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?


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.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.