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Best firmware branch for CCPM helicopter?
« on: September 01, 2018, 07:18:06 pm »
I know that CCPM helis are not so sexy anymore and everybody is flying quad's now days, but there are still some of us old farts that love their CCPM helicopters.
My goal is to use libepilot in my fly bar less CCPM helicopters for stabilization and for telemetry. No plans for navigation or flight automation.
Hardware I have at hand, for this project, are a CC3D (F1) and couple of Flip32AIO(also F1) boards. I know Flip32AIO boards are not supported, but they are basically CC3D with 6050 IMU on I2C, so should not be too hard to make them work. I am also aware that F1 boards are considered to be out dated and to have too little memory, but for my user case, I think they are more than adequate.

So is there any advantage to use next branch instead of master in my user case? Is there a document etc. that lists the main differences between branches? I tried to look at the wiki and in the documentation, but did not find clear answer.
I should mention I am using GitHub. I don't like bitbuckets layout. It takes me too long to find anything in there. Hey, I am old fart still flying CCPM helicopters, changes takes their time to settle in with me. ;)


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Re: Best firmware branch for CCPM helicopter?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 09:20:02 pm »
I tried the next branch on my 450, so far i cant see a difference. I was very enthusiastic with cc3d on heli in 2015, but ive also tried other FBL systems, and honestly the others are easier to set up and fly.


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Re: Best firmware branch for CCPM helicopter?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 01:03:10 pm »
Thank you for your reply.

LibrePilot is the only open source firmware, that I am aware of, that supports CCPM helicopters. I do have a VBar and it's easy to use, but I would like to have some telemetry data for OSD and LibrePilot is the only one I know of that can do this. I think that the configuration part is the smallest hurdle here.
I have some experience in configuring CC3D for CCPM. The Biggest hurdle I am facing is porting the LibrePilot for Flip32AIO board. I have done something similar before with iNav. In my fixed wing I currently have RaceFlight Revolt running iNav. This is currently not supported board, but it seems to work great. I have not flight tested it yet, because of some non-flight controller related radio issues I am having. (My Si4430 modules don't seem to be protocol compatible with RF22B's used in HobbyKing Orange modules, but that's subject of another topic.)

Anyway, LibrePilot seems to be way more complex when it comes to source files for targets than i.e. iNav, but hey who does not like a challenge?

The logic behind my question was, that if the next branch does not have any new features for CCPM helicopters, would I be better of using master branch for developing, as I assume it has less bug's in it. Also, what I have gathered reading some discussions, these F1 boards are considered somewhat obsolete, so there is not a huge interest on the LibrePilot development teams side to spend their valuable time on them, even though the F1 processor is more than capable for CCPM stabilization if one does not need any UAV or navigation support.

It seems that the drone scene is killing CCPM helicopters, which is sad, because a scale CCPM helicopter is way more beautiful (and IMHO fun) than some ugly quad will ever be. :P

Reasons for edits:
Tried to make the text more readable, but having a flu and fever does not help...
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 01:15:39 pm by mdm63 »

Re: Best firmware branch for CCPM helicopter?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 05:33:32 pm »
If your main task is to port LP to Flip32AIO, I suggest you PM a developer named mr_w.  He has recently done this for some other boards, mainly F3 based.


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Re: Best firmware branch for CCPM helicopter?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 12:05:08 am »
Thanks for the tip. I will ask him if I can take a peek at his work, but ATM I feel I am over my head with this one. I tough I could simply modify the existing CC3D code to work with MPU 6050 and remove the features flip32(naze) does not have i.e. SPI flash, but IMHO the code is a big mess. I can't get grasp of it. There seems to be odd differences on how certain things are done between targets and not just because different architectures, also to me it seems that getting the code to work without SPI flash will be a big undertaking. Lack of documentation does not help either. I am beginning to think it would be easier to implement CCPM mixing to some other software.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but this is not meant to be. I don't consider my self a skilled programmer, even tough I have some experience doing more than just fiddling with Arduino and LED's. All the issues I am having with the code may just be my lack on knowledge and probably are. Still, it's bit of shame, as LibrePilot seems to be the only viable option for open source firmware for CCPM, but the hardware support is very limited. Other software/hardware systems I am aware of, are proprietary and IMHO way too expensive for their features. I am not very keen to switch to another hardware either, as I understand that F1 processors are too limited for advanced features, F3 or better, just seems an overkill for just stabilization and couple of sensors for OSD.

At least this has been fun three day exercise of how lacking my programming skill's really are.  :D