Review: CLRacing F7 V2 FC (MPU and Dual Gyro)

My favourite FC – the CLRacing F7 has been upgraded to V2. In addition to the improvements they also released two versions, DUAL Gyro and MPU6000! Everyone’s happy!

Learn about flight controllers for racing drones in this tutorial.

Where to Buy CLRacing F7 V2?

Dual Gyro Version ($35)

MPU Single Gyro Version ($35)

Two Versions – Dual Gyro & MPU

Both versions have nearly identical layout which is similar to the original CLRacing F7. Honestly, I think the CLRacing flight controllers probably have one of the simplest, cleanest and most practical layouts.

The only difference between the two versions is the gyro sensors. The MPU version has one single MPU6000 gyro on the FC, while the Dual Gyro version has two ICM20602 gyros.

Left: Dual Gyro, Right: MPU, two versions of CLRacing F7 V2

Both versions look nearly identical on the bottom side, Left Dual Gyro, Right MPU

Dual Gyro – Hype or Real Deal?

It’s not only “having two gyros on FC”, but it’s actually “using two gyros simultaneously”. Some flight controller have two gyros, but you can only choose one, the other is just a backup.

The dual gyro’s in the CLRacing F7 V2 can work at the same time, it reduces noise by averaging data from the two gyros.

The two identical gyro’s (ICM20602) are mounted at 90° apart from each other, i.e. Gyro #1’s X axis is parallel to Gyro #2’s Y axis. However it won’t help the vertical Z axis as both gyros are mounted on the same horizontal plane.

In theory, it should make a difference, but whether the difference is big enough to be worthwhile for the average quad, has yet to be backed by data.

There is concern if one of the gyro’s might be below spec than the other, it could actually result in more noise when data are averaged than simply using a single “better” gyro.

If you don’t believe in it, you can instead get the good old trusted MPU6000 version (single gyro) and save $4 :)

Beware the Dual Gyro currently doesn’t support RPM filter, only the MPU version does at the moment.

Specs and Features

  • STM32 F7 MCU
  • IMU (Gyro):
    • Dual Gyro: 2x ICM20602
    • MPU: 1x MPU6000
  • Betaflight OSD
  • Input voltage 2S – 8S (36V)
  • Built-in BEC: 5V/3A and 3.3V/250mA
  • 6 Full UART’s
  • “True PitMode”
  • Supports FPV Camera Control (with necessary resistor and capacitor)
  • VBAT Polarity protection
  • Built-in 32MB flash memory chip for Blackbox
  • 4 Motor Outputs
  • Target: CLRACINGF7, loaded with BF4.0.2

The CLRacing F7 V2 FC includes the following accessories:

  • 6x rubber grommets for soft mounting (2 spare)
  • FC to 4in1 ESC ribbon cable (8-pin)
  • a couple of spare header (9-pin and 8-pin)

“True PitMode”

PitMode on the CLRacing F7 allows you to power on and off your VTX by simply flipping a switch on your transmitter. It basically controls the power to the VTX, so it would work regardless the VTX you have, even the old ones.

There are times you want to power up your quad but keeping the VTX off, like in a race, configuring your quad on the bench, or when you are crashed. This avoids interfering with other pilots and VTX overheat.

CLRacing first implemented this feature in their original F7 FC, and I absolutely loved it! Though there was a little problem with the original as the 5V 1.5A BEC wasn’t strong enough to turn on certain VTX after they are switched off with PitMode. They rectified the issue in the V2 by upgrading the 5V BEC to 3A.

Check manual for details on how to set this up. But if you don’t want to use it, you can simply bridge the “ON” jumper pads. You don’t get this jumper in the MPU version, so you simply have to enable/disable PitMode in the Modes tab.

32MB Flash

The CLRacing F7 V2 has the second biggest flash chip in all the Betaflight flight controllers, only losing to the 128MB of its predecessor.

But that’s all you need honestly, logging at 2kHz , 32MB is enough for over five minutes of blackbox recording.

Connection

The manual explains how to setup a lot of things, and how to connect components to the board: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1737/4233/files/CLF7V2.pdf

Pad names meaning:

  • VBAT = Power to FC and Voltage monitoring
  • CAM+ = Power to Camera, 5V or VBAT (decide by solder bridge)
  • CAM- = Ground
  • CAMC = Camera Control
  • CAMS = Camera Signal
  • VTXS = VTX Signal
  • VTX+ = Power to VTX, 5V or VBAT (decide by solder bridge)
  • VTX- = Ground
  • BB = Buzzer
  • PIT = PitMode (VTX Power Controllable From Radio, requires Betaflight Setup)
  • ON = VTX Power Constantly on (No setup)

Notes

You have to use the header connector (4in1 ESC Port) for ESC’s, even when you are not using a 4in1 ESC. The pins are not broken out to solder pads. Here are the pin out of the connector.

ESC telemetry is on UART 4.

There is no RSSI pad. Current sensor input is only available in the 4in1 ESC connector.

If you want to run RPM filter, you have to disable LED strip, and solder your motor 4 signal to the LED pad. See manual for full instruction.

Voltage Scale

Voltage meter seems to be reading low by default. I have to increase voltage meter scale to about 156. Anyway test yours with a multimeter to make sure and adjust scale accordingly.

Motor 4 Not Moving?

On your first power up, motor 4 is not spinning? You must have forgot to bridge one of the solder jumpers – look for “LED / M4”. See manual for what this means.

Updates

This FC is going into my next 6S build.

12 thoughts on “Review: CLRacing F7 V2 FC (MPU and Dual Gyro)

  1. Munky

    Thankyou Elia!

    I was having trouble preventing my TrampHV from going into it’s pit mode even though it was receiving vbat power through the FC, I actually lost video while flying the first time out with this FC due to this issue. I wondered if the pinio box settings might be the answer but didn’t know what settings to use. I now always have power to my VTX and camera without setting up any switches in the MODES tab. Many thanks again.

    Reply
  2. Elia

    Hi, I would like to share with you a useful trick to disable Pit Mode on the CLRACING F7 V2 FC (MPU version). On the MPU version Pit mode is always on and it requires to set switch modes in BF. However, if for some reasons (e.g. already using VTX pit mode) someone would like to disable Pit Mode on the CLRACING F7 it’s still possible by changing the pinout settings. First disable the pinout mapping “set pinio_box = -1,0,0,0” this way the VTX power is always off no matter how the Pit Mode is set in BF. Next, invert the pinout “set pinio_config = 129,1,1,1” so it’s actually becomes always on. Hope this helps. In case you don’t want to update your article let me know so that I can post this on a forum or somewhere else. Regards, Elia

    Reply
  3. Azik

    Hi Oscar,

    RPM filter is actually supported in dual gyro mode in Betaflight from 4.1. The gyro filtering code has been refactored and merged into master as per this PR: github.com/betaflight/betaflight/pull/8778

    You’re probably using BF 4.1 anyways as RPM filter implementation in 4.0 should be considered as “transitional”.

    You can use it by flashing BF 4.1 RC3 which is available or simply go for the latest Dev build.

    Cheers,
    Azik

    Reply
  4. thomas w butler

    With two gyros, there is no advantage to rotating one 90 degrees. If the gyro is within proper manufacturer’s specifications, the reading should be nearly the same. If the gyro is “out of spec”, then it is a failed part. The gyro has sample values that tell the application if the gyro is out of spec; i.e., has failed, but only from a zero position. There is no way to tell if a gyro is out-of-spec once the gyro is in motion. This is why the use of only two gyros is a fallacy. To make this error correcting work, there MUST be at least THREE gyros. The probability that TWO failed would be extremely high, so the firmware can compare all three. If one is way off from the other two, most likely the way off one is the failed unit. Averaging the samples from two units does introduce the problem of failure of one unit skewing the the average. However, this can be mitigated by a limiter value of say 5% of range of motion. If the values from the gyros are within the limiter range, then both are considered valid. If they are not. then there must be a system warning of possible fault condition.
    Long of the short of it is the use two gyros is iffy!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      No you can’t have RPM on Dual Gyro – you can however if you disable one of the gyros and only run a single gyro

      Reply

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