3DR: different df13 connectors

Dear everyone,

Happy Holidays!!
I am using my break to play with Reach and 3DR radio. I have a lot of questions, but to start with:
I am confused about the two different types of df13 connectors I seem to have:
As shown in the picture below, I have

  • a white type (left in picture), with 4 out of 6 wires
    This type fits into my 3DR radio (but not into my Reach)
  • a beige type (right in picture)
    This type fits into the Reach (but not my 3DR radio

I have a cable with white on both ends, and one with beige on both ends. What’s the difference between them, and how should I best connect my reach to my 3RD radio?


Some 3DR radio clones have a non standard plug.

So use the cable with the plugs that fit the radio and the reach, basically build a cable with a white and a beige plug.

If that is not possible: Try to buy an original, or a clone with proper plugs.

Plug in each respectable harness. Find their pin outs(sounds like you already know them). No matter the wire color solder the correct wires to each other from each harness. Now you have a custom harness

@DaneGer21, hmm, I was hoping I could avoid soldering/patching on this, but I guess there’ll be no way around it. Now, where’s the soldering iron in my parents’ house…

@Amilcar_Lucas, thanks! I thought my 3DR radio was legit, it says “3DRobotics.com” on the circuit board, but I guess I am a bit naive :wink:

Hey Tobi,

No soldering should be necessary to change things up.

@dpitman, wow, great, thanks!!
Does anyone know, am I meant to see any kind of LEDs on the 3DR radio when it is connected to power from the Reach??
I have connected one, and when I power up the Reach via USB then the Reach works but I see nothing on the 3DR radio, no LEDs. When I plug the USB-3DR radio into my laptop, I see a green LED blinking, but I see nothing on the serial monitor.
Does the fact that the 3DR connected to the Reach (via df13) does not have any LEDs indicate that it has no power?
Thanks for any & all help!

Here is how I have mine…

Base module:
3dr(USB) - plugged into Reach via supplied USB cable. And then from the Reach df13 plug red to Voltage regulator power, and the Reach black to Voltage regulator Ground.

(I use a Voltage regulator/step down because I use a 3s battery)

When battery is plugged in, the Reach module will go through its start up and about 15secs later your 3dr radio should light up green and then start flashing green with the Rover OFF. With the Rover ON, it should turn solid green.

Rover module:
3dr(Df13). Reach white to 3dr yellow. Reach blue to 3dr green. Then, Reach red AND 3dr red to Power of Voltage regulator. Reach black AND 3dr black to Ground of Voltage regulator.

(I use a Voltage regulator/step down because I use a 3s battery)

Wired like mine. When I plug in my battery both my Reach and the 3dr power up immediately(obviously, they are wired direct). With the base station OFF, your 3dr should be flashing green. With a base station ON, it will turn solid green.

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@DaneGer21, thanks!

I have now figured out that part of the problem is that one of my Reach units seems to have a broken df13 socket - it neither powers the 3DR radio, nor can the Reach be powered through it.
Does anyone know if the DF13 socket on the other side can be used, too?

Also, another part of my problem was that it seems I have a 3DR radio clone which requires a different pin layout

The df13 sockets are very easily broken! Try to push in a connector to hard and they snap off.

I also use the clones with no issues.

@DaneGer21, if that is the case, do you know if the df13 on the other side can be used?

Anyway, right now I have the standard configuration (3DR on df13 on one Reach, 3DR on USB on other Reach) running, but I have green blinking lights on both 3DRs, so they don’t connect.
Any tips on narrowing down the issue on this one?

I am not sure about using the “other” df13 plug.

But, I do have a solution if it isn’t to much work…swap the Reach modules. Use the “broken df13 Reach” as the USB 3dr, and the unbroken one with the df13. And hope the broken one can still be powered from the other side.

As for them not “talking”, have you set up each module with the correct setting for use of the 3dr’s?. I can help share settings if not.

Yes, I am doing this, and using the “other” df13 on the broken one to power the Reach that’s using USB OTG.

As for 3DR settions, I have:

  • Base (the one with USB 3DR):
    Correction input is set to off
    Position output is set to off
    Base mode is set to Serial / USB-OTG / 57600

  • Rover (with df13 3DR):
    Correction input is set to Serial / UART / 57600 / RTCM3
    Position output is set to off
    Base mode is set to off

I know the general Base-Rover mechanism works because it works when I set it to TCP.

I will now try to ssh into the Reach units to see if any insights can be gained…

Thanks for any & all help!!

My settings…

Base: 3dr USB

Base Mode Tab:
Corrections Output: ON

"Serial Tab"
Device: USB-OTG
Baud Rate: 57600

Rover: 3dr df13

Correction Input Tab:
Base Corrections: ON

"Serial Tab"
Device: UART
Baud Rate: 57600
Format: RTCM3
*Box checked for “Send NMEA”

Hmmm. Exact same settings.

Only thing I can think of is to make sure the wiring was correct between the df13 plugs.

tx -> rx
rx -> tx

@DaneGer21, I just checked that.
But something else intrigues me:
Shouldn’t the 3DR LEDs be solid green as soon as both are powered up, no matter what settings they are in? My understanding is that these should be solid green whenever two matched radios found each other.
Mine are blinking. Perhaps my radios are somehow using different channels etc?

I just tested mine.

Base(USB)…(Rover OFF)
Plugged in power. Waited a few seconds for the Reach to fire up. 3dr(USB) goes solid green for 3sec THEN begins to flash(RoverOFF).

Rover(df13)…(Base OFF)
Plugged in power. Both Reach and 3dr(df13) fire up immediately. 3dr goes solid green for 3secs THEN begins to flash(BaseOFF).

Rover(df13)…(Base ON:Flashing)
Plugged in power. Both Reach and 3dr(df13) fire up immediately. 3dr goes solid green and stay solid. Within 3secs of the Rover being powered on my base 3dr connected to the rover 3dr and went solid green.

If I power off either the base or the rover, the “other” 3dr will begin to flash within 3secs

Thanks! I believe it should be solid green whenever both are on, independent of the roles and order of switching on, simply because the radios found each other. In which case I seem to have an issue of radios not being on the same channel or something.

Anyway, thank you very much for your help, I shall go to sleep now, thanks a lot for your support!

I think I just spotted something in your picture above.

My “white” connector that fits my 3dr is a 4-pin ONLY with 4-wires. Facing right side up the harness goes Yellow-Green-Red-Black.

Your “white” connector seems to have 6-8-pins with 4-wires.

Can you post a picture of your 3dr radios?

Mine came with two wire harnesses. The one you previously posted, and the other that I’m using.