Misadventures in power electronics


If you have a story, rant or suggestion about limitations of power products (power supplies, ESC, etc) on your UAV, post it in the comments below.  I am specifically interested in feedback or thoughts on shortcomings in the power products that we at 3DR make, so we can incorporate that feedback in the next generation of products.

A little bit about myself:

I came to 3DR in early May, from General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.  While at GA, I worked on EMALS, AAG and the Railgun team.  I am a graduate of UC San Diego with a BS in electrical engineering (circuits and systems depth).  My current role at 3DR is in engineering, where I mostly work on research, development, and new product design.  

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  • +1 on 3DR selling video hardware.  Every site that sells FPV equipment is chronically out of stock on about 80% of what they sell, unless it's goggles, then it's more like 99%.  (Sorry offtopic)

  • @Justin, totally agree with you. why get rid of the deans?

    People should have the ability to choose their prefered type connector.
    Blocking them will not help to make the APM in ANY way better.

    As for my suggestoin, please add more video Tx/Rx solutions on the 3d Robotics market.

  • I'm currently stripping out all the electronics in my Brookstone 2.0 Rover and using the the platform/body as a starting point to build my own rover around the APM 2.5.  I'm adding more efficient motors, esc, etc.  I came across this power switch for the rovers board.  Something like this encased in a little CAD case would be awesome for the APM. With a green Led light to signify when you have it turned on.


    3692742815?profile=originalSorry for the blurry photos! :/

  • Suggested power switch :)


  • Main power switch would be good!
  • +1 on some kind of main power switch.

    Idea: 12V regulated out on a power module for FPV gear (for 4S+)

  • +1 on 6s power module, support for multiple external current/voltage sensors (multiple power sources and draws).
  • Robert,

    Quick clarification on the airspeed sensor issue: the airspeed sensor does not draw a big load, it is just requires a reference voltage that is in a narrow range in order to give accurate results.

  • Stephen et al,  The 'combo ESC module' has already been marketed... VIDEO.


  • T3

    I agree that an all in one ESC block would be nifty!  I would mount it below, next to the battery.  Even a mounting block with unwrapped normal ESCs and power distribution would be nice.

    I hate the ESCs with bullet connectors!  I recently built two hexas, and all 12 ESCs had bullet connectors I had to snip off.  And to add insult to injury, they didn't come with any shrink tube!

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