This is a story of a FC that died right after I finished the build, and there came another FC to the rescue. Thank you Newbeedrone, thank you BeeFlight FC!
So I received the production version Kombini FC earlier this month to replace the faulty prototype board. I was eager to try that because it’s the first FC I’d used that has integrated PDB.
Not to mention I have the new Quadro200 frame from one of the most creative FPV frame designer, Stefan van der Ende. The frame is a pure piece of art.
The camera mounting is pretty clever, the camera sits right in the cutout and doesn’t require any 3D printed parts or hardware. However the angle is fixed and not adjustable.
Installing the Kombini FC, soldering is a bit tough because the FC is packed with components and solder pads, I had to be extra careful not to short the pads next to it. It’s good that they included the signal ground.
Protecting the FC with my IntoFPV 3D-printed plate with Buzzer holder :)
With the Foxeer Arrow which has VBAT and voltage OSD, I just needed a VTX and RX to complete this build! No PDB and OSD.
I connected the FC to my computer, set up all the stuff I needed and calibrated the ESC’s. Almost ready to go.
But… (nothing counts before the word but)
When I disconnected the USB cable and plugged in the LiPo, nothing happened. FC wasn’t powered.
I looked around, trying very hard to find out what was wrong. Loose cables? Bad soldering? Shorts somewhere?
And when I flipped the quad over, I found a missing diode (D4) on the Kombini (circled in green). I think it must have fallen off during my quad assembly.
It was very frustrating as I wasted 4 hours on the build, and now I had to take the quad apart again and try to fix it (didn’t work though).
Luckily one week later I received a different FC to complete this build.
Meet the BeeFlight Flight Controller
The BeeFlight is from NewBeeDrone. I was told the board I received is the final prototype, and it’s not available in their shop yet.
Yes it’s a very interesting board. It’s not square like other standard FC’s, the dimension is 36mm x 50mm.
Even though I got the board, I have absolutely no official spec information. Perhaps the spec is not confirmed for production… I am not sure as I am not getting any confirmation from NewBeeDrone either at the moment.
So far I know:
- It’s a F3 board, using SPRacing F3 firmware target
- PDB Integrated just like the Kombini, you can connect the ESC signal and power directly to the FC
- OSD Integrated runs MWOSD firmware (You can flash the OSD with the same mini USB Port the FC uses. There is a switch where you can choose to connect the FC or the OSD via USB
- It has built-in current sensor and allows Voltage/Current monitoring
- There is only 5V BEC and no 12V – However it has a filtered +Bat for your VTX (LC filtered power output from battery)
- Supports SBUS, Spektrum and PPM, but NO PWM
Something I noticed during the build:
- The 5V outputs 5.26V, might be a problem for WS2812 LED’s, not a biggie though for other stuff
- I wish there is 12V, given the amount of space this board has, this shouldn’t be a problem
- The board is quite big in size, it might not fit in small frames
- No ESC signal ground (I wish they do)
- First time when I power it up, there was no OSD, I had to change PAL/NTSC.
- Gyro Update rate / Looptime can only go as high as 4K/4K. When setting Gyro to 8K the CPU usage jumps to 100%. Also can’t seem to use Oneshot42 and Multishot, motors don’t respond? I had to run 4K/2K and Oneshot125 for now
- USB connection powers up RX and Buzzer as well
- Comes with Betaflight V3.0, MWOSD 1.6
Connection wise it’s very easy and clear.
I first solder all the wires on the board, the rest is just plug and play :) That’s the beauty of AIO boards.
I went back to the Runcam Swift in this build since the FC has integrated OSD.
The Weight is 335g (excluding battery and HD camera).
You might have noticed, I rotated the board 180 degree around yaw. Because if I had installed it the normal way, the XT60 cable would get in the way of the VTX, so I had to spin it around.
That comes the problem, the ESC signals are at the 4 corners. I already cut the ESC wires short, and soldered them on the board, so I had to change motor outputs using motor mixer.
mmix 0 1.0, -1.0, 1.0, -1.0 mmix 1 1.0, -1.0, -1.0, 1.0 mmix 2 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0 mmix 3 1.0, 1.0, -1.0, -1.0
In CLI, change to:
mixer custom mmix reset mmix 0 1.0, 1.0, -1.0, -1.0 mmix 1 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0 mmix 2 1.0, -1.0, -1.0, 1.0 mmix 3 1.0, -1.0, 1.0, -1.0 save
So far so good, I will come back and update after the following weekend, how good the FC is in terms of noise filtering, user experience and performance.
After First Flight
So far so good, it flies! Power filtering works great and video is clear, no noise or anything, even though I am using a pretty powerful setup (2600KV with 5″ props).
In terms of tuning, I am still trying to find a solution to the CPU usage and multishot problems mentioned above. It does make a difference to me when you run 8K/4K Multishot and 4K/2K Oneshot125. :D