Hey guys,

I just want to share this to help prevent any possible future crashes. I've tried several GPS units for my planes, namely 3DR, Jdrones NEO-6 for airplane and for Multirotor, hobbyking neo-6, hobbyking leah-6H, and crius. 

Non 3DR GPS units all have one thing in common...BAD connectors.

I've had numerous flights where the plane would just wildly accelerate towards the ground a few seconds into takeoff because of bad gps health. One time the plane ended up in shambles because I caught the problem too late on auto takeoff. 

These units have loose connectors and crimps that have a lot of play inside the connectors. A quick fix we do is to shoot hot glue as I press the connector into the female side. I further soak a bead around the wires to lock them in place and prevent them from wiggling inside the connector. It seems to have been working well so far.

I appreciate any input the community might have.

Regards,

Serge G. 

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Replies to This Discussion

"Non 3DR GPS units all have one thing in common...BAD connectors"

Unfortunately, this is exactly the same thing for 3DR GPS, compass and power module. 

The problem I have with the recent ones 3DR manufactures are actually that they are too difficult to disconnect without using special tools. It is very easy to damage them if one is not careful. I have not had any problems with the original 3DR while in flight but the connector department has a lot to improve on LOL. I find the power module wire to be too short. 

I actually wouldn't mind getting an apm 2.6 version with large servo connector sized pinouts that I have to manually solder ever wire to. At least that would allow me more freedom in placing the electronics where I want them to be inside the airplane. Plus, servo wires are easier to come by than DF13 connectors and their wires.

I liked servo conectors. the new ones are hard to unplug and easy to damage, I cant have all the equipment for all my vehicles, and conecting and disconectig telem and gps is very dangerous.... this doesnt use to be a problem with servo conectors.

Sounds like going back to servo connectors (aka .1" pins) should be considered, despite the bulk.  

Or Solder through hole terminals, less convenient but still a comparative gold standard for reliability.  

Hey Serge,
Chuck experienced a similar situation in Montana with a loss of GPS just after takeoff. Maybe the cause was simply the GPS connector. I'm still mystified how a GPS failure could cause such a dive. Tridge hasn't gotten to the logs yet to analyze.
Stay safe over there! Don't get yourself captured by the bad guys.

Hey Serg,

As Iam mentioned I had the same issue occur in Montana where GPS was lost and the plane headed for the ground at full throttle.  We have been hot gluing our connectors as well.  One thing for certain with these GPS failures we have become extremely fast builders and repairmen!  haha!

I've shaved the locking tabs on my cables by a fraction of a hair and haven't had problems unplugging since. If you don't take too much off, they will not come out on their own, but will come out with a tug without feeling like you're going to rip it out. 

It also helps to angle your pull slightly in the direction opposing the locking tabs. No more than 10-15 degrees, otherwise you risk stressing the connection between the DF13 and PCB. 

Indeed the stock power module cable is too short. It's close to taut in my skywalker. 

assalamu 'alaikum, yes you guys are correct the original power cables on the APM 2.5/2.6 are short, the Pixhawk ones are much longer. I extended mine by 6-7cm just so it would fit on my TBS Discovery. There are places you can get longer ones though, try

http://www.infinity-hobby.com/main/product_info.php?products_id=10652

On one occasion the wires with the connectors came apart from the plastic tab, Alhamdulillah I managed to put them back in and in the correct order, only one red and the rest are black :-)

Get mobile phone pry-open tools - 5 pack $2.50 or so on eBay. Works perfectly.

Glad to hear from you Iskess! We'll definitely avoiding flying in the places where the real bad guys are. 

This is "best practice" for me on almost all connectors which rely on friction.  Normal hot glue has the benefit of being pretty easy to remove in this kind of application (plastic to plastic)

Exactly DF13 are absolute garbage, they are basically plugin once and replace next time. They are too easy or fragile and can break and its not worth taking the risk thinking the connection is there.

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