DLFPV DL-1080 (In-Depth Review)
Just a few months ago, DLFPV released its first micro FPV racer — the DL-1060 and now they’ve unveiled a more advanced micro. Known as the DL-1080, this new model shares a number of similarities with the earlier DL-1060 as much as it is more advanced.
Both models share the same Tiny Whoop appearance with ducted motors and both have nearly the same diagonal size. The full DL-1080 kit also comes with the same transmitter and FPV monitor as the DL-1060 but under the hood, it is a totally different thing altogether.
While the DL-1060 is aimed at beginners with all its preset flight modes and settings, the DL-1080, with its micro F3 flight controller and advanced flight modes is aimed at the intermediate to advanced pilot.
- Dimensions: 100 x 105 x 50mm
- Platform: Quadcopter
- Diagonal motor distance: 78mm
- SP Racing F3 Evo
- Transmitter and FPV monitor included
- Propulsion: 15300kV 720 brushed motors / 20mm 3-blade propellers
- Weight: 42g (with battery) / 32g (without battery)
- Supplied battery: 3.7V 350mAh 1S Li Po
- Charging time: about 30 minutes
- Flight time: about 5 minutes
- Control distance: about 50m to 100m
- Camera resolution: 700TVL
- Camera FOV: 148 degrees (horizontal) / 178 degrees (diagonal perspective)
- FPV channels: 40
- FPV transmission power: 25mW
- FPV transmission range: 150 – 200m
A key feature on the DL-1080 that makes it a micro racer for experienced pilots is the SP Racing F3 EVO flight controller which can be configured in Betaflight. This also means Acro and Horizon flight modes are available as well as the easier semi-assisted Angle mode.
In Angle mode, the DL-1080 lacks the throttle assist feature on the DL-1060 that helps dampen extreme throttle corrections — an issue that many beginners tend to struggle with when they’re just starting out. In other words, the DL-1080 is a micro that takes more skill and experience to fly compared to the DL-1060.
With these full-blown FPV racer features, the DL-1080 makes a great indoor trainer drone for FPV pilots who need to fly in tight indoor spaces where full size 250mm FPV racers are simply too big and powerful.
With that said, the DL-1080 is not exactly suitable for beginners since it has a much steeper learning curve compared to the tamer DL-1060. At a glance, both models may appear similar but they both perform very differently. The F3 has connector pins for both PPM/SBUS and DSM micro receivers. The supplied micro receiver is directly soldered to the main board and can be swapped with other micro receivers if you need to use your own radio with the DL-1080.
Swapping the all-in-one 5.8G FPV camera for another system is easier because the supplied camera is connected to the main board via a 2-pin connector and not soldered directly to it. As mentioned earlier, the DL-1080 shares the same transmitter and FPV monitor as its earlier sibling. I am impressed with the design and quality of its transmitter. Some toy drones in the $200 price range still come with ugly and uncomfortable transmitters but the DL-1080’s Tx looks very well designed. It may not feature rubberized coating but it feels very comfortable in the hands. For a drone that costs below $200, the DL-1060’s Tx has excellent ergonomics, comfort and looks.
For those who don’t want to use their own radios, the supplied transmitter simplifies a lot of things. Just turn on the drone and transmitter and move the throttle stick up and down to bind (connect) the Tx to the drone and you’re ready to fly. It is that easy. When flying the DL-1060, I feel the Tx is very comfortable and has just the right shape and size for my hands.
With its F3 flight controller, the DL-1080 has a very similar flight performance to other ready-to-fly Tiny Whoop-style micro FPV racers with the same FC. Despite having brushed motors, it has reasonably good propulsion for fast indoor flying. It may not have that same aggressive throttle punch that a brushless micro racer has but is has enough power to make indoor flying fun enough.
The DL-1080 flies reasonably well with its preset PIDs and these settings should suit most pilots although they can always be configured in Betaflight for pilots who have their own preferences.
The supplied transmitter has a pre-set a button that lets you toggle between Acro, Horizon and Angle modes. There is also a button for arming and disarming the motors. Thanks to its good power-to-weight ratio, the DL-1080 does not feel sluggish or under-powered in the air. In fact, the DL-1080 is about 3g lighter than the DL-1060 thanks to some weight saving on the integrated prop guards and frame.
Like the DL-1060, the DL-1080 also features a 5.8G FPV camera with a built-in 25mW video transmitter. However, unlike its sibling, the camera on the DL-1080 sits enclosed in the canopy and its angle cannot be adjusted.
The camera features an omnidirectional antenna which works quite well. Although not as superior as cloverleaf antennas in terms of transmission performance, it is not as fragile and won’t easily get damaged during crashes compared to cloverleafs. It also features a 1/3 CMOS sensor and 40 FPV channels which can be switched by pressing the channel button located at the top of the canopy.
Image quality is quite good and very similar to the DL-1060 and the CMOS sensor performs reasonably well even in low light conditions such as flying indoors relying only on artificial lighting at night. Though image noise levels are high in low lighting, you can still see enough details to fly properly. The camera also features a 148 degree horizontal field of view and a diagonal perspective of 170 degrees which are suitable for FPV flying.
The only issue on the camera is its angle which cannot be adjusted. For a Tiny Whoop aimed at experienced pilots, an adjustable camera angle is compulsory considering that most of these pilots are going to fly it aggressively. Fast flying means steep forward tilt angles which means pilots are going to have a hard time seeing what’s coming ahead with the camera facing slightly downwards.
The DL-1080 comes with a 4.3″ FPV monitor (480 x 272p resolution) that can be attached to the top of the transmitter using a grip mount. Display quality is quite good and the monitor comes with an omnidirectional antenna that can be removed should you need to upgrade to a better antenna for improved reception. No sunshade is provided although the monitor does have slots at the top and sides for installing one.
The monitor can receive up to 40 FPV channels. It also comes with a built-in battery and a micro USB charging port. This means you can use common micro USB chargers for it.
The DLFPV DL-1080 is nice micro FPV racer which is great for intermediate to advanced pilots. Its price of less than $100 also makes it a very attractive package. For that price, you get a complete micro FPV kit that’s ready to fly without the need for assembling and configuring of any parts.
Pilots who want to use their own radio can also install their own receivers after removing the supplied micro receiver. Those who choose to stick with the supplied transmitter are in for a treat because the DL-1080 has a very well-designed one with good ergonomics.
Overall, the DL-1080 is a great micro racer for those looking for a ready-to-fly package with the SP Racing F3 EVO flight controller. It is expected to be available soon at popular online stores soon for less than $200.