Arduino Power Supply

Hello everyone.

I'm new to these forums and to Arduino in general but shall try my best to pose my questions to you ;)

I've recently been looking into building a Quadcopter and have spent a good while scouring the interwebs for information about other peoples builds. It seems many people use a similar setup in terms of their choice of arduino and shields etc but many neglect to mention their choice of power supply.

From the few blogs/threads i've found for part lists, it looks like the ZIPPY Flightmax (please see next post) seems to be a popular choice.

My question is, given my complete lack of knowledge with regards to electronics, what would be the best choice of power supply when needed to supply both the arduino board as well as motors, ESC's and any other shields attached to the arduino?

I'm assuming that the leads for the battery supply could be easily removed and re-soldered to add the appropriate adapters for both the board as well as other peripherals?

My main concern here is buying the equipment and then promptly frying it due to the wrong power supply being used. I'm making a conscious effort to read up on everything before I start my build to make sure i'm heading in the right direction. This post (and any subsequent information) are the first stepping stone to me purchasing more equipment for my build. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I'd very much like to get this off the ground (quite literally) as soon as possible :)

Many thanks for reading, sorry if this seems like a daft question or I haven't provided enough info. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

Due to the above post being my first, I was unable to add the link to the ZIPPY Flightmax battery pack I mentioned.

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7634

This seems to be the most popular choice form the builds i’ve seen. I have found one blog post that details changing the adapters to the battery to support brushless motors and ESC’s but very little else.

My main concern is simply providing enough power to the arduino and the motors/ESC’s without frying the arduino itself.

Obviously when building a Quadcopter, weight is one of the main concerns so I was tempted to buy a Lithium backback http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=318 as this seems much lighter than the RC battery pack but am I right in thinking this would not have the appropriate battery power to supply enough current to the extra peripherals?

Once again, thanks for reading. Any help would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

For further reference, I should mention that i'm intending on using a Seeeduino http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=510 as the basis for my Quadcopter build.

Other aspects such as automatic stabilization and elevation, wireless connectivity (i'm thinking of using an XBox 360 controller if possible) and possibly integration of a front facing camera and up to 4 distance sensors will most likely be added at some point in the future.

A power supply that would feed the appropriate components as well as power the motors is obviously paramount in creating this build. Being from the UK, it seems that many of the parts I've found are from American sites which doesn't necessarily make them unavailable, just slightly more expensive to ship and with a longer waiting time (which I can deal with). However, any UK equivalent sites anyone can suggest for parts would be appreciated. We have a hobby shop in town where I live but it seems very amateur and with limited stock.

I'll dig up my parts list when I get home and post a more comprehensive breakdown if anyone can offer any advice :)

Thanks for reading.

Thank you for your reply Richard :)

I've been doing some reading in my lunch hour and things are starting to clear up a little now :)

Upon further inspection of the ZIPPY flightmax battery pack, it seems there are 2 adapters; 1 x 4pin and a 2pin bullet connector. This battery pack does indeed push out 11.1v which is in the range of the arduino/seeeduino so should be appropriate from what I can gather.

I suppose I should really post on a more appropriate forum for RC enthusiasts to enquire about changing the adapters as the seeeduino I have only has a 2 pin input so that would really need changing first before I consider hooking up the motors and ESC's.

I'll have a gander at some sites from the UK to see what other battery packs I can dig up. My next concern is finding a decent frame and 4 appropriate motors to provide enough thrust to get the Quadcopter off the ground. I'm rather excited to get this all together and your response has been most helpful to me, thank you :)

Hello again Richard,

I have managed to find a decent resource which closely matches the parts I intend to use for my build which you can read here http://www.patokeefe.com/archives/121

This chap seems to have had a fairly successful build so far using his own combination of shields to implement all the required sensors.

I am aware of specialized boards for Quadcopter builds but wanted to start out at the lowest level using my own seeeduino and shields so I can learn about the basic aspects of programming the engineering it all from scratch. As mentioned in my first post, I am by no means an electrician or even well versed in these ways but am very interested in learning so i've decided to go down the custom build route and see where that leads me.

I've seen a fair few different builds for Quadcopters and Tricopters so far upon my travels around the interwebs for information and came to the conclusion that the general consensus is to use which ever boars you feel most comfortable with for either programming or modding the hardware.

My main aim is to firstly get something up and running in terms of both programming and then actually flying the quadcopter before moving on to minimising the form factor as much as possible.

For the time being, an autonomous QC is my first goal and from there, i'd like to include a RC to fly the QC myself (possibly an XBox 360 controller if possible) and then perhaps move on to an iPhone specific controller to utilise the accelerometer for movement and the display for feedback from the camera if and when I get round to adding one.

I realise these may seem rather bold claims/dreams for someone as inexperienced as myself but I do intend to take it slow and steady to learn as much as possible along the way and eventually create my QC. I've been fascinated by the applications of arduino for a long time and am excited to finally get round to doing something myself and from what i've seen from other peoples attempts, non of these ideas are too far stretched to become a reality.

I guess it's all down to time and patience from here onwards (as well as a healthy bank account =P)