The news – INAV 2.1, Betaflight RPM filter, IMU-F goes open source and Matek 4in1 ESC with SerialShot

In this episode of The News

  • INAV 2.1 is here and we have a lot of code waiting for INAV 2.2
  • Betaflight 4.0 is coming closer and closer together with RPM filter that analyzes RPMs of motors (via ESC telemetry) to set up very narrow notches. What a nice idea!
  • Something very fresh in terms of hardware: Mateksys aka Matek has built their own 4in1 ESC. But instead of doing what everybody else is doing (putting 4 separate BlHeli ESCs on one board) the wrote their own ESC firmware, flashed a single STM32F405 with it and called it a day. Of course it took much longer than a day (a year) but finally something very very fresh in the 4in1 ESC world! Kudos, I can not wait for the actual hardware

URUAV LiPo Killer

URUAV LiPo Killer is a small device that is designed to do 2 things:

  1. kill a LiPo. When the battery is close to its death and should be disposed of, you can not just throw it away. It still has some electric charge inside and can catch fire when not handled properly. Discharge with a low current will drain the battery to 0 in a safe way
  2. Discharge it to the desired level. For example for storage. You plug the balancing lead, select cutoff voltage with a button and leave it for a night. Built-in microcontroller (STM32F103, the same that is in Naze32 or CC3D) will measure voltages and stop the discharge when voltage will drop to the level you want

3D printed FPV tricopter drone

Who could have imagined that tricopters can be so much fun? For sure they are interesting devices that lost a lot of "market" when quadcopters gained extra torque and plenty of reaction moment to do fast yaw turns. Almost no one flies them now. Too bad… And good luck if you want to buy a tricopter frame for 5-6 inch propellers. There is almost nothing on the market right now!

Luckily, we are living in interesting times, and everyone with few hundred dollars can get a 3D printer and make whatever he wants (right, if it was that simple…). Thanks to this, I give you a 3D printed tricopter frame designed to use miniquad parts: 2205 motors, 5 inch propellers and 9 gram servo:

STL files can be downloaded from Thingiverse

Presented setup:

Flight controller runs INAV 2.0.1

The mysterious FrSky R9 Mini antenna – good for EU 868MHz?

FrSky R9 radio system is storming the RC hobby. It's super cheap after all. But there are problems: EU version is facing a lot of problems and people like to replace original antennas with something else.
Last week I was asked to check what is going on with antennas shipped with FrSky R9 Mini. After all, the same hardware can be used both for FCC 915MHz and EU 868MHz version. Is the antenna tuned somewhere in between? Or not so much?

iFlight ION Raaange/ION Drive 2506 1250KV Motors

220x motors are the workhorse on the RC hobby right now when it comes down to mini quads. Sometimes they are joined by 230x too. But 2205 and 2206 brushless outrunners have a serious problem that limits their use with propellers bigger than 5 inches. They might still be fine with 6-inch props, but on 7-inches problems begins. What 220x lack is torque! They are just too small to have enough copper wire and diameter to deliver enough torque to drive much heavier 7-inch propellers.

Let's welcome something much more powerful: ION Drive / ION Raaange 2506 1250KV!

Matek F722-SE hands on – the best flight controller of 2018?

Is Matek F722-SE the best flight controller of 2018? Perhaps it's "slightly" too early for such statements, but for sure, it looks like one of the strongest pretenders for such a title (if the title existed).

In a meantime, a video showing brand new Matek F722-SE flight controller and most of its features.

Matek F722-SE – brand new flight controller that brings STM32F7 closer to the needs of many

At the beginning of 2018 I've stated that Matek F722-STD is the first F7 flight controller that makes sense. Today, I have in front of me I have the first F7 flight controller that has all you need (and more) when 4-in-1 ESC is not what you are looking for.

It is Matek F722-SE!

Matek F722-SE Flight Controller

Matek F722-SE Flight Controller

Matek F722-SE Flight Controller

  • STM32F722 processor
  • MPU6000 and ICM20602 gyro/acc – user selectable to match the needs. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of dual gyro design. From my perspective, MPU6000 is enough for everyone. Really!
  • OSD compatible with INAV and Betaflight
  • BMP280 barometer
  • 5 hardware serial ports
  • possible 1 software serial
  • 8 outputs
  • I2C bus

This is the standard data. Nothing super fancy at a first glance. Until you go into the details:

  • PDB with a current meter is integrated into the design
  • you can connect 2 separate FPV cameras and select the one that will be connected to OSD and VTX with your radio without any additional hardware. Super option for fixed wing flyers
  • power VTX on/off from your radio as well (I really will have to test that soon)
  • TX6 is conveniently positioned at every corner for ESC telemetry setup
  • F7 means that you can connect anything you want to any serial port you want. F7 series have integrated serial inverters, so SBUS and SmartPort is no longer a problem

I'm super eager to put this baby on one of my racing quads

Matek F722-SE is coming soon!