We will be looking at what exactly is a Tiny Whoop, where you can buy one and why you will want one.
Tiny Whoop – What on earth is it?
A Tiny Whoop is essentially a small ducted quadcopter with FPV capability and a transmitter to push the images to a pair of FPV Goggles. When we say small, these things really are tiny. Strictly speaking, to be classed as a Tiny Whoop your quadcopter needs to be under 8cm in length and width and no more than 5 cm in height – and many are much smaller.
Having grown in popularity over the last 18 months or so we thought it was about time we got in on the craze, so we got our hands on a few models, gave them a road test (okay, it was inside a bar) and took to the (stale ale fumed) skies.
How did the Tiny Whoop craze come about?
The Tiny Whoop is the brainchild of Colorado based Jesse Perkins and came from years of obsession with finding ways to miniaturise micro-FPV’s and create a more fun and nimble flying experience. It started as a personal obsession and an online store selling smaller motors and quirky videos showing how to create a really tiny micro-FPV and so the term Tiny Whoop was established. Before long, a small online store and tutorial website became a smash hit and had a cult following.
Fast forward 18 months and Jesse is still staying true to his roots with regular racing and new videos published regularly on their site.
The term Tiny Whoop has been used more widely and been adopted by numerous people trying to sell tiny quadcopters online, but we want to try and stay as true to the genuine Tiny Whoop principle in this article so we will do our best to give you inspiration for a true Tiny Whoop experience.
What makes them so good?
The number one reason that has led to mass appeal for these FPV micro drones is that they are downright fun to fly. Sure, they are not going to give you the same experience as one of the more commercial and higher tech drones on the market today, but… well… that’s kind of the point.
Other than fun, Tiny Whoop’s are simply amazing because they:
- Are cheap to purchase and maintain. You can get a complete setup for less than £100 including goggles and if you do need repairs the replacements are super inexpensive.
- Are extremely portable. You can package them up in a neat carry case or transport them in a small bag. However you roll, portability is not going to be an issue.
- Are safe. The tiny design and lightweight nature means that they can be crashed in to walls, tables, chairs, or even people and bars (as we found out) and there will be minimal damage to either the quadcopter or the object.
- Are easy to repair. With so many kits online and a growing number of tutorials, repairing is easy and cost effective.
- Can be a project. Although you can buy them ready to fly, you can also purchase the parts with a frame and build your own. It is relatively simple to do and the main extra you will need is a soldering iron.
- Can fly anywhere. Generally, racing will happen indoors and due to the small nature of the craft you can fly them pretty much anywhere.
- Are FUN! Yes, we know we have already said this, but we had to say it again because they are simply so much fun to fly! If you get involved with a good community (either online or offline) then this can add to the fun even more.
Where to buy a Tiny Whoop?
If you have already been sold on the idea of purchasing one of these little beauties then first of all well done… you will not be disappointed I am sure!
Secondly, where you purchase from really depends on what you want. If you want to purchase the parts then eBay, TomTop or Amazon.
If you are looking to go straight ahead and purchase a full package then you have more options – but Amazon or TomTop are probably best.
Best Tiny Whoop Package
We have to admit, we did get a little carried away when it came to racing our Tiny Whoops and our competitive streaks took over when it came to trying to modify the fastest and most nimble micro-FPV. This means we ended up testing three different models rather than just the one we had originally planned.
You can choose whether to build from scratch or just go straight in for a ready built model and then mix and match the controllers, goggles etc. We would certainly recommend buying a ready built model just for the speed of getting up and going. The cost savings of buying separates are minimal although you will have a lot of fun doing it. If budget allows, then why not purchase a ready made Tiny Whoop and then buy some parts to make your own – you should be able to use the same Goggles with both.
The Makerfire Bundle
One of the smallest Tiny Whoops available, the Makerfire sold by Crazeypony can be purchased either on its own or as part of a bundle with the EACHINE VR-007 4.3 inch FPV Goggles all for less than £120 (at the time of writing).
The Goggles themselves are a very good entry level model and can be purchased separately (if you already have micro-quadcopter) for just £57.99 here. The 4.3 inch LCD display operates at a resolution of 480x272 pixels and although not the crispest we have tested in terms of pixel density the performance of it was pretty good and is perfect for the types of images being transmitted through the FPV cameras.
The quadcopter itself was very fast, very nimble and faired well against the Blade Inductrix that we tested although it did lose out to the Blade most races.
We were averaging around 3 minutes 30 seconds flight time from full charges and we had plenty of extra batteries to keep us going so this was no major issue. The version we have linked to comes with special sauce motors which gives increased performance and speed – and boy did we notice!
Blade Inductrix – (Where it all started)
Not as easy to get your hands on as you might think, the Blade Inductrix that we tested was the most expensive option of the three – mainly due to the improved controller that we were using. At £199.99 you would expect a good level of performance and we got it with this.
Battery life was around 5 minutes and again we invested in spares. Flying this micro-quadcopter was fast and furious and we had a great deal of fun with it.
Do it yourself
Although you won’t get in the air quite so fast, we have to say that going to the trouble of creating your own Tiny Whoop is a whole lot of fun. You will need a frame, propellers, motors, camera, transmitter, receiver, controller and goggles and there are plenty of guides availble for how to put them together.
Our favourite motors are these special sauce motors from Crazepony and typically give around 30% better output than standard motors. You can pick up this frame and propellers for the price of a couple of pints here.
We will be bringing you more guides and further recommendations on Goggles and controllers over the coming weeks so be sure to check back for more on how to build your own Tiny Whoop.
If you are looking to make your first foray in to drone ownership or perhaps you have a more expensive drone and want something for a bit of fun then you can’t go wrong with one of these micro-FPVs. If you want to just test the water without going the full hog on the goggles then you can do so and upgrade to the goggles at a later date.
If you fancy something super cheap to get started then why not check out our JJRC H36 review here – which provides a massively fun drone for less than £20!
All being said, everything discussed on this page is just going to put a big smile on your face… just be sure to get enough batteries.