Hello to the community,

I'm a beginner in this area. To safe money but more important to learn and understand what is happening while being flexible, I decided not to buy a commercial rtf-kit. So after a bit (or more...) of research I came across the DJI Flame Wheel F450 which seems to be a nice and affordable frame. But instead of taking a DJI flight controller I wanted to try the Ardupilot. My problem now is the power distribution and wiring. My setup is:

Frame DJI Flamewheel F450

Motors 4 x DJI Motor 2212/920rpm/V

ESC 4 x 30A / OPTO

Battery 3S 11,1V 5000mAh

Controller Ardupilot Mega 2.5

Receiver The one with Futaba T8J

I read that for the OPTO motor ESCs I don't need several BECs. But for the APM I do. The frame itself got a power distribution (board) built-in, so...

Which BEC do I have to take and

How do I wire all that stuff together?

When do I decide for a 3S or 4S battery?

Are there some graphics which I haven't found yet? Or any beginner tutorials about all this energy distribution topic?

I would be very thankful for any help! Bye, André

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  • Hey at all!

    I'm kind of impressed, that in the end there were so many answers. Thanks for the this! I probably should have marked the sentence bold but I wrote that the frame got a power distribution board built-in.

    Watch this ! So I will solder the APM-BEC now parallel to the two contact points not leading to the motors. Last 2 questions for now!

    When do more Volts (4S in case of 3S) make sense? Didn't really get this.


    Is it advantageous to insert a filter to avoid voltage drops?

    Thanks, I will leave a comment on my proceedings. Greets, André

  • I have a DJI X550 - hex rather than quad - but the principles are the same.

    1. You don't need a separate power distribution board -   the bottom plate of the frame is a PCB that handles this function and has all the contacts for the battery input and supply to the ESCs. Some info here.

    2. The DJI ESCs don't have a BEC capability, you need a separate BEC. I have used both HK and Castle Creations models in the 3A and up class and had no issues. Some info here. 

    3. Solder the input leads to  your BEC to the same contacts you solder the battery input to on the bottom plate of the frame, then the output from the BEC goes to the APM for power.

    4. The X550 is designed for 4S on smaller (8") props and 3S on larger (10") props - both sets came in the box. The X450m manual seems to describe the same principles for the X450.

  • You are going to need some form of PDB, Power Distribution Board.

    The 3DR board is only $15 and has all the connections you need.The PDB will handle the motor drives and manage the BEC portion of the ESCs. Some ESCs do not care if they are paralleled, other do (this depends on if the ESC has a linear output BEC vs a switched output - electronics design).If your ESCs do not like a parallel connecton, simply cut/pull the +V output of all but one ESC (knocking out the pin on one end and covering it is best).

    Regarding wiring... it is easier if you use some 3DR cabling but.. HERE is the harness I used from the APM to the receiver on my quad.

    Look/read THIS thread to see some diagrams and comments on one newbie to this hobby. He finally got off the ground and is beginning to learn to fly his quad.

    Good luck, take your time, and test sections of the build separately before going on.

    I suspect a major 'how to' guide is in the works but the only resource we have at the moment are discussion posts, the Wiki for Arducopter, and our collective experience.

    -=Doug

  • Nobody got a little hint? : (

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