Here is a short review of the Switchblade 200 from Diatone. It’s sold by Hobbyking here.
I. Switchblade 200 : One of a kind
> What you think when you see pictures of it
Before even getting it, some defects are easily noticeable :
For instance, the lower part of the frame is only conected to the upper part with dampers. Interesting for vibrations but in case of crash you have a quad in 2 parts.
Knowing from experience since it happened to me once and that ripped the FPV cables out. That’s why I highly recommend to you to add at least 4 cable ties between the upper and lower parts of the frame.
Also, this switchblade 200 has its arms on the upper part of the frame which causes the quad to tumble on a side when landing if the ground isn’t completely flat.
And, the arms are very thin compared to the ZMR250’s. They’re very likely to break in case of hard crash.
> A lot of cons, what are the pros?
The main advantage of this frame is a the foldable option, once folded you can put it almost wherever you want! That’s why I bought in the first place.
II. The build
The build took several hours to get it in the air, like any other quad.
Gear used :
- Spektrum DX7 & Orange RX R610
- 4x Motors Emax PM1806 2300KV
- 4x Gemfan 5030
- 4x Emax SimonK ESC 12A
- HK Mini Power Distribution Board
- CC3D flashed with Cleanflight
- 3s 1050 ~ 1350mAh
- Eachine 700TVL + Eachine LT200 VTX 200mW
- 3 lobe Homemade Cloverleaf
I started by building the upper part with folding arms and installing motors & ESCs. Installing everything is pretty straightforward since the two plates of the upper part leave enough clearance to install the PDB and the ESCs in between. Don’t forget to have enough motors’ wires length so that you can easily fold/unfold the arms with ease.
Then, you’ll have to assemble the lower part with the CC3D, your receiver and your FPV gear. The lower part leaves a lot of room to install the gear you want, here is below how everything fits on the quad :
The hardest part was the Cloverleaf antenna. It cannot be installed on the top because of the props, neither on the back since there is the battery. I ended up installing it in the front right above the camera. It’s safe from the props and allows to fold the arms.
With a 3s 1300mAh 20C, the frame weighs 450 grams :
III. Flying the Switchblade 200
After having flashed my CC3D with Cleanflight (since I’m used to it with the Naze32), I reused the same settings as my ZMR250 :
> Flying behavior :
I didn’t take the time to improve my ZMR250’s settings, the flying behavior was correct but not as good as my ZMR’s. Though, it changes according to the flight mode chosen :
- In horizon, it’s nice to fly and locks correctly whereas you need to compensate the nosing up.
- In accro, the behavior is unpleasant and is always nosing up which makes the flying almost impossible.
It might be possible to reduce this “nosing-up” with the PID’s but I have already spent quite some time on this frame. Furthermore, the small size of it makes it hard to get the PIDs right!
> Flight time
With a 3S 1050 ~1300mAh barrey, I can a flight time of 5 minutes in soft racing.
To sum up, the Switchblade 200 is an okay frame, very cheap with correct flight performances.
It’s perfect if you want to use it as quad to fly around but more over to carry around! If you’re looking for a foldable quad for racing, take a look at the Hking Pocket Foldable Quad.