1204 vs 1303 for 3-inch 3S builds

Let’s test six different motors in the 1204-1303.5 size range to determine which motor responds to throttle changes the fastest, and subsequently, what criteria affects it the most. We also want to check which motor produces the most thrust and which is the most efficient across the 20-80% throttle band.

Setup

  • Motors:
    • FPVCycle 1303 5,000Kv
    • PyroDrone 1303.5 5,022Kv
    • iFlight Xing 1204 4,500Kv
    • T-motor 1303 5,000Kv
    • GEPRC 1204 5,000Kv
    • PyroDrone 1204.5 5,022Kv
  • Prop: Gemfan 3016-3
  • Voltage: 12.6V
  • Throttle steps:
    • 100x @ 10-30% per motor
    • 100x @ 10-60% per motor

Results

Heads up!

We have a dedicated page for test procedures and calculations. Please read it before proceeding in order to fully understand the results and terms used.


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Winner: PyroDrone 1204.5 5,022Kv

Based off the test results, although it is initially clear that the iFlight Xing 1204 4,500Kv is (almost) the quickest in response times for both throttle steps, it also has the smallest RPM change for any given step. If you look at the response rates, the Xing motor is responsive but the thrust it will produce on the target throttle points compared to the others are way less (i.e. it has a smaller RPM rate value). It does draw the least current but again, it also produces the least thrust across the throttle band. Taken together, the throttle response on this motor should feel quick and locked in for a light build flying particularly in a smaller flying space, but may struggle with medium-heavy builds or open flying spaces.

The PyroDrone 1204.5 5,022Kv, even though it is a very close second to Xing in terms of TRT for both throttle steps, is actually the most responsive when looking at the normalized results. It also has a very different performance envelope with the the highest thrust produced and the highest current draw. If your build is aiming for the highest thrust:weight ratio, this should be the top motor to get.

The GEPRC 1204 5,000Kv comes in third in terms of performance, right before the T-motor 1303 5,000Kv. Then at the end, we have the FPVCycle 1303 5,000Kv and the PyroDrone 1303.5 5,022Kv. They have close response times, thrusts and current draws, but the latter is also almost 0.8g heavier, putting it at the last place!

In-depth analysis

Quad66 did an amazing, 3-part technical analysis of the 1204 vs 1303 test results. These videos also serve as primers for analysis of future tests. Please subscribe to his channel and watch his older videos as they provide a lot of insightful information about these micro motors.

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The main takeaways are:

  • Thrust is predicted by surface area and Kv, not the stator ratio.
  • Efficiency needs more data (more motor variations within the same class) to figure out which parameters ultimately predict it, but the current dataset shows that wider motors are more efficient than taller ones.
  • Response rate is predicted generally by the stator ratio (diameter/height). Wider/flatter motors respond slower than narrower/taller motors.

Raw results

Link to Google Drive folder containing the raw files + summary.

Other motors

There are other motors in the same category that are missing in this test. Adding them to this test in the future might shed even more light to the result analysis.

  • Flywoo Robo 1204 5,150Kv (lightest of all 10 motors)
  • Rcinpower 1204 5,000Kv
  • BetaFPV 1204 5,000Kv
  • Diatone Mamba 1105 5,000Kv (for kicks)
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