I am building a quadrocopter with an Arduino Uno as control unit. I know I can supply 5 volts to the 5V pin, but my ESCs produce 5.5 volts, which I measured with my multimeter. Will this voltage drop to 5 volts when I connect the Arduino and if not are 5.5 volts to the 5V pin a problem?


My Arduino was running well for a couple of days on this setup with 5.5 volts to the 5V pin but died yesterday. By dying I mean the ATmega doesn't execute any code anymore, the L LED doesn't blink, and even a loopback test fails, which is a sign of a defective USB connector. But I am faced with the same challenge. Should I run my Arduino on 14.4 Volts from my 3S LIPO to Vin or supply 5.5 volts to the Vin pin?

Actually I just realised when I measure the voltage from the ESCs they deliver 9 point something volts for half a second when connecting the multimeter, I guess this voltage spike killed the Arduino.

  • Do you mean 5V to VIN pin? – user400344 Nov 11 '16 at 11:44

I'm going to assume you are using the UNO model - or any other board based around the Atmega328p.

According to the datasheet the voltage limits are 1.8v to 5.5, with an absolute maximum of 6v. You should be fine - but if you are able to get the voltage down closer to 5 volts, I would recommend doing that instead.


Most Arduinos won't mind 5.5v if your are sure that is the max. The ATmega328 is design to be used from 2.7V to 5.5V so that is the very max. No, the voltage will not drop down to 5V when you connect it to the Arduino but I believe you are quite safe with 5.5V. Just don't make a short because you'll be pushing your ATmega328 to it's designed max. You might wanna look at the datasheet for it. All it specs are in there.


You're better off applying that 5.5V to the Vin pin. You may end up with slightly less than 5V at the Arduino, but it'll tolerate that much better than going above 5.5V on the 5V rail.

  • It's going to yield ~4.4V on output pins and the 5V pin. This never caused me any problems with transistors etc. OP should just use that value for any calculations. – user400344 Nov 11 '16 at 11:43

Actually I just realised when i measure the voltage from the escs they deliver 9 point something volts for half a secound when connecting the multimeter ...

Yes, that won't be good for it. I suggest a LDO (low dropout) 5V voltage regulator. Something with a 0.5V dropout will get rid of that extra 0.5V and also handle the initial spike.


Okay - it looks like that voltage spike might be the cause of death for your board. As an answer to your question though - I would recommend applying the 14.4 volts to vin, as 5.5 volts is not enough (the regulator needs 6 volts as a minimum, and the absolute maximum is 20 volts). Just make sure you apply the 14.4 volts to the vin pin and NOT the 5v pin, as that would kill the board.

Please tell us how it worked out - good luck!

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