Initial APM 2.6 set up

I am a complete beginner trying to put an APM 2.6 into a large (8ft) trainer type plane with a 30cc engine. That is good.

I have stumbled at the first step however, and can’t work out from the APM website how to power up the servos, receiver and APM. I want to use 2 (or more) standard 4.8v NIMH RC batteries. I connected one to the receiver and one to the outputs and get a flashing orange light. Whats the best way for me to connect up the power? I don’t have an electric motor so there isn’t an ESC anywhere.

Have you read and understood the Arduplane Wiki:
You are going to have to have standalone BECs (Battery Eliminator Circuit) to power both the APM and the plane servos.
The APM requires a minimum of 5vdc to operate.
The first thing to do is to remove jumper J1 on the APM if it is installed.
Procure two BECs: The one for the APM should provide at least 2 amps at 5vdc. The one for the Servos should be sized to provide sufficient current for your servos.
The APM will be powered by connecting a BEC to the APM receiver input power rail.
Alternately you can power the APM with the Power Module (PM) through the APM’s Power Module connector and not use the BEC.
The other higher powered BEC will be connected to the power rail of the APM servo output connectors where your servos are connected.
You can use one battery to power both BECs if you want to otherwise you can use one battery for each BEC.
TCIII Developer

Dear TCIII, thank you thats very helpful.

So i need some sort of 12v battery and two BECs. Should it be Li Po or can it be NiMH - not sure about the power demands of the APM

Is there a good place to get BECs?

I presume i’m still using a second normal battery for the receiver power

Best Wishes


Have you flown anything before? Starting with an eight foot wingspan system might be a bit of a jump.

I’ve been flying straight RC for 35years, but now want to make the latest project a UAV.

I think the APM website looks useful for most advice once you have basically wired it up, but thats the problem i’m having: getting the right power to it, although i think TCIII has sorted me out.

I just need to know if the receiver power is as normal, from a small NiMH battery (with separate servo power from a BEC).

Thanks for your interest and help


Fair enough, what TC said :wink:

I`m powering mine with a Bec on the output rail, J1 in, so the Bec powers the servos, the receiver and the APM together

Hi Harry,
I also have been in and out of RC flying for over 40 years - remember single channel and galloping ghost.

After a considerable hiatus I got back into it - again- about 2 years ago.

I can tell from your questions you too are pretty - old school.

The basic answer to your questions is that for best and easiest implementation of this new stuff you are better off considering rethinking things a bit.

Certainly it is perfectly valid to stuff one of our flight controllers in the kind of model that you have described and many of our more advanced users have been successful at doing so.

But it is almost certainly not the best way to start and for this technology you are still mostly a beginner.

It would be much much more reasonable to start with a nice electric foam trainer type plane than to begin where you are thinking.

Combining the fragility of a large fuel trainer with the difficulty of dealing with it’s engine and less than forgiving results from sub-optimal landings, greatly compounds the learning curve for getting these automated controllers tuned and getting used to flying with them.

A lot easier for something small that bounces well and has the ease of use of an electric motor.

The above responders are really just trying to help so that you might want to stick with this rather than observing a large pile of broken balsa and Monokote after your first or second flight and you wondering why you ever though this was a good idea in the first place.

Almost nobody in our group has anything to do with NIMH anymore except in their transmitters.

For a model the size you are talking about you need to provide separate servo power either directly to the servos or via isolating the flight controllers servo out power buss and providing the servo power directly to it.
You also need to provide clean 5 volt power to the Flight controller, typically a UBEC is used to provide the 5 volt power to the flight controller.

The servo power can be direct from a battery (if your servos are correctly rated for it) or from a separate UBEC with sufficient voltage and power for your servos.

Just please, for the sake of your own enjoyment and sanity, start with a nice ARF medium sized foam plane rather than a traditional 8’ trainer.