Conrad Arf 650 V2 Quadrocopter – Worst quadrocopter deal in history?

It did some nice purchases this year but this one wasn´t among them. I bought the Conrad Quadrocopter in a hurry, but would never dream it could be this bad. I knew very little about RC technology, and assumed an autopilot had to be included for the 500 Euro price.I was on vacation in Berlin and thought it was cheap to just get it in a store instead of postal order here in Norway. But there was no autopilot, just a basic quad with mid-size motors and a little extra payload capacity. A very expensive copter I bought for lifting a hybrid camera (mini dslr style). But so far I can’t thrust it with any camera on board. As i have now built a new copter from the ruins of the Arf 650, I can compare the two better.

Here are the main flaws of the Conrad Arf 650: (updated)

  • The arms and motor attachment are weak plastic and are poorly mounted to the body. They will break very easy, not only during crash. You can’t thrust them.
  • The propeller nuts are a problem. If too hard tightened, the locking nut on the other end loosens. If too loose, the propellers might fall of any moment.
  • The landing legs are constructed in a way that the carbon rods will break on semi-rough landings.
  • Non-standard controller board – hard to replace broken electronics.
  • 12 inch propellers makes a lot of vibrations and you will have a hard time getting stable shots.10 inches is far better and smoother, but possibly a little less payload capacity.
  • The electronic speed controllers lacks a heat sink. Several reports on components going into flames are out. It happened mine as well. Conrad says its a production error. I returned the motherboard and two months later I got it back from germany (during the summer, but still). They replaced the circuits and also the fragile plastic frame, writing “as a goodwill we replace the frame also”.

For half the price you can make a similar or better copter. For replacing the Conrad Arf 650, you will need 18 or 20amp ESC (speed controllers), 950 Kv motors, a main board like the very popular Kaptein Kuk, a cheap frame, and 10 or 12″ propellers. From there you can easily advance to hexacopter or tricopter, if you reprogram the main board. Or you can get this excellent Naza quad autopilot kit with altitude sensor. It will require some electric and mechanical skills, but that’s also need for the Conrad.

I wonder for how long Conrad will continue selling this. I´m sure the spare parts provides a good income. It´s hard to complain and return aircrafts as all damage can be blamed on the pilot.

More reasons to stay away:

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One response to “Conrad Arf 650 V2 Quadrocopter – Worst quadrocopter deal in history?

  1. Pingback: My third Quadcopter, the first official « Retro McSmart·

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