Some newbie power questions

So I've been mostly playing with quads and small planes, so I haven't dealt with servos that much so I've got a few power questions for helicopter setups, but it's always better to look like a fool and ask then burn up electronics. 

  • Should I be removing the JP1 header and powering the APM and servos independently? (Say 5v to input and 5v to output from different power sources?)
  • On my servo outputs, can I run the servo signal pins to the APM outputs and put the servos on their own 6 volts? 
  • Does the new apm 2.5 current/volt/power device supply my input side power with JP1 removed? (Will this replace the need to run power to the input side as described above).

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  • Thanks for the clear answers guys.  The PDU board seems clear so I'm going to put one together.  Right now I'm only running my 500 now with small servos.  Now if you excuse I have to go remove JP1 before I break something.

  • I had seen Roberts setup before, and looked also at others. Theres a Skookums item for this purpose.

    I made a small power distribution block for the servos, from a right angle 3x7 header. Connect the two shorter rows together with wire/solder, these form the ground and + buss. Leave all the longest row separate, these pass the servo out lines from the APM to each servo.

    Put a shink wrap tube through it, and make a masking tap 'mold' to pot it in epoxy. The tube leaves a whole through which to zip tie it in place.  It's tiny and light!

    On the output side, plug the BEC supply for the servos.  Connect also maybe two ground pins to the APM, and each of the servo signal out lines.

    IMG_6764.JPG

    IMG_6765.JPG

  • First question: how big is the heli?

    1) Yes, absolutely.  Do not even THINK about powering your your APM via JP1 and the same regulator as the servos.  Don't do it.  They MUST be powered independently, no matter the size of the heli.

    2) Yes, that is the best way to do it.  On a 450 or smaller, you can get away with putting 6V on the output rail, with JP1 removed, and plug the servos directly on the Output rail.  However, on anything larger, the power trace on the output rail is not meant for the high amperage being drawn by hungry digital servos.  You could burn it out.  On bigger helis, you must use some form of off-board power distribution for the servos.

    3) Yes, I believe it does.  I don't have one, but I think that's the idea.  Best to check though.

    Here's a simple power distribution board I built.  The 16 pin chip is a darlington transistor for LED lighting.  You don't need to worry about that part.

    DSC00242.jpg

    DSC00244.jpg

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