There are too many great flight controllers out there. In this edition of “top 5 best” we have picked 5 FC’s for racing mini quads based on community feedback in March 2017.
The flight controllers featured here are chosen because they scored top votes in our recent Facebook group poll, as well as consideration on their capability. Anyway, please do your research on how to choose FC before making the decision.
The choice of FC really depends on which firmware you prefer to run. Some FC might be compatible with more than one firmware, but the FC recommendation might change from one firmware to another. We have included at least 1 FC for each firmware in this list, perhaps we will talk about “best FC for betaflight” and “best FC for raceflight” in the future.
For other latest popular racing drone products, check out the “Top 5 Best” lists.
Common features the listed FC’s have:
- F3 or F4 CPU
- Low noise gyro with SPI Bus allow up to 8K Gyro sample rate – such as MPU6000
- Boards designed for Betaflight tend to have SD card logger for blackbox
Betaflight F3 (FPVModel)
- F3 Processor, MPU6000 Gyro
- Designed for Betaflight
- Integrated OSD
- PDB capability, current sensor and 5V 3A BEC
- In-built SD card logger for blackbox
Designed specifically for Betaflight, by Betaflight founder Boris B, this board is packed with features that you need to unlock all the potential of BF. The BFF3 built-in OSD is much easier to use than MinimOSD, all configuration can be done in the configurator. You can even tune your rates and PID with OSD. If you don’t need the OSD you can simply bypass it.
This board acts like a hub for all your components, ESC, VTX, camera, RX, LiPo battery can all connect directly to this board. This allows a really compact, simple and “single board” racing drone build.
Revolt F4 (Raceflight)
- F4 Processor, Invensense 20602 Gyro/Acc
- Designed for Raceflight
The Revolt F4 FC is designed specifically for Raceflight by the Raceflight team. It allows the fastest gyro refresh rate, PID looptime of up to 32khz. Some disagree with the “faster is better” concept, but many users have expressed positive feedback regarding performance of Revolt F4 running Raceflight. Their latest software “RF1” (Raceflight One) also continues to develop and makes setting up easier for users.
The Revolt F4 is a simple FC without any bells and whistles. Not even an on-board 5V BEC, which means you will need an external 5V power supply for this FC (and an additional VBAT connection to monitor LiPo voltage). RF team explains this is to keep the noise down.
By the way, the Lumenier Skitzo FC is a rebrand of Revolt, they are the same board except the colour and price.
- F3 Processor, MPU6050 Gyro
- Comes with KISS FC firmware, supports Betaflight
Probably the longest-standing flight controller in this list, the KISS FC was released back in Dec 2015. I think the main reason for its lasting popularity is Flyduino’s closed source KISS FC firmware, which is exclusive to the KISS FC.
The KISS offers easy setup and very unique flight characteristics. I personally found KISS flies a bit smoother and softer while Betaflight flies more precise but more robotic. Not really the most accurate description, but this is the best way I could put it.
It’s one of the first controller boards that came up with “H” shape with solder pads because most of us like direct soldering. However I found the ESC pin layout not very user-friendly: they are all located on one side, on both top and bottom of the board.
The Kiss FC also supports Betaflight firmware, but in my opinion there are better F3 FC out there for Betaflight. The main reason for KISS FC is really just the firmware.
Omnibus F4 Pro
- F4 Processor, MPU6000
- Supports Betaflight
- SD card logger for blackbox
- OSD built-in
- Integrated Current Sensor
- Built-in Barometer – BMP280
The Omnibus F4 has Betaflight OSD that allows you to change PID/rates with your sticks, and built-in current sensor provides information about current draw and mAh used. This FC can take 4S power directly from battery as it has a inbuilt 5V BEC. However it does not have PDB capability like the Betaflight F3, which means you will need to run a separate PDB for your ESC’s.
One thing to be aware of with F4 FC’s is the trouble running Smart Port telemetry, because S.Port signal is inverted from X4R/XSR receivers, and F4 does not natively support UART inverting. Normally you need an external inverter, or hack your receiver to get uninverted S.Port signal.
LUX F3 V2
- F3 MCU, MPU6000
- Betaflight firmware
- In-built SD card logger for blackbox
- 5V/3.3V 1A selectable BEC
If you need a plain and simple FC to run Betaflight, the Lux F3 V2 might be a good option for you. The V2 was improved from the previous version with a better Gyro, and a few other features. It has a very practical and ESC pad layout (at the 4 corners), and the board takes up to 6S LiPo input.