Hello world.

Firstly, I'm new to this (oh great I can hear everyone say) haha.... and I'm not asking this because I'm dumb. I'm quite a nerd when it comes to technical things. However as simple as it may seem, I want to make sure I get the connections correct.

I have purchased the DIY 3DR Hex-b copter and I'm putting it together - nearly done too.

However the lack of documentation of how things go together is rather frustrating, because there is so much content that "assumed" in the construction document.

I have a board that came pre-build with 6 ESC xt60 plugs on it, and it's where the main battery goes in to as well. From that, I'm guessing the ESCs little 3 pin plugs get connected to the 6 three pin groups. From there there however there are 6 coloured wires that get plugged it in the Ardupilot board... But to which plugs? Do they going in the Outputs to the first row, the second row, or the third? Is that 6 wire length even required? Or do the ESC 3 pin plugs go straight to the Ardu board?

Unfortunately there is way too many assumptions about the construction of these bad boys. The manual basically just says "connect it". There aren't any hows, or specifics, or colours or anything.

If anyone can point me in the right direction with photos, I'd be very happy. :)

The UK arducopter.co.uk seems to have gone in the last 24 hours, and I was going to use it's great instructions... but I can't now. :)

Loving this little community too.  Thanks for your future answers. :)

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  • Well, I just bought a multimeter, and yep, the board is wired the way the diagram says it is. :) Now I continue to wait for the transmitter and batteries...  * Like a kid waiting for Christmas *

  • Hi Guys,

    Thanks heaps for the immediate responses. This had REALLY thrown me, because I looked at the board and thought that nothing is connected. This is a photo of the board. It looks like all the connections are isolated from each other.


    As it turns out, according to the schematic diagram of the board, it is connected under the paint.


    This is the board in question that comes with the kit (just an FYI)


    But, they actually have the board layout and schematic files to view. If you are like me and are running Mac, you can download a program called Eagle, (www.cadsoft.de/freeware.htm) which let me see the actual board. I haven't been able to test this out yet/confirm because I haven't got a continuity tester as my multimeter has died. I'm going to have to trust this drawing is correct.

    So basically, assuming that board is as the drawing says, I can see yes, as to where the plugs are meant to go, and also how the power is meant to work.

    I was VERY tempted to start doing extra soldering of all the pins, but also for the power plugs too. The board itself is painted, and so it just didn't make sense.

    Charles, I noticed you have the power lead running in to the #1 set of pins. My Hexboard has a power lead coming from it, but I'm going to guess it's redundant, because I'm going to be using the power lead that came with the ArduPilot (http://store.3drobotics.com/products/apm-2-5-kit).

    Thanks guys. :)

    PS... The UK site is back! :)   (http://www.arducopter.co.uk/)

  • The documentation here definitely needs a lot more work. I just finished completing my first Quad and I too stumbled on these things.

    Here's one page which has bits and pieces of the answer about connecting the ESC/PDB signal wires to the APM output. This can be done in a much more user friendly way.


  • Hi Steve,

    Yes this is the subject of much discussion regarding Wiki instruction improvements.  Not familiar with your particular set up but:

    Generally the ESC "small plugs" could go directly to the OUTPUTS pins of the APM2.5 with the black or brown wire (ground) outside and the signal wire (white or orange) towards the inside of the APM.  The sequence is critical so set motor 1 and its respective ESC in the "1" location and so forth.  

    I believe the six pin header cable is for your radio receiver to APM INPUTS.  The 6 pin header usually goes on the APM pin 1-6 (inside pins of INPUTS).  You will also need to power the receiver from the APM with a power and ground lead that goes to the receiver.  All receivers are set up differently so you must figure out which pin is for the signal, power and ground.  You could also just use six common servo extensions but the cable provided saves weight by eliminating unecessary duplications in power and ground connections between the APM and your receiver. Please correct me if this is wrong or confusing.     

  • ok Im not using a hex but on my apm2.5 my diydrones quad breakout board connects to the output pins 1-4 (the top row of pins) & correspond to the motors on the breakout board m1-m4

    (on apm = top being signal pin, middle row positve 5v, and ground being bottom row)


    if you are powering the apm from the inputs verify if the jumper needs to be set also I cant remember off the top of my head right now

    yours of course would have more wires for the extra motors and would follow the same order on the rest of the pins


  • Developer
    They go on the top row. Which is the signal lines. Marked S. the next row down is 5V marked + and the bottom is GNd marked -. It's a standard RC 3pin servo connection for each output. Since you don't have servos you only need the signal and one GND wire.
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