Aluminum Housing for APM

3689426524?profile=originalhi friends, whenever we fly in automode using APM there is always some chance of a bad crash. we do lose some expensive equipment. APM is quite expensive for almost $400 and not counting the mid night hours that go in debugging. so i have worked on a aluminum APM housing which is quite strong with 1.5mm thickness and is sufficiently large to house the APM and the Rx. The external dimensions are L112xW53xH38mm. Weight is 106gms. The APM fits snugly into the width with enough space to place a Futaba size Rx. I place a Thomas Scherrer 12Rx inside which is quite large. The slots are CNC cut into  PCB grade aluminum anodized channel. slightly heavy but quite strong. he cost works to be high since it is not mass produced and the CNC guy charges lot of money for each piece. would find a way out to bring the cost down so our DIY Drones community can beniefit.

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  • We need more lead housings, or concrete.  Makerbot printed, of course.

  • hi ric, honestly it is not a bash. i almost lost a Rx in a bad crash. so i i found this housing off the shelf. the inside and outside dimensions are perfect for APM2560 board+shield to be fitted inside a skywalker or any narrow fuselage (53mm wide). i got the slots cut on CNC and kept the length extended to house the Rx also. ofcourse the Rx anteenas are kept out through the rear slot. actually housing is just for a few dollars here in india and is of good quality. i think it is worth the extra weight of 106gms added. it does saves the PCB in an eventuality of a crash. it does not has a PCB slot. i just used double sided 3M tape to mount the board inside parallel to the bottom of housing.

  • Moderator
    Sorry Ravi, if this seems to have turned into a bash-fest.
    This site is founded on the spirit of innovation and sharing ideas with your fellow enthusiasts, and your post is actually very interesting.
    Thanks Ravi.
  • can we see an internal picture, this looks like a hammond box where the circuit board slides into side rails inside the box, my main concern is always the weight, protecting the board is probably better achieved by wrapping the apm in a layer of foam. just my idea though, thanks for sharing.


  • Moderator

    I purchased the plastic one from  SparkFun and the ply one from DIYDrones store.

    Although this aluminum one is certainly nicely made, I feel that if either of the above can't protect my APM in a crash, them it probably wasn't survivable anyway.


  • May I suggest politely (and btw, quite a nicely cut box) 

    That you cannot prevent breakage - you can only move it.


    For example, a rash of ankle injuries on the slopes - led to the development of the fully encapsulated ski boot - which completely eliminated the common ankle injury; unfortunately, it invented the now ubiquitous knee injury.


    Another example - my township was tired of broken $15 basketball rims - so they upgraded to "unbreakable" - promptly resulting in a broken $400 fiberglass backboard.


    I suggest, as always, that this problem be broken down into smaller boards, connected via i2c (see grove at seeed) then if some board breaks - others will probably survive - and the plane remains light, friable, and relatively safe to the primary occupants of the planet in the bargain.


    armament is race - heavier ACM means bigger wings, more batteries, larger motor, stronger props, and pretty soon those small hand slices become the loss of a full digit.




  • 2 stage with epoxy and APM between is sufficiant !!! i had a big accident but the APM was safe !!

    but why not if you put your receiver outside as mentionnned by Pauli

  • I would not place the receiver and especially the antennas of the RX into the box. You will not be able to receive your wanted signal like that.

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