Hand on: Flip32 F4 Flight Controller

Yesterday I've received new flight controller for my Reptile X4R 220 quadcopter: Flip32 F4 from ReadyToFlyQuads. This is my first contact with STM32F4 based flight controller and I'm really looking forward to see if it really puts a difference comparing to F3 boards like SPRacingF3 I've been using last few months.

Some features:

  • STM32F405 CPU running at 168MHz
  • MPU6000 gyro connected via SPI interface
  • Integrated 1.5A voltage regulator
  • VCP port
  • 3 UARTs

Flip32 F4 Flight Controller

Flip32 F4 (and Airbot F4 which is exactly the same board) is supported by Betaflight, RaceFlight (that due to some GPL violations I'm boycotting) and INAV (at the moment of writing this post INAV support is not complete) and REVO target. Well, basically, this board was designed based on OpenPilot Revolution stripped from radio modem, barometer and those JST connectors (pin headers rules!). There are some differences between Revolution and Flip32 F4 in terms of hardware (voltage regulator for example) or separate LED header (which does not work).

There are two "problems" I've discovered so far:

  1. Whole board is getting very hot. Looks like it's because voltage regulator and battery monitoring are connected. You can not have one without the other even when you have BEC somewhere else
  2. STM32F4 does not have built in inverters. That means, S.Bus has to be connected to UART1, since this is the only UART with external inverter

Although I've been able to install it on Reptile X4R 220 already, I have no idea how it flies yet. Weather outside is very rainy…

7 thoughts on “Hand on: Flip32 F4 Flight Controller

  1. Do you think is it possible to overcome the “board getting very hot” problem by removing the 7805 reg, powering from external BEC and keep the battery monitoring feature?

    1. I’ve heard about cases when after removing 7805 gyro failed to initialize. Probably bridging ESC +5V rail to output of removed 7805 would fix it, but never tried. I solved my problems by just not powering anything from 5V outputs of that board

      1. When I posted the question I had not bought the board, now I have the board but I have not yet found the time to do test. When I will do the test (desolder the output pin of 7805, powering from ESC +5V and seeing if we have vbat measured) I will let you know (I hope soon).

        1. I found the time to do this test. I removed the 7805 and powered the board (with a 5V BEC) via one 5V pin of the six motor out pin header. In this way you ave 4.7V (0.3 dropped by diode) on ppm out and on all other pin labeled 5V (except motor out 5V)). If you want 5V out you have to remove also the diode just under the sixth motor out pin header (I did this and is OK). After this mods I tested that connecting the battery to vbat and gnd the battery voltage is measured form the board and displayed on configurator.

  2. Which pin did you connect your telemetry wire? I tried connecting my Smart Port wire from the XSR to the pins TX and Ch6/TX6 and I turned on telemtry in betaflight 3.0. I am not getting Vbatt back to my Taranis. Can you help me?

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