Furibee DarkMax 220: intermediate level STM32F04 powered quadcopter review.

The Furibee DarkMax 220 packs an impressive lineup of components at a budget price. From racing to freestyle, the DarkMax is a great under $200 intermediate level quad that should work in almost any flying situation you throw at it.

Thanks to the lastest F4 flight controllers based on STM32F04 family of 32-bit ARM Cortex microcontrollers and running Betaflight open source project  the availability of great ready to fly  has accelerated rapidly since we did our Eachine Wizard TS215 review earlier this year. You can now buy not only great beginner quads, but also insane speed race machines such the FuriBee DarkMax 220.

The Furibee DarkMax is a pre-built Bind And Fly race quadcoper that targets intermediate and advanced pilots. Unlike starter drones like the Eachine Racer 250, the Dark Max is designed around minimal weight and maximum power. Power comes from factory support for up to 6S batteries, while the light weight comes from a carbon fiber frame and minimalist approach to components and hardware.

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The DarkMax 220 boasts impressive components for the price: It as special edition DYS 2205/2550kv motors, 4-in-1 ESC board and ARTOWER F4 Plus (FC+OSD+Video TX) .

The Aurora Omnibus F4 (Open Source Betaflight compatible) controller is fundamentally an incremental update to the typical F3 FC on ready to fly quadcopters. The Betaflight F4 flight controller uses the powerfull STM32F4 processor. This raises the processing power bar, unlocking capabilities like Betaflight dynamic filtering  As newer, more advanced filtering schemes continue to be added to the Betaflight open source codebase (the  Kalman filter fork and biquad+FIR being some examples).

 

darkcpu1524185733136710.jpgMy current Furibee DarkMax 220 is configured as a medium range free style quad setup:

Furibee DarkMax 220 – Frysky version ($170)

Devo 7E Transmitter running Deviation Open Source Firmware ($64)

SKyzone SKY02S V+ Diversity FPV Goggles ($299)

4S AHTECH Infinity 14.8V 1500mAh 70C Graphene ($27)

This kit is designed to work with the Devo7e with Deviation Firmware and mod a 4-1 transmitter, if you have the stock Devo7e may be interested in using a DSMX receiver Darkmax instead for compatibility.

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Beware, there’s a problem with some revision of the Darkmax board. Apparently the old boards with the round buzzer are great, but square board are hit and miss. Flying with 4S can produce the death flip, it never happened to me but there are many documented cases. Caution on your first flights until you are sure you are not affected. If you experience problems  try adding a Low ESR (1000uf 25v on battery leads) and change ESC settings from this video from a similar quadcopter. In some cases it helped and faulty DarkMax began to fly normally

I’ve had the Furibee DarkMax 220 – for two days and it’s immediately become my favorite quad. On 4S  is fantastic,  very fun to fly.

Pros:

  • Highly recommend! Good price for a bind and fly Quad.
  • Fly great with stock PIDS out of the box.  Extra punchy and responsive.
  • Build quality is good, carbon frame is strong.
  • Flight controller with video transmitter and 4 in 1 esc’s are well protected.
  • 2 sets of really nice 3 bladed 5152 props included.
  • Like the style and looks of frame.
  • Nice and colorful tail LED lighting.
  • 3S/4S/5S.

Cons:

  • It has to be taken apart completely to change camera settings.
  • Only cheap accesories are provided: velcro strap are useless, crap linear 5.8 antenna, unbalanced nuts.

So in perspective if you are looking for a F4 powered insane speed drone that looks sharp then  might just be the drone for you.

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