The JHEMCU GHF420AIO is an All In One (AIO) board that combines a F405 flight controller with a 20A BLHeli_S ESC that is specced to handle 2-6s. A board like this will allow you to greatly simplify and lighten builds with less space required and this is exactly what I have done to improve my 3 inch Flex RC komori.
JHEMCU is not a catchy brand name but they did do themselves proud by releasing the first AIO board with 25.5mm mount (whoop boards) that were truly reliable, namely the GHF411AIO and GHF405AIO which were successfully used to power quads up to 5 inch. They've built on this success by making and releasing more products, including the GHF420AIO as I'm reviewing here. 20mm mount boards have had little attention since the rise and rise of the whoop board but they are still highly relevant in 3 and 4 inch quads where it is still the most common mounting pattern. It's not the first time there has been an AIO 20mm board - The original HGLRC Zeus was released 2 years ago but this was plagued with faults, and was expensive meaning even a single burnt ESC (which was common on these) meant you $60 spend was down the drain. Well the good news is with JHEMCU here the cost is down to $35 before discounts applied and quality is well up.
Lets look at the specs:
As you can probably tell from the images, the physical size of the board is larger than typical 20mm FCs and older ESCs and more in line with the 6s 20mm ESCs that are around now - see below for more detail
These pictures where taken when fitting in my old faithful FlexRC Komori. I actually had to mount my unit sideways which worked out well for me but bear this in mind if your frame doesn't have a lot of room front to back or side to side
This meant that I needed to allow for gyro rotation in betaflight and motor remapping (see this hand tool) but honestly that's quite easy and all done via software. You'll see that with my build here I use a runcam split 3 nano and this means I have an extra board to mount along with the VTX. The AIO allows me to space the boards nicely for ease of install and minimisation of electrical noise - both are massively improved to the 4 board stack (separate FC and ESC) that I had previously and was afraid to work on. Possibly not a problem where higher stacks are tolerated but I do have a preference for low profile builds.
Rest of the install was straightforward. This FC uses only pads and no plugs so you'll be soldering in your VTX and receiver plus any other peripherals you need such as GPS and DJI. Speaking of DJI I think this would be brilliant - you could easily swap a vista board in for the runcam split and VTX I've used here for a very simply, clean and low profile install.
It performs as expected. I'm running full dshot600 with RPM filtering, 48kHz PWM, 8k PID/ 8k Gyro which would be impossible on the less powerful F411 chip. This makes for a smooth, well filtered and efficient flight which given this is an HD rig suits me really well.
You will note that this ESC is capable of up to 6s which is good news but I have no desire to test this particular quad on that voltage. What it does mean though is that I have the confidence to run 4s knowing that the ESC is nowhere near its limit meaning I can expect reliability and consistent performance.
I get that people are nervous to buy an AIO over a stack because if something breaks you can't just replace one component - we used to be like that with 4 in 1 ESCs too but now they are the norm. But in both cases with cost coming down (now $35 before discount) and reliablity going up I think they are going to be the way forward. If you compare to the reliable Diatone Mini F405 the feature set is very similar, the AIO is slightly cheaper and you get the benefit of simplicity, lower weight and less stack height. For me this is the tipping point to move away for 20mm separate ESCs and FC and towards AIO and the JHEMCU GHF420AIO is a great starting point. Speaking of discount Use the code BGAFF10Off to get this for $31 at time of writing.
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