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HGLRC F3 V2 Review

You can purchase the F3 V2 here.

HGLRC are a new company in the Multirotor game, and plan to design and manufacture a range of products. The F3 V2 is their first product to be released to market so far.

Initial Impressions and Design:

The name is rather cryptic and suggests that this is only a flight controller, however if one digs a little deeper we can see that this is a combination of a PDB, flight controller and open source compatible OSD. It’s a very ambitious to try and combine a PDB and FC, let alone add an OSD to complicate things further. So we do commend them for making such a difficult product.hgl rc 1

The F3 V2 came in a grey antistatic bag like every other electronics product in the hobby, included in the bag was some 6mm standoffs as well as a load of micro JST connections, and yes you may really need them all.hgl rc 2

Once we had a good look at the board we noticed a few issues, mainly the use of micro JSTs! MicroJSTs are great when they work and you first build your quad….however, after the first crash you regret ever even laying eyes on them. Unless it is a really common connector you stand no chance of ever finding a replacment cable.

hglrcv3 pic1

Not only this but there were some oddly placed of the PAL/NTSC and bootloader solder pins, they were right in the middle of the PCB and were very hard to short. The removal of a solder pad all together for the bootloader would be ideal, most of the newer FCs use a button for the bootloader and we find it works a treat.

Another downpoint was the fact there was a 5V connection for the VTx and a 12v connection for the Camera, which we found rather odd. As most cameras these days run off 5V and most VTx run anywhere from 8-26V! The solder pads for the signal wires and power connections for the ESCs were suitably placed, and they also offer an option for use of a hexacopter by including 2 additional pads. The regulators are certainly more than you will need and both the 5v and 12v outputs are rated to 3A. More than enough for a VTx, Camera and even high power LEDs. Finally, there was also “SP Racing F3 V2” on the board, which was a little odd considering this is not an SP Racing product. But hey ho they did include the cleanflight logo, which was a nice addition.hglrc pic2

 

Specs

  1. 1、F3 fully functional(6dof or 10dof)
  2. Integration OSD functional & Auto Switch Mode(USB/OSD) (we think it is based on the same processor as the MicroMinimOSD)
  3. 5V3A&12V/3A BEC for CAM、VTX or LED…..
  4. The six of ESC signal bonding pads,remove needle
  5. Support LIPO 2S-6S , Battery and ESC VCC&GND bonding pads
  6. 4 layer PCBA copper foil & 2OZ golden boards
  7. Five electrostatic protection circuit
  8.  Overcurrent ~130A+

Build

The build was not as simple as we had hoped, mainly due to one key issue. When one went to solder on the ESC power leads, the micro JSTs for the receiver input block you from routing the wires straight down. On a 120-150 sized build, which is primarily what we expect people will use this board for, this makes a huge difference to the quad as you really don’t have much room to spare. On a shrieker or 150 it may not be that pronounced, but on our RotorX Atom we had to think about the build a lot before starting. Once we had overcome this hurdle the build was much easier and wiring of the FPV system was simple as can be.

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We are going to create a whole new guide on how to setup this FC, as if you don’t know what you are doing it is very difficult, esepcially for novices. One key thing to note is that you will need an FTDI Adapter to change the MWOSD settings on a computer.

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Performance

The performance of the F3 V2 was typical of an F3 board, it uses the same hex file as the SPRacing F3, the same as the XRacer F303 and the SPRacing F3 itself uses! As this is the case it is likleyt that it has a I2c interface with the gyro, we would have preferred a SPI gyro, but we think that currently this is not a deal breaker.

The OSD was a pleasure to use and was much easier than trying to get a fiddly Micro MinimOSD to work. It comes stock with MWOSD 1.6, our preferred firmware.

Conclusion

It’s a valiant effort from HGLRC, but we feel that this was a little too ambitious. The Micro JSTs really complicate the build and the flashing procedure is tricky to say the least. With a few changes we think this could be a very promising product and one to use for a micro build.

Build: 4/10

Flying: 8/10

Overall: 7/10

If you have any questions about the HGLRC F3 V2, feel free to contact Mandy at mandy_hglrc@outlook.com

You can purchase the F3 V2 here.

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17 comments

  1. Is it right that I just can connect the signal wire from the ESC to the solderpad and cut the other wire?

    Thank you!

  2. So you mean we connect the ground signal cables from esc to the ground spots on the board where the power cables of the ESCs are soldered, correct?

    Thank you in advance,
    Aldy

  3. I appreciate the time you took to review this board but, your review is off point, well, if your goal is to find all the bad and none of the good then you hit it – This board is amazing! I have not had one issue, btw, you should really be thinking about every build you do thoroughly, always, doesn’t matter what product you use, that process never changes and is the same with every build. Check out the latest revisions of this HGLRC product

    • I wouldn’t describe this board as amazing. Other all in one flight controllers have come out recently that perform much better. One example is the ImpulseRC Tempest, a well thought out product which we are currently reviewing. We have seen later revisions of the HGLRC F3 and having the power connector out at the side is a no go on small quads, and it significantly increases the risk of the board snapping in a hard collision.

      • The Tempest is only a PDB+FC. It has no OSD. Hardly can such product be categorized as AIO

        • An OSD is not a 100% necessary addition to a copter. In fact its more of an odd on. Whereas FC and PDB are a necessity. Therefore we feel it fair to class the tempest as an AIO.

  4. Hi, are you still creating a guide on how to set this FC up? Would be really useful as I have the v3.1 on the way.

  5. i need help. built-in osd not working as I can connect the microminimosd?

    • Do you mean you can’t connect to MWOSD? Can you give some more information about what you’ve tried? Are you using and FTDI adapter to connect? You can’t configure it through the USB. Even without changing any settings you should still see the osd through the Goggles as it’s already flashed with the mwosd firmware.

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