Integrating a power bus into a quadcopter frame

When working on flying vehicles weight is always a consideration. [Brendin] found a way to get rid of a wiring harness on his quadcopter, simplifying the assembly while lightening the load. He did it by incorporating the power bus into the frame of the vehicle.

He started with some copper clad board. Because the substrate is a structural component he didn’t want to use a CNC mill to do the etching as it also removes a bit more than just copper. After using the mill to cut out the shape and drill holes he coated the board with flat black paint. This acts as the etch resist, which he sent through a 50W laser engraver to remove the paint and expose the areas he wants to etch. After etching he removed the rest of the resist, and masked off his solder pads with small rectangles of electrical tape. This protects the solder pads from the truck bed liner paint he uses to insulate the copper. He says it works great and plans to use the technique on all future builds.

15 thoughts on “Integrating a power bus into a quadcopter frame

    1. There really isn’t as much emf on the power lines of ESCs. I was quite surprised when I probed one with a oscilloscope as the only variance on the power buss was some voltage drop when the motors are loaded.

  1. WHATEVER. my ~30cm of heavy-duty speaker cable connected in a circle and soldered to each esc at 3,6,9,12-oclock positions work just fine. it also took 12 seconds to make, and that includes getting up from my desk and reaching for the spool, and using hte side-cutters to cut it to the right length. Soldering to the ESC’s took another 90 seconds, but that doesn’t count, as the milled PCB has to be soldered too.

    1. Sure, but this does make things look cleaner, and you don’t even have to worry about cable routing, which can be trivial or difficult depending on the chassis design.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s