Hello All,

i bought a second hand apm 1, to use with ardurover. looking forward to it, it should arrive in 1-2 weeks. 1 have 1 question. the owner told me i could never use the esc with bec, according to him i always have to take out the red wire from the esc and use a seperate ubec. this because if you plug in the usb without first powering the esc with a battery, there was a chance the esc pulled some power through the usb, causing the bord to blow.

is this correct? are you all using seperate ubecs? i cant find something about it on the forums, thats why i ask:)

thanks in advance!

greets vincent

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nobody? how have you guys hooked it up?

Hoi Vincent,

I am not a rover user, but I think this is the same for all vehicles. I ordered a separate BEC yesterday because I want to use 7 servos on my plane and my built in BEC only provides 3A. I think that would be the only reason to have a separate BEC. Having a UBEC (or switching BEC) provides the additional advantage of having less heat produced if you have higher input voltages (3S lipo and up I would say).

The problem you describe regarding having just USB power is not a problem I believe. I have used my ESC's built in BEC, also for quite a while now with a first generation APM 1. If I connected USB only, it caused my servos to jitter and my motor to beep, but did not do any damage; however, I would recommend disconnecting them when you power through usb. I now have a second generation APM 1 (1.4 I believe), and with the same setup, the servos and motor just do nothing if only powered through USB.

What I did in my first setup (first gen APM) was usually to connect the battery when I also connected the USB. 

Hope this helps!

Groeten! Serge

hallo Serge,

thanks for your reply.  then i am going to do it your way. use the built in bec, and alsways connect a battery to it before powering the usb. but it is also good to know that there shouldn't be a problem if i forget the battery one time.

you also say there is a difference between first and second generation, with version one with beeping engine en second not. is it safe to test witch generation i have by powering with only usb and see what happens to esc and servo?

this saves me a second bec on my tiny 1.18 car, thanks !!

groet vincent

installed my apm, and loaded the apm rover firmware with the mission planner. so far so good. but only now i cant see the compass value's in hud moving... does anybody knows why?

Did you enable and calibrate the compass in the mission planner config? Probably you have, but just to be sure =]

Otherwise, I have no clue. 


i did enable it, and just did test trough the cli mode, than i see al figures moving. just dont see the hud moving...


One of the ArduRover User Group members determined that the HUD heading will not update unless you have a GPS lock: http://www.diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/apmrover-1280-a-fun-ugv-pro... 

Hope this helps.



serge you where right, i only moves when gps lock is there;)

after some headbreaking hours(when activating auto mode it only whent in a straight line in a wave pattern from left to right) i finnaly got it working and driving waypoints:) the problem was solved by reversing the roll;)

it does ride the waypoint quite nice, only the accuracy is not very high. 4-5 m close to a point is normal. is there any way to improve this accuracy?

a ex04 sonar came with the kit. the owner used it on arducopter on the pitot port. can i use it with ardurover on the same port?

kind regards,,



What GPS are you using? The most acccurate GPS from 3DR is the uBlox LEA-6H. Also, what model of compass are you using? The most recent is the HMC5883L.



i am using the standerd mediatek gps. i have seen the ublox, but 80 dollars for a gps is to much for my right now, and that still has only 2.5 m accuracy... isnt there any better/cheaper?

type of compass i dont know, is is soldered directly on the imu shield...

any answers on the sonar port?


In the GPS world a cheaper GPS is not synonomous with improved accuracy unfortunately. Also, according to Chris Anderson, his emperical rover testing definitely indcated that the uBlox LEA-6 performance was a cut above the older MediaTek MT3329.

Just a thought.



yes i was afraid so;) maybe i will buy a ublox, but cant afford at the moment;) thanks for your answer.

anyone has an answer on my sonar question 2 posts back?




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