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!

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  • Just backed! I can't wait to see where this leads

  • Nick, you're right that RF interference is something to keep an eye on. So far the board flies very well and I am not aware of any RF issues, with one exception: I routed the video line too close to one of the servo control lines and it picks up some noise on the current board (you can see my fix on the top of the board in some pictures.) that will be fixed in the next revision to the board.

    As for ground loops, I was very careful to avoid them. Not only that, but I kept the speed controllers and control electronics on different legs of a star ground to reduce noise. It's a little hard to see, but in the picture, the power and ground for the speed controllers go around the outside of the board, while the electronics are powered by the large ground in the center. They are connected in only one place. This is the top layer only, the bottom layer has all the connections between modules.

    3692754763?profile=originalR_Lefebvre, Yes, of course I've flown it! There is video on the kickstarter page, and here's a little more, including a demonstration of the prop guards:

    Sayan, I'll have to see if I have room for that. You could certainly use a splitter if you wanted. In about three years of flying multirotors, I've never had a battery fail in flight. Admittedly, I've run out of power, but that's pilot error, and I don't know that two batteries would help. What kind of failure are you worried about here? I did include battery monitoring as a built in part of the board, so that the pilot can keep an eye on it in flight and land before it runs out. Then again, maybe this is just an issue I've been lucky not to have experienced. I'll put that on my list of things to try to incorporate into the next board revision. Thank you for your suggestion!

  • I'd have 2 battery inputs in parallel. Batteries are likely to die whenever they want, and it's a sorry to kill such a rich board in that battery-dependent accident. Another battery in parallel mode will give you enough insurance.

  • It's a novel concept, that's for sure.  Have you test flown the frame?

  • Hi Michael,

    The RF interferences are big issue. I'd advice to make a proto ...a bare traces, no connectors. Place all boards over, connect them, power all and investigate the interferences and noise. Thus you'll find the best place for different modules for less RF noise/disturbances.

    Power traces and wiring is another issue. You might think of it very carefully to avoid current loops.

    Best regards


  • Morli, I see the button for editing the post, but not for editing my comments, that's mostly what I was referring to. Oh well. I'll just have to be a little more carfelu.

  • Luca, Thanks! I'd love to see what you're designing!

    Jack, I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean.

    Sam, I thought long and hard about that one. I agree that the jump from $30 to $200 is large, but I didn't think very many people would go for an "assemble it yourself" package. I will be making a complete bill of materials available for people that get the bare PCB. I think I can even make it sort of a pre-selected cart that you just head over to digi-key and click buy. It shouldn't be too hard.

    You're 14! That's awesome! I wish I'd had access to this stuff when I was your age. (I'm not that old... I did have computers and sorta had the internet.)

    Morli, thanks for the tip. I don't think I'd tried refreshing the page. (here: I'll mistype on porpoise) 

  • Admin


    "I keep catching typos right after I post. Is there a way to edit posts? "

    Yes ,you can edit your post/comment by clicking the edit function just below your post, if it is not visible then just refresh the page and edit button will be visible.  If you need to edit your blog then pls do , all blogs gets approved or rejected in less then an hour.

  • I don't know if you can edit you kick-starter project.... but you really need something between $30 and $200, i would be happy to pay $60-100 for all the components, but need more than the PCB, and cant spend $200 on the full thing....

    good job and thanks a lot!!! i think it is a great idea!!! i just cant afford it... (I'm only 14...)

  • About time someone made it happen, but a large copper clad board is extremely expensive & unlike the PC era, we now live in a world of RF interference between boards, line of sight requirements, & vertical connectors instead edge connectors, requiring a very large motherboard.

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