Review: Zeez F7 2020 FC 4in1 ESC Stack

Today I am going to check out a new 20x20mm stack from Zeez – a F7 FC with 4in1 45A ESC which has reserved space for onboard TBS VTX and Crossfire receiver.

Learn all the basics about FPV Drone Flight Controllers in this guide.

Where to Buy Zeez 2020 Stack

You can get this stack, or the FC and 4in1 ESC separately.

It comes with the following accessories:

  • (8X) Aluminum Standoff
  • (4X) Aluminum Nut
  • (1X) ESC to Flight Controller 8 Pin to 8 Pin JST SH 1.00mm connector
  • (1X) ESC to Flight Controller 8 Pin to Free wires (with JST SH crimp) JST SH 1.00mm connector
  • (1X) ESC to Flight Controller 8 Pin to Servo Connector JST SH 1.00mm connector
  • (1X) JST SH 8 Pin Plastic Housing
  • (1X) JST SH 10 Pin Plastic Housing
  • (2X) 2.00mm Header Pin for VTX connection
  • (2X) 2.54mm Header Pin for Receiver connection
  • (4X) Spare M3 rubber anti vibration for Flight Controller or ESC

XT60 pigtail with 14AWG silicon wires.

Two 470uF 35V Low ESR Capacitors.

Specs and Features

The Zeez 2020 Stack is basically the smaller version of the Zeez 3030 stack we recently reviewed.

Although being a smaller 20x20mm stack, it has everything that the larger 30x30mm stack has to offer, and more!

F7 2020 FC:

  • F7 Processor
  • MPU6000 Gyro
  • Up to 8S voltage input
  • 6 UART’s available
  • 128MB flash memory for Blackbox
  • 5V 3A BEC
  • Built-in LC filter for VTX power (5V only)
  • FC dimension: 30.0×35.5x6mm
  • FC weight 7.2g

45A 4in1 ESC

  • BLHeli_32
  • 45A continuous current, 55A burst
  • Supports 3S to 6S Voltage Input
  • Supports DShot600 and Bi-directional DShot (for RPM filter)
  • ESC dimension: 33.5×41.5×6 mm
  • ESC weight 10.2g

F7 FC

On top of the FC, there are reserved space for mounting and connecting TBS Pro32 nano VTX and Crossfire Nano receiver, using the header pins provided. This design certainly makes a clean and compact build if you use these components, but if you don’t, you can still use the space for other components by connecting them to the solder pads with silicon wires.

There are RGB LED’s at each corner.

These LED’s are very bright :) And their color and function can be configured in Betaflight, I will show you how later in this article.

Although the FC is made in China, it’s designed by an Italian company.

Just like its bigger brother (the 3030 stack), there are connectors at each corner for additional LED strips. However there is no LED strips included, but they can be purchased separately here: https://oscarliang.com/product-mmw8

Unlike most flight controllers out there, the Zeez F7 uses USB-C connector instead of Micro USB, which provides way better user experience.

4in1 ESC

Motor output pads are only available on one side of the ESC, so make sure you keep that in mind when planning your build. The pads are well sized with decent separation, makes it very easy to solder.

The LiPo pads features two holes for installing the capacitor, again makes it easier to work with.

The ESC is has conformal coating for water resistance.

You can connect the ESC to the FC using the ribbon cable provided. But if you prefer soldering, you can also find the matching solder pads on the other side of the board.

Setup and Wiring

Unfortunately, there is no manual for the Zeez F7 2020 stack. But since the 2020 F7 FC is almost identical to the 3030 version (just smaller and slightly altered layout), you can rely on the 3030 FC manual for setup and wire connection: https://www.zeezdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/ZEEZ-F7-manual-v0.1.pdf

The Zeez F7 2020 FC is pre-loaded with Betaflight 4.1. The Board (firmware target) is ZEEZ/ZEEZF7.

I made a copy of the default CLI dump here: https://intofpv.com/t-cli-dump-for-zeez-f7-2020-fc

Before wiring, make sure you bridge the following solder pads first.

Receiver power, choose voltage between 3.3V or 5V:

VTX power, choose voltage between 5V and VBAT:

If you choose 5V to power the VTX, there is additional setup to do in Betaflight, otherwise your VTX won’t be powered.

Go to the Modes tab, scroll down and look for “User 1”, assign a switch on the radio – only when activated, your VTX is powered. This is called “VTX Pitmode”, the benefit of this feature is to allow you to turn off the VTX whenever you want, for example, after you crash, or configuring the quad on the bench without interfering other pilots.

If you want to the VTX to be powered at all time without assigning a switch, just extend the range of User 1 from 1000 to 2000.

If you power the VTX with VBAT, you do not need to worry about this at all as it bypasses Pitmode.

If you use camera control, choose which method you want to use – either UART (U6-T) or Joystick (JGY).

To configure the 8 RGB LED’s on the FC, go to the LED tab in Betaflight configurator. The first LED (0) controls all 8 LED’s on the FC. The rest controls any additional LED’s you connect to the FC via the 3-pin connectors at each corner.

Apart from color, you can also change them to display status and warning. I have a whole article explaining how LED strip works in Betaflight.

The steel bolts that come with the stack are quite interesting, they can be connected to each other.

You will need extra bolts to install this stack in a frame, the length depends on the thickness of the bottom plate. Also these stack uses M3 hardware, so make sure your frame can support M3 20x20mm stack. Some frame only takes M2.

How It Compares to The 30×30 Stack

The 2020 and 3030 stacks are almost identical in terms of features, mostly differ in size, weight and layout. Despite of being smaller, the 20×20 FC has built-in RGB LED’s, while the larger 30×30 FC doesn’t.

The biggest difference is perhaps the 4in1 ESC’s current rating.

Personally I’d get the 2020 stack for a 5″ freestyle quad, the 45A 4in1 ESC is plenty. It’s lighter, smaller, and $10 cheaper. The only reason I’d get the 3030 stack would probably be the more powerful 4in1 ESC, for example, for a high performance 6S drone for racing.

 

You can get the Zeez 2020 stack here:

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