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Betaflight

What is it?

Imagine cleanflight, but smoother, easier to tune and flying like a dream and then you have Betaflight the brainchild of legendary pilot Boris B. Betaflight is proprietary flight control software developed by BorisB. It is designed to provide the best possible flight performance that will be merged in the future to Cleanflight.

It includes features such as

  • Gyro sync, which synchronises the gyro looptime to the looptime of the ESCs, meaning the PID control loop always uses the newest gyro data.
  • D_Term_Cut_Hz, designed to reduce the “D term kick” when throttling up after descending into your own prop wash, make this a very nice firmware to fly on, even if the installation can be daunting for some users.
  • G-Tune, which enabled ‘auto-tune’ mid flight on the P gains. However due to difficulties this feature was removed. Hopefully we can see this feature making a comeback soon as it helps users that are new to PID tuning.
  • Finally, Airmode is a really nifty bit of code by boris b, it allows the PID Control to run at 0 throttle, so your quad is even more responsive at the lower throttle ranges. This really makes a huge difference, especially when you are inverted and your throttle is at 0%

Installation of the firmware

  1. First, go to the RCGroups thread dedicated to betaflight and scroll to the bottom of BorisB’s initial post.
  2. There you should find a link to the latest firmware, which you can download. From there download the firmware relevant for your flight control board.
  3. Then, open the Cleanflight configurator and go into the firmware flasher, make sure your correct serial port is selected and click ‘load firmware local’ and select the file you recently downloaded.
  4. Finally you can click Flash Firmware and you are set to go.

 

On one of my quads I flashed Beta flight put it to luxfloat and off the bat it worked like a dream and was the best tune I have had ever got. Here are a few settings I like to use for Betaflight. Simply enter the CLI and type these commands, once you are done type save and hit enter.

  • set yaw_deadband = 5
  • set deadband = 5
  • set acc_hardware = 1 (note this will disable accelerometer and therefore angle + horizon)
  • set emf_avoidance = 1 (this is only really necessary for F1 Flight controllers)

Another thing to note is that your PIDs are likely to be much greater on the pitch axis due to the weight being more spread out along the axis. It is not uncommon for P gains on the pitch axis to be double that on the roll axis.

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