A practical approach to RC planes

Flip 1.5 Tricopter Project – Part one – Soldering Pins

A few weeks ago I crashed my tricopter destroying the HK KK2 board. At the time I was fed up with it and just hung it on the wall. Let it just sit there in a pool of it’s own shame. Busted. Broken. Alone. If you are a pilot you know what I am talking about.


But really I was just tired of the KK2 board just not living up to the expectations I had. Don’t get me wrong the KK2 board got my tricopter off the ground and I have over 50 flights on it. But something about it was just lacking. I always seemed to not be fully comfortable with it.

Then when I got my Blackout Mini H Quad and my perspective on flight controllers changed. I bought a CC3D and it flys great! From that point on I know the KK2 board was no longer my go-to board and I felt free to explore other options. So I left the current KK2 Tri together until the inevitable crash that always seemed to be a flight or two away occurred.

When it happened I started to look for another cheap flight controller to command my tri. I came across the Flip 1.5 from At $15 it is 1/2 the price of the KK2 and there is a ton of people on the web showing it working well. Even Alex from uses it on his Mini H Quad.

Yesterday, after finally feeling like the tri had enough shame inflicted, I set out to configure the tri with the new flip board. But first I thought I would share how to solder on the angel pins to a PCB board. This is an often overlooked art. If not done correctly can damage or destroy your new fancy flight control board.

Naked Flip 1.5 Board

Naked Flip 1.5 Board


The first step is simple enough. Cut the angle pin cluster to length and test fit.

Dry fitting of Pins

Dry fitting of Pins

The next step is to remove the pins and to apply flux to the pin leads and board contact pads. Flux acts both at a cleaner and as a bond enhancer for the solder. I use a simple flux pen like this one from SparkFun.Com. If you solder and don’t use flux, start to. It make a big difference.


Step three is to reinsert the pins and solder one corner pin and stop. This will allow you to move the remaining pins to the exact 90 degree positioning without much trouble but also without fear it will move before you solder the rest.

Check alignment after the first pin is soldered.

Check alignment after the first pin is soldered.


Then finish up by soldering the rest of the pins. Be sure to use a good soldering iron with plenty of heat. You want to heat the contact points quickly before the heat transfers to the rest of the components and kills them. Keep a drop of solder on the iron to help transfer the heat and work down full rows before moving to the next to help distribute the heat.

All the pins

All the pins

And there you have it. Soldering is a simple thing to learn and with little practice easy to master.

With a ready Flip 1.5 I’m ready to move on to part two of the build. Programming and mounting but that will come in a later post.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.




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