How to Connect FC to Betaflight with Broken USB Port?

Having trouble connecting flight controller with broken USB port to Betaflight Configurator?Don’t throw away the FC just yet, you might be able to fix it easily and I will show you how.

The trick is to use an FTDI Adapter, and hook it up to one of the UART on your FC. But there might be extra steps depending on the type of USB connection you have on the flight controller, either it’s CP2102, or VCP. Not sure what these are? Here is how you can tell which yours is.

However before you begin, always check if you can solder the USB port back on. This is the easiest solution, though it’s not an easy soldering job.

Using an FTDI Adapter to Connect Flight Controller

If your FC has the CP2102 chip on it, you can just connect the FC to your computer using an FTDI adapter via UART1.

Connection: Only 4 wires are needed, TX to RX, RX to TX, 5V to 5V and GND to GND.

If this is the first time you use the FTDI adapter, you might also need to install driver. You can normally get the link to the driver file on the adapter product page, or simply google the type of  adapter and driver.

For VCP FC, Flash Custom Firmware First

If your FC uses VCP for USB connection, it’s not so straight-forward. Because none of the hardware UART’s are enabled for USB communications.

What you need to do first, is to enable UART1 for USB connection (MSP), before you can use the FTDI adapter for connecting to a computer.

One way of doing it is to flash the FC with a special firmware that by default has UART1 enabled for MSP USB connection. Then you can just connect UART1 to an FTDI adapter. This is also useful when you have trouble connecting to the configurator through USB port.

  • You can either create your own firmware target for your FC if you know how, or
  • You can download the custom firmware here

You can flash firmware via UART1 using an FTDI adapter.

If you can’t do this, you can try cutting a USB cable, and solder the wires directly on the USB port pads on the FC. This way allows you to get into the configurator and enable USB connection on a UART.

11 thoughts on “How to Connect FC to Betaflight with Broken USB Port?

  1. Dafunk

    For VCP case “One way of doing it is to flash the FC with a special firmware that by default has UART1 enabled for MSP USB connection. .”

    How do you flash the FC if the usb is broken. Did I miss something ???

    Reply
    1. Andreas Mettel

      You can flash the fc through the uart1. Thats not the problem… afterwards you need msp activated on uart1 otherwise you can t connect and configure the fc. So you need a special build firmware where msp is activated on uart1…. in the above mentioned link can you get duch a firmware

      Reply
      1. Sebastian Sombra

        Hi. I tried connecting ftdi to uart 1 but it doesn’t connect in DFU mode. It seems that there is not bootloader in uart1 at all. Any idea how to do it? Am I missing something?
        My steps:
        * Connect ftdi to FC (RX to TX, TX to RX, 5v, GND)
        * Press boot button
        * Connect FTDI to computer
        * The FC is not in DFU mode so it can’t be flashed

  2. Andreas Mettel

    Is there anyone who can tell me how a special firmware is done? Just activate msp on uart1?

    Reply

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