ExpressLRS Recovery Dongle (FTDI USB to TTL)

BetaFPV ELRS Recovery Dongle

BetaFPV was among the first drone brands that joined the ExpressLRS team by adopting their high-performance Open Source Radio Control Link. The ELRS Recovery Dongle comes in help for those who brick their radio receiver when failed in updating or flash firmware by using the UART port instead of WIFI.

In a nutshell, the BetaFPV ExpressLRS Recovery Dongle is an FTDI USB to TTL adapter. Its ingenious design with spring probe pins allows a solder-free solution connection to unbrick your ELRS RX. It has a CP2102 chipset (USB to UART Bridge Virtual COM Port) and it is compatible with most ELRS receivers based on ESP32 and ESP8XX chips including BetaFPV ELRS Lite, Nano, and Micro receivers.

Technical specifications

  • USB Interface: Type-C USB male connector (Support USB1.1 and USB2.0)
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Logic Voltage: 5V
  • 3.3V power supply output current: 400mA
  • Pins output method: 2*4P-2.54mm pin header
  • Serial baud rate: Up to 921600bps
  • USB to Serial chip (CP2102) supports XP, win7 / win8 32bits, 64bits, win10 / 11 32bits, 64bits, Linux, MAC

BetaFPV ELRS Recovery Dongle review

Disclosure: I received this recovery dongle as part of a product review collaboration with BetaFPV. Product specs and quality may vary according to the manufacturer’s reliability, so I cannot guarantee that you will get a product that performs the same as seen in my article.

The UBS dongle was sent to me as a gift about a month ago together with the Pavo 25 drone. It is still in its factory antistatic bag as, till now, all my firmware upgrades went smooth. If everything is OK, ELRS RX modules can be flashed easily via WiFi or FC passthrough. When having a failed update, usually it can be accessed again only via the FTDI-UART port. In the past, I used a similar device to flash the bootloader in my Arduino projects.

The ELRS Recovery Dongle has two main parts interconnected with four jumper wires. The main module has a Type-C USB port and a 2×4 PIN header. From left to right you have GND, 5V, RX, and TX on top, respectively GND, 3.3V, EN, and Boot on the bottom.

Pinout

When is connected for the first time to your computer, you will need to install the CP210x VCP driver -for MS Windows (32/64bit) can be downloaded from here. For flashing the new firmware you will also need the ExpressLRS Configurator. Remember to set the ‘UART’ flashing method.

The major difference from normal upgrading to recovery flashing is that you need to press and hold the boot button or short circuit the dedicated pads on the ELRS receiver before you connect and power with the spring probe.

ExpressLRS Configurator settings

Price and availability

The BetaFPV ExpressLRS Recovery Dongle can be ordered from the manufacturer’s website for $7.99 or from Banggood for $11.99.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price/value ratio
RX compatiblity
OS compatibility
Easy to use
expresslrs-recovery-dongleMaybe regular pilots will need such a device once or maybe twice a year but, for less than 10 bucks, it's good to have it in your FPV backup. I liked the spring probes that get rid of temporary soldering.

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