Best beginner friendly flight controllers with waypoint navigation support in 2020?

Wondering if someone could introduce me to whats happening in the world of flying. Best FC’s which can still be used in 2020 without hassle?

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You would have to define what you mean by “hassle”. For some it’s picking up a soldering iron. And every Flight Controller that Ardupilot supports has the capability for waypoint navigation.

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The APM 2.8 didn’t work out for me. I ruined the board. But at least I get to fly it for some time. If I need to choose another FC I would like it to have a good community support. I cant understand how version number works on ardupilot. Any suggestions?

ArduPilot is firmware, not hardware. The version numbers are just that… sequential numbers. The current version is 4.0.1.

The flight controller hardware you install ArduPilot on is going to be whatever the manufacturer decides to call it. And most of them name/number their hardware arbitrarily for the purpose of marketing. Many of them just makeup whatever number or name sounds better than what someone else recently made up. And those names/numbers in no way reflect revisions or improvements to the hardware like you would be led to believe.

Personally, in the past I was using 3DR manufactured APM and Pixhawk 1. These days I only use Hex/ProfiCNC Cube autopilot hardware. There are a few other brands that make decent hardware with quality control, but i do not have experience with them. I stay far away from the cut-rate China brand no-name clones because you get what you pay for most of the time.


Yes Hex/ProfiCNC cube 2.1all day long just works

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What is this pixhawk PX4 “PIX 2.4.8” thing. I thought it was latest of 2.4.6 and 2.4.7 but the 2.4.6 has higher memory capacity. Does the number works in descending order of specs? And Cube is way past my budget, I’ve only just started and know nothing about whole flying community but I love it. Is pixhawk 2.4.8 still relevant?

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This is exactly what I mean but hardware manufacturers throwing random numbers on things that mean nothing, causing exactly this kind of confusion. What’s worse is you then get random chinese manufacturers cloning the random chinese clone, giving the same name, or a different name, and selling it.

The product you’re asking about is knockoff of 3DR’s pixhawk 1. It allegedly has the 2mb of flash. But they are all sold by random chinese vendors, and made by multiple unknown manufacturers without any level of quality control or standards. So you won’t actually know what you bought until it eventually arrives at your house. At which point, it may or may not be something useful. And may or may not be reliable.

If the Cube is beyond your budget, and waiting a small amount of time to save up won’t fill the gap, there are better options. Check out cuav, holybro, durandal, etc. At least you’ll get a known product from them. Not the best, not complete garbage either though. I can’t speak to who to use as I don’t use their stuff for personal experience.

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Man its so hard for some newbie to get into this. Thanks for clearing that up.
And I want to know whether the arducopter still supports pixhawk 1 or stopped updating with some AC version like APM?

Pixhawk 1 with 2M flash are supported still for nearly every modern function of ArduPilot. I can’t think of what isn’t supported off-hand, but someone else could likely clear that up.

(If you’re interested and the hardware meets your needs, I’m selling a Pixhawk1 (FMUV2) Bundle).

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Pixhawk 1 is supported even if it has 1Mb flash The 1Mb version of firmware has a slightly reduced function set. On a tight budget you may want to looks at F4/F7 boards fromt Holybro or Matek. They are good quality for the price and in the $35-$50 range. Some of them also integrate other funtionality like OSD, BEC’s and operate on direct battery voltage saving some accessory components.


I really need waypoint navigation on my drone and I don’t know if F4 boards support those. But F4 FC’s are cost effective here in India too. Maybe I’ll do another quad with an F4 after I’m done with my current thingy.

As I already said all Flight Controllers that Ardupilot supports have way point navigation capability including F4’s and F7’s. I have quad copters with each of these boards (Omni F4 Nano and a Kakute F7 AIO) and they both have autonomous capability. The F4 is in a 3" quad and it will run an auto mission.


Thanks dude. I didn’t even know it existed. I did some simple search and there is even a tutorial on how to flash Ardupilot on an omnibus F4 pro from painless360.

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Yes, a bit of google searching should give you some stuff to read and watch that will help.

I would also suggest you stick to hardware that is already documented in the arducopter wiki. @dkemxr mentioned a couple affordable options. Otherwise take your time, read everything you can on the wiki, check your wiring, pinouts and parameters three times and enjoy. You will likely crash if you are just getting started. Expect it and be smart about how and where you fly. Most crashes are very instructive.

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I would add MRO to the list of awesome hardware vendors.

Also, since you are in India you might try to see what FlytBase are up to. They have gone to Silicon Valley but they started out in Pune and the probably still have some presence there, at least their facebook page seems to think so.

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Is this an FC or just an OSD?

That’s just the OSD unit to read mavlink data and superimpose that on a video stream.
Some of the flight controllers have an OSD onboard

Crap, thanks anyway.

What would you suggest as the cheapest FC that’s compatible with ArduCopter? Also, what’s the difference between the listed “open” and “closed” hardwares?

Oh, and is there an FC project out there that is like, open source that I could send the proper files to that Chinese company and they’ll send me back a populated circuit board? I’m assuming that would probably be the absolute cheapest method…