The Naze32 is a small (36x36mm) flight controller based on 32-bit STM32 processor running at 72MHz. Comparing to other popular FC such as the KK2, APM2, and Crius AIO, which are all based on 8-bit platform running at 16Mhz.
This board comes with two flavors, Acro Naze32 (FunFly) and Full Naze32. The Full Naze32 has additional barometer and compass. They are priced at $25 and $53. Personally I think if you are just going to be flying around and doing acrobatics, the Acro version would be more than enough, because it provides relatively stable self-level mode. I have to say the price is very competitive compared to other FC.
Although the Naze32 uses ported version of Multiwii, it’s not exactly a Multiwii flight controller, because it uses different type of processor (STM based). Normally, multiwii FC for example the Arduino, or Crius AIO FC are Atmel based.
The size of this board is TINY when you think about all the components it has on it. Current revision is the pink PCB rev5, with MPU6050, MS5611, and HMC5883L. For more hardware details see the wiki page.
With the better processing power and precision, in my opinion the performance is better than other flight controllers on the market in terms of flight stability, say the KK2.1. However, GPS functionality with Multiwii is still working in progress, so you need to take this in mind if you want to do “way point” and “GPS hold”.
Anyway, much computational power and resource is still not used on this FC (as I remember from what I read somewhere, the CPU has 75% idle time when flying), and it will certainly gets better as the development continues.
This FC is getting more and more popular with mini size multicopter, due to it’s excellent performance and small size. Here are some of my tips on how to use the Naze32 on a mini quadcopter.
The Naze32 uses a ported version of MultiWii. In a nutshell this is a customized version multiwii for the STM32 CPU along with some enhancements and corrections. That means you can use all your MultiWii knowledge, it even uses the same PC configuration software. But it’s recommended to use the “baseflight” Google Chrome App, which is specifically designed for Naze32 FC.
Although it may well come with some firmware pre-installed, but you might still need to flash new firmware on it. If you don’t like the idea of flashing firmware or entering bootloader mode.
Configuration software GUI
The usual MultiWiiConf can be used for parameter configuration. However there are more choices for the Naze32 when it comes to client software.
- Chrome baseflight configurator (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta … figk?hl=en)
- mw-wingui by EosBandi ( http://code.google.com/p/mw-wingui/ )
- nicodh Android http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1667520 and Windows GUI http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1667516
To change min-throttle and many more other parameters there is a Command Line Interface as well (otherwise know as CLI)
Should I get the Naze32?
Here are a summary of the advantages and disadvantages.
- Solid hardware and sensors, very impressive user control response.
- Continuing development of baseflight firmware.
- Competitive price
- Very light weight and small
- Lacking reliable GPS functionality
- For beginners, it might not be as easy to setup as the Kk2.1
- The small size is also a con, because it’s not easy to mount it on regular copter frame which are designed for the “50mmx50mm” FC. You probably need additional adapters.
I found it performs exceptionally well on small size multicopters, such as my ZMR250 mini quad and FPV250 mini quad. I say this because I used the KK2.1.5 initially, and the copter just couldn’t fly the way I want after many hours of tuning. The Naze32 just feels more locked in and responsive.
I also own the Crius AIO, and I found setting up the Naze32 is very similar in terms of complexity. Functionality-wise, it’s the same too! (compared to the Full Naze32). Price-wise, it’s very close. But the Naze32 has a much better processor.
However it’s not as user friendly as the KK2 boards for complete beginners. You might argue if getting a Bluetooth module, connect to your Android tablet or phone, and configuring the Naze32 that way is just as easy as the KK2, I would say you are right. But again, you need to look at the cost, and setting this up might not be easy for beginners. But if you want to do more advanced stuff like GPS way-point, you will have to use a computer or tablet/phone anyway, no matter what FC you use. KK2 is great, but the Naze32 is definitely a step up from the KK2!
If you really want to have relatively reliable GPS functionality, APM2.6 or Crius AIO (with MegaPirateNG) is the way to go. If you are a beginner and just want to learn how to fly, go for the KK2. For small size multicopters (for casual flying, acrobatics flying), I would definitely recommend using this over other FC.