This is the first time I review products from Flycolor – the X-Tower stack. I was impressed with the performance and value of their BLHeli_S Rapter ESC’s, so I am looking forward to testing their latest offering.
Where To Buy?
What’s Special about the X-Tower Stack?
It comes with probably the most complete set of accessories in all the flight controllers and stack systems I have used. It’s just missing a buzzer :)
- XT60 Pigtail
- 25V 330uF capacitor
- 4 x rubber soft-mounting standoffs
- 4 x M3 nylon nut and screws
- 4 x O-rings
- Lots of cables
It’s priced at $78 which is nearly $10 cheaper than the Kakute F4 with Tekko32 4in1 ESC’s.
Specifications of the FC
- F405 Processor, MPU6000 Gyro
- BEC: 3.3V (for Spektrum RX), 5V and 12V
- 6 UART’s
- Betaflight OSD
- Micro SD card slot for Blackbox (support up to 32GB)
There is no solder pads on this flight controller, it uses only JST-style connectors. It’s made to be paired with the 4in1 ESC.
There are JST connectors on both sides of the board. The SD card slot is located on the bottom side.
Specifications of the 4in1 ESC
- BLHeli_32 Firmware
- Current Rating: 40A (45A Burst)
- Supports 3S-6S voltage input
- Built-in Current sensor (Single shut resistor)
Unfortunately ESC telemetry is not supported on this ESC board.
Build quality actually looks pretty good and there are lots of caps for noise filtering as you would expect on any good ESC’s these days.
I am testing the X-Tower stack on my Martian Mini Quad build.
To be honest, there is nothing groundbreaking here about this stack, F4 FC with BLHeli_32 seem to be the norm these days. However it is cheaper than some of the popular options out there. If it performs well in my testing then it might be worth considering.
Personally, I am not a fan of the plastic JST connectors. Because I am replacing the FC and ESC on an existing quad, it means I had to solder connectors on all the wires in order to plug them in to the FC. It’s a lot of extra work if you are coming from FC’s with solder pads.
There is benefit, however, in using connectors. You don’t have to solder at all if you are replacing with another X-Tower FC. That’s probably useful for racers, who break FC more often and this allows them to fix their quad more quickly in the field.
Building & Soldering
Apart from the connectors, there are a few minor things I’d like to point out.
The solder pads on the 4in1 ESC are quite close to the FET’s, it makes soldering a bit harder as you have to pay extra attention not to damage the FET’s with your hot iron and solder.
The PDB silkscreen is hard to read, luckily the manual that comes with it is very well written.
The 4in1 ESC cable is too short if you decide to rotate the ESC or FC 90 degree / 180 degree.
Flycolor assigned 12V for both camera and VTX as power supply. if you have a camera or VTX that only takes 5V, you would have to route the 5V from another connector… It gets messy. that’s one of the reasons why I prefer solder pads.
Gyro’s power supply (3.3V) is broken out to an external pad and intended to be shared with other devices (like the spektrum RX). This might or might not be a problem, but I think it would be better for the Gyro to have it’s own dedicated power supply.