Review: HGLRC Zeus35 AIO F411 FC – 35A ESC Integrated!

The 20x20mm HGLRC Zeus35 has FC, PDB and ESC all integrated into one single board. This powerful little FC is designed with 2″, 3″, 4″ and even 5″ FPV drones in mind, but can one flight controller rule it all?

Check out my FC buyer’s guide if you are new to the hobby.

What’s included in the package:

  • FC board
  • XT30 & XT60 pigtails
  • Two capacitors
  • Silicone grommets
  • Manual

The Zeus35 is pretty amazing, it has almost everything we need built into a single board!

  • F4 FC + 4in1 ESC on a single PCB
  • Input Voltage: 3S – 6S
  • MPU6000 Gyro
  • Supports Betaflight OSD
  • 5V 2A BEC
  • 16MB Flash Memory for Blackbox
  • 2 UART’s
  • ESC Rating: 35A Continuous, 40A Burst (10s)
  • Supports Current Sensor
  • FC Firmware: Betaflight HGLRCF411(HGLR)
  • ESC Firmware: BLHeli_S
  • Mounting Holes: 20x20mm (M2 or M3)
  • Dimensions: 40x32mm
  • Weight: 9.8g

Comparing to a typical 20x20mm FC/ESC stack side by side (Holybro Kakute F7 Mini), the Zeus35 looks bigger. But it’s just one board, with over 20% weight saving.

  • 20x20mm Kakute F7 Mini + Tekko 4in1 ESC = 13g
  • Zeus AIO = 9.8g

Right next to the STM32 F411 MCU, is the MPU6000 Gyro. On the same side of the PCB, you can also find the Fortior chips – these are MOSFET drivers for the ESC.

See this post to learn more about how ESC works.

Solder pads are well sized and easy to solder. However there are only 2 UART’s on this board, there is no UART left after connecting Crossfire Receiver (RX) and SmartAudio (VTX). But you can remap the LED pad and S5 (motor output) as softserial pins for other devices.

The solder pads are grouped by function.

On the other side we have pads that are dedicated for the VTX and FPV camera. They even reserved a UART pad for SmartAudio, nice touch.

Here you can either power your VTX with battery voltage (BAT), or 5V.

There’s a boot button too.

Apart from Betaflight OSD and Current Sensor, it also has 16MB flash memory for blackbox logging.

Micro USB Port is reinforced by Epoxy glue.

Having a 35A 4in1 ESC integrated and with the 20x20mm mounting holes, means you can use this board for 3″, 4″ as well as 5″.

It comes with both XT30 and XT60 male connectors, as well as 14AWG and 18AWG wires.

HGLRC also provided two low ESR capacitors of 1000uF and 220uF. These are rated for 35V which should be enough for 4S or even 6S. The 1000uF is for larger quads like a 5″, and the 220uF on smaller builds like a 3″. This is essential for the Zeus35 in order to reduce voltage spikes and power noise, because there is no space for filtering capacitors due to the limited space.

Further Reading: Why adding extra capacitors to FPV drone?

It also comes with rubber grommets for reducing vibrations.

With the rubber grommets installed, you can use M2 hardware to mount the board. If you want to use M3 hardware, simply remove the grommets. and use other solution for soft mounting, such as rubber bobbins.

I replaced the 30x30mm FC/ESC stack in my Holybro Kopis 2 with the HGLRC Zeus35 FC.

It freed up so much space, it’s ridiculous 😀 The motor wires are messy because they weren’t long enough and I had to extend them. But you can definitely get a super clean build from using this board.

Here’s the pinout/wiring diagram:

The Good

  • Super easy to build
  • Compact and extremely low profile
  • Slight cheaper than buying stack (?)
  • Suitable for 3″, 4″ and 5″ Mini Quads

The Bad

  • Only two UART’s, but you can remap LED and S5 (motor output) for softserial
  • Unconventional PCB size, might be tricky to fit in small frames
  • It can be costly to replace if one of the components fails
  • Little noise filtering, additional capacitor(s) required on 5″, possibly smaller quads too

For those who have size and weight requirement, might find the HGLRC Zeus FC really attractive.  (DJI builds, anyone?)

However, the risk of replacing the whole board when one component fails might be too much for some people. I tried this type of boards before (Racerstar TattooF4S), and I was quite happy with it though it didn’t last long. Only time will tell, but so far the Zeus35 has been reliable (on 5″ freestyle quad). These are worth considering if you are aiming for an extremely low profile build for easy flights, long range and freestyle.

However You do HAVE TO use the 1000uF capacitor, otherwise you will most likely get noise issues, this board has very little filtering built in due to its small size.

Although HGLRC suggests using the Zeus35 on micro quads like 2″ and 3″, it can be difficult to fit inside these small frames as it’s considerably wider than a typical 20x20mm board. Therefore before picking this up, make sure your frame can support this board!

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