One of the most tricky problems with naked GoPro is how to power them. BetaFPV designed a BEC board entirely just for this purpose, making your life much easier.
Umma85 has a bigger brother, the Umma95.
What’s Naked GoPro?
In case you don’t know, “naked GoPro” means stripping down the GoPro to the minimum in order to save weight, this allows very small drone to carry it.
Where to Buy?
Specs of BetaFPV GoPro BEC Board
- Weight: 1.5g
- Output: 5V@2A
- Input Voltage: 2-4S LiPo
- Breakout solder pads for 5V, GND, record button and power button
- Onboard status LED (recording indicator)
- According to BetaFPV, it supports both GoPro Hero 6 and Hero 7
What’s Special about this BEC Board?
The naked GoPro community is quite small. Not that many people are willing to take apart their expensive GoPro, not to mention how vulnerable it would become after de-casing. I am very surprised that a company is willing to put resource to design and make a product for such a niche market :) Kudos to BetaFPV for the efforts!
The BetaFPV BEC board really makes the Naked GoPro easy to use.
This board accepts 2S to 4S LiPo as input voltage, and the built-in 5V BEC (2A) will power the GoPro. This is handy and headache free. Power connector type is GH 1.25 3P.
I tested the 5V BEC, without load, the output voltage is 5.04V.
In the power connector, apart from voltage and ground, there is a third pin (yellow wire), which is actually connected to the record button of the GoPro. You can solder this wire to the Buzzer- pad to control your GoPro recording with a switch on your radio. However you need to configure it first in Betaflight.
Not only that, it also has an LED indicator, mode/power button, and record button! And if you prefer, they also provided the solder pads for these.
Finally, those tiny solder pads on the GoPro logic board are extremely fragile and easy to rip off, so it’s a great advantage that we don’t have to solder directly on them now.
There is no soldering involved, the BEC board plug straight into the GoPro logic board (via the USB-C Port connector and button connector)
Before installing the BEC board, you should put the provided plastic spacer on the GoPro logic board first. This will reduce the stress on the fragile connectors on the GoPro logic board.
It’s a fantastic fit, very well designed PCB.
The overall thickness of the combo is minimal.
The connector is convenient to use if you don’t want to do much soldering, but it gets in the way if you attempt to use it with the Umma85 / Umm95 kit. However, you can remove it if you want.
Gently pull the plastic connector off the board, it’s only held in place by the metal pins.
Once you’ve done that, use your solder iron to remove the pins. Make sure you clean the solder pads and nothing is shorting. (check with multimeter)
Fits great and low profile, getting even more clearance than using 5V BEC. I secure the BEC board to the GoPro with some floss wires, foam between carbon fibre plate and BEC board.
If you want to connect the record pin to the flight controller, you should ONLY use the buzzer- pad on the FC (buzzer negative).
For Auto Power on, You can connect the mode pad (power button pad) to GND. Once you’ve done this, your GoPro will power on as soon as there is power.
I will be using this board in my next naked GoPro build, stay tuned :)
Update (Aug 2020): New Version V1.1
According to BetaFPV, not much has changed from the original V1.0 apart from the added spacers on the PCB (in the form of tiny capacitors around the screw holes).
Any new BEC board you buy now would be V1.1, but BetaFPV reassured me that V1.0 works just fine and there is nothing to worry about.
Here’s a quick comparison, V1.0 on the left, V1.1 on the right: