Clarity on LibrePilot hardware/controllers
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:39:00 pm »
Hi there

I see from reading widely and the link immediately below that in terms of LibrePilot hardware/controllers there are only the following boards: coptercontrol, cc3d and Atom, Revolution and Revo Nano boards, and the Sparky2 board.

https://forum.librepilot.org/index.php?topic=2015.msg14464#msg14464

I have a couple of queries regarding the Atom and Revolution boards:

Can/should the HobbyKing boards (two links below) be classified simply as Chinese-made replicas of original Atom board?

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/openpilot-mini-cc3d-flight-control-board.html
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/cc3d-atom-openpilot-flight-control-board-authorized-vertical-pins.html

In other words, despite the two very different packaging/case styles and branding, the enclosed PCB in these HobbyKing boards, is identical to the LibrePilot board – the details of which appear on the site -- https://librepilot.atlassian.net ?


Again on the HobbyKing site I found the following
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/mini-cc3d-revolution-32bit-flight-controller.html

One of the reviewers says: “One question is how this mini compares against the RevoNano, which is endorsed by the official OpenPilot developers, but also rare in the market.” So, this appears to be a cut-down version of the standard LibrePilot Revolution and not a Revo Nano board? I guess it is yet another Chinese-made board based on the original revolution design?

Why is the Revolution Nano board so rare in the market place? Is it not being manufactured yet?

I look forward to receiving some comments/clarification.

Simon

« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 09:47:55 pm by SimonTA »

Re: Clarity on LibrePilot hardware/controllers
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 09:15:48 am »
CC3D Atom OpenPilot Flight Control Board Authorized ... LMAO.

CC3D, Atom, and the first two boards you linked are all electrically identical (OK, programatically identical).  The code can't tell the difference.  They are all CC3D's.

My guesses: Revo Nano (slower, 100mhz CPU and no telemetry on board) came along at the end of OpenPilot's life and was a bit expensive when compared to full featured Revo clones.  I suspect the main people legitimately interested were racers but other boards with other firmwares were at least cheaper if you only wanted racing.  These other boards were hotly hyped by startup firmware groups.  There was also a fervor for the Nano when it first came out, but to me it seemed more of a bubble that went away as OpenPilot faded.

Up until about early 2018 you could still buy authentic Nanos, and for a good, clearance price.  That batch went away.  You can still buy the clearance of the last of the authentic Sparky2's (black PCB and perfect) on eBay.  I don't know where you might get an authentic Revo, other than from an end user.

The last board you linked to is a Revo Mini which is electrically equivalent to a regular Revo (168mhz CPU) that has the telemetry removed.  It is not a Nano.  You can buy the missing telemetry module called an OpLink Air, but why not just by a Revo then?  Perhaps this Revo Mini is a good FC for someone who doesn't or can't (e.g. illegal frequency) use telemetry.  FYI: "next" has support for other telemetry frequency bands; that basically requires replacing the Revo's / Sparky2's / OpLink's RF daughter board to change from 433mhz to 915 or 868.  Very good soldering skills and tools required.  I am not aware of any of these boards (Revo / Sparky2 / OpLink) being available on 915 or 868, but there are undoubtedly some out there done in very small volume, at least for personal use.

All that is left of any of these are clones, although there are some originals around.  In order of clone volume (my guess):
- CC3D and variants
- Revo and variants
- Sparky2 (no variants that I know of)
- Nano (one variant on a Revo sized board existed that I know of)

Historical note:  What we call a regular Revo now days was actually initially called a Revo Mini because there was an unreleased full size Revo.  TauLabs and derivatives still call the regular Revo a Revo Mini.

The cloners have completely bastardized the names CC3D and Nano and add these two words to any boards associated with OpenPilot, just to get people to click and look.  Atom is not far behind.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 09:43:04 am by TheOtherCliff »

Re: Clarity on LibrePilot hardware/controllers
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 11:08:01 pm »
Hi there...TheOtherCliff

Thanks so much for your detailed reponse -- it is very useful, helps clarify a few points and is much appreciated!

I apologise for taking such a long time to respond. Unfortunately, I've been trying to meet year-end deadlines which means that work has got in the way of more important things! ;-)

@B Simon

Re: Clarity on LibrePilot hardware/controllers
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 02:46:17 am »
Just FYI... Hyperion carries both the full-size Revo, and the smaller (but functionally identical) Revo Mini.  Since Hyperion is primarily a supplier, the USA retail dealer is ALL e RC (www.allerc.com), and they currently have both versions in stock.  These are most likely clones, but I have 2 of each, installed in 2 helis and 2 quads, and they all work as designed.  Direct links below:

https://www.allerc.com/hyperion-cc3d-revo-32bit-stm32-f4-flight-controller-p-11880.html?sess=0bm89rmtnpb00bo2u85prpif01

https://www.allerc.com/hyperion-mini-cc3d-revo-32bit-stm32-f4-flight-controller-p-11881.html?sess=0bm89rmtnpb00bo2u85prpif01

Both are recognized by LibrePilot (16.09) as 'Revo' and use the same firmware.  The main difference:  The mini is smaller, and ideal for tight spaces.  The larger standard size uses traditional 3-pin servo outputs, whereas the mini uses a 1-wire signal-only arrangement, so you must provide a voltage bus or a PDB for the servos.

I bought these because many other OpenPilot-based F/C's are either gone or very hard to find.... and it's much easier to learn LibrePilot using a board that's compatible with it without having to complicate matters with an unreleased version of LP.  I'm too old to keep up with the technology...  :P