Edit: this page is long out of date. For a more recent overview please read this Reddit thread on the Hubsan X4.
I’ve been asked on numerous occasions for my recommendations on getting started with a Hubsan X4 (version 2). Here’s a quick shopping list to help you pick up the quadcopter from Banggood. Please note that I’m linking via affiliate links, so I’ll get a small kickback from Banggood that I can use towards a future purchase.
- The Hubsan X4 (version 2): This is the quadcopter package. It includes the Hubsan X4 flier, the controller, one LiPo battery and charger, and an extra set of propellers. You’ll need a set of 4 AAA batteries to power the controller. If you’re given a choice between Mode 1 and Mode 2 and you have no idea what the difference is, choose Mode 2 (left hand throttle).
- A 5-pack high-capacity batteries: These bad boys have 52% more power than the defaults, which will give you closer to 15 minutes of flight than the standard 10. The tradeoff is a little extra weight (and momentum), but they just barely squeeze into the battery compartment. If you’re planning on adding a camera (more on that later), you probably want to use the regular batteries, available as a 5-pack here.
- Since you’ve got the extra batteries, grab 2 of these chargers. That’ll bring your charger total up to 3. It takes about 45 minutes to charge the batteries, so given the 15 minute flight time, you can have three charging at once, one resting and one flying at any give time.
- Extra propellers. Get yourself at least 5 sets of these bad boys. As far as consumables go, the propellers are at the top of the list. Every time you graze a wall or slide off the edge of a table you’ll bend or mar the propellers. Luckily you don’t have to replace all four at once, and they are labelled with A’s and B’s to help you replace them, so 5 extra sets will go a long way. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a coloured set or two.
- You’ll also need some spare motors and a spare body. This is damage control. The Hubsan’s motors are very fragile. Expect to go through at least 4 motors, 8 if you are new to remote control aircraft. These are good to have on hand, and it’s good to practice your soldering skills. Red/blue motors are for clockwise rotation, white/black are for counterclockwise.
- If you’ve never touched a remote-control-anything before, you might want to grab this protective cover. I’ve never used this myself, but I might have wanted it if I knew what learning to fly the Hubsan was like. Not essential, but maybe peace of mind for some of you out there.
- If you’re really gung-ho about this whole thing, grab yourself a keychain camera and a microSD card. I use an elastic band to hold the camera on the bottom of the Hubsan, but you can be inventive!
That’s it. A quick tally brings my shopping cart to up to $97.53 (without the camera). Of course, your choices will vary from mine, and I make no guarantees. Banggood has reliably shipped my items in about 3 weeks with their (free) standard shipping options. Sometimes the items come in separate packages weeks apart, but they never fail to arrive. On the one occasion that I was worried, Banggood support reassured me to be patient, and lo and behold the complete order arrive a few days later.
Note: the Hubsan quadcopter is not a child’s toy. It’s a big person toy. It takes patience and practice to be able to fly this little beast. YouTube tutorials are your friend. Expect to sink 10’s of hours into practicing before you can do anything spectacular. At first, you’ll need to master hovering, then maybe move on to nose-in flying, then circuits, and finally the pre-programmed flips. If you’ve seen my skills, know that I have a childhood of remote control experience, and at least 50 hours on the Hubsan now.
Good luck, and happy flying!
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