Review: Holybro Kakute F7 V1.5 Flight Controller

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

Holybro released a new version of the Kakute F7, the V1.5! In this post we are going to take a look what’s new and whether you should upgrade from the predecessor.

See this article to learn why you should get F7 Flight controllers.

Where to Buy Kakute F7 V1.5?

Product Page: http://bit.ly/2nWfoTR

This is a NON-AIO flight controller, meaning it’s meant to be used with a 4in1 ESC’s like a stack. You can also buy this FC with the Tekko32 4in1 ESC in a bundle: http://bit.ly/2nNzIGK

In the box there are the following accessories:

  • double sided foam tape for installing the detachable Gyro sensor
  • 8-pin ribbon cable for 4in1 ESC

Specification

  • Target: KTF7 (Kakute F7)
  • MCU (Processor): STM32F745
  • Soft-mounted IMU (Gyro): MPU6000
  • Input Voltage: 3S-6S
  • BEC: 5V/2A, 3.3V/0.2A
  • 6 UART’s
  • 6 motor outputs allows for hexacopter configuration
  • Onboard BMP280 Baro Sensor
  • Micro SD card slot for blackbox recording
  • Support Betaflight OSD
  • Dimension: 35x41x7mm
  • Weight: 8g

What’s New in the V1.5?

The previous version says V1.2 on the board, but I am pretty sure the one I have was from the first batch they sold, so maybe they already went through a couple of revisions during beta testing.

Kakute F7 V1.2 top

Kakute F7 V1.2

And here is the latest Kakute F7 V1.5:

Kakute F7 V1.5 top

Kakute F7 V1.5

The first difference I spotted is the 180 degree rotated gyro sensor, so as the ribbon cable, which is now connected to the middle of the board instead of to the edge.

They also changed the Gyro from the ICM20689 to a MPU6000.

The ICM20689 was used in the first place because it was able to run 32KHz looptime, but going forward it seems like Betaflight will be limited to 8KHz, which the MPU6000 is capable of. I guess that’s the reason that Holybro decided they might as well just use MPU6000, it’s less noise sensitive and less problematic in general.

They also changed the location of the LED’s. That’s about it, the rest such as pin-out, components and schematics remain more or less the same.

Kakute F7 V1.2 back

Kakute F7 V1.2

The bottom of the boards is nearly identical.

Kakute F7 V1.5 bottom

Kakute F7 V1.5

Another change is the Gyro sensor interface.

It used to be a ribbon cable directly soldered to the flight controller, but it’s now a solder-free push pin design. They said this is a more reliable solution, I am not sure about that because it doesn’t take much to lift it off the board. I guess only actual flying and crashing this flight controller will tell.

But it’s certainly easier to remove and replace the gyro when you need to. Not that you need to do very often. I only had to change one in the two years I have been flying the Kakute flight controllers.

New Detachable Gyro "Push Pin" Interface (solder-free)

New Detachable Gyro “Push Pin” Interface (solder-free)

And it was extremely difficult to replace, because firstly, the solder pads are extremely small, and the ribbon cable plastic just burns away by the solder iron if you leave it on two second too long.

Old Detachable Gyro Soldered Ribbon Cable Interface

Old Detachable Gyro Soldered Ribbon Cable Interface

Conclusion

Not much has changed. I don’t think this is the usual new product release, but just an update that Holybro wants people to know about.

The new gyro and interface are positive and welcome changes, but not enough for you to replace your existing Kakute boards. If you already got a Kakute F4 or F7 board, no need to upgrade, just carry on!

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12 comments

FURKAN 16th March 2021 - 5:42 pm

HI OSCAR, I am using a kakute f7 v1,5 and 4 in 1 esc. I made all the connections. I flash the software from betaflight. But when it comes to testing, the drone first rolled over. In other trials, it started to wobble constantly. Motors move independently of each other. I think the problem is software. What are your suggestions? Or what are the best match of software versions I can use for this fc card and esc? Thank you..

Reply
Oscar 17th March 2021 - 1:02 pm

do you have a video of the problem?
Also, try to use our forum (intofpv.com), it’s easier for me to follow up with your replies :)

Reply
Peter 4th February 2021 - 7:54 pm

my F7 1.5 is acting very strange, after arming all motors speed is correct, but after just minimal move of throttle up 2 of motors are going up to maksimum with no stick movement, in the same time just touch of yaw side drop it to nominal but other two motors go maksimum up. i tried to change ptotocols from dshot 600 to dshot300, new firmware but no change. Any ideas ?

Reply
Oscar 7th February 2021 - 10:27 pm

What you described is probably just the way Airmode works. When you arm the quad on the floor, this could happen. try taking off and see if it flies. If it does then it’s fine.

Reply
Hurc 5th November 2020 - 2:03 am

Hi Oscar, thanks for this review.
I have a major issue with my FC. I configured it, the motors were spinning fine until I went to take off. The quad flipped a couple of times (got some sand on circuitry). Took it back home and now my motors are not spinning at all and my accelerometer is greyed out. I have isolated individual ESCs to find whether one is fried, all ESCs are being flashed / verified with the only major issue being the motors are not spinning.
– When you say it is ‘non-AIO’ – this may be my problem. I am not using a 4-in-1. How does this impact on the motor controls ?
– I wonder since my accelerometer is inactive. I think the FC may be fried.
– I have since flashed the FC using cleanflight (betaflight is unable to connect)
– blhelisuite is not able to spin motors either.

Any help would be appreciated.

Reply
Jude Garcia - Woodlands, Texas 2nd July 2020 - 2:25 pm

I am not using the Kakute F7 with the Stacked ESC. What is the (I) wire in the cable for, and do you connect all of the ESC signal wires to R7?

Thanks in Advance!

Reply
Oscar 4th July 2020 - 3:51 pm

The “I” wire is current sensor data, R7 is for ESC telemetry from your ESC. M1, M2, M3 and M4 are the ESC signals.

Reply
Villalji 1st May 2020 - 4:15 pm

thanks for your review Oscar, I got this FC, but I’m having a couple of problems with it, the first one is pretty serious, as one of the motors does not work, I have the FC turned 180 in yaw to have the usb connector in the left side, and for whatever reason the left rear motor does not respond. I have tried older versions of BF just in case, and in one instance the motor that did not responded was the rear right, so I know motors and esc work fine, it is something with the FC… does anyone have experienced anything like this? The second problem is that the OSD also does not show in the screen…

Reply
Oscar 3rd June 2020 - 12:16 am

Try swapping the bad motor with a good one, see if that motor still works, that should rule out if the problem with motor/ESC or flight controller

Reply
Mike 19th February 2020 - 4:39 pm

I highly enjoy reading your stuff man, thanks a million!! Off beat question here…but those copper/brass looking standoffs in that first picture at the top of this page….where can i find those? LOL I’m building my first 7″ and trying to make it as clean and nice as possible. I need those !! :)

Reply
Roger 18th October 2019 - 1:28 am

Thanks for the update Oscar. I have been checking to see where I could get two v1.5’s for my next builds. But if there is little improvement in v1.5 there is no reason to bother, i’ll just stick with the older version
Thanks
Roger

Reply
Oscar 22nd October 2019 - 3:06 pm

Yea, no need to upgrade if you already got the older version.

Reply