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Flippin' Confused

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#1
I've been hearing more and more about the Flip 1.5 from Ready To Fly Quads recently. A $15 flight controller sounds great, so I went to the website and saw more than just the Flip 1.5. There's the Flip 2.0, 2.5, Pro, 32, 32+, and Ez.

Can anyone help sort all this out? :confused:

BTW, does anyone know where Ready To Fly Quads is located?

FlipMore.PNG
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#2
Florida.

Shipping almost anything takes 2-2.5 weeks.

The Nitty Gritty on RTFquads is that its a one man operation, has non existent CS and takes a while to ship. Do NOT under any circumstances get tied up in the RCgroups thread, reading it is good but don't post anything or you may regret it. (I got trolled)

The Flip 1.5 is great, just flash it with his tri firmware, and it will fly almost perfectly straight out of the box. Even with countless crashes and heavy damage to the board's components, mine still works as a flight stabilizer.:D

IDK about all of them, but I do know that the Flip 32 is a knock off of the Naze 32, and the Flip 1.5, 2 ,2.5, ETC just have slightly different features.:)
 

cranialrectosis

Well-Known Member
Mentor
#3
I would seriously consider a Naze 32 from MultirotorSuperstore or RotorGeeks or AbuseMark or a NanoWii from Flyduino instead. These are all MW based but have a chrome app that negates the need to use Arduino making them 'Ready to fly' as well.

These boards are easier to configure if you need or want to due to a custom build. On two of my copters, I have the Naze turned 90 degrees so the USB port can be reached while the FCB is on the copter. It is a simple command line in the Chrome app to do so. I know of no other board that makes such a huge change so simple. Reconfiguring the mapping for your receiver (so you don't have to care about which signal wire goes where) is also a simple command line from the app.

The service from these vendors is top notch as well. YMMV but RTFQ has a sullied reputation for service.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Florida . . . but the time it takes to process the order it might as well be outside the US. I suppose it's a sgn he's doing well, and more power to him, but he's alos loosing sales becasue I can get this or that part from somewhere else and have it in hand before his even sees it's packign box -- there have been stories of Swiss-post from HK beating his orders in :p

When people talk about the "FLIP" board, they're generally talking about the Flip1.5 -- capable, with simple sensors, but a slow processor. The 2.0 adds a basic barometer and magnatometer, the 2.5 adds a better magnatometer. all of these, becasue of the low end processor, will need a nav board to integrate a GPS -- it's just too much for the 328 processor to handle reliably. The Flip EZ is the flip 1.5 with etter edge connectors, instead of through-hole headers.

Going to the Pro boards, you get a full suite of sensors and a atmega processor -- a fair step up. It'll support the GPS directly, and they don't fly bad at all. the small one simply has a smaller layout of the mid-range board, the low range board has older sensors, and the high range board has better edge connectors and a few more I/O pins brought out to holes -- those I/O ports in particular could be handy.

The 32 boards are a step up to a nicer processor still, but haven't seen much advantage from them over the mega boards (happy to be proven wrong, though)
 

cranialrectosis

Well-Known Member
Mentor
#6
Hmmm. Now who do we know in Florida that might be able to go pick one up for us? ;)
I suspect part of the issue with RTFQ is that he is personally installing the Arduino sketch and setting up the preliminary settings in the MW GUI on these boards for you. Even if you dropped by his house, he may not have one ready to fly for you.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
Just a few additions/clarifications to what CraftyDan said.

Both the 328 and the pro boards use atmel atmega processors. The 328 boards use a lower end smaller chip (the atmega328 or atmega328p) the pro boards use an atmega2560 which is a larger more expensive chip (the atmega2560) with more I/O lines and more memory. But it's still an 8bit 16mhz microprocessor.

The 32bit boards use a STM32 processor which is a 72mhz 32bit processor with more memory than the 328 board but still not quite as much as the 2560 based "pro" boards. It's enough additional memory over the 328 boards that the software that runs on it has made it possible to eliminate the need to recompile and flash a custom firmware to enable and disable a lot of options - this makes the boards much easier to configure and customize.


Overall though RTFQ is a perfect example of the double edged sword that is multiwii. MW is not a singular product or specificiation, it's a bit of software that can run on a very wide variety of hardware. This allows a lot of customization which can lead to rapid improvements and advances - but also leads to a lot of "fragmentation" and the potential for non-compatible configurations and a nightmare to provide support for.

His two big selling points really created a perfect storm for him - Low cost and added support. He never really pushed the low cost angle that hard that I saw...but he was very big on selling his service in that he does the initial setup for you on everything and it would be ready to fly out of the box. But that combination attracts a lot of people who will need extra help - if you can provide that help that's great. But trying to customize those controllers, provide that help, and process new orders...all as a one man shop? Bad situation. I hope he gets some help with handling part of those responsibilities quick because he's got a ton of potential...but needs to tap it better (sadly something common with far too many smaller US based RC companies it seems.)


Having flown my friends KK2.1.5 with Stevies1.7, my quad with a homemade MW "pro class" 2560 based controller, and my friends after he switched to Naze32....I'd take the Naze any day if they were in stock and would seriously consider one of the RTFQ 32+ boards instead if I wasn't in a big hurry and wanted a bit of an adventure without anyone holding my hand. The way the KK flew just didn't impress me and I wasn't a fan of using the buttons and LED to adjust things. It wasn't bad, just felt too "robotic" to me in it's responses. The MW and Naze feel more "organic" to me. The MW and Naze are VERY similar once you get them configured and setup. Tuning them is almost identical. But the Naze is much easier to configure and upgrade firmware on and that extra processing power and space over the 328 is really nice.
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#9
Just a few additions/clarifications to what CraftyDan said.

Both the 328 and the pro boards use atmel atmega processors. The 328 boards use a lower end smaller chip (the atmega328 or atmega328p) the pro boards use an atmega2560 which is a larger more expensive chip (the atmega2560) with more I/O lines and more memory. But it's still an 8bit 16mhz microprocessor.

The 32bit boards use a STM32 processor which is a 72mhz 32bit processor with more memory than the 328 board but still not quite as much as the 2560 based "pro" boards. It's enough additional memory over the 328 boards that the software that runs on it has made it possible to eliminate the need to recompile and flash a custom firmware to enable and disable a lot of options - this makes the boards much easier to configure and customize.


Overall though RTFQ is a perfect example of the double edged sword that is multiwii. MW is not a singular product or specificiation, it's a bit of software that can run on a very wide variety of hardware. This allows a lot of customization which can lead to rapid improvements and advances - but also leads to a lot of "fragmentation" and the potential for non-compatible configurations and a nightmare to provide support for.

His two big selling points really created a perfect storm for him - Low cost and added support. He never really pushed the low cost angle that hard that I saw...but he was very big on selling his service in that he does the initial setup for you on everything and it would be ready to fly out of the box. But that combination attracts a lot of people who will need extra help - if you can provide that help that's great. But trying to customize those controllers, provide that help, and process new orders...all as a one man shop? Bad situation. I hope he gets some help with handling part of those responsibilities quick because he's got a ton of potential...but needs to tap it better (sadly something common with far too many smaller US based RC companies it seems.)


Having flown my friends KK2.1.5 with Stevies1.7, my quad with a homemade MW "pro class" 2560 based controller, and my friends after he switched to Naze32....I'd take the Naze any day if they were in stock and would seriously consider one of the RTFQ 32+ boards instead if I wasn't in a big hurry and wanted a bit of an adventure without anyone holding my hand. The way the KK flew just didn't impress me and I wasn't a fan of using the buttons and LED to adjust things. It wasn't bad, just felt too "robotic" to me in it's responses. The MW and Naze feel more "organic" to me. The MW and Naze are VERY similar once you get them configured and setup. Tuning them is almost identical. But the Naze is much easier to configure and upgrade firmware on and that extra processing power and space over the 328 is really nice.

I agree in most places, but I have to say that the KK-2 can have a very organic feel if tuned for it. Overall, I'm loving being able to walk up and change something, then relaunch and compare, but I am missing the D gain.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#10
I agree in most places, but I have to say that the KK-2 can have a very organic feel if tuned for it. Overall, I'm loving being able to walk up and change something, then relaunch and compare, but I am missing the D gain.
We spent some time playing with the settings on his and just couldn't get a yaw that felt right to me.

I found having to walk up and bend over to look at a tiny screen annoying. I MUCH prefer just pulling out my phone and tweaking a few settings then taking off again without having to walk or bend over :D When I design my own board from scratch it's getting bluetooth by default :D
 

Dumpster Jedi

The One Who Speaks
#11
RTFQ gets some bad reviews on CS and ship times, for sure. If you aren't needing it in your hands "tomorrow", then I can't recommend FLIP more. It's an awesome little package for basic MR control, not going to give you a ton of upgradability, but that's what the 2.0 and above are for. Even then, there is a Mag and Baro add-on board that will allow for altitude and heading hold modes in addition to self-level that is standard on the base 1.5.

So yeah, RTFQ/Witespy gets a lot of flak for customer service and ship times... so does Hobbyking for that matter. Most of the complaints I see about Paul are people upset that he didn't answer their email or it took two or three weeks just to ship out, even after they helped the situation along by filing a paypal dispute and blowing up his inbox.

At the end of all things, I can't really bring myself to complain about RTFQ's ship times when I've sat around for 7 or 8 weeks waiting on a Hobbyking box to show up and getting nowhere with their customer service in the meantime. People will moan and complain about HK being slow and having bad service, but continue to place orders... but let a RTFQ order take longer than a week and people are screaming for blood. I don't get that.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#12
Thanks everyone for the crash course in flight controllers. And thanks Jedi for a common sense reality check about dealing with a one man operation.

As this is a budget build, I'll probably go ahead and get one of the flip boards. I'm in no hurry, so waiting a few weeks won't make much difference.
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#13
RTFQ gets some bad reviews on CS and ship times, for sure. If you aren't needing it in your hands "tomorrow", then I can't recommend FLIP more. It's an awesome little package for basic MR control, not going to give you a ton of upgradability, but that's what the 2.0 and above are for. Even then, there is a Mag and Baro add-on board that will allow for altitude and heading hold modes in addition to self-level that is standard on the base 1.5.

So yeah, RTFQ/Witespy gets a lot of flak for customer service and ship times... so does Hobbyking for that matter. Most of the complaints I see about Paul are people upset that he didn't answer their email or it took two or three weeks just to ship out, even after they helped the situation along by filing a paypal dispute and blowing up his inbox.

At the end of all things, I can't really bring myself to complain about RTFQ's ship times when I've sat around for 7 or 8 weeks waiting on a Hobbyking box to show up and getting nowhere with their customer service in the meantime. People will moan and complain about HK being slow and having bad service, but continue to place orders... but let a RTFQ order take longer than a week and people are screaming for blood. I don't get that.
Totally agree DJ, I just plan ahead will I buy from Paul (since I'm from a different country) where as I am hesitant to order anything from HK at all. They have wasted far more time AND money of mine than Paul has and at least with Paul I know my money is going to a good place.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#14
As this is a budget build, I'll probably go ahead and get one of the flip boards. I'm in no hurry, so waiting a few weeks won't make much difference.
Hey RoyBro how does that budget build actually work? All mine are OVER budget builds! :p

Thurmond
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#15
Hey RoyBro how does that budget build actually work? All mine are OVER budget builds! :p

Thurmond
Easy; you do what can with no money, just scraps. Then sit and look longingly at your unfinished build (and maybe whimper a little) until you're given permission to send ONLY enough to finish the build. Be warned. You may have to wait for a birthday or something.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#16
No a whimper doesn't work here with the high noise floor, it takes a loud "GROAN" to get any attention. OK, so a Junk Yard War kind of thing. Great, now I am looking for 4 VW bug engines for a new Dead Horse build! :p

Thurmond
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#17
Even on a budget the bluetooth is VERY worth it. It's <$10 from RTFQ, and makes tuning so much easier. Though I've learned bluetooth on iOS require a more expensive adapter and isn't nearly as advanced yet on the app side. The android app for MW/Naze is excellent.

A USB-OTG cable is only a few bucks on ebay and handy to have as well if your phone/tablet supports it. Still a hardwired connection but handy to have a working connection sometimes even if it is wired.
 

Dumpster Jedi

The One Who Speaks
#18
So THAT's why my BT won't work with my iPhone. I figured i had buggered the antenna while replacing the front and back glass. Been tossing around the idea of getting the 433mhz telemetry stuff, but being due for a phone upgrade next month, I may wait and see. Going back to Android this time around, for some of the same reasons I went to iOS last time. :confused: I'd rather have to tweak and fiddle with a phone to get it working how I want than to have my hardware steadily weighed down with OS updates with no options to configure them or roll back.