Eachine Chaser88 Review 2020: Eachine’s Best FPV Drone?

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eachine chaser88 drone

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The Eachine Chaser 88 is proof that brushless FPV racers are becoming smaller, while at the same time performing better.

UPDATE: The Eachine Chaser88 is no longer available. Check out this newer awesome brushless micro drone.

This is great news, especially with all weight restrictions and new laws concerning FPV racing and drones in general.

Chaser 88 features a small design and a super-advanced array of features, coupled with great hardware components. It packs a 4-in-1 electronic speed controller, which has all the electricals centered in the middle of the frame.

Also, there’s an F3 mini FC, and a 40-channel video transmitter, coupled with an 800TVL camera for FPV flying. All of this might sound simple, but there’s more to this little FPV racer than meets the eye.

Its affordable price, quality design, and sheer power make it a good alternative to TinyWhoop.

Design and build quality

Unlike many micro and nano quads, which use their PCB as a frame, the Chaser 88 uses a single piece X-shaped carbon fiber piece.

The manufacturer opted for a carbon fiber frame due to its lower weight compared to the PCB frames.

The frame carries a “tower” construction which contains the PCB, with ESC, flight controller, and a camera/VTX combo mounted on top of it. Also, on top of that tower, you’ll find a cloverleaf antenna, which is protected by a metal guard.

Keep in mind that this guard might bend during impact, and its contact with the antenna results in a drastic drop of FPV signal.

The 2s LIPO battery is under the frame, secured by a strong rubber band that’s holding it. However, the stock battery isn’t really powerful, so you might want to replace it with a stronger one.

It should power the brushless motors, but it simply isn’t up to the task. You can replace it with a battery with 500 to 550 mAh capacity. Just keep in mind not to buy an overly heavy one, as it will add too much weight to the device.

Eachine quickly realized the worth of brushless motors and started implementing them into their products. Brushless motors have longer life-span since they virtually have no wear factor, but they also deliver much-needed thrust power.

This 88mm quad is no exception, and it features four 1103 motors, which offer incredible power, and smooth and quiet operation.

The electronic control system (ESC) used on this build is 4-in-1 6A BLheli ESC, which can be flashed directly by using the appropriate software. This ESC board is compatible with the Dshot600 protocol, representing the latest ESC technology.

You get two sets of stock 2030 three-blade propellers with the Chaser 88, available in two colors. These are attached to the motors by two M2 hex screws. Unfortunately, there’s no prop guard included in the bundle.

Keep in mind that stock props are of poor quality, and they tend to provide a shaky flight performance. You should consider replacing them with other propellers of higher quality.

The Chaser 88 comes equipped with an SP F3 Acro 6DOF, which is excellent for FPV racing, acrobatic flying, or aerial photography. The F3 board comes with Betaflight 3.0.1 pre-installed, a firmware customized for the Chaser 88.

Receiver and FPV camera

This micro quad ships out as ARF, which stands for Almost Ready to Fly. Before the actual flight, in this case, you need to install a receiver of choice.

The receiver connector is compatible FlySky FS-A8S, which works as a plug & play on this model, and it’s the first choice of many.

Your receiver of choice can be held in place by a strong rubber band, though other mounting methods are also possible.

The cam module used is a 40-channel 25mV AIO 800TVL FPV camera, which sits under the antenna guard. The 800TVL sports a 1/3 CMOS sensor, offering a good image quality, and a 150° field of view.

The drone manufacturer removes the camera casing to cut down the weight from 8.7g (0.3oz) to 6.7 (0.2oz).

As we said, there’s a strong rubber band holding the camera. Still, putting a few drops of hot glue is recommended, to prevent any damage in case of accidental crashing.

Flight performance

Since the drone ships out as ARF, some assembly is required. Besides the usual stuff, like screwing in the propellers, you must install your preferred receiver.

With a FlySky FS-A8S, this is pretty easy; just plug it and play, though, with other models, some soldering might be required.

The default flight mode is acro mode, so be aware if you’re a beginner. The middle position on the 3-way switch is the angle 6-axis stabilization flight mode.

The flight performance with the default Betaflight PID’s and stock props is pretty shaky. The acro mode does offer better performance, but the difference is very subtle.

Increasing the D values to 50 drastically improves flight performance. Increasing the D values any further puts much more stress on the brushless motors, which in turn heats up faster.

The stock 2S LIPO battery doesn’t offer enough juice for enjoyable flight time, so swapping it for a bigger battery might improve that. Just keep an eye out for weight. With the stock battery, you can expect about 3 minutes of flight time.

Pros and Cons

The Eachine Chaser 88 requires some necessary adjustments out of the box. But after adjusting a few PID settings, it becomes a pleasant acro drone for FPV racing.

It features a functional and durable construction, capable of withstanding a few minor crashes and falls. Also, the antenna guard helps a lot. The brushless motors on this model provide it with enough strength for great acrobatics, flips, and rolls.

However, the propellers on this model make the flight a little shaky, so you might want to swap them for some higher-quality ones. The lack of a prop guard is rather unfortunate, but the drone comes with a spare set of props, just in case the one you’re using breaks.

Eachine Chaser 88 review summary

The battery is probably the biggest concern since it can only offer about 3 minutes of flight time.

It gives early LVC warnings, even with the lowered values. For this reason, you should choose a battery with a higher capacity.

UPDATE: The Eachine Chaser88 is no longer available. Check out this newer awesome brushless micro drone.

 

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Categories: Reviews