SMRC ICAT7 Pro 2 Axis Gimbal Camera Drone Flight Test Review
Sunjin was fresh to say first in one of my recent videos and thus wins this shout out. So congratulations good morning, quadcopter 101, here with a review of the new smrc icat 7 pro folding drone. Another folding drone folks here for you, uh what’s special about this particular drone, is first off i like the color, okay it’s available in gray or orange. I see here what’s so great about having an orange one. Well, this helps you see it for farther distance. In case you want to go flying a line of sight. Normally these type of drones, fpv range, is usually much shorter than the actual control range that you can get through the controller. You know where you go out and your image will eventually freeze on your uh fpv screen, but you can actually keep flying farther if you can see the drone that is, and the orange will greatly help in being able to see this drone at greater distances. So you can go out to those maximum control ranges that potentially go out to those maximum control ranges and still be able to see the drone and control the drone from the distance and record video too. At the same time and i’ll talk about that here shortly now let’s talk about the weight of this drone. This thing is advertised, i believe, a 235 grams well that’s, possibly 235 grams of that the battery. Once you insert one of these batteries in here, the total weight of the drone is 450 grams, and what that means folks is you will require registration of this drone in most countries, contrary what the advertisement might infer, you will require registration in most countries, because with That drone you’re well over 250 grams let’s talk about more about the design of the drum it’s folding.
As you see here, but it’s. Also, a modular design let’s pick this up and show you one. First off let’s talk about the top here: uh there’s, a little compartment on the top that you can remove. There is no electrical inputs in here in this compartment, but there are optional features that they’re advertising that may be coming down the pike here shortly in that you can uh use an optional water gun that they have for this. An optional megaphone speaker system for this and there’s even a little optional, remote control drop device say if you want to use this to take a fishing line out. I i’d be very hesitant on doing fishing line because the modular thing is on the top here and if you put a fishing line here, i can see it easily getting caught up in the uh propellers, but keep in mind there. They are advertising that they are thinking of putting out optional features for this particular drone. So let me snap that back in there um other things about the drone is it has brushless motors. These are 1406 brushless motors, provide plenty of power for this drone and additionally, it uses a 7.6 volt, 3 000 milliamp per hour battery. Now this battery is predicted to give the drone about up to 25 minutes of flight time and hover realistically i’m, expecting to see around 20 minutes we’ll find out when we take this out into the field.
Uh other things about this drone. It has new leds in the belly, and this is interesting. It has dual optical flow sensors in the belly. Optical flow cameras, two of them in the belly. So this these are meant to aid. The drone in hover, maintaining steady, hover closer to the ground. When you do not have gps, such as, if you want to be flying indoors now, i do not recommend flying a big brushless drone like this indoors, but it has the capability to hover when you do not have gps signal. This should be able to maintain its position when the gps signal was lost and let’s talk about that gps now um. This is advertised with a dual gps system, which means usually means gps glonass. However, when i first fired this up, it took about 15 minutes for it to figure that it was no longer in china for the gps locked on and the maximum number of satellites i got locked on in my backyard was only nine so i’m starting to doubt That this actually has dual gps um in actuality. I think it’s single gps on this particular drone. I could be wrong, but again you know i had difficulty locking on and for the first time and also getting a number of satellites uh maximum number again was only nine in my backyard we’ll see when we take it out in the field. How well it works out in the field uh away from trees and away from my house now.
The other thing about this is it in keeping with the modularity of the design uh, the camera module, the camera and also the gimbal all pull out in one piece. Now, i’m, not going to do that, but it’s, a modular uh, camera and gimbal that you can pull out along with fpv transmitter, wi fi transmitter um talking about that wi fi this uses and requires 802.11 ac wi fi to be able to view the video remotely Along with using advanced flight control, features of follow me circle me and waypoints um, not everybody has 802.11 ac on their phones. So again, i always stress this. If you’re, considering this drone before purchasing verify that your phone indeed has 802.11 ac wi fi and a quick way to do, that, folks is just simply google search your phone model name along with the term 802.11 and also the term specifications and see if 802.11 ac Shows up in the search results? Okay, um. What else do i want to talk about? We talked about two axis gimbal. Now this does record to a microsd card in the belly here. Okay, this sd card recording one thing about it is: you are probably well you’re going to need a class 10 card. I don’t think you’ll need a u3 card with this particular drone. This is advertised with a four case camera now. This does have a 4k sensor in it, though it is a sony imx 179 sensor which is capable uh of uh, if it it if it was wired up properly of recording 4k video of 15 frames per second in actuality with this particular drone, it only records 1080P, at 30 frames per second, you are not able to record 4k video with this drone, either on the sd card or through wi fi.
Also, the still photos that are recorded to the sd card are 1080p frame grabs of that video, so that’s. Another thing you have to keep in mind folks. This particular drone will only record a 4k image onto your phone via wi fi, and that 4k image is not true. 4K it’s uh interpolated from this 1080p frame grab. Okay, so, even though this has a 4k sensor on board, there is no capability of recording true 4k with this drone. So just keep that in mind folks, um other things about it. I talked about the wi fi um we talked about. It has a two axis gimbal. I got ta stretch that one more time two axis gimbal um, which is cool. It should keep uh relatively stable, video and 1080p. Really you know at the price range of this particular drone 1080p with two axis gimbal is actually not too bad at that price range. Okay, if you want to get true 4k expect this pen spend over 200 okay, this one with a single battery. I believe it it’s well below 200 um let’s mention those batteries by the way. If you are interested in potentially flying more than one battery charge at a time, you know doing multiple flights, i strongly recommend that you purchase two or more batteries, two or three batteries. It will be very difficult to get additional batteries for this drone after you purchase the drone. Okay um. The vendors usually bundle these extra batteries with a drone because of shipping restrictions, safety, shipping, restrictions of lipo batteries.
They can do it, they can bundle it with the drone uh they can ship it relatively easily. But if you want to purchase an extra battery in the future forget about it it’s, what i’m saying is usually very difficult because of those shipping restrictions. Okay, one of the things we need to talk about. I talked about the requirement of 802.1.11 ac wi fi. This uses the vs gps, app with that 802.11 ac wi fi, to enable viewing fpv video on your phone real time. Fpv video from the drone to your phone, along with advanced flight control, features of follow me uh circle me and white points. This also has those abilities uh to advance flight control features. Now let’s talk about the controller. You know it’s advertised with a control range of 1200 meters, and probably it doesn’t mention what the fpv video range is. So that’s telling you right now the fpv video ranges i’ve seen with what 802.11 ac wi fi is usually around 300 meters 200 to 300 meters. So expect that from this particular drone and looking at the controller, my dog is barking because it’s lunchtime – and i got to go feed her here shortly. But looking at this controller um the antennas, there is an actual real antenna here. You can see the wire going up inside there, but the other antenna is is fake, so there’s no relay with this particular controller. So again, that tells me that the rain control range or the fpv range maximum fpv range is still going to be about 200 to 300 meters.
If this did have a relay, we would expect to see much greater range from the wi fi uh, the buttons on the controller. We have a button for taking a still photo and a button for starting and stopping video recording right there. These buttons here are for raising and lowering the gimbal. You can raise and lower the view from that gimbal. This button here is for different rates. If you want to fly higher speeds, you can do such by pressing this button here. This button here is for uh. Turning on headless mode, and if you hold this button down, it will turn the gps off and then you’d be flying using that optical flow sense sensor. Only and why would you want to turn gps off well for flying high speed if you want to put in as high rate and use this as a sport drone, i recommend turning off the gps and also keeping the drone close to you. Don’T, do not send it far if your gps is off, because you will have it or take a chance of losing this drum and speaking of uh losing this drone. This does have return to home landing capability through the gps when the gps is turned on by pressing this button here that drone will return and land where it took off from and also automatic takeoff and start and stop. The motors you bring both sticks down and up and to do a compass calibration and it’s very important to do a compass calibration.
I recommend doing it for each and every flight, but you will need to do it at least for the very first flight and to activate that you bring the stick down to the left and this stick up and to the right, and that will put it into Compass calibration mode and i’ll demonstrate out in the field how to do such you can also do a gyro calibration if you’re flying without the gps using the optical flow sensor, i recommend doing a gyro calibration where you put this on a flat level. Surface turn it on connect it to the controller and move this stick up into the left and this stick down and to the right and that will activate the um gyro calibration or optical flow flying now. One of the things we oh, i forgot to mention let’s turn this on. This does have telemetry. In this controller, a lot of things are available. In that view, i don’t know if it’s showing up or not, but things included, include altitude distance of the drone speed of the drone number satellites, uh battery power and one important thing i really like is this compass rose here. It tells you which direction the drone is pointed while you’re flying it. If you’re flying line of sight. I would use this to send it out and if you want to bring it back without using the automatic return to home camera or return to home feature. Just do a 180 degree turn of the drone in the compass so to fly back toward you so that’s.
Why i like to see a compass feature on included on telemetry of the controller so well, that is the icat 7 pro let’s take this out into the field and see how it flies so hope you enjoy this flight and always, i can always forget the clues. This is available with a nice carrying case for it folks fits in there nicely. You can carry the drone and his batteries and the controller in here to take it out in the field and take it to fly so now, let’s take it out in the field and see how it flies. Good morning, quadcopter 101, here on a beautiful fall day here in uh pleasant ridge park, uh with a review of the icat 7 pro now i have to apologize folks for uh the delay between my videos, but the weather here in pennsylvania is nowhere near as cooperative As it was out in the desert, but we’re going to take it as it comes, you know, today’s a beautiful day, so i’ll try to fly um what i got for you to start this up. We need to first press this button in the back to turn on the battery with the blink. No, you got to hold it down until you hear the chirp of the esc’s, the electronic speed controllers, and then you put it on the ground like so and then turn on the transmitter to bind it to the drum and we it binds immediately right now.
I’M. Checking the voltage and the voltage is showing up between the two, the drone and the controller, so that means we are connected now. The first thing we need to do is that compass calibration remember now to do a compass calibration, it’s down to the left and up and to the right down to the left and up and to the right, and now the lights are flashing rapidly. As you can see there, okay, so we need to turn it and the bottom blue lights are also flashing rapidly. I want to show you that too, okay, we turn it horizontally. Until we hear a beep, i heard a beep on the controller. Now these back lights turn solid. The blue lights turn solid. At that point we go nose up like so and turn it again until we hear another beep on the controller, and i heard another beep and the front white lights go solid, meaning compass calibration is completed. I don’t know why i couldn’t remember the words gyro calibration, so there we go okay. Now we need to wait until we have sufficient satellites right now. I don’t have any satellites connected it’s showing zero. Tell you how many minutes it takes to get that those nine satellites we need to take off. But again that makes me doubt that this really has dual satellites because of the time it takes for this to lock on to sufficient satellites to fly, i think it’s.
Just a single satellite system in there or a single gps system in there, not dual gps, is advertised so that’s. What i think folks i might be wrong, but that’s what it looks like okay. In the meantime, i am also going to connect my wi fi to the drone and get the app started so hold on folks. Okay, this is the vs gps, app available on google play and itunes, and now i have eight satellites. It took me about four minutes to get eight satellites on this. I was hoping to get more than eight, but eight is sufficient to fly. I believe you need seven minimum um, so we are ready to go ready to take off. So the first thing i am going to do is start the video camera. We got nine satellites now i feel a little more comfortable video cameras started and, to start the motors we bring them both sticks down and out, and then press the automatic takeoff button, and first thing i want to check – is stability now it’s, it is a bit Breezy today, okay let’s go up a little bit higher too right about there. It is a bit breezy today, as i mentioned, about the weather in pennsylvania, you got to take it as you get it. So um let’s come down a little lower and i, like my sweatshirt today folks sorry, i don’t have any tie dye sweatshirts but uh. Firstly, let’s test that uh range of the fpe and range well not range of the drone, but let’s see if we can go down to the end of the field there it’s about 200 meters away and at the same time i am going to climb high enough.
So that we can see lake erie as we’re going outbound now that drone does show up rather nicely that orange drone in the sky. Let me plop it right. There make sure we have okay, we got 10 satellites now that’s making me feel a little bit better. Let me climb up a bit higher to see lake erie yeah. We are at a height of about 30 meters and lake erie’s hidden in the haze. Today it appears slightly hidden. I see it now, but it’s it’s out there so let’s push forward a bit. Go just to the edge of the road there which going forward, and i lost fpv reception already at a distance of about 76 meters, folks, so not very far, uh fpv reception with this drone um. I do have good control range with the controller because of the external antenna, but again most of this, if you want to fly this you’re, probably going to fly this line of sight and that’s where that orange color comes into play, so we’re going to go a Little further i’m going to turn to the right now actually turn to the left. I want to turn away from the sun now. This is where you learn to fly line of sight. Folks, you know if it’s turning left it’s, if you want to bring it back toward you, you just keep turning the direction that it’s moving it’s moving to the left right now and i’m going to keep turning left until it comes back toward me, and it is Okay from there, i want to try that return to home and landing so pressing.
The automatic return to home and landing button, it’s activated, okay, return to home and landing is activated. Let’S see how close it comes to this landing pad on its descent and i’m. Going to try to stop that landing, because the grass is kind of deep today thick today and i don’t want to get in becoming a grass cutter, as it hits the grass but we’re going to estimate. How close it comes to the pad i’m going to try to stop that descent once it gets close to the ground coming down, coming down coming down and actually reasonably reasonably close? Look how bright those led lights on the bottom! Are there folks, okay and it stops there? Is it going to complete the descent there? It goes then it’s right on the pad. Okay, stopping the descent. I pressed that return to home button, and what do we got up in the sky there? I think that’s. Just a raven, so it looks like a little tap from a drone there’s a big bird up there, no that’s a buzzer. I know they had buzzards in california, interesting, okay, so let’s try. The next thing i want to try is uh. Follow me i’m going to go up a little bit higher and at that point right now, okay, it’s fpv is working again, so that’s good, yeah, doggie barking is barking at me. I don’t think so going a bit higher low and a bit higher coming over toward me.
I want it to be over me i’m, going to try follow me a different way. This time, like so ah that’s too much okay, never mind i’m gon na pull back. I was gon na try something different but um putting it right there raising the the camera up Music there i am, and now i am going to activate follow me in the upper left corner there follow me, is activated and it’s aiming at my phone using the Gps on my phone let’s. Try that okay is it following me. It certainly appears to be so let’s take a walk around the field and try it follow me. Okay. My satellites. I currently have 11 satellites now so the more you fly, the more accurate the satellite system becomes, but again it takes a long time to get that lock on folks. So you know again i’m wondering if it’s really truly a dual satellite system, as advertised now let’s see what type of gps follow me do we have, is it hubsan type or d dji and it appears to be dji style where, like you’re pulling it on a String, instead of staying in a compass position for my location, okay, so that’s follow me follow me does work and let me turn off. Follow me: it’s deactivated let’s, try circle position, bring it closer, pushing forward right about there, we’ll plop it, and i want to go up higher. So i don’t hit myself and find orbit now orbit.
Is that upper uh right corner one right by the satellite indicator and we’re gon na say a circle of about uh let’s, give it about 10 meters and that wind’s picking up then i’m going to hit done and then confirm and let’s see what it does. It goes over here and i’m, going back to where it originally was, which would be the center of the cycle going up a bit higher too and there’s the orbit position, folks, it’s actually working quite nicely, so so far, everything’s good with this, with the exception, you Know the long lock on time of the gps system again, maybe mine’s a little bit faulty, maybe that dual gps, the second one isn’t working on mine, one of them, is at least okay, so orbit position works quite well, and with that in mind, let’s stop that Deactivating, it see what it does just plops itself there, okay pulling back on the stick now um the headless direction that i had set is off in that direction there. So next thing i want to try is activating headless mode folks, okay, pressing the headless mode button on the controller, let’s push forward and see. If that indeed is activated. Yes, it is that’s the endless mode direction, apparently pushing forward. No, i want to get it just right because i’m going to bring it back in okay, so and then from that point there let’s lower that gimbal just a bit. Okay, i’m going the wrong way: lower the gimbal, lower the gimbal, lower the gimbal.
There you go and up and away folks pushing out and pushing up at the same time and up and away screenshot, in other words, that’s. What you use headless mode for folks works, cool, okay, plopping it there turning off headless boat and pushing forward should come back toward me, i’m. Using that compass rose. Remember that compass rose is showing them flying east, though it’s. Actually southeast is what i’m find there’s east and let’s come back down, because next thing we got to try is waypoints. I hope waypoints works, because everything else is working nice with this drone and boy. Do i like that orange color? Really? I can see this drone very well um, something you can’t see with black drones. I don’t know why they make black turns entirely the truth. Okay from that point, there i’m heading away and the waypoints is that one right next to the orbit and vps app has stopped. Oh no that’s, not good, so we’re going to close the app and we’re going to restart the app so hold on. Let me see if i can restart the app while it’s flying compatible screen. Reviews close. So let me re land it folks and i’m going to restart the app because uh it seems to be having problems, running vs or running the waypoints and i hope it’s, not my mobizen, causing the problem but we’re going to stop it once we land so hold On folks, i’ll get right back to you.
Okay, um i’ve restarted the drone. Now i got 14 satellites, which is unusual. Okay, maybe we do have dual satellites. It just takes a long time for that second, one to lock on, but with it on the ground. Let me select waypoints and see what happens here so selecting the waypoint button one more time and will it cause the drive? It causes the app to crash again so there’s an issue there, folks um i’m, going to try it one more time without mob isn’t connected. So hold on and maybe see if that will help the problem. Okay, i’ve turned off mobizen okay, i’m, wondering if mob is in screen. Recorder, app is might be causing the issue, so we are going to select waypoints one more time without mob as in running and see if there’s any problems. Okay, wait point and it closes again. So mobizen is not an issue. There is an issue with apparently with my phone, i don’t know if others are going to have the same problem, but the vs gps app seems to crash with this drone when you select waypoints so that’s a problem. One problem that i noted so far: everything’s good except waypoint, so i’m going to restart mobizen again and continue flying and use up the rest of that battery so hold on folks, okay, i’ve reconnected. The drone restarted the drone. I immediately went to 15 satellites, so we got good satellite connection. Let’S just finish this off with the remainder of the battery, so starting the video camera video camera is recording, starting the drone and we’re just going to fly around the area to show the camera now.
So increasing throttle let’s just show the colors of fall, what’s left of fall, most of the leaves are gone so i’m, just gon na fly around the area. Turning to the right now i’m flying line of sight. Folks for the remainder of this, let me actually let me stop it there put on my glasses, since i am flying line of sight and i see it better. There we go and then continuing on pushing forward just to show the the camera in operation and turning to the left, trying to avoid going over that bean farm over there or being field off in the distance. Because i don’t know some farmers don’t, like you flying over their land but i’m, going to go up higher, maybe fly above the trees a bit higher flying line of sight. Now it really is easy to fly line of sight. Folks, if you can see your drone and you can, with this nice bright orange drone um again if it’s moving to the left – and you want to bring it back toward you – just keep turning to the left until it stops. Moving to the left, like it’s, doing right about now now it’s flying toward me and continuing on toward me and we’re, going to fly it until uh. If we see what the low battery indication is or what it does on low battery going up a bit higher too flying off in this direction, now, what is our battery 7.
3 volts? That should be good i’m, estimating it’s going to start coming back at 7 volts, which would be 3.5 volts per cell on the battery on this 2s battery, which which is usually low battery for most drones. There is a wind up there about 10 miles per hour. Above this tree line, it’s flying nicely, so all in all, you know the only thing, two things that that are an issue with this drone is the waypoints feature. Not does it seem to work with my particular phone, others, other phones might work, but my particular phone has issues with it. I better turn to the left because i’m going over those tree that uh forest over there uh i like this park, pleasant ridge park, has a lot of trails that you can walk through the trees, walk through the forest and enjoy the forest, and i do like That i, like this part, it’s great for a walk in the morning. My dog likes it too so and my wife too, but it’s important, my dog likes it yeah coming overhead. We still haven’t heard any trip, we’re 7.3 volt again low voltage is probably going to be around 7 volts we’re gon na test. Okay, then we got a low voltage, hear that it’s doing a return to home on low voltage. Now is this true low voltage? We’Re 3.5 volts there. What are we at 7.3 volts that’s? Still a lot of voltage so we’re going to see if we’re, in a situation right now where we have to fly within a geo fence area where it restricts our movement to prevent it uh from going too far where the battery will wear out and will it’ll Won’T be able to come home that’s why they have geofence restrictions and apparently that’s about it right there on a low battery.
It just plops itself in the sky, comes down to an altitude of how what’s our altitude, 10 meters yeah 10 meters – is that 18.. I can’t tell hold on: let me look at the other one. It says height 38 feet, so that’s 10 meters – i mean plots itself there. So so it probably has a 10 meter altitude restriction. Can i go higher? Nope 10 meters is the geofence altitude? What about the distance we’re going out going out heading out bond and it stops itself right there, the distance of 20 meters, so 20 meters, distance, geofence and 10 meters altitude. So we got to stay within a circle of 20 meters i’m trying to go further. 20 meters away and will let me nope it just plops itself there, so what i have to do is i’m going to fly around sideways around this circle. The outer perimeter of this geo fence until the battery runs out i’m sliding along the outer edge of the geo fence and what’s. The voltage right now on this drone is 7.2 volts i’m going to fill in lowest voltage is going to be 7. 7.0 volts, where it’s going to stop itself from flying so we’re going to bring it down for the remainder here and what i’m going to do? Folks is um fly fly into my ear. Uh, give you my thoughts on the drone, so let’s bring it down right about there and am i showing up in this no i’m, not showing up.
We lost the reception of the fpv from uh, fpv, okay and low voltage. It loses fpv, reception too, so so let’s sync it up, bring it down right about there. Sync it up my thoughts. If this is recording, i hope it’s, recording and uh say now. Everything seemed to work with the exception of follow me or not. Follow me uh waypoints um, we have yeah white point, seemed to be a problem: uh, dual gps uh. You know it took a long time for dual cheap jewel for this to truly be a dual gps system to lock on, although we did get up to 14 satellites, but it still could be single right of 14 satellites right now. Single gps system, fpv video reception, goes out when you get low battery, so that that’s an issue right there and uh other than that. I do like the orange on this drone let’s get up to it and show you that. Let me stop the video recording too, while we’re here, okay, it says video recording, stop. I hope that’s true i’m, going to press the app to make sure that stop but um. Looking at the drone, you know very very bright, very easy to see in sunlight um. This is an excellent drone for flying line of sight so as compared to a lot of the other drones that are out there. Okay, this black, you know black drones that you see, or even a grey drone there’s, a grey drone version of that.
I would not recommend i do like orange color or white colors, but white colors can be a problem when there’s when it’s cloudy orange color is good just about anywhere. So i recommend this color of a drone that’s. What i really like about it. It has a two axis: gibble again there it is. There let’s show you that two axis see i’m moving to the left and right see how that two axis works. Oh there we go that’s low battery, a little battery, return to home and landing so that’s. What it does on final return to open landing, we’re gon na get a final um flight time out of this, but uh two axis kibble um, the dual gps worked rather well, actually not the dual gps, but the deal. Let me turn that off do optical flow, sensors it’ll, just you know, held it quite steady, um right there when i was pointing looking at it, but overall not too bad a drone with the exception of waypoints and waypoints feature. You know i don’t know how important it is for most folks, but overall, not a bad drone, so hope you enjoyed this flight there’s quadcopter 101, with the icat 7 pro signing out future is now Music, hi quadcopter 101. Here again hey. If you want to get your own shout out in one of my future, videos make sure you subscribe to my channel it’s real simple, just go to my channel page and click on that subscribe and also make sure to click that bell button right.
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