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Installing and using Betaflight Configurator for beginners

Betaflight Configurator allows you to check and change FC (Flight Controller) settings of drones that use Betaflight as their firmware. Here's how to install Betaflight Configurator on your Windows computer, how to use it, and some things that beginners should check first when they get a drone.

Download Betaflight Configurator

Betaflight Configurator is distributed on Github.
PC Open Betaflight page on Github. A screen like this will appear, so click "betaflight-Configurator". Not "betaflight".
There is also a link called "betaflight-configurator-nightlies", but since this is a nightly build, so-called beta version, it may be unstable or contain bugs. This version is for developers, so please do not use it for general users.
There is also a version with "(RC1)" or "(RC2)" .e.t.c. added to the end of the version name, which is the Release Candidate version. As with Nightly, it may contain bugs, so general users should avoid using it as much as possible.
PC "betaflight-Configurator" page will open, so click "Releases" on the right side of the screen. Also you can move to latest version of the page by clicking "Latest".
PC "betaflight-Configurator" release page opens. This screen allows you to download any version of betaflight-Configurator, including past versions. At the top is the latest version. If you scroll this screen ...
PC In "Assets" column, there are download links for each OS. Click this to download the installation module. Please refer to table below and click link that matches your OS.
For Windows, click the file name ending with "_win64-Insaller.exe" or "_win64-portable.zip". If you use "_win64-Insaller.exe", you can install it just by following the instructions on the screen.
Installation module
OSFile name
Windows (8, 10, 11) betaflight-configurator-[version]_win64-installer.exe
Mac OS X betaflight-configurator_[version]_macOS.dmg
Ubuntu, debian betaflight-configurator_[version]_amd64.deb
Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS betaflight-configurator-[version].x86_64.rpm
Other Linux betaflight-configurator_[version]_linux64-portable.zip
Android (Preview version) betaflight-configurator-debug-[version]_android.apk

When following from the official site of Betaflight
PC You can also follow the Github download page from Betaflight official site . If you scroll the official site ...
PC "Getting started" column will appear. Click blue "Latest configurator releases" in "Configuration Tool" section.
PC The latest version of "betaflight-Configurator" release page opens.

Install Betaflight Configurator

PC Double-click downloaded Betaflight Configurator installer "_win64-Insaller.exe" to start installation. The first is to select an installation mode. Please choose according to your preference.
PC Next, select language to use for installation. Please select your preference.
PC If you had an older version of Betaflight Configurator installed on your computer, the uninstaller will start. When uninstallation is completed, a screen like this will appear. Click "Close".
PC The license agreement screen for the software. Select "Agree" and click "Next".
PC Then select installation folder. You won't need to change anything. Click "Next".
PC Then select Start Menu folder. You won't need to change anything. Click "Next".
PC The screen will look like this. Click "Install".
PC Installation will start. It takes a few minutes to a dozen minutes to install.
At the end of the installation, progress bar on the screen progresses very slowly, but if you leave it, installation will end soon.
PC Installation is complete when a screen like this appears. Click "Finish".
PC Then Betaflight Configurator starts. You can read and update drone information by connecting the drone equipped with Betaflight to your computer with USB cable and clicking "Connect" button at the top right of the screen.
Alternatively, if you turn on "Auto connect" switch at the top right of the screen, drone and computer will be connected simply by connecting the USB cable.
Use a USB cable "For data communication"
There are two types of USB cables: "For data communication" where all terminals are connected, and "For charging" where only power supply terminals are connected. You need to use "For data communication" to communicate with Betaflight Configurator. Please note that some cables attached to bonus of mobile phone or charger, battery are "For charging".
PC When drone is successfully connected, you will see a screen like this. When you move the drone, 3DCG on the screen moves based on value of gyro sensor.
If you cannot connect the drone, quit Betaflight Configurator, connect the drone to your computer first, and then start Betaflight Configurator again.
Beware of thermal runaway
PC If you connect drone to your computer and leave it on for a long time, the VTX may run away with heat and break down in the worst case. Minimize connection time with your computer, and occasionally blow on camera to cool it. It is also effective to place a small electric fan nearby.

Horizontal calibration and backup of settings

PC You can perform horizontal calibration on the "Setup" screen. If 3DCG on the screen is not level when you level the drone, you need to calibrate its accelerometer. After fixing the drone horizontally, click "Calibrate Accelerometer".
Horizontal calibration is very important
PC If horizontal calibration is slightly off, not only will the trajectory fluctuate during flight, but it may also suddenly fly sideways during takeoff. Look at the aircraft from front, back, left and right, and carefully level the aircraft before calibration. I think it's a good idea to make a simple stand using cardboard.
Back up your settings
PC You can back up the drone settings by typing "diff all" on CLI screen . If you get a drone, collect it first. See Using CLI commands for more information.
In previous versions, Setup screen above had a Backup button to back up your settings in Json text format, but it's gone now.

Check channel map, connection status with radio

PC "Channel Map" column of "Receiver" screen, you can see channel map for drone (eg "AETR"). If you don't know drone's channel map before binding, you can check / change it here.
And you can also check connection status between radio and drone in the bar graph on the left side of the screen. If you bind radio and drone, and operate sticks or switchs of the radio, bar graphs here will move. You can check that drone is receiving radio signal correctly and that each switch is set to expected channel.
If you change value on the screen, click "Save" at the bottom right of each page to reflect it on drone. Conversely, if you click "Refresh" at the bottom right, drone settings will be read and reflected on the screen.
Adjustment of radio
On this screen, adjust radio so that pulse length should be 1500 μsec when you take your finger off the stick (Roll, Pitch, Yaw) of the radio. Also, adjust radio so that it is larger than the value in "Stick Heigh Threshold" column when it is swung to the maximum and smaller than the value in "Stick Low Threshold" column when it is swung to the minimum. For radios with OpenTX, these values can be adjusted on "OUTPUT" screen.
If value flutters when you take your finger off the stick, specify the width (up to about 10) in each "Deadband" column. If these are not adjusted, drone will not fly straight.
RC Deadband: Specifies the width to ignore the jitter of the center value of the roll and pitch stick.
Yaw Deadband: Specifies the width to ignore the jitter at the center value of the yaw stick.

Check functions assigned to each channel

PC On "Modes" screen, you can check functions assigned to each channel of drone.
In the example on this screen, ARM function is assigned to pulse length "1700 - 2100 μsec" of "AUX1 (channel 5)". Radio switch sends pulse of less than 1000 μsec when it is “down”, 1500 μsec when it is “center”, and 2000 μsec or more when it is “up”. This means that assigning a switch to channel 5 and switching it to "up" position will enable ARM functionality.
In addition, flight modes ANGLE and HORIZON are both assigned to "AUX2 (channel 6)". In this case, if you assign 3-position switch to channel 6, "down" position will enable ANGLE mode, "center" will enable HORIZON mode, and "up" will enable ACRO mode (ACRO mode will enable if no flight mode is specified).

VTX transmission channel settings

PC On "Video Transmitter" screen, you can set transmission channel for video signal of FPV camera.
Select band field and channel field, and click "Save" at the bottom right of the screen to set. Transmission channels that can be used in each region are limited as follows, so please set accordingly. If you have multiple drones, keep all drones on same channel so you don't have to use goggles scanning feature.

DShot Beacon (buzzer) settings

With a feature called DShot Beacon, you can make drone's motors vibrate and make a beeping sound. Even small drones that don't have a physical buzzer can be easier to find if they're crashed and lost.
PC First, open "Configuration" screen and set each item in "DShot Beacon Configuration" column.
In "Beacon Tone" field, you can select the type of sound to be played.
If "RX_LOST" is turned on, buzzer will sound when communication with the radio is lost.
When "RX_SET" is turned on, buzzer can be turned ON/OFF from the radio switch.
Finally, click "Save and Reboot" button at the bottom right of the screen.
PC Next, on "Modes" screen, click "Add Range" of "BEEPER" to enable it and assign it to any channel. Then click "Save" button at the bottom right of the screen. In the example shown in the figure, the buzzer sounds when the switch assigned to "AUX 4 (Channel 8)" is set to "up".

Using CLI commands

PC On "CLI" screen, you can configure all of drone settings by typing commands from keyboard (Command Line Interface).
Enter command in text box that says "Write your command here" at the bottom of the screen, and press [Enter] key to enter command. You can also save CLI exchange displayed on screen as a text file by clicking "Save to File" at the bottom right of the screen.
You can read current values of various setting values with [get] command and change them with [set] command. However, if you do not enter [save] command at the end, the changes will not be reflected in drone.
[help] command displays a list of available CLI commands.
[diff] command displays a list of differences from default values. If you type "diff all" and saving displayed result when you get drone, you can always restore it to factory defaults. Use "Save to File" or "Copy to Clipboard" button to save this in a text file.
[dump] command dumps list of settings.
[bind_rx] or [bind_rx_spi] command put drone in bind mode (if receiver is built into FC board).
CLI DIFF / CLI DUMP
On the drone manufacturer's website, execution result of the product's [diff] or [dump] commands may be called "CLI DIFF" or "CLI DUMP" and distributed as a text file. After resetting with [defaults] command, you can copy and paste the contents of this text file into "CLI" screen and press [Enter] key to initialize the drone to factory defaults.

Tune PID and Rate profiles

PC On "PID Tuning" screen, you can access PID profile that determines flight characteristics of drone and Rate profile that can adjust response to stick operation of radio. In the profile selection drop-down menu at the top left of the screen, you can save / switch between 3 types of PID profiles and 6 types of Rate profiles.
Tuning PID and Rate profiles will dramatically improve your drone's maneuverability and improve your maneuvering skills. It seems that PID profile and Rate profile of commercially available aircraft are often set loosely. If these settings are loose, the aircraft will sway during flight and you will not improve your maneuverability.
However, if you change these parameters indiscriminately, drone will not be able to fly. While studying the meaning of these parameters, try adjustments in order from the one you understand. Also, save initial values so that you can restore them at any time.
To make it easier, first try increasing P value and RC Rate value little by little to test the operability.
The information on each site below will be helpful.
PC Alternatively, you can use a drone simulator like VelociDrone to simulate effect of changing PID profile and Rate profile on your PC.
It is also a good idea to apply it to your actual machine by referring to the initial value of VelociDrone shown in the figure.

Update FC firmware : Version-up Betaflight

You can update the FC (Flight Controller) firmware: Betaflight.

Install the driver : STM32 BOOTLOADER


To access FPV drones and OpenTX/EdgeTX radios using STM32 processors on Windows PC, it is necessary to install a driver called "STM32 BOOTLOADER". Normally this driver is not installed automatically and must be installed manually. See below for details.

Update FC firmware


Save the current settings
PC Before updating FC firmware, enter "diff all" command from CLI command line to list the previous settings. Then use "Save to File" or "Copy to Clipboard" button to save this setting in a text file.
PC Click the "Update Firmware" button at the top right of the screen. You can press this button even when the drone is not connected to your computer.
Select the firmware to write
PC Download the firmware online
Select FC board model number to write to and firmware version. Click "Load Firmware [Online]" at the bottom right of the screen. Then download of the matching firmware from Betaflight official site will start.
Using firmware obtained from the manufacturer's website
Click "Select firmware [Local]" at the bottom right of the screen. Then you can specify the firmware file saved on your computer.
The extension of Betaflight firmware is ".hex".
Using RC version
If you turn on "Show unverified release" and select "Release and Release Candidate" on the above screen, RC (Release Candidate) version will also be displayed in the list. But RC version firmware is under evaluation and may contain bugs. Please use release version as much as possible. You may also be able to download tuned RC version of your product from the FC manufacturer's website. When using RC version, first check FC manufacturer's website.
Write firmware
PC When firmware download is complete, message "Loaded Online Firmware" will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. After that, connect drone (FC) to your computer and click "Flash Firmware" button to start the update.
If the process stalls during "reboot bootloader" here, please check if STM32 BOOTLOADER is properly installed on your computer.
PC If the update is successful, "Process: Success" will be displayed in green at the bottom of the screen as shown in this figure.
Restore the settings
PC After FC firmware update is successful, paste the "diff all" result saved before the update into CLI command line and save it with "save" command.

Adjust your drone on your smartphone / tablet: use SpeedyBee

With SpeedyBee app, you can adjust the parameters of drones equipped with Betaflight 3.1.0 or later on your smartphone / tablet. Smartphones / tablets and drones are connected via Bluetooth using " Bluetooth-UART Adapter (SpeedyBee) " or via Wi-Fi using " Speedy Bee Adapter 2 (Amazon.com) ". Screen configuration of SpeedyBee app is the same as the Betaflight Configurator. If you master how to use Betaflight Configurator, you can also use Speedy Bee app.
  • SpeedyBee App

    CAMERA2000 LIMITED Utility free

    It is an application that can set the flight controller of the drone equipped with Betaflight 3.1.0 or later. Connect to the drone using "Bluetooth-UART Adapter (Bluetooth)" or "Speedy Bee Adapter 2 (Wi-Fi)".

    view details(App Store)
  • Speedy Bee Adapter 2 BF/INAV/Emu Portable Configurator

    Speedy Bee 2020-09-09 USD30.99

    With the Built-in WIFI, Speedy Bee Adapter 2 is a full-featured BF/INAV/Emu mobile configurator help the FPV pilots go to the field to fly without carrying a heavy laptop. The lanyard-style cable is tight of connection enough, can prevent being lost. The liquid silicone cable is with two same micro USB ports on both ends, it can even easily carry 500 grams.

    Buy at Amazon.com(US) Buy at Amazon.co.uk(UK)

The following sites are useful for using Betaflight Configurator.

To know more about How to Fly Hobby Drone