I've been performing some flight tests using two batteries and I'm just not getting what i was expecting. I am hoping other Y6 users can chime in with their battery/flight times, and see if i'm really off.. or if this is what is expected. Lastly, most importantly.. what can I do to increase flight time? It would be a goal of mine to achieve 20minutes.

Battery 1: Turnigy nano-tech 5000mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack

Approx 8minutes.

Batttery 2: ZIPPY Flightmax 5800mAh 3S1P 30C

Approx 10 minutes.

Using 850kv 3DR blue motors. Long Range Telemetry module. Dragonlink for Radio. Carrying Tarot 2D gimbal (+200g) no camera for these tests.

Attached images of flight times and VCC/volt data.

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I've seen this info before, but have also seen some contradicting statements (maybe we can get some clarity here?)

I have all 6 my ESC's providing 5v power as BEC's into APM - hoping for redundancy here :)

My Hexa flies for 20mins at 5.5kg on 6S 12000MAH with plenty of power. The ESC's don't even get warm (only pulling around 4 - 5A per ESC).

In 3S the current could be a little higher to lift off, but I still doubt this would be the cause.

Need to clarify here.

I assume we are talking about the ARDUCOPTER Y6 here.

On the arducopter y6 PDB, the red and black lead is only used if you are going to power servos on the OUTPUT side of the APM with JP1 removed.

The APM gets its (Stabilised) power from the Power module, not from the ESC's. Only the Signal Wires are fed from the PDB to the APM.

Since there are no servos likely to be used on my Y6, I have removed the power lead from the PDB entirely. Not needed.

So its perfectly safe to leave all the leads connected from the ESCs to the PDB, I have had mine like that since the beginning.

Good info.  It wasn't obvious at first that the Power Module had a BEC function built-in.  I am a little uneasy with the wiring, as the red lead has already pulled out of the micro connector once.  I wouldn't mind soldering a more robust wire onto it to power the APM/GPS/Compass/Telemetry.

The instructions also explained to *not* remove the power lead from between the PDB and the JP1-removed APM because this is how ground is shared.  I'm leaving it connected for this reason.

For an added camera gimbal, I was going to use the 5v power lead from the PDB.  Do you know which of the ESCs this draws from?  (One, or more than one?)

I'd love to know the answer to your question regarding which ESC the 5v PDB lead draws from. I have been powering my RX through the APM, but it sounds like it may be better to power it from the PDB 5v lead.

I have a 3DR power module, and I also have the PDB 5v lead plugged into the APM. Is this the way it should be? or can I disconnect the PDB 5v lead and use it for my radio? 

My understanding is that the (larger) jumper controls whether the APM gets power from the:

  • INSERTED: 5v rail on the servo pins, connected to PDB
  • REMOVED: Thin cable from PM's BEC powers all electronics, Servo pin PDB cable provides ground only, ESC power unused.

Is this correct? I suppose if the schematics are open, would be easy to confirm. 

Found this a while back. Cleared everything up for me.

Yup, that explains it very well. It

Now you see , you learn something every day.

Something that bugged me yesterday, was the ground loop. some further checking, and as correctly stated by GroundLoop, the 5V actually DOES need to be connected to the OUTPUT side of the APM (Jumper Removed) , to ground it properly. I have been flying for months without ground. Touch wood no problems yet, but I will now go and put a ground in too.

Just made some measurements on a spare PDB. The Power is shared by all the ESCs.

   If I understand correctly, you are saying that 5v is to be connected from PDB to APM output? (without JP1)   Until now,  you've had only signal between them?

   5v is only needed on the output if you are powering servos (NO JP1) or powering APM (JP1, NO PM)

  I'm not understanding the ground loop.

It's simply that the red/black wire pair carries both 5V power from the PDB and Ground to the APM.

Even if you remove JP1, you should install it to couple the PDB/ESC signal ground to the APMs ground.  If you remove the cable altogether, the ESC and APM may not share a ground reference.

You need the red lead (PDB->APM power) and JP1 inserted if you don't have the Power Module supplying power, of course.

I think we're saying the same thing.

We are saying the same thing, though I have never used a PDB.   Maintaining ground between both boards makes sense to me.  I think that's what Wessie was getting at.  It's the 5v that threw me.  I think I understand now, the PDB has a 2-wire red/black?  The 5v is unnecessary,  but part of the cable.

  I've always connected ESCs directly to APM.  

100% correct. It was all about the earth. But after scratching some more i realised that the reason mine worked was that the PM is supplying the ground reference too, so the cable is not needed anyway.

But as always, you can never have enough ground reference, so the cable would be a good idea to keep.

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