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ROTORACER Racebase FC [F3, OSD, BEC, Video Filter]
#1
A friend sent me a link to this FC earlier. It has a nice set of features, it pretty much ticks all my boxes so it's a good candidate to replace my F3Evo which is so hard to tune.



Specs: 
Processor: 32-bit STM32 F3 (STM32F303CCT6)
Input voltage: 5V - 17.4V
Weight: 6 g
Size: 36 mm x 36 mm x 5 mm
Included: gyroscope, accelerometerblackbox
Additional options: OSD, video filter, RSSI, voltage monitoring with alarm, flight logs, 
programmable LED's, smartport communication, compatible with current sensor 
[b]Recommended software:[/b] BETAFLIGHT

Other than that, it has the MPU6000 which many will be happy about and I particularly like the layout with the pin holes for the ESCs on each corner of the board. That means it supports only 4 ESCs but that's what most people care about anyway. 
The OSD has a menu for self configuration and according to the seller, it integrates with BetaFlight to support changing PIDs, rates, expos, etc. 

At the moment the seller provides its own version of BetaFlight 3.0RC12 but I saw on github a PR to add it as a supported target. I asked the person that created the PR if the OSD can be configured from the new OSD tab in BetaFlight configurator and even though the response was a bit vague it seems that it will be possible in the future. 

On the con side there's the price, which at 49€ seems a bit steep.



It can be purchased here:
http://shop.rotoracer.eu/racebase

What do you guys think?
[-] The following 2 users Like tozes's post:
  • sloscotty, Oscar
#2
Nice FC. I think if the integrated OSD proves to work better than MinimOSD then it's a pretty nice solution. I also like the ESC signal layout. But probably only make sense to pilots that uses OSD.

I am more inclined to FuriousFPv's Kombini at the moment which has PDB integrated, and price is actually similar to this one. I got the prototype board which has never worked, still waiting for them to send me a replacement...
Don't be a LOS'er, be a FPV'er :) -- My Fleet
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#3
I like this a lot! I can see it with a Racerstar 4-in-1 ESC for a PDB-free setup!
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#4
So I got one of these to replace the F3 Evo on my QAV-X and so far I'm not too happy with it. Here are some thoughts:

pros:
- Shipping was super fast, I placed the order on friday and got it monday (from Poland to Czech Republic)
- The layout is very nice and allows for very clean builds. I really like the esc pins on the corners
- Visually, the quality of the board seems good
- It's now officially supported by beta flight since 3.0RC13
- The OSD stack is outstanding

cons:
- There's no clear documentation, just the picture with the pinout from the first post which can be a bit ambiguous
Edit: the developer promised to create some documentation
- There's only 1 UART port available which is needed for sbus/ppm, so there's no place to connect anything else, like telemetry for example
 Instead, there's a place to connect LEDs which may be useful for some people but personally I'd rather have a place to connect telemetry
 The seller said that future revisions will have UART3

Edit: It turns out that the people behind this board have been busy organizing a racing event and that was the reason for the slower response to support questions. 
In the meantime, the board developer has joined the forum and is providing answers in this thread so I'm scrapping my previous comments about lousy support as they may not reflect correctly with their usual approach
- Support hasn't been great so far, no reply when contacted through the form on their website and the response was vague when contacted again by email

Edit2: Add OSD to the list of pros
[-] The following 1 user Likes tozes's post:
  • BigglesFPV
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#5
(09-08-2016, 01:13 PM)tozes Wrote: So I got one of these to replace the F3 Evo on my QAV-X and so far I'm not too happy with it. Here are some thoughts:

pros:
- Shipping was super fast, I placed the order on friday and got it monday (from Poland to Czech Republic)
- The layout is very nice and allows for very clean builds. I really like the esc pins on the corners
- Visually, the quality of the board seems good
- It's now officially supported by beta flight since 3.0RC13

cons:
- There's no clear documentation, just the picture with the pinout from the first post which can be a bit ambiguous
- There's only 1 UART port available which is needed for sbus/ppm, so there's no place to connect anything else, like telemetry for example
 Instead, there's a place to connect LEDs which may be useful for some people but personally I'd rather have a place to connect telemetry
 The seller said that future revisions will have UART3 but this first version doesn't, so I guess I paid 54€ to be beta tester...
- Support hasn't been great so far, no reply when contacted through the form on their website and the response was vague when contacted again by email


This is why I like this forum so much.

We get to see folks share the good and bad about a new product, and allows others to make an informed choice as to whether buy or not.

Thanks Tozes for sharing.
My youtube channel

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#6
(09-08-2016, 02:13 PM)BigglesFPV Wrote: This is why I like this forum so much.

We get to see folks share the good and bad about a new product, and allows others to make an informed choice as to whether buy or not.

Thanks Tozes for sharing.

No worries, just giving back a little bit Smile
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#7
Hi just to give another review of the rotoracer board, I have been flying one for a while now on my loki X5. Really like it, the esc outputs in the corners of the board are genius, makes for a much cleaner easier build. Although it does come without any documentation it was easy enough to work out from the pictures but documentation included would be a good thing in the future.I love the built in osd it's great for quick and easy tuning, you can change everything from pids and rates to looptime and filters without taking your goggles off.
It also flies superb i have flown spfr3 clones naze32 and an spfr3 evo before and this feels the best to fly out of all of them. In my opinion a great board well worth a try.
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#8
(09-08-2016, 04:01 PM)Gavnthat Wrote: Hi just to give another review of the rotoracer board, I have been flying one for a while now on my loki X5. Really like it, the esc outputs in the corners of the board are genius,  makes for a much cleaner easier build. Although it does come without any documentation it was easy enough to work out from the pictures but documentation included would be a good thing in  the future.I love the built in osd it's great for quick and easy tuning, you can change everything from pids and rates to looptime and filters without taking your goggles off.
It also flies superb i have flown spfr3 clones naze32 and an spfr3 evo before and this feels the best to fly out of all of them. In my opinion a great board well worth a try.

How do you access the OSD menu? I tried Throttle Mid + Pitch Min as per the instructions but nothing happens. I'm on BetaFlight 3.0RC13.


Btw, this was your first post in the forum and you said you've been flying this board for a while even though it was jsut released. Are you part of the team that develops the board?
Having someone from the development team in the forum would be great so the Q&A stays documented and we would be able to provide feedback to improve the board for the future.
[-] The following 1 user Likes tozes's post:
  • Gavnthat
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#9
(09-08-2016, 06:24 PM)tozes Wrote: How do you access the OSD menu? I tried Throttle Mid + Pitch Min as per the instructions but nothing happens. I'm on BetaFlight 3.0RC13.


Btw, this was your first post in the forum and you said you've been flying this board for a while even though it was jsut released. Are you part of the team that develops the board?
Having someone from the development team in the forum would be great so the Q&A stays documented and we would be able to provide feedback to improve the board for the future.

No not part of the development team but I know the guy who designed the board well and I know the people who run the rotoracer store. I have been flying the F1 version of this board with built in uhf rx for months and loved it and managed to get one of the first racebase boards when it was released. Although Im a friend of the developer I like to think I am still unbiased as I wouldn't use it if it was not good and don't get freebies lol
I'm happy to help and answer any questions anyone has about it though if I can't I'll ask the man himself.
I have never bought from the rotoracer store before but I do know the guys that run it are committed fpv flyers and are usually quick to help people out. If you were trying to contact them recently they have been organising the Polish nationals so may have been a bit occupied, no excuse I know if you have customers to help out but they are good lads really.
I can feedback any comments or improvement suggestions to the developer no problem he will be glad of it.

To access the osd menu the sequence has changed since being merged into official betaflight it is now
Throttle in middle yaw right and pitch up. This is because of the the way the official betaflight handles the menu I believe. The original way was throttle mid pitch down which is why that is still in the online instructions. This should be corrected soon either by asking Boris to revert to original way or changing instructions.
Once you get into the osd menu you will like the board much more aswell it's much better than minim osd ever was.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Gavnthat's post:
  • BigglesFPV
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#10
This is my first post so hello to everyone.

I'm a developer responsible for this board/target, so thanks for your comment/suggestion, this will be useful and make this product better.

Gav send me link to this topic so I will try to answer all questions.

Quote:There's no clear documentation, just the picture with the pinout from the first post which can be a bit ambiguous

Yes, I will try to make few pages manual, to clarify all questions.

Quote:- There's only 1 UART port available which is needed for sbus/ppm, so there's no place to connect anything else, like telemetry for example
Instead, there's a place to connect LEDs which may be useful for some people but personally I'd rather have a place to connect telemetry
The seller said that future revisions will have UART3 but this first version doesn't, so I guess I paid 54€ to be beta tester...

There is second UART (UART3) for spectrum but in this version without TX pin. Next releases of this board will have Tx pin on spectrum port also, so you can connect telemetry. Maybe you feel like betatester, sorry, but we are only human but thanks to your suggestion will fix it. We miss this features because always using OSD, it is really better solution, you can still focus on the track/sticks, use headphones to hear motors etc - and still have information on demand.
Maybe LED's is not important for flying/racing but lately on all competitions you need to put it on your quad and you need to have an option to change the color... Now you can do this via OSD without any extra devices;-)

Quote:Support hasn't been great so far, no reply when contacted through the form on their website and the response was vague when contacted again by email

Hope will be better ;-)

Quote:How do you access the OSD menu? I tried Throttle Mid + Pitch Min as per the instructions but nothing happens. I'm on BetaFlight 3.0RC13.

A little history to explain some changes... When we create this FC, Betafligh has no support for OSD, so we write all stack and define stick commands. We made three the most popular in racing versions 2.5.1, 2.7.1, and 2.9.1. Then we send PR for Betafligh but only with target because OSD was already added in vesirsion 3.x. So now in 3.RC13 you have different stick commands etc.

For < 3.x - Thr -> mid + Pitch->min
For > 3.x - Thr -> mid + Yaw->max + Pitch max

Now I'm try to prepare my OSD stack for BF 3.0 and will try to send PR, and I hope final 3.0 will have full menu like before ;-)

Ugh... first port but quite long ;-)
[-] The following 4 users Like marbalon's post:
  • RENOV8R, tozes, BigglesFPV, Gavnthat
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#11
(09-08-2016, 07:35 PM)Gavnthat Wrote: No not part of the development team but I know the guy who designed the board well and I know the people who run the rotoracer store. I have been flying the F1 version of this board with built in uhf rx for months and loved it and managed to get one of the first racebase boards when it was released. Although Im a friend of the developer I like to think I am still unbiased as I wouldn't use it if it was not good and don't get freebies lol
I'm happy to help and answer any questions anyone has about it though if I can't I'll ask the man himself.
I have never bought from the rotoracer store before but I do know the guys that run it are committed fpv flyers and are usually quick to help people out. If you were trying to contact them recently they have been organising the Polish nationals so may have been a bit occupied, no excuse I know if you have customers to help out but they are good lads really.
I can feedback any comments or improvement suggestions to the developer no problem he will be glad of it.

To access the osd menu the sequence has changed since being merged into official betaflight it is now
Throttle in middle yaw right and pitch up. This is because of the the way the official betaflight handles the menu I believe. The original way was throttle mid pitch down which is why that is still in the online instructions. This should be corrected soon either by asking Boris to revert to original way or changing instructions.
Once you get into the osd menu you will like the board much more aswell it's  much better than minim osd ever was.

Gotcha. I didn't know about them being busy with Polish Drone Nationals so that explains the delay. Respect for the people that organise such events and help promote drone racing so since it's not fair to point that out on my short review given the circumstances, I'll edit that out.

And thanks for getting marbalon on the forum Smile 

(09-08-2016, 09:47 PM)marbalon Wrote: This is my first post so hello to everyone.

I'm a developer responsible for this board/target, so thanks for your comment/suggestion, this will be useful and make this product better.

Gav send me link to this topic so I will try to answer all questions.


Yes, I will try to make few pages manual, to clarify all questions.


There is second UART (UART3) for spectrum but in this version without TX pin. Next releases of this board will have Tx pin on spectrum port also, so you can connect telemetry. Maybe you feel like betatester, sorry, but we are only human but thanks to your suggestion will fix it. We miss this features because always using OSD, it is really better solution, you can still focus on the track/sticks, use headphones to hear motors etc - and still have information on demand.
Maybe LED's is not important for flying/racing but lately on all competitions you need to put it on your quad and you need to have an option to change the color... Now you can do this via OSD without any extra devices;-)


Hope will be better ;-)


A little history to explain some changes... When we create this FC, Betafligh has no support for OSD, so we write all stack and define stick commands. We made three the most popular in racing versions 2.5.1, 2.7.1, and 2.9.1. Then we send PR for Betafligh but only with target because OSD was already added in vesirsion 3.x. So now in 3.RC13 you have different stick commands etc.

For < 3.x - Thr -> mid + Pitch->min
For > 3.x - Thr -> mid + Yaw->max + Pitch max

Now I'm try to prepare my OSD stack for BF 3.0 and will try to send PR, and I hope final 3.0 will have full menu like before ;-)

Ugh... first port but quite long ;-)

Great, welcome on board! Smile

A little bit of doc will be much appreciated. 

It would be great if you can clarify the power input a little bit because that's where things can go very wrong very quickly. 
There's a 5v Out and Battery pins with a shared(?) GND in between. I figured I should connect battery to VCC and GND to GND to get the FC to power up. 
Then there's Video In - the name is quite confusing because it suggests it has nothing to do with power input but rather video signal. From the picture I understood that I should short this pin to the battery pin, i. e., connect it also to VCC. Is this correct? If yes, what's the voltage output to the camera and VTX? And what happens if it's not shorted?

Thanks for sharing the instructions about OSD access on BF3. That's also something that would be good to see documented because so far I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. And looking forward to see the OSD stack implemented into BF3 as well.

And this is probably a dumb question but here it goes anyway Big Grin - it's not possible to remap the Rx pin of the spectrum port to become Tx instead? That would solve all my problems and make this board perfect.

Thanks!
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#12
Quote:There's a 5v Out and Battery pins with a shared(?) GND in between. I figured I should connect battery to VCC and GND to GND to get the FC to power up. 

GND is shared and it is always the same for VCC, BAT, 5V etc.

- 5V - you can use it to power up eg. IR transmitter for LAP system
- VBAT - only for BATTERY monitor
- Video IN - in most cases you can make a jumper between this and VBat. This will be filtered and provided on the Cam and VTX Pin. Alco FC is powered from this PAD. Why it is not jumpered by default ? Because if you have PDB already with 12V output you can use it for Video in, but still keep VBat connected to battery monitor.

Quote:And this is probably a dumb question but here it goes anyway  - it's not possible to remap the Rx pin of the spectrum port to become Tx instead? That would solve all my problems and make this board perfect.

Sorry it is not so easy ;-)
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#13
(09-08-2016, 11:04 PM)marbalon Wrote: GND is shared and it is always the same for VCC, BAT, 5V etc.

- 5V - you can use it to power up eg. IR transmitter for LAP system
- VBAT - only for BATTERY monitor
- Video IN - in most cases you can make a jumper between this and VBat. This will be filtered and provided on the Cam and VTX Pin. Alco FC is powered from this PAD. Why it is not jumpered by default ? Because if you have PDB already with 12V output you can use it for Video in, but still keep VBat connected to battery monitor.


Sorry it is not so easy ;-)


That makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying.

So last question - what's the voltage going to the VTX and camera? Is it 5v or VCC?

Tomorrow I'll play around with the OSD and report back.
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#14
Quote:So last question - what's the voltage going to the VTX and camera? Is it 5v or VCC?
The same as connected to Video IN but filtered - similar to VCC


I recommended to stay with 2.9.1 version to keep all menu. If you have a problems with fonts on this version you can update it via CLI with command osd_update_font. On version 3.x you can upgrade using GUI. But remember if you switch between this two versions (2.x <=>3.x) you need to change fonts.
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#15
First flights with Racebase Fc and Loki X5



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  • tozes, BigglesFPV
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