LHI 220 Quadcopter Kit Full Carbon Frame Kit Review

Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor

Equipment Used:

- Stock frame

- Stock 700TVL FPV camera

- Stock PDB

- Stock SP Racing F3 Flight Controller

- Stock Favourite Littlebee 20A ESC (4x)

- Stock LHI DX2205 2300KV Brushless Motor (x4)

- LemonRX DSMX satellite RX from ProgressiveRC

- AKK X1 vTX

- Cleanflight

- Tenergy 3s 2700mAh lipo

- Spektrum DX8

Pros:

- Easy assembly

- Popular box style frame

- Optional motor guards

- Optional LED motor pads

- Carbon fiber frame

- SP Racing F3 FC

- Cleanflight or Betaflight (pilot's choice)

- Favourite Littlebee ESCes that support BLHeli

- Extra set of blades

- Bright green set of blades

Cons:

- No manual

- Stock vTX is 600mW

- One bad ESC out of the box

- Cold solder joint on AKK X1 vTX, broken SMA connector after a few soft landings

- Red and Green LED motor pads (not red/green color blind friendly)

- Camera angle has limited adjustability

Unboxing:

Everything included in the kit came inside one LHI branded box. All components were individually bagged in ESD bags or boxed. The boxed items were the vTX and camera. There are no instructions for the build, so there's no parts list. But I found no parts missing. The carbon fiber frame parts were cling wrapped together.

 

Build:

At the time of this review, this was my very first FPV quadcopter kit build. Being there was no instructions I search the internet for tutorials and build threads. Unfortunately, there is limited information on the LHI 220mm frame. But I found one YouTube channel that had a decent build tutorial on the frame.

 

My build went as follows:

- Sandwich the arms between the small x piece and bottom plate. Screw these together using the metal stand offs.

- Solder servo connecting pins to the flight controller. The controller comes with no pins attached and different styles of pins (straight or 90*) for your choice.

- Mount the PDB to the center of the frame with the metal standoffs previously mounted.

-Mount the motors and choice of optional motor parts. I opted for the motor guards. I did not choose the LED disks due to my red/green color blindness. Having the red and green lights on the quad would not help me as I wouldn't be able to see both colors. I would prefer two different colors.

-Solder XT60 connector to PDB.

-Solder the ESCes to the PDB. Solder the ESCes to the motors. I opted to remote the leads on the ESCes that go to the motor.

-Solder vTX and camera to PDB using the 5V pad. The AKK X1 vTX does not provide power to the camera, hence the need to solder the camera to the PDB.

-Solder the RX to the

-For tuning and debugging tape the ESCes in place.

-Solder the FC to the PDB

-Connect to BLHeliSuite, flash latest firmware to ESCes, configure/calibrate ESCes. Test motors spin up correctly.

-Connect to Cleanflight or Betaflight. Refer to the many online tutorials for using Cleanflight or Betaflight.

-Double check in Cleanflight/Betaflight the TX inputs are working as designed using the Preview window on various tabs.

-Attach the camera mounts (friction fit with the camera) and screw down the frame's top plate. NOTE: the front camera mount plate has a tab that is longer on side than the other, it matters which way this tab is placed as this creates the angle for the camera.

-Retune settings

-Start PID tuning

-Apply blue Loc-Tite to all screws on the motors and frame. Properly secure vTX, RX, and ESCes.

 

During the tuning process I had one ESC go bad, which conveniently was connected to motor 1. I replaced the ESC and had to eventually do a custom motor mix within Cleanflight in order to get transmitter stick inputs to register properly in the preview window of the PID programming tab.

 

Flight:

This was my first time having to tune an FPV quadcopter. The first attempts ended with what is referred to as insta-flips, where the quadcopter flips installation with throttle). After searching online this is where I discovered a customer motor mix was needed. I'm not sure if the custom motor mix caused the default PID values to reset from the default X configuration settings, but I found the stock PIDs were not usable at all. I was able to get the quadcopter to fly decently with the following PIDs:

 

             P  Integral Derivative  RC Rate  Super Rate   Max Vel     RC Expo

Roll      16      3           16               1             .7               646             0.2

Pitch    16      3           18                              .7               646

Yaw     15      3                              1             .7               667

 

I want to tune these PIDs more to get a better locked in feel, but these are usable for initial flying.

 

I was able to get some time under the goggles and discovered the stock camera does not do well when pointing directly at the sun/source of light. Other than that I finally felt comfortable flying an FPV racing quadcopter with my Eachine VR007 goggles.

 

I did have a problem with a cold solder joint on the AKK X1 vTX where the SMA connector broke off after a rough sit down. Fortunately AKK has a 1 year warranty and are honoring the warranty.

 

Conclusion:

The LHI 220mm frame FPV quadcopter kit uses a tried and true box design that protects the integral parts of a quadcopter. The optional LED motor pads and motor guards are a plus. Having everything but a battery and RX available in the kit for less than $150USD is a great deal. The stock camera may not be the highest performer when pointed directly at the sun, but it's sufficient for cruising around your yard or local Academy of Model Aeronautics club. I haven't had any hard crashes with the quadcopter, but I've had some insta-flips and hard sit-downs/bounces and the frame is holding up. The only bad comment I can make about this quadcopter is the stock red and green LED motor pads. For the 20% of the male population that suffers from red/green colorblindness, these color LEDs together may prove to be problematic. Which is why I chose not to install mine. I would like to see LHI offer an option of colors for the LED pads.

 

Is this for beginners? No and yes. With no manual and limited online information, it can prove to be a challenging build due to the learning curve. But it's inexpensive enough to buy and learn on. The box design is a proven design that protects the electronics and the motor guards to help protect the motors. Since the flight controller is programmable via Cleanflight or Betaflight, it's a quadcopter than can be tuned to your desires, unlike other RTF racing quadcopters on the market. Being my first time programming a flight controller, I found the learning curve to be very steep and referenced a lot of tutorials online.

Will I be racing with it? Doubtful due to being a beginner and building it heavy (larger batteries, motor guards, left wires long, electrical tape to hold items in place)

Is this a racer? It can be if built light and use three bladed props to get a more locked in feel.

 

Overall I find the LHI 220mm quadcopter to be a very capable quadcopter. Once I replace my broken vTX I plan to get a lot more stick time on the quad and get it tuned to my liking. With a tuned flight controller it'll fly like all the other quadcopters and perform well. I don't think you can go wrong with this kit and you'll have plenty of fun with it. But as stated, if it's your first quadcopter build, I would recommend a kit that has manuals and larger online community.

 

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me at admin@realrcreviews.com.  Also, to catch the latest reviews, follow us on Twitter @RealRCReviews or our facebook page.