BrainFPV FC and Tau Labs GCS – Review after 1 week use

After using BrainFPV FC and the Tau Labs GCS for 1 week, here are some of my thoughts, things I like, dislike and ideas. I might not be objective here since I haven’t used it long enough. Sent this post to the BrainFPV Developer as email, so hopefully some of the ideas will be heard.

I will keep this post updated as I use the board/software more.

The FC board

BrainFPV FC is a really good flight controller, good hardware and quality made. Only problem is the connectors. I know it’s for space saving purposes, but the special mini JST connectors (they are even smaller than ordinary JST) are a pain to work with, and very easy to snap the wires near connector. I am still a big fan of standard servo lead pins like those on the Naze32. If you managed to damage the connectors that comes with the FC, you will probably have to connect BrainFPV to get replacement, because I haven’t seen connector this small elsewhere.

Idea: maybe they can develop a companion stackable board, that can be stacked under the Brain, which takes the JST connector and gives out servo Lead pin output? maybe also build in some voltage regulation, current/voltage sensor or power distribution etc… that would make life much easier, and connection wise it would so muc cleaner :D

The Software

First impression of the Tau Labs GCS: The GUI is very user friendly, I like the interface design, drop down menu is helpful, and the setup wizard is great for beginners.

However, after using it a while I really want to go back to Baselfight/Cleanflight (BF/CF), for the following reasons.

  • There are too much you can do, it has a much steeper learning curve than BF/CF
  • Documentation is lacking on how to use the software, and tuning
  • The Tau labs GCS behaves weirdly, after a few connect/disconnect, it won’t let you change settings (just fall back to original settings), you have to restart program.
  • The software is bulky, slow, and freezes my computer for 20 seconds as I plug the board in.
  • USB connection is unstable, not sure this is software or hardware. I need to unplug it and plug it back in. (same cable use for Naze32/Cleanflight, no issue at all)
  • Baseflight / Cleanflight firmware flies much better straight out of the box, and tuning is easier… Maybe the Multiwii algorithm is just better? There is a MW PID calculator, where you can input your Baseflight PID settings, and it calculates the corresponding values in the GCS. I tried it but it still doesn’t perform as well the Naze32.
  • Add support for RGB LEDs, like that in Cleanflight.

Overall

Hands down for the built-in OSD, a breeze to setup and just love this feature! I haven’t tested the GPS features yet, my GPS fix drops everytime I take off, maybe something to do with the GPS module.

Not a big fan of the GCS overall. I now understand why people asked me if they can use Cleanflight on the BrainFPV board. I would ask the same thing if I know how difficult it is to use GCS than BF/CF. :D

It would definitely attract more users if they have Baseflight or Cleanflight to support this board, and somehow you can still configure the OSD/GPS side of things.

4 thoughts on “BrainFPV FC and Tau Labs GCS – Review after 1 week use

  1. Titus

    Hi Oscar, your blog is really useful. Thank you very much. I am reading up on the Brainfpv fc currently. I am also thinking of adding a gps for the RTH and PH function. Is it possible to share with us your build?

    Reply
  2. JP

    Hi Oscar
    After reading your review I’d have to say that I disagree with a lot of it. (respectfully of-course) However, I’ll add that I think a lot of it has to do with what we are all used to. For me Cleanflight is a pain in the “you know what”. Not to mention that after three different quads built with Naze32’s and one with a CC3D flashed to cleanflight I am still yet to get a quad locked in with cleanflight. TauLabs is a total different story. I have two BrainFPV builds under my belt and both quads fly like a dream. I dId the same thing with both of them. I used the TauLabs autotune function to get me close and then I dialed it in with small tweaks. All-in-all I’d say that I can get a quad perfectly locked in with three batteries. All of my mini-quad builds to date have OSD’s and I was able to get my cleanest build with the least amount of research using Taulabs and the Brain. I loved not having to worry about flashing stuff with arduino or wondering if I was going to kill yet another minimOSD because of some faulty voltage regulator.
    In any case, I honestly believe the cleanflight/baseflight world is a total different world than the Taulabs/OpenPilot/LibrePilot world. For the most part people that I’ve talked to either like one or the other and they rarely have good things to say about the one they don’t like… Myself included. There will be nothing but Taulabs and LibrePilot compatable boards for me from here on out.

    Reply
  3. CrazyCoder

    If you need the replacement connectors, these are JST-SH 1.0mm pitch connectors:

    aliexpress.com/store/product/Micro-JST-SH-1-0mm-Pitch-4-Pin-Female-Connector-with-Wire-and-Male-Connector-x/1114121_1641977591.html
    aliexpress.com/store/product/Micro-SH-1-0mm-4-Pin-Male-Female-Connector-plug-and-crimps-x-30-sets/1114121_1680489794.html
    aliexpress.com/store/product/2-x-Micro-SH-1-0mm-8-Pin-to-6-Dupont-3-Pin-Connector-with-wire/1114121_32233001111.html
    aliexpress.com/store/product/Micro-JST-SH-1-0mm-Pitch-8-Pin-Female-Connector-with-Wire-and-Male-Connector-x/1114121_1642104492.html

    Reply

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