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If You Fly Multi's, You Need A UBEC!

If you run Opto esc's like most higher voltage systems do or you just want some electronic insurance for your rig, you are going to need a UBEC!

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Why Do You Need a UBEC?

A Universal Battery Elimination Circuit (UBEC) is a DC regulator (switch mode) that will take the high voltage of the crafts main a multi-cell lipo pack (2S - 6S) and convert the voltage to a consistant and safe 5 or 6 volts (usually selectable) for your receiver to operate safely. In multirotors they are additionally a good idea as running the built-in speed controls BEC can cause lead to some very big problems. If you are in heavy wind or you are flying on a very hot day your ESC's could have overheating issues. And this could total loss of power to the receiver. This may not happen, but it could, and in the world of AV/AP, it's always better to be safe than sorry. And with how cheap the UBEC's are these days, for a few bucks, i'll take the extra precaution. Also, with a lot of the higher voltage ESC's they tend to be OPTO and do not have a built-in BEC, so then there is no option, you must run a UBEC.

Recently I was building my Hexacrafter Hex for the Avroto LIFT Series motor review done right here on RCG and I needed a UBEC for my rig. I found the Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli 5A UBEC & Low Voltage Alarm (3~6S). I read several reviews and decided to give it a chance. It offers some very nice features and was very affordable.

The 3in1 providing 5A continuous (up to 7.5A max) output power to your multirotors electronics. A visual low voltage alarm and a built in 'gas gauge' LED power display, this UBEC makes it easy to see what's going on with your batteries! Also included is a super bright white LED that can indicate when you have reached a low voltage condition. (And it is BRIGHT, as in 'see it in the bright sunlight' bright)

I have been using the Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli 5A UBEC for several weeks now and I have to say it works great. I'm not trying to make a case for this particular UBEC, just UBEC's in general. Even installed in smaller quads UBEC's can really help give constant performance to the rig. In smaller acro quads the constant throttle pusling and subsequent hard current draw can cause internal BEC's to fluctuate current a bit. And that current fluctuation can effect the consistent performance of your flight controller. The small addition of a UBEC's constant voltage can at the very least provide your craft with nice consistent operation.

Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli 5A UBECSpecs:

  • Input Voltage: 3S/4S/6S lipoly (11.1V/14.8V/22.2V)
  • UBEC Output: 5V/6V 5A (7.5A max)
  • Low Voltage Alarm: 3.3V or 3.5V per cell
  • LED 'Gas Gauge'
  • Break out Super bright low voltage LED
  • Dimensions: 60x26x13mm
  • Weight: 28g

No matter how you look at it, a UBEC is beneficial to your multirotor. From small acro quads to full blown huge AV octo's (Who can require many UBECs on the same rig) a UBEC is always a good idea. The brand and 'fanciness' I'll leave up to you, but I highly recommend using one!

Last edited by Sleepyc; Oct 16, 2013 at 01:22 PM..

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Old Oct 16, 2013, 08:21 PM
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remvideo's Avatar
United States, FL, West Palm Beach
Joined May 2013
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does it just go online with your receiver wires or where would you install one ?
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Joined Aug 2008
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To add one, just remove the red wire from any ESC(s) currently plugged into the receiver (or disable the BEC through programming if that's an option) and plug the output side of this into the battery channel on the receiver.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 03:45 PM
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Joined Aug 2006
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Yes you would take out any red wires from your esc's (unless they are Opto as the red wires have no power coming through them anyways) and then you hook up the UBEC to your main power distribution board, and then run the output of the UBEC into an open channel of your receiver to power it.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Norway, Møre og Romsdal, Sula
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You could have pointed out that you don't need to buy one if you are using DJI stuff, it comes with one already.
Just in case some of the Phantom-guys sees the article and thinks it will be easier to fly, have longer flight time and have better range if they just mount a BEC somewhere :P
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Old Oct 18, 2013, 05:38 AM
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United States, NV, Henderson
Joined Sep 2013
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I use the Castle Creations BEC Pro. Indeed a must, cant run my LEDS without it.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 04:11 AM
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Joined Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alekoy View Post
You could have pointed out that you don't need to buy one if you are using DJI stuff, it comes with one already.
Just in case some of the Phantom-guys sees the article and thinks it will be easier to fly, have longer flight time and have better range if they just mount a BEC somewhere :P
Do you think people will buy this even though they have one in their kit?
Easier to fly, longer flight time better range???

If some think that maybe they should buy a train set.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 03:05 PM
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I think they would after reading this article, yes.
Some guys (i know three locally) has bought Phantoms,

one guy lost his into the sea due to disabling the voltage safety return to home-thing,

the other guy asked me where to connect the monitor to the remote controller to receive video from the gopro on his phantom, he actually has 2 phantoms now and flies them both at the same time, so he can take pictures of a phantom taking pictures of scenery.......

the last guy spent a week just to learn how to keep it in the air, and now he is asking me how he can make it fly for 1 hour and have 12 km range on both video and RC.

Sad to say, the Phantom has made the whole "flying with a camera" thing available to a huge crowd of idiots...

there are of course some people that have knowledge in the RC field that has bought phantoms, an I am fine with that, actually considered getting one myself lately...

BUT I really thing there should be a small 3-5 question long test that you had to pass before being allowed to buy anything that is supposed to go into the air...
something like:
explain how to charge a battery
explain the basic function and limitations of a RC system
explain how you need to move what stick to turn the aircraft left.
explain what happens to the controls when you have the nose of the aircraft towards you.
is it possible to carry a dslr and 3axis gimbal with a DJI Phantom?
etc.
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Old Oct 23, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
No matter how you look at it, a UBEC is beneficial to your multirotor.
Never read anything more wrong and misleading that this on RCG.

Most of people flying on 3S or 4S, have already a UBEC from the ESC in the multicopter ... no need for any additional one ... potentially ... having multiple ESC, with just 1 diode (per ESC), you can make a resilience UBEC system.

A specific little UBEC is needed only for 5S or above ... still you don't want to look for any advanced 5Amp UBEC ... a control board does and RX, just need no more then 100mA for works ...

So ... nice wrong and misleading article ... but ... it grammatically properly written ... when appearance is more important then the content LOL
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Old Oct 23, 2013, 10:41 AM
Launch the drones ...
Ashtabula, OH USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyc View Post
Yes you would take out any red wires from your esc's (unless they are Opto as the red wires have no power coming through them anyways) and then you hook up the UBEC to your main power distribution board, and then run the output of the UBEC into an open channel of your receiver to power it.
Unless you fly NAZAs. They do not need external BECs. They already have a BEC embedded in the PMU (Power Management Unit).

Same goes for APM's.

I fly an APM and two NAZAs. All without external BECs or using any ESC BECs. Just using the included power units.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 03:11 AM
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South Africa, KZN, Durban
Joined Apr 2006
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APM will work up to 90A on 3DR power units , after that you need the AttoPilot board... So basically more than 4 Cells .
Use Opto ESC's and you will need an UBEC .

Just for info , be careful with the Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli 5A UBEC , It puts out 5.38V's , APM does not like that ! (5.25V is ideal)

Here is my page mentioning this ....

Also read JabRam's post here ! about powering APM.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 03:26 AM
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Austria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W1th View Post
APM will work up to 90A on 3DR power units , after that you need the AttoPilot board... So basically more than 4 Cells .
Use Opto ESC's and you will need an UBEC .

Just for info , be careful with the Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli 5A UBEC , It puts out 5.38V's , APM does not like that ! (5.25V is ideal)

Here is my page mentioning this ....

Also read JabRam's post here ! about powering APM.

Unbelievable ...

People stop looking at the finger and don't see the moon behind.

7A 5V UBEC, is needed on an airplane with lot of servos ... not on a Quad or Multi that has no servos ... just need less then 100mA for power the control board and the RX

Assuming your ESC has not UBEC (for the few guys flying above 4S ... going 6S actually make no sense, the record of 95minutes fly has been done on a 4S set up) ... then even a 1S LiPo can do the job for power the control board and the RX ... or if your really want to use the 6S direct power ... any USB adapter will do the job, like this 2$ from ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-7-24-V-to...-/370706773224 or http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-DC-HRD-12...-/200819052861 or http://www.ebay.com/itm/LM317L-2A-Po...-/281184347660

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Old Oct 27, 2013, 07:07 AM
Merry xmas
KCV6's Avatar
Australia, SA, Edinburgh
Joined Aug 2009
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Guys guys guys. Read the full article. SleepyC states clearly that having an external BEC can be good for many reasons and goes on to clarify them with good explanations.

1. OPTO's on bigger builds need a BEC as there is none.
2. If you have a bunch of electronics running off the built in speedie BEC you can cause that speedie to run a lot hotter (servo driven gimbals etc. as a good example, yes not everyone has gone brushless), External lights is another good one.

Sure some systems come with them already, but I would suggest most that own them should know that.

Mark
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 08:53 AM
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Austria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCV6 View Post
Guys guys guys. Read the full article. SleepyC states clearly that having an external BEC can be good for many reasons and goes on to clarify them with good explanations.

1. OPTO's on bigger builds need a BEC as there is none.
2. If you have a bunch of electronics running off the built in speedie BEC you can cause that speedie to run a lot hotter (servo driven gimbals etc. as a good example, yes not everyone has gone brushless), External lights is another good one.

Sure some systems come with them already, but I would suggest most that own them should know that.

Mark
Light works on 12v

Servo for gimbal use little power, and you better use a different BEC then for the control board, so ... still see somebody on 6s using servo gimbal will be quite funny

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Old Oct 27, 2013, 09:56 AM
Merry xmas
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Australia, SA, Edinburgh
Joined Aug 2009
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No I have both 12V (run straight off 4S) Led Strips and 5V clusters run off the BEC line.

Mark
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