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Diatone power hub cabling

has any one ever used one of these power hubs? http://www.diatone.hk/goods.php?id=305

while cabling my ESC's i found that i have 4 cables but only 3 solder pads on the power hub
obviously 2 are for the power and one pad for the signal

now, can i safely just solder the ground wire of the 2 signal cables, to the ground of the power cables?

also, can i somehow test 1 motor/esc in cleanflight without having to solder all 4 and calibrate everything first?

thank you!

ps: hopes for getting this thing in the air before work starts again are rising! :D
pps: hopes are diminishing! :(

PPPS! :p how does the flight controller know, which IO's are connected to the ESC's? im not getting the motor to spin up, but it beeps nicely when i connect the lipo :confused:
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new discoveries so far:

with the throttle at roughly 50%

im getting 16V DC on the ESC inputs
around 0.02-0.8V AC on the signal cable
and more than 1V AC between ESC and motor (struggled with a good contact/measurement, because i didnt want to short anything)

but not the slightest move from the motor :( any one have any clues as to why? (doesnt help when i tilt it around either)
can the motor be toast? even though there was no magic smoke and it does the usual sound when powering every thing up

ps: the ESC only gets slightly warm, but only to the point where your not sure if its actually warm or not

pps: in case its helpful in any way:
as mentioned the ESC signal cable is soldered to the according signal pad and the ground wire (from the 2 signal cables) goes to the ground plain
the signal pads are then connected through the 8pin header to CH1, 2, 5 and 6 (IO_1) of the flight controller
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which additional details could help clarify the issue?

what i have connected sofar, apart from the flight controller and battery
is ESC1, with the power cables to red/black accordingly
the signal cable is at the orange connection and its ground pair is on the same pad as the black cable

the continuity meter then shows that the signal pad leads to the 3rd pin of the flight controller connector, which itself consists of GND, 5V, 1, 2, 3, 4, LED and a spare pin

1-4 for the according (orange) signal pads
and the 5V power the flight controller


dont mind the loosiegoosy cabling, this is just the first run to make sure every thing works, before making wires shorter than required
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to detail the flight controller connection (basically a straight cable)



ps: in case your confused because of the PPM on CH1, according to the manual its basically just another IO when not using PPM - and its SBUS in my case

and the cleanflight setup:

- setup: calibrated
- ports: set uart3 to serial rx
- config: set receiver mode to rx_serial and provider to SBUS
- config: adjusted voltage scale to 108 and activated RSSI
- config: adjusted roll to cw 0º flip and yaw to cw 90º (board is upside/down to protect the barometer)
- setup: recalibrated (just to be on the safe side)
- receiver: adjusted all the inputs to match 1000 low, 1500 center and 2000 high
- modes: assigned arm, angle and horizon to a 3 way switch on the RC

and now im using the motors tab to get the motor going (also making sure the transmitter is not at 0 throttle)
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further tests included adding a second motor and ESC
and i tried only attaching one of the signal cables to the orange pad; once with only the white and then with only the black wire attached (i dont fully understand why, but it was a suggestion of the diatone support)

but still no luck on getting anything spinning :(
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Fly Eagles, Fly!
A quick suggestion to help diagnose your issue:
-isolate your stuff and keep it simple. Solder your signal and ground from the esc directly to your flight controller and run it up in cleanflight. If it works you know it's not motor/esc related, rather something to do with the breakout signal from your PDB hub thing.
Also, that particular ground from the esc signal isn't necessary, it just reduces feedback on your system so it's recommend. Not sure if that fancy hub eliminates the need for that ground wire, I suspect it does...
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thanks for the hint! but im not sure how to hook it up to the flight controller at all without the ribbon cable (only have the 1 cable left)

can i use the 3 rowed output headers without deviating too much compared to using the GPIO's? (marked 10)


in the manual it also sais to configure them before use, but where would i do that in cleanflight?
http://seriouslypro.com/files/SPRacingF3-Manual-latest.pdf (end of page 4)
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im blaming the hamster with the carrot in its ear :black_eyed:

i just hooked up an ESC to the servo ports (no 10 on the image from the last post) and it worked instantly! :D
so now im just confused about those IO_1 ports - because it wasnt the cable, got perfect continuity from board to board :(


Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Good to hear it's working for you!

The IO ports (connector 6 and 7 in your post) are primarily there as parallel RX inputs, however it's a long standing feature of the *flight ROMs that they can be repurposed for other things like lights, UARTS, Sonar . . . but ESCs are not among the alternatives.

As you've discovered, ESC/Servo output signals are mapped exclusively through that output header.

The SPF3 board in particular has alternate connection points for the UART connections, so a simple airframe with only a serial RX never needs to plug into the IO connectors. On other *flight boards, like the Naze, you don't have the option of extra breakout connectors, so pins off the parallel RX cabling will get repurposed for that. A bit less "well what's it here for if I don't use it", but also fewer options of where you can go when shortening wires.
damn i hate myself for not figuring that out sooner :D

do you know if theres a reason for not shorting both ground wires right at the ESC? (obviously using the thicker of the 2)
so id only have 3 wires instead of 4, since the ground pins on the servo connectors have continuity to the same ground plain

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Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
If you take your ohm meter to it, you'll probably find the ESC has already shorted the ground wires for you -- effectively the two wires are connected to the same ground plane on the ESC. There are some cases where separating a power ground rail from the signal ground rail is a good idea, but generally it's all-or-none -- either completely isolated grounds or solidly shorted.

Ironically a "True" Opto-ESC is built with completely isolated grounds, but I've never seen a multirotor ESC setup this way, regardless what the label calls them. It's generally for spark-engine airframes where the ground plane noise form the spark can wreck sensitive electronics. There's a lot of noise on FPV multirotors, but nothing like that.

. . . and yes, do use the thicker of the two -- it is carrying all the return current from the motor :eek:
yep thats what i meant with continuity ^^ if there was a 0 ohm resistor, diode, PNP etc in between, youd still get a connection with the ohm meter, but no continuity

ill give that a go then once i found a new ribbon cable (just junked my last one) :(

you dont happen to know what the 8 pinned ribbon connectors are called exactly?
under molex i can either only find 2-4pin, or completely different ones, but none with 8 :confused:

thank you!