JXD 509G Review

Hi Everyone,

Today I am going to review the JXD (Jin Xing Da) 509G Pioneer UFO Quad-Copter Drone.

JXD 509G
Buy Now: $89.99 from Amazon
Buy Now: $79.99 from BangGood
Buy Now: $74.36 from GearBest
Manufacture’s Product Page
Flight Style: Precision
Size: 31.6×31.6×21.0 cm / 12.4″x12.4″x4.1″
Weight: 147g / 0.32lbs
FAA Registration Required: No
Range: 150m / 492 feet
Flight Time: 5 to 7 minutes
Battery: 1 Cell 3.7V 600mAh 30C
Camera: 2.0MP / 720P HD

Out of my current fleet, this drone by far is my favorite drone for beginner’s who want to take a stab at precision flying and aerial photography.  Not to mention, it just looks cool.  Even though the design is a copy of the Yuneec Typhoon 4K, all the way down to the camera pod.  We’ll just call it the Typhoon’s little brother.  So if you are thinking of getting a Typhoon down the line, but have never flown a drone before, this is a good place to start.

Yuneec Typhoon 4K
Yuneec Typhoon 4K
Manufacture’s Product Page
Flight Style: Precision
Size: 56.5×56.5×10.6 cm / 22.2×22.2×8.3 inches
Weight: 1700g / 3.74lbs
FAA Registration Required: Yes
Flight Time: 25 minutes
Buy Now: $799.00 from Amazon
Buy Now: $776.99 from BangGood

The main selling points of the 509G are its altitude hold feature, and FPV using a 5.8GHz 2.0MP Camera with the LCD Receiver included.

If you are even slightly interested in learning precision flying and aerial photography, and want to test the waters before buying a DJI Phantom, or one of the other big boys, then this is the drone for you.
JXD 509G

However, if you are looking for something to do freestyle flight or intermediate FPV, this really isn’t the best choice.  More on that later.

This little guy is RTF (Ready to Fly) right out of the box.  About the only thing I couldn’t figure out was how to attach the prop guards the right way.  I could put them on, but they would not “snap” into place.  They pretty much popped right off if you looked at them the wrong way.  I will update this post if I ever get this figured out.

So on to the first big feature: “Altitude Hold”.  This is by far one of the best features introduced to the budget drone market.  The drone has a barometer that can measure the air pressure, and maintain the drones altitude by keeping it at that pressure.  With several hours of flight time, I can say this feature is not perfect, but again, at under $100, it is really good.  Basically, the throttle/collective is spring loaded to stay centered out on the transmitter.  If you press up, it will gain altitude.  Let go and the throttle stick will center out, and the drone will stay at that altitude.  Press down, and the drone will descend.

With lots of testing, the max rate of ascent seems to be almost double the max rate of descent, which is pretty slow.  Thus not making this drone a good player for acrobatics, as you are pretty much stuck on a 2D playing field, with the Z axis being too slow to consider.

Now, as cool as I think this bad boy is, there are a few downsides/cons I have to mention.

First off, I was most disappointed with the FPV option included with this drone.  As the FPV functionality while there, is really lacking.  I will go over three separate areas of review, Video Recording, FPV Feld of View, and Receiver/LCD Display Life.

The “Video Recording” has one (two, which GearBest.com resolved) downfall/s.

First, video recording seems to be set at a maximum of 3 minutes, before it stops to close out the AVI file.  Not really the end of the world, given the short flight time with the stock battery.  But definitely disappointing when you think you captured some awesome video, only to get home and find it was never recorded.  I learned this the hard way.  But once you understand this, it is easy to work around.

Second, the one I originally got corrupted/miss-recorded AVI files about 10% to 40% of the time.  Though I contacted GearBest.com to get this resolved.  It turned out being a bad camera, and GearBest.com helped me get a replacement which fixed this issue.
Capture

Next is the FPV View with the stock lens.

First, the stock lens has an approximately 50° FOV (field of view), which is too narrow for any decent FPV flight.  You need to fly very slow in order to avoid crashing into objects just outside the FOV.

To get my entire garage door which is 280cm(110″) wide into view, I needed to stand 300cm(118″) back.
JXD 509G Camera FOV

Using an online calculator, I was able to approximate the 50° FOV.
Input:
Edge a = Half the width of the Garage Door
Edge b = Distance between Camera and Garage Door
Output:
Angel A = 25
Multiply this by 2 to get the 50° FOV.
JXD 509G Camera FOV
Credit to Cleave Books at http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/calrtri.htm

Second, you can not adjust the camera’s angle any higher then about -10°.  This further compacts the original FOV limitation, making most of the video a really good view of the ground below instead of the view in front.  You need to fly very slow to avoid additional pitch.  Looking through the holes in the camera case, it does look like an 808D #16 lens will fit.  In fact it does, see my full mod here: JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens
JXD 509G Camera Mod 01

Another downside was flying at night.  It is almost impossible in cities and suburbs.  The LEDs are covered by a opaque grey cover, significantly dimming their brightness.  Though it may be better in the countryside where there is less light pollution, and you don’t want to attract any unwanted attention.  Though the camera and FPV don’t really function at night anyway.  So not really designed for that in the first place.

Finally, during one of my test flights, the drone lost signal, the motors stopped, and the drone dropped straight down.  The landing gear shattered on impact.  It was about 50 feet away, and about 10 feet / 3 meters up.  The skids appear to be very flexible, but just like Laffy Taffy, give it a quick hard snap, and it will shatter.  I was able to order replacement skids from GearBest.com for cheap.  When comparing the fingerprints from the injection mold tooling, the replacements appear to come from the exact same tool, so we know that GearBest.com is getting original parts factory direct.
DSC00003
Please Note: The replacement skids do not come with the foam feet/pads or mounting screws.  So save the broken parts to transfer the foam and screws to the new skids.

Pros:
Altitude Hold
Very Easy to Fly
5.8GHz FPV

Cons:
Stock Battery has Short Life (easy fix, order upgrade)
Brittle Landing Gear (be careful, don’t fly over hard surfaces)
Dim LEDs (avoid night flight in bright areas like cities)
Prop Guards Not Secure (anyone know how to properly mount them?)
FPV Camera: Bad Angle and Poor Field of View. See Mod/Fix Here: JXD 509G/510G Camera Mod/Upgrade with 808 Lens

So to conclude, even though the drone does have more cons than pros, the value of the pros are pretty good given it’s low price.  Plus, I am working on some fixes for the cons.  Mods to come soon.

Looking to purchase one? Please use a link below to help support this site:
Amazon: $89.99 with Free Shipping
BangGood: $79.99 with Free Shipping
GearBest: $74.36 with Free Shipping

Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Chris

11 responses to “JXD 509G Review

  1. Before I bought JXD 509g, I saw few reviews where they claim this drone is pretty crach resistant because of type of plastic it’s made of.. and now, after 3 days of flying it, I can proudly confirm that! haha! Crashed it from about 10 meters and it survived!! 2 propelers are broken but who cares about propellers

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    • Hi, You are correct, this little guy is pretty crash resistant. Though I have not broke they body or props, the landing skids did shatter on impact once. Have you found out how to securely attach the prop guards?

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      • The prop guards are paired. One pair goes front left and back right, and the other pair for front right and back left. If you get it right, the holes/pins slot together and all the props should be covering all corners from impact

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  2. What should my next drone be? My first is the hubsan 107c, then I purchased a nano, cheerson c10. Waiting on my new Pioneer auto 509g. What next, please advise. Loving this sport.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wes,

      Thank you for this awesome question. I will probably use this as the base for a new post on the different styles of flight.

      The C-10 and the 107C are both good entry level drones to get an idea of what freestyle flight is like. I started off with a Syma X11C (which is like the 107C), then a UDI U839 (which is like the C-10). I tried to mimic the precision flight of a DJI Phantom 3 we had at work. Needless to say, I was bouncing off the walls and crashing into everything in my house. Then I tried to fly them in the back yard, and got them stuck in the neighbors yards a few times. I wanted to hone my skills before I actually took them out to the park. But I quickly learned that you have to start out in a wide open area to really learn how to fly.

      Because of it’s “Altitude Hold” feature, the 509G is a completely different animal. Leaving it in beginners mode, you can actually fly slow enough to navigate your living room and kitchen. This drone is the perfect drone to introduce yourself to precision flight. Though the controls are basically the same to your other drones, this one flies completely different.

      If you like the sport of freestyle flight, you may find yourself missing that with the 509G. In which case I would recommend something like the MJX X600 http://amzn.to/1WE2uSz. This guy is very nimble and acrobatic. A lot of fun if you like to do flips, figure 8s, etc…

      If you like the control and precision of the 509G however, I would say the next level up is to get something with GPS. The Cheerson CX-20 http://amzn.to/23Y7aoo would probably be the next logical step. It is Cheerson’s competition to the DJI Phantom, and is said to use a lot of the same parts as the Phantom, including the motors, all for about 1/2 the price of a Phantom. Plus, it is open source, so you can program it yourself if you are into that type of thing, and works with a program called Mission Planer. And finally, is compatible with a GoPro camera.

      Other than that, if you really want to get hands on and are technically inclined, you can look into building your own. You don’t have to go completely from scratch. There are several kits available like the Walkera Runner 250. You can start with a frame, pick your own motors and props. Then upgrade/add on as you go. GPS, FPV (now even 3D FPV), telemetry, etc… Whatever you can think of, they probably have it.
      You can customize it towards precision, freestyle, or racing, up to you.

      As you can see, there are a lot of different directions you can go.

      Thank you very much again for the excellent question. I hope this helps you get a better understanding of what you want to do next.

      Thanks,
      Chris

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  3. Same problem of corruption data…. Got critical, now, cant read any memory card…. I got the shutdown problem…. But for the price, did not expect much…

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    • Hi Doug,

      I am sorry to hear that. I would recommend contacting the retailer to get your unit swapped. I got mine through GearBest. And even though it was over 30 days, GearBest did give me the chance to get a replacement. As for the shutdown problem, I am not aware of that. Other than it auto shuts down on any impact or crash. My first one did not do that. But the replacement does. I think it is good because it prevents the motors from burning out. But it does corrupt any video you may be recording at the time. My original no-name 4GB memory card did fail too, I am using a SanDisk 64GB card now. Yes!!! it is compatible with a 64GB card! So all in all, for under $100 USD, it is well worth it for a beginner’s drone. Not to mention I have crashed more times than I can count, and the only thing that ever broke was the skids (landing gear).

      Anyways, let me know if you need any help or advice on getting the most of this little guy.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the advise! Already got in contact with gearbest, the shutdown problem happened in the middle of the flight, i notice that 2 episodes happened near a wifi router… The other was about 10 meters in the sky… Anyway, its still flying…. Lol

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  4. i was just wondering if it would be possible to mod the ixd 509g so as to control it using my mobile phone.Do you think it would be possible.Please reply

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