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TAROT ZYX-M Flight Controller Review – Vertigo UK

This is a Guest Article as part of our Easter Giveaway

The Tarot ZYX-M was released May 2015 and in my opinion it hasn’t been given the exposure it deserves.

What is given in this Naza sized package for the price is quite spectacular.

Let me begin. The Tarot zyx-m is a decent well made package (if you get a good one but more on that later) for an astonishing price tag. It currently retails at approximately £100 and you get features which place it somewhere between a dji wookong m and a dji A2. That’s a lot of FC for your money. Whilst it won’t suit your average race flyer, this FC is primarily aimed at Aerial Photography users.

US Buy Here

Specification

Weight FC: 46g

GPS: 27g

PMU: 23g

LED: 11g

USB:  9g

Dimensions Main Controller: 55*40*16

GPS Module: 50*50*14

PMU: 40*28*9

LED Indicator: 27*27*9

USB Module: 26*20*7

Hover  Accuracy H: 1.5m

V: 0.5m

Max Angular Velocity 150 deg/s
Max Tilt  35 deg
Max Ascend/Descend 6m/s
Voltage Fc: 4.8-5.5v

Pmu: 7.2-26v

Power Consumption Max 5w (0.3a-12.5v typical)
Temp Range -10-50 deg C

 

What’s Included

  • Main Controller
  • PMU
  • GPS
  • LED
  • USB
  • USB Cable
  • 8 x PWM Cable
  • Custom Double sided tape for all components

Features

  • 32 bit processor with super strong computing ability
  • Built in anti-vibration sensor
  • Full metal casing provides excellent protection
  • Supports dual-USB receiver
  • Dual DSM satellite receiver
  • Specialized gimbal control interface, can directly control Tarot gimbal
  • High performance GPS receiver
  • High-gain antenna
  • Fast satellite searching speed and high accuracy positioning
  • Dual power output, can power flight controller, gimbal and transmitter
  • Voltage monitoring, low voltage alarm

Supports 9 kinds of multi-copter. With 3 servo ports for other accessories

Accurate speed control under GPS mode

Failsafe, one key go-home, IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control), POI (Point of Interest)

Smart retractable landing gear which automatically deploys on RTH

Programmable flight area and no fly zones

In GPS mode, the aircraft will fly inside the set area only. Under other flight modes, once aircraft flies outside the set area, RTH will automatically be activated. This is useful for areas such as airports and other no-fly zones, the altitude and range can also be restricted, handy for sticking to CAA regs

Prop failsafe (Hex-copter or above)

For Hex or above, when one of the motors or props fail, the aircraft is able to fly normally.

Supported Configs

  • X4
  • I4
  • X6
  • I6
  • V8
  • I8
  • IY6
  • Y6
  • X8

Review

Once I received my fc I eagerly installed it on my tarot 680 hex and took it out for a spin. I placed it on the ground and it took approximately 30 seconds to acquire gps lock.  I started the motors and up I went. I flicked the switch on my taranis and the landing gear raised so as not to obscure my camera. This thing flew as if it was on rails. Smooth banking turns getting me into position The default gains seemed perfect for the slow flights I perform although some people may wish to adjust them slightly to increase response. I got in position and started taking a few shots, but then disaster struck my hex lurched slightly as it threw a prop (my own fault). My heart was in my mouth for a second then the hex recovered. The FC adjusted and acted as though nothing had happened. It was so good I was even able to get a couple more shots before hitting the RTH switch. The aircraft hovered for a second then slowly started coming back to me landing perfectly less than a metre from where it took off. I was lucky my hex lived to fly another day and I can’t praise my FC enough.

However other users haven’t been so lucky. As with any new FC it shipped with some problems. Some people have reported strange behaviour with their aircraft and others just haven’t worked out of the box. As with anything Chinese, quality control is sometime a bit hit and miss.

Those familiar with DJI flight controllers may recognise the ZYX-M Assistant Software that you use to adjust and program the FC. It is almost a direct copy of the DJI software.

There is also an app available on android, which lets you plan flights etc and the plan apparently is to release an interface module to enable poi flights and autonomous flights for now though all this needs to be done before flight.

Tarot have released, however, an osd module to enable telemetry data on screen for fpv flyers. I have yet to try this out though as I only fly los and use the canon app with my camera for live view and to take pictures.

The gimbal however is controlled entirely by the FC assigned to rotary switches on my transmitter I am able to adjust the gimbal on the fly without having to add the extra weight of gimbal controllers.

The ZYX-M currently only supports the Tarot 5d, although members of online forums are currently trying to make it work with other gimbals, so far they haven’t been successful.

Problems

Whilst I haven’t encountered any problems as of yet invariably these issues do pop up now and again with other users. The FC firmware seems stable out of the box however in current updates the fc can become erratic and unpredictable. Hopefully tarot will sort these out. But for now I recommend sticking with the early fw releases.

Pros

  • Cheap at only £100
  • Well-made if you get a good one
  • Stable
  • Feature packed

Cons

  • Recent fw updates have caused issues for some users
  • Can only control Tarot 5d Gimbal

Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a new flight controller for your aerial photography rig and were considering a wookong m or A2, but couldn’t stomach the price tag. Then this FC is for you. It offers RTH, POI, IOC plus a whole heap of other features I haven’t explored yet. It does come with its risks however whilst an extremely capable FC it has had its fair share of problems. However if you stick to the stock firmware you shouldn’t have too many issues.

Reliability:          4/5

Price:                    5/5

Features:              4/5

Ease of use:          5/5

Stability:                4/5

Official support:   2/5

Forum support:    5/5

 

Disclaimer

This is a guest review and may not represent the views of Drone Insider. All opinions are honest and are my own and I have received no endorsements or sponsorship to write this review.

 

Thanks for reading Vertigo UK

 

 

 

 

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