. While those thoughts were roaming around in my head I came across the Spedix Black Knight 210 during a trip to my favorite building in the world, Anderson’s Hobby shop in Thomasville, NC. The next thing I knew I was walking out with a new Spedix Black Knight 210 and some batteries, along with the stuff I actually needed went I went there.
The folks at Spedix seem to be working on minimizing verbiage which would be a wonderful thing but in this case, I think Spedix over corrected a bit. Like what does the 210 in the name mean? I am assuming it relates to the width between the left and right side motors, roughly. Despite the overall size of the Spedix Black Knight 210 it weighs in at a trim 390 grams without a battery!
They do say that the Spedix Black Knight 210 is built on a carbon frame which we can see. They also apply strengthening lower covers to the bottom of the arms that enclose/protect the ESC’s. I like that the bottom of the chassis is essentially flat which makes take-off and landing easier, and cheaper since there is no landing gear to break. Another nice feature is that the rear of the carbon top plate captures the mounting for the cloverleaf antenna. That little extension of the top plate could save some serious coin down the road when crashes do not snap the antenna off the transmitter board forever rendering it useless.
The ESC’s are flashed with BLHeli S program and support OneShot and Multishot. The recommended battery is the Glacier 1550mAh 3S or 4S LiPo. I will be running Glacier 45C 1300mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo’s initially along with a few Venom Race Drone 1300mAh LiPo’s.
The Spedix Black Knight 210 features the new Naze Rev6 flight controller with integrated MinimOSD. They also include a beeper that you can turn on and off from the transmitter for when you crash - but not bad enough to eject the battery. I always add a strip of hook and loop material to the battery mounting pad, along with the hook and loop counterpart on my battery packs. Between that and the solid platform on the Spedix Black Knight 210 ejecting the battery will require an exceptionally tough crash.
This Spedix Black Knight 210 came with a Spektrum type satellite receiver that has a ridiculously fragile button you need to press to bind it to your Spektrum transmitter. Even though I made sure I was gentle when I pushed the button to bind the Spedix Black Knight 210 to my Spektrum DX9 it made the always lethal “tink” sound as the switch disassembled itself internally.
I couldn’t find a procedure for binding the Spedix Black Knight 210 with a normal Spektrum Satellite so I took the now busted one apart, found the contacts and was able to cross them to simulate the button being pushed and I got the Spedix Black Knight 210 bound. I have since replaced this satellite with the new (now) Spektrum “race” satellite that has a no-plug binding routine built in along with better reception.
You can fine tune the Spedix Black Knight 210 using the free CleanFlight software. However, my Spedix Black Knight 210 flew well right out of the box so I am leaving the setup alone until my skills begin to dominate its capabilities. In other words, not any time soon….
The video from Buddy RC is certainly handy and generally does a good job of walking you through the setup. However, the video is based on the 250 Spedix and there are a couple differences on the Spedix Black Knight 210. For one, which is noted at the end of the description on the Buddy RC site, the ESC’s in the 210 actually are OneShot capable, which they say they are not in the video. The motors spin 5X4.5 props and you get an extra set in the kit.
There is another part where he mentions that you have to enter 180 on the configuration page under “Roll Rate”. I entered the 180 as instructed in the video and when the throttle is advanced the Spedix Black Knight 210 flips forward or backwards depending on the reverse state of the elevator servo. Mine flipped forward initially but when I reversed the elevator servo my Spedix Black Knight 210 flipped backwards at the same throttle point. I took the 180 out of the Roll Rate entirely, (not sure why it flips forward or backwards when working with the “Roll” data) saved it and my Spedix Black Knight 210 flies fine.
Power comes from 2204 2300KV motors that they say are “Reinforced”. No, I don’t know what that means but it sounds like something I will use so I am letting that slide. These motors are fairly standard for this size of quad and so far, they have plenty of power for me to over-fly my skill set.
The Spedix Black Knight 210 comes with a 700TVL camera sending video through a 40-channel video transmitter that is programmable through the top frame plate which is a nice feature. The camera has a built-in pivot that lets you set the angle that best fits your flying style.
Because FPV video is so degraded by the time it gets to a headset or other video receiver the quality generally sucks if you want to record it for replay. For flying, the video quality as we see it in the goggles is just fine.
The Spedix Black Knight 210 comes with a second camera mount, above the FPV camera, that allows you to install a full HD camera such as the Mobius 1080p HD Action Cam. This second mount can also be tilted to fit the flying style of the pilot or to get the shot you are looking for.
At the Field
Flying the Spedix Black Knight 210 can be done with brand new to normal quad piloting skills. It has no bad habits that I am aware of and while not the fastest quad in town lap times are way more dependent on the pilot’s skills than the performance of the Spedix Black Knight 210.
An even more fortunate trait of the Spedix Black Knight 210 is that it is tough. Part of the Review was right in my wheel house as I have been blessed with exceptional crashing skills! Along with inadvertent ground contact I managed to hit a few immovable objects at speed with nothing more than broken props on the damage list!
The included FPV camera used for the goggles is decent but if you are looking for first rate video you will be looking for another camera. I think a better cam is not necessary and I can see just fine when flying the Spedix Black Knight 210 without my glasses. I did find that by tweaking the contrast and brightness controls on the FatShark Dominator goggles I could make the image they display much cleaner and sharper appearing.
If you are looking for a pro-quality, stupid fast quad, the Spedix Black Knight 210 isn’t for you. If you have realistic expectations for the combination of the Spedix Black Knight 210 and your flying skills I think you will be very happy with this machine. It is plenty fast enough, handles well and is tough. Using the free CleanFlight software you can tweak its performance to produce dramatic changes in performance as your skills grow.
I would like to have found a comprehensive instruction manual in the box or on line but there apparently is none. BuddyRC has put together a few videos that walk you through the setup process which helps a bunch. There also is a large presence on some of the bigger forums so a couple Google searches usually produce the help you need.
The Spedix Black Knight 210 had a street price of $199.95 (5-19-2017) which is not bad for a complete, ready to bind and fly quad with this level of performance and durability. Since all of the components are standard sized for this size quad you can add aftermarket “hop-ups” down the road if you need a bit more performance to keep up with you evolving pilot skills.
The videos at the following link are really for setting up the Spedix Black Knight 210 but relate well to the 250 except for a couple differences noted in the videos. This is also the product page for the Spedix Black Knight 210. - Click Here
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