Review: Speedybee F4 AIO FC with Bluetooth

The Speedybee F4 AIO flight controller is the first of its kind to have a built-in bluetooth module, which allows you to configure the quad in the field with your smartphone. in this review we will take a close look at the features and design of this board.

Buy the Speedybee F4 AIO from: 

What’s Special about the Speedybee F4 AIO FC?

This is the only FC on the market with a built-in Bluetooth module as far as I know. It enables you to configure the FC using their very own Betaflight APP for Smartphones and tablets. Does that mean no more carrying a heavy laptop to the field?!

We talked about Speedybee’s Betaflight App a while ago, which basically has nearly the same capability as the desktop configurator, it even includes the CLI mode! Check out our reviews of different Betaflight APP for Smartphone if you haven’t already.

I was skeptical at first about the built-in bluetooth module and the Smartphone app, “Is it really necessary? We already have Betaflight OSD and LUA script that allow us to change half of the settings in Betaflight.”

After using the Speedybee FC and the Betaflight APP for a few days, it’s growing on me. Not only it gives me access to all the Betaflight settings, the APP also works pretty well! The FC is ready to be connected to the phone as soon as the battery is plugged in, and the APP is pretty fast and responsive to work with.

However you still need access to your computer for flashing FC firmware and configuring ESC’s using BLHeli configurator. So you still need a computer at some point.

Specifications

  • MCU & IMU: F405, MPU6000
  • Support Betaflight OSD
  • Built-in Bluetooth module
  • 2MB (16Mbit) onboard Flash Memory for Blackbox
  • Integrated Current Sensor (rated for 200A)
  • Support 3S to 6S LiPo Direct Input
  • BEC: [email protected], [email protected], Filtered [email protected], Filtered [email protected]
  • Total 5 UART’s
  • Extra pads: i2c, RSSI, DAC, 7 Motor Outputs
  • Weight: 8.8g
  • Dimension: 36×39.7mm

Board Layout and Design

The Speedybee F4 AIO has a MPU6000 Gyro hard mounted on the board. The gyro choice is known to be low noise but can only support up to 8KHz looptime, though that’s enough for most people.

Unfortunately, there is no FC soft mounting solution provided in the kit. I recommend getting some rubber bobbins with this board. It does however come with a 470uF capacitor for filtering noise in the power.

The board design and pin layout is user friendly, not bad at all given this is Speedybee’s first attempt at flight controllers. There are also some other pretty cool features too:

  • There are 7 motor outputs which is flexible because you can run hexacopter config or remap those pins for other things (for example camera control)
  • It’s got DAC pin which can also be used for camera control in the future
  • There are i2c pins for peripherals such as GPS and external Barometer
  • They provided a 9V LC-filtered power for FPV transmitter

However it’s a pity that they didn’t provide dedicated ESC telemetry pads at the corners, which could have made wiring cleaner (if you run ESC telemetry).

There is also no ESC signal ground, though it’s debatable whether it’s required.

Despite having 5 UART’s on this board, only 3 are in fact spare. UART2 is used for receivers where TX2 has a built-in inverter, and UART5 is reserved for the bluetooth module.

Finally, beware that this board doesn’t have reverse polarity protection. As soon as you plug in your battery the wrong way round, you will damage the voltage regulator on the board and it will no longer power up.

Conclusion

The Speedybee F4 AIO flight controller caters for a very specific audience: those who use their smartphone to configure their drones frequently in the field. If you don’t use Bluetooth at all, this board will still serve well given the long list of features.

15 thoughts on “Review: Speedybee F4 AIO FC with Bluetooth

  1. Haneef

    Hi Oscar i’m trying to hook up beitian 220 module to speedy bee f4 as per their manual however when I connect it to TX4 and RX4 i have a steady blue light on the GPS, looks like there is no communication from the fc to gps module. I also tried using the ftdi adapter to check gps settings and it works fine with the u-center app blue led blinks and tries to acquire sattelite and it does so successfully, its getting a 3d fix. But it fails to work when connected to the fc. Led remains steady. Can u pls guide me

    Reply
  2. Rudy.

    Hello can someone please explain how I connect my R9mm to the SpeedyBee fc I’m new to this and Cannot figure this if my life depended on it. I know how to run to the sbus pad but I wanna try the R9mm setup with the Fport. Iv already flashed the firmware. Any help would be great.

    Reply
  3. Federico Lepe

    Once I do the smartport CLI which port is the one that I have to enable Softserial and Telemetry in?

    Reply
  4. Ian

    Gday Oscar
    Thank you for your reply with like to how to build your first quad copter… most helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Ian c

    Gday Oscar
    Hey, google chrome won’t download blheli or cleanflight to my iPad. I’ve got speedy bee o.k, and have quads, and flight controllers all over the place but can’t use them! That is to say, fly them!!! Over the years I’ve bought a new laptop, a new Samsung, and still can’t get configurators to download!!!!
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Smile
    Ian

    Reply
  6. Reinhard

    Can I connect the NON hardware-modded R-XSR’s Smartport and connect to TX2 (inverted UART as per your article) and at the same time use RX2 to connect SBUS to?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      No you can’t use the same UART for two different things, unless you turn one of the unused pin into softserial. But because UART has inverter you can’t use it for anything except SBUS.

      Reply
    2. krulez_fpv

      -connect the smart port to S5
      -set S5 as a soft serial port, enter the following command on the CLI tab
      resource MOTOR 5 none
      resource SERIAL_TX 11 A15
      save
      – Open softserial and telementry on the configure tab
      -on the port tab, softserial1 select smart port

      Reply
  7. Stig Sivertsen

    Hi,

    Did you try to configure ECS’s using BLHeli desktop app while FC running latest Betaflight (RC6)?
    I can’t tell for sure but just as I tried to get BLHeli to connect to the FC the FC went crazy, computer lost connection with FC (cannot recognize COM port) and the prosessor get extreamly hot just as the FC got shorted some how.

    Regards
    Stig Sivertsen

    Reply
  8. Andrew Joseph Blanche

    Where if it’s supported would smartport go for telemetry and smartaudio it’s been a while seeing a pin map not showing at least one of them run to and from

    Reply
    1. krulez_fpv

      -connect the smart port to S5
      -set S5 as a soft serial port, enter the following command on the CLI tab
      resource MOTOR 5 none
      resource SERIAL_TX 11 A15
      save
      – Open softserial and telementry on the configure tab
      -on the port tab, softserial1 select smart port

      Reply

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