CleanHawk 250 Quadcopter Power Distribution Board

Distribute power to all the things running on an Emax / Nighthawk 250 quadcopter

Similar projects worth following
Goal is to replace the carbon fiber bottom plate on Emax 250 / Nighthawk FPV racing quad copter with a useful piece of FR4.

This board will be known as the "CleanHawk 250 PDB" as it strives to keep the wiring and power distribution aspects of the Emax 250 "clean".

The electronics on this board will be quality components with significant attention to detail of the engineering.

Buy now on Amazon

  • 3-4S compatible
  • Designed for KISS 18A ESCs, ReadyToFly/Witespy's BearHug should fit just fine, and have pads for traditional ESCs. Hoping that the new Emax BLHeli Oneshot ESCs fit.
  • 3A @ 5V for flight computer, OSD, and LEDs (i.e. WS2812), telemetry/BT, etc. (85%+ efficient).
  • 3A @ 9V for FPV camera, vtx, and LEDs. (92%+ efficient),
  • (6) RGB LEDs. 4 on bottom, 2 on top (not sure if top will be useful). Testing waters here. User configurable color by changing resistors. Plan is to do red on the rear and white up front.
  • FPV LC filter that can select between 9V or 5V for feeding cameras and FPV transmittter,
  • Multiple soldering points for accessories on the VBAT, 9V, and 5V rail. Helps to contain the wiring mess.
  • Battery voltage divider for dividing the voltage down to something manageable for the Frsky D4R-II.
  • Optional bulk capacitance near the ESCs to help smooth out ripples.
  • Centralized battery input pads to keep the high current paths through the board as short as possible
  • 2oz copper for efficiency
  • Sufficient copper keep out area surrounding the mounting holes
  • Shielded inductors to reduce switching power supply noise.

  • 1 × Emax 250 FPV Racing Frame

  • KiCAD Design Files Open Sourced

    2bluesc08/06/2016 at 22:06 0 comments

    Finally got around to releasing the design files to Github. Tada. I decided to go with the CreativeCommons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license for flexibility and attribution.

    Hopefully someone will do something cool with it or at least learn something from my project. Let me know if you do, I'd love to hear about it!

  • What Next?

    2bluesc05/24/2016 at 21:54 0 comments

    Sales are slowy falling off.

    I'm toying with the idea of open sourcing the KiCad design files. Nobody would be able to build small quantities for cheaper, so it may help sales. Anything helps at this point.


  • Restock Amazon

    2bluesc03/07/2016 at 17:34 0 comments

    My Amazon inventory has finally dropped down to single digits and this weekend I prepped another outbound Amazon FBA shipment.

    Go check it out, but don't buy too many and make it out of stock. Actually, please do! I dare ya.

  • Still Kickin'

    2bluesc01/12/2016 at 23:49 0 comments

    The CleanHawk's are still on sale @ Amazon. Be sure to check them out!

  • Test Driving Amazon Fulfillment / FBA

    2bluesc11/04/2015 at 19:05 0 comments

    I took the plunge and signed up for Amazon Fulfillment aka "FBA" (Fulfilled By Amazon). We'll see how this goes.

    I shipped out lots of CleanHawks, 13 to Tracy, CA (aka Oakland) and 43 to Middleton, DE (aka Philadelphia). Dropped them off on Monday, they arrived in Oakland on Tuesday, and are live Wednesday morning.

    I won the "Buy Box" the moment my first shipment arrived in Oakland, so that's a welcome bonus.

    Check out on CleanHawk 250 on Amazon.

  • Amazon is Painful

    2bluesc10/31/2015 at 19:47 0 comments

    Long time no update!

    In the past few months I took an adventure and started selling on Amazon. The premise was simple: Use the marketplace to attract more sales and pay Amazon a royalty for being listed in their marketplace.

    The result? More headaches. Where to start.

    Amazon As A Consumer

    I love Amazon. I'm a very loyal Amazon Prime user. I promote Amazon Prime service to friends and family. Their support is great. I use Amazon Subscribe and Save whenever I can replace grocery trips. When ordering products from work, if they are available via Prime (or better yet Prime Same Day in Sand Francisco) I order them almost without thinking.

    Amazon Seller Services is the exact opposite.

    Amazon For a Seller

    Where to start?

    Major complaints:

    1. Listing a product is incredibly painful
    2. Professional seller and the buyer box
    3. Constant upsell to Amazon fulfillment / FBA
    4. Holiday performance surprise
    5. Unfair buyers ratings

    Product Listing

    Creating a product page is a daunting task. Tindie is pretty easy (even supports Markdown), eBay has gotten better, and Amazon is literally a disaster. Compare these images:

    And this disaster of useless category fields, one entire page to share my pain with my readers:

    Now, the website isn't even the recommended way and is many, many options. To get those features, you need to use Excel spreadsheets. Wait, what year is it? Are you kidding me? No, I'm not. I haven't dealt with the headache of spreadsheets just yet because I don't think I'll get a ton of payback for the time invested unless I'm a "Professional Seller".

    Professional Seller

    The "Professional Seller" option costs $40/mo and makes sense for anyone selling close to 40 items a month. My project doesn't approach that volume, so I stick with the Individual account.

    As a result I don't get the buy box. What's a buy box? Everyone on Amazon knows what a buy box is, and when it's not present, the page feels weird. It makes individual sellers look like frauds. Consider my listing. See the red box on the left side and the missing "Add to Cart" option? Yeah. Looks like I'm an evil seller:

    See all buying options? People expect to see "Add to cart" and almost appears out of stock.

    I'm sure I miss some sales because some people can't figure out this unusual page. I can fix it, but it costs $40/mo. Hard to tell if it's worth it at this point. Maybe I'll experiment over the Holiday season.

    Amazon Fulfillment aka FBA

    Amazon Fulfillment would allow me to do Prime shipping. A feature that as a consumer I love. But as a seller on a low volume hacker project, cuts a ton in to my already losing margins.

    I keep looking at the option to do Amazon fulfillment but haven't made the leap yet. It requires me to print and label each product, ship it to Amazon where they store it in their warehouses. They then charge me storage and ship + handling fees that I can't quite fully wrap my head around yet.

    As a low volume seller, if I could understand my costs, I'd love to ship 50 units to Amazon and let them deal with individual fulfillment, but at what costs? That's my beef.

    So far it seems the costs look like this:

    • Inventory storage per month
    • Per unit handling
    • Inventory preparation (labeling and other stuff?)

    And on top of that I have to do forecasting and ship them stuff at the right time and more surprises. Dealing with retail channels is a pain when my fun is building the products and watching the shipping labels as they go all over the world.

    Their site keeps taunting me to investigate FBA it. And I want to, but haven't had the time yet because they keep threatening to shut me off over the holiday season.

    The FBA profitability calculator tells me the extra fees break even if sales increase 20% as a result. The result would be much faster shipping for customers and maybe I'd get a buy box or increase volume to upgrade to the professional account. I'm saving this for an experiment to run, perhaps over the holiday season?

    Holiday Performance Surprise

    A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me I had to meet...

    Read more »

  • Documented Surprise!

    2bluesc08/12/2015 at 15:42 0 comments

    Yesterday a forum member assembled a pretty sweet PDF of all the Github documentation on a few pages. Pretty handy. I like it!

    PDF hosted on RC Groups courtesy of Pomwah.

  • Discount Codes? YES!

    2bluesc07/28/2015 at 20:29 0 comments

    I've started playing with the Tindie Discount codes to drum up even more sales since my last run was a decent size.

    That said, use discount code "EB3144F" to save 15%! Go check my Tindie Store.

  • v1.1 Ready to Ship

    2bluesc07/14/2015 at 07:01 0 comments

    Just picked up the boards from my assembler and they look great!

  • Go Go Contract Manufacturer

    2bluesc06/29/2015 at 15:20 0 comments

    I dropped off the raw boards at my (semi-)local CM last week and hope to get them back late this week if not definitely next week.

    My CM discovered that the PCBs arrived with damaged rails which will make it harder to operate through the automated assembly process. Sigh. I wish the shipper would have just packed the boards correctly.

    I'm nervous as I await to see what the damage is in terms of yield and my wallet.

View all 35 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Board will require some assembly by end user. User will need to solder the through hole pin headers. This allows some users to not install the pin headers and to instead solder wires directly to the board or leave the headers off all together.

View all instructions

Enjoy this project?



racethesunlive wrote 03/30/2015 at 14:30 point

Love the idea! Any worry about damage to the board from crashes?

  Are you sure? yes | no

2bluesc wrote 03/30/2015 at 14:34 point

Nah, I've never damaged the bottom plate and have damaged alot of other things like arms and props.  

People are far more likely to break arms, props, motors and other frame components before hitting this.  Only way to even strike the board is to fall directly on to a rock. The only components on the bottom are LEDs which even if shorted have series resistors to prevent killing the supply rail.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Danny Bokma wrote 03/08/2015 at 19:10 point

Really nice! Are you selling the boards / sharing design?

  Are you sure? yes | no

2bluesc wrote 03/08/2015 at 22:49 point

I will be selling them, see details:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates