PDB signal wires

I have a 2013 Y6 I built from kit. I have always found the PDB board ESC signal wires to be problematic. They are quite fragile. At one stage three of them broke off at the board. I managed to solder them again but they are close together and there are limits to my soldering skills. I see this as a disaster waiting to happen if one of these becomes dislodged by vibration during flight.

I am considering bypassing this altogether and plugging the six ESC signal cables directly into the APM. Is there a problem with this at all? It is obviously a little less convenient but the only functional difference seems to be that the APM will also be getting +5V from all six ESC BECs which wasn't happening before.


You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • This is how most every UAV is configured... ESC straight to the flight controller.  No problem.

    • Well actually I think most people in this group would be using the 3DR Power Module to power the FC since that is how the kits/RTF are supplied. Therefore ESC with +5V could be a problem if plugged directly to the APM outputs without removing JP1. This could lead to unstable power.

      In conclusion, I realised I didn't need to cut the +5V wires from the ESCs - I just needed to take out the +5V connectors on the JR plugs and put some heat shrink on them. Completely reversible. All the same I think I will go opto ESCs next time.

  • No problem. Fire away. Just disconnect the red lead from 5 of the ESC's before plugging in - the APM only needs one 5V source.

    • Yeah I guess that was my question. I don't really want to be butchering the ESCs. The APM is already being powered by the 3DR power module. Is it okay to supply it with 5V from all the ESCs too? Or is that a problem?

    • If you've got the PM, disconnect *all* red wires on the ESC's. The PM powers both rails.

    • Thanks very much Euan - I think I understand. I went and read the APM manual. I guess it might be possible to do what I want to do and remove the JP1 jumper. However I think it would be better to cut the ESC +5V red cables like you suggest. I am not likely to want to use them to power anything. Cheers.

    • Yeah, it's a bit of a pain. I buy OPTO's (no BEC onboard) mainly for just this reason.

This reply was deleted.