DRONES REVIEWS

Walkera Rodeo 150: A Compact FPV Quadcopter for Racing

Jack Brown
Written by Jack Brown

The Walkera Rodeo 150 is not only a predecessor of Walkera powerful drones, but a high-performing racing drone redefining the excellence of light weight drone racing. Its indoor and outdoor usage versatility is quite exhilarating, particularly for beginner pilots since they can hone their racing skills indoors before advancing to the challenging outdoors.

The drone can be used for the fun of racing or for videography purposes with its professional 5.8GHz video recordings and an HD camera, although the camera is not competitive enough to larger models of quadcopters. Either way, it’s a good quality in its size range of drones with a streamlined design.

Be aware: This drone is an RTF model, which means it is fully assembled from the factory. So, for handy pilots out there wishing to calibrate, setup and tune their drones, it’s bad news to you. What’s needed is to install the battery and fly the drone because everything has been done by the prestigious Walkera team of engineers. They have calibrated radio systems, antennas and the mainstream F3 Flight Controller.

Check out is video to get an idea about this drone.

The drone being an RTF model is good news for novice UAV pilots, although it can also come with a BNF (Bind and Fly) model, which shouldn’t be that much of a problem as long as you have an existing transmitter as it is excluded in the debuting package. Beginners and the intermediates will certainly find it intriguing to fly an RTF model due to the complete assembling.

Once you have unboxed your FPV racing drone Rodeo 150, you can spot an indoor or outdoor flying area to get started. Due to its size of less than 250g, there are not strict FAA implications and mandatory registrations if you fly it indoors.

It flies within acceptable range with 2.4GHz radio system for longer transmission range with no radio interference when racing with others. The other attractive feature is the pre-configured 3 fly modes and the configurable F3 flight controller with a preloaded CleanFlight software.

Another piece of advice: If you buy a BNF model, just be sure to purchase or have a compatible transmitter. There is a price difference between the RTF and BNF modes. Our advice is that, it is pointless to opt for a BNF model is you do not have an existing transmitter.

Walkera Rodeo 150

We also advise you to get the FPV monitor or FPV goggles to that you can retrieve the video feed when using this quadcopter. The manufacturer sells these components separate from the initial packaging. It would be very good if you have existing ones, then that would be cost-effective.

One other point to consider is the prevalence of counterfeit drones sold in the black market. We advise you to only purchase from accredited online stores or from the manufacturer directly.

 Product Specifications:

  • 150 size FPV racing drone
  • Smart and unique integration frame design
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor flight,Support 3D aerobatic flight mode
  • 600TVL Night version mini camera
  • Adopt F3 flight controller, parameters adjusted by phone
  • 600TVL DC5-12V Camera
  • Brushless motors
  • 7.4V 850mAh 30C 2S Lipo Battery
  • 40 channel support race bind

Check Price on Amazon

Build Specifications

Packaging

As we have pinpointed above, Rodeo 150 may come as RTF or BNF model. But it’s predominantly sold as an RTF model. We will therefore mention only the packaging of RTF model below. The only difference between these models is the absence of DEVO 7 transmitter in the BNF model. The contents of the box include:

  • 1 x RTF Rodeo 150 FPV drone
  • 1 x DEVO 7 Radio system
  • 4 x propellers
  • 1 x transformer (US blug)
  • 2 x 7.4V 850mAh 30C Li-Po Battery
  • 1 x USB cable and 1 x another cable
  • 1 x Battery charger
  • 1 x User manual

The additional components to be purchased include the FPV goggles or FPV monitor. The purchase of a flight controller should also be taken into account. In this review, our main focus is geared towards the Rodeo 150 RTF FPV drone. Check out this video to see the unboxing of this drone and get an overview of how it is set up.

Design & Durability

Rodeo 150 FPV drone, unlike most of its predecessors that are made of carbon fiber frames, it is made of a hard plastic canopy. This is another innovation by Walkera, crafting this drone with nylon plastic to make it more lighter than other drones in its range. But we have to admit that the CF frames are relatively sturdy compared to nylon plastic used in this drone.

However, the winning factor of plastic is its light weight and crash resistant feature. In turn, these features make the drone more durable. One other design feature that deserves attention is the enclosed modular design. It provides stability of the on-board circuit and other modules.

Walkera Rodeo 150

In addition, the electronic components are redesigned to prevent interference of signals as well as crash occurrence. Meanwhile, the landing gears feature rubber bumpers to prevent any crash when landing onto the ground. This extends the durability of the landing gear. The drone further comes with brushless motors and brushless ESCs.

Camera

Rodeo 150 comes with a built-in 600TVL FPV camera that is capable of capturing great moments when flying the drone. Unfortunately, the drone doesn’t allow pilots an opportunity like other high quality cameras do, like the GoPros. But, with its size you wouldn’t understand the size and the quality of the camera suitable for it. This camera may not be used in professional aerial photographs. It is predominantly meant to capture moments at a close range.

Walkera Rodeo 150 Camera

There is a 5.8GHz video transmission without any delay and the transmission supports up to 40 channels. The drone commands a high performing image transmission, and its camera can capture at a wide angle of 110 degrees. Moreover, due to the foresight LED, the camera can perform well in low light conditions.

Battery & Flight time

The flight time of Rodeo 150 is dependent upon the power of its battery. It comes with a 7.4V 850mAh 30C 2S Li-Po battery that enables a maximum flight time of about 8 minutes. The battery is included in the package. In addition, you can find yourself extra batteries in case you plan to race for more than 8 minutes. With replacement batteries you can simply exchange the depleted ones without having to wait for about an hour recharging the battery.

This battery may be seen as less powerful compared to other large drone models, but it is sufficient for this size range. At least it outperforms other small drones to offer that flight time.

Walkera Rodeo 150 Battery

The flight time of this quadcopter may also face tough times in the strong winds. Firstly, the drone is made of a plastic material which is not as heavy as carbon fiber. So strong winds more likely to affect the flight time. But flying indoors shouldn’t be a problem that how bad can the external weather conditions affect your UAV vehicle.

Controller

The mainstream FCS-Fodeo 150 F3 flight controller is the giant controller in this quadcopter, preloaded with CleanFlight firmware calibrated and tuned by the manufacturer. This flight controller can be configured via the CleanFlight software. You will have a full control of the drone by adjusting all its parameters as you need in its high-performance mainstream flight controller.

Devo 7 Controller

The drone comes with the 8AA battery-powered DEVO 7 transmitter with which you explore the amazing control maneuvers of this FPV drone. The transmitter offers long distance transmission, minimum signal interference, and stabilized radio system transmission of 2.4GHz. Furthermore, the drone can be flown in either stabilized, intermediate, or advanced mode.

Flight Performance

The flight performance of the Walkera 150 is a marvel to experience with varying flight modes to the excitement of beginners. There is the intermediate, stabilized and the advanced level mode. As a beginner, you might want to start with the stabilized mode before going to the intermediate and then finally the advanced stage.

In the initial mode, the flight flies easily with minimal controls. The second mode (intermediate), it flies with 3D manipulations and stabilization as well. And the final mode, touted the professional level, gives you advanced 3D manipulations with no stabilization. This final mode should be attempted by expert pilots to avoid crashing the drone unnecessarily.

All these flight manipulations and acrobatics can be achieved once you fully master the remote controller, DEVO 7. It has a long distance transmission range, meaning the drone can attain higher altitudes particularly when flown outdoors.

Value for money & guarantee

The Walkera 150 FPV drone comes fully assembled from the factory with all components in the box and some of which have been installed already. So the price of about $230, includes all the components with the battery included. If you opt to but the BNF model, you have to deduct the price of the DEVO 7 transmitter because it doesn’t come with it.

Walkera Goggle 4

The additional costs may come from the recommended purchase of goggles and the monitor to retrieve the video feed. With our estimation, you might find the Walkera Goggle 4 at around $160 and the monitor below $100. Note that there are many models on the market for these components. It all depends on the quality and compatibility with your drone.

Unique Features

The first-spotted unique feature of Rodeo 150 is its hard plastic canopy that holds all electronic components safely to avoid crash destructions and radio interference with other racing pilots. The design is also attractively compact and likeable, available in either black/gold or white/black color.

Its light weight enables the drone to fly faster while at the same time enhancing its orientation in the sky. Meanwhile the landing gears have rubber bumpers for hard landings on the ground.

Walkera Rodeo 150 Headlamp

The drone’s headlamps and taillights are also of particular importance for low light conditions. It’s rare to find drones in that range featuring such a convenient setup of LEDs for nighttime visibility. The company made it possible to avoid collisions with other pilots while racing at night, and also considered the possibility of capturing images without any darkness hindrance.

The dedicated FPV antenna is also a unique feature worth considering, placed above the drone. But that position could be regrettable should the drone fall with its back, meaning the antenna might get damaged. But it’s highly unlikely to fall on its back if you do not fly it in strong winds Its plastic canopy might be vulnerable to strong winds. Nonetheless, it’s an advantage for high speed racing.

Witness the drones’ performance on this video.

Similar models

Runner 250 PROWalkera Runner 250 PRO

Walkera has a similar racing model the Runner 250 PRO, which is slightly larger than the Rodeo 150 with its design and other components. Some features like the use of DEVO 7 transmitter are the same. The Runner 250 Pro is an excellent racing drone with a flight time of about 12 minutes compared to the 8 minutes of Rodeo 150.

The flight time difference can be justified by the battery of 7.4V 850mAh in Rodeo 150 and 11.1V 2200mAh in the Runner 250 Pro. The Runner’s 800TVL FPV camera is also slightly larger than the 600TVL FPV of Rodeo. But this difference can be understood when taking into the design variety of these UAVs.

One other notable comparison is the design of the drone. The Runner 250 Pro comes with sturdy carbon fiber frames, whereas the Rodeo 150 comes with plastic canopy. But on an overall, the Rodeo 150 is much lighter than the Runner. In terms of crash resistant, the Pro emerges victorious with its strong carbon fibers.

The Runner Pro 250 can perform incredible acrobatics with its GPS/GLONASS hovering precision ascension. It’s able to return home if flown beyond line of sight or visual range. Both drones commands the 5.8G real time image transmission with zero delay.

Furious 320Walkera Furious 320

This is an advanced racing drone by the same manufacturer, Walkera. Furious 320 comes with plenty of modes which include the Battle, Racing, Collection, Teaching, and the Challenge Mode. With this modes, pilots can fly the drone to the way they desire using the DEVO 10 transmitter. It proves that the drone is an advancement from the DEVO 7 to the DEVO 10 emote controller.

Moreover, its energy-saving LED system helps other pilots to see where you are when flying in the darkness. Rodeo also has headlamps and taillights for this purpose. Meanwhile the drone’s parameters can be adjusted to the pilot’s interests with the Open Source system CC3D. Unlike the tiny Rodeo 150, Furious 320 comes with its branded OSD for ease of control settings.

The drone also comes with an impressive flight time of about 10 minutes, although the Runner 250 Pro outperforms it with over 10 minutes of flight time. But it has a powerful battery of 14.8V 2600mAh 30C 4S Li-Po than the Rodeo and the Runner 250 Pro.

Vortex 150 Mini Racing DroneImmersionRC Vortex 150

Vortex 150 mini racing drone offers a remarkable and tough competition to Rodeo 150. They all sit below 250g in weight and command camera size of 600TVL although different models. These are all racing drones well suited for indoor racing due to their light weight. Rodeo 150 has more battery power of 850mAh compared to 750mAh of Vortex 150.

Because flight time depends on the battery, it’s logical to conclude that Rodeo 150 flies for a longer time than the Vortex 150 does at about 4 minutes.

Vortex comes equipped with the F3 flight controller and the OSD upon which you can update the parameters. The drone offers direct connection to the PPM, Spektrum, XBus and SBus receivers. Its design is made of carbon fiber, whereas Rodeo 150 is made of a plastic material.

These drones provides 5.8GHz of image transmission, but the Vortex 150 wins with its integrated full-graphic OSD. You can buy this drone as either ARF or RTF. We haven’t seen any ARF version of the Rodeo 150. View this video for an overview of this new drone from ImmersionRC.

Overview

Rodeo 150 racing drone was designed both for pilots with varying skill levels of racing. It is a tiny model less than 250g with quality video feeds and images in its range. Moreover, it comes with an integrated F3 flight controller that is preloaded with CleanFlight firmware. The flight’s critical parameters can be configured in its software. For an optimal control of the drone, the DEVO 7 transmitter is provided in the RTF package.

For pilots that have outgrown the carbon fiber commonly used in many racing drones, Rodeo 150 offers you a change with its plastic material. The plastic canopy of this quadcopter is sturdy enough to hold the drone’s electronic components, including the battery compartment in place.

The drone’s 3 pre-programmed modes are great for all pilots. Beginners, for example, may hone their skills using the intermediate or the stabilized modes prior to controlling in the advanced mode which offers 3D acrobatics without stabilization.

PROS:

  • Compact design less than 250g
  • Made of crash resistant plastic material
  • Powerful F3 flight controller preloaded with CleanFlight software
  • Comes with LEDs for night-time racing
  • High quality and zero delay real time image transmission
  • Fully packaged RTF model
  • Versatility to be flown indoors and outdoors

CONS:

  • Has no a full-graphic OSD
  • Have to buy FPV monitor or goggles separately to pick the video feed
  • Limited flight time
  • The dedicated FPV antenna’s position is vulnerable to damage if the drone’s falls on its back
  • Camera quality is not extremely good

Now, let’s see a small review of Rodeo 150

So, if you are looking for a compact design of a drone, Rodeo 150 is certainly a great choice for you. Its features and its unique design of nylon plastic are admired by many pilots. The manufacturer has done its best in calibrating and tuning the software for everyone to understand the drone.

About the author
Jack Brown
Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

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