Mamba F405 and F40 40A 3-6S 4-in-1 ESC combo hands on

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.

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

What comes inside the package?

  1. Mamba F405 flight controller
  2. Mamba F40 4in1 ESC

Mamba F405 flight controller

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

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

Mamba F40 4in1 ESC

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

Mamba F405 and F40 4in1 ESC combo

  • 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

Pros:

  • 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!

Cons:

  • 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!

One thought on “Mamba F405 and F40 40A 3-6S 4-in-1 ESC combo hands on”

  1. Noticed pros of 4-in-1 ESC too when started to care about overall quad weight and wiring simplicity in Spring of 2018. However cons obviously came out 🙂 There are most annoying ones:

    1) Increased stack height. If 4-in-1 ESC is not integrated into FC (AIO type flight controller boards) then one extra board may not fit into particular frame. Many latest frames have space only for 2 boards stacked at top of each other. Some of them have space for 2 + 1/2 boards (ESC and flight controller plus one half-board like Matek VTX-HV). For builds with separate 4-in-1 ESC you must learn about frame you wish to buy before purchase or you risk to run into space and/or wiring issues inside frame.

    2) Conductive screw holes. Many 4-in-1 ESC boards (also many latest AIO FC boards as well) have screw holes with conductive layer inside for larger conductive area, larger current support and simpler design. Holes are usually grounded (connected to battery “-“). However some boards have both common ground and battery “+” holes. If stack is assembled with steel or aluminium screws, holes in boards may connect through frame (depends from frame design) and other boards. In best case it will create an ground loop making impaired receiving and poor VTX signal, in worst – on battery connection battery “+” will get shorted to ground through holes ending with nice sparking experience. Flaming ESC board, smoking carbon frame, burnt wires and exploding battery can (and often will) came in bonus. In short – screws in stack assembly with conductive holes must be insulated from holes. Nylon screws are the best solution, however they aren’t good for frames where stack screws are used to keep replaceable arms in place. So learn your parts again before purchase.

    3) Harder to do motor noise filtering. Often particular builds together with powerful motors must have separate low ESR capacitor or battery pads to fight FPV video noise and unwanted gyro disturbances. Sometimes noise filtering is successful only if capacitor is added on each ESC power pad. 4-in-1 ESC boards may doesn’t have separate power pads which limit the capacitor connection possibility only on incoming battery pads. So powerful motors are often friendly only with 4-in-1 ESC that already have a bank of capacitors on battery voltage rail on board. Airbot Titan v2, Holybro Tekko32 4-in-1, and so on.

    4) Need an specific connector for connection to flight controller. May cause problems to find a replacement connector and socket if stock ones broke in crash or because of sloppy assembling. And soldering a new connector on ESC board is not very easy.

    5) Harder to insulate against moisture. Particularly essential for FPV pilots living in northern regions where wet ground and snow in autumn/winter season is a normal thing. Those boards have 4 screws and a plenty of wires sticking out in all directions which make them harder to wrap into some insulation layer to prevent water damage. Also because of tighter component location 4-in-1 board must have some cooling so wrapping it completely may have negative impact. Only solution is conformal coating carefully applied over all board when all wires are already soldered. Otherwise something can and will fry. In this autumn already had to repair one Tekko32 4-in-1 ESC where one row of capacitors got wet and exploded.

    Things above however didn’t held me back in moving to 4-in-1 ESC completely during this summer. Easier to assemble, cleaner build, less weight. Now all my quads have them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.