Batteries in a FPV drone are connected to the PDB to power the components. For drones LiPo batteries are used because of their high energy density, which makes them weigh less and therefore improve the flight time.
A battery has two important measures. Its capacity and cell count that specify their voltage level.
Different LiPo battery packs are made up of individual cells with one cell having 3.7V. Typical cell counts are defined as:
Abbreviation for Battery Elimination Circuit which describes ESCs that provide a portion of battery power (which the ESC is connected with) over their communication cable (red cable of the servo connector) to other devices such as a receiver and servos attached to the receiver.
The BetaFlight open source Flight Controller frimware project (found on GitHub) provides frimwares for FCs. To configure and flash a firmware onto a Flight Controller we use the BetaFlight Configurator.
BetaFlight is a fork of the CleanFlight project, which is considered less experimental. However, modern Flight Controllers are supported mostly by BetaFlight.
Frimware for ESCs that is used to process the input data from a Flight Controller and translate that into suitable control commands for the motor. Although the firmware was originally developed for helicopters it is also used for multicopters. Another commonly used firmware for ESCs is called SimonK.
DFU stands for “Device Firmware Update” which is a mode of a Flight Controller device that is required to flash a new Firmware onto a FC. It depends on the FC board how to get the device into the DFU mode. Either you need to short the BL or BOOT pads (or press and hold the BOOT tactile button if your FC board has one) while plugging the USB into the Flight Controller board.
EU LBT stands for European Union Listen Before Talk (or Transmit) and is a firmware version for receivers and transmitter modules, which is allowed in the geographical region of the EU. Another firmware version is the FCC version which can be used outside the EU. Reference: Brushless Whoop.
Stands for Federal Communications Commission which regulates use of radio frequencies within the United States. Reference: Brushless Whoop.
Flashing means to update a Software, also refered to as Firmware, that runs on a device, such as a Flight Controller board. The term “to flash” comes from the Flash storage component of a device where the Firmware is stored.
Rx protocol that acts as a communication interface between receiver and flight controller. FPort is developed by Betaflight’s developer team and FrSky for its receivers. FPort (possibly stands for “Frsky Port”?) is developed by both Betaflight Dev Team and Frsky
- FPort combines SBUS and Smartport Telemetry into one single wire
- Simplify cable management and soldering
- Save a UART port because SBUS and Smartport take up two separate UART’s
- FPort is an uninverted protocol, which should avoid doing “uninversion hacks” on F4 FC in future Frsky receivers
- FPort is slightly faster than SBUS
- RSSI works automatically (no need to pass through a channel)
The Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) is conected to the PDB and controls the speed of a motor by adjusting its rpms (rotation per minutes). A quadcopter uses four ESCs which can be part of the Flight Controller. The input signal to an ESC comes from the Flight Controller, which tells the ESC at which speed a motor should run.
Micro Controller board that contains input and output (I/O) pins and a processing unit (microchrip), which runs a Flight Controller frimware. The Flight Controller acts as the brain of a drone. By processing sensor input signals the Flight Controller is used to compute output signals for external or internal ESCs to keep level flight. Other input signals are used to adjust the pose of the quad in the air such as the receiver and other internal or external sensors. A Flight Controller usually contains multiple internal sensors such as IMUs.
Company that produces radio controlled transmitters and receivers, which are most common in the FPV scene. At their hompage https://www.frsky-rc.com/ you can see all the products and download manuals and firmware updates.
Used to view the analog live image captured by the camera on the quad, which is transmitted with the video transmitter that sits also on the quad.
LBT stands for Listen Before Talk or Listen Before Transmit and describes the version of a firmware for transmitters and receivers. The LBT version also refered to as EU LBT is the allowed version in the European Union. Most of the FrSky receivers and transmitters are sometimes referenced as EU or non EU or EU LBT and FCC.
Reference: Brushless Whoop.
Light Emitting Diodes are used as visual guidance for a quad copter.
The Power Distribution Board (PDB) acts as the heart of an FPV quad. It is connected to the Battery and distributes its power to other components of the quad. The main components its is connected to are the ESCs to power the motors. A PDB usually has additional voltage outputs such as 5V and 12V to power sensors or LEDs.
Short for pulse width modulation.
Short for radio controlled.
The receiver (also refered to as
Rx) is installed in the quad or radio controlled (rc) vehicle and communicates with the transmitter
Describes a type of receiver which can be used in combination with other receivers of the same type to provide redundancy in case of a receiver failure.
Frimware for ESCs that is used to process the input data from a Flight Controller and translate that into suitable control commands for the motor. This frimware was developed by Simon Kirby and its intended to be used in multicopters. Its source code can be found on Simon Kirby’s GitHub repository. Another commonly used firmware for ESCs is BLHeli.
Also known as radio is the radio controlled (rc) part that communicates with a receiver. The term
Tx is commonly referred to transmitting units.
Such units can be external or internal in transmitter devices. External devices can be swapped.
If the electronic components in a copter should be powered independently of the ESCs or if only optocoupler ESCs are used, there exist other ways to power the flight controller and other electronic components such as LEDs: It’s possible to use an UBEC (Universial Battery Elimination Circuit). This device is connected to the battery and can be used to provide constant output voltage for electronic components.