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 back in September last year and I was impressed. The Baseflight firmware was easy to setup through the Chrome browser. I wanted to try the CC3D flight controller, especially since Nick Arsov (the developer of the AUAV-X2 flight controller) recommended it. The price on HobbyKing was too high for me, so I bought one from Aliexpress for 18,99$. In about 3 weeks the flight controller arrived. Quality is good and all SMD parts are soldered fine.
Naze32 and CC3D are very similar flight controllers. Both have the same 32bit STM32 F103 processor. CC3D has MPU6000 acc/gyro and the Naze32 MPU6050. Size is also the same, 36x36mm. The Naze32 has a MicroUSB and the CC3D a MiniUSB port. Personally I find the MicroUSB better, as I always have such cable on my desk for charging my smartphone. What’s missing on the Naze32 Acro is the 16MBit Flash Chip 25P16VP.
I tested the original firmware OpenPilot GCS. It looks very good, but I still prefer Baseflight. There are simply too much options in GSC and it is a bit complicated for a beginner.
I decided to check if its possible to use Baseflight on the CC3D board, as both flight controllers are so similar. I found the answer on the OpenPilot forum: its possible by installing the Cleanflight firmware. Its another 32bit version of the MultiWii firmware, exactly as Baseflight is. So I decided to erase the old firmware and install Cleanflight.
Check out how to flash Cleanflight on the CC3D with your Arduino. Then you can connect it to the PC directly through the MicroUSB port and setup the flight controller with the Cleanflight Configurator.
Conclusion: With the Cleanflight firmware the flight performance of both flight controllers is the same. Because of the integrated 16Mbit flash chip on the CC3D you can enable the “Blackbox” feature and save flight data on it. Then you can analyse it on your PC. The CC3D has also an integrated SBUS inverter, so you can connect your SBUS receiver (like FrSky X4R-SB) directly to the Main Port. The MPU6000 on the CC3D is connected through the SPI bus, which is much faster than the I2C bus. Because of these additional features and the better price, I personally will go for the CC3D.
You can’t go wrong, as both flight controllers are great. So if you prefer the Naze32, find it here.
Update: If you need more advanced flight controller, check out my Cleanflight Best Flight Controllers list.