Connecting 16 motors as 4 to Pixhawk

#1

Hey!

I’m new in the area, so please bear with me. I would like to build a quadrocopter where we have 16 motors, and we would like the Pixhawk to control 4 motors as 1, since it’s not able to manage 16 motors. So this way we’d have 4 connected motor groups. The problem is that the due to the high peak current values, we cannot connect 4 turbines to 1 ESC, so we’ll need 1 ESC for each turbines, then after the ESC, we would join the 4 wires into 1, then connect it to the Pixhawk. First of all my question is am I seeing the problem clearly? The second is how could we make the joining process?

Thanks,
Kristof

#2

I think your thoughts are correct.

The communication from a Pixhawk to ESCs is usually done using PWM signal. I would assume just feeding a PWM signal (and ground, of course) to 4 ESCs at once should work, although I’ve never tried that. Essentially the Pixhawk is driving the signal while the 4 ESCs are listening to it, so the crude splitting should work.

I would be more careful with connecting the 5v. It depends on the BEC if they can handle being in parallel. It generally depends on the model.

#3

I have, a lot of times, with 8 on one output. works.
Just put all the esc signal wires (usually white or yellow) on each other. And make sure all grounds are common.

I would not connect the 5v lines together, just cut them off…

But if your want to you could create a new motor mix, i think the pixhawk 4 has enough pwm/aux ports to make 16 individual signals… But i think you would need to make some firmware changes.

#4

Maybe it is better to connect 16 motors as 8 (2 per one PWM), you could achieve better control with that.

#5

Okay, it’s clear now. Thank you for your replies!