Best Flight Boards for Your Drone - RC Groups

Best Flight Boards for Your Drone

No matter what type of multirotor drone you fly, it needs help to stay in the air. Check out this list of the best drone flight control boards available.

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Top Flight Boards Available for Drones

No matter what type of multirotor drone you fly, it needs help to stay in the air. The flight control board, or FC, is mission critical to achieve flight and there are many flight controllers available ranging from simple gyro only boards to fully autonomous systems with more sensors and tech than your car probably has. The primary job of the flight board is to collect data and output data. It reads data from the sensors, usually a 3 axis gyro and accelerometer, and detects uncommanded movements which it then calculates and sends an output to the ESC's to tell the motors to increase or decrease speed to correct the movement. This all happens thousands of times a second and is what allows our drones to remain so stable and level in the air. There's obviously a lot more than just that, but this article is really about discussing the best or most commonly used flight boards today. If you are building a drone, you'll likely want to choose one of these flight boards to be the brains of your aircraft.

EagleTree Vector and Micro Vector

There's a lot to like about the EagleTree Systems Vector and Micro Vector. They are extremely reliable and come packed with features and sensors. They handle multirotor drones as well as airplanes with features like Loiter, Return to Home, waypoints, virtual gates, stabilization and more. They have a killer color customizable OSD built in and you can program the flight board using the OSD and your remote control without needing to connect the board to a PC. It makes changing parameters and tuning quads so simple and easy you'll wonder how you ever tuned without it.

  • Cost: Vector, $237.99 / Micro Vector $99.95

Check out the EagleTree Systems Vector

DJI Naza-M V2

DJI is the most well known drone supplier in the world and for good reason. They were one of the first companies to provide an incredibly stable, easy to use flight board called the Naza and they now have the lion's share of the consumer drone market with innovative products like the Phantom and Mavic drones. The Naza-M V2 is the latest version of their hobby level flight board and it includes GPS for features like super accurate position hold, return to home, and more. It works great with other DJI products like their line of Zenmuse gimbals, iOSD, and Ground Station.

  • Cost: $159.00

Check out the DJI Naza-M V2

DJI A3

The DJI A3 flight board is a system designed for professional applications like cinematography and industrial use drones. It's can be equipped with 3 IMU's and GNSS units for amazing reliability. If it detects a fault in one of the components, it switches seamlessly to keep things running smoothly. If you are building a heavy lifter or other serious duty drone, the DJI A3 is worth a look.

  • Cost: $899 and up

Check out the DJI A3

KISS FC

The KISS FC is primarily designed for freestyle and racing mini quads. There are a ton of flight controllers in this category, but the KISS FC's get our pick. They are simple (duh!) and just work with little to no tuning required to get a nice flying quad that feels great in the air. It features gyro and accelerometer sensors only with no GPS or autonomous functions. It does have auto level and you'll need to have some soldering skills to wire up this board so keep that in mind.

  • Cost: $39.99

Check out the KISS FC

3DR Pixhawk Mini

The 3DR Pixhawk Mini flight board is another fully functional unit that features a 32 bit processor and has GPS and software to provide autonomous flight options. There are a range of accessories available to add functionality to the board too. The Pixhawk Mini is designed around the PX4 open-hardware project.

  • Cost: $199.99

Check out the Pixhawk Mini

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Apr 21, 2017, 05:51 PM
s1m
s1m
Registered User
s1m's Avatar
I guess that Naze32 should be mentioned, since it, with Baseflight, was the one that really opened the world for racing drones. Kiss is an evolution of the same idea, and Cleanflight and Betaflight, further develop Baseflight's capabilities, as it originally did with MultiWii and Arducopter.

CCD3 and OpenPilot still have some competitive offering, and are also important pieces of the history of the multi-rotor scene.

I also miss DJI's N3, since everything points to Naza having been discontinued for some months now.

Still I find the idea of this post quite useful and interesting for all.

You guys do a great job!
Apr 21, 2017, 09:02 PM
RCG Staff
Jason Cole's Avatar
Great points! And thanks for the comments.
Apr 21, 2017, 11:26 PM
Registered User
fATAL's Avatar
Have you tried the Brain RE1?

https://www.brainfpv.com/re1/
Apr 22, 2017, 06:28 AM
Aka: Tom Jenkins
ApexAero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fATAL
Have you tried the Brain RE1?

https://www.brainfpv.com/re1/
DON'T DO IT
that or get one and figure it all out for yourself
Apr 22, 2017, 02:43 PM
Registered User
fATAL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexAero
DON'T DO IT
that or get one and figure it all out for yourself
What is wrong with it? I already have one.... No issues to mention and everything works fine so far.
Apr 22, 2017, 07:02 PM
Ron
Schnurr75's Avatar
Raceflight
Latest blog entry: Motrolfly fm45a esc
Apr 22, 2017, 07:22 PM
Registered User
The Brain FPV re1 is a great FC, but it does have a limitation in that the gyro is locked in at 3.2khz, which in turn means that the PID loop is also stuck at 3.2khz.

I myself would like to also suggest these three FC's as they have all served me well:
1. Omnibus F4 Pro - http://www.readytoflyquads.com/flip-...omnibus-v2-pro
2. DTFc - http://rotorgeeks.com/index.php?rout...product_id=555
3. HGLRC F4 V5PRO - http://www.banggood.com/F4-V5PRO-Fli...p-1136342.html

That last one is rather nifty with the built in OSD & VTX
Apr 24, 2017, 05:48 PM
Wandering IT geek
ronin4740's Avatar
Would suggest you quote $193.43 for the price for the MicroVector so that there's an apples to micro apples comparison betwen it and it's larger brother:

http://www.eagletreesystems.com/inde...product_id=164

Otherwise you're just quoting the cost of the flight controller without the same accessories...
Apr 24, 2017, 06:56 PM
Registered User

FC recommendation


I'm looking at building a camera quad with stuff I already have around. Which FC would be best to use with a taranis, s500 frame with motors and escs? I would like to buy an FC with gps and a 3d gimbal for smooth aerial videography. Any input would be appreciated. I am not new to quads, just been focusing on smaller racing ones the past few years. Never had one with GPS and would love to have something similar to a phantom at the end.
Apr 24, 2017, 09:07 PM
Registered User
fATAL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilsnerpopper
I'm looking at building a camera quad with stuff I already have around. Which FC would be best to use with a taranis, s500 frame with motors and escs? I would like to buy an FC with gps and a 3d gimbal for smooth aerial videography. Any input would be appreciated. I am not new to quads, just been focusing on smaller racing ones the past few years. Never had one with GPS and would love to have something similar to a phantom at the end.
Go with the DJI products, they are the most successful in AP drones.
Apr 24, 2017, 09:56 PM
Registered User
What about Pixhawwk2?
Apr 24, 2017, 11:46 PM
Registered User
fATAL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by caom0006
What about Pixhawwk2?
Its PH2.1 now.....
Apr 26, 2017, 09:49 PM
Registered User
I've ordered Pixhawk 2 in Feb, still waiting for delivery. They had some delays after releasing the first batch in Dec 2016. Hope it's worth the wait.
Apr 26, 2017, 09:57 PM
Registered User
fATAL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by l_dmitri
I've ordered Pixhawk 2 in Feb, still waiting for delivery. They had some delays after releasing the first batch in Dec 2016. Hope it's worth the wait.
Another group is planning PH3 now...


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