The latest product release from NewBeeDrone is something truly exciting. Its called The Hummingbird and it is a next generation Silverware flight controller. Unlike other micro flight controllers running Silverware firmware, the Hummingbird has an integrated OSD for displaying craft name, voltage, and RSSI as well as managing things like video channels/bands, channel mapping for flight modes and radio trims.
F031K6 Processor - Silverware Firmware
4 x 30A Mosfets (Pulsed)
NewBeeDrone OSD (On Screen Display) & VTX Control
Built-in VTX 1mw - 25mw switchable power
JST PH-2.0 Nectar Connector Power Lead
Programming Port Available
Custom tune by Mr.Mockingbird (Team Pilot Patrick Clarke)
Hummingbird Flight Controller with on-board VTX
5 Mounting Grommets
5 Mounting Screws
5 Motor Wire Rubber Bands
Receiver Pin Adapter
BeeEye Camera & V2 Canopy
What is so special about Silverware?
Silverware is a firmware developed specifically for micro "whoop" size fpv quadcopters. Unlike flight controllers using Betaflight, Silverware was designed with micro brushed quadcopters in mind. This should, in theory, give you a very good flight experience without the hassle of Betaflight's setup.
Building the Hummingbird is very similar to the BeeBrain except you need to solder a radio receiver. For FrSky and DSM, you can use a Beeceiver and solder pretty easily with the included jumper. With DSM, you need to cut 1 of the 4 pins off of the adapter. Crossfire Nano will also solder up with the included pin adapter.
Please be mindful of the pin diagram for the Nano as the pin order could change. As of this blog the pins match.
I will be using the FrSky Beeceiver
Solder the pin adapter first. I like to tape it in place leaving 1 pin out to set solder it in place. Then remove the tape and solder the rest. Remember - using flux makes this much easier.
Since the receiver will essentially be floating above the flight controller, I added a bit of 2 sided sticky tape to the back of the RX so it can rest on the FC.
Then solder the Rx to the adapter pins. Then cut the pins so they don't stick out past the solder.
Next, install the flight controller to onto a Cockroach frame using the supplied grommets.
Then install the motors.
Unlike the BeeBrain, the motor orientation and prop spin directions are different. The Hummingbird is using the "Props Out" configuration so with NewBeeDrone brand motors, Black/White wires will install in the front left and back right ducts. Blue/Red wires will go in the front right and back left.
Now install the camera and mount using the supplied screws.
Here is NewBeeDrone's build video:
Bind and Radio Setup:
To bind the receive to the radio, power the Hummingbird and press the bind button located on the Beeceiver once. I should start blinking red and blue indicating you are in bind mode.
Next go to your radio and enter bind mode. Once bound, the receiver LED should turn green.
Make sure your channel mapping is set to AETR for frsky.
Here is NewBeeDrone's bind and switch setup video for Taranis:
Lastly you will need to setup your arm and flight mode switches. It is pretty simple but here is NewBeeDrone's video on switch setup:
How does it fly?
Well... Pretty good. This flight controller excels at level mode flying but the acro or "race" mode is not nearly as good as my BeeBrain Lite. I found that with acro the frame would still tend to level out over time. Also, really hard and fast movements on acro make the quadcopter struggle to stay in the air. Level mode is much easier to learn and it seems that most skilled racers use level mode anyway so you won't have any problems ripping it around.
If you want to flip and roll, you can use Horizon or Race modes. It does it quite well.
For the price and features of The Hummingbird, it is hard to argue that it is the best at what its designed for. Its cheap, its simple to use, and super fun to fly.
Here is a quick video of me flying around the condo. So much fun!