Hey DIY Drones community,

I'm a newbie in the RC and UAV domain, but I really wan to learn :)

This is why I've recently bought a ready to fly plane from 3D Robotics (https://store.3drobotics.com/products/3DR-ARF-APM:Plane).

I'm still in the process to understand how everything works, and I'm stuck with my RC controller. I've bought the Spektrum DX6i controller but I don't  know how to connect it to my apm board (see picture). It must be something very simple but I could find the answer on the web or on youtube.

Thanks for any help.


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You will need to bind your transmitter with a receiver, which you will connect to the apm. If you didn't get a receiver with the radio, you'll need to get one.

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your advice.

I think I've got a receiver as well, and I think my problem is that I don't know how to connect everything.

The Spektrum receiver should blink when I connect it to my apm board. But when I connect my black/red wire to the receiver, nothing happen.

As I'm still learning, I've probably miss a point or done something wrong.

Do you know how to turn on the receiver through the ardupilot ?




As Scott has said, you must bind the Spektrum receiver to the Spektrum transmitter if you have not already done so. Instructions for binding the receiver to the transmitter are in the Spektrum DX6i instruction manual DX6i Manual up near the front of the manual. Once your receiver is properly bound to the transmitter, the led on the receiver will light to indicate that it is receiving a signal from the transmitter.

You must connect the receiver to the APM following these wiki instructions:Setup R/C gear Then following these wiki instructions to configure the APM for your plane: Configure APM



Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the links and your answer.

I didn't bind yet the spektrum receiver to the transmitter. The fact is I don't know how to connect it to the ardupilot to supply electricity to start the binding process.

In the Spektrum manual, there are two ways for the binding. The first one is by using the receiver battery and the second one is by using a ESC (I don't know what that means :D).

In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsQy0OIlVp0), the guy do the binding process using the battery. But I can't do that with the ones I have. In fact all I have right now is display in the picture below. So my question is do I need to buy a specific wire or something else to plug my receiver to the battery ? Could I do the power supply using my ardupilot board ?

I feel a bit stupid, because it must be very simple for you guys... As it's a brand new domain for me, my questions are probably not relevant. So do not hesitate to correct me if I'm doing or saying something wrong

Thanks again for your help.



Remember, the only stupid question is the one that did not get asked:-)

First off, how are you powering your APM? PM or BEC? 

If you are using the Power Module (PM), you can hook the receiver into the APM receiver input power rail while powering the APM with the PM.

If you are using a BEC to power the APM, then you can use the output of the BEC to power the APM and take power from the APM receiver input power rail.

You should really not use the BEC in the ESC to power the APM.

Take a look at this wiki instruction on how to power the APM: APM power supply



Hi Thomas,

I've googled to find what means ESC ( electronic speed control) and BEC (battery ellimination circuit), and I don't think my plane is powering using that. As I understand whit my little brand new rc knowledge, I think my plane is powered using the power module (I've added a picture just to be sure).

I've already connect my battery plane to the apm and everything works fine. My APM board start to blink and the GPS as well. So I think (I hope) it's all good.

My next plan was to test my RC transmitter with APM. But I don't know how to bind the transmitter and the receiver. The process by itself is pretty easy but I don't know how to supply power to the receiver to turn it on and then be able to start the binding process. Can I connect the black and red wire that goes from the input of my APM board ?




It looks like you are powering your APM with a PM (Power Module).

In the picture above I can see the receiver black and red power cable.

You can plug the receiver black and red power cable into the APM receiver input power rail connecting the power connector black wire (-) into the lowest pin of the input three pin connector and the power connector red wire (+) into the middle pin of the input three pin connector.

Since the binding plug must be in the battery connector on the receiver, you will have to plug the receiver power cable into the lower two pins of one of the receiver outputs. Just make sure that the red wire (+) on the connector goes into the middle pin of the three receiver output pins.

Then power the APM with the PM and follow the Spektrum binding instructions.

Worst case, you might try and find a friend who is familiar with R/C equipment and have him help you.


TCIII Admin  

Hi Thomas,

You right, I think my best option is to ask a friend who knows about RC :)

I was so (too) impatient to make everything works.

Thanks again for the time you have took to help me.


Hi Arnaud,

The binding process for spectrum RC and receiver ( Rx) is simple.

We usually bind them first separately  and then play with all the other connections.  I recommend you to do that first( bind and test and then connect it to APM).

To bind a spectrum Rx to the transmitter is as follows.  You need the bind plug and receiver battery. The procedure is well documented in the quick start file of your tx here. Download this and read it first( point 5). You probably will easily understand it. This is little different than my  spectrum+JR setup detailed below.

Two things needs to be done. You need to plug in the bind plug ( seen in your photo) in throttle pin of your receiver) and power it on. You can plug the power to receiver to any other servo points( elevator, aileron, rudder, flap etc etc) There is small press switch behind the transmitter, press and hold that  While powering ON the Transmitter , the led  near by(back of the transmitter) will start blinking . This indicates the binding process. You can switch on you Receiver at this point too. The Led on the receiver goes study once binding  is complete. The Led on the transmitter too will go study ON. Once that is complete , you can switch off the Receiver and remove the bind plug. Then power the receiver on again. See if the led in it is study ON. If so , then switch of the transmitter ( Tx) off and watch the Led on the receiver. If it goes Off then all is well. switch on the transmitter and of Led on the receiver comes  on then, you have successfully completed the bind process. Once Bind is complete , switch off both RC and Rx and remove the bind plug. Switch on both and test. The Led should be study ON in both.

You don't need it to be connect to APM for binding. Bind is best done using stand alone method described above. All you need is a 4.8 or 6.0v battery which would have come along with your spectrum RC. You may also have few servos in the box. Plug one of then to say elevator or rudder on the Receiver and when the corresponding control stick is moved on the Tx , the servo should respond.

In your case , the bind plug( orange taped) needs to be plugged into power or bind port in the receiver( your photos show that you have plugged in already,Make sure you have plugged it in right port). Plug in the battery and Led starts blinking. press and hold the trainer switch on the transmitter and switch  the power ON in the transmitter. Do not worry about fail safe setting and other stuff at this point. This can be done later.

Pls try this and we can proceed from there. Let us know if you need any other details.


Hi Morli,

Thank you very much for this detailed information and the pictures. It helped me a lot to understand the process.

I think my problem is that I don't have any specific battery to power the receiver. The only things I had out of the bow was :

* the transmitter,

* the receiver

* the bind plug

* and 4 1.2v spektrum batteries (the ones you can see on the pictures)

But I don't have any specific wires or battery that I can use to power up the receiver.

I asked a friend of mine and he will have a look as well tomorrow.

With your help and him I'm should be able to do it :D



I think my problem is the same as there -> http://www.rc-airplane-world.com/spektrum-dx6i.html

"Binding instructions are clear in the manual, but you may not be able to follow them exactly if your DX6i bind plug only has either male or female Rx connector, and not both. The manual states to connect the bind plug to the charging connector of the switch harness (which, incidentally, is not included in the DX6i set...)"

Hey Guys,

Good News, I've finally succeed :)

I've used the "thro" wire from my plane to power up the Rx.

I didn't do that in the beginning because the wire don't fit perfectly to the receiver and I had to force a bit to put i inside. 

But after that I've been able to power up the Rx and I saw the orange light. I waited until the light stop to blink and that's all :D

Thanks again for all your answers.They have been really helpful !

Have a good day.


Congrats Arnaud,

"Thro " is throttle wire just in case. You also do not need three wire switch harness.as mentioned in manual or your reply link

Yes that's all but do not forget to remove the bind plug. It is only needed when you need to bind new receiver or when your existing receiver forgets its master( Transmitter). Keep it safe, you may need it time to time. The bind plug is nothing but small peice of wire that shorts  signal pin to ground on the receiver ( dedicated port/channel.

Now , remember when binding, all the trim , switch and stick positions are memorized by receiver. So when you fly for first time, you may have to trim the the control sticks using trims and set few things to make your airframe fly straight/level. Once you have trimmed and are happy with the flight,  land and  rebind the receiver with same procedure without changing any thing on transmitter settings. This step is important.

When  you are flying and for any reason , receiver looses connection/signal from transmitter, the fail safe mode kicks in. So you airframes safety and longevity depends on fail safe setting. I was lethargic in this step and lost one nice skywalker recently :(

This is while you are flying bare bone( without any autopilot controllers).  With autopilot ( AP) in place,  AP detects the loss of signal( usually at throttle signal) and triggers previously programmed action which  usually is RTL/H ( return to home/land etc).

Once you have reached this point of progress, test the RTL functionality by switching off the TX on ground and later in safe flying height and watch if RTL works fine.  Your adventure ride has begun and have fun.



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