The End of Wiring Woes

3689531742?profile=originalHi everyone! I am finally ready to show off something I've been working on for months! It's a motherboard (which I am calling the MAXboard) that all the various electronics for a multirotor aircraft plug into. It eliminates pretty much any possible wiring mistakes, and all soldering. It makes it much easier to build, repair, and upgrade your aircraft.

This is an open source project, and am I running a Kickstarter campain to get some funds to continue development. I am also really hoping to get the support of the DIY Drones community to help me test it and work out bugs.

There is also a frame I designed to go with it as well as a ground station I think you'll like. I'll post more information on those, as well as some videos, soon.

For more info, or to help support the project, please take a look at my Kickstarter. Thanks!

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Nick, you're totally right, if these modules had standardize dimensions and connectors the MAXboard would be much more useful to use DIYers, but if I make it too flexible, then it's not as easy to use, which was my primary goal. I guess it's a trade off. Hugues's idea of additional headers might be a good compromise. This isn't the final design, just the first prototype, so I'm totally open to ideas.

    Monroe, if you take a look at the frame (you'll have to head over to the kickstarter, as I haven't posted it here yet.) you'll see that the entire upper half of the frame, with all the electronics, are vibration isolated from the motors. Additional vibration isolation on top of that may be necessary, we'll see.

  • Awesome! We'll I'm glad I could help! I actually designed most of the module boards as single components in my PCB software so I can more easily move things around and design other boards. That might save you some time too. (I'd send you the part files, but unless you are working in PADS, they wont do you much good.)

  • Hi Michael,

    Good work, but until there are no standards for device dimensions, connectors, pin assignments...etc., your board could be used just for devices you used. Any change with another device will make the motherboard useless or some cables will be needed.

    It might be good for you to think of an easy to use mainboard with device holders+flexible cable sets+universal connectors+routing of commonly used signals. Thus, one could arrange the wiring according the devices used.

    Best regards


  • Thanks Monroe! I'm not sure what aspect you are referring to. The module nature of the board?

  • I hadn't really thought about it. My goal was to make things really easy, at the expense of some flexibility I guess. Then again, all of the modules just plug in through headers, if those headers were removed you could solder wires to extend any part you want to some other location. I could probably break out an additional solder location for most of those parts so you could either use the existing plug, or solder your own cables in. I'm adding that idea to my list!

  • MR60

    This is a great idea. Did you plan to let the user choose for either integrated or remote components, for the sonar, optical flow and video tx for example ? (a little bit like the PCI addon cards in a PC, connecting to the motherboard, but with ...cables). Indeed it might be too restrictive to have to usse your frame to take benefit of such an integrated board. Some other frame might need another placement of the sonar or optical flow or video Tx.

  • When I began development, I didn't feel like the P4X was sufficiently mature. Is the PX4 pretty solid these days? I imagine I'll make a variation of this design to support the PX4 when I have time.

    I totally agree about the brushless gimbal. I want to make an add-on for the MAXrotor to support it, but again they weren't really a thing when I started development and I didn't want to put things on hold to add that in.

    Thanks for the kind words on the project!

  • I saw your kickstarter earlier today and thought it was a pretty cool idea - any particular reason you're using the APM2.5 hardware instead of the PX4?  It's such a kind of future-looking and featureful platform, I expected some 32bit core running on it.  If it was using the PX4/PX4Flow, I would have jumped on it immediately (I already have enough APM's around, but no PX4's).

    One other suggestion, since you've got pretty much everything and the kitchen sink on there, and since it's all the buzz these days, why not also have 3 motor controllers for a 3 axis brushless gimbal?   That's about the only thing missing...

This reply was deleted.