Solder Memory Chip on Naze32 Acro – Enable Blackbox Recording

Mischa, a group member of MI (multicopter international) kindly shared with us how he soldered a memory chip on a Naze32 Acro board.

So, Why solder a memory chip on the Naze32?

To use blackbox in Cleanflight, you either need onboard flash memory, or an Openlog SD data logger. On the Naze32 Acro Rev5 flight controller, there is no built-in memory chip, so you had no option but use Openlog. The cost of the data logger and high spec SD card is about $20. Many new flight controllers comes with SD card logger so there is no need to use flash memory.

When there is no onboard flashdata memory, the dataflash tab in Cleanflight Configurator appears empty.

When there is no onboard flashdata memory, the dataflash tab appears empty

When there is no onboard flashdata memory, the dataflash tab appears empty

However, you can actually solder a memory chip on your Naze32 FC yourself! Not only it’s a lot cheaper (only $1!), you can also get large capacity memory chip if you want – 8MB even 16MB!! That’s much larger than some of the current FC. Here are some examples of flash data memory capacity offered by some popular FC:

  • 2MB – Naze32 Full, CC3D, DoDo
  • 8MB – SPRacing f3

These “Winbond”chips are recommended by Mischa.

naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-zoom-in

But I need to warn you, soldering a chip this size on a flight controller is NOT easy for beginners! You could damage your board so do it at your own risk!

Soldering a Memory Chip on Naze32 Acro FC

Mischa has done this mod on all of his Naze32 boards and a couple of his friends’ boards. He described how:

naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-winbond naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-position-on-board

1. I find it easiest to put some solder blobs on the pads and flux on the chip legs.

2. Then push the chip legs down – since they are a little wider than the pads on the Naze.

3. Tape Naze to the table and heat up all 4 legs of the chip at the same time by holding the soldering iron sideways.

naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-solder-tape-board

4. They will basically solder themselves then to the board. Fairly straight forward I guess.

naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-solder-finish-check naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-solder-after-usb

If you have a smarter way to do it – let me know!

*Make sure you check and confirm the orientation of the chip with the finished picture – position of the little dot at the corner of the chip

Check if the memory chip works

The procedure took about 10 minutes in total including the photos taking. The memory should appear the next time you plug the board into the computer.

naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-after-solder-cleanflight-dataflash-tab

If it doesn’t then you should check the soldering first, maybe one of the legs has a cold joint, or no connection at all.

Mischa also tried to unsolder the memory chip off a faulty CC3D board, and add it to the Naze32 board, but it didn’t work. For some reason it wasn’t possible to erase the data from cc3d. However it might just be a faulty/damaged memory chip and they didn’t investigate further.

40 thoughts on “Solder Memory Chip on Naze32 Acro – Enable Blackbox Recording

  1. tim

    Best way is solder paste and heat but you need the equipment obviously :D
    Like this: youtube.com/watch?v=f_yFDpSTfao

    Reply
  2. Felix

    Hey Oskar!

    I have SP F3 with 8mb, so now I can change it to 16mb too, like on Naze32? Is it possible?

    Thanx a lot in advance.

    Reply
  3. Antoine

    Hi oscar,

    Is there any way of checking wich connection might be cold. Tried with 3 different 8mb memory chips. None worked. I ordered the one in the link on top.

    Antoine

    Reply
  4. Tim

    Hi Oscar

    I ended up getting these Winbond 25Q128FVSG 1210..I couldn’t find any on eBay that matched the same second numbers as you show on your blog and I checked the datasheet for the component and it didn’t seem to mention any difference..

    ebay.co.uk/itm/111840284913?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Doesn’t work though. $20 down the drain :(

    P.S. I love your blog.

    Reply
  5. Porco777

    Hi Oscar, I soldered a 16Mb chip too on my naze32, I can see the memory under cleanflight, but, no records after flights.
    I set it up correctly with:
    feature BLACKBOX
    set blackbox_device = SPIFLASH

    but no logs on it after my flights, does some of you did encounter same issue?
    thanks!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      did you assign a switch to BB? if you did then remove that… normally it should start recording once it’s armed. maybe try to erase the memory just in case?
      lastly, i would really appreciate it if you could join the forum: http://intoFPV.com … I don’t want to miss your comment, because I only check my blog comments only once a week, but I use the forum daily!

      Reply
      1. Porco777

        Hi Oscar,
        Thanks Oscar for answer.
        I’ll do that ;-)
        About my memory, I didn’t assign a switch, exactly as I did with my Openlog, but it doesn’t seem to work. The two boxes buttons right down into clmeanflight are grey (unusable).
        Even if I checked, maybe I have a bad solder on writing pin…

      2. Oscar Post author

        Yea then it might be the soldering… maybe redo that if possible? make sure no cold solder joints.

      3. Porco777

        Hi Oscar,

        I come back here to give a clue on my previous problem.
        First, I did login your Forum here, but I didn’t find a thread talking about this mod to explain my research.
        Anyway, I understood why I never see any records on the memory… My mistake actually… I proceed the same way as Open logger, but in fact, with onboard memory I didn’t know we have to let the battery plugged while plugging the naze to the computer… Memory seems to be erased when you stop feeding the FC. At least on mine… I didn’t know that.
        But now, I have an other problem… The logs I get are unreadable, containing only :
        ˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇˇ
        Do you know if there is something to modify or to do for that?
        Thanks!

    2. Clifton

      I did this to my naze32 rev6. I see the 16MB.

      1. log doesn’t store if powered off. Previous chip would store the log.
      2. log is corrupt and doesn’t work.

      Reply
  6. Ernie

    Hi Guys,

    Just soldered one of the 16mb chips to my Naze32, flashed with cleanflight and now have 16mb of dataflash for the blackbox recording. I used solder paste on mine and also bent all the legs inward so the chip fit on the board better. With the solder paste already on the legs of the chip and the tabs on the board using a fine tip iron (part of my hot air rework station) I hand soldered one corner letting the solder flow and then the opposite corner to make certain that the chip was PERFECTLY aligned on the tabs. Once those were soldered the chip is locked in. Then I went through and soldered all the other legs. Powered the board up and it works perfect.

    Figured I would share how I did it with the iron rather than my hot air rework station.

    Ernie

    Reply
  7. Kjetil

    Hi Oscar

    I changed my rev 6 chip to a 16MB. Every thing works except for one thing.. The chip erase after powering down. Is this normal?

    Reply
  8. Chris Barth

    Oscar,
    Awesome! Thanks for this, I always thought it would be possible, I never took the time to figure out what chip to use.
    For me, this will be super easy with my hot air rework station. Just a little solder paste, some heat(hot air) and I will be done in about 1min.
    I’ve found many uses for hot air rework stations in this hobby and many outside the hobby. They can be had for around $100, most will include a solder station type iron with it. IMO they are well worth the investment if you are into any type of electronics.

    Reply
  9. Andrei B.

    Hi Oscar,
    sorry for the so late post. I think that the most easy way to solder a small chip like this would be to use some solder paste. it works wonders and it is a fairly easy job that anyone could do with closed eyes. I am going to buy some chips and have a go at it. Will post some pics if interested.

    Keep up the good work. you have one of the best blogs in the hobby ;)

    Reply
  10. jp

    Hi Oscar,
    tried with 3 memory chip soldered in corret position but nothing, memory it’s not disponible.
    Now my naze32 it’s very slow to comunicate with cleanflight configurator, i thing it’s damaged after 3 soldering and desoldering procedure…
    Tried with a new naze but nothing.
    This is the chip 10PCS W25Q128FVSSIG W25Q128FVSG W25Q128FVSIG W25Q128 WINBOND SOP-8 IC
    ebay.com/itm/291561032196?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D291561032196%26_rdc%3D1

    Reply
    1. Mischa

      Hi JP,

      that chip should work just fine as long as its not broken. You might want to double-check that every leg of the chip actually has electrical connection to the solder pads. You could try adding more solder to every leg. Sure, thats no clean way of doing it, but it might work. I know, its very difficult to solder on such a small scale.

      best,
      mischa

      Reply
  11. Kev P

    While the soldered pictures show the IC in the correct orientation, I’d like to point out that the image ‘naze32-memory-chip-data-flash-position-on-board’ has it 180 degrees out.

    The dot on the IC denoting pin 1 should be aligned with the pad marked with an arrow on the silkscreen.

    Reply
  12. Tim

    Hi Oscar, How is it with the REV6 Naze, Is there the opportunity as well to solder an extra chip onto it for use as a blackbox?

    Tim

    Reply
      1. Smash

        My Rev6 Acro has a 25P16VP flash chip which is 16Mb. Its the same chip as on my Rev5 full board.

  13. Brett

    Hi Oscar,
    Does this apply to the smaller FC’s as well? For example the Afromini Amaze Rev3. Half the size, and sure could be handy to have tracking in such a small package.

    Reply
      1. Matt

        I use a 2mb chip on my dodo but it’s really too small to record a whole flight. Would be nice to get a 16mb onto the rev 6. I’m going to give it a shot as I would rather toast a rev 6 than a dodo :)

  14. Luke

    Hi Oscar

    Is there more generic specification for these so we can buy from some other suppliers? The aliexpress store wants to charge me $30 shipping to my location and I can get components from RS components which for me is fast and free shipping.

    Really like the idea of trying this.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Bogdan

    Should work well with conductive paste. That gets solid after a few hours and as there are more pins, it should give good grip. The conductive paste has some limitations, but it’s not the case here, it’s low amperage.

    Reply
  16. Adrian

    Hi Oscar

    Anyone know if this can be done to a Flip32? I don’t see the same solder pads on the pcb.

    Love your blog man!

    Thanks,

    Adrian

    Reply
  17. Fint

    Hi Oscar

    Super info!
    I’ve been holding of using the Luxfloat PIDC as I’m using Naze32 acro boards without the blackbox functionality.
    This offers a great way of being able to use loggs for tuning, will give it a shot!

    Reply
  18. Erwin

    Hi Oscar

    Is it verified that both the 8MB and 16MB memory works when installed on an acro naze32? I’m planning on ordering the 16MB.

    Erwin

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Hi Erwin
      Mischa confirmed it does work on both 8 and 16MB (see last picture, clenaflight shows 16MB memory)

      Reply

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