On last days I listen some comments from APM-Pikhawk users about vulnerable wires and connectors for GPS, RM, etc. on my oun, I experienced failed gps wires from new (original) and RM one with some flying time and saw others with "NO GPS" problems, the first I said, try with another wires and was the solution; an other thing, they are difficult to unplug specially for men, many of them unpluged from the wires to add more risk (I uses the nails ;)) .
3DR guys, Isn't possible to think on another better plug system for newer Pixhawk vers?
(It's only a little suggestion to have a better harware day to day, I begun with APM2.0 and never other harware problem, big quality products.:) .Many Thank's
Definitivelly horrible connectors, today I discover a problem with red wire from power module to APM in the APM side, fortunetly the copter was on ground, for a moment ESC becomes beep beep, I look the APM and it was off, I move the red wire and becomes to work again; the copter life depends from that little vulnerable wire, mmm..... I'm not shure if not return to old esc powered or a bec perhaps? ideas?.
That's the same issue I encountered. The connector is not going in all the way, and you can't see that because the PCB inside the case gets pushed down slightly when you try plugging the power in. I ended up having to cut the APM's plastic case around the power socket in order to make sure that it plugs in properly.
Indeed these connectors are horrible. There was talk in the px4users Google group 6 months to a year ago about selecting a different connector type... I think nothing came of it.
You'll all be pleased to know that with Pixhawk 2, we've upgraded to Molex Clik Mate connectors. Super easy to remove and very secure. Out with PH2 this summer.
All new connectors means all new peripherals, right? ;)
Good evening Chris.
I'm sure you have seen dropix from Drotek and their "solid" connectors. Just curious: Why is it you select so small ones which leads to minuscule wire size (easily broken) and for no real advantage of any kind? (Weight perhaps?)
Please let me know.
Advantage ? Anti Vibration Mount. Although I´m a DF13 / Molex hater as well (I even would prefer JST-SH) , the PX Vibration Mount gets inefficient using thicker wires usually coming with servo plugs. At my AUAV-X2, I m using as replacement, since my out of warranty 3DR PX died, I had to replace all wires @ servo plugs with very thin soft, silicon types to achieve low vibs.
Since the PX2 is supposed to come with internally damped IMU this won´t be a topic anymore.
Btw. any official Infos about the PX2 so far ?
Pro-tip that I came across - if you're having trouble with getting your DF-13 connectors out of a Pixhawk, try using a USB plug to lever them out, by bringing the top of the USB plug's metal shell (the metal part with the 2 holes in it), in at a low angle to the base of the DF-13 plug.
The USB plug's metal will slip under just perfectly and by applying a very small amount of leverage (1 or 2 newtons) at the base of the USB plug (around where it turns into a cable) and the DF-13 plug will pop out with zero fuss.
To some people this sounds dangerous, but I guarantee you that it's the quickest, smoothest and safest method (so long as the USB cable's not plugged into something and your DF-13 cables aren't damaged) that I've found.
Thank's for all answers and Chris for take in consideration connectors problem in new pixhawks, the most problematic thing of this connectors for me, isn't unplug, now I adquire a little practice, the problem is that the wire cover finished outside the conector and is extremly fragile there but you can't advertise that the wire isn't doing a good contact during a pre flight check, you take off normally and fails in the air, no important consecuences if it is the RM, may be crash or not if it is the gps compass, craash guarantee if it is the Power module, I'm going to try to take a photo of mine.
here is vid of the new Molex Clik Mate
+1. @Cala Even worse is a "semi" broken wire.. Everything seems ok and in flight.. Bingo! Loss of GPS.. Pretty bad. So as an interim measure:
- Used 2 part epoxy to render the connectors and the wires as "one"
- Soldered decent wires very near the connector (to replace the original ones)
- Used heat shrink tubing to "keep together" the original very thin wires and the new ones.
External M8N GPS just need: Tx, Rx. lines
External Compass just need SDA and SCL lines.
(Ground and 5 volts lines are carried separately by thicker wires from the linear voltage regulator.)
Placing the pixhawk in a separate box insulated from radiated noises (Faraday cage) and mechanically insulated from the frame by M3 rubber stand (Lanier) gives very low vibrations conduction from the frame.
Seems to do the job. (Log files show excellent vibrations results).
For sure the 1.5mm spaced clickmate from Molex looks good, but for the Pixhawks that I have at hand today, does not help at this minute.. 24 AWG wires (0.511mm in diameter) is not big but hopefully will do.
Thank's Henri for the tips, I disassemble today the red wire and it looks that the problem is 1-2 mm upper the crimp, perhaps I can solder there, I have a bad gps one, perhaps I can remove one wire and change it, I'm waiting for new ones but two months and not arrives yet :( .Epoxy looks interesting :)