Building a drone is an exciting and rewarding hobby. However, choosing the right flight controller can be a daunting task. With the plethora of options available in the market, it's easy to get confused. In this blog post, we'll discuss the different types of flight controllers and compare the popular chips F4, F7, and H7. We'll also talk about the All-In-One (AIO) flight controllers and what to consider when choosing one for your drone.
Flight controllers are the brain of the drone, responsible for processing the sensor data and translating the pilot's commands into motor movements. They come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small and compact to large and powerful.
When it comes to selecting a flight controller, there are two types of controllers to choose from: separate flight controllers and All-In-One (AIO) flight controllers. AIO flight controllers are becoming increasingly popular in the drone world, as they combine the flight controller and Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) in one board. This makes them more compact and easier to install. On the other hand, separate flight controllers allow more flexibility in terms of upgrading and customizing.
The F4, F7, and H7 are the most commonly used chips in flight controllers. F4 was the first to be introduced and is still widely used today. It is relatively inexpensive and can handle most of the tasks required in a typical drone build. F7 is the next step up from F4 and is more powerful, with faster processors and more memory. It is capable of running more complex algorithms and can handle more peripherals than F4. H7 is the latest and most powerful of the three, but also the most expensive. It has the fastest processor and the most memory, making it ideal for high-performance builds.
When choosing a flight controller for a drone under 250g, consider the number of UART and I2C ports, which determine the number of peripherals that can be connected. UART is a serial communication protocol used to connect devices, while I2C is a bus communication protocol that enables multiple devices to communicate with each other. Also, check if it has a barometer, which helps with altitude hold and stability. This is especially important for drones that are meant to fly indoors or in areas with varying atmospheric pressure. The size of the mounting holes is also essential, with 20x20mm and 25.5x25.5mm being the most common for small drones. Lastly, ensure that the flight controller supports Betaflight or INAV, two of the most popular firmware for drones. These firmware programs are essential for programming and configuring the flight controller.
Selecting the right flight controller for your drone can be overwhelming, but with this information, you can make an informed decision. Whether you opt for an AIO or separate flight controller, remember to check the properties and features that are crucial for your drone's build. By selecting the right flight controller, you can ensure that your drone is stable, reliable, and performs as expected.