Almost ruined my Pixhawk by pulling out connectors

In a week time I more or less ruined my pixhawk by unpluggin some plugs from it (see photo). First I tried to unplug the buzzer because it really makes a deafening noise. I ended up with two loose wires. Well, the result is the same (no noise) but I had a switch in mind.

Next I had to test the telemetry/OSD. To be sure everything was working I had to swap the plugs between telemetry 1/2. I could avoid the loose wires but as I had to use a screwdriver one of the receiving end of the plug is damaged. Today I ruined the I2C module and the wires came loose at the Pixhawk side.

No, I did not pull the wires (on purpose that is, my fingers often slipped. Hey, I am not a female with the long nails and small fingers that go with it!).

Yes, I studied the video many times. I am not able to reproduce what I see there. I am really pissed, there goes a next order for an I2C module including shipping. Did anyone ever succeed in unplugging a plug from the I2C module? I just tried to unplug another plug just to test and again I ended up with a plug mount in my fingers.

Sorry for the rant, I'll stop now. Just to be curious, am I the only one that can't handle those plugs? And does someone know a flight controller that does use normal plugs? Because all pleasure has gone from using my pixhawk.


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    • This is a cutie :-) I'll try that on my next copter. Thanks for sending the link, I had't seen this before.

  • Distributor

    you can easily unplug the plugs - see here

    • Pity I only saw the 3DR video. Tried it myself and this is indeed very simple. Same solution as Harry and Paul suggest. Thanks a lot for the link!

      @ Harry, I saw your tool. Are you sure your dentist doesn't use screwdrivers from the local hardware store?

  • For what its worth, what would you say if they came unplugged in flight and you lost 10 grand in camera equipment.
    They are doing what they were designed to do and do it very very well.
    I have 5 pixhawks now and have had Zero issues with them and or the connectors.

    You should have stopped and figured it out or asked before adding to the problem.
    If you have a flat tire you change it don't you? Or do you drive it and trash the tire and rim and blame it on the manufacturer.

    Sorry if that's to blunt but again they are doing the job they are designed to do..
  • I had to vent my anger, I should have preceded the title by the word 'almost'. My pixhawk still functions as I found out to me relief. I can't edit the title anymore, alas. In your replies I discovered that quite a few had found a solution for the problem. Maybe if we can document these the rest will avoid these problems :-). I will try the suggestion of Luis of the tweezers.

    Paul's solution with the USB plug looked impractical at first, but I tried it and it works! Be careful (Paul uses the word gently) as it may suddenly come loose as I experienced. You may rip the wires as a result which you just wanted to prevent.

    Harry, might you post a photo of your probe? I can't visualize what you mean.

    Any more solutions?

    And of course as some of you pointed out, the plugs don't fall out. But my servo plugs never fell out as well. I now have a system that I can hardly rebuild while that is the greatest joy (well, for me :-)).

    Thank you all and let more solutions come in!
  • This is all fixable if the pixhawk itself has not been butchered to the same extent. All of the connectors are available to buy with ready made wires. Make up your own new ones.

    This doesn't overcome the crappy connector design of course but it stops a problem from being a disaster.

    I have made a number of new cables up.

  • Yes, These connectors where a problem for me, early on.  You need to find the correct tool.  I have a small flat probe that was a surgical tool in some past life.  I use this to pry up, and push horizontal, on the one side that comes out first.

    The good news is that it sounds like you only damaged the cable end of the connectors, so you should be able to replace the damaged male plug.

    I had to dedicate some time to come up with a workable method of using these connectors.  I have noticed that my buzzer connector is now very easy to get out, good for the buzzer, but maybe not every other cable.  I'm happy I don't have to worry about any of the other connectors falling out.  This is an important issue, if you dedicate some time in figuring this out the trouble will go away.

  • use a usb connector as a blade to gently shift the plug out (from the arrow side of the pixhawk)

  • You should have used sharp pointed twizzers to unplug those connectors, I had same problem as you with an Ardupilot and after I got those twizzers had no problem at all.

    This  are my all time favourites:


  • Nope, you are not the only one.

    I believe the next Pixhawk uses different connectors.

    What we really need is a fast, optical link between an IMU/sensor board and a CPU/IO board with big chunky connectors on it.

    No more broken connectors and with just power and the optical link the IMU board could be very well isolated from vibration.

    Just a thought! :)

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