A little while back, I purchased a pixracer from auav after I decided that it would be the best autopilot for my budget. I didn’t have enough money to buy all the parts together, so I was getting them one by one whenever I had a little extra money. The pixracer was the first thing I got and I had it laying around until I could start building. Finally, last week I had all the parts I needed.Before that, I discovered about two weeks ago that I needed a power module, so I ordered one from auav. I started with the power system. I soldered the acsp5 according to this [video] from
RagTheNutsOff on youtube. No mention of soldering the capacitor that came with the module.
I had no idea why they included an electrolytic capacitor. I assumed it was there by mistake or some kind of gesture from them. Anyway, I appreciated it in the back of my mind. After setting it up, I decided to test it.
I connected the battery only to hear a “pop” sound and the pixracer not powering up. I had powered the flight controller via usb before that to flash it,
so I knew it was supposed to work. I plugged it to my computer and all I saw was a solid green light and no sound from the buzzer. The flight controller MCU was dead according to a post from a person who is affiliated with AUAV. After a bit of research, I discovered that the capacitor was there for a reason. Apparently, they had discovered after the module was already in production that using it with a 6S or above battery could cause voltage spikes that could damage the on board regulator. In other words, it was already too late. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-J0n35POhg3) Now, two things:
It is so frustrating to think that auav knowing about the problem decided only to post it in a forum. The least they could have done in addition to that is to include a note as to why the capacitor is included and the ramifications of not using it. Now I have a dead power module and flight controller which is about $130 down the drain.
According to another forum post, the MCU on the pixracer cannot take anything above 5.5V. How hard is to incorporate over voltage protection on the flight controller? Perhaps having a regulator on board the fc and increasing the input voltage range. This is not a problem you find in consumer electronics. Every possible issue is accounted for. I don’t mean to complain, but I would think as an engineering student that these are issues that you plug along the way in the design process.
I am very frustrated at this point. Considering that I bought this flight controller because of budget limitations as a college student, I would have been better off just saving a little more and going with something like a navio2 which I would have gone for had it not been for the excellent recommendations I got about auav. I also hear that auav is notorious for not responding to customer complaints and I can confirm that. I am never buying anything from them again unless something changes. It is not okay to spend money that I almost don’t have for the sake of learning a enjoying the hobby and be left stranded. AUAV, YOU GOTTA DO BETTER!!!
Anyway, I thought I would let out the frustration before I cooled down.