[FC] - AlienWii Classic: 8-bit, MultiWii - The Pioneer FC

With an 8-bit CPU running MultiWii, the components on this FC may seem outdated.
But there is something beautiful about a device which just does one thing, and nothing else.

The main achievement of the AlienWii: It has set a trend!
The storm of demand has clearly demonstrated that this is that micro propellerheads want.
The AlienWii has inspired a whole community!

The sad truth is: This flight controller is discontinued. Only a limited number (I estimate 1000-2000) was ever produced. But if you are one of the lucky owners, this here is a happy place to discuss and obsess over this piece of electronic art.

I made many videos about and with the help of this flight controller. Here is my favourite one:

Do you have anything to say about this flight controller? Do you have a story? This is the place to tell it!

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They say go with the one that brought you. Well for me, the AlienWii brought me along with Benedikt. I stepped into this just as the AW was getting its wings so to speak. The very first time I flew this after playing with some RTFs I knew things would never be the same. Since that day I have been on a journey of fun and learning about what all this is. The AlienWii in my opinion was a perfect introduction to the world of custom micros. Like Benedikt says, sometimes there is beauty in simplicity and the AlienWii hit that nail right on the head! I make a lot of mediocre video and those of you that know me or have seen them know I am infatuated with this card. There will always be a place in my heart for this little card. When I look at it, I still can’t believe that all that fun can be packed in a card 32mm x 27mm with a mere 30 or so components. So this is the card that has taught me much of what I know and will always be one of my favorites :grinning:

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I started out with Arduino a couple of years ago and after bugging the hell out of the guys on the Arduino forum, I stumbled across a NZ guy on YouTube iforce2d who built a cheap ass quadcopter with Arduino. After watching his full series of videos I was hooked and bought my first RTF, the Hubsan H107L. After getting deeper and deeper into quads and the whole scene I somehow came across the Alienwii, Benedikt and Adam on RCG. When I saw guys flying the crap out of this little FC the hunt was on to procure one. This task was easier said than done and my first attempt was through the MMW site. I logged on ready to hit the pay button but my internet ineptitude reared it’s ugly head and poof, before I knew it they were all gone. My second try was more successful through a pre purchase arrangement at Zippin Designs. Beauty I thought. I am shortly to be the proud new owner of the best brushed flight controller in the known universe. Australia Post knuckleheads lost this one and then Benedikt came to my rescue. On hearing of my woes, he kindly sold me one of his own boards and I was one my way. Some people complain about the fact that the Alienwii, with it’s puny 8 bit micro controller, cannot run Cleanflight and uses the now unsupported Muliwii framework. My thoughts are hey, you can adjust the PID’s to exactly how you want them can’t you and it’s plug and play and the board is such a simple and elegant design down to the little Alien graphics in the silkscreen of the board. I love this little guy and I enjoy the camaraderie that exists in the ranks of the Alienwii owners I interact with from all over the world on a daily basis. The sooner someone gets stuck into the design file, that Lance graciously released under the Creative Commons banner, and makes a board the better we will be in my mind. May the force be with you.

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So there is big news folks about the AlienWii today. First off there has been change to the name and is now Alienflight. The files to make your own FC have been released for 3 of the brushed FC designs. What’s that mean? Well anyone can contact a board manufacturer with the files selflessly provided by alienflight.com and have them made. Have a look
https://www.dropbox.com/s/31fgiv2pph7mvro/Screenshot%202015-10-26%2009.27.01.png?dl=0

A Mystery for the Alien Masters…
As an owner of both Narrow and Classic AlienWii FC’s I have noticed a difference between the two cards and was trying to find some input on possible reasons/solutions.

On hard impacts and light crashes sometimes with the Narrow AW’s I might have to access the MultiWii and readjust my settings. A little annoying, but not the end of the world.

On the other hand, on my Classic AW builds there has been several occasions that in the same crash scenarios and even on hard landings that all 4 motors will spin up uncontrollably and at full throttle. I can not disarm the board and will have to unplug the battery to kill the motors. I have burnt up several motors in the time spent running over to the wildly spinning quad that is usually upside down with one more props blocked in someway! Real BUMMER…
There’s a 50/50 that once I plug back in the battery that my settings will be still saved or that I might have to access the MultiWii to reconfigure the settings.

All of my cards run the same 2.4 sketch and code changes…which aren’t much. The Insane Horizon code hack and a small tweak to my angle inclination for a slightly more aggressive Angle Mode.

Has anyone else noticed these differences on there boards too?
Any ideas on why my Classic AW’s have this particular problem?

The old AlienWii isn’t as solid as the new Narrow. For the most part they suffer from low voltage. Never run your battery down on the old AlienWii. You may brown out and also reset the board. If crashes cause problems check out the solder connections.

After flying Narrow cards first and getting Classic FC’s later. I was spoiled by the buck/boost v reg on the Narrow and had to really stick to the timed flights on the Classic. I learned that pretty quickly after browning out. I have had this motor spinning issue on fresh mylipo packs on both of my Classic cards. It just seems unlikely or odd for both to have the same issues if it was solder joint related. Another detail to add is the red LED on the Lemon does not go into the slow blink mode that usually accompanies a brownout situation. Board just goes wonky…gotta be the power circuit somehow.

@Jtwalkz so it’s off to the Doctor for surgery then. A buck boost transplant and the little guy will be as good as new. Your card is in good hands :smile:

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@pedro147 I wish this was an option for the older cards…

I’d like to get my 2 Classic AW’s retrofitted for sure!

The last thing I want to do is bother that busy man with anything else…I already sent the ‘poofed’ Narrow Alien I mentioned in Complacent1s’ MultiFlite post earlier out to him!
I’m really gonna need to get my own hot air station soon if I’m gonna be this destructive!

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Yeah right the older cards had a really crappy voltage reg on them didn’t they. It would be nice if someone could work out how to retrofit the buck boost regulator to the older cards that’s fur sure :smile:

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Buy one and you might find yourself becoming constructive as well as destructive :wink: You should be eyeballing one anyhow whether or not you need to fix victims because it is a very important tool unless you just want to buy RTF stuff and plug things together and can be happy with that. Not me :grin: I want something cool and custom.

The buckboost retro fit for a classic AlienWii is doable although I have not gotten that far into figuring out how it could be done I just know that is how the classic narrow got its upgraded V regulator circuit.

At the moment I have 5 FC’s here for a little work and one going home today. The one going home was worse than anything I have seen you do yet @Jtwalkz (Quadinator). V pads on the FC were burnt, a trace was missing for a FET, the Atmega chip was toast, sat wires were poorly soldered to the top of the pads and polarity was reversed which is what burnt out the Atmega chip. So, that FC has been the hardest one to fix yet but it now flies and is ready to fly back to it’s owner whom I will say received the card in this condition and passed it off to me to see if it could be saved :wink: There is always hope!

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You’re right @madman1412…my cheapo Harbor Freight iron is only good for so much… I can repair motor connectors on the AW and the occasional FET if needed, but the tiny components have to be easier with the hot air station. Just not sure if the wife will appreciate that on the dining room table humming away! Ah screw it…I’m gonna get one. :grin:
Isn’t always easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission anyways!

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That’s pretty funny jtwalkz that’s exactly what I go through getting shit for soldering on the dinning room table lol.

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I had to get one of these after soldering on the dining room table. It just got to be too much. I was able to find a corner.

I’ve pretty much claimed half of the table already. The need of a proper work area Is real.The wife is lenient with me luckily. Needless to say, that we do most our eating at the kitchen island now!

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I thought that I would give a bit of CPR to this tired old thread by posting some images of historical significance. Technically they are :alien: Flight but I won’t tell if you don’t :smiley:

AlienWii32_Octo prototype from Jan 01 2015

AlienWii32_Hexa prototype from Jan 01 2015

AlienWii_F3 protype from Feb 03, 2015

How lucky was this guy. Alienwii Hex / Octo Beta tester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2V12w0FYoA

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Ok, I think have this mystery figured out finally. Turns out for some reason the current sketch does not agree with my Classic Aliens:AlienWii_Brushed.zip (160.5 KB)
I dug up the older one that runs on Multiwii 2.3 multiwii-firmware-brushed_alienwii_current.zip (168.4 KB)and uploaded it to them and the random full throttle spinups are gone and what’s better is that I can flip and roll again!

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Thanks for posting this. I’ll make note not to upgrade my square boards. :beer:

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Sorry not ignoring you @Jtwalkz but I did not have Watching turned on only Tracking forum notifications. Not that I put myself in the class of Alien Master, far from it. Glad you sorted it out J-Man :smile: