I recently discovered this very neat voltage regulator on eBay, it’s very small (size of a coin), and it’s very light weight as well (2 grams). That makes it perfect for RC planes and quadcopters. It can convert 4.5V to 28V (2S, 3S, 4S all the way up to 7S) battery to 0.8V to 20V (which includes the most used 3.3V, 5V, and 12V) by the trim pot. The maximum current it can provide is up to 3A. Most importantly, it’s only $3 a piece, which is cheap for a voltage regulator!
3A Mini Voltage Regulator Spec
Not only for multicopters and RC planes, It could be great for general use as well, for example as a mobile external power source (with some lipo batteries), use it to power your mobile phone, or your Gopro camera etc. Let’s have a look at the specs.
- Input voltage: 4.5-28V
- Output Voltage: 0.8-20V (adjustable)
- Output current: rated current 3A(MAX).
- Switching Frequency: 1MHz
- Output Ripple:less than 30mV
- Operating temperature: Industrial grade (-40 C to +85 C)
- Module Properties: Non-isolated step-down module (buck)
- Weight: 2g
Some of my thoughts
I use it to power my video transmitter and both my FPV camera (Sony 600TVL) and Mobius Camera, off my 4S main Battery. I have to say it performs decently. With a LC filter the signal and video quality is excellent, voltage ripple is reasonable, no worse than my the other chunky voltage regulator (about the same specs, only larger and heavier ~ 15g).
Although it can provide up to 3A of current, I would not recommend to use it for anything above 2A without a heatsink. I use it to output 1.5A and it’s already getting very warm. Also there is quite a big inductor on the regulator, which will generate some electro-magnetic field around it. So remember to keep it away fromall of your sensors on the flight controller (mag/compass//gyro/acc sensor).
Mobius Action Camera External Power Source
The reason I started digging is because I needed a stable power source for the mobius camera. With the built-in Lipo battery, it can only record for 60 to 80 mins. If you want to record any longer, External power source is required.
These cameras can draw up to 0.5A which is way more than the 808 cameras. I could just use the 5V BEC off one of my spare ESCs, but I am worried about the voltage ripples and noise from these power source. I am sure it will work too and save you some troubles, but it’s just more reliable to have a dedicated voltage regulator for all the FPV equipment. Do NOT tap power off your flight controller for the mobius though, try to connect the camera power cable directly to the ESC 5V output. That’s because you don’t want to run a large current though your flight controller, which could potentially fry it.