Pixhawk connectors

On last days I listen some comments from APM-Pikhawk users about vulnerable wires and connectors for GPS, RM, etc. on my oun, I experienced failed gps wires from new (original) and RM one with some flying time and saw others with "NO GPS" problems, the first I said, try with another wires and was the solution; an other thing, they are difficult to unplug specially for men, many of them unpluged from the wires to add more risk  (I uses the nails ;)) .

3DR guys, Isn't possible to think on another better plug system for newer Pixhawk vers?

(It's only a little suggestion to have a better harware day to day, I begun with APM2.0 and never other harware problem, big quality products.:) .Many Thank's

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  • Afaik there is some improvement to these plugs on the new mini's. Since I have the old plugs though and have actually had trouble with these wires coming out of the harness, i started using a little flat head to unplug then, but it's justa matter of time before the plastic breaks. My solution was to cut the wires right down the middle. I then used a cat5 plug, male from the gps, and female from the FC. This is especially necessary in my build considering i have a cover which the GPS is on topand the fc is underneath. It works great, only thing is being that the cat5 has 8 wires, and mag and i2c has 9, i just spliced 2 ground so it goes 2>1>2 and the 1 being heavier guage wire so no issue there.
  • I'm in this thread right now due to finding exactly the same issue with my 'ebay'-bought pixhawk 2.4.6 with supplied power module.

    I noticed that the small white-coloured mini connector (from the power module) would only go about one-third to one-half the way into the pixhawk power socket. After close inspection of the power module's power plug, I noticed that the white ridge on each side of the white-coloured mini power plug ran across the full length of the SIDE of the power plug.

    In comparison, the pixhawk SOCKET has side notches that extend to a depth of only 1 to 2 millimetres. So it became obvious that the power plug was not properly matched to the power socket. It was an easy fix though. I used a sharp Stanley knife to carve away most of the white side-ridge (on each side of the white plastic plug). I needed to leave about 1 millimetre of ridge......ie not carve away the entire ridge, as at least some of it would be used to slot into the power socket's side-notches. After doing this quick (but careful - since the Stanley knife is sharp) do-it-yourself fix, the power plug was able to fully slot into the pixhawk power socket. A very firm connection was made.

    I had to do this side-ridge trimming for the other connector plugs too (such as the GPS plug and its I2C plug).

    I thought it was just odd how the package supplied all the components, but the customer would then need to sort out these issues, due to supplier incompetence or something.

    tb200 said:

    Totally agree. I've had issues with my Pixhawk's power connector, which would cause my entire machine to power off unexpectedly. It turned out that the plug itself was loose, and no matter how hard I pushed it in, it wouldn't plug into the socket properly. I had to cut the plastic case around the power socket in order to get it to plug in properly.

  • Thank's for all answers and Chris for take in consideration connectors problem in new pixhawks, the most problematic thing of this connectors for me, isn't unplug, now I adquire a little practice, the problem is that the wire cover finished outside the conector and is extremly fragile there but you can't advertise that the wire isn't doing a good contact during a pre flight check, you take off normally and fails in the air, no important consecuences if it is the RM, may be crash or not if it is the gps compass, craash guarantee if it is the Power module, I'm going to try to take a photo of mine. 

    • +1. @Cala Even worse is a "semi" broken wire.. Everything seems ok and in flight.. Bingo! Loss of GPS.. Pretty bad. So as an interim measure:

      - Used 2 part epoxy to render the connectors and the wires as "one"

      - Soldered decent wires very near the connector (to replace the original ones)

      - Used heat shrink tubing to "keep together" the original very thin wires and the new ones.

      External M8N GPS just need: Tx, Rx. lines 

      External Compass just need SDA and SCL lines.

      (Ground and 5 volts lines are carried separately by thicker wires from the linear voltage regulator.)

      Placing the pixhawk in a separate box insulated from radiated noises (Faraday cage) and mechanically insulated from the frame by M3 rubber stand (Lanier) gives very low vibrations conduction from the frame.

      Seems to do the job. (Log files show excellent vibrations results).

      For sure the 1.5mm spaced clickmate from Molex looks good, but for the Pixhawks that I have at hand today, does not help at this minute.. 24 AWG wires (0.511mm in diameter) is not big but hopefully will do.


    • Thank's Henri for the tips, I disassemble today the red wire and it looks that the problem is 1-2 mm upper the crimp, perhaps I can solder there, I have a bad gps one, perhaps I can remove one wire and change it, I'm waiting for new ones but two months and not arrives yet :( .Epoxy looks interesting :)

    • I am new to the pixhawk and the wires plugs from my GPS are the same kind that were pictured a few posts ago......with tubing covering most on the wires. The only think is the Magnetometer plugged right in, but the GPS only fits with the plug off to one side and therefore missing one of the pins from the pixhawk. Does anyone know if it will work like that, or do I have to find the proper DF13 and change plugs?

    • Yes that's a common issue. So much so some gps's come with both 5 hole and 6 hole connectors and you use whichever one you need. You will want to carefully remove the 5 and instal the 6. There will be a wire/s missing between the black ground and the rest of them. You can buy a cable and then use a pin to carefully pull the wires. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570....

    • here is vid of the new Molex Clik Mate


  • Pro-tip that I came across - if you're having trouble with getting your DF-13 connectors out of a Pixhawk, try using a USB plug to lever them out, by bringing the top of the USB plug's metal shell (the metal part with the 2 holes in it), in at a low angle to the base of the DF-13 plug.

    The USB plug's metal will slip under just perfectly and by applying a very small amount of leverage (1 or 2 newtons) at the base of the USB plug (around where it turns into a cable) and the DF-13 plug will pop out with zero fuss.

    To some people this sounds dangerous, but I guarantee you that it's the quickest, smoothest and safest method (so long as the USB cable's not plugged into something and your DF-13 cables aren't damaged) that I've found.

  • Indeed these connectors are horrible. There was talk in the px4users Google group 6 months to a year ago about selecting a different connector type... I think nothing came of it.

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