Note|Text=If you are looking for information about the AeroQuad32 v1 board, please head over to this page.

Connecting your ESCs, receiver, and other peripheral devices to the AeroQuad32 v2 flight control board (aka. Baloo v2 or AQ32 v2) is simple. This article details how to connect everything AeroQuad software supports. If you want to connect something the software does not directly support, post in the forums if you cannot figure the connection out and the community will be happy to help you!

Powering AeroQuad32 v2 boards

The AeroQuad32 v2 board is powered by the motor's electronics speed controllers (ESC) +5V output of motor No. 1, so no more extra connections from your power harness is required.

Monitoring voltage

If you intend to use the Battery Monitor feature to monitor the battery voltage, you will need to connect two wires from your LiPo battery to the "BM" pins on the board. Pay attention to the polarity - the red wire (VCC/+) goes to the "+" pin, the black/brown (GND/-) wire goes to the "-" pin.



Connecting a receiver to AeroQuad32 v2

Traditional Receivers (PWM)

The standard receiver outputs its channels one channel per wire in a PWM format (pulse width modulated). The receiver pins on AeroQuad32 v2 board are located on the front of the board next to the USB connector. Up to 8 channels can be used in normal (PWM) mode, if your receiver has fewer channels than 8, simply leave the excess channels unconnected.

The channels map out to:
1 - Aileron or Roll
2 - Elevator or Pitch
3 - Rudder or Yaw
4 - Throttle (also, PPM)
5 - Mode (Rate/Attitude)
6 - AUX1
7 - AUX2
8 - AUX3



Your receiver likely runs on 5V. There is one 5V output next to the receiver pins, which supplies ~500mA. This is enough to power a receiver and another small 5V device or two, but not enough to control a servo (do NOT try to power servos using the AeroQuad32 5V output, it may overheat the 5V regulator and cause damage to your AeroQuad32). Simply connect the 5V and ground lines to one of the 5V/ground inputs on your receiver (no need to connect it to more than one channel) to provide power to the receiver.
Connect the signal cable of each channel from your receiver to the corresponding input pin on the AeroQuad32 v2 board.



PPM Receivers

A PPM (pulse position modulated) compatible receiver is handy because all of the channels are on one wire as opposed to one channel per wire, reducing clutter. If your receiver supports PPM, connect the PPM signal cable from your receiver to input 4 on the board.

Your receiver likely runs on 5V. There is one 5V output next to the receiver pins, which supplies ~500mA. This is enough to power a receiver and another small 5V device or two, but not enough to control a servo (do NOT try to power servos using the AeroQuad32 5V output, it may overheat the 5V regulator and cause damage to your AeroQuad32). Simply connect the 5V and ground lines to one of the 5V/ground inputs on your receiver to provide power to the receiver.



sBUS Receivers

sBUS is a serial data stream used mainly in certain Futaba receivers (FrSky also has an sBUS compatible receiver). sBUS is capable of more than 14 channels. Unfortunately, it uses inverted serial logic and the signal must first pass through an inverter before going to a Serial RX port. The AeroQuad32 v2 boards have an inverter built in that is enabled automatically when compiling code for AeroQuad32 with sBUS enabled. Just connect the sBUS signal cable from your receiver to the "SBUS" pin.

Your receiver likely runs on 5V. There is one 5V output next to the receiver pins, which supplies ~500mA. This is enough to power a receiver and another small 5V device or two, but not enough to control a servo (do NOT try to power servos using the AeroQuad32 5V output, it may overheat the 5V regulator and cause damage to your AeroQuad32). Simply connect the 5V and ground lines to one of the 5V/ground inputs on your receiver to provide power to the receiver.



RSSI

RSSI stands for "Received Signal Strength Indicator" and is used to determine how well your copter is receiving commands from your transmitter. The lower the RSSI, the closer you are to losing control. This is most useful when flying via FPV at increased distances from yourself. RSSI can also be helpful when flying via line-of-sight (LOS) as it can indicate some interference in the area not previously known about, but it isn't totally necessary for LOS flying.

Most receivers do not have an RSSI output, and when they do it is generally a PWM output. To be read by a microcontroller, RSSI must be read as PWM or converted to an analog voltage using an RC filter (67KOhm resistor, 100nF cap). To connect this to AeroQuad32 v2, pass the signal through the RC filter into the "RSSI" pin next to the receiver pins and enable it in the software.



Connecting ESCs to AeroQuad32 v2

This information can also be found in the manual: Connecting the ESCs to your flight controller

For more information about the possible flight configurations (quadX, quad+, hexaX, etc.) and the corresponding pin assignments on the AeroQuad32 flight control board visit this page!

Connecting your ESCs to the AeroQuad32 v2 board is pretty easy - there is one set of 3 wires with a black connector on the end. The three wires are either white, red, and black, or yellow, red, and brown. White and yellow are always the signal line, the ESC is controlled with this. Red is always the 5V output from the ESCs onboard BEC (battery eliminating circuit), and black/brown are always ground.

The pins for ESCs on AeroQuad32 v2 are on the rear edge of the board, labeled "Motors" with the numbers 1-8 above (the number corresponds to the pin below). Simply plug them into the correct motor outs with the black/brown ground cable on the "-" sign, the white/yellow cable on the "S" sign an the red cable on the "+" sign.



Connecting GPS to AeroQuad32 v2

The GPS module is connected to Serial2 via the connector labeled "GPS" on the side of the board.
If you're using the D2523T Helical GPS Receiver together with the uBlox Adaptor Cable from the AeroQuad store simply plug the cable into the GPS receiver and the AeroQuad32 v2 board like shown below.
For other GPS receivers the pinout of the JST-XH connector might be different, so always check the specification of your GPS to see if the pins are in the same order, and modify the uBlox cable if needed.



Otherwise you'll need to build your own adapter according to the pin assignment below.
Some GPS receivers specify 5V as input, but also work fine on 3.3V. Just try and see if the unit works.



Below you'll find a picture for the connection of a LS20031 GPS.



Connecting XBee to AeroQuad32 v2

See this page.

Connecting OSD to AeroQuad32 v2

See this page.

Connecting current sensors to AeroQuad32 v2

Current sensing is done on one of the analog ports labeled "AI2", "AI3", "AI4" and "AI5". See the Battery Monitor page for configuring the software for the various current sensors. Simply connect the current output to the analog pin you choose in the software, connecting ground is not necessary, as the AeroQuad32 should share a common ground with the current sensor through your power distribution already.



Connecting rangefinders to AeroQuad32 v2

AeroQuad flight software is compatible with the MaxBotix line of ultrasonic rangefinders (particularly the LV EZ-0) using their analog output. Simply provide 5V and ground to the sonar and connect the sonar's output to the board by using the rangefinder pin labeled "RNG", near the ESC pins. The rangefinder will be powered then by the ESC power output from ESC No.3, so no further work is necessary here.



Connecting camera stabilization servos to AeroQuad32 v2

Plug the servo(s) to the corresponding servo control pin(s) located on the rear side of the board, near the ESC pins:



Servo connectors are identical to ESC connectors - white/yellow is signal, red is 5V, black/brown is ground. However, servos do not provide 5V, they require it be provided to them. This was taken care of when designing the AeroQuad32 v2 board. 5V is provided by the ESC power output from ESC No.2, so no further work is necessary here.

Connecting LEDs to AeroQuad32 v2

When connecting LEDs to your multicopter you can power them depending on the allowed input voltage of your LEDs:
  • Directly from your battery
  • From the 5V output from your ESC
  • From an adjustable Power Step-down Module (e.g. LM2596)


The AeroQuad32 v2 has 4 separate channels to control LED's. On the v2 board these are on the left side of the board next to the Battery Monitor pins. They are labeled LED1, LED2, LED3 and LED4 on the board.

These pins are connected to transistors which are controlled by the AeroQuad32's processor and ground. This means you can edit the AeroQuad32 software to turn the LED's on and off as you desire. The transistor connects and disconnects the pin from ground. You can add to the AeroQuad32 code to set them so they flash at some regular interval, flash or signal some event, or you can hook them up to auxiliary switches on your transmitter.

The negative/ground/low side of the LEDs should be connected to the LED pins on the AeroQuad32 v2 so you can control them. The positive side of the LEDs should be connected to an appropriate power source (considering allowed input voltage), e.g. directly to your battery.



The transistors should handle 500mA, maybe up to 1A. If you are pulling more than 500mA, check that the transistors are not overheating. They are the 4 little black components on top of the board next to the LED pins.

In the AeroQuad32 code, you can turn on and off the LED pins using “digitalWrite()”. Each pin is addressed as PLED1, PLED2, PLED3, and PLED4.

Code:
// turn on LED3
digitalWrite(PLED3, HIGH);

// turn off LED3
digitalWrite(PLED3, LOW);
Some convenient places to create a flashing pattern or change the behavior of a pattern is in AeroQuad/LedStatusProcessor.h. This function is called at 10Hz and also shows some tricks to creating patterns.

Note|Text=There is no hardware/timer based PWM available to control LED's with.



AeroQuad32