DTFc Flight Controller Review: Ultra Clean Quad Build
DTFc Flight Controller Review
What is the DTFc flight controller? In short, the DTFc flight controller is a PDB with a built in F3 flight controller. It’s made by the creators of the OSDoge and can stack perfectly with the DTFc. For people who want simple clean builds, there’s not better PDB or flight controller than the DTFc. Let’s take a closer look.
- F3 Processor
- Uses the latest gyro from InvenSense ICM-20608-G
- 120A current sensor
- PPM/SBUS/SUMD rx signals ready
- Dedicated LED strip port with onboard 5V regulator.
- Can handle massive power, 2s-6s
- 5v 1.2A regulated power for your LED strips, cameras, small VTXs, RX, lap transponders…etc
- Runs Betaflight with BLHELI ESC Passthrough. Connect and change settings on your ESC right from the FC
- dRonin software support (dRonin is a flight controller firmware like Cleanflight but from OpenPilot)
- Two serial ports
- Uses through hole connections on the flight and surface edge pads for the pdb.
- 36 x 36mm with 30.5 x 30.5mm mounting holes. Same dimensions as the Naze32 and DODO flight controller.
I love the layout of the DTFc flight controller. The solder pads for the big power wires are nice big pads with the little holes. I don’t know the technical name for those little holes on the pads but it makes soldering fat cables much easier for some reason. Going by the arrow on the board, the battery solder pads are at the rear with two smaller positive and a big negative pad on each side of the board. This makes it very easy to arrange the power cables in a neat fashion.
For the flight controller part, they went with through the hole connection method. This is my favorite and prefer it over surface pads such as the LUX and KISS. Through the hole offers the most versatility and makes building clean easy. You have the option of using pin headers or directly soldering the wires and arranging the wire in any direction you want. The direct solder method is choice for ultra low profile builds.
Ultra Clean Gyro
The ICM-20608-G gyro used in the DTFc flight controller is the cleanest of all the gyro family. All of the most popular flight controllers right now use gyros made by InvenSense. They use either the MPU6500, MPU6050 or the MPU6000. The new ICM-20608-G is said to be 20% less noisy than the other gyros and uses half the power. So far this has proven to be true. In my Armattan Morphite 155 build, I mounted the DTFc flight controller using M3x10mm bolts. Normally when you mount a flight controller with metal bolts instead of using plastic standoffs, it produces crazy amount of noise in the form of vibrations. This can cause a lot of issues with drift and YAW twitches. The DTFc flight controller has been rock solid and smooth in my quad. I haven’t noticed any vibration issues.
Gyro Family Tree
- ICM-20608-G – DTFc
- MPU6500 – Lumenier LUX, Naze32 rev6, TBS Colibri
- MPU6050 – KISS fc, Tornado, Naze32 rev5, ReadyMadeRC DODO, SP3
- MPU6000 – CC3D (does anyone still fly with CC3D?)
Made by the same manufactures as the OSDoge, the DTFc flight controller is designed to stack with the OSDoge. This makes a super clean and tidy, PDB, flight controller, OSD and LC filter combo. Using low profile stacking pins, the DTFc/OSDoge stack in my Morphite 155 is only 8mm thick.
This is just a quick recap of the DTFc install. I will have a full build post/video with the DTFc on the XHover MPX200b.
This is how I installed the DTFc in my Morphite 155. The XSR receiver is connected to receiver port (UART3) power, ground and signal. For telemetry, the SmartPort wire from the XSR is connected to TX on UART2.
This is how the ports should be configured in CleanFlight.
- The DTFc has a dedicated LED driver output. From this port you can connect your RGB programmable LEDs directly to the port and program the LED from CleanFlight (post coming soon).
- Two extra UART ports not shared with the USB or SerialRX. This lets you connect extra goodies like telemetry from your SmartPort wire, OSD, race transponders and such.
- Built in voltage and current sensor. Display your voltage and current in the OSD.
- No need for external 5V to power the flight controller like on the Naze32. The DTFc converted the battery voltage to the 5v it needs to power the fc.
With the DTFc, it’s really easy to build a super clean and tidy quad like the Armattan Morphite 155. On micro quads component placement is really important because there’s just not much room. Having the PDB and flight controller on one board reduces parts and connection points. This means less things that can fail. Not only is it super compact, it’s loaded with features.
The F3 processor really shines! I was surprised at how well it handles. I’m probably not a good enough pilot to notice the differences but it flies just as well as the other F3 flight controllers I’ve been using, Lumenier LUX and DODO. Normally micro quads are harder to tune. I pretty much left the PIDs stock, increased the rates and played with RC rates. The DTFc handled this micro quad like a champ.
I really can’t think of any negatives with the DTFc. I highly recommend the DTFc flight controller.
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