Connecting LED strip to my ArduCopter

Hi all.

I'm trying to connect a couple of LED strips to my quad multirotor (3DRobotics). The LED strips can take up to 12V input.

I have purchased the Turnigy Receiver Controlled Switch, and have a bit of a struggle finding out how to connect it to my APM 2.5 and my Graupner GR-24 HoTT receiver.

The specifics for the R/C Switch says max. 5V input. I have read the wiring diagram that comes with the R/C switch, but that didn't help too much. Is it so that I should connect the 3-wire connector to my receiver to provide it also with 5V power?

In that case, which socket/channel should I use on my receiver? I have the GR-24 connected to my APM thru PPM, using socket/channel 8 on the receiver.

And how do I set the appropriate control on my Graupner MX-20 transmitter? I want to use my 2 position switch SW2. How do I get this switch to control the R/C switch?

Is it as easy as I think: Connect the R/C switch to socket/channel 1 on my receiver, and then assign the SW2 to channel 1?

As you probably guessed already, I'm a total newbie to this R/C hobby. I would rather ask a couple of questions (as simple as they may seem), than blowing up my APM or destroying my Lipo-battery or something else.

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Replies

  • Voila.

    Finished with the connection. For now, I just connected the load for LED strips together with the main power supply. I will get a small secondary Lipo for my additional stuff in a bit, such as LED, camera gimbal, video transmitter etc.

    Worked like a charm connecting it the way I suggested (and approved by Oliver).

    Thanks for all the help to all of you.

  • Developer

    IOBoard

    Easiest and safest way to do it would be with IOBoard. It has 6 high voltage outputs, can read rc input and many other things.it is full Arduino mini compatible can you can easily program it to do different type light patterns. There is small sample programto make it working with APM too as IOBoard is MAVlink aware.

    jD-IOBoard v1.1, MCU controlled IO Board for driving LEDs, Relays, Servos
    R/C UAV and ArduCopter manufacturer and one stop shop. We make your FPV come true.
  • The three-wire connector plugs into an empty channel on your receiver. That provides control and power for the switch itself and that's what the 5V reference is about. The single bigger red wire is what's switched. It can handle up to 10 amps and 30 volts. One end will go to the + side of your battery, the other to the + side of the LED strips. You'll assign a switch on your transmitter to the receiver channel, it looks like yo9u have that figured out. 

    It is recommended good practice to keep all of this, and similar auxiliary devices, powered separately from the APM (even if the load is theoretically acceptable). That way if anything goes wrong it is much less likely to take the APM down. Some of us go further than that. I don't like to power anything other than the critical systems (motors, Rx, APM)  from the main batteries, but rather from a small separate battery. That's how I'm powering my LED strips and my camera gimbal, That way if there's a short it doesn't compromise the main battery. 

    Also, do you really feel the need to be able to switch the LED strips on and off in flight? I simply plug mine in and leave them on. Even if you're using the main battery you won't notice the difference in flight time. That way you don't need a switch at all, just a power tap to plug into. I use JST connectors, they are tiny and light,

    Hope that helps.

     

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