The flight controller is the “brains” of the operation inside a drone. It’s what contains the sensors and processors needed to control your drone. The sensors will tell the drone how high it is, what direction it’s flying in, where it’s at, and how quickly it’s moving.
In this article, I’m going to review, what I think, are the best drone flight controller models for people building thier own drones.
RMRC Seriously Dodo Flight Controller
This RMRC Seriously Dodo Flight Controller comes with 8 output channels as well as 8 input channels. It has the reputation of being one of the best models for DIY drone building as well as drone racing.
With this quadcopter flight controller, you won’t need to worry about an external BEC like you would with competing models. That’s because this model can utilize power directly from the flight battery.
Overall, it’s relatively easy to configure and is compatible with a wide range of receivers including Spektrum, SBUS, and PPM receivers. It’s a little on the higher end as far as price, but it’s worth every penny, especially if you’re serious about building an awesome FPV drone.
Readytosky F4 Flight Controller
For top notch flight performance, check out the Readytosky F4 Flight Controller. It’s lightweight, small, and budget-friendly. This drone flight controller will provide you with all the functionality you need to transform your drone into an acrobatic, high-flying machine.
Whether you’re building for drone racing, aerial photography, or casual flying, it’s a nice model to go with. A great feature about this flight controller is that it supports a range of aircraft types, including octocopters, quadcopters, tricopters, and hexacopters.
As for specs, it has an STM32 F405 MCU, a 6PWM output, 128Mg of Flash, and SBUS/PPM inputs.
Makerfire F3 Flight Controller
The Makerfire F3 Flight Controller has a processing speed of 128 MHz, comes with a built-in inverter, and supports Oneshot 125/42. No matter what your level of experience, this model is an excellent choice.
To make it easier for parameter adjustment, it comes with an onboard high-capacity of 8M flash records logbook.
There aren’t many models out there that offer so many features for such a competitive price. It’s easy to work with, weighs about 6 grams, has an aperture of 3mm, and a dimension of 36 x 36mm.
ARRIS CC3D Naze32 F3 Flight Controller
I’m a huge fan of the ARRIS CC3D Naze32 F3 Flight Controller, and use it quite a bit when building drones. It’s 36 x 36mm in size, has an installation hole distance of 30.5mm, and supports a 2-6S input voltage.
It supports SP F3, APM, Naze 32 CC3D, and many more. To make it more convenient for soldering, this board comes with a welding plate of battery and ESC that are arranged in pairs.
Overall, this decreases your chances of making a mistake when soldering. It’s one of the best drone flight controller models out there for the price, and I highly recommend checking it out.
ARRIS 1177 F3 EVO Flight Controller
Finally, there’s the ARRIS 1177 F3 EVO Flight Controller. There are many reasons why this one made the list. Designed for FPV racing, it uses the latest hardware to keep the cost down.
Remember that you’re going to crash a lot during FPV flights. If you have to constantly spend a lot on a flight controller, then the cost can really add up! By being so cost-efficient, this model will save you a lot of money in the long run.
I like the fact that it’s easy to install and comes with a race transponder built in. Finally, it has the latest gyro, accelerator, compass, and altitude sensing technology built in, which will give you a more precise flying experience.
Qualities of the Best Drone Flight Controller
When shopping for a quadcopter flight controller, here are some qualities to keep in mind:
- Price: If you’re constantly breaking your boards due to aggressive flying, it would make sense to invest in a cheaper flight controller. If you constantly buy and break expensive models, it will add up to quite a bit of money by the end of the year. For something cheap, I recommend the ARRIS CC3D Naze32 F3 Flight Controller.
- Sensors: A good flight controller should have many different sensors- gyro, accelerator, GPS, compass, barometer, etc.- to give you a better flight experience. Without good or sufficient sensors, you won’t be able to push your drone to the max. All the models on this list fair pretty well in this department.
- Ease of Use: To put simply, some boards are more difficult to work with than others. I would avoid these at all costs. The last thing you want is to experience a ton of frustration when building your quadcopter. Personally, I think the Readytosky F4 Flight Controller is one of the easier boards to work with.
Keep these qualities in mind when you’re shopping for a quality flight controller.
Ready to Start Building?
If you’re new to drones, and you want to get started building one, then check out our guide on how to build a drone. It will cover the basics and even has two in-depth videos on how to put all the drone parts together.
I’m updating this article to let everyone know about another quadcopter flight controller that I think is great- the Arduino board. I wrote an extensive article about it. You can check it out by clicking here.