FuriousFPV Radiance - possibly the perfect flight controller - RC Groups
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Dec 28, 2016, 08:28 AM
Registered User
Mini-Review

FuriousFPV Radiance - possibly the perfect flight controller




DISCLAIMER: I get nothing from this review. I have no relationship at all with FuriousFPV and they don't have anything to do with this post. I paid full price for my Radiance. This is all me.

A few weeks ago, as I started a new build, I went on the hunt for a new flight controller. I've used a few -- Naze32, Lumenier Lux, X-Racer F303 v3.1, MRM Mantis but each had a flaw...mostly minor...but something that prevented it from being perfect. For my new build, an ImpulseRC Alien RR5, I decided to do an exhaustive search for the perfect FC. So I developed a set of criteria and began the hunt. Here are the criteria I used and why.

F3 processor: While I'm not a good enough pilot to notice the difference between an F1 and F3, I figured I might as well upgrade to something newer. Should I have gone F4? Maybe, but with the huge number of F3 FCs out there, I figured this would give me far more options. This ruled out the venerable Naze32rev6.

No MPU6500: While I’ve never experienced it myself, I’ve heard that the MPU6500 is very susceptible to vibration unless carefully soft mounted. I didn’t want to mess with that so I elected to search for an FC that used the MPU6000.

Able to take full battery voltage: This is what actually prompted me to start looking for a new FC. I bought an Alien RR5, which comes with a structurally-integrated PDB. I absolutely love the design but was disappointed to find that the PDB has no BEC circuits to provide 5v power to a flight controller. That left me with three options. 1) Use a separate voltage regulator, 2) mount a second PDB above the integrated PDB or 3) find a flight controller that can take full battery voltage. Given that my ultimate goal was to make the cleanest build possible, I opted for a flight controller that could take full battery voltage. (Note: It appears ImpulseRC is soon releasing an integrated PDB with 5v BEC -- and a lot of other goodies -- soon, so this may be a moot point in the near future.)

Native SBus support: No reason to mess with anything but Sbus so I wanted something that natively supported it without any inversion issues.

Native telemetry support/UARTS with pads: This is common today but there are still some FCs that aren't straightforward in how you get telemetry working. Some FCs actually require you to use a micro JST connector to reach a UART instead of simply soldering the telemetry wire to a pad. No thanks. This ruled out the MotoLab Cyclone, unfortunately, as this was my original choice.

Solder pads versus pin holes: Not a huge deal, as you can easily use pin holes as pads but after installing a Lumenier Lux, I REALLY liked he ease of pads versus pin holes.

ESC pads on the corners vs. a rail: Again, the Lumenier Lux got me a bit spoiled with its great pad layout. Instead of lining up all the ESC signal pads on one side of the FC, I loved having each ESC signal pad on the corner. Shorter wires and a cleaner build. A big deal? No, but I'm looking for the perfect FC so everything counts.

Betaflight: Not interested in Kiss right now so I wanted a Betaflight FC. I'm still amazed at how well Betaflight flies with stock PIDs so I'm not about to mess that up!

Mounting holes spaced at 30.5mm: This was significant. I loved the X-Racer F303 but I absolutely HATED the fact that the mount holes were not 30.5mm spacing. Sure, I could bend my standoffs and force it to fit but I literally broke 32 standoffs in crashes. Yes, I've broken 8 sets of standoffs! Were they all due to the standoffs being forced to a smaller mount pattern? No, but I do know that I've never broken a standoff on a 30.5mm board. This ruled out the X-racer and the Kiss.

Sbus + Telemetry pads adjacent: Minor detail but I prefer having all my receiver wires going to the same spot on the FC versus having them "all over the board." Some receivers have V and Ground in one spot, the UART for Sbus in another spot, and the UART for Telemetry in a third location. Many new FCs have 3 of the 4 pads adjacent (V, ground, Sbus) but the UART needed for Telemetry is usually on a different rail. Having all 4 on the same spot makes a nice clean build verses having one stray wire (usually telemetry) meandering across the board on its own. Yeah, getting picky now, but, hey, if I were designing an FC, that's what I'd do.

With these criteria in mind, I began my search. I stopped when I found the FuriousFPV Radiance. It had everything I wanted. Without completely repeating the criteria, here’s what I love about this flight controller:
  • The pad layout is awesome. ESC signal pads are on the corners and the receiver pads (V, ground, Sbus, telemetry) are all lined up on the back of the board. There’s also a 12v out.
  • The board’s structure is very nice. True 30.5mm hole spacing and a slight H shape that keeps your wire connections protected within the standoffs.
  • MPU6000 and F3, ready to rock Betaflight.
  • Full battery voltage
  • Pads vs. pin holes
  • Nice price at $30



So, for me, I think I’ve found the perfect flight controller.

My next favorite would be the MRM Mantis. I have a brand new one, ready to go, but it wouldn’t take full voltage so it’s not going in my Alien. I have one in a QAV210 that flies great. I picked up two for $20 during a Black Friday sale. That’s cheaper than an old Naze32!

The flight controllers that slightly disappointed me were:
Naze32Rev6: I've used this old guy on a couple builds and it works fine but the pin layout is a bit old-school (as in 6 months old) and the Sbus and Telemetry setups are a bit clunky.
Lumenier Lux (old version): Great pad layout, great shape, and takes full vbat. But uses that MPU6500 processor that gets horrible reviews.
X-Racer F303 v3.1: Flew great but that hole spacing drove me nuts.
MotoLabs Cyclone: These come highly recommended by some friends but there is something strange about the UARTs. There are UART pin holes but apparently you need to use one of the micro JST connectors to get telemetry. No thanks.

I’m guessing we’ll all be flying F4’s in the next few months but, until then, I’m sticking with the FuriousFPV Radiance.
Last edited by krachall; Dec 28, 2016 at 06:02 PM.
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Jan 09, 2017, 12:01 PM
Registered User
I just purchased one of these and am excited to try it out.

I know this flight controller has a built in LC filter, but does it have battery voltage output that has been passed through the filter? I'm curious because I have a Runcam Swift V2 camera in the mail at the moment. The Swift is designed to take direct lipo power and display the voltage on the built in OSD in the camera. However, I would still like to run LC filtered battery voltage to the camera if possible. Perhaps I'm just not seeing it, but I do not see a filtered Vbat output. That's one thing I like about the Motolab Tempest. It has a LC filtered battery voltage output. I like feeding the cleanest power possible to the FPV system. If the LC filter is already there I might as well utilize it for the video system power source.

The Furious FPV piko BLX flight controller also has a LC filter and an output of that filtered power labeled "VTX+". I don't see anything labeled like that on the radiance.

I was attracted to this board because of the onboard race transponder, LC filter, ability to take direct lipo power, and 6000 gyro.

Off topic: I have two cyclones on other builds and am using telemetry on both of them. You don't need to use any JST connectors. I directly soldered the s.port wire of my Frsky XSR to the appropriate pin and telemetry works great.
Last edited by Plur303; Jan 09, 2017 at 12:44 PM.
Jan 26, 2017, 07:21 PM
Heli Addict
legacy115833's Avatar
Does anyone know where I can pull 3.3v from on this board? I pulled the pad off of the spek sat connection during install and need to get 3.3 from somewhere. I have a tiny bit of trace showing but not sure how far I can keep scratching that back since I can't tell what direction it's even going. If anyone has an idea of the 3.3 trace layout or where it's coming from I would greatly appreciate the info
Latest blog entry: Easter tree hunting Coram NY
Feb 08, 2017, 03:24 PM
Registered User

Twitching....


So after reading this post I decided to pull the trigger on 2 of these boards for a dual quad racer setup.
I have had nothing but trouble trying to get these boards to fly good.
They twitch like they are on acid.
Setup consists of the follow (2 sets each)
SCX-200 V2 with V2 PDB
Emax Red Bottom 2600KV
Cicada 20amp BL-Heli S Flashed with latest 16.6
Radiance FCB (Flashed with Radiance Specific BF 3.1)
Owl Plus cam, Aomway VTX, FRSky SXR RX

I have tried all of the following on both builds...(one is far worse than the other)
Messed with PIDS, Messed with BLHeli settings, Messed with filtering in BF MIN Throttle
Reflashed everything... Checked and Double checked nuts screws solder etc.
Both quads are identical right down to the nuts and bolts flashes and all.
I opened a case with Furious and they have been not so helpful.
I'm kind of out of options and not sure what to do
Below is a video of how the worse of the 2 quads fly using stock PIDS
The only thing I have not tried is soft mounting...and really don't want to.
In the past I had a Komboni do this exact same thing running BLHeli S esc's ( I tried 3 sets during this problem) and I also had a case open with them and they never resolved it. In fact all of the troubleshooting lead to the USB connector coming loose from the board and well as that point support was over.
I really want to believe this is something simple because I can take my Moto Labs board and toss on this build and it will fly flawlessly on stock everything.
In the past with the Komboni, I did the flip of boards and the twitch was gone.
So are the Furious Gyros just over sensitive? Are there preferred filtering settings I need that
are not inherently obvious?
Help?

Furious SCX 1 (1 min 20 sec)
Last edited by Claytonbakerjr; Feb 08, 2017 at 03:32 PM.
Feb 08, 2017, 05:09 PM
Registered User
Ugh...that's ugly. I'm surprised FuriousFPV hasn't helped. I had a question on one of mine and they were very responsive.

I wish I could help but both of mine ran great out of the box with stock Betaflight settings.
Feb 08, 2017, 07:03 PM
Registered User
Yea its a shame they have not stepped up. Curious if you do not mind me asking, whats your setup?
Motors and ESC's?
It seems the most common variable is blheli s in my case as it was also in the case of the Komboni I had problems with.
Sorry if I came off strong but these guys really need to either help resolve this and its very disappointing since in the last 2 years I have built over 30 completely functional quads without any problems and I just feel to them I am just another person complaining but I feel I have a problem ya know
Feb 08, 2017, 07:35 PM
Registered User
Emax 2205 2300kv
Racerstar 30A BLHeli_S flashed to 16.1 if I recall
Impulse RC Alien with integrated PDB
Signal wires to FC only, not ground

Flight controller mounted directly to nylon standoffs -- no soft mounts even though my Alien kit came with them.
Feb 27, 2017, 02:22 AM
FPV Jedi
mrwicket's Avatar
you ever get anything figured out with the twitches? I just finished a new build and have some vibrations/oscillations and I am trying to narrow it down and do some troubleshooting.. might jump to 3.1 BF but I went with 3.01 cause I had it on my older X-Racer build and know it is solid. Other things I plan on trying is soft mounting (motors and/or FC) and maybe reducing from 8k/8k to 8k/4k or even 4k/4k and see if any of that helps.

setup
Radiance 8k/8k
Cicada 30A BlHeli_S 16.6 Multishot (maybe I should see how D-Shot 300 is?)
Brotherhobby R4 2206 2300kv
DAL and Racekraft 5x4x4 (might see if tri's give better results..)

if you guys can think of anything else or found a solution let me know. much appreciated. otherwise this really possibly is the best FC just.. until it's not :P
Feb 27, 2017, 07:12 AM
Registered User
@mrwicket
No sir unfortunately after several go arounds with Furious Tech support they ended up replacing that particular board. On my other unit that had similar issues I ended up soft mounting everything on it as well (Motors/FCB) and after a few more hours of PID tuning and BLHeli adjustments I called it a day. For now on the 2nd unit the twitches are under control but I had done the same with the previous board and nothing made any difference. So they decided that there was something wrong.
Feb 28, 2017, 10:48 AM
Registered User
I used a radiance for a few weeks. I did notice a few twitches but according to my blackbox data it seemed to be RC input related, not gyro related. There were strange uncommanded spikes in my RC input.

But after about 2 weeks of use the board went up in a poof of white smoke when I plugged in a lipo. No idea why. I wasn't using the board to power anything other than the RX. My VTX takes direct lipo power and my VTX also powers my FPV camera. It was right after a crash so maybe something was shorting out because of crash damage and I just didn't notice.

It flew just as good as any other F3 board I have used. But I probably wont be getting another.
Feb 28, 2017, 03:55 PM
FPV Jedi
mrwicket's Avatar
ok, well I tried a bunch of PID tuning yesterday and for the most part it flies good but I can hear oscillations in it.. my PIDs aren't very high either.. I was gonna ask this in the Betflight thread but I'll ask it here in case anyone has experience but running 8K/8K would my PIDs end up being lower than if I ran 4K/4K? maybe I just need to scale it all back?.. like I said they aren't mega high but..

I do plan on trying soft mounting all the things and see if that helps though.. I am fine if that is all it needs but being a MPU6000 it shouldn't "need" soft mounting.. Only thing I can figure at that point is frame resonance.. maybe the carbon I got my prototype cut with resonates causing vibrations through the whole system...

beyond that I contact FuriousFPV and see if they'll swap it out for me.. Oh I am also at 40% CPU on idle.. that seems high to me and should be around ~25% right?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claytonbakerjr
@mrwicket
No sir unfortunately after several go arounds with Furious Tech support they ended up replacing that particular board. On my other unit that had similar issues I ended up soft mounting everything on it as well (Motors/FCB) and after a few more hours of PID tuning and BLHeli adjustments I called it a day. For now on the 2nd unit the twitches are under control but I had done the same with the previous board and nothing made any difference. So they decided that there was something wrong.
Mar 01, 2017, 07:38 AM
Registered User
@MrWicket
When it was all said and done, on the one Radiance board that was "tunable" I ended up with a 4k 4k setting. I also finalized the build with rubber O-Rings on the board to soft mount it and BTW the motors are also soft mounted. That's the only way I could get it to fly.
With ACC turned off I am at about 15% CPU.
@Plur303
I too will not likely purchase another Furious board. No offense to the company but it seems every board I received from them gave me problems on various types of builds with this Twitch.
In the process of all of this I tested other boards and honestly never struggled nearly as much as I did with the Furious boards its a shame since their boards are very nicely laid out.
The replacement board is still sitting in the package. I may use it down the road since now I know what it typically takes to get one running smooth.
Mar 01, 2017, 02:05 PM
FPV Jedi
mrwicket's Avatar
I upgraded to BetaFlight 3.1.6 and my CPU usage dropped to around 20% with ACC off at 8K/8K. I went and flew it and a lot of the weirdness I was having is gone. Now I am not sure if it's the version of BF that fixed it or maybe I just needed to reflash 3.0.1.. either way some quirks were gone. I did still have some oscillations though so I decided to switch from quad blades to tris and that helped a lot! Maybe my quad blades got bent in shipping or being in my bag?!.. Not really a issue since I want to fly tris on this build anyways so.. no biggie. Also when I flew I was on stock PIDs, just rates changed so I'll have to see how tuning goes. I think I am going to soft mount the motors still and probably the FC too because really those are things that can only make it better so why not! Based on this I think I probably would give this FC another chance, especially since I have a friend with one who has had zero issues.. maybe there was a bad batch(es) or maybe my frame is noisier than his?! Either way I'll give em another chance cause I like the layout and features enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claytonbakerjr
@MrWicket
When it was all said and done, on the one Radiance board that was "tunable" I ended up with a 4k 4k setting. I also finalized the build with rubber O-Rings on the board to soft mount it and BTW the motors are also soft mounted. That's the only way I could get it to fly.
With ACC turned off I am at about 15% CPU.
@Plur303
I too will not likely purchase another Furious board. No offense to the company but it seems every board I received from them gave me problems on various types of builds with this Twitch.
In the process of all of this I tested other boards and honestly never struggled nearly as much as I did with the Furious boards its a shame since their boards are very nicely laid out.
The replacement board is still sitting in the package. I may use it down the road since now I know what it typically takes to get one running smooth.
Apr 08, 2017, 11:54 AM
Registered User
I just recently finished a build and had a problem that I thought was my FC so I removed it and replaced it with one of these. Everything seems to be working except that both of the CW motors will not spin. I am trying to avoid having to remove the motors and esc's and replacing them to diagnose the problem. As a first step I went into the BLheli config and I am still able to flash all of the ESC's so I assume that means they should all be working. Does anyone know what I could try as a first step to diagnose the problem?
Apr 13, 2017, 11:31 AM
Registered User
To answer my own question just incase someone else is wondering. The video on the Furious site describing how to enable Dshot 300 is old. In that video they use a Radiance .hex file and the CLI commands are old. I used the latest PIKOBLX firmware to flash the FC then simply ran the following CLI commands

resources ppm none
resources motor 1 a07
save

then go to config tab and select dshot300/600

Note: you do have to have the signal wire from motor 1 soldered onto the PPM pad on your FC board.
Also the LED strip will not be programable via Betaflight if you're using Dshot.

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