Drones are an innovative way to capture aerial footage. The best drone controller can help you fly your drone with ease. Flight Controllers for FPV and Racing Drones Having a good flight controller (FC) is critical for drone performance.
In this blog post, Lucidcam will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the best drones and their controllers. We will also provide a list of our favorite products for each price range so that you can find the perfect one for you!
After reading this article, hopefully, you’ll be more informed on what to look for in a good drone as well as what controller is right for you! Read on if you are interested in learning more about drones and their controllers!
How to choose the best drone controller?
There are many drone controllers available on the market. It is up to you to choose the right one. Here are some factors to consider.
Before you buy a quadcopter and start flying like a professional pilot, it is important to have a look at different styles of flying before you make the leap. Single flight control is best for one style.
First, choose your flying style. These are some options:
Cinema flying – This phrase is used to describe flying functions that are intended for smooth videos. These can also be used for moviemaking. You will need a flight control to do this. This has the ability to dampen flight characteristics and reduce control rod prices. This means that you need to gradually move the control, and not give it an unexpected push.
Autonomous flying – this is another important aspect of flying. Many quadcopter pilots, especially novices, fly without a lot of controls. You’ll need a control system that can perform maximum functions like auto take-off or auto-landing.
FlyingSport flying is one of the most exciting and adventurous flying styles. This is a different type of flying than the others because you will be required to make rapid changes to the unit’s flight. You may also need to switch between extremely passive and competitive maneuvers.
You will also need to have your flight controllers available to assist you if you are racing with other pilots. The machine should be capable of moving at a fast pace and maintaining a certain angle. This is why quadcopter sports flight control can be quite challenging.
Gyro stabilization – This allows the pilot to keep the quadcopter safe in midair while keeping it under control.
Self-leveling – This can be quite handy as it allows the quadcopter’s pitch to be released and the quadcopter will stay flat in the air.
Orientation method – A quadcopter equipped with an orientation mode allows the pilot to control the drone’s orientation.
GPS Altitude grip – This feature allows the quadcopter to hover at a distance from the ground and maintains stability. The pilot does not need to adjust the throttle.
Position grip – This attribute, similar to the elevation hold allows the quadcopter to keep in a predetermined place or position.
The return to home – This is a unique quality found in many copters. It allows the device to return to its original position of takeoff even when the flyer loses control.
Waypoint navigation – This is another interesting feature of a copter. As part of the flight program, the caliber may direct the apparatus to follow a few points on a map.
GPS – This attribute is gaining in value rapidly. It helps the apparatus keep its position and keeps a record of all flying information for added advantage.
Top-rated best drone controllers brand
|Toygat New Pixhawk PX4 2.4.6 Flight Controller NEO-M8N GPS Radio Telemetry OSD 3DR 915Mhz||1 Reviews||$199.99||Buy on Amazon|
|DJI Naza-M V2 Flight Controller Newest Version 2.0 with GPS All-in-one Design||118 Reviews||$189.00||Buy on Amazon|
|OMNINXT F7 Airbot top Class Flight Controller Based on The Omnibus F7 v2 for Quadcopter||$118.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Diatone Mamba F722 APP F50BL32 3-6S Flight Controller Stack||2 Reviews||$95.44||Buy on Amazon|
1. NEW PIXHAWK PX4 2.4.6
- Size: 81.5 mm x 50 mm x 15.5 mm
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Compatible Receiver: PPM
- Special features: External multi-colored LED, dual full angle LED, NuttX RTOX real-time operation system, automatic and manual mode, Micro SD
- Best for: Aerial photography drones
The New Pixhawk PX4 2.4.6 flight controller board has 32-bit chip technology and integrated sensor technology. This eliminates the need for an 8-bit APM/CPU. The main controller efficiency features an external multi-colored LED as well as an alternate backup control.
Both manual and automatic modes are available. They also provide redundant power supply failover/input. Micro SD is a storage device that can be used to store images as well as general data.
2. DJI Naza-M V2 – DJI flight controller
- Size: 5 x 3.7 x 31 In.
- Weight: 10.4 oz
- Compatible Receivers: PPM and S-Bus
- Special features: GPS, Automated course deviation reimbursement, elevation stabilization algorithm, IOC, error identification and caution, IMU innovative calibration ( inertia measurement unit), RTL
- Best for Hexacopter and Octocopter consumers.
The DJI Naza M V2 flight control system has been redesigned and added additional features to the original. This support is specifically designed for helicopters and octocopters, to make landings safe in the event of motor neglect.
The DJI Naza M V2 has many flight controllers available, but these are those that are most effective for each type of flying.
This updated version has GPS, RTL, and much better position holding capabilities for improved flight performance. Automated path deviation reimbursement reduces the impact of magnetic disturbances and total disturbances on the compass.
3. Airbot OmniNXT F7 Flight Controller
Airbot OmniNXT F7 features a soft-mounted gyro, similar to the Kakute. However, it is completely protected by a protective plastic case. This protects it from any vibrations and damage. Although the pad layout is easy to wire, it can be difficult for beginners due to the absence of documentation from Airbot.
The OmniNXT is capable of running Betaflight’s latest features without any compromises. It actually comes with two gyros, the MPU6000 and ICM20608. You can also use it as a VTX or camera power supply with both 5V8V BEC’s.
This is NOT an AIO FC and should be used in conjunction with a PDB or 4in1 EESC.
4. Mamba F722S Stack
The Reliable & Complete Package
The wiring can sometimes get messy when the 4in1 ESC and FC are purchased from different vendors. This is because their pin-outs may be different. It’s why I recommend buying a stack. You know it will be plug-n-play and fully compatible.
The Mamba F722S comes equipped with all the standard features that you would expect in modern F7 flight control, but it also has a Bluetooth module that allows you to configure Betaflight settings wirelessly from your smartphone.
You can use it to power your FPV camera or VTX. It also has 5V and 9V BECs. This reduces noise from motors and ESC. The MPU6000 is the IMU, which is less sensitive to noise than the ICM.
The 4in1 ESC can deliver 50A of motor output and is compatible with 6S LiPo. This makes it a versatile option that is suitable for many different styles.
5. Hobbypower KK2.15 Flight Controller
- Size: 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.8 inches
- Weight: 8.6 g
- The signal from Receiver: 1520us
- Special features: Client self-update Feature, flexible sign to engines, polarity protection, additional stability through 6050 MPU upgrades
- Best for: People who need an update from the previous version
Do drones require a flight controller to fly? Hobbypower KK2.15, another generation of flight controllers boards that can host multi-rotor drone types, is also available.
You only need to set up your drone’s board, choose the type of craft you want, evaluate the propeller management, engine design, calibrate the ESCs (Electronic Speed Controllers), and then you are good to go.
The accelerometer Almost all flight controllers include an accelerometer. This board was upgraded from its original line to include a sensitive 6050 MPU system and an additional autonomous flight-leveling function.
6. Holybro Kakute F7 AIO Flight Controller
Best Flight Controller for DJI FPV System
Most flight controls soft-mount the entire board, but the Kakute F7 gets got the Gyro sensor soft mounted preferably. The best thing about this is that you do not need to gentle mount the FC in all or worry about cables touching the flight controller, which may move vibration on it. Because of this, I love using it with different ESC’s.
- F7, ICM20689 SPI (32KHz Looptime)
- Soft-mounted Gyro sensor
- Betaflight OSD
- Integrated PDB
- 5V/2A BEC
- SD Card Reader for Blackbox
- Supports 2S – 6S
It would be helpful if the gyro board was visible from any cables or other parts that might touch it. You can’t put anything other than this flight controller, such as a receiver or VVTX.
It would be helpful if you could now manage sign inversion using SmartPort Telemetry or SBUS. F7 can easily handle this.
Although the Kakute F7 flight controller is packed with features, the design is not the easiest to use. The pads are placed exactly where they should be. Holybro provides a detailed online guide that can be extremely helpful.
This board is ideal for experienced builders/pilots who are looking for smooth gyro performance. You can also get the non-AIO version, which you can use with 4 in1 ESCs.
7. Rush F7 Mini Stack
Best drone flight controller
All of the flight controllers that we’ve discussed are full-size boards with 30x30mm mounting patterns. Rush F7 Mini Stack features a 20x20mm mounting design, which is a lot smaller.
It has the same capabilities and performance as a full-size stack, despite its compact size. The 800mW VTX boards can be plugged directly into the FC without wiring. This makes it a complete package that you can simply install in your drone.
The rush F7 flight controller uses JST connectors to connect to receivers and cameras. This makes it much easier to build and repair if you have the right components. If you are a fan of soldering, I would not recommend this stack.
8. LHI Pro Racing F3 Flight Controller
- Size: 36 mm x 36 mm x 30.5 mm
- Weight: 0.2 oz
- Compatible Receivers: SBus, SumH, SumD, Spektrum1024/2048, XBus, PPM, and PWM
- Particular features: RGB LED strip service, Autotune, In-flight PID Tuning, black box airport information logging, OneShot ESC, added PID controls.
- Best for: Running mini FPV drone
What is an FPV controller? The LHI Pro Racing F3 flight controller is perfect for mini quads. They are equally suitable for drone racing and offer FPV capabilities.
This allows for easy upkeep and future improvements to the applications. It features an RGB LED strip, black box flight information logging, as well as several flight controls.
A CC3D, CJMCU, and Sparky can all be used. It can support over 8 RC stations making it perfect for racing drones.
9. Hobbyking Race 32 Micro Flight Controller
- Size:30 mm x 18 mm
- Weight:5 g
- Compatible Receivers: SumH, SumD and Spektrum 1024/20148. XBus, PPM and PWM.
- Particular featuresBlackbox flight log recorder with built-in inverter and battery tracking buzzer interface. Protective case. Cross-platform GUI (graphical user interface).
- Ideal for: Left-wing quads of all kinds and quads specifically designed for racing
HobbyKing Race32 Micro is designed to reduce weight, which is crucial when drones are in hurry. This results in significantly lower weight and faster speeds.
The floating-point hardware component of the ARM-Cortex M4 Centre allows for more efficient loop occasions, flight calculations, and will run twice as fast as the STM2 F1 board, the previous generation. It also has an output dedicated to programmable LEDs.
10. Taulabs Sparky 2.0 Flight Controller
- Weight: 2.1 oz
- The signal from the Receiver: RFM22b
Particular features: Can be connected for improved connectivity via an RCVR Flexi, 12C auce, Main, and USB. The double analog input signal for current monitoring, General voltage, and general voltage runs an outside magnetometer.
Ideal for high-speed dronesDrones that are normally quick, regardless of whether they are used for racing, will be able to do this. Waypoint is the best drone flight controller. It has more complicated scripting than the Picos programming and the Ones used primarily for flight logging.
TauLabs Sparky 2.0 drone flight controller features a stronger processor than the previous generation. It is powered by an STM32F4 processor, which runs at 165MHz. The enhanced flash and memory are also included in the dining room.
The integrated sensor technology includes a 3-axis gyro and a brushless outside gimbal. This helps to eliminate the need for POI monitoring and controllers in the transmitter. Read also about Best Drones With Camera.
11. Abusemark Naze32 Flight Controller
- Size:6 x 4x 0.4 inches
- Weight:0.3 oz
- Compatible ReceiversPWM?PPM?Sum?Spektrum Satellite
- Particular features: Onboard Micro USB, bright LEDs, MultiWii-based configuration method, standalone camera stabilizer
- Drones for aerial photography
AbuseMark Naze 32 Flight Controller comes with a 3-axis MEMS-gyro, an accelerometer (the MPU6050), and a 3-axis magnetometer (the HMC5883L). It can integrate engine outputs that are flexible and allows for several airframe forms, including quads, Texas, tris and bis, Y4s, and octos. Regular receivers can receive around 8 RC stations.
You can install and set up your drone faster with the 16Mbit SPI flash onboard Micro USB. MultiWii is a professional drone flight control software.
12. OPENPILOT CC3D FLIGHT CONTROLLER
- Size: 3.4 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches
- Weight: 0.3 ounces
- Compatible Receivers: PWM and PPM
- Special features: 128KB flash, 20KB RAM, 3-aix high-performance MEMs gyro, 3-axis high-performing MEMs accelerometer, 4-layer PCB, the software is supported by Linux as well as Windows and Mac, direct high-speed USB support without a driver needed, 4Mbits on-board EEPROM for storage configuration, CC3D, CopterControl boards, can be paired with a mini-USB, RC harness
- Best for: More complicated, sophisticated drones that require more work where software and hardware are concerned.
The OpenPilot CC3D Flight Controller board is a very extensive, thorough controller board that allows for quite a bit. You can also hack it to get the free software, but you must purchase it. You will receive the install packages. The RC harness can be connected to any PWM standard receiver you choose.
You can use either the 12C connectivity or the single serial port or the dual serial ports, depending on what you prefer. OpenPilot integrated software is included to make it easy for all users, regardless of age.
13. CLRacing F7 V2 DAUL Flight Controller
Amazing for 4in1 ESC
The CLRacing F7 is one of the best drone flight controllers. The CLRacing F7 is the successor to a few of the very popular FC ever produced, the CLRacing F4/F4S. The F7 DUAL FC has a comparable clean and convenient design and well-sized solder pads, making it quite enjoyable to use. Please have a look at my review to find out more about the flight controller.
Here is the spec’s overview:
- F7 MCU
- 2 variations: MPU6000 gyro or double ICM20602
- Soft mounting grommets
- 6 UART’s
- Betaflight OSD
- 5V 3A BEC
- 32MB Flash memory for Blackbox
- Supports 2S – 8S LiPo Input
Despite its many unique features, it is one of the most affordable drone flight controllers on the list. It supports SmartAudio and ESC Telemetry. You can also wire up your FPV cam with the built-in FPV Camera Controller. You don’t need additional resistors or capacitors.
The CL Racing F7 was designed to be used with a 4in1 ESC. The ESC header supports both outside current sensor input signals and ESC telemetry.
This FC is the first to have an Authentic Pitmode. You can turn the VTX or FPV cameras on and off with a switch in the radio.
The V2 has some of the most impressive improvements. Both gyros can work simultaneously, adding detector information to reduce sound. Tuning will be much easier when you use Betaflight’s most recent RPM filter. If you need a more precise installation, they also offer the MPU6000 option.
How do you control a drone controller?
There are four primary ways to move a drone using your controller:
- Roll. Moves your drone left or right in the air, literally “rolling” your drone.
- Pitch. Tilts your drone forward or backward.
- Yaw. Rotates your drone clockwise or counterclockwise, allowing you to make circles or patterns in the air.
Do drones need a flight controller?
You now know enough to understand that a flight controller is the most important part of a drone. For it to work properly, it needs a constant stream of ingoing and outgoing information, which it translates, filters, and channels in real-time. It really is like our own brains but made for flying.
Can you use any controller for a drone?
You can use a variety of devices to control your drone including your Smartphone, a wireless game controller such as a PS4 controller, and many others. It is important to check the compatibility between the remote control device and the drone before attempting to pair them together.
Choosing the best controller for your drone can be a daunting task. There are many different brands, features, and types of controllers available on the market today, which makes it difficult to know what type is right for you. We hope our review will help make this process easier by providing information about each unit so that you may determine which one would work best with your needs.
Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API