Having no RC background, I hope to get some answers on the following questions.


-How is the RC receiver powered in the Arducopter setup when following this . Is the receiver powered through the APM?


-I read that you have the choice of powering APM & IMU with the regulated 5V from one ESC or a seperate BEC. If I chose the ESC. is this directly connected on an output? (All ESC's connect to the output of the APM)



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Good point. Not having seen the electronics for real yet, It's difficult to answer. I did find some hints on rcgroups about the receiver being wired to the battery directly, but I can't imagine that's correct.
As far as the APM&IMU being powered from the ESC: on the beta frame documentation page (http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/arducopter-beta-frame), there are some clear pictures, but I can't figure out how the wiring works exactly.
Connecting the RX directly to the battery is a no go.

I guess when you connect the ESC wire to an output of the APM, You also put the 5V on the board.
Is this used for powering the board? I guess not otherwise when for example you have to tune the PID values you connect the APM/IMU with USB to your PC. Then all power to the APM/IMU must be disconnected.
In my oppinion the APM/IMU is either powered with a ESC/BEC or the USB.

But thisstillleaves me in the dark how the RX is powered.

If you read the first para

I quote "ArduPilot Mega gets its power from the RC system."??
You're right, I shouldn't try to think too much after a long day of work.
Don't stare at the wiki page for too long, as there are errors in the power diagram. The one in http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1286011 is more up to date (it shows all the ESC's being powered).
Got it.

From http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/Hardware :
Normally, you will be powering the board from your RC system, either through the RC receiver channels connected to ArduPilot Mega or through your ESC connected through the throttle out channel on the ArduPilot Mega board.

The throttle out is apparently also a power input.
So, if read correctly:
The best way to power the APM is with "external battery input" (7-14V) (directly using Lipo???) or through one of the servo connectors comming from an ESC. With the rest of the outputs to the ESC's only the signal cable may be connected. Should we cut the rest? The 5 V line on the header will also provide power to the receiver.

And watch out here

Here it is said that if you tune PID values youcan connect USB or Xbee. If you read the rest of the procedure, you can hold your quad inthe air whilst USB is connected and changing the PID values. This is only the case with the XBee. Changing PID values with USB must only been done when battery is disconnected!

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I'm also new to the site, and I'm sure the answer is here. I've had good luck reading the manuals as well as just looking at pictures.

That said, I'm surprised a more experienced person has not replied to this yet. Seems that so far on this post, newbs are answering each others questions!

The answer is on the website and if I had more time i would dig it up for you, but I'm sure someone else could answer this much quicker. The site is a little bit spread out and I've had to look around a bit for some things and also have stumbled on things that i wonder where the link to it is!!!
Sorry, the manuals and different sources are still confusing.

The APM/IMU gets either powered by the USB (then you need to disconnect powerlines coming from ESCs/BEC - or you will blow your outputs like 3 core members already done).
For flying you can take a separate BEC or use the ESC power lines.

The Rx draws its power through the APM/IMU in both cases.

Here's the "official" way to connect your RC equipment:
Norbert, we blew it due we misaligned ESC connector to APM and placed it one pin too high and ESCs were powered on that time.. Old saying, DO NOT CONNECT WHILE POWER IS ON :P

Anyways, there are two main ways to do it.

If you have official ArduCopter power distribution board things will be rather easy and it does not matter which powering type you are using.

1) Connect all your ESC to P-PCB and then you can connect BEC output from one of the ESCs to APM.

2) You have external uBEC that you can connect to APM input/output pins, uBEC get's its power from P-PCB

If you dont use P-PCB and but you still have external uBEC, connect all ESCs normally to APM OUT0-3 pins, but you need to cut middle cable from every ESC cables. Then connect uBEC output cable to one of APMs empty pins.

Just like every receiver or other RC equipment, lowest pins are common GND pins, middle is +5v and upper is signal pin. If you accidentally place RC connector upside down, usually nothing will burn.

I will update few drawings more on our Wiki as soon as possible on this issue.
Thanks Jani and Norbert!

Just for my information, I do know the ArduCopter kit will come in different sizes and compositions - will you be selling the P-PCB separately as well?
Yes you can have it as separate too, just today we sent Rev.C to final PCB factory, ETA 15days
Exciting! I think the response on you guys releasing this will be amazing and satisfying :) I'll probably wait for the P-PCB to be released; I think it's cleaner and more tidy that way. I'll need to spend quite some time to work on the other stuff first anyway :)
I'm using the Turnigy Basic 18A ESCs. I don't have the power distribution board or an external uBEC. So, it sounds like I should do the following:
For each of the four ESCs, connect the thee wire connector (black, red, white) to the APM as described in the Arducopter manual, but then snip the voltage wire (red) on three of them.
Is that correct? Or am I confused here? I'm assuming that an external uBEC isn't required, that I can use the BEC on one of the ESCs to power the APM (but should not use all four). Is that correct?

A second question: I'm using a Futaba RC receiver (14-channel). It looks like I should connect the six three-wire connectors to the APM as described in the manual and that will provide power to the receiver. Is that correct? Or do I need to feed power to the receiver using the "Battery" pins on the receiver?

--Robert Beatty


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