After replacing the work light bulbs in my lab, I did an install of the ReadyMadeRC 5V/12V Dual Step Down Regulator (RMRC-5-12-STEP), seen below.
This unit is necessary for a couple of reasons:
12 Volt Gimbal Power
My Arris Zhaoyun gimbal needs 12 volts of power to operate. The power supply for my hexacopter is via a 6S battery, which puts out 22.2 volts. Other BEC (battery elimination circuit) outputs on the bird are 5 volts. Not enough.
So the 5V/12V Dual Step Down Regulator takes that 22.2 volt 6S signal and splits it out into a 12 volt and 5 volt set of JST plugs. Perfect.
I lopped off the input plug on the regulator and soldered the leads directly to my power distribution board. Then I put the regulator on the bottom plate so that the 12V/5V leads could be put toward the front of the bird, where I need the power for the gimbal.
The gimbal powered right up last night, so the power setup is good. The gimbal did the chicken dance, so it needs to be setup and calibrated.
Another reason for the 12 volt power is lighting. I’m going to put some LED strips on the front and rear arms of the bird. It is currently very easy to get disoriented and have no idea where the “front” of the bird is. Those lights will help. More on the lights later.