So if you are looking to buy a Naze 32 flight controller for your next FPV drone build this quick article will explain the differences between the various versions of the Naze 32 flight controller.
4 Core Versions in Revision 6
There are currently four core versions of the naze 32 flight controller. These are referred to as Acro, 6 DOF, 10 DOF, and Full. All the versions use the same basic hardware such as the STM32F103CBT6 CPI running at 72Mhz with 16Mb of flash memory. The sensors is where each of the versions differ as shown in the table below. The different sensors on the various versions mean that the boards can be manufactured more cheaply which appeals to certain applications.
Naze 32 6 DOF - this is the cheapest level naze 32 flight controller and does not include a magnetometer sensor or a barometer. Ideal for experianced FPV pilots who want a cheap but capable flight controller
Naze 32 Acro - this version adds a BMP280 barometer to the board which only increases the price by £1-2. However the added barometer means that the flight controller can perform altitude hold functions which is particularly useful for less experienced pilots.
Naze 32 10 DOF - This board includes both the BMP280 barometer and a HMC5833 compass sensor. Adding a compass sensor helps with getting better aircraft heading measurements while you are flying, but most importantly it allows you to add a GPS module to enable position hold flight mode with your drone.
Naze 32 Full - The full version is the same as the 10 DOF except that it uses much better quality sensors, the MS6511 barometer and MHC5983 compass are much more accurate. However these sensors cost more so the Naze 32 full flight controller is the most expensive option, but has the best performance.
Built in SPI Dataflash
All the revision 6 boards include a built in black box flight data recorder which is great. The 6 DOF, Acro and 10 DOF naze boards have 16Mbit onboard SPI flash. However the Full version includes 128Mbit onboard SPI flash so this just means you can store more flight logs on your full board.
Comparing the Naze 32 10 DOF to Naze 32 Full
The difference between the accuracy of the two barometer sensors are shown in the image below when the board is at rest. The MS6511 on the left shows a rather consistent altitude measurement, whereas the BMP280 sensor on the right jumps around quite a bit. So the MS6511 is clearly more accurate which will result in superior flight performance.
Naze 32 Revisions
The Naze 32 flight controller has been around for a while now, and we are currently on revision 6 of the board. Each revision of the board makes some improvements to keep up to date with improvements in sensors, and other electronics. Other differences between new versions usually involve moving components around, or adding new pads for new functionality or better performance.
Naze 32 Firmware - Baseflight or Cleanflight?
The naze 32 boards can run either baseflight or cleanflight firmware. Both are very similar and without going into too much details I tend to prefer using cleanflight since its updated more often as it has more active developers. We will write a full length article covering the differences between the two soon. But going forward it seems cleanflight is becoming more and more popular.
Naze 32 Clones
Due to the popularity of the Naze 32 flight controller there are several clones/variations based on the same platform. While most of these use the same/similar electronics and sensors some have been designed with certain objectives so might have extra or less functionality than the original naze 32 flight controllers. Its also worth noting that cleanflight supports all of these boards but the documentation might be slightly different for these compared to Naze32 documentation.
Popular Naze 32 based boards include:
Flip 32+ - A direct clone of the Naze 32 board
Flip32 Nano - A miniature version of the Naze 32 board (also sold as skyline 32 mini), great if you want a full 10 DOF flight controller on a tiny quadcopter platform.
OZE32 AIO - a naze 32 build integrated with an integrated OSD, and power distribution board
Skyline32+ OSD - like the OZE32 but modified and manufactured by Emax, comes in both Acro and Advanced version which includes a compass and barometer.