Arris x180 – Good Things Come in Small Packages
I got a package in the mail today, the contents of which included the new Arris x180 racing quadcopter kit. Having never built something this small I was a little nervous, but with everything included in the kit I decided to dive right in.
The kit includes:
- ARRIS X180 Racing Drone frame
- F3 Flight Controller
- 4 x ARRIS 2205 2600KV Brushless Motor
- 4 x ARRIS Falcon 30A ESC
- 4 x ARRIS High Quality 4050 2-blade Propeller
- 600TVL Camera
- 5.8G Antenna
- ARRIS Mini Power Distribution Board
- 5.8G 200mW Video TX
- Battery Warning Buzzer
- 2 x ARRIS Battrey Strap
You can also purchase the frame on its own, or buy the x180 ready-to-fly complete with FPV gear and a RadioLink AT9 9-Channel 9CH 2.4GHz Transmitter. Either way you’ll need to bring your own FPV display and batteries. For 3S they recommend 1500-2200Mah, or 1300-1500mah if you’re flying 4S.
With the exception of the 3d printed spacer, the frame is full carbon fiber. The bottom plate is 3mm, while the top plate and camera cover is 1.5mm, which is pretty standard and should result in a relatively tough frame.
As a noob, assembling this kit proved to be a challenge – but in a good way. Getting everything to fit was like piecing together a puzzle or packing for vacation. It was a challenge, but once you get it all in there you feel a real sense of accomplishment. If you’ve only ever flown RTF or have only built 250+ frames then you’re missing out. I didn’t get a Micro MinumOSD in there yet, but I think I could if I tried harder and shortened a few wires. The thing is, you have to commit to the build. The wires will be short, much shorter than I was used to, and once you put the top plate on there you aren’t going to want to take it off again, so whatever you plan on doing just do it and don’t look back! Plan your build, dry fit the components, then commit. The result is a clean-looking build with almost no visible components.
While testing and tuning the x180 I checked the FPV feed, and there was quite a bit of noise and horizontal lines in the video. This was caused by dirty power coming out of the PDB, which can and should be remedied with an LC filter. With such a small frame clearance the ideal solution would be a filter built in the PDB, however that is not the case here. I was able to find a very small LC filter from another vendor that fit inside the frame and worked wonders to clear up the video feed, but that shouldn’t have been necessary. I contacted Arris Hobby to let them know about the issue, hopefully they’ll remedy that in future kits.
The FPV camera is pretty good, the video is nice and clear, however it is a bit on the larger side (being a standard board camera) which limits the amount of camera tilt you can use. You could swap it out for a smaller camera later on for some insane camera angles, but the lens give you a pretty wide FOV as it is so you may never need to.
Being a 180 I can see this being the frame I take out when traveling, or to try a new spot where I’m not sure how big (or small) the gaps will be. Having all of the components inside the frame means they won;t get caught on anything if tossed into a book bag or suitcase, but it also means troubleshooting hardware is a bit of a pain as you’ll need to disassemble the whole thing to get to the guts. There is access to the USB port on the flight controller though, so that’s a bonus.
With a decent tune and clean FPV feed I was finally able to maiden the x180, and I really must say I was pleased with the results. The x180 is very stable in Angle mode, and with lower rates would make a fantastic starter quad. Raise the rates and toss it into Acro and it is a blast to fly. It’s small size and weight translates into a good amount of power on a 1400-4S, making this a good kit for both freestyle and racing. Unlike other small frames I’ve flown it isn’t as twitchy and nervous in a turn or when descending, even when using stock PIDs in the latest Cleanflight (MultiWII rewrite). After a few fast flights and some light freestyle, the motors and ESCs were only a little warm to the touch, proving again that there is power to spare in this little quad. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one!
If you’re looking for a decent beginner FPV quad, or you’re an experienced pilot looking for something small, quick, and fun, check out the Arris x180. With a few minor adjustments, this little guy is a blast no matter what your skill level. You can purchase the x180 from Amazon, whether as a “super combo” kit, a complete assembled RTF, or you can purchase the frame by itself.