Good Wiring Practices in FPV - RC Groups
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Jul 14, 2010, 06:55 AM
Registered User
Levendis's Avatar

Good Wiring Practices in FPV

Much have been said on this forum about the need for good wiring design and the avoidance of wire-spaghetti - I was wondering if you could share some tips on good wiring practices in FPV?

Specifically, what do you consider to be good wiring practices?

1) Direct wire or use of connectors? What's a good compromise between convenience (e.g. ability to swap cameras and vtx'es in airframes)?

2) Standardization of connectors? Do you try to work with what comes with the VTx and camera? What are your favorite connectors and how do you hook things up? Some of the little ones like the three-pin camera plugs used here seem very difficult to solder/crimp, while the BNC/RCA plugs look huge...

3) Sharing a battery between the vTx and camera: how often would using separate batteries make a difference? should one try first to see if things are ok?

4) Usage of ferrite/toroids? Every wire? Really?

5) Switching or linear BECs? Voltage regulators? Noise filters...if one were to use only one of these devices, where should I install them?

Just got my first starter camera, video transmitter, and fatsharks and having fun with my old Mini-Z offroader at home. FPV is fun! I've been using the stuff that came with the fatshark package but am eager to try other gear as well (have a LM 1.2g 500mw which I'm wondering how I should connect a RCV922 with...)

Many thanks.
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Jul 14, 2010, 12:28 PM
my karma ranover my dogma
galaxiex's Avatar
I custom wire each plane per it's unique requirements.

Connectors where I "think" I might need them, otherwise soldered direct, less connectors, less to go wrong.

I don't use ferrites unless testing shows a need for them.

Power filters if testing shows a need.

Mainly use servo wire and connectors, but have used 4 wire shielded cable for certain things... GPS wiring for eg.

End up using lots of heatshrink in different sizes. Stock up on the good pro grade stuff.

Some planes have shared batt, some have separate vid system batt.

Almost always use a separate BEC, safety first.
Jul 14, 2010, 02:04 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Sperarate switching BECs are a MUST unless I am flying a twin motor.

I always use a power filter as my flight battery and video battery are the same one (makes it easier to monitor voltage).

All of my connections use servo connectors I make to the specific length I need.

I always use a ferrite on my elevator servo and my GPS. I use them elsewhere only when needed.

I glue the connectors to my cameras/VTX in place so they don't come out in flight. I use Shoe Goo for this.

Jul 14, 2010, 02:05 PM
Flying on Flux Capacitors
Flipper_118's Avatar
I find enjoyment in making wiring look pretty. Sometimes its pretty hard with airplanes and such but possible. I usually follow the rule that if it dosnt need to move secure it down. In planes I'll use little dabs of hot glue, zip ties...and if the mood strikes me I'll use some dental floss or the like and wire lace things together (I love the look of old mil-spec wire laced circuits).

Jul 14, 2010, 02:23 PM
Derek_S's Avatar
Originally Posted by IBCrazy

I glue the connectors to my cameras/VTX in place so they don't come out in flight. I use Shoe Goo for this.
I do this but with hot glue. I think this is a very good practice and is easily undone with some heat if needed.
Jul 15, 2010, 09:18 PM
"Let's put a camera on that.."
spagoziak's Avatar
Wow good ideas here... I'm guilty of doing very little of this. Shame!
Jul 15, 2010, 09:36 PM
FPV Plane & RC Motorcycle Dude
Ian Williams's Avatar
FWIW, on my FPV Piper Cub I went to great lengths to have a clean wiring install, using a central wiring hub and sheilded cable. I use a seperate vid tx/cam batt 3S lipo and run the rc rx from its own 3S lipo thru a ubec. No interference what so ever.

On my EZ* I tried something different, using servo wire for all vid leads and servo connectors so I can remove stuff easily. Sep vid 3S lipo on tx and cam and this time using the ubec for the rc rx straight from the main lipo. Again no interference. I do have ferrites on the elev and rud servos as they are mounted on the rear of the fuselage just past the vid tx. Also I made my own leads to connect up the Eagle Tree OSD etc just to keep the lead lengths to a minimum. In the EZ* it is a pretty clean install but lots of leads near the cam as the rc rx, ubec, servo slow for pan etc are in the same area.

One BIG THING I did do was to buy a label maker and using 6mm labels I have all leads identified at each end so I know what is what. Thats the best thing I have ever done regarding wiring and it looks professional, just like some bought components with labels on the leads!


Jul 16, 2010, 01:10 AM
Oopss. Oh well.
borneobear's Avatar
On top of 'custom wiring' every model to suit its structure, I used to 'hide' all of it under with tape, shrink tube, protective plastic, etc.

I now think that was a mistake.
When wires are covered this way, its hard to inspect them. More so if the 'covering' also hides connectors and 'y' junctions.

In my latest set ups, my cables are exposed. Neatly arranged, but exposed. That way I can inspect them for fatigue, mechanical injuries, connectors getting lose, excessive crimping, carbon edge cuts, etc.

Part of the pre-flight checklist.

Jul 16, 2010, 02:09 AM
Suspended Account
keep an eye out for the connectors for the balanceing plug for the main battery and video tx/camera

when useing a one battery set up and balance plug for 12 volts for video

I am sure there is a plug and unplug limit for the balance plug and longevity

rotating batteries works, so not to wear out plugs

all wiggle tests are well worth it.

pretend you are taking off for a sputnik flight

for a ground station a fuse is a good idea

If you slighty twist the camera wires, it will provide lots less stress on the camera's connections when useing pan and tilt

I spend the extra time to braid all mu wires on the plane, it takes just one night, and the lengths and weight, are very close to the same as when twisted, but braiding is much better.

Buy some good wire, and make yourself custome servos and esc, etc wire hirnesses.
Useing very high quality servo connectors with very good wires is a big big pluss.

The silicone coated wires, which some batteries come with is great and flexable with useually very good balance plugs that are great and solid

for my video connections, for antennas, I wrapp many tines around each connector, where they is bending and wear, to make them, bullet proof.
IMHO some connectors are well worth redoing at a professional shop with cripning etc tool to make a great connection and then do the reinforceing mog

Hot glue kind of sucks for battery connectors, deans as an example, the wear and tear there is also bad, instead of hot glue, i use the heat shrink tude with glue activated stuff inside it.

It works well for the power plugs.

"Kapton tape" is the worlds best tape ever for rc and fpv. i use it for almost every application, includeing sealing the gaps for rc planes control serfaces, it is chemical resistant and extreamly "out of this world" advanced in cooling capabilities.

The 4 inch stuff is cool because you can cover an esc with it and add two straws on the ends, best ever cooling for an esc ever

bla bla bla
Jul 16, 2010, 04:00 AM
Unregistered User
liam2317's Avatar
How about some pictures to show off your perfect.... or not so perfect wiring jobs??
Jul 16, 2010, 04:05 AM
Registered User
Levendis's Avatar

Great stuff - thanks guys

Photos of your handiwork would be much appreciated indeed!

Also, any particular brands or suppliers of shielded cable, wire, or connectors that you like particularly?

Molex 5pin?
Pre-braided wire?
18guage vs. 20gauge?

Originally Posted by liam2317
How about some pictures to show off your perfect.... or not so perfect wiring jobs??
Jul 16, 2010, 05:27 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Derek_S
I do this but with hot glue. I think this is a very good practice and is easily undone with some heat if needed.
You can use servo lead locks too it costs nothing, available on eba

Last edited by iacei; Jul 16, 2010 at 05:34 AM.
Jul 16, 2010, 08:05 AM
Registered User
Here's my contribution. Sky surfer with custom wiring.
Jul 19, 2010, 09:14 AM
Registered User
Levendis's Avatar

Good Wire Found!

I managed to buy from my local electronics retailer 10 feet of this shielded twisted cable for about US$10, which I thought was a pretty good deal.

Look at the third entry (cable number 8723)

Made by someone called Belden (there seems to be a wall full of this stuff along with a dedicated rep...impressive).

Hope this helps.

PS Hauntme13 that wiring looks tidy indeed!
Aug 02, 2010, 06:30 AM
Registered User
Levendis's Avatar

Why does a BEC unit output three wires to the JR/futaba style connector?
I'm using a CC 10amp BEC to supply 5v to my camera and vTx, and I only seem to need a red and a black from the BEC...

Just curious as to when the third wire from the BEC is actually used, if at all?


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