Mini Multi-rotor Motor Madness
Enthusiast-level multi-rotors in the pint-size category from about 200mm – 300mm motor-to-motor have rapidly become the rising stars in hobby fleets everywhere. They have many advantages over their larger cousins, including reasonable cost, super-tough construction, and mostly, just the sheer fun of flying something that feels so nimble and quick!
There are at least a dozen popular mini-frames out there and demand is so high that some are chronically out of stock. The best designs try to work with existing parts but when it comes to components like motors, the options are still pretty limited. Like the frames themselves, these light, compact, high powered motors are usually tough for retailers to keep on the shelves. Here’s a quick overview of some of the best options on the market for mini multi-rotors.
If I missed one of your favorites, don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me a message via the contact form so I can update this info.
If you don’t yet have a mini-quad or if you don’t have enough of them (who ever has enough?), keep your eye on Droner.ca and over at our Facebook Page for a chance to win a new 220mm H-Quad frame.
Navigator MN1806 2300kv
Tiger motors offers these and there’s a good reason they’re popular on Blackout quads and hexes. But that reason is not the price tag! I haven’t tried these yet, but the folks who have ’em seem pretty happy. They appear to be fairly bullet-proof and for over $40 USD apiece, they better be! It’s probably a good sign that the Navigators are nearly always out of stock, despite the higher cost. The T-Motors have two mounting options that attach solidly to the bell.
SunnySky X2204 2300kv
I admit I’m a big fan of the Sunny Sky X motors. If they have a serious flaw it’s that the mounting shaft is incorporated into the bell. The grub screws that attach the bell to the shaft are not obvious and can loosen, resulting in a spectacular mid-air motor disassembly, but it is a simple maintenance step to Loktite these little screws so they don’t back off. Bearings on the Sunnys are consistent and smooth. At around $25 they don’t hurt too much, even if you add them to a mini-hex.
RCX 1804 2400kv Micro
These are also sometimes branded “ZMR” instead of RCX. The are a little bit smaller and lighter than the other motors here, but are sturdy enough. Build quality is not as consistent as other motors. Make no mistake, these are perfectly adequate motors to get your light mini-quad zipping around, but right out of the package about one in four have a noticeable looseness or rougher bearings. Mine all warm up after flying a 3s pack when the same flying would leave Sunny Skys cool and ready for more, but the RCX motors are lighter and significantly cheaper, at around $15.
Cobra Motors 2204 2300kv
These are a brand new option, as of this writing, but they have great potential at an attractive $20 price. This is Cobra’s multi-rotor version of the excellent Cobra 2203/34. They come packaged with a high-quality prop adapter, including a locknut so you don’t have to worry about losing propellers until you actually hit something. Sometimes the little acorn-cap style prop retainers on other motors will loosen in flight, even with blue Loktite, so the Cobra system is a big plus. Bearings feel smooth as butter and build quality is excellent.
Lumenier FX2206-13 2000kv
These Lumenier-branded motors appear to be custom T-Motors, albeit a little cheaper than the Navigator 1806s. They have the lowest kv of any listed here, but they do the job they are designed for, namely propelling Lumenier’s QAV-250 quad. I have no direct experience with these, but they appear to be very high-quality motors at a moderately expensive price of about $35. I’d love to test a set to compare to these other contenders, but demand for these little guys keeps them flying off the shelf.
What’s your favorite? Have one you’d love to try out – if only you could get your hands on them?
Comment below or shoot us a message via the contact form. If there’s enough interest, I’d like to expand on this overview and look in-depth at these and other comparable motors.