So I am working on developing a companion computer platform (used for vision based navigation and obstacle avoidance in indoor/outdoor environments) based on the Intel Joule,it's expansion board, R200 camera, and 2 MIPI cameras) for my new drone (autonomous quadcopter) project.

The computer takes 12v in and a max current pull of 4 amps (only if im really stressing it).

Using a secondary battery to power this is currently unfeasible, and i need to power it from the main copter battery.

Ive heard discussions about how the motors pulling from the same battery is problematic(e.g. voltage spikes,etc.), but I know other project where is being done (E.g. Teal (using a TX1), Intel Aero Drone (using the Aero compute board), and more.

How would one approach this?



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'It depends', mostly on what voltage main battery you're using.  If you're using a 4s or more, then it's pretty easy, you just run the joule off a standard 3-4A 12v BEC.  If you're using a 3s, the joule dev board itself can take pretty much any voltage up to 12.8v so you can just plug it straight into the 3s battery, but when you take off the power drain tends to cause the joule to reboot.  I ended up getting a tiny adjustable step-down transformer and setting it to about 9.5v, which is enough to drive joule dev kit with enough overhead to drive from a flat 3s battery.

If I am running with a 4S LiPo, the 12v UBEC is enough to clean up the power (even the aforementioned voltage spike issue) for the Joule?


Should be, yes, the dev kit has all sorts of power regulators inbetween it and the joule itself.

the best you can do, IF, there is an issue at all with the ripple, is to have another switch mode regulator step down from Vbatt to 12v , then even add a coil and some capacitors if you want, before feeding the companion computer (that surely does not reun of 12v, but switches and filters it further down to 5v , 3v3 or less.) .

Most likely, the computer's PSU  can handle any ripple down to 6v anyway (more than you are likely to see)  - if you would like to try that, you can do so with a programmable lab psu.

There is some really good specific info on this topic here, btw:

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