(0) Cart
  • No products in the cart.

Electronics

BlogHome » Electronics

FuriousFPV Piko BLX Flight Controller

Check out this flight controller and PDB combo: FuriousFPV Piko BLX. Not only does the FC+PDB integration makes sense. but it’s a F3 with SPI gyro in a 20×20 mounting format. Made for micro multirotor frames. And supports quad or hex configuration.

Since FuriousFPV came on the scene, I swear it feels like there’s finally a company that have looked into my lab or can read my mind. ;) Thier recently released electronics, are looking really sweet.
FuriousFPV_Piko_BLX_flight_controller_daryoon

How it compares to the small AfroMini or CC3D Atom board I have used on my other builds. Yet it is F3 with SPI gyro, BetaFlight and RaceFlight ready…with built in PDB and transponder support. As well as LC Filter.
FuriousFPV_piko_BLX_FC_KISS_AfroMini_Naze_size_comparision

More and more frames are being designed around the 20mm mounting holes. Here is the rest of the dimensions in case you guys are wondering.IMG_9383-195 IMG_9466-199 IMG_9466-198

For those frames with 30.5mm flight controller mounting holes, you can print an adapter such as this. (Thanks to slovenian6474 for sharing)piko_20_30_5_adapter

I printed an alternate version in TPU and pulled the nubs through. So I don’t need to use screws at the 20mm holes.piko_20_30_5_adapter_SCX200

My recently completed QuattroVolante Q-Carbon is the first quad I built with the Piko BLX FC. It made the wire runs so neat. And the PDB integration help to keep the weight down and build process easy. I soldered the 5v tolerant 200mw VTX directly to the 5v rails on the Piko FC and it was noise free. Perfectly clear video feed.
q-carbon_piko_blx_vgood_10a_esc

I am looking forward to the Kombini, their bigger, 30.5mm version with built in current sensor and PDB that can handle higher current. Their pipeline is also full with many upcoming releases that FPVer will love. However, for the smaller frames that need high amps… there is a seperate PDB that can stack with the Piko BLX.

 

Leave a comment →

Airwolf RX-F801 and RX-F802 vs X4R-SB

Got some new receivers in that are compatible with the FrSky protocol. No doubt thanks to midelic’s work on RCGroups. Hoping the sqaurish format will allow me to bury it into micro FPV quadcopter builds. It was difficult finding a location for the regular FrSky X4R-SB.

The RX-F801 and RX-F802 were purchased from BangGood.

I will be updating it with the new firmware versions midelic made available. Linked to below. It now supports telemetry and PPM and SBUS.

RX-F801_F802_size_comparision

RX-F801_F802_vs_X4R-SB_size_comparision

RX-F801_F802_size_back_comparision

Some pictures of the RX-801 as I took off the outer plastic casing. The F802 came in a similar case.
DIY_airwolf_frsky_8ch_stock_plastic_case

DIY_airwolf_frsky_8ch_bottom

DIY_airwolf_frsky_8ch_top

un-wrap_DIY_airwolf_frsky_8ch

weight_comparision_airwolf_frsky_x4r_sb

size_comparision_airwolf_frsky_x4r_sb

Discussion on RCGroups: DIY FrSky TX/RX Modules

Places to buy:

China:
RX-F801
BangGood

RX-F802
BangGood’s
GoodLuckBuy

2 Comments on Airwolf RX-F801 and RX-F802 vs X4R-SB

FVT LittleBee 20A (MRM ZEUS 20) VS KISS 18A ESC

The new “Favorite” FVT LittleBee 20a arrived into the HacksMods lab. So it’s time to take some clear shots of them and compare with the Flyduino KISS ESC. Which is still one of the highest performing multirotor electronic speed controller. The small size and light weight are great for putting on racing quads. Or burying inside heavier aerial photography equipped quadcopters, or “drones” as the media likes to call it.

In the USA, the Little Bee 20a are known as the MRM Zeus 20. Brian (punkindrublik on RCGroups) of  MultiRotorMania help finance and brought these new ESC to market. So they secured the rights as the sole distributor in the USA. However, the ESC should soon be available from some of your favorite multi rotor online stores.

Continuing in the same small by mighty form factor that the Flyduino KISS ESC brought to market, the FVT LittleBee 20 are about the same size. 12.5mm x 23mm x 3mm. Versus the KISS (v1.1) 12mm x 24mm x 3.81mm

What makes these new FVT LittleBee the current popular ESC is that recent test are showing them to perform similar to the KISS ESC. (Here’s one by QuadMcFly) This is in part due to the use of the SilLab F330 MCU. Which has a faster clock speed than the popular ATMEL chip used on most competing ESC. Add to that dedicated FET drivers and it’s performing quite well. This is what BLHeli creator Steffen has to say about it:

Then there is a very promising little ESC, the FVT Littlebee 20A:

This ESC has a good design with fast dedicated driver chips, which gives excellent freewheeling and exceptional braking.

Initial stress testing on 4S with a Cobra 2208/2000 with 6×4.5 prop, doing repetitive immediate accelerations from low rpm to full throttle went well.
During the initial acceleration, this setup pulls about 100A, so it’s a tough test for a small ESC (and can break other small ESCs).
Hopefully this indicates that the ESC will prove to be a reliable performer.

And so far, this is the closest performer to KISS that I have seen in this size.

favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_versus_KISS_18a_esc
Very clean layout and manufacturing placement of components on the PCB. Definitely KISS quality for sure. It seems like they used higher temp lead free solder. My Metcal MX500 soldering station usually makes quick work with lead free solder. But I admit, it took a split second longer with the solder joints on these Little Bee 20. This may be to prevent overheated MOSFET from desoldering itself like what appears the DYS SN20a are doing in some of the recent batches. Also, keep in mind that having to flow the solder at a higher temp usually slows down the manufacturing process. This, along with how clean the ESC looks and components are laid out…continue to signify a high level of quality control. So kudos to Favorite and MultiRotorMania.

favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_closeup_sidebysidefavorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_macro_signal_wire_side favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_macro_mosfet_side

Weight of the FVT LittleBee 20a as it came out of the package is 6.73g.
favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_6.73_grams_total

Weight of the FVT LittleBee 20a without heatshrink and wires is 2.12g. I know some of you guys want to know things like this. I know as a hobbyist, I do. So very similar to the KISS 18a which I weighed here. And about .70 grams heavier than the ZTW Spider 18a Opto Lite.
favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_no_wire_heatshrink_weight_2.12_grams

Signal wire polarity in case someone needs this info in the future. (That’s would usually be me.)favorite_FVT_littlebee_opto_20a_mrm_zeus_20_amp_polarity

I have a few new frames I’d like to use these LittleBee on. Can’t wait to see them fly.

Some of my favorite places to buy from that carries these FVT LittleBee/MRM Zeus 20:
USA
MultiRotorMania: MRM Zeus 20 Amp ESC
BangGood: FVT LittleBee 20 Amp ESC

Australia
ImpulseRC: FVT LITTLEBEE 20A ESC
BoltRC: Little Bee 20A ESC

China
BangGood: FVT LittleBee 20 Amp ESC
MyRCMart: RCX 20A (Little Bee) Mini BLHeli Multirotor ESC

Europe
MultirotorParts: Favourite Littlebee 20A
Supreme FPV: Littlebee 20a esc 2-4s

More info can be found on RC Groups discussion thread:
Little Bee and MRM Zeus 20AMP ESC’s

Leave a comment →

ZTW Spider 18a Lite vs KISS ESC

With DYS/RCTimer SN20a and BL20a possibly having a bad manufacturing batch. Plus, you lose about 10% thrust versus competiting ESC. One of the new ESC some of us have started buying instead are the ZTW Spider 18a Opto Lite as some retailers are calling them. Performance seems good so far. We’ll learn how their fare in crashes and general abuse as more and more people use them and report back.

The BLHeli firmware to use are BS12a or BS20a. either hex will work fine according to sskaug (Steffen), BLHeli creator.

Mine came with the SimonK bootloader. And I was able to use my USBASP to flash BLHeli bootloader on there. Here are the ISP pad locations for your reference:

ZTW_18a_Lite_pinout

Weight as they come out of the package. I took off the heatshrink and it was about .2g lighter.
ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite_weight

Heatshrink is thin, clear and shiny. Same types they use on many battery packs.ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite_out_of_package

Weight of the naked ESC.
ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite_weight_without_wires

Here’s a shot of the ZTW Spider Lite on the far right. Next to it is the new KISS 30a. And to the far left, is the KISS 18a.

KISS_18a_vs_30a_vs_ZTW_18a_Lite

Picture of the MOSFETs and a peek at the soldering. I don’t see any left over solder splashes/balls.

KISS 18a on the left. ZTW Spider 18a Lite on the right side.KISS_18a_vs_ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite_MOSFET_pads

Side by side with the KISS 18a v1.1. Which is simply about 1mm longer than KISS 18a v1.0. You can see that the ZTW Spider 18a is slight shorter. And also thinner.
KISS_18a_vs_ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite_MOSFET_side

 

A look at the opposite side.
KISS_18a_vs_ZTW_18a_Opto_Lite

Here’s the Spider 18a Lite mounted in the lower plate of the Aura 250 FPV quad.aura250_afromini_spider_lite18_esc

And a couple of closing shots of the Aura 250.
emerald_aura_quad_lit

I modified the top plate so I can slide in a 4S 1400mAh lipo pack.auro250_5045bullnose
The links below are my favorite places to buy:

USA 

Readytoflyquad: 18a Spider Lite Series ESC
MassiveRC: MassiveRC OneShot125 18a ESC

China
BangGood : ZTW Spider Series 18A Lite

Leave a comment →

RCTimer and DYS SN20a ESC versus KISS

I got the new RCTimer SN20a ESC in today. These are the new crop of ultralight and small ESC, using the latest MOSFET tech. It all started with Flyduino’s KISS ESC.

The first thing I did was desolder all the wires. Then gave it a quick inspection. Follow by some photographs of them sidebyside with the KISS 12A ESC v1 I have.

The KISS are supposely 12mm by 23mm. I measured with my digital calipers at 12.25mm by 23mm. While the SN20a measured at 11.94mm by 23.33mm.

So they are both roughly the same size. However, keep in mind that the latest KISS v1.1 have larger pads so they gain about 1mm in length. It’s nice to see that the SN20a ESC comes with larger pads by default.

The other pluses for the SN20a is that all the wires come presoldered and the ESC heatshrunk. And best of all, the 20A are less than $12 in qty of 3 or more!!!

Runs BLHeli with dampening and OneShot capabilities.

RCTimer_DYS_SN20a_versus_KISS_12a_size

RCTimer_DYS_SN20a_MOSFET_side

RCTimer_DYS_SN20a_MCU_side

And near identical in weight as well…
RCTimer_DYS_SN20a_ESC_weight_no_wires

KISS_12a_weight_no_wires

And thanks to Zachary, he pointed me to the pinout someone shared on RCGroups.

DYS_RCTimer_SN20a_pinout

Discussion Thread:
RCGroups thread: RCTimer / DYS Mini SN20a esc

For flashing…I suggest getting an Arduino Nano. You can use BLHeli Suite to program it into a 4 interface flashing toolstick. This will allow you to flash SN20a ESC with either SimonK or BLHeli bootloader as well as other things. This makes it the most versatile toolstick…and least expensive too at < $4 shipped from the USA warehouse. I’d grab a 3pack or 5pack just to have extra. For friends or other projects that require the Arduino. ;)
The links below are my favorite places to buy:

USA 

BangGood USA Warehouse: DYS SN20A with BLHeli Mini 20A SimonK ESC OPTO
MassiveRC: SN20A OneShot125 20A ESC

Canada
Armattan (blheli pre-flashed) http://www.armattanminis.ca/armattan-20a-opto-esc/

China
BangGood : Rctimer OPTO mini 20A Brushless ESC SimonK 2-4S for RC Multicopter
RcTimer : http://www.rctimer.com/product-1280.html

 

**Update 2015-07-28** DYS rep recommend updating to BLHeli 14 to avoid any issue of burnt ESC.

3 Comments on RCTimer and DYS SN20a ESC versus KISS

HiSky HCP100S BLHeli Brushless ESC

Pivotal moment for those of us who loves the opensource BLHeli brushless firmware from Steffen. HiSky’s new HCP100S double brushless micro CP helicopter comes with BLHeli firmware already flashed onboard. Not only that, the programming pads are big and accessible.

BLHeli toolstick connection points…
HCP100S_ESC_BLHeli_Flashing_Points

Main ESC was flashed with BLHeli 12.1. Governor modes are disabled. But Programming by TX is left enabled. Therefore, you should be able to use your transmitter sticks to enable/disable some of the features. Read the BLHeli manual under section for Beeps – Entering programming mode. The manual can be founded in the /manual folder after you download and unzip the BLHeli Suite software

(Another good read… DoubleCH explaination of governor modes)

The best method for updating BLHeli settings and flashing new firmware is by using a SilLabs based flashing stick in combination with the BLHeliSuite software you see below:

HCP100S_MAIN

Here’s the pinout for that flashing stick from BangGood listed above.

Tail ESC was flashed with BLHeli version 10.4

HCP100S_TAIL

And for you HCP100, v922, FBL100 and even mCPX owners. Here’s how it can look like if you repurpose the HCP100S dual brushless ESC for your heli…
HiSky_dual_brushless_ESC_on_HCP100_3in1_mCPX_conversion

HiSky_HCP100S_ESC_weight_BLHeli_support

8 Comments on HiSky HCP100S BLHeli Brushless ESC

AlienWii Flight Controllers Lands

Check out the AlienWii FC from Lance.

They run MultiWii and has MOSFET that can handle direct driving 8.5mm brushed motors without blowing up.

Here are pictures of the latest shipping AlienWii boards:
AlienWii32u4-Back

AlienWii32u4

Here’s a shot with the LemonRX Satellite receiver installed. Plug and play.
Brushed_MicroWii_AlienQuad_LemonRX_Sat_installed

You can get them and the awesome Chaoli motors from Micro Motor Warehouse.

Leave a comment →