CX-20 The open source alternative to DJI Phantom

If you are a fan of flying drones and taking aerial pictures and videos, then you will know that the DJI Phantom, DJI Inspire or DJI Mavic Drones are among the best in the market. But its high selling price can make it slightly less feasible for every flying enthusiast to buy. With 70% market DJI high end drones has become a way in the Apple of flying devices, the inspiration of other manufacturers. But as Apple this is paid in the form of higher prices, fewer accessories choices and closed software with almost no hacking community.

So you’d have all the functions of a DJI Phantom, but cheaper? At the same time based on open source software with a large community of users? Do not look over the Cheerson CX-20 is your drone. It may not be the lastest model, nor comparable to the compact size of DJI Mavic, but it is still the finest open source alternative now and throughout 2017.


Out of the box CX-20 is ready to fly a drone that incorporates all the usual functions in expensive drones, like GPS return to home, but has a little surprise inside. Its flight controller board is an ArduPilot APM compatible ( Ardupilot Source Code on Github). This means that you can connect it to a PC and update the firmware, load autonomous flight plans, change any imaginable parameter. You can also add an infinite variety of accessories such as stabilizer video gimbal, real time telemetry transmitters, analog video link for FPV just to name a few.


But Community is what really sets Cheerson CX20 apart from the closed-source offerings in the market. Rc-groups CX-20 users are constantly evolving repository of knowledge and innovation. A comprehensive list of features that are continually born from the needs of the community.

At just US $200, you get a lot of quadcopter with the CX-20. It comes ready to fly with a GoPro HD camera mount (you need to provide the camera), prop guards, removable landing skids, transmitter and other accessories which makes it one of the best value buys in this list. The CX-20 was designed to be a no-frills entry-level aerial video platform. Its larger size (compared to the toy drones like Hubsan X4) means it should be flown outdoors and is even capable of flying in light to moderate winds.

Flight Time: 10 minutes (with camera, landing skids and prop guards) / 15 minutes (no payload) / 20 minutes (with upgrade battery)

Flight environment: Outdoor

Camera: No, comes with Go Pro mount.

Battery: 3S 2700mAh Li-Po

Charging time: 1 hour 30 minutes aprox.

Control distance: about 300m.

Functions: GPS hold system, auto-return, altitude hold, manual.

If you ‘ve decided to buy one must be careful in one last thing , this drone was sold in several versions with names like CX20 Fatshark , CX20 Bigshark or CX20 Zero. Not all have within an compatible APM . Make no mistake all fly well , but only the version Open Version will allow us to get the maximum performance. It is therefore advisable to purchase it on reputable sites like Amazon, Gearbest or Banggood , where clearly marked and sold as open source version.