Simple APM 2560 Power Hack

I'm constantly loading and testing code and the power setup of the 2560 can be a bit of a pain. Mainly, the radio does not receive power because the Servo rails are only powered via a Lipo, which can be very dangerous. I never do anything but fly with a Lipo connected and I certainly don't connect one indoors. I'm just paranoid that way.


This hack will power the radio half of the servo rail with 5V from the APM's USB connection. The idea is to spilt the 5V rail into two halves. If you use an X-Acto knife you can easily cut the trace connecting both sides. I cut the ground rail in half as well, then used some solder to repair the bridge. Then I connected the 5v from the APM to the input side as indicated below. Now I can power the radio with the USB.



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  • I don't use a lipo indoors either, not normally anyway - I power the Rx with a 5V wall wart. This would make life that much simpler though!

  • nice,like it :)

  • Great idea! I was thinking about that a while ago. Thanx!
  • Developer

    This is such a great idea.


    Simple(ish) and makes it so much easier to user your radio while powering just from the usb.  Easier and safer testing while the quad/heli is on the bench.  love it!

  • Interesting mod..will consider this in future. This shouldnt have issue with external BEC right just connect the BEC on the output side, right? This will make life more safe and prevent those blade strike or burnt esc.

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