GoPro 2 and BEC - RC Groups
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Feb 14, 2013, 05:20 PM
dante1's Avatar

GoPro 2 and BEC

I am wondering if someone can help me.
I would like to know if it is possible to power my GoPro(usb) from a RX?
I am placing an order with HK and would like to know what parts i need to order.

Thank you
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Feb 15, 2013, 04:29 AM
Registered User
USB power supply voltage is 5 volts. So ,if you are going to power supply your receiver and servos using a 5 volts BEC, then yes, it is possible to power supply GoPro from the receiver. Just google "usb connector pinout" to use the proper terminals.
Take into account that there will be an additional current draw due to power supplying the GoPro from the same BEC that supplies the receiver and the servos, so be cerefull about BEC's maximum current delivery.
Feb 15, 2013, 07:19 AM
dante1's Avatar
My RX is actually being powered by an Arduino Nano board's 5volt pin.
Feb 15, 2013, 07:59 AM
Registered User
Cougar429's Avatar
With additional equipment like this I recommend a separate, dedicated 5V BEC. They are extremely light and you avoid the possibility of that one addition pushing a borderline BEC over the edge. You should be able to feed it from the same source. Just ensure ONLY the camera is powered by the supplemental BEC's output and it does not tie into the flight system with anything but common ground reference.

Don't forget most of the lower cost units do not have that great a current rating and in fact are what is called "Power Limited" in that the higher the input voltage the lower the output current. You also have to note with the good quality BEC's they at least tell you that output rating is only with a minimum 5 MPH cooling airflow. In stagnant air it will be much less. Add to BEC's built into ESC's and thermal stress alone can be excessive.

Check your flight dedicated BEC for current rating and try to measure or calculate the total requirement of all the systems or components to be fed by it. A lot of what I have seen or bought run from 2-3A with a max of 5-6A and only on the better units have the ratings gone as high as 10-20A.
Feb 15, 2013, 09:06 AM
dante1's Avatar
So, to be safe...I should get power directly from my LIPO 3S-->BEC--->GoPro?
Would you know which BEC I would need? THe GoPro has a USB charger plug so I would imagine it's 5volts. But I don't know the amperage. What do you recommend I get from HobbyKing?

Feb 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
Registered User
Cougar429's Avatar
Yes, connecting it that way should work. I would warn to set it up so that BEC is plugged in with or after your main system to prevent large spikes from getting to what may be more sensitive electronics.

Compared to the power consumption of drive systems, (motor, prop, rotors, etc.) these should have minimal effect on flight times. Hauling the extra weight of the camera and gimbal system would be the factor.

Does the specs for the GoPro list current consumption? If not, perhaps they list the life expectancy for each battery charge. Using that and the battery capacity may let you calculate the draw.

I would be guessing, but doubt it would exceed 3-5A as that would really tax a small internal battery.

Also make note when ordering some BEC's have selectable output voltage. That would confirm it being a "Switching" type that is a lot more efficient than the older and less sophisticated "linears" that dumped excess voltage as heat. Some may still have a fixed output, (or actually programmable) but check if they list it as switching. Only warning I can give on those is never power them up without a load attached. A lot don't like that at all. If yours has a jumper or switch ensure it is set for no higher than 5V to protect your device(s).
Last edited by Cougar429; Feb 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM.
Feb 15, 2013, 04:59 PM
dante1's Avatar
I read this on a website.

"If the battery is not charged, it can draw up to 900 mA, so it is advisable to use a real 1 amp power adapter"

I don't want to use the battery. The battery is 27grams so if a can do without it...that would be great.

I have this UBEC
Is this okay or should I get another one?
I am placing an order with HobbyKing anyway.



ps. BTW this is to be used on a Modded AR-Drone.
Feb 15, 2013, 11:17 PM
Registered User
Cougar429's Avatar
I don't see why that would not work. It appears to be a switching type and with 3A it should be enough margin. If you are placing an order anyway see if they have a similar 5A BEC and increase the comfort. I doubt it would weigh any more.

The only concern is how sensitive the camera electronics are to spikes or noise as some switching BEC's can be rather noisy electrically on the output. They may require the battery anyway to prevent anything nasty from reaching in and releasing the "Magic Smoke".

p.s. Magic Smoke is what makes electronics work. If you ever see it leaking from a case or housing it usually means they're pooched.
Feb 17, 2013, 12:50 AM
Registered User
I charge my gopro with a BEC supplying either 5v or 6v based on a jumper setting. It stays almost room temperature. It's on a quadcopter.
Feb 17, 2013, 08:05 AM
dante1's Avatar
Originally Posted by greggles
I charge my gopro with a BEC supplying either 5v or 6v based on a jumper setting. It stays almost room temperature. It's on a quadcopter.
Do you have a picture you can send me? Do you have it connected to the RX or directly to the battery? Which BEC are you using?



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