Stock Gremlin vs. Custom Gremlin vs. Vortex 150


New member
Hi all,

With Christmas right around the corner I've been contemplating getting a good FPV capable quad. I was originally considering a Blade Torrent 110 but the flight times (along with hearing about a good deal of issues from badly balanced/weak props to overheating motors/ESC on 3S) led me to find the FT Gremlin and the Vortex 150. As of right now I'm unsure of what I should go with. My current build ideas (unless anyone has other suggestions) are:
The stock Gremlin power pack, 2S on an Andres frame with the RHCP FX805 cam, OR a custom 3S Gremlin with Bullet 12A ESCs/RS1106 6000KV motors, Alex carbon frame and 3S 450mAh packs with a RunCam Micro Swift 2/TX200 combo, OR a plug and play setup on a Vortex 150. I'll be using HK Cyclops V2s (with a appropriate antenna) for goggles and be flying exclusively outdoors in decently sized areas. My main concerns are:
How powerful is the 2S Grem? I hear people are running them on 3S but the FT store says to expect reduced ESC/motor life and I DO NOT want that.
What flight times should I expect on the custom 3S build? Would really like to get 4 minutes or better as the Torrent only gets around 2:30 or less flying hard.
Total cost on the 3S build would be around $200 with 2 batteries and without FPV equipment, and $330 with (Micro Swift combo = $60, Cyclops V2s = $68). Would it be a better choice to spend the extra $70 or so and get the Vortex 150?
I will fully admit I'm counting my chicks before they hatch as my budget will vary based on how much cash I get from Christmas, but any help or suggestions you guys/gals can give is greatly and fully appreciated!



Wake up! Time to fly!
Stock Gremlin if you are honestly going to go 3s and no bigger. The rest is over kill with 12a esc's and red bottoms. I have had mine up to 187 g all up and it ripped pretty good outside. Cameras and antennas were my issues so I tried many combinations trying to get lighter. I finally gave up caring over weight. Mine has always been the original and stock Emax power pack they started with.

This is the earliest iteration at 187g using a 3s 800 mah 20c pack from an old 200 size helicopter as that was the only battery I had even close enough to fit it.

This is a 2s to 3s comparison using Pulse 450 mah 45c batteries. No video system on at all after the change over to the Carbon frame from the original Delrin.

And here is another iteration I am happy with with functioning VTX / camera on the 3s. AUW is 146.5 g. Keep in mind I had not calibrated the voltage sensor yet nor tuned it to its best and still got over 4 minutes around the 1/3 - mostly 3/4 throttle for the full time with some full throttle blips here and there. This pack had plenty of oomph in it to go closer to 5+ minutes easily

This last video is where it sits now with a better tune to fly in ground effect more stably as well as able to better catch itself after flips or rolls with out crazy punch outs. This video tests my camera settings as well as it was at sunset with the sun right in the camera on parts and hard late afternoon shade coming across the yard where the building and trees were blocking a lot of the sun. Notice how much grass was hitting the camera and props because the yard has not been mowed for weeks prior to this flight yet it held strong for the most part. I was going for smooth and accurate here and actually had to add negative expo to fly that low as the throttle hardly ever went above 1/3



New member
Exactly the kind of response I was looking for, thanks PsyBorg :) With that info in hand, I'll be going with the stock Grem power pack, Alex Zvada carbon frame and 3S 450mAh 45C Tattu LiPos. FPV gear will be the RunCam Micro Swift 2 and the matching TX200 VTX, Quanum Cyclops V2s and a Pagoda-2 RX antenna. All totaling to just under $300, not a bad price for starting in FPV :D
Also, not trying to start a war or anything but would it be a good idea to eventually switch to FrSky? Running an original DX8 right now and the advanced functionality and low receiver cost of a Taranis X9D+ system is pretty attractive. Would probably be able to pay for the switch just by selling the Spekky RX's alone lol.
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Wake up! Time to fly!
Each radio at this point has its own good and bad sides so it boils down to mostly preference. I jumped on the Taranis bandwagon and I am glad I did. I loved my Devo 7's but they got very limited in what I could do with them. The open TX on the Taranis ensures a long life time of growth. Even if development would stop today the system the Tarnis uses imo is far and above what anything else in the field can and does do. I have an X9d as I prefer full size radios. Besides the Qx7 was not announced until two weeks after I ordered mine. I probably would have gone with that one to save some cash but I am still very happy with the Taranis.

Now all that said.. on to your proposed set up. I am not sure what VTX you are choosing but a word of advise is to stay away from Circular polarized antennas on the Gremlins. That is the weakest point in the designs and they get beat to crap and quickly become useless. The Eachine VTX02 or VTX03 work perfectly on a Gremlin. They have dipole antenna that is not mounted on a brittle pcb stub like 90% of these micro vtx's. I have no idea why that specific design fail is perpetuated other then to limit the life of the vtx for more sales turn overs. It is also adjustable power and the 50 mw setting is perfect for a micro. Not that weak you are range limited but not strong enough to get tons of reflections when in doors.


Maneuvering With Purpose
I get about 5.5 mins just hovering and doing a few moon landings off of my bed on a 400 mAh battery. Stock Gremlin, presumably transmitting video.