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Red Devil / Larva X / Crazybee Flight Controllers

Old 09-11-2020, 10:46 AM
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Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
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Default Red Devil / Larva X / Crazybee Flight Controllers

As many know - Red Devil is a neat little Micro Drone for FPV joining the Larva X and Sailfly etc.

They all use Crazybee Flight Controllers but different versions.

I bought the Red Devil and while setting up in Betaflight - the ESC"s burned out. This I found out from various online is one of the many things that happen with the RD due to a poor design of FC board. Its the Vers 2.1
The board has only 5A ESC's and the 5V regulator is really only a pass on from the 1 - 2S days .... but Eachine say its 3S capable.

While arguing with Banggood - who finally refunded all moneys ... I bought the Larva which after searching internet appeared to be the better machine ... and has the Vers 3 board with better regulator and 10A ESC's. No longer needs the capacitor on the XT30.

I decided to invest in a Crazybee Vers 3 board to swap out the Red Devil board .... seemed best thing to do rather than try a new 2.1 and risk same burn out.

On the bench I have Larva X .... Red Devil in bits ..... Vers 3 board ready to install.

Now sometimes manufacturers just astound me with their thinking. They come up with a great modification and then when next vers appears - they revert back to previous !

Lets illustrate.

Vers 2 FC board needed VTX leads soldering to it.
Vers 2.1 FC board though - they added a plug in for the VTX making installation so easy ..

But Vers 3 0 they left out the plug in and reverted to tiny solder pads as in the vers 2. Pity anyone with bad eyes like mine !!

But it does not end there ............ for some reason - Crazybee / Happymodel / Eachine cannot document the boards wiring correctly. Pal of mine who has all the gear for board component soldering etc. kindly did the necessary EXACTLY as illustrated in the documents. XT30 plug ... and VTX wires. We used the cable from the old Vers 2.1 board - just snipped off the plug and then soldered the wires to the FC board.
NOTE : Exactly as illustrated in their documents :

Red = 5v
Black = GND
Yellow = Vid IN
Grey = Vid OUT
Green = TX1

The Black and Green are highlighted here as they are WRONGLY shown in the documents.

Red Devil assembled .... Bound ... all controls fine ... Betaflight OK ... BUT no Video. Dead as a do-do. No camera ... no video ... nothing.

I even dismantled and swapped VTX / Camera to the Larva X .............. Video and all excellent ... so somethings wrong with Red Devil wiring ?

It was getting late - so left it till next day. While doing some test hops in my large workshop with the Larva X .... the SPI Rx failed.

@#$%^& ............. what to do ? OK - Red Devil has vers 3 board now - same as Larva X. The Larva X - I feel is the better machine so I decide to swap FC Boards.

Once I remove the safety insert between VTX and FC board on the Larva X - I see exactly the problem with Red Devil.

The Larva X has :

Black GND bridging TWO contacts .... not one as in document.

Green is NOT soldered to TX1 ... but to TX2 on other side of board.

I make the changes to the Red Devil board ......... mount into Larva X ... assemble it all .... fire it all up : BINGO ... full video / SD card ... everything.

Now the Red Devil is again in bits waiting solution.

My idea is to bypass the SPI and fit a FRSKY XM whoop Rx module to that board as all else works fine on it ... but I will need to get a new VTX cable for it as the old was removed to replace the Larva X cable I damaged in the above swaps.

I am interested if anyone else has seen similar - or its just me ?? Maybe it can help others ?

OH - before I forget ....... to fit a Vers 3 into the Red Devil ... the motor plugins are placed differently and you need to plug in motors BEFORE fitting board ... second make sure you use TWO rubber standoffs on each bolt ... one to lift FC board off the frame ... then second to lift VTX board off the FC board .. DO NOT RELY on the sticky pad - the bind button sits right there !! It also needs screws 50% longer than the originals to accommodate the extra standoffs.
It will install ..... and luckily USB is in same place !!
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