February 9, 2016

What was I thinking?

So I started to take care of the 550 that has been sitting on my desk taking up space since last summer.

I knew there was something that wasn't pretty about the cabling, so I flipped it over on my desk.

The not-so-tidy heap of wire on the bottom of the 550.

WHAT was I thinking? Well, I had to figure this out before I could move on and do something about it. There seems to be three reasons for all those cables. First, there is a need for a Y-harness to power the gyro through the throttle connector. I'm using a CC BEC Pro and not the ESC BEC. Secondly I wanted to be able to disconnect the ESC while testing the setup, this comes handy with a Y-harness. And lastly I have used a connector between the power lead and the BEC, probably to be able to disconnect the BEC while powering the ESC. But why, I don't know.

There's a big difference between how I used to build helicopters and how I build multi-rotors. Nowadays I'm soldering almost all the cables instead of using servo connectors. To save space and weight, to cut wires to the exact length and to make it look nice. And because there is really no need for servo connectors when using flight controller boards that are not encased anyway.

But on the helicopter every component is encased. There are little to no possibility to solder wires to the components and you are therefore left out to using things like clumsy Y-harnesses. Something I would never dream of squeezing into a 250 quad of course.

So I cleaned up the installation. I had to heat up the screws to the bottom plate to remove it and attach all the wires inside the frame instead. I added a bead of hot glue to the Y-harness connectors as they felt a bit loose and left out the possibility to disconnect the ESC. Instead I will need to disconnect the motor, which has accessible wires in the front.

At the same time I flashed the new 2.0 firmware onto the CGY750 gyro which should save me some setup time when the flying season approaches. Until then I'll let the helicopter rest.

Somewhat improved cabling on the 550.

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