I've been jumping through some hoops to get things powered on my multi-rotor rigs lately and it occurred to me that a slightly more advanced version of the 3DR Power Module could solve it really neatly.
My suggestions for 2.0 is in addition to the power going to the APM and the pass-through power for the motors, have additional 5V and 12V breakouts. It would also be good if it could handle more than 4S, for larger Octocopter rigs:
Input: 12-25v (3S-6S)
1) bypass (same as input)
2) 5v for APM
3) 5v for other (camera gimbal servos, video tx, etc)
4) 12v (some common FPV gear, etc)
And I think the APM's power connector should use a more secure connection to the Power Module, I've had it come loose (thankfully not in flight) because that cable gets yanked around a bit connecting and disconnecting packs. Perhaps a Molex style connector with a little latch.
All in favor say 'aye!'
7v would be sweet to, many tx equipements use 7v
I have been working awhile with similar idea so let's start to look this more. I was also looking to have one power unit that will have 2 inputs for redundant 5V supply.
maybe this , instead of PTH08080 on 3DR Power Module
that is ok looking device too but i would say that it would be better to have 2 separate psu units especially if we plan to run digital servos from one of them. Digi servos tend to eat a lot of energy and you don't want that APM power is starting to fluctuate
I will look if we can make test boards for this TI chip to see how it works in generally. My original idea was to have one integrated psu on main board and then having space for another that can be either 5/6/7 volt unit and all these would go trough main current measurement.
I use an adjustable stepdown buck converter
DC-DC 4-40V(in) to 1.25-37V(out) Voltage Converter Step-Down Buck Module
they are available on ebay for $4 - $15 free shipping (without wires shown in pic)
Heres oneThat goes lower on the input
As an added suggestion for the future, how about building the Power Module into the Power Distribution Board. I think that would be super slick, one less added on component. Has anyone considered that? I cut the connector off my PM and soldered it directly to the PDB to at least get rid of the extra connection.
I would agree with 2 separate PSUs. Have the APM with an on-board regulator 2.5A is good enough (no servos), that can handle 3s-10s supply voltage. Have a breakout board for VI Sense and it carries the power from the VI sense board to the APM (Higher voltage lower current, better for wire being thinner). Reconfigure the APM to have CH1-CH11 (PWM Outputs) on a separate bus that can be powered with 5V-7V UBEC (or whatever regulator) that you need for your application.