DIY multicopter lighting project

DIY multicopter lighting project

I have been working on a lighting setup for my quadcopter that is custom and can perform many different lighting sequences. I also required it to be powered straight from a 3S lipo balance plug, controlled remotely using the aux channel on my transmitter and have a FTDI connector to update the arduino code without removing the microcontroller.

For anyone interested in making their own I hope this schematic, code, PCB design and photos will help out and save you hours of work.

At first I tested the code and design using an Arduino UNO and a breadboard, then when I was happy with how that performed I designed the schematic and PCB to use the ATmega328P microcontroller standalone to reduce the weight and size. One important thing to note is that I wanted to eliminate the external clock and use the 8 MHz internal clock, instructions on how to do that are here.

Build of materials:

  • ATmega328P Microcontroller
  • ULN2003AN Transistor package
  • LM7805 Voltage Regulator
  • 0.33uf Capacitor
  • 0.1uf Capacitors (x5)
  • 1k Resistor
  • 10K Resistor
  • Tact Switch
  • 3S 4Pin JST-XH Socket
  • Male header pins (optional)


All files including the arduino code, eagle schematic and PCB board files related to this project can be found on github. If you have any suggestions or improvements please submit a pull request and I will add it to the code.

Video of it attached to my quad and the different light sequences.


First prototype for testing the circut and arduino code.

Second prototype. This was going to be the final but it was too bulky and my wiring was pretty dodgy.

My attempts at etching a PCB. This was my first time doing this so I made a few mistakes.

The final board. I made the mistake of spraying some pcb coating before soldering which made it difficult, but it works and I didn't feel like spending time on another one.

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  • Teddy, I think you should look at the 3DR store as may be they have the eagle files or the schematics of 3DR ArduPilot 2.5.4 as I got the eagle files of 2.5.2 from there.

  • Your welcome! hope it helps

  • Very cool. I'm working on the same project right now. Thanks for sharing!
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