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I'm considering using a TS351 video transmitter (6.5-12V) and a 700TVL camera (8-13V) on an RC aircraft where a 3S LiPo battery (11.1V) is used as the main power source. The rest of the electronics on board use a 5V source that I tap off of a brushless motor's ESC (via the included 2A BEC). What is the best way to power the transmitter and camera? Is it safe to tap a line directly off the battery for each or do I need regulators of some sort? I'm thinking one common regulator to both would be best.

A fully charge 3S LiPo outputs about 12.6V.

The vehicle currently has 4 20A ESCs for 4 brushless motors and the flight control electronics run off 5V. Currently I am running the flight controller and RC receiver from the 5V tap from the ESCs, but I probably need to separate the two power busses, or do I?

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Is it safe to tap a line directly off the battery for each or do I need regulators of some sort?

"Tap off the ESC" probably refers to a BEC; it is designed to, at least minimally, protect its own load from the inductive loads. Wiring a resistor between the battery and your camera is not wise, but also (I'm assuming) not what you really meant.

A common BEC(regulator) between them is fine; consider using a buck-boost type to keep a steady 12V regardless of Vin.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, my original voltage range wasn't completely correct and I need to consider the camera as well. Should I power ALL of the electronics separately from the motor ESCs? I'll add more info to clarify. \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 11 '15 at 0:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ 11.1V is nominal. I personally would use a separate battery. The 5V BEC you are using is designed to do what you are doing, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Feb 11 '15 at 1:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify, from your description, I think you are using an ESC with an integrated BEC, therefore, it is already "separate" some-what from the ESC, although it's a single unit. You can add as many regulators to the same battery as you want, but it will discharge faster. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Feb 11 '15 at 2:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's right, each ESC has a 2A BEC. Adding to OP. \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 11 '15 at 5:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please visit: pololu.com/category/133/step-up-step-down-voltage-regulators for a wide selection. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Feb 11 '15 at 6:14

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