The Power OSD Pro is a stand-alone OSD unit that also provides some power distribution board (PDB)-like capabilities. It accepts a direct battery connection from a 3S or 4S battery and contains all of the regulators needed to provide clean power output to a flight controller, camera and VTX. While it does this, it meters the power flowing through it and provides an excellent on-screen display that provides pilots with real-time amperage readings as well as a battery capacity consumed meter.
Used correctly, it can offer very real weight savings for its feature set. Even better, it’s significantly cheaper than the current “golden-child” OSD on the market, OSDoge.
Let’s get right into the installation. I wired up my Power OSD with the intent of installing it as the main PDB for my new Krieger quad. Kriegers generally don’t have OSDs because their form factor is so compact that they cannot fit more than 2 boards in their electronics stack and every quad needs at least a flight controller and a PDB. Fortunately, with some clever soldering, Power OSD can second as a PDB.
Start by adding the battery wires. You’ll want to add a lot of solder directly onto the + and – terminals on the PDB so that you have plenty of electrical contact, as the average mini quad these days will easily pull 40A on a full-power climbout. Please note that the VTX pins come pre-soldered.
In the pictures in this guide, I’m using 8AWG wire. After thinking about it some more, I decided to reduce the gauge down to 10AWG, which will not be pictured. This is because the hottest battery I run only uses 10AWG so it is pretty pointless to use a thicker wire.
The PowerOSD is reported to be good up to 100A of current on 4S. I plan to test this on my Krieger build, which is why I am using such thick wires.
Next you’ll want to add the wires that you’ll use to connect to the ESCs main power. This is where you’ll need to get a little creative. To fit 4 positive wires on the relatively-small PowerOSD pad, you’ll need to stack them on top of each other. I’m opting for a cross-over layout which you will see built up in the images to the right.
Start by adding a good layer of solder as pictured on the negative terminal side here. Then start layering your ESC wires on top. One thing to pay special attention to is to ensure you have sufficient clearance on the standoff holes on each corner of the Power OSD. It is likely you’ll want to have enough room to screw in a full size M3 hex standoff into each corner so you’ll want to leave room for that.
Ignore the burn marks on the paper towel, I was using a butane soldering iron for this work and the output flame singed the towel a little bit J.
Now I used some heat shrink to capture the two criss-crossing wires of each polarity in front and back of the Power OSD unit. You can start to see the final X-configuration of ESC wires here that looks like that of a normal PDB.
Also not pictured, I added pin headers for the camera pointing inward to the PowerOSD board. They rest rather nicely on top of one of the chips like this. Alternatively, you can just solder a servo wire directly to the board.
Now I installed the flight controller power lead. The negative terminal just goes on top of the negative strip where all the ESC wires are soldered to. The positive gets soldered directly to the 5V output pin at the front of the PowerOSD.
This is the final picture, where I started soldering the ESC leads to my AfroESCs. As you can see, with a little bit of careful routing, the PowerOSD can actually do a pretty good job as a PDB and look OK in the process.
For less space-restrictive builds, you can actually do an alternate installation with the PowerOSD. Instead of soldering ESCs directly to the small positive and negative pads, you can jump the pads directly to the battery input areas of a normal PDB board. You want to make sure that power flows through the Power OSD, though, to ensure that your OSD amperage and battery consumption meter works correctly.
After flying with the PowerOSD for a few months now, I’m happy to report that it has been a great product. Out of the box, it automatically detects your battery voltage, set’s up the correct alarms, and shows me battery consumed and power pull. No set-up of the OSD was necessary whatsoever. The OSD is minimalistic, which is just fine with me. I have not had any problems with burned out electronics or noisy video, so the 5V and 12V voltage regulators and filters are working great.
I’ve been running it in a set-up that pulls 90A at peak throttle, and the PDB has stood up to that just fine. The current display and battery energy consumed meter works great, and is generally accurate to within 10%. I have found that during racing practice, where I am constantly pulling 30A+, it is less accurate than when I fly a little less aggressively.
The biggest issue I have with the PowerOSD is that the PDB layout is subpar. The battery input terminals should be closer together, and there should have been ESC pads on each corner of the board. This may have been possible if the designer had chosen placed some of his chips on the bottom of the PCB, where there are no chips, rather than all on the top.
In summary, if you are looking for an excellent OSD and an decent PDB at a great price, I highly suggest looking into the PowerOSD.