Betaflight F3 Flight controller and Quadrant 25A ESC are new products from FPVModel. In this review we will have a look at how they perform on a new mini quad build.
Betaflight F3 Flight Controller
Betaflight F3 Flight controller (BFF3) is designed by FPVModel with co-operation of Boris B. (Betaflight creator and developer). It was made to support all Betaflight features in one single board. The BFF3 came flashed with Betaflight 3.1 firmware.
- F3 Processor
- MPU6000 Gyro/ACC Sensor
- 3 x UART ports (one for radio receiver)
- Built in 3A 5V BEC
- Built in OSD – configurable via Betaflight GUI
- SD Card adapter for BlackBox
- Current sensor
- Power distribution board with six-layer PCB
- Weights 8.6g
Betaflight F3 has components built on both sides of the board. Motor signals and ground pads are located near the 4 corners according to Betaflight motors order. ESC power pads and TF card adapter are located on the underside of the board. LiPo power connector pads are on both sides (ground on top, positive on bottom). It also has buzzer pads and bootloader button.
The BFF3 a FC with integrated Power Distribution (PDB). Signal pads and pinholes are fully described. It’s best to solder ESC negative and positive wires to the board first because pads are located on the underside making it tricky or almost impossible if board sits on standoffs already.
For the mini quad build I soldered a 25V 470uf capacitor to the XT-60 wire to make sure that the board is safe from the voltage spikes (this is not compulsory).
TIP: to avoid issues with OSD and VTX it’s best to do common ground – to solder camera and video transmitter grounds together.
Smart audio wire needs to be soldered to TX of one of the board’s UARTs to allow two way communication with video transmitter (if you are using TBS Unify or ImmersionRC Tramp VTX).
There are two solder bridges we need to jump, one is the power selection for Video Transmitter input power (either using regulated 5V or direct power from LiPo) and another for Radio Receiver power (3V or 5V). These need to be soldered based on your build requirements.
Betaflight F3 FC has built in OSD configurable via Betaflight Configurator app.
Here is a list of things we can change using the OSD:
- OSD screen layout
- PIDs and rates
- Video transmitter channels, bands and output power (with TBS Unify or ImmersionRC Tramp)
- and more…
OSD menu is very simple and intuitive. To access it simply put throttle stick in MID position and yaw LEFT while moving pitch stick UP.
OSD is fully configurable using Betaflight configurator. There is no need for any external application to change settings. OSD screen elements can be re-arranged there as well by dragging them with the cursor. There is variety of OSD elements that can be chosen for the OSD layout. Most useful for FPV are the voltage info, timer, pilots name and amps consumed.
Great things about Betaflight F3 Flight Controller
- Integrated PDB
- Built in OSD customizable via Betaflight OSD
- Current sensor
- Intuitive layout
- SD card slot for BlackBox
- Tailored to support Betaflight
- When running 8K/8K, CPU usage remains low
Things to consider with Betaflight F3 FC
- It’s a bit tricky when soldering ESC positive and negative pads located on the bottom side
- The firmware that came with the board (Betaflight 3.1) didn’t support smart audio feature in OSD
Quadrant 25A ESC
Quadrant ESC is an unusual product because it can be a 4in1 ESC or just a standalone “one per arm” ESC.
- Supports 4S-6S LiPo
- Weight: 2.5g each
- Powered by EFM8BB21 MCU
- BLHeli_S supporting Oneshot42, Oneshot125, Multishot, Dshot150/300/600
- 25A costant load, 30A burst
To make use the Quadrant in 4in1 configuration, the positive and negative pads need to be soldered together. It’s best to install the ESCs onto standoffs first and then do the soldering.
In my build, I decided to installed them separately on each arm. These ESCs don’t come with any wires, I had to use my own wires I kept from previous builds (very handy to keep the wires, who knows when you gonna need them : ) )
First I soldered the signal and ground wires.
Great things about Quadrant 25A ESC
- Flexible installation – they can be installed individually or as a 4in1 stack under the FC
- The Quadrant can act as a PDB when soldered together
- DSHOT supported out of the box
Things to consider
- If soldered together there is a higher chance of failure
- No wires included
Flight Experience and Final Verdict
I built the QAV-X with the following components to test Betaflight F3 and Quadrant 25A ESC combo:
- QAV-X Frame
- ZMX 2207 2300kv motors
- FrSky XM+ Radio Receiver
- TBS Unify Pro HV Video Transmitter
This combo gives a very smooth flying experience. Throttle response is great and quad felt snappy on latest Betaflight firmware. Having built in OSD to see voltage and timer without extra separate OSD hardware is great. Also option for Dshot600 out of the box is the most welcome addition. There is no need to modify ESC capacitors in order to make that to work.
In my opinion Betaflight F3 is without a doubt the best Betaflight board on the market, purely based on amount of features it offers and ease of configuration.
Quadrant 25A ESCs offer great flexibility for any type of build as well as solid performance.