Home Forums Everything about the Tricopter V4 "You have been chosen…." Distribution board and injection molded tilt top

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    On a rainy Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark.
    The mailman rings the doorbell.
    A package from Sweden. – I didn’t order anything from Sweden?!?

    An early unfinished prototype preview from David!!!

    Distribution board prototype weight: 25.5g (added 5g)
    Injected moulded tilt top: 5.6g (3D printed 3.3g – my own version 4.2g)

    Although being early prototypes, the quality of the distribution board and tilt top looks absolutely amazing!

    David ends the accompanying letter with the words: “Please try and break it…”

    – David, I will do my very best 😉



    Terje you lucky guy! 🙂 I’m a little bit envious… 😉 Have fun with it.

    The picture looks awesome and promising. Too bad, that they are not available right now. I would have bought one with my last order. (Need to repair some crash damage)

    @david keep up the good work!


    Robert C

    Sooo, on a rainy Saturday in Klundert, The Netherlands, the exact same thing happened 😉

    I thought something went wrong and I got someone else’s order. But it turned out I was wrong..

    The board looks like it will make my build very clean, but I have 1 remark. The positive and negative terminals near the rear boom are: 2 positive to the left, two negative to the right. I don’t know if it is possible but I would prefer both a positive and a negative terminal on each side.

    That way the ESC wires from the back boom can go to the left, and the battery leads can go to the right. Now one of the battery wires had to ‘cross’ over to the other side. I hope you get what I’m saying.

    The little voltage regulator is a nice add-on. Can it be used as a charging circuit for the Gopro? And the little tabs on the front, in between the large tabs, are these 5v or ‘high’ voltage? (I know I can use the multimeter, but you may want to label it to prevent confusion or blown up Gopro’s.

    The quality of the tilt mechanism looks really, properly premium, we will see how it holds up in the test of time, but it should be fine.

    Anyway, it was an awesome surprise and I can’t wait to try it out.



    I have been applying the voltmeter and the small pads in the front are also “high voltage”. If you look at the 5v connections, you will see that the top of the board is (mainly) GND and the bottom mainly +. There is a bridge on the top of the board for +5v from the suspected UBEC to the other side. The perforations are where the circuit connects from one side of the board to the other. The rear most + could be routed to the other side in that way and verse visa for the GND. That would introduce additional weakness to the rear boom as the other side left side of the frame would also have to be perforated. I guess the same goes for the +5v to the smaller tabs on in the front of the board (common GND). Maybe they are already planned to be, remember these are unfinished prototype boards 🙂

    I would of course like a 10mm hole for routing the servo/ESC signal/5v UBEC to the top of the frame. That would however also weaken the structural integrity of the board and increase the risk of shortening out the GND on top and + on the underside.

    -If you are brave enough, you could even use the GND on top of the board to connect to the carbon booms through the screws and omit the GND wire to the motors and ESCs. I would never risk using such a flimsy connection to save the weight of 1.5m AWG18, but you never know with the daredevils out there 😉


    Robert C

    Terrific idea, that would make a reliable machine, because there are less wires to get damaged 😉


    Glad the packages have started to arrive 🙂
    I sent them out to people on the forum/site that have been helping others out 🙂

    Some packages contained a power distribution board with a the 5V BEC soldered on, some didn’t. It was mostly random 🙂

    This is the first prototype of the new power distribution board.
    It’s designed to be overbuilt in terms of current capacity. It should be able to supply upwards of 100A without trouble. (Will test soon :))

    The BEC is comprised of a LM2940-05, a linear low voltage dropout regulator. I went with a linear regulator to reduce noise in the system. This regulator actually eats up most ripples and leaves a very clean very stable 5V supply. It’s powerful enough to supply the receiver, control board and servo without any issue. However I wouldn’t recommend charging a GoPro at the same time as using it with the servo. I’ll have to do some hard stress testing of the regulator before recommending it.

    The board was designed to be on the bottom of the frame, that is why there isn’t any hole for servo cables in the middle. I’ve done some testing, adding a hole large enough for the servo connectors doesn’t seem affect the stiffness or durability noticeably. The reason why the power distribution board to be on the bottom is because I have a new top plate on the way (Not quite ready to show that yet ;))

    Here are some pictures showing how I installed mine. It really hides the cables well and there are plenty of space left (compared to the wire distribution which is really cramped)


    Some more pictures


    Some changes on the power distribution already planned:
    The white circles around the screw holes on the top side were supposed to be gold plated, not screen printed.
    I’m thinking of changing that 6mm circle to a non-copper pour area instead, to make them black. The gold circles on the top looked a little too “bling” when I saw it in real life.

    Would anyone else like the a + and – on each side of the boom like Robert suggested? The way I have it now is convenient from a manufacturing perspective and I also though it would be a little safer as it keep + and – as far away from each other as possible hopefully preventing a short (very unlikely though) It is possible to swap places on one + and – though if it makes more sense 🙂

    The idea with having the pads on the top so close to the edges of the board was to make it possible to change an arm without having to disassemble the whole copter. It’s still possible to get a soldering iron in there, a little tricky but possible.

    Regarding the tilt mechanism. It’s made from Nylon filled with 10% glass fiber, like a high quality prop. So far my destruction test have proven the piece to be indestructible. The Zip ties seems to pop of better now (have to do more testing) The spline fits the BMS210-DMH servo perfectly, very happy with that. It fits the 3D printed bottom piece perfect. It is also a little shorter than the 3D printed tilt top piece to make the 40mm screw go in a little longer into the servo preventing it from shaking loose.

    What is your thought on the Power distribution board and tilt mechanism? What would you like to change? What would you have done differently? Your feedback is very important to me



    This… this… this is awesome ! I’ll order one as soon as it’s available 🙂
    Will be awesome with Naze32
    How are the testing going ?



    Very cool, and very clean looking.

    I can only think of one thing at the moment that I would change, and it sounds like something you’re looking at doing anyway. It would be really nice to either have a more powerful BEC or a second one to use as a camera power source. That would just tie everything together. The included camera mount system was what sold me on your platform in the first place.

    Whatever you end up doing, I’ll be buying one of these when they’re for sale.


    Robert C

    Hey David,

    Now that I have seen how you routed the wires and the reasoning behind it, it actually makes sense, so for me it doesn’t need to be changed. It was just my first impression. 😉 Maybe another 5v terminal? I personally won’t be using it but for LED’s or something? That’s the only thing I can really think of.

    I am really curious as to what you will come up with next.

    I will let you know if anything interesting happens during the build, but it seems very straightforward. Thanks again for the opportunity, it really made my day 🙂



    Hej David, that looks great – I’ve just been going through my wiring and your distribution board as-is would enable a very clean setup. Some thoughts based on the pictures: I like the close-to-the-edge placement of the pads and think that the left-side right-side separation of + and – is o.k. as the only drawback I can think of is a slightly different “optimal” cable length for + and -. Like localfiend I was also thinking of a secondary linear regulator for feeding the FPV transmitter, could potentially be placed symetrically to the LM2940. Another idea would be to use the screws to connect the +5V power to the upper plate so there’d be one cable less that could get in the way when folding the arms. Another thought was to provide for pads to optionally include a current sensing resistor.

    These points would be minor additions – I think the design you propose with the prototypes serves its intention very well!



    Looks really nice. Can’t wait to use one of these boards! I see you have changed to black allen head screws (hex sockets) also. They fits nicely together with the overall black to the rest of the copter.



    I want one !!
    And I agree with Terje, a hole like if possible, to route some additional wiring, so it don’t have to pass the outside of the frame. Maybe also an idea for the new planned secret top frame.

    (By the way what is the purpose of the third thinner wire coming out of the Front booms, signal wire ??)




    Well I just changed my mind, the two GND on one side and the two + on the other side of the rear boom make perfect sense 🙂 No crossing wires, very clean. XT60 goes out the back, booms to the front. Does not matter if you mix them up.

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