Eachine Racer 250 FPV Drone Review
Usually FPV racers prefer to build their own machines, tweaking them to perfection for their individual styles. There are beginners who use pre-built quadcopters, but they are usually more pedestrian than this. The Eachine Racer certainly looks the part of a serious racing quad, but is it worth splurging on a pre-built machine?
Many FPV racing purists would of course immediately say no, but this is not a product aimed at them. It’s the newcomer that has to be enticed by what’s on offer here.
Good Old Jeep
I cannot be the only one who thinks that the front of this quadcopter looks like a WWII army Jeep. It has the grille and two round headlights down pat. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes the Racer 250 look rugged and mean. The carbon style frame just adds to the general air of badassery.
I have to say that, personally, the styling of the Racer 250 doesn’t appeal all that much to me. I can, however, really appreciate the bare bones, function-over-form approach to its construction. It’s sort of cool to see all the components through the gaps in the frame. Clearly the Racer 250 is not meant to be looked at – it’s meant to pass people by in a blur.
And The Kitchen Sink
The Racer 250 comes in two versions. There’s an almost-ready-to-fly version that doesn’t come with the transmitter and FPV receiver, which is great for people who already have these things. Then there’s the ready-to-fly model which I’ll be referring to here since it is the most complete package.
When I say complete I mean it. It comes with too much to list here, but in addition to all the components that make up the main quad you also get extra rotors, two 1500mAh batteries, and all the needed FPV gear.
Calling it the “racer” is pretty much on the money. It has four 2300KV motors and will burn through that 1500 mAh battery in six or seven minutes. So this thing’s power-to-weight ratio is way beyond anything else you are likely to have flown.
The powerful 3W LED headlights also make it suitable for night-flying in FPV.
Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems
The price of the Racer 250 makes it really attractive for those that want to get into FPV racing proper, but don’t have the desire or ability to scratchbuild something of their own yet.
For that purpose this quad is actually great, but many people spend as much as $1000 on racing 250 quads, and in order for Eachine to sell this racing drone at this price it’s had to carefully select components that allow for a good experience without breaking the bank.
Eachine has more or less achieved this, but user feedback for the Racer 250 has shown up some of the places that corners have been cut. Some people have been unlucky enough to have electronic components fail rather quickly, possibly due to the use of cheaply-made circuit boards that don’t have the quality control of more expensive versions.
The rotors are also apparently quite flimsy and might be the first thing you’ll want to replace. There are also lots of complaints about the charger, so maybe invest in a LiPo balance charger if you haven’t already.
There are two ways you can look at this. One is to see it as a product that has too many failure points. The other is to see it as an inexpensive way to enter FPV and a platform that you can upgrade at your own pace.
Custom Guitar Jams
In the world of guitars there’s a tradition of buying cheaper models that share the same basic body and wood as more expensive instruments and slowly replacing all the low-cost components until the axe either meets or exceeds the specifications of the high-end product you couldn’t afford or justify.
That’s the way I think of the Racer 250. It’s a complete package that will let you play immediately, but provides a transitional arrangement to bigger and better things. It might even be that at some point not one original component remains, but you didn’t have to wait for one second during that time for a chance to fly.
The Racer 250 has its problems, but as an entry point into the world of FPV racing and at this price it simply cannot be beaten as far as I am concerned.