After the NamelessRC AIO 412T the BetaFPV Toothpick F4 AIO is the second flight-controller that was developed especially with toothpick sized builds in mind - small form factor, single, feature packed board.
Same as with the NamelessRC flight-controller, Bob Roogie (KababFPV) also helped designing this one. This is also the reason why these boards are so similar to each other - they even have the same build target.
In this article I will show you some details about this flight-controller and maybe help you decide if this one is the right one for your next build.
He explained that at some point he did not realize whom he was talking to and thus two different companies released a very similar product. The BetaFPV board is super clean and credits Bob Roogie on the board itself. Good for us - more options!
You can get it in two different versions, one with motor plugs soldered and one without. So if you are going for super light weight, you do not have to de-solder anything if you chose the version without soldered plugs, I think it is really great that we might chose a version that fits our needs best.
The flight-controller comes with OSD, 12A ESC’s (15A burst) and is equipped with an F4 MCU. It can be powered with 2S-4S - with this specs this AIO flight-controller is also a viable option for your super light 3” builds. The USB port is mounted on the side and makes the PCB very flat, thus you have more possibilities of mounting it while still maintaining access to the USB port.
You will have to provide your own receiver of your choice. An inverted RX pad for SBUS is available.
The flight-controller comes flashed with Betaflight version 3.5.6 and the motor direction is reversed. I am not sure why such an old version of Betaflight is flashed when 4.0 is stable for quite some time and 4.1 is soon to be released. I would highly suggest to upgrade to a current version of Betaflight. If you want to use RPM filtering you have to do that anyways.
The mounting pattern is the same that we are used to from other whoop styles PCB’s, 26.5mm. But this one has full holes for mounting, but you can break off the corners for a more “classical” 26.5mm flight-controller and to shave off the last possible weight.
The BetaFPV Toothpick F4 AIO board weighs in at 6.2g without plugs and wires. With the flight-controller you also get 18 AWG wire with XT30 plug and a capacitor. Further, you get mounting grommets, screws and nuts. Should you chose the version without the motor plugs soldered, you will also get them, in case you change your mind and want to solder them on yourself.
My review version came pre-soldered with the power plug - I am not sure if this will be the case with all the boards.
The pads are all placed very nicely and easily accessible at the edge of the board. The motor pads are huge and are available on both sides of the board and the power pads are through hole.
The rest of the pads are only available on one side of the PCB but they are spaced apart very nicely and are super easy to solder to.
Quality control seems to be spot on, all components are aligned properly and the solder joints all look very clean. No puddles of flux or other imperfections. The silk-screen on this board is really easy to read - you know exactly which pad you are soldering to.
The price of $44.99 is very fair in my opinion.
Same as with the NamelessRC board, it is hard for me to find any cons here.
- No integrated RX: I would really love if there was a version with an integrated receiver - I know I am one of the few ones that actually want that, but we are only allowed 25mW here, so those integrated receivers are plenty in this case, and it would just be an additional option. I also realize that there is very little space left on the board, so this might be a practical choice.
- Betaflight version: I would also like to see the flight-controller come pre-flashed with a more current version of Betaflight - but I am sure most of us will updated it anyways.
- Conformal coating: OK, now this is really nit-picking but I would appreciate if they would conformal coat the PCB - just to give you the extra level of protection against moisture.
RPM filtering with JESC
If you want to use RPM filtering - and personally I am a big fan of RPM filters - you can use them on BLHELI_S ESC’s with JESC under certain conditions - and the BetaFPV toothpick AIO meets those conditions. You can check out my article on JESC to see how you can get RPM filters running on your BetaFPV Toothpick F4 AIO.
BetaFPV vs. NamelessRC
This is the big question - which one of them should you choose? To be honest, they both provide the same features and they both seem very reliable. Personally I have put hundreds of 2S packs through the NamelessRC flight-controller without any issues and am doing the same now with the BetaFPV flight-controller.
They both cost the same, so there is no point to be made.
One big difference seem to be the FET’s. With the NamlessRC boards you need a different version of JESC than the BLHELI_S version or your ESC’s might burn out - at least on 3S and up. This does not seem to be the case with the BetaFPV board.
I think it will come down to availability. Most of the BetaFPV products are available on Amazon, which is a big deal if you need the flight-controller now. Although it will be slightly more expensive than ordering from BetaFPV directly.
If you are looking for the most light weight option, you should go with the NamlessRC board, it is almost 2g lighter than the version from BetaFPV.
Also keep in mind, that BetaFPV has a proven track record of quality products - and if something does not work as expected they have you covered and will offer a solution. We do not know yet how NamelessRC will perform with customer support situations.
Chris is a Vienna based software developer. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all sizes and making stuff.
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