Power Distribution Board


After putting together a Carbon Core 950 and trying to fit all the electronics, ECSs and miscellaneous electronics into the frame, I realized I really need to use a power distribution board to keep the installation clean. I know there are some pretty good power distribution boards available, but none that did what I exactly wanted. I ended up cobbling together a MultiWii board with an AttoPilot 180a sensor. It works, but I had to ship a board from AU and the installation still wasn't as clean as I would like. With this in mind, I started working on a 8 position power distribution board with integrated current and voltage sensors. I also added a place for (3) 1000uF caps (I removed the ones attached to the ECSs in order to gain a little space in my installation and moved them to the board.).

I was planning on sending the board above to a PCB fab shop as a prototype order, but was wondering if anyone else would be interested in something like this?

Not sure how much something like will cost, but if there is interest, I can figure out the BOM and labor costs. At this point, it would be easy enough to create versions for a quad, a hex, and an octo, with or without current sensing, and with or without capacitors. I sourced it with (4) 5 watt shunt resistors, so the max amps could be considerably more than the AttoPilot version... I know the large Octos are drawing more than 180 amps at full throttle, so I calculated this version could handle 282 amps.

I'm just throwing ideas around at this point, so any input would be appreciated.

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  • I like what you are doing, there is not a fully loaded Arducopter PDB type of board anywhere bar hacking your own, Good work!

  • I fly the APM 2.6 and use 6s batteries. That was certainly a factor in designing this. I also believe something the flies shouldn't have parts that dangle. I solder all the connectors I can after experiencing a mid-flight mechanical due to a deans connector that came loose on a small quad. (All motors and AP are hard-wired, but the battery to power distribution isn't. I am now using the XT-60 connectors, which seem to offer a much more positive connection than the deans.) I like the gryphon, it seems solid, but I would still have to remove all the connectors, which is a PITA...

    I am surprised nobody commented on the central capacitors to replace the individual caps on the ECSs. I find the caps to be the most troubling piece when trying to fit everything in the frame. Moving them to a single location helped me a ton.
  • Re: Current sensor - the new immersionrc version for the ezOSD now supports 6S. I found it to be a more elegant waz of Current Sensing, as I was going to use immersionrc for the FPV kit anyway. I also have the spektrum current sensor (easy to run inline) and telem kit, for non-FPV flights.

    But I see the value of using an "APM recognised" current sensor, to allow more accurate compassmot.

  • I approached it differently...I designed the frame around the Gryphon, BEC disc and all. :-)

    It's a beautiful bit of kit, but for the life of me, I'll never work out why they figured we needed 4 x 12V BEC outputs, and only 2x 5V.

  • Developer

    Here is a low cost prototype PCB option:


    The main problem is that they just produce 1 oz PCBs (0.03mm copper thickness), and you want a 2oz PCB to handle that kind of current.

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