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Which is your favorite controller board and why?

lordhamham

Junior Member
#1
Hello all, I'm kind of new to the forums, made an account and then got out of the hobby, now I'm back in it and I'm starting to consider my next build. I am a very proficient flyer and very tech savvy. I am curious about what your favorite controller board is and why exactly? I want one that can go from simple to very high end. I plan on building a quad. Things I'm curious about are
1) What is your favorite board? Why is that so?
2) What other boards have you set up and used? (Let's be honest, you can know everything about a board but if you can't compare it to something then it doesn't really help the conversation)
3) What don't you like? (maybe something x board does that b board doesn't)
4) How good is the support (not talking customer, support, peer to peer support, EX. a lot more people use x board than b board because?)
5) User friendliness, As tech savvy as I am I just want something that plain out WORKS. I used to own a multiwii v2 and to set that up for tri copter use was a pain, from all the different firmwares people used to the minuscule settings between all of the boards, I disliked using that setup because there was TOO MUCH. Or should that be something to get used to?
 
#2
I'd have to go with the APM 2.5! Mostly because its such a feature rich package!
I have used only an APM 2.5, and something called an Aeroquad Mega.
The APM 2.5's mission planner is quite easy to use and set up, while the Aeroquad seemed a bit bulky and wasn't very intuitive
Support is fantastic - allowed me to use the APM to create an autonomous person following drone using Vision systems (cameras, not GPS like the follow me mode uses)
User friendly - the Arducopter manual walks you through everything you possibly need!
 

x0054

Senior Member
#3
If you going to go with Arducopter, you might as well go with Pixhawk, or clone their of. But it really depends on what you want, for a simple LOS or FPV quad I really like the Naze32. Those are the only 2 systems that I have tried so far. The Naze is easier to get up in the air, in my opinion, but Arducopter is indeed the most feature rich.

Something I haven't tried yet, but was just talking about with some one else on this board is the Tau Labs code. It runs on several different board targets, and supports a lot of the automated features that Arducopter does. It also allows you to write your own code and load it as basically a separate program. So if you are running some kind of peripheral code, you can load it and have it executed on the FC without having to mass with the main FC code. But I can't say much about how good it is, as I have yet to try it.
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#5
Firstly the FC's (Flight Controllers) I've used are KK2/KK2.1, APM 2.5, MultiWii Flip Pro, Naze 32 and Naze 32 Acro. I've also had some limited experience with a CC3D and Naza.

The FC's I will never buy are the CC3D and DJI (Naza) products. An FC that I have, but won't buy another of is the KK2/KK2.1. It's not because it's a bad FC but rather I have outgrown it and find it far too limiting for me now.

If you're trying to get a picture of the best FC out there for all aspects of flight then you will be in for a long search as there is no such thing. You have to ask yourself a basic question. What do I want to do with my multirotor? IMHO there is not a single FC out there that does it all the best.

If you just want a multirotor that flies really well in rate mode and you can tune an over powered rocket to be totally locked in then the Naze 32 Acro is the king of the hill (i.e. a mini FPV quad or an acro quad). The downside of the Naze 32 is if you want to use the full board with baro, mag and add a GPS to enable features like position hold, altitude hold and return to land (RTL) you will be disappointed. It just doesn't work very well with the Naze (partly because Timecop who makes the Naze 32 doesn't support it). Because the Naze 32 is based on Multiwii, other comparable MultiWii FC's will do a similar job but the MultiWii boards aren't as nice to setup as the Naze 32 due to the BaseFlight software made for the Naze which really sets it apart.

If Position hold, altitude hold, RTL and autonomous features are important to you then top of the pile is the APM FC's. This would also include the Pixhawk although since I have not used that FC I cannot comment on it but based on the APM I would not hesitate to put money down for one if I needed one. I have flown with a PixHawk but not actually fiddled with it. For the above mentioned features the APM boards really are the only way to go and are very capable FC's. Of course the more features you add and the more autonomous you go the more setup and fiddling is required and of course the more there is to go wrong but once you do the hard work the end result is very good. The downside to the APM type boards is they don't fly a multicopter very well compared to something like a Naze 32 and don't handle high powered setups like racing quads.

So what do you want to do with your Multicopter????

Oh and fiddling with multicopters and their setups and tuning is just a part of these things, just be aware of that. Sure the Naze 32 default settings will fly "most" frames reasonably well and the APM FC has the auto tune feature but they can still fly a lot better if you spend the time to understand how to use the FC's abilities to their full abilities.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding face plant!
Mentor
#6
+ 1 what Finalglide had to say.

My experience is 3rd party Naza, personal experience with KK2, MW Pro, Naze 32, playing with a NanoWii today. The MW pro is a PITA, the Naza too limited as is the KK2 but for opposite reasons.

The Naze 32 is the shiznit for flying aerobatics today. Period. It is simple, cheap and it works.

If I want a robot, I would go straight for the Pixhawk due to it's reputation.

Being able to 'fiddle' with and tweak your flight controller is key to growing in this hobby. There is different 'fiddling' depending on what you want to do.

Some of us will fiddle with a board until the copter is lightning quick, corners like it is on rails and lands with docile elegance in the palm of your hand.

Others will fiddle with a board until it can talk to GPS, use BlueTooth to talk to your phone or tablet, send back telemetry and video so you can tell it to fly itself and see where the copter has been.

The big question being, what do you want to fiddle with? :)
 
#8
Hello im newly registered to these forums but have been a follower since the beginning of there you tube channel, love these guys. I started out with a multirotor build as a newbie skipped the rtf stuff and started from a arf kit. After build it i discovered that the original kk board was a real pain to work with never enjoyed my flight with that board and tuning and me never seemed to get along after repeated attempts to stabilize my quads flight characteristics.
I upgraded slightly( leaps and bounds in my eyes) to a kk 2.1 board and loved it this thing flew great so i got the newer hard case model recently and it is nice as well but the remote programmer is a bit of a pain to attach and take off repeatedly. After a small time with the hard case board i decided to step in autonomy and bought a Naza v2 w/ gps. I love this things simplicity, plug and play with very few adjustments to gain to get very stable flight not enough good things to say about this thing the stabilize mode is awesome for gaining confidence in you ability and getting comfortable with the radio in your hand.
I also have and apm 2.5 w/ gps that i plan on putting in my bix3 when it arrive ive done some tinkering with it on the quad but i find that it seems a superior platform for my fixed wing aircraft venture. The apm 2.5 is very nice on my multirotors but takes far to much work to switch from frame to frame i flew it on a dji450 flamewheel clone and on my Hoverthings flip pro g and it worked great with lots of tinkering to isolate vibrations and what not.I found setting up the flight modes a bit tedious though as i had some initial difficulties with them. Ill stick to the naza on my multirotors till i have a dreaded fly away but for a plane i thing the apm will do nicely. Although i have seen tons of success with the apm on multirotors. If you have any questions id be happy to try and answer them from a newbies standpoint.
 

lordhamham

Junior Member
#9
Great information guys, I appreciate all of this. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what i want to do, because I want the compact size of a 250 class (think blackout) but I would LOVE to have head tracking on a gopro. But I think, after the multi wii, and hearing what you have to say about certain flight controllers mixed with some of the research, I want to try a naze32. +gps +osd. and get all that to work on a blackout. But although i have made a small choice, everyone should keep adding to this, I feel as if it can help out a lot of people. I think my vice with the multiwii is that i was building a tri copter, and maybe wasn't using the best parts i could have used.
 
#11
I want to try the naze32 i have found that trying flight controllers is a bit addicting myself i have several in my parts box that ive considered putting on something else ive heard good things about it, i also have a seen that it come in a mini board variant perfect for the those 250 size quads, id also like to get my hands on a miniwii board i saw recently on hks website.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#12
Those last two posts - what they said :D

I've personally used my homemade MW on an arudino mega and on an arduino pro mini (plus bench tested it on a modular arduino clone I have from a kickstarter which I would rather not risk promoting by naming ;) ) I've used it with original wii motion plus and nunchuck sensors and I've switched it over to modern MPU-6050 with mag and bar. I ran 2.2 and 2.3 on it and have bench tested the nav code but haven't had the guts to put it in the air yet. Never felt confident enough in my overall tune to feel it was really ready to try flying itself.

I've also helped a friend build a quad with a KK2.1.5 which was fairly quickly swapped for a Naze32. I also did most of the wiring and setup on his warp with the motowarp MW board while he left it and a box of props with me for almost two months.

I've used the afromini on a quick and dirty 250 wood frame I hacked together and on my G10 twitchity frame which has now been switched to a flip pro for testing.

So far everything I've flown with the exception of the KK has been MW or MW derived. The KK worked, but just didn't impress me. The screen was too small to be very useful IMO and just more weight and something to break. And the way it felt in the air just didn't feel as "clean" to me even in acro mode.

Both MW and Naze/Baseflight feel very VERY similar in the air when setup properly. There are subtle differences, and there are some differences between MW 2.2 and 2.3. But they're all small compared to the differences between KK and the MW derived boards.

I really want to try an APM or Pixhawk one of these days to get a taste of that ecosystem. Just get distracted every time I think about picking one up :D I've looked at running MegaPirate on my mega board but that project was a mess the last time I checked it out.

Naza doesn't interest me, to closed for my tastes and I'm not interested in hanging a camera on a giant invisible tripod. I have some friends who need exactly that and love theirs which I fully understand and support, it's a tool to them and they're really not interested in how well it flies compared to how well it can hold their camera in one spot. OpenPilot doesn't interest me either

I just ordered a discoveryF4 board and some flash last night to couple with a MPU-6050 I have on hand and make a FlyingF4 running TauLabs. I can also hook my mag and baro from my mega board to it and the GPS from that frame. Will take some hacking to get all that working on a F4 but I enjoy that side of this hobby. If I like the way the TL stuff feels in the air I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the sparky2 because it sounds very very close to what I've been trying to design for myself to run a flavor of MW or Baseflight with integrated radio and good connectivity. The MPU-9250 with mag integrated as well and running on SPI instead of IIC is very interesting to me as well. Not to mention the CAN bus which gives me a few ideas. I'm very curious to get their code in the air and see how it feels.

For just flying the Naze is pretty tough to beat. Though there's nothing wrong with MW either, and if you're familiar with arduino then in many ways it's a simpler setup than the Naze. If you don't know arduino or anything similar then Naze is far less intimidating to get up and going with but much harder than MW to get going with if you're going to dig into hacking on the code and changing things that can't be done in the CLI or GUI.

If you just want to build a quad and get it in the air to see if you like quads. Buy a Nano QX or a Hubsan X4 or something similar :D If you like them but want to see if you enjoy building them the KK will get you off the bench and into the air quickest if you have no experience and it will fly acceptably and in a way that some people prefer.
 
#13
I second the nanoqx recommendation as that thing is nearly unbreakable and flys great. The Hubsan x4 also great i would say is more of an intermediate airframe as it is small very nimble and very fast, not to mention doesnt fair to well in hard crashes broke mine doing flips the first time and hit a telephone pole at roughly 20mph which put a fork in the hubsan. But i noticed just yesterday Radio Shack now carries the Hubsan X4 what???? is radioshack planning an rc comeback? maybe. Im gonna have to pick up the naze and multiwii boards and fiddle with them some as i found the apm to be very satisfying once it was semi tuned.