The Eachine Tyro99 is a 5inch FPV Miniquad Kit, you can pick up from a number of retailers. It includes all the parts you need to build a fully functional Miniquad (with the exception of the receiver). It markets itself as a great entry point into the FPV Drone Community for those who want to build their own, but don’t know where to start with components.
I can tell you my first build probably cost around £250 and my most recent build are closer to £400. So, is this under £100 Kit worth the price? Today we are going to look at what you get for your money and a quick guide on how to put it all together.
WHAT IN THE BOX?
Starting from the Top:
- The frame itself, a 210mm (5inch Prop) frame made of Carbon Fibre and Aluminium
- 4 x 2206 2150kv Eachine Motors. Capable of running on 4 or 5s batteries. With an estimated output of around 1kg per motor (Depending on props)
- 4-1 30amp ESC. Blheli_s, able to run upto dshot600
- A Customer F4 flight controller running Betaflight.
- A 700TVL CMOS Camera
- 5.8G 40CH switchable VTX, Able to run from 25mw to 600mw
- 5.8G Pagoda Antenna
- All the cables you need to join it all together
- All the screws and bolts
- Some stickers
- Some props
- 2 carbon fibre wrenches
- A small carbon fibre Ak47 Key ring
TYRO 99 PARTS
The frame is an ultralight race frame design. The arms are separate, and the top of the body is made of aluminium. Each arm has holes for 3 bolts per motor, which will save weight at a slightly higher risk of the motors coming off the arm. However, given the arms are so thin, it is more likely that the arm will snap before that point. The arms are not wide enough for ESC to be on the arms, but that’s not an issue in this kit.
There is not a lot of space in this frame in my opinion which makes the build a little harder. You also have to fit the video transmitter to the outside of the frame, which is less than Ideal.
The Flight Controller and ESC
The Flight Controller has been modified to have ports as well as solder pads to make it easy for people to build the kit. This is a nice touch as it really limits the amount of soldering you must do to build up this frame. It comes pre-installed with Betaflight (which is pretty much standard now) and therefore there is a lot of support out there to help you get setup.
Being an F4 processor it has the processing power needed and it also has a OSD, so you can see your current battery status etc. All this being said, it’s a pretty basic flight controller, so you won’t know if it has any issues until you fly it.
The ESC’s have a Cable connection to the flight controller. It is rated to 30amp continues draw and is capable to running both 4s and 5s batteries. The solder pads for the motors are quite small. The one nice touch is that they come pre-soldered with a capacitor to reduce interference on the video output.
If I have one area of concern of this kit it would be the motors. While the Statistics are not bad, 2206 2150kv, there are some tell tale signs these motors are where some money has been saved. The motors wires are incredibly poor. It’s almost like the wire you would use to wire your house.
It’s very difficult to solder and compared to other cheap motors, very inflexible. Also, when you spin the motors by hand they spin very freely, which suggests the magnets are not that strong. I may well be wrong, but the warning signs are all there.
The VTx and Camera
There is little to say about the video transmitter. It covers 40 channels (Standard), It has adjustable power output (Standard) and it required no soldering to connect to the flight controller or camera (which is a plus).
It does not however have any form of remote adjustment like Smart audio, so you cannot change the video channel or power output from your OSD. Which is a real shame as it pretty much standard nowadays.
FRAME & BUILD PREPARATION
What you are going to need?
While the Kit does come with some Tools, I would suggest you get a decent 2mm and 2.5mm hex driver and prop spanner as it makes it a lot easy to build. In addition to this you will need a Soldering Iron (I use a TS-100 for this build), some solder ( I use 60/40) and asharp craft knife.
Things are that also useful, but not required:
- A Glue Gun
- A Bench Light
- Ceramic Tipped Tweezers
- Some Wire Cutters
The best place to start on this build is to get the frame together. There are 2 main parts to assemble:
The Base – This is made up of the 2 plates and the 4 arms. This is made out of the thicker Carbon Fibre. The easiest way I found to do this was to find the 4 outer bolts which should have bolts to fit on the top of them, put them into the bottom plate (without the bolts), then put the arms on so they all meet in the middle.
The arms are not symmetrical as they have only 3 bolt holes (I guess to save on weight), the choice of which side the cut outs are on is purely a cosmetic one, so go with what you like.
Once you have the arms on, put the top part of the base on to sandwich the arms together. Once this is done, put in all the other screws and bolts.
The Canopy – This is made up of a few plates and some Aluminium. This is nicely symmetrical, so I decided to build up one side first, then just simply add in the other side.
Take the side carbon plate (either will do, they are both the same). Screw the plate to the one of the aluminium pieces. The Aluminium is tapped, so it should screw in nicely. Now screw both the small carbon fibre plates onto the top.
I decided to install the camera at this point, you simply use the crosshead screws provide. I only screwed it in loosely. I also attached the cable to the back so it was ready when I installed the FC.
The install of the motors is pretty easy, all you need to do is screw each of the motors on using the 3 screws. The only thing you need to be aware of is making sure the motors are correct for each corner.
You have 2 types of motor, clockwise and counter clockwise. This only affects the thread on the top of the motor, which is important to keep the nuts that hold the props on as tight as possible.
You can tell this by colour of the nut on the motor. Black are screws count clockwise and silver screw clockwise. To keep the props nuts tight you want to make sure the thread is the opposite of the direction the motor is turning.
Once you have all 4 motors installed you will need to run all the motor wires to the centre where you will install the ESC and Flight Controller.
NOTE: Do not put the props on!
The FC and ESC
Eachine have made it very easy to install the flight controller and ESC. Infact, all you need to do isconnect the cables to the right ports and do a minor amount of soldering.
The hard part is soldering the XT-60 power wire, to do this you need a hot soldering iron (400 degrees C), apply solder to the pads on the ESC (next to the Capacitor),apply solder to the wire, then join the 2 together. Remember Red goes to positive and Black goes to negative.
Now you need to connect the other wires to the flight controller. This is easy because they are all different sizes, so it’s easy to tell which one is which. However, your first job is to screw the stack to the bottom plate.
You do this by using the long screws to screw upwards through the remaining holes into each corner of the FC ESC stack. Make sure you get the orientation correct (the FC should have an arrow pointing in the default forward position).
Once that is all installed, you will need to solder the motor wires to the ESC. Now in the old days you would need to make sure that the wires were soldered in the right order to make the motors spin the right direction. Nowadays you can change this in the BLHeli suit software. So, the order does not matter. I would suggest you are consistent however, as this makes fixing problems easierlater on.
Solder the 3 motor wires to the 3 pads on each corner of the ESC. I chose to cut the wires down. However, I would not advise this as the wires are of such poor quality that they are already hard to solder. So, to make up the extra length I would suggest soldering the wires to the inside, rather than the outside like me. Once this is done tape the cables to the arms.
Once all 4 motors are screwed in you can then simply connect all the wires provided. The Camera should simply plug in, connect the FC and flight controller, connect the receiver wire and the transmitter wires. Once all the wires are connected attach the canopy to the bottom.
The video transmitter is oddlyattached to the top plate with foam tape and cable ties. I chose to point the buttons and LCD upwards so I could change the channel easily in the field.
Once it’s attached, plug the cable from the FC in. You will then want to connect the MMCX connector for the antenna pigtail and then run that to the hole at the back. Make sure you avoid this wire being anywhere near the props. Use the brass screw to the hold the pigtail in place at the rear of the quad.
Once you have done this screw the antenna in.
Note: Never power up your quad without an antenna attached. It will likely destroy your transmitter.
You can connect the flight controller to a wide range of receivers. I am using an Frsky XM+, other receivers may need a different process. I simply cut off the end of the receiver wires then soldered them to the 3 pads on my receiver. Red to 5v, black to ground and yellow to SBUS.I had already bound the receiverto my transmitter prior to installing it. Please consult your receivers manual to bind this up.
The final step for me was to connect the FC to my PC using USB. I then connected using Betaflight and setup up my Modes (arming etc). To find out more details around this, you will need to use another guide.
THOUGHTS AFTER THE BUILD
Ultimately this is a straight forward build. There is very little soldering needed which is a bonus for a beginner, all the rest of the connections are simply plug in jobs.
The kit does come with all the parts you need, but I would suggest using your own common sense when it comes to the size of screws needed and I found the manual was not always right.
Tools wise you will need to use some of your own, I don’t think the carbon fibre tools provided are up to much. I also suggest using some glue from a glue gun on the esc connections to protect them a little as they are quite exposed.
The biggest challenge on this build is the space. Given you need to tape the video transmitter onto the top and wedge the receiver in, it’s clear the frame is not big enough. Putting these 2 items into exposed positions is not great because if you damage either of them, you are more than likely to crash and these are not to items you are likely to replace in the field.
Before taking it out into the field, I think that the motors maybe lacking.I am concerned about the video transmitter due to its placement and I am not sure how the frame will hold up in a crash.
After a basic hover test in my garden to make sure it all worked as expected, I took it down to my local club for a test flight. While the information says it can be run on 5s I decided to run it on 4s on the first flights.
I was surprised at how well it flew. The power was perfectly adequate for racing quad. The pitch, roll and yaw were snappy and while I would not say it was well tuned, it was perfectly acceptable for an item coming right out of the box. I would go as far as to say it flies pretty well.
However, the camera is poor. Now I will admit I am spoiled by the fact all my other quads have some of the best camera in FPV on them (FoxeerFakors or Runcam Eagles), buts the camera you get is washed out by the sun very easily and does not offer a great picture. It’s perfectly flyable, but ispoor compared with other cameras on the market.
My flight test was cut short in the end by the video transmitter failing. This happened after I was testing it with repeated flips and barrel rolls. On the day it would not power up again, however since getting it back onto my workbench it has started to work again. This is a worrying issue as video failure when flying FPV leads to crashing at best, and lost quads at worst. I have been unable to diagnose the problem.
- + Cheap
- + Simple to Build
- + Flys well (for the price)
- + You can use any Receiver you like
- – Video Transmitter issues
- – Not enough space in the frame for all the components
- – Poor Camera
- – Not convinced of the Strength of the Frame
- – Instructions are little light on detail.
For Under £100 you’re going to find it very hard to beat the Tyro 99 for getting you into the air cheaply. It does have it’s faults, but for the price, you could by probably 2 or 3 tyro 99’s for the same price as another quadcopter. It also flies surprisingly well (better than the first quad I built a few years ago), It’s not going to set the world alight, but it will give you all the power you need if you are getting started.
All that being said, I would suggest some upgrades. The camera would be any easy fix, going to cheap Caddx Camera or a cheap Runcam or Foxeer camera would offer a significant improvement. I would also probably want to move to a better more reliable video transmitter with Smart Audio, so you can change the channel with the OSD.
Beyond that, I would not do any other upgrades. Putting better motors on the frame will give you more power, but I am not sure if the frame is up to the level of performance.
All in all it is a good starting point for a beginner. It will get you into the air for a low cost and will give you a good feel for what FPV is, once you have the Tyro 99 masters, it’s probably better to build something else than upgrade the Tyro further than the suggestions I have made above.