DIY Power Distribution


There are various power distribution boards out there but none really were able to accomplish what I wanted for a previous hexacopter build (six battery inputs, six ESC outputs, and a small power lead for the receiver). I'm in the process of building a new small quadcopter so I figured I document the power distribution this time around. This example is less complex than the first one I made for the hexacopter but it illustrates the same process.

The basic idea is to use copper washers to conduct the power and insulate them with rubber washers. This technique can be used with multiple inputs, multiple outputs, wired leads or only the connectors, made with readily available parts at the hardware store for a few dollars, and is scalable from very small to very large multirotors (or any other project that needs high current power distribution).

This pack of copper washers came from Harbor Freight and has enough washers for dozens of multirotors. If I remember correctly it was something like $6. Individual copper washers can be purchased from hardware stores or automotive stores (used for oil drain plug gaskets).

3689492486?profile=originalEverything soldered together and ready to be assembled with the rubber washers. I used a 50 watt soldering iron on this one but had to use a 200 watt soldering gun on a larger version for a hexacopter.

3689492447?profile=originalThese rubber washers might be a little big but I wanted to be sure no metal was exposed on the outside. They came from Home Depot and were less than a dollar. The rubber washers come in many sizes to suit whatever size copper washers are used.

3689492398?profile=originalThis is another view from the side to show how they sit together. One is positive and one is negative.

3689492509?profile=originalTo hold everything together I used some small zip ties to make a power distribution sandwich. Rubber, copper, rubber, cooper, rubber. The layer closest to the camera is positive indicated by the red wire. Once in the frame it can be held down with another zip tie or just by the wires themselves.

Hopefully this will help someone out who either doesn't want to wait for a power distribution board to be shipped or who needs something in a configuration that isn't otherwise available. To be on the safe side check it for continuity with a multimeter before plugging in a battery!

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  • Hi, this looks excellent...Iam planning to build an octo heavy lift even the central board looks nice....
  • Brian, even better, a thread! :)

  • There are all awesome ideas for power distribution for various loads.

    @R_Lefebvre that is a piece of art! Is their a related blog post about that build?

  • T3

    Regardless of all the nice methods here, just put some Plastidip over both sides when you are done to get a nice, clean look and keep shorts from possibly happening. I used it on a quad and it worked great.

  • Moderator
    I have done both the small copper disks from objects suspiciously similar to pre-1983 pennies and the "octopus" for lower ampere

    They both work great. I'll find some photos, cannot upload here w/iPhone.
  • What a great idea, I approve! ;)


  • This is how I started doing mine:


  • I'm flying power rails, the advantage is that you can have a current+voltage sensor on it. This one is for a hexacopter and either one or two batteries (in parallel).


  • Nice idea Luke.  I like the idea of having the plugs on there.

  • This is mine octopus

    imag0569l.jpgIt works well for me.

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