I have to honestly admit, up to the beginning of 2018 summer I was rather against 4-in-1 ESCs and flight controllers combos. The reason was quite simple: 4-in-1 were a rather new thing, had a tendency to burn without a reason and were quite expensive. Pretty much a normal state of a new technology. In comparison, FC + PDB + 4 separate ESC had more flexibility, were cheaper to replace when something puffed the magic smoke and seemed to be a reasonable choice when few extra grams of weight was not a problem. Lately, things started to change…
4-in-1 ESCs are no longer a new thing, manufacturers learned their lessons and prices went down! And that means you can get a decent quality flight controller and 4-in-1 ESC for less than $50. That's cheaper than 4 ESCs! C'mon, things ARE happening.
Today let's take a look at the example of a new age FC + 4-in-1 combos: Mamba F4 Power Tower.
What comes inside the package?
- Mamba F405 flight controller
- Mamba F40 4in1 ESC
Mamba F405 comes preflashed with Betaflight 3.3 and uses target FuryF4 OSD (FY4O). It comes in standard 30,5×30,5mm hole spacing.
- STM32 F405 processor
- SPI connected MPY6000 gyro
- 3 hardware serial ports: UART1, UART3, and UART6
- LED support
- built-in OSD
- built-in 16MB flash memory for blackbox logs
- I2C pads
- 40A constant, 50A peak current
- DSHOT support
- uses QN3109 MOSFETs
- current sensor
Pros and cons
Some pros and cons after taking a "static" look at Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC
- pretty good quality PCB, I would even say surprisingly good for a price
- FC comes with rubber grommets for vibration damping
- side mounted DFU button instead of flat buttons or just pads on some lower quality boards
- c'mon! $45!
- FC can be used only with 4in1 ESC, no separate soldering pads for ESCs
- There are many versions of QN3109 MOSFETs, and depending which PDF you take a look at, 40A rating is either overrated or underrated… hmm…
- location of pads for motors on the 4in1 is problematic. It collides with mounting standoffs. Careful soldering required!
Overall verdict? So far, positively surprised! Really, this thing goes to one of my mini quads immediately!