The Quanum Nova – First test flight

After mounting a set of prop protectors, I set out to test the quad. Everything seemed to work perfectly. This was an open space, and the GPS locked in 5-10 seconds after connecting the battery. As this was just a test of the quad’s settings and my first quad flight ever, I stayed low, and just hovered. It was REALLY stable, I’m impressed by how accurate it felt, considering the price of it. I flew without any extra additions except the prop protectors, no camera etc. I also switched between the different flight modes (which I had made sure were all set in APM Planner earlier). Everything seemed to work fine. I mostly flew in “Take-Off” mode, which really is manual mode, no stabilization, still it was extremely stable! I tested with GPS hold, and it was dead stable in the air!

Return to home worked flawlessly, I had set it to 20m altitude (to come clear off trees), which was a bit scary, because as I flipped the switched to RTH, it went straight up, as I was hovering at maybe 3 meters or less. But at 20 meters, it stopped climbing, followed my 35 degree pitch setting, and relocated to the exact spot where I took off. It descended slowly, and touched the ground softly, but then tipped over on its side, probably because off the grass. Then it turned off the props 5 seconds later, and locked itself.

Everything was intact, as I had the prop guards, but I would probably have switched to manual mode otherwise, or else it would’ve probably ruined a couple of the propellers. When switching between manual/stabilize and altitude hold mode, it would drop, so I had to use 60 % throttle to keep it stable in air. The transmitter beeps when at 50 %, so you know it’s supposed to be safe to switch flight mode without the quad descending, but this was not correctly set. This is a setting which can be adjusted in APM Planner, so I’ll try increasing that value with 10 % to see if that will correct the problem.

It started beeping after flying for 6 minutes, and kept beeping more quickly for the next minute, after that I landed, as I had to compensate with throttle to keep it hovering. So in all 7 minutes is what you get from of the included 2700mAh, far from the 15 minutes advertised on HobbyKing, this is a bit disappointing, as it will probably be even lower with a camera and FPV gear, which I’m planning to try out.

First test with camera After recharging the battery, I did a new test at a new location with a bit more trees, so I couldn’t get a GPS lock before taking off (waited 30 seconds), so I just continued with manual mode, I’m still learning to fly anyways. With the GoPro attached, it still handled about 7 minutes. 7:30 minutes was absolute max, but then it beeped for every second before landing, and it had noticeable less power than earlier. I recorded the whole flight, nothing too interesting, just my second flight, still testing the Nova.

All in all, I’m happy to know my calibrations seems to be correct, but the low flight times are a bit of a disappointment, especially if I’m to add more equipment to it later, which would decrease it further.

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6 thoughts on “The Quanum Nova – First test flight

  1. About the flight time if you havent already, Get the dual battery hanger. It increased my flighttime to almost 20 minutes without gimbal. i am guessing it will be arround 15 with.

    • Yeah, I was considering trying parallell connection if I can’t get longer flight times. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to use the quadcopter for a while now. But hopefully I’ll be able to post an update soon 🙂

  2. A great Quad for the money out layed. Twister have made another DJI Phantom clone like this called the Quattro X for 100 bucks more but with less features no way point APM etc. So yours is the go in these clones;HOWEVER, these Quads are redundant design traps like the early 20th century Osram scam to sell more light globes. The legs on these Phantom clones snap very easily so your always buying new legs at up to 20 bucks a set, plus the frame as a whole is weak.
    Get an ARF F450 E300 DJI Flamewheel and stick a Pixhawk APM and Ublox GPS/Compass kit, bind that to your Taranis with a X8R Rx on SBUS mode and you’ve got something 10 times as good for only a little more cash; you’ll be able to fly that into a brick wall and not replace anything but maybe a prop.If you did that with a Nova its History. You might be able to salvage the Nova components and then stick them into a Hoverthings Sport frame, then you wont be spending money on their redundancy scam and you’ll have a very tough, lighter and very useful little flying food processor, plus you’ll be able to fit a 4S grunt battery for 30 minute flight times.

    • You’re correct, the Nova’s legs aren’t replaceable, you’d have to replace the whole body frame, maybe both upper and lower! This means removing ALL the electronics, and recalibrating the Nova after putting everything back.

      You’re also correct that you can easily buy ARF models and put something together yourself, but for any beginners the Nova is actually ready to fly. I’m very picky, almost a perfectionist when it comes to these kinds of things, and that’s why I did so many things to calibrate my Nova as perfectly as possible, and I had a defective flight controller to begin with. I could’ve gotten a brand new Nova, but I got the option of switching the flight controller myself.

      I have crashed the quad, with the prop guards mounted on it. From about 7-8 meters up in the air, I switched a bit quickly between manual and auto, and the quad dropped sideways, and fell straight to the ground.
      It hit the ground with the prop guard first, probably absorbing quite a bit of the energy, but still, straight on one of the legs, no damage. You’d have to have a really hard crash to break it.

      Remember that this is a quad for beginners, it’s not a FPV racer, but it’s excellent for shooting some video. The clip from my test was without any stabilization, just manual flight. The Nova is very stable with the correct calibration. I’m probably going to put a Taranis receiver in it next year, the Nova Transmitter is terrible, but still – the quad is excellent for the price!

  3. Ummm…I have this quad and I experienced flight times of around 10-13 minutes with a Xiaomi Yi camera attached (~70g, GoPro knock-off). All on stock battery, charged with stock charger. With a 2 axis gimbal, on the other hand, it hardly took off and I’d expect something close to 5-6 minutes of flight time, since the gimbal is quite heavy at 200+ grams. The only non-stock thing I have is self-tightening 9443 Phantom props, non-DJI ones. I will replace them with high-lift 9450 ones once they end up as toothpics – that damn thing tips over during take offs and landings like crazy!

    • I would reckon it is the different props that make it more effective.
      It will probably make the ESCs a bit warmer, but they should handle it.

      I might test out with the Phantom props.
      Thanks! =)

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