Tag Archives: cleanflight

Preview: Naze32 rev6

About month ago AbuseMark released the next version of his famous flight controller – the Naze32 rev6. I am still considering, if I should replace my Naze32 rev5 or my CC3D. Here I will share my thoughts about it.

What’s new:

  • Invensense MPU6500 replace the old MPU6050 gyro
  • Added BMP280 Bosch barometer
  • Spektrum satellite receiver port
  • 16Mbit SPI flash memory
  • SBUS inverter
  • Pads for direct connecting a Sonar
  • Through pin holes for the receiver

The new MPU6500 gyro and accelerometer allows communication per I²C and SPI too. Sadly the MPU6500 is still connected via I2C (unlike other F1 boards with MPU6500, Paris Air Hero32). Because of this, if you are planning to use the Cleanflight firmware on the new Naze32 rev6, you need to wait a bit for a stable release.

Having a barometer is a nice feature, but I am not sure if it is needed on an acro quadcopter. I have an upgraded Naze32 rev5 with barometer on my SG Acro and have never used it.

Through pin holes for the receiver are very welcome, as many pilots (including myself) have broken the receiver pads after crashing.

If you are using Spektrum Satellite or SBUS receiver, you don’t need to hack the Naze32 anymore. These can be easily connected now.

You can now use the integrated 2MB flash memory on the Acro Naze32 rev6 for logging data (blackbox feature).

The new Naze32 rev6 have a bit changed design. The USB port is on the right side now. When powering the Naze32 rev6 via PC-USB, you need to know following fact: your receiver is now powered too. That’s the good news. The problem is, that the ESCs are powered too, because 5V are going to the servo rail.


Most of the changes on the Naze32 rev6 are very welcome. Yes, the processor is still the STM32 F1 and not the newer F3 or F4, but it is ok if you are using these kind of sensors. Is it worth spending 25$ for it?

Yes if:

  • You really need the 2MB flash and don’t want to solder it on your own on the old Naze32.
  • You are planning to use SBUS receiver and don’t want to use a separate inverter or do hacks.
  • You neither have the old Naze32 nor want to install Cleanflight on a CC3D.
  • You can’t go flying without barometer 😀

I will personally stick to my Naze32 rev5 or CC3D for now. It is not a secret, that I still prefer the CC3D, because of its integrated 2MB flash, SBUS inverter and better price.

Flash CC3D with Cleanflight using OpenPilot GCS

In one of my previous post, I described how to flash the Cleanflight firmware on the CC3D flight controller and why I prefer the CC3D over Naze32 at the moment. I used my Arduino Nano as FTDI adapter to do this, but Bill posted a video in the comments, how the board can be flashed only through the USB-Port. I have tried it yesterday and will show you, how to do this if you don’t want to watch the video.

First download the OpenPilot GCS 15.02.02 (the newest 15.05 does not support the CC3D board) and install it on your computer. Here is a manual how to install it, if you have some problems with that.

We also need the STM32 Virtual Com Port driver. Download it from the official ST-webpage and install it.

Install the Cleanflight Configurator from the Chrome Web Store and download the latest Cleanflight firmware for the CC3D board. Download the “cleanflight_CC3D.bin” from GitHub.

Open the OpenPilot GCS software, connect the CC3D board through the USB-Port, go to the “Firmware”-Tab and click the “Halt” button.


Now you can open the downloaded cleanflight_CC3D.bin. Check the “I know what I’m doing!” box and then “Flash” button. That’s it, now you have the Cleanflight firmware on your CC3D board.

Important: To use the board through the UBS-Port, you need to power it with external battery. Then you can connect it to the Cleanflight Configurator.


If for some reason you want to go back to the OpenPilot firmware, go to this page and follow the exact instructions “How to Upgrade the Bootloader and Erase Settings”.

Thanks to Bill, who told me about the video and to FranzArians for sharing his way to install the firmware!

Is “OpenPilot CC3D vs. Naze32” the right question?

Many people who a starting with the multicopters or just want to try another flight controller ask this question: should I buy OpenPilot CC3D or Naze32?

I bought myself a Naze32 Acro from HobbyKing back in September last year and I was impressed by the tiny flight controller. The firmware (Baseflight) and settings were easy to set up through Google Chrome browser. Flying my SG Adventure Mini was just great.

I mentioned that HobbyKing started to sell the OpenPilot CC3D board in late September. I also wanted to try this flight controller, especially since Nick (the developer of the AUAV-X2 flight controller) recommended it. Well, the price of almost 32 $ plus 4 $ shipping cost from HobbyKing was too much for me, considering the Naze32 with the same processor and MPU6050 sensor is about 24$. So I went to Aliexpress and bought one with case for 18,99$ including shipping. In about 2 to 3 weeks the flight controller arrived here in Germany. The quality is good in my opinion, all SMD parts are soldered as it should be. Update: well it is much cheaper now and keeps going down.

CC3D FrontCC3D Back

The Naze32 and CC3D are very similar to each other. Both use a 32bit STM processor, has the same MPU6000 sensor and are 36x36mm boards. The Naze32 has a Micro-USB and the CC3D a Mini-USB port. Personally I find the Micro-USB better, as I always have such cable on my desk for charging my phone. I also prefer the pins on the Naze32 for connecting GPS or receiver. On the OpenPilot CC3D there are JST 1mm ports used. There is something more on the CC3D compared to the Acro Naze32: 16MBit Flash Chip 25P16VP. If using the newest Cleanflight firmware there is benefit from the flash: the Blackbox feature saves flight data on it and you can check it later on your PC.

CC3D and Naze32 frontsideCC3D close lookup on the CPU

I tested the original software OpenPilot GCS and it looks very good, but I still like the Baseflight solution using Google Chrome and its minimalistic design. There are simply too much options in GSC, which is good, but it is a bit complicated for a beginner (this is my personal opinion).

So I decided to look if it is possible to use the Baseflight firmware on the CC3D board, as both flight controllers are so identical. I found this forum page on the OpenPilot website. It is possible to do this by installing the Cleanflight firmware. This is another 32bit version of the MultiWii firmware, exactly as Baseflight is. You can find more information about Cleanflight on its website. Even more: you can have both firmwares OpenPilot and Cleanflight installed on the board. I decided to erase the old one and use just the Cleanflight.

What do you need to flash the Cleanflight firmware on the CC3D board: basically an FTDI adapter or an Arduino with FDTI chip on it, such my Arduino Nano v3. Connecting the CC3D flight controller with the FTDI as usual, 5V, GND, TX and RX to the MainPort on the CC3D.

CC3D connected to Arduino Nano 

I also installed the STM Flash Demonstrator. You can download the latest version from the STM website. Then downloaded the Cleanflight firmware for the OpenPilot CC3D board from here. To flash the firmware, the flight controller must be in bootloader mode. This can be done by connecting the SBL pad with the 3.3V while powering on the board. Once the board is in bootloader mode, you can start with the flashing. Run the STM Demonstrator and do every step exactly as shown! on the pictures below. I should mention, that I have connected and disconnected the board (with the pins connected when powering on) several times before the STM Demonstrator accepted it.

After some steps you should click “Back” to the next step in the process:


Click “close” and the CC3D board is now as the Naze32. All the settings can be done through the Cleanflight configurator in Google Chrome by installing the App from the Web store. I haven’t tested CC3D in flight, but everything seems to work very well.

Note that you should connect the CC3D to the Cleanflight configurator through the FTDI, as connecting through USB-Port is not working yet. Update 10.02.2015: Since 1.7.0 version of the Cleanflight firmware, you can connect the OpenPilot CC3D directly through the USB port of the board. Only configuration is now possible. Flashing firmware is still done through FTDI.

Update 05.06.2015: Just a quick thought and a quick answer if you should buy the Naze32 or OpenPilot CC3D: A pro for the Naze32: there is a possibility to add magnetometer and barometer on it. I have already done this on my Naze32 boards. But in most of the time I haven’t used these sensors and flew only in Acro and Horizon Mode. On the other hand, the CC3D has already the 16Mbit flash chip. This one is very useful in addition to the Blackbox feature in Cleanflight firmware. You can save a log of the flight and then download it to your computer and analyze it. On the CC3D you can also connect your SBUS receiver (like the FrSky X4R-SB) directly to the Main Port. For the Naze32 rev5 you will need an SBUS inverter.

There are still small problems with Cleanflight and CC3D (when changing some settings I must click disconnect and then reconnect again) and still the need of an FTDI adapter for flashing the firmware. At the moment I will take the CC3D over the Naze32 because of the better price, integrated flash memory, SBUS compatibility and same flight experience.

Update 10.10.2015: Even there is a newer version of the Naze32, I still haven’t changed my mind about the CC3D 🙂