Flight Controller USB Connection: CP210X or VCP

A flight controller is designed to connect to the computer using one of the following 2 methods: CP2102 (CP2103) or VCP. This is how you can tell them apart.

All FC’s use one of the two types of USB connection, CP210X or VCP. Each type requires different driver to install on your computer. Also it’s useful to know in case your USB port is broken and you need to connect to the computer.

Further Reading: How to choose an flight controller for mini quad

How to Tell if You have CP210X or VCP ?

CP2102, CP2103

CP210X is a chip as the interface between the FC and computer for configuration and firmware flashing. It’s common in older boards like the Seriously Pro Racer F3 (SPRF3) and Naze32 have a  on board which is used.

Driver – Silabs CP210X – http://www.silabs.com/products/development-tools/software/usb-to-uart-bridge-vcp-drivers

For CP210X, you will notice UART1 has MSP enabled for communicating with the computer when USB port is connected. That’s also why you don’t want to connect any other devices to this UART if you have this type of FC.

CP2102 USB MSP Port UART 1

VCP

Modern flight controllers use VCP (Virtual COM Port) to configure settings, and use DFU mode to flash firmware. These interfaces are integrated features in the MCU.

For VCP boards, you will see USB VCP in the port tab which has MSP enabled. VCP has the advantage that the USB connection is not shared with UART1 so you don’t need to worry about using it for something else.

VCP USB Port MSP

1 thought on “Flight Controller USB Connection: CP210X or VCP

  1. Jack Ley

    I have a vcp, what does it mean when there is that ticker on the ports tab is a lighter yellow than any other ticker?

    # version
    # Betaflight / STM32F7X2 (S7X2) 4.1.0 Oct 6 2019 / 06:48:40 (c6452a55c) MSP API: 1.42
    # manufacturer_id: CLRA board_name: CLRACINGF7 custom defaults: YES

    # diff
    # start the command batch
    batch start

    board_name CLRACINGF7
    manufacturer_id CLRA

    # mixer
    mixer QUADX1234

    # feature
    feature -RX_PARALLEL_PWM

    # beeper
    beeper -GYRO_CALIBRATED
    beeper -ARMING_GPS_FIX
    beeper -GPS_STATUS
    beeper -READY_BEEP
    beeper -ON_USB
    beeper -BLACKBOX_ERASE
    beeper -CAM_CONNECTION_CLOSE
    beeper -RC_SMOOTHING_INIT_FAIL

    # serial
    serial 0 32 115200 57600 0 115200
    serial 4 0 115200 57600 0 115200
    serial 5 64 115200 57600 0 115200

    # aux
    aux 0 0 0 1650 2100 0 0
    aux 1 1 1 900 1200 0 0
    aux 2 2 1 1375 1625 0 0
    aux 3 13 2 1200 2100 0 0
    aux 4 35 3 1600 2100 0 0
    aux 5 39 4 1375 1625 0 0
    aux 6 48 4 1725 2100 0 0

    # master
    set gyro_to_use = FIRST
    set acc_calibration = -26,5,19
    set mag_hardware = NONE
    set baro_hardware = NONE
    set rssi_channel = 16
    set serialrx_provider = FPORT
    set yaw_motors_reversed = ON
    set pid_process_denom = 4

    profile 0

    rateprofile 0

    # end the command batch
    batch end

    Reply

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