ZMR250 PDB Bottom Plates Options – Diatone, Overcraft, Nucleus

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

Many mini quad frames come with built-in PDB (power distribution board) bottom plates, which saves quadcopter builders a lot of time and troubles. ESC’s, Battery connector, even your FPV system can be soldered directly on to the PDB, that keeps the use of wires to the minimal. This not only reduces weight but also makes a super clean build.

The ZMR250 frame does not come with any PDB, so many options have been released as upgrade. In this post we will focus on 3 popular power distribution boards for the ZMR.

SimplePDB By OSO

Huge current rating: 180A! Supports MinimOSD, OSDoge and SuperSimple OSD. Nice Matte finish and great quality PDB. Available form multiple shops convenient to get.

For more detail check out my review.

simple-pdb-oso-minimosd-lc-filter-buzzer

cytrynka PDB

Description from developer: cytrynka is an all-in-one power distribution board (PDB) with some extra components to make your racing machine clean and light. The most important objective in the design was to create board to eliminate cables/wires as much as possible. cytrynka consists of two parts – main board (replacement for original top main plate) and conversion board to direct fit most popular FC’s (ex. NAZE32, CC3D). It fits into ZMR250, RCX250 and QAV250 (chinese version) frames.

Here is my review of the PDB.

What is on board:

  • linear 5V 1.5A BEC
  • video line supply LC filter
  • current sensor (up to 90A)
  • direct solder pads for minimOSD or our mOSD
  • pads for RC receiver with RSSI PWM to analog converter
  • 20 bright LED’s
  • openLRS receiver (option)”

https://flyinglemon.eu/pdb/8-cytrynka-pdb.html

Here is my full review on this PDB: https://oscarliang.com/cytryna-pdb-zmr250-frame/

ZMR250-cytrynka-pdb

Diatone ZMR250 PDB

The Diatone PDB was just released last month. The price is only $6 from Banggood. It weights 35g, PCB is 1.6mm thick.

Warning (16 Jun 2015): It’s been reported that this PDB, screw holes doesn’t fit most of the ZMR250 frame on the market. So make sure you get the measurement from seller, and check on your frame before purchase.

ZMR250-Diatone-PDB-screw-hoels-doesnt-fit

This is a relatively simple power distribution board, compared to the other 2 in this article. But it also has integrated 5V and 12V voltage regulators, which is safe to assume this board is designed for 3S, as well as 4S LiPo setup. It enables you to convert voltage from 4S to 12V for your FPV gear. But as these are step down regulators, if you are only running 3S Lipo and your voltage drops below 12V, your 12V regulator output will always be slightly lower than your lipo voltage, any would not be 12V.

ZMR250-PDB-Diaton-power-distribution-board-bottom-plate ZMR250-PDB-Diaton-power-distribution-board-bottom

5V output can be used to power your flight controller and radio. This is useful if you are running Opto ESCs that don’t have a BEC.

It also comes with 4 LED strips, which you can solder on the PDB to help with your orientation when flying LOS.

It doesn’t have any power filter built-in, so bear in mind if you encounter any horizontal jumping lines in your FPV footage, you can put a LC filter (power filter) on this PDB.

One thing that remains unclear is how much current this PDB can handle, it’s not mentioned on the product page.

ZMR250-PDB-Diaton-power-distribution-board-detail

I ordered this board recently, hopefully I can write a more in-depth review once it’s here.

Overcraft PDB

The Overcraft PDB is pretty powerful and has almost everything you ever need on the PDB. It weights 35g, and PCB is 1.6mm thick. Here are some of the features that the Diatone PDB doesn’t offer.

  • FPV Filter (on both 12V and 5V outputs)
  • MinimOSD integration – can be soldered directly on PDB.
  • Solder pads and Traces for FPV Camera, Video transmitter
  • Built-in Buzzer

Overcraft-PDB-ZMR250-power-distribution-board-bottom-plate

However it doesn’t have a 12V regulator for 4S, but there is an optional soldering pad for external voltage regulator if you need one.

This PDB is pretty cheap ($8) and extremely hard to get hold of. It’s only being made once every two months I think, sales usually announced on RCGroup.

NUCLEUS ZMR250 PDB

This board has almost identical features to the Overcraft PDB, but its price tag is way higher at $27. It weights 34g, and PCB is 1.6mm thick. The available connection locations really help keeping it wire-free and tidy.

NUCLEUS-pdb-zmr250-power-distribution-board

There are some difference compared to the Overcraft though.

  • Power filter on this PDB requires soldering.
  • Location of the ESC solder pads
  • Bigger, brighter LEDs
  • LEDs are turn off by default
  • Smaller / slightly quieter buzzer
  • Price difference!

NUCLEUS-pdb-zmr250-power-distribution-board-features

This board can be found here. But I personally would go for the Overcraft over this PDB due to the much lower price.

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37 comments

Juan David Barrada 29th February 2016 - 8:02 pm

Hi Oscar:

Thank you for such a great blog!

I was wondering if maybe do you have any review of the common “ebay” PDB’s? Do they work? Something like this:

ebay.com/itm/PDB-PCB-Power-Distribution-Board-5-12-BEC-Buzzer-LED-F-QAV250-ZMR250-Naze32-CC3D-/141839254338?hash=item2106474342:g:NJEAAOSwwE5WWT4w

Thanks in advance!

Reply
Henrik 19th October 2015 - 10:19 am

Hi Oscar
With naze32, D4R-II and Micro MinimOSD the 5v regulator on my Diatone PDB (V1) overheated and shut down periodically. replaced it with switch mode 5v module.

Reply
Oscar 20th October 2015 - 9:46 am

The MinimOSD draws quite a bit of current, and the Diatone PDB isn’t using very good quality components… that’s why it’s $5 i think…

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Alan Nguyen 7th October 2015 - 12:32 am

Hi Oscar,

Do you have any experience with this PDB from bang good?

banggood.com/Eachine-PCB-Power-Distribution-Board-w-OSD-Socket-Support-NAZE32-CC3D-OSD-For-QAV250-Quadcopter-p-1001037.html

I have a few questions that I would like to ask if you do.

Thanks,
Alan

Reply
Oscar 7th October 2015 - 4:51 pm

No sorry Alan, i haven’t tried this PDB, but just ask anyway!

Reply
Alan Nguyen 7th October 2015 - 10:24 pm

Hi Oscar,

Here are my questions:
1. According to the holes pattern for the micro minimOSD how should I solder it to the board and still be able to flash / program it latter it I need to?
2. Can I connect the OSD & Bluetooth programmer to the TX RX port on the board at the same time?
3. I plan to solder the stackable female pins on these board instead of solder the FC & OSD etc directly to the board. Is there a pros & cons for each approach that I should be aware of?
4. There aren’t much documentation available for this board can I assume that the only wires that I have to solder to this board are: 1. Power source 3 or 4S. 2 Camera. 3 VTX. 4 PPM wire from the FC to the receiver?

Thanks,
Alan

Reply
Oscar 9th October 2015 - 11:03 am

Alan,
1. check out my build log on the ZMR250 V2, how I install the MinimOSD, that way i still able to flash firmware on the Minim.
2. no you can’t.
3. height is the only concern. if you can manage that there is no problem.
4. Buzzer, 5V voltage regulator if you don’t have ESC BEC, 12V voltage regulator for your FPV gear

Reply
bOOmslang 1st September 2015 - 10:45 pm

Hi Oscar

Be carefoul with the “ZMR PDB V5 With Naze 32 Socket”!! We’we got a brand new with sort between the 3rd esc signal and the battery +… Minus a Naze32 Full board. The magic smoke came out instantly!

Reply
Martin 19th August 2015 - 9:01 am

Hi Oscar,
I’m new to this and I building my first quad with help of my friend who is more experienced. But he was unable to help with power issues I have. I have the Diatone ZMR 250 PDB v2.1 which have a possibility to connect ESC signal directly to PDB directly next to frame shoulder where ESC is. Also have a of course main power for ESC on the PDB on the same place. So saving almost all wires going from ESC. But this leads me to to my problem. What about the “signal ground” wire going from ESC? From my point I have 4 options and all forums have different opinion about this so I hope you can help me resolve my issue for good. So do I need to:
a) lead the “signal ground” all the way to FC (Flip32) for all 4 ESC?
b)lead the “signal ground” all the way to FC (Flip32) for 1 ESC and rest of them cut or make as point c)
c) lead “SG” only to Ground on PDB where the main ground of ESC is connected
d) I don’t need the “SG” at all and I can cut these wires on all 4 ESC
Obviously I prefer c) or d) to have minimum wires :)
My ESC is Hobbywing XRotor 20A ESC 3-4s for RC Multicopters for DJI RC Quadcopter Multicopter

Would you be so kind and give to a poor rookie advice.
Thanks
Martin

Reply
Oscar 20th August 2015 - 9:58 am

HI Martin, you definitely need Signal ground to ensure least noise signal. It’s especially important if you are running Oneshot where the signal width is much much smaller than PWM.
Go for option C – connect signal ground to ESC power ground.

Reply
Martin 21st August 2015 - 2:46 pm

Thanks for reply Oscar. Maybe as well a dumb questions but I noticed it only now. If I go ahead with option c) the main ground for ESC is I guess 12V where “SG” normally goes to FC which is 5V. So wouldn’t this be a problem……..

Reply
Oscar 21st August 2015 - 4:26 pm

in an ideal world, all grounds in an electronics system should be connected, as voltage is measured with ground as reference. So 5V is 5V, 12V is 12V because they have the same ground. So you don’t need to worry about it.
But your concern is reasonable, there could be noise on the 12V system as your motor can create lots of noise, and it might not be so bad on the 5V system as it’s regulated, that can affect your signal if your SG is connected to the ESC GND and not the FC GND… Whenever possible, connect SG to FC GND… but I have been connecting SG to the ESC GND and haven’t had any problems..

Reply
attomic 10th August 2015 - 7:38 pm

Hi Oscar,

I am running the diatone PDB on 4s for a few weeks now with no issues at all. Its a great board and I had my doubts at first but have been impressed. You cant beat this board for the price. I may use it with a NAZE + OSDOGE setup for a super clean build.

Reply
Frank 29th July 2015 - 9:17 am

Hi Oscar,

Ther is a new Diatone board V2.1.

Holes are oval so it will fit more frames and rated 40Amp, not that much IMO:

banggood.com/Diatone-ZMR250-V2_1-PCB-Board-For-ZMR250-RC-Quadcopter-Frame-Kit-p-987596.html

Reply
Oscar 30th July 2015 - 10:47 am

thanks Frank! yes the current rating is still very disappointing.
maybe for a low power 3S, this will working, but not for a fast racer :)

Reply
Adi 26th July 2015 - 10:56 am

Hi Oscar,

Do you know of a manual (sort of) for the the last V5 PDB? I have just ordered that and I am not sure about the best way to solder pins/Naze32 etc.

Thanks!

Reply
Oscar 27th July 2015 - 10:57 am

Hi Adi, what V5 PDB?

Reply
Adi 28th July 2015 - 5:23 pm

Sorry for the confusion. I meant the “ZMR PDB V5 With Naze 32 Socket”, the last option as shown in the post.

Reply
Frank 28th July 2015 - 6:37 am

Which V5: Diatone, Overcraft, Nucleus, other ??????

Reply
Oscar 28th July 2015 - 5:47 pm

sorry, yes, I totally forgot I mentioned the ZMR250 V5 PDB…
no… I don’t know that PDB very well, only posted it here because someone sent me the link….

Reply
Frank 23rd July 2015 - 10:10 am

Hi Oscar,

I have some PCB’s for the 250. Imo less is better so it gives me room to place my own components.
I like the Diatone ZMR250 PDB from BangGood, it fits my RCX-H250CF perfectly :

myrcmart.com/rcx-h250cf-pro-3k-fpv-quadcopter-3k-carbon-fiber-h2206-1950kv-motor-hw-20a-esc-6045-kk-21-p-8500.html

and gives room to fit the XT-60 with a mounting-bracket:

banggood.com/CNC-XT60-Plug-Connector-HolderFixed-Mount-for-RC-Model-p-954410.html

It is a shame that they put only 500mamp (0.5Amp) regulators on the board so be careful what you connect. Also the necessary capacitors are missing for the voltage regulators so i solder smd ones between the legs.

Also I have the Massive RC PCB:

myrcmart.com/rcx-h250cf-pcb-v2-upgrade-for-dt-version-naze32-cc3d-p-8919.html

I like the voltage regulator options, and other mounting like mini OSD.
I don’t like that the battery connections are on the end of the board so no fixing is possible.

//Frank

Reply
Oscar 23rd July 2015 - 11:42 pm

Thanks Frank for informing!

Reply
andreas 27th August 2015 - 5:12 am

Hi Oscar!
Which frame do you have? Rcx h250 or rcx h250 pro?
I’ve bought the pro and the massive pdb but it is not aligned with the holes.
Will any other pdb like Diatone fit?

Thanks

Reply
Kevin yang 7th July 2015 - 2:45 am

Thank you very much for the info. I bought diatone One. I would like to know that is it okay with led when I use 4s system.

Reply
Oscar 7th July 2015 - 5:06 pm

it’s fine for 4S :) just try not to exceed the max current on PDB :)

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Les Elkins 16th June 2015 - 8:18 pm

Thanks, this writeup is useful. I got sick of the ‘rats nest of wires’ approach and used a square PDB for my last rebuild. I was looking for a PDB like the ones described, but could not for the life of me find anyone with one in stock for the several weeks I spent looking. I’ll use this as a resource the next time I think I’ll need a rebuild!

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Oscar 19th June 2015 - 11:03 am

indeed some of these PDB are hard to find… they only make them in small quantity :)

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Julian 9th June 2015 - 2:36 pm

Just before I purchased the ZMR250 frame with a 36×36 pdb and a 12v step down regulator you came with the diatone pdb! Gonna get this instead and look how things go. Your blog is awesome! :)
Greets
MUuuulerOriginal from Youtube. ;P

Reply
Julian 9th June 2015 - 2:38 pm

with the code 250pcb, the diatone pdb becomes one buck cheaper again btw. :)

Reply
Oscar 10th June 2015 - 9:32 am

that’s great ! :)
maybe still get the square PDB for backup as well just in case :) I don’t know how good that ZMR PDB is yet !

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Julian 10th June 2015 - 7:51 pm

Nah, in case it doesn’t work properly I’m gonna do the wiring without a PDB. my bigger concern is the 12V step-down regulator for the FPV system whcih woul be missing in case the PDB doesn’t work.

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Oscar 12th June 2015 - 10:36 am

yes, thinking about it, this board is pretty immature… many aspects are missing!

Reply
Julian 12th June 2015 - 9:47 pm

Ok. This is not gonna fit. I did an overlay of the mechanical drawings of the actual ZMR250 bottom plate and the PCB (http://imgur.com/VPKuPrG).
Let us know if you get to the same results! ;)

Reply
Oscar 16th June 2015 - 2:08 pm

banggood recently put a warning up on their product page, saying it might not fit all “ZMR frames”… very odd!

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Julian 12th June 2015 - 9:53 pm

I guess I’m just going to order both and look if I can work out those things. By order both I mean the Lumenier PDB with the Poulu step-down-regulator and the Diatone PCB.

Reply
Priit 7th June 2015 - 5:10 pm

Heres another option: flyinglemon.eu/pdb/8-cytrynka-pdb.html
Seems to be out of stock atm thou.

Reply
Max 15th June 2015 - 12:34 pm

Out of stock is temporary, I think… Check now on store is information that will be available on 29.06.

Reply