The best FPV antennas determine the quality of your video reception and hence paves the way for an exquisite flight adventure.
Best FPV antennas are of different types:
- Circular polarized
It is also important that you are familiar with the kind of connector that is supported by your FPV gear and you have to match it to the connector on your antenna. There are two basic kinds of connectors: SMA and RP-SMA. They differ only in terms of design. In SMA antennae, the female plugs come with a hole and the extruding wire from the male SMA plug goes into that hole.
In RP-SMA antennae, the reverse is true. So, while purchasing the best FPV antennas paraphernalia, ensure that you figure out the kind of connector your FPV transmitter and receiver has. You can find it in the product’s description and so this will assist you in buying the antennae with appropriate plugs.
Moreover, you should take care that you never power your FPV transmitter without an antenna plugged in.
In case you do so, the equipment will get heated up and it will get damaged. Below, we will give the credentials of the best FPV antennas.
How to Mount the best FPV Antennas
Earlier, I used to mount the antenna and video transmitter by pushing the connector of the transmitter through a hole in the top plate of the chassis and then screwing the antenna down onto the connector to ensure that it stayed upright.
This is good enough but in case the quadcopter crash lands in an upside-down position, the connector goes through plenty of stress and could result in broken antennae or connectors.
I prefer to mount the best FPV antennas horizontally as the transmitter goes below the top plate and only half or three-quarters of the antenna extrudes from behind the quadcopter. You can leave it straight or bend it as per your preference.
This tends to provide extra protection to the connector without adversely affecting the range.
Now, let’s get back to antennae.
Why is Dipole Antenna one of the best FPV antennas?
Dipole or rubber ducky antennae are simple antennae that come with a coaxial cable in addition to some metal casing at one end to transmit or receive the signal.
They offer poor range particularly in case of quadcopters since they are able to transmit only if they are in an upright position. So, if you move swiftly sideways or attempt a flip, you might end up losing the video signals.
These antennae are also sensitive to multi-pathing. This is a phenomenon that takes place when a signal bounces off a hard object. So, if you fly near a wall or some other obstacle, you might lose the signal.
Generally, you will get the dipole antenna along with your FPV equipment.
Circular Polarized Antenna
Circular polarized antennae consist of three or four lobes; thereby offering enhanced reception. They are also popular as skew-planar or omnidirectional antennae which implies that they are able to transmit equally well in all directions. So, the orientation of the aircraft does not affect the reception of your video signal.
The best FPV antennas are also not adversely affected by multi-pathing. So, you can fly your quadcopter with seamless ease around walls and obstacles while getting top quality video reception.
Circular polarized antennae are of two types – right hand and left hand. The right-hand circular polarized antennae will only receive signal from a transmitter that transmits a signal with a right-hand antenna and the left-hand circular polarized one will only receive the signal from a transmitter that transmits a signal with a left-hand antenna.
These are the most commonly used antennae in the multirotor FPV systems and are being offered in a variety of designs.
Foxeer circular polarized antenna is my favorite one. It is better than AOMWAY or FATSHARK antennae and comes encapsulated in top quality plastic material. I have had some quite violent crashes and these antennae are still faring quite well.
I have compared at least three FatShark and 3 AOMWAY antennae. You get fabulous features for just less than $10.
Get two or three of these and they will last for a long time.
Aomway also produces decent quality circular polarized antennae. This is a China-based manufacturer and comes with formidable antennae, encased in protective coating on the wire and plastic reinforcement for the lobes. I have been using their antennae for some time and they have been able to give decent performance. You can bend the antennae wire into any shape you desire owing to the protective coating while the plastic encapsulation protects the lobes in case of any crash.
ImmersionRC/FatShark circular polarized antennae have also gained massive popularity among the consumers. These are good quality devices but slightly expensive. As a matter of fact, they come at a price which is double to the one for the best FPV antennas by Aomway. . You can bend the antennae wire into any shape you desire owing to the protective coating while the plastic encapsulation protects the lobes in case of any crash. The plastic encasement does not adversely affect the antennae’s range.
Helical and Patch Antennae
These antennae are shaped like a spring and offer enhanced reception in contrast to the circular polarized antennae. They, however, offer a narrower beam, so they offer their best possible performance when the antenna is facing the transmitting antenna. The best FPV antennas receive from sideways and from the rear but that reception is not at par with the one from the front.
Patch antennae are also directional antennae and perform the best when facing the transmitting antennae. If you were to fly your aircraft at a larger distance, then you could benefit from the helical and patch antennae.
In case you are flying a mini quadcopter that is zipping around in all directions possible, helical and patch antennae will not be able to serve the purpose.
Diversity Configurations of the best FPV antennas
Helical and patch are considered one of the best FPV antennas as they offer a great solution when it comes to diversity setups. These receivers receive two signals instead of one. They portray the better signal while switching between the better frequencies in a smooth manner.
So, if you have a diversity setup consisting of a helical antenna and a circular polarized antenna, you will get to see the signal captured by the helical antenna when the aircraft is flying in the front and the signal from the circular polarized antenna when flying around and behind.
We hope that this post will help you identify the best FPV antennas for your 5.8GHz setup. I prefer the Aomway antennae since they are affordable and offer decent performance.
Your FPV Shopping List
If you want to get to know how different parts that we are going to talk about here are wired together, then watch the video series titled Flight Controller Wiring for Beginners.
Termed as the brain of the quadcopter, the flight controller retrieves instructions from the receiver and translates them into motor outputs that make the machine fly. Accessories such as voltage regulators and on-screen display (OSD) and power distribution board (PDB) are included in contemporary flight controllers.
We have enlisted flight controllers in a couple of variations: those with F4 processor and those with F7 processor. All Betaflight functions are governed by the F4 processor but not at the absolute fastest loop times that are possible with Betaflight.
Before the arrival of Betaflight 3.4, we believed that there was no point in purchasing a flight controller with a F7 processor. Betaflight was just not tailor made for it. Things have changed since then. Betaflight 3.4 and above lets you run complete 32KHz gyro sampling and PID loop on F7 processor. Does it really matter or do really give it a damn? Of course, 32KHz is a larger number than 8KHz. As a matter of fact, it is four times of 8KHz.
Nevertheless, F4 processor should prove to be more than enough to be one of the best FPV antennas in the market. F7 is slightly expensive but lets you toy around with sensational features such as 32K gyro sampling and is probably a thing for the future.
Why is JBardwell F4 AIO one of the best FPV antennas?
Flight controllers are the most important components in a quadcopter. I always try to carry out extensive research in order to ensure that I find the flight controller with the exact features that I am looking for. So, I was quite excited when I got the opportunity to design my very own flight controller.
The JBardwell F4 AIO is what I would want any perfect flight controller to be like. It is compatible with all major Betaflight functions such as SBUS, SmartPort, SmartAudio, ESC Telemetry and FPV Camera Remote Control at the same time. The presence of a couple of inverted UARTs means that you will not have to struggle with uninvert tricks. You can quite conveniently connect the best FPV antennas without requiring any extra capacitors and resistors to the onboard Camera Control pad. What’s more, there is dataflash chip for blackbox as well.
Beneath the hood, the power system has been engineered for smooth video and minimal gyro noise. It comes with MPU6000 gyro and the power supply includes the pristine 9V output for your video transmitter and FPV camera.
You will be bewildered to know that the flight controller only costs $35 and so is probably the cheapest going around.
Betaflight 32 Khz Gyro Goodness Holybro Kakute F7 and F7 AIO
The Betaflight 32 Khz Gyro Goodness Holybro Kakute F7 and F7 AIO comes with a couple of exceptionally imaginative features. Firstly, the gyro chip is placed on foam to reduce vibrations which makes tuning convenient and enhances flight capabilities particularly on quadcopters which do not permit the flight controller to be soft-mounted.
Secondly, the incredible user manual that accompanies Kakute is in-depth and even takes the newbies on a fantastic voyage that helps them learn all the basic stuff about wiring up the flight controller. In case you are wondering about the writer of the manual, well then there could be no other soul in the world but for me!
The Kakute also comes with a data flash chip in place of an SD card reader if you are into blackbox logging. This means that even if you forget to put in the SD card, you will always have storage for your coveted blackbox; albeit a little limited, I might add. This is one of the qualities of the best FPV antennas.
The gyro is connected to the flight controller via the ribbon cable which is quite strong. In its vicinity, you will find two solder pads and you have to be cautious not to touch the ribbon cable with your soldering iron while working on the board.
I recommend you to get the AIO version if you want to use the Kakute F7 with separate ESCs. It comes with an onboard power distribution board so you can solder the ESC and battery wires right into it. If you are using the 4-in-1 ESC, get the convention Kakute without AIO and employ its 4-in-1 socket to connect it to your ESC.
Total Integration All-In-One Holybro Tekkos / Kakute / Atlatl Stack
I typically prefer to choose my own equipment in a rather meticulous manner. If you do not want to get entangled in the whole business of wiring up your flight controller, the Total Integration All-In-One Holybro Tekkos / Kakute / Atlatl Stack is the ultimate choice. You simply have to connect the receiver, motor and camera and you will be up and running.
Boasting a modular design, the Total Integration All-In-One Holybro Tekkos / Kakute / Atlatl Stack has all the boards connected to each other via wire plugs. So, you can conveniently replace any damaged components or even upgrade them with better options.
The Total Integration All-In-One Holybro Tekkos / Kakute / Atlatl Stack is available as a Flight Controller and Electronic Speed Controller only if you intend to use it with another video transmitter.
Feature-Packed For Experienced Builders Airbot OmniNXT F7
Ever since flight controllers were introduced, Airbot has been coming up with phenomenal designs for the best FPV antennas. The OmniNXT is their high-end gizmo which is equipped with an F7 processor and has the ability to run all Betaflight features even at the fastest 32KHz gyro sampling rates. It is integrated with an 8V regulator for camera and a video transmitter as lower voltage provides enhanced filtering for cleaner and smooth video. A ribbon cable allows direct connection to Airbot’s Typhoon ESC for a solder-free connection.
The Feature-Packed For Experienced Builders Airbot Omninxt F7 provides support for both MPU6000 for low noise 8KHz sampling along with ICM 20608 for sampling up to 32KHz; thereby giving you the flexibility to tweak around with Betaflight’s prolific and novel filtering or opt for a safe and durable option in case you need it. The gyros are soft-mounted in a protective acrylic encapsulation to prevent them from getting damaged. Similarly, the ribbon cable going to the gyros is adequately protected from damage.
The feature-rich flight controllers by Airbot boast an efficient and pragmatic layout for the best FPV antennas. However, they pose certain difficulties for the newbies. The huge number of options can be mind-boggling and it can be complicated to get a hang of the wiring despite the comprehensive wiring diagrams. The small pad sizes also compounds problems related to soldering.
All-In-Two FC & PDB Combo MATEK F405 and FCHUB
The All-In-Two FC & PDB Combo MATEK F405 and FCHUB is a dedicated flight controller equipped with all the requisite features such as integrated Betaflight OSD and SD card for blackbox logging. In place of the integrated PDB, it synchronizes with the MATEK FCHUB via an easy to use ribbon cable. This means that the device provides all the features of an all-in-one flight controller without any hassle involved. For instance, in the event of damage to any of the solder pads on the power distribution board, the flight controller does not have to be discarded. Another benefit of the separate FC and PDB is that the flight controller can be conveniently soft mounted, without heavy power and ESC wires touching it and transmitting vibration.
The FCUB-6S comes with a 5V 1.5A regulator for receiver, flight controller, and other 5V accessories and a 10V 1.5A regulator output for majority of the video transmitters and FPV cameras. Most of the accessories rated for 12V can be powered by the 10V regulator. Enhanced filtering is provided by the lower input voltage particularly for 3S quadcopters. High output 5V video transmitter such as the TBS Unify Pro can be powered by the 5V regulator on the PDB. The current sensor of the board is rated for up to 184A.
If you are not much of a soldering expert and you have a frame that offers sufficient space to accommodate two boards into your flight control stack, the Matek F405 and FCHUB-6S is the one that you should opt for.
FC, PDB and vTX In One! MATEK F405 and FCHUB vTX
On the outside, it may be a bit complicated to spot the differences between the FC, PDB and vTX In One! MATEK F405 and FCHUB vTX and the above mentioned FCHUB combo. This one comes with a video transmitter! It is similar to getting a F405 flight controller, FCHUB PDB and video transmitter all wrapped up together in a single package.
The ribbon cable also includes a connection for the video transmitter remote controller so that the video transmitter channels and transmit power levels can be modified with the help of the controller. This ensures that you do not have to indulge yourself in all that frustrating button pushing!
The main reason you may go for a different flight controller in the best FPV antennas is that it would be if you were inclined on getting your hands on a different video transmitter. For instance, the FCHUB vTX does not come with pit mode and its optimum output power is not the highest on the market. But the configuration is quite preferable for a lot of people out there. It comes with all the requisite features such as the On-Screen Display, SD Card for blackbox, SmartAudio controlled video transmitter and more in a compact, simple and low cost bundle.
For Total Cheapskates: Omnibus F4
To be honest, this is a flight controller that is not at all recommended! It has been enlisted here just because there are some of you who need to save each and every penny. So, the Omnibus F4 is the cheapest flight controller out there.
The Omnibus used to be my favorite flight controller for some time. It was one of the first to come with an SD card for blackbox logging which was phenomenal. It provides support for all the major features offered by Betaflight.
The flight controller does not come with an integrated Power Distribution Board and this is probably the difference between the Omnibus and a high priced controller. There are numerous frames that are loaded with a PDB or perhaps you are using a 4-in-1 ESC and do not even require a PDB. In such an event, this is the flight controller that you should go for!
Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs)
The motor rotates because of the ESC. BLHELI_S ESCs offer decent performance but do not provide support for certain features that are considered traditional nowadays. BLHeli_32 is the latest version and probably the best amongst all. As far as flight performance is concerned, there is not much difference between the two but BLHeli_32 is a platform that is witnessing the most amount of development and we highly recommend its use.
Internet is required to update firmware on the ESCs for BLHeli_32 and is not open source. That is why some people prefer the BLHeli_S along with the fact that it is slightly low cost so if you are not perturbed about the high-end features and are just interested in flying, BLHeli_S may be a better option for you.
Multishot and Dshot are two crucial protocols out of which Dshot is better and all of the ESCs mentioned below are compatible with it or higher.
The right sized ESC is the biggest challenge one has to face while purchasing an ESC. Typically, ESCs rated for 20A are suitable for frames with 4 inch propellers and 5-inch propellers of size 2206 or smaller. Larger motors such as 2207 and the 23XX and 24XX class and any motor running 6-inch propellers may require 30 or 35-ampere ESCs.
You may observe that some 20A and 30A variants of ESCs may be equally priced. So, why should one not purchase the larger one? The answer lies in size and weight. The 20A one is quite small in size and can be a great help on smaller builds.
Finally, all of the ESCs enlisted here are rated for up to 4S voltage. Some of them are also rated for up to 6S voltage but I am not at all worried about that since I know that most of you will be using the 4S. If you are building a 5S or 6S quad, you will have to conduct extensive research. Typically, 30A ESCs are highly probable to be rated for 6S while 20A ESCs are not.
Cheapest Worth Having: RacerStar Lite BLHeli_S
These ESCs are an ideal choice for novices who are constrained by budgetary considerations. The crux of the matter is that they will certainly help you get whizzing into the air and their performance is more than satisfactory, to be honest. But there is always an underlying probability of them ending up getting burnt for no apparent reason other than that they are of flimsy quality. As a matter of fact, instead of buying four, we would recommend you to purchase five or six so that you have spare ones in your repertoire. And once you get through them, you may as well reach a point where you decide to purchase a better ESC.
Cheapest Worth Having: DYS DS Series BLHeli_S
Boasting a price equivalent to that of the RacerStar ones, the DYS are slightly better in that they do not get burnt up instantly.
Top of The Line: BLHeli_S Spedix Line
Here is a secret that ESC manufacturers prefer to hide from consumers: almost all BLHeli_S ESCs perform adequately. So, reliability is probably the sole reason that one should purchase the expensive variant. By reliability, we mean that the ESC will be able to sustain the rigors of quadcopter flight without getting lit on fire or getting damaged. It also implies that the ESC will be able to support larger motors such as 23XX and 24XX ones.
Spedix ESCs are low cost, offer phenomenal performance and magnificent reliability. That is why I call them a top of the line product.
Best: BLHeli_32 ESC Aikon AK32
The Aikon AK32 is one of the best ESCs out there. It is powered by BLHeli_32 firmware so it offers high-end features and splendid performance. It also supports ESC Telemetry along with current sensing and limiting. It is also one of the most reliable and long-lasting ESCs out there.
Rock Solid Performance: JB 32-Bit 4-in-1 4S-6S
When I began my journey of developing my own branded products, I promised myself that I would not advertise it as one of the best out there just to stuff money in my coffers. To be honest, everyone has a different perspective when it comes to the best. But I believe that my ESC will be the best for most people using the best FPV antennas. Here is why!
The Bardwell ESC costs $50 which makes it an excellent choice when it comes to the budget class. There are cheaper options out there but reliability issues prevent me from recommending them. We have tested the Bardwell ESC in the most challenging of conditions and it just responded seamlessly in all of them; thus reaffirming our conviction that it was the best out there. It is powered by BLHeli_32 and Dshot1200. It also includes telemetry and provides support for up to 30A at up to 6S voltage. There is nothing much that one can ask for!
If you are using my JBF4 flight controller, this ESC will plug in directly for a solder-free connection. It is also compatible with other flight controllers but you may have to rearrange the wires in the plug.
A certain product is not ideal for everybody. This ESC does not have a 5V regulator so if your flight controller is not compatible with vBat, you may have to think of another ESC. This ESC only offers telemetry and not analog current sensing. If there are limited number of options with regard to UARTs on the flight controller and cannot accomplish ESC, another ESC may be a better choice.
When 5S is not enough: Aikon AK32 35A BLHeli_32
The Aikon AK32 35A BLHeli_32 is slightly highly-priced amongst its competitors. It has been included in this list because of its formidable reliability. It can be quite disappointing when a 4-in-1 ESC gets damaged and you have to get a new one just because one-fourth of it died out. The Aikon AK32 is simply formidable especially when you are running 6S which demands a lot from most of the ESCs.
The ESC is priced higher than the Bardwell ESC but it offers more features for the best FPV antennas. It comes with a 2A 5V regulator and supports both analog current sensing and ESC telemetry and it is rated for 35A.
Motors for 4S
A dedicated website for motors would be a brilliant idea. But here is yet another great website. If you want detailed information about motor specifications such as size, Kv etc. do not forget to check out this comprehensive interview with Ryan Harrell. Let’s cut to the chase and present you a few recommendations.
Cheapest Worth Having: DYS Samguk Series
Power and performance are packed in tons in this contraption named as Samguk by DYS which is a magnificent option for those looking to save some money. The broad array of motors available in this series is the best thing about this product. You can get a size and kv rating for virtually any application that you can think of. There are certain catches that you will have to live with due the manufacturer’s attempt to keep the cost down but if you are a rookie, you will be quite excited by the minimal amount of expenses incurred in replacing damaged parts in case of a crash.
The 2207 / 2600kv variant is my personal favorite as it gives a bit more top end with slightly less linearity in the thrust curve. This means that when the pilot hits the throttle, motors pop which is a cool feature for freestyle flight adventures. If the 2600kv rating is paired with a belligerent kind of propeller, your batteries are likely to be run out of juice sooner rather than later so if you are looking for enhanced flight time or a more belligerent propeller selection, then you may consider the 2306 / 2500kv version.
Durability and quality control are a couple of areas where these motors flatter to deceive. In contrast to the better quality bearings used in expensive motors, bearings get worn out quicker. There are even a few motors that come with rough bearings even from the factory. The fact that these motors are readily available and are quite affordable, these motors are preferred by most of the pilots. As a matter of fact, one can purchase five or six of the Samguk series for the cost of four high end motors.
Light. Efficient. Economical: RaceDayQuads Badass 2205 2450kv
The OEM variant of the BrotherHobby R2 which is typically hard to find, uses 7075 aluminum for enhanced reliability and boasts an open bottom design to shed a few ounces.
This is by no means a motor that will blow everything that comes its way. But if you are a newbie, you will probably be quite satisfied with this badass product. The motor performs exceptionally well on lighter builds, where its efficiency can provide 6 to 7 minute flight time. And we are discussing real quad racing here. When it comes to heavier builds, the motor will have its speed and power tested but it still is a pretty decent choice for novices who are likely to get the machines crashing into the ground every now and then.
Nevertheless, do not assume that this motor is slow. Here is a Quest FPV engaged in a race if you are skeptical about this motor’s performance.
Mid-Price Racing Motor: 3BHobby 2207/2650 Kv
All motors available out there seem to be either placed at higher end of the price spectrum or at the lower end. 3BHobby, however, is one of the few developers who intend to come up with products primarily designed for the middle range. Their motors perform efficiently, boast features and build quality that is typically associated with higher end motors and cost around $20. The hollow titanium alloy shaft is the key feature of the 3B 2207 Pro motor which plays a crucial role in reducing weight and bolstering strength. The motor employs 7075 aluminum which is harder and more long lasting than the softer 60XX alloy which is traditionally used in lower cost motors.
The 3BHobby 2207 / 2650kv is placed at the middle of the price spectrum since 2207 is preferred by a vast majority of drone racers and racers do not get freaked out of battery consuming 2650kv rating. Ensure that you pair it with the lightweight quadcopter or your batteries will run out of juice in no time. You may go for the 2400kv variant for slightly lesser speed and a bit less current draw.
Top of the line 4S Racing: T-Motor F60 Pro III 2500kv
Here’s an interesting video which shows a few blokes building a 500lb chainsaw out of a V8 engine. That is exactly what I thought of this motor at the outset: an innovative device but too big and puts lots of burden on the batteries. But when I observed that leading racers preferred this motor and were producing positive results, then I thought, well, let’s go with the flow!
This motor is absolutely ridiculous! It created 1700 grams of thrust on the T-Motor 5150 prop. The compromise is that the quadcopter has to be customized in accordance with the motor or the battery will fail you big time. Light weight is the key here along with meticulous propeller selection and a high end C-rating battery.
The manufacturer has been consistently enhancing the design of these motors. The second generation saw an update in the original design to incorporate a nude bottom which resulted in shedding a few grams along with an anti-split knurled bell top to prevent the propeller from slipping without requiring the pilot to over-tighten the nuts. There are silver-coated windings on the motor for lower resistance and enhanced temperature rating. The third generation comes with high temperature silver windings so the motor is resistant to smoking when a propeller is bent. The bell is also redesigned for enhanced reliability.
Top of the Line Freestyle: Rotor Riot HypeTrain Acro
Meticulous and accurate balance is required while building a magnificent freestyle motor. It needs sufficient power to stun the spectators with colossal punch-outs but at the same time, it has to be efficient in terms of energy conservation so that the batteries do not run out of juice. It has to be smooth to prevent emergence of jello vibrations in FPV real time video feed. It also has to be sensitive enough to manage propwash vibrations.
The original HypeTrain Freestyle was able to accomplish all these feats in a spectacular manner. However, most of the freestyle pilots were in favor for a punchier motor with a less linear response curve. The manufacturers responded with the 2207 size motor: HypeTrain Acro. Sharper power curve and enhanced top end thrust is bestowed upon by the taller stator. It is suitable for freestule pilots who prefer to punch the throttle to its full capacity but avoid keeping it there for longer duration of time.
The HypeTrain Acro incorporates numerous enhancements that have been made across the range of HyperTrain products including improved EZO bearings and a rejigged bell design for improved reliability.
My Own Personal Favorite: JB 2407/2500kv
Power has to be sacrificed at the altar of smooth flight by freestyle pilots generally. However, this is no more the case. Huge torque is offered by the 2407 stator on this motor along with responsiveness to the most belligerent of propellers. The result is a smooth flight free of propwash and preposterous punchouts and speed simultaneously. The motors work seamlessly well with the higher pitch 5 inch propellers such as 5 x 4.8 or even 5050 size. They are probably under-propped when it comes to conventional freestyle propellers such as 5 x 4 or 5 x 4.3 and do not make for their additional weight in thrust.
Does this motor ruin your batteries due to its massive size? The moment you begin to ask for more thrust, you will have to draw more power but this motor has been built to offer efficient battery consumption. I have tested it on CNHL and RaceDayQuads 1500mAh 4S packs and get 2:30 flight time down to 15 volts. So, this is not an endurance motor but it will not make your batteries run out of juice within the blink of an eye either.
If you are looking for a freestyle motor that offers powerful punchouts and jaw dropping acceleration, while still providing smooth flight, go for this one at least for once!
Motors for 5S and 6S
Most of the freestyle pilots and racing FPV professionals prefer the four cell (4S) voltage as their go-to option. But pilots are also making a move to higher 5S and 6S voltages as well. Typically, motor kv is reduced to achieve a similar RPM. For instance, almost same amount of RPM is created at the propeller by a 1750kv motor on 6S as a 2450kv on 4S.
The benefit of this approach is being mooted by experts since the RPM at the motor is virtually the same. But supporters of low kv 6S believe that they get longer flight time along with more torque for enhanced maneuvering. They have to compromise at the price side though since the 6S batteries are expensive in contrast to the 4S ones and there are not any affordable 6S battery packs to have hit the shelves as yet. You can get a decent 1500mAh 4S pack for $20 while its equivalent 6S battery pack costs about $30.
Top of the Line 5S Freestyle: HypeTrain Stingy 2207/2150 Kv
Racing is all about pushing the limits of performance beyond imagination. Freestyle, on the contrary, is all about striking the appropriate balance. That is exactly why freestyle pilots have been hesitant to accept the low kv 6S approach. The actual sweet spot is 5S as it delivers a wee bit of the advantages associated with that of higher voltage without the complications and expenses of 6S.
Ummagawd came up with the HypeTrain Ummagawd for 5S just the previous year. But if I have to opt for a motor for 5S freestyle today, I would probably go for the HypeTrain Stingy 2207/2150 Kv. The 2207 size motor offers a punchier throttle curve with enhanced top end.
The HypeTrain Acro incorporates numerous enhancements that have been made across the range of HyperTrain products including improved EZO bearings and a rejigged bell design for improved reliability.
Top of the Line 6S Freestyle: BrotherHobby Returner R6 2207/1750 Kv
BrotherHobby are renowned for producing neck-whipping motors that leave your competitors yearning for more power and the batteries begging to stop upping the ante. So, it may be a surprise to see them enlisted there as a phenomenal freestyle motor. But the BrotherHobby Returner R6 2207/1750 Kv is a totally different beast. It is smooth and amazingly efficient. This motor is a great choice if you are building a 6S low kv freestyle rig.
Top of the Line 6S Racing: PyroDrone Hyperlite 2207.5/1722kv
To be honest, I am not the best of racers out there. So, I enquired of the fastest racer I have been acquainted with, HeadsUpFPV, what motor was being preferred by the best of racers for 6S. His answer was PyroDrone Hyperlite 2207.5/1722kv. He is the brand ambassador of the motor so probably his response was in sync with his contractual obligations!
Top of the Line 6S Racing: T-Motor F60 Pro III 1750kv
The 1750kv variant of the F60 Pro III mentioned above, the T-Motor F60 Pro III 1750kv wraps all the great stuff suitable for the 6S kv rating.
You must be wondering why two best 6S motors have been included in this list. The Hyperlite motors are brilliant but they are only available at a single site in the US and they are not readily available to boot. We want to include products that are readily available irrespective of their build quality and features.
Top of the Line 6S Freestyle: JB 2407/1750kv
The JB 2407 is also out there with a 1750kv rating for 6S batteries. The already fantastic responsiveness and torque of the other JB motors is enhanced and the current draw is reduced along with better flight performance in contrast to the 4S builds.
This could also be a wonderful option for 4S and 5S builds with 7” propellers.
Size, pitch and number of blades define a propeller.
The diameter of the propeller ascertains its size for the best FPV antennas. Quadcopters are classified into different categories by size of the propeller that is incorporated in them. So, quadcopters are typically referred to by people as six-inch quads, five-inch quads, four-inch quads, etc. The best propeller size traditionally considered ideal for an acro or racing quadcopter is five-inch. All the propellers that are showcased here are five-inch ones. There is nothing particularly wrong with propellers of other sizes but we need a starting point.
The steepness of the angle of the propeller blades is known as pitch. A propeller with a low pitch produces lesser thrust and is typically more efficient. More thrust is produced by propellers with a higher pitch and hence put more burden on the battery by drawing more current from it. This is quite a dramatically simplified explanation and the actual shape of the propeller blade tends to have drastic effects on the overall propeller performance that are not portrayed in pitch number. Contemporary propellers generally have a single, fixed pitch over the length of the blade. Nowadays, the pitch is considered a general label to differentiate one propeller from another.
Mini quadcopter propellers generally come between 2 and 4 blades. Two blade propellers are quite common in high-speed races but they are not the best choice when it comes to everyday use. They are a bit slidey and inaccurate when it comes to turns and does not generate a sufficient amount of bottom end thrust. Lots of bottom end thrust is produced by propellers with four blades but they are not as nimble at the top end. They are preferred by freestyle pilots who love to try out a few random stunts. They are not meant for racing but the three-blade propellers are commonly used by both freestyle pilots and racers. They strike the right balance between accurate cornering with good enough bottom end thrust and top-end speed.
Best for Freestyle: DAL Cyclone T5040C
Lightweight and smoother motors are preferred by freestyle pilots who are constrained by budgetary complications in contrast to racers. These motors tend to produce lesser torque and need to be used in tandem with lightweight propellers for best maneuvering.
The HQ 5 x 4 x 3 was considered the best in this domain along with other propellers that replicated the shape of its blades. But the DAL Cylcone T5040C is a worthy successor that has done enough to hold its head high.
The DAL Cylcone T5040C comes with a relatively gentle 4” pitch but it makes a transition to a wider blade profile similar to all other Cyclone propellers. So, it produces a little more thrust for the best FPV antennas.
When it comes to responsive handling, there has been a massive improvement in motors and even the weaker motors generate a sufficient amount of torque to get decent maneuvering out of the DAL Cyclone T5040C.
Motors sized 2306, 2207 or larger ones are perhaps the best ones that can be suited with a more belligerent propeller. If you own a motor in the 2205 or 2206 size class, and you want to optimize smoothness and reduce vibrations, the DAL Cyclone T5040C is the one that you should definitely go for.
Best All-Round: DAL Cyclone T5045C
The DAL cyclone is a superb all-rounder. It generates a sufficient amount of thrust for both racing and freestyle. It is belligerent enough to excite a 2300kv motor but does not also overload a 2600kv motor at the same time. It is a reliable option and is not easily breakable. If you are not fazed by a few oscillations, you can still keep flying it.
The DAL Cyclone T5045C is placed slightly at the higher end of the price spectrum. It is a bit sharp at the edges and can easily give the pilot cuts and bruises even while replacing them.
Despite being listed as the best all-round propeller, it is also quite a good option for freestyle pilots as long as their motor generates sufficient torque to rotate it. Any contemporary motor of 2206 or larger size should be okay with it. Propwash vibrations may not be completely exterminated by a 2205 or 2206 motor.
The T5046 propeller is another brilliant choice if you are looking for a propeller with a little bit more thrust but slightly less efficiency.
Best for Racing: DAL Cyclone T5050C
It can turn out to be quite a controversial statement to declare a certain propeller as best for racing. Racers are in constant pursuit of high-quality racing equipment and there can never be anything that is the only option out there. But this shopping list is geared towards providing you options out of the millions of choices available that can be purchased readily and are suitable for a wide array of people using the best FPV antennas. So, in view of the above, the DAL Cyclone T5050C is the best option for racing.
As far as the design is concerned, it may seem like the T5045 due to its blade profile but it comes with a steeper pitch which in turn helps it to produce more thrust. The propeller pairs well with a high torque motor, 2306 or 2207 size at the minimum. If deployed with a motor of about 2500kv or higher, the propeller shrieks but also puts a lot of burden on the battery. So, ensure that you own a high-end battery to supply power to DAL Cyclone T5050C.
The King is Back (The King Never Left): HQ V1S Series
All that talk about HQ coming up with vulnerable and high-priced propellers has been put to rest with the advent of the HQ V1S Series. The HQ V1S Series may be expensive but it is incredibly reliable and this tends to compensate for the high price.
Hey, am I underselling this beast of a propeller? If only it were to upgrade the features and specifications of the HQ 5 x 4 x 3 to be more long-lasting, even then it would be a magnificent product for the best FPV antennas. The HQ V1S Series is available in four pitches in accordance with different motor categories and flight styles.
The 4.3” pitch variant is built for light, low torque freestyle motors. It generates a little bit more thrust than the classic 5 x 4 x 3 for stronger contemporary motors.
The 5” pitch variant has been designed for people who desire plenty of thrusts and are not anxious about the burden put on their batteries. It works tremendously well with high torque motors in 2306, 2207, or larger size class.
The 4.8” pitch version is closer to the 5” than the 4.3” one. It still requires a motor that produces enhanced torque but it draws a lesser current in contrast to the 5” variant.
The 4” pitch variant, I think, is slightly light for contemporary motors, even the smaller ones. If you are someone who is willing to sacrifice thrust on the altar of flight time, then the 4” version is a phenomenal choice. But as far as I am concerned, the 4.3” variant is probably as light I would be willing to go.
Lost Model Buzzer
Getting your quadcopter crashed into the ground is nerve-wracking enough and not finding its debris can be quite overwhelming. There are numerous methodologies to find a lost quadcopter, but most of them require the battery to be plugged in. What if the battery gets ejected out during the crash? That is exactly where the lost model buzzers come to our rescue. They are equipped in an inbuilt one cell LiPo that gets charged up during the flight. When the LiPo gets disconnected, they begin to beep and quite loudly at that. As a matter of fact, the beep is way louder than a conventional buzzer. This enables a pilot to find a lost quadcopter even with the power loss for the best FPV antennas. Moreover, the buzzers also serve as your typical quad buzzer which means that you have a noisy buzzer that can be triggered on with an aux switch as and when required.
My Personal Favorite: Vifly Finder
The Vifly Finder is best one out of the three buzzers enlisted here as it is the loudest as well. The others produce a loud beep until you are in the middle of a field looking to find them and all of a sudden you wished that they were louder. The Vifly Finder can be disarmed with a push button which is a more intuitive method in contrast to the Hellgate’s technique of plugging and unplugging the LiPo. A LiPo has been incorporated in the Finder V2 to give a visual indication of the quadcopter’s location. A photo sensor has also been loaded into the buzzer that enables the buzzer to beep only during the day, to conserve power and avoid disturbing your neighbors. The drawback associated with the Vifly Finder is that it is about twice the size of the other two options so it may not be an ideal choice for tight and lightweight builds.
Small Enough to Fit Anywhere: Hellgate Buzzer
Hellgate is considered the pioneer in the development of buzzers. It may not be the first lost model buzzer out there but it certainly is the first one to fit into an extremely tight build. As a matter of fact, the Hellgate Buzzer is the smallest of the three options enlisted here. I prefer to mount the Hellgate Buzzer by heat shrinking it to a standoff. It sneaks right into it. The Hellgate Buzzer lasts for a longer duration of time in contrast to its competitors: almost up to a couple of weeks. This is accomplished by gradually decreasing the frequency of the beeping as the battery gets discharged. The primary drawback of the Hellgate Buzzer is that it does not boast a disarm button. The LiPo has to be plugged in and then instantly plugged out to disarm the Hellgate Buzzer. This seems okay but if the Hellgate Buzzer has been dislodged from the quadcopter or if the XT60 is broken, then you are left with a gizmo that is beeping endlessly and it will drive everyone around you mad. It can be quite frustrating for the best FPV antennas, to be honest! The Hellgate Buzzer is the most expensive of the three options with a cost of around $30.
Cheapest Worth Having: Fullspeed Lucky Buzzer
Costing around $10, the Fullspeed Lucky Buzzer is a cost-effective option. It is small in size and comes with a disarm switch and a flashing LED. The alarm delay and frequency can be recalibrated for the best FPV antennas. The Fullspeed Lucky Buzzer boasts a low battery time. As discussed above, the Hellgate employs a sophisticated algorithm to extend life by reducing its beeping frequency as the battery drains while ViFly just uses a large sized battery.