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Old Jan 06, 2015, 02:57 PM
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APM 2.6 Power Module question

So I'm building my first hexacopter and I initially used a kk flight controller and I got it flying and it flew well, but then decided I wanted to have gps etc so I bought an APM 2.6 kit with gps, pwm etc. Question is I soldered up the pwm inputs to an xt60 connector and the outputs to my pdb and it won't fire up the fc. If I hook the fc up to my computer via usb it powers on, or if I plug my ubec into it that also works. The output coming off the power module when I measure the solder pads show .92 volts. So I should assume it's a bad power module?

Do I even need this power module or can I just as easily hook it up to my castle creations UBEC which supplies 5.1v?
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 03:32 PM
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Here are some pictures of how I wired it.
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 04:04 PM
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If I hook the fc to the ubec, will it still be able to read the battery voltage for telemetry?
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 06:19 PM
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Hopefully somebody else has came across this same issue.
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 06:19 PM
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Your post is confusing.
You don't "solder up pwm inputs to an xt60 connector". The input to the power module comes from your battery. The power output of the Power Module goes to your distribution board. The small 6 pin connector goes to the Power Module connector on the FC. Nothing goes to PWM inputs, unless you are powering the fc by the input rails with a ubec. Those black wires have a specific order they go when connected to the FC PM connector. If it is a pre-made cable that came with the power module you are probably ok.
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_kelly View Post
Your post is confusing.
You don't "solder up pwm inputs to an xt60 connector". The input to the power module comes from your battery. The power output of the Power Module goes to your distribution board. The small 6 pin connector goes to the Power Module connector on the FC. Nothing goes to PWM inputs, unless you are powering the fc by the input rails with a ubec. Those black wires have a specific order they go when connected to the FC PM connector. If it is a pre-made cable that came with the power module you are probably ok.
I guess I didn't write that correctly, I soldered the xt60 to the input of the PWM, its the xt60 that the battery plugs into, then I soldered the output of the PWM to the dist board, and I am using the pre-made cable to goto the FC. So I think we are saying the same thing.
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dronenewb View Post
I guess I didn't write that correctly, I soldered the xt60 to the input of the PWM, its the xt60 that the battery plugs into, then I soldered the output of the PWM to the dist board, and I am using the pre-made cable to goto the FC. So I think we are saying the same thing.
OK gotcha. PWM means pulse width modulation. Use the abbreviation PM for power module. The output of the power module should be exactly the same as the input on the side that goes to the power distribution board. What powers the FC is the small 6 black wire cable. It has the voltage and current sense wires but it also has power and ground for the fc.

You can power your fc via one of the input connections used by the receiver inputs but you wont get the voltage or current readings if you don't use the power module.

If you use a ubec make sure the voltage is less than 5.4v.

CHeers
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Old Jan 06, 2015, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_kelly View Post
OK gotcha. PWM means pulse width modulation. Use the abbreviation PM for power module. The output of the power module should be exactly the same as the input on the side that goes to the power distribution board. What powers the FC is the small 6 black wire cable. It has the voltage and current sense wires but it also has power and ground for the fc.

You can power your fc via one of the input connections used by the receiver inputs but you wont get the voltage or current readings if you don't use the power module.

If you use a ubec make sure the voltage is less than 5.4v.

CHeers
Thanks Mike, that's what I was afraid of, I think the PM is bad then. Sorry about the wrong abbreviations I'm still learning this hobby. I get the correct voltage on the output of the PM going to the power distribution board, but not the 5v which should power the flight controller.
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 05:47 AM
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From your pictures it can be seen that your "power module" is only a voltage / current sensor. It does not have an integrated BEC to power up your APM.

Check out the differences between these two:

Power module with BEC


Power module without BEC

You need an additional BEC or a new power module with BEC.

Regards
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 10:07 AM
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If you look closely that is a 3DR power module. They do not make one without a bec built-in.

PS> If you bought that PM from someplace other than 3DR then it could be a fake and not include the regulator as Marbelo points out. Even though it has "3DR" on the board if you don't buy it from 3DR then it probably is a fake. Also if you assembled it yourself it is easy to overheat those big power leads when soldering and destroy the regulator.
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Last edited by mike_kelly; Jan 07, 2015 at 10:28 AM.
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 01:11 PM
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Thanks guys, that is the issue then, I will use the BEC to power it up and just use this for voltage / current sensing. @mike_kelly, I bought it off of rcgroups classifieds, I'm sure it wasn't from 3dr and yes it does say 3dr on it so it's probably a fake.
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Old Jan 07, 2015, 01:32 PM
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For reference in case somebody else has this issue and finds this thread, take a look at the back of the board, clearly missing some of the components that are pictured in the link to the power module with BEC.
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