How to mount a Jetson Xavier module on a drone? (Solved)

I need to mount a Jetson Xavier on a drone for DL image recognition. The drone will be in a open rust environment, with dust, high temperature and sometimes rain.

I wonder if I have to use the Developer Kit in order to have all I/O connectors available, or if you have any other accesory with the 699-connector to connect to Xavier module that give availability for I/O ports to connect sensors or power supply, from the drone.

Also, because the environment conditions, I need to know wich is the Internation Protection Rating (IEC60259) IP factor for the Jetson Xavier module, the Developer Kit, and the I/O accessories for Jetson Xavier if there is any.

One more question is the power supply voltage and amperage consumption of the Xavier.

Finally, I need to know the weight of the whole Developer Kit, and the wheight of the Jetson Xavier module alone.

Thank you!

Hi rroballo, various Jetson Ecosystem partners will be coming out with deployable carriers and enclosures after general availability that may be more suitable to the harsh environment of your application.

The module power supply is 9-20VDC, 30W.

The weight of the devkit is 630 grams.

For power consumption don’t forget to add power consumed by anything USB or PCIe.

I recently received mine, and am considering mounting it on a rover. Here’s my conclusion so far:

The devkit has a small, lightweight motherboard now, not a big ITX like the TX2. However, the IP rating is basically 00 – you will have to come up with an enclosure yourself.

The integreated heatsink is quite massive, my guess is it’s about 2/3 of the total weight of the devkit. NVIDIA is quite proud of their power-scalable architecture. If you will run this at 8W or 15W budgets, you can likely save a lot of weight here.

My drug dealer kitchen scales say devkit with heat sink weighs 725 grams, this is with a couple of cables plugged in.

The supplied power connector is 19V/3.5A, but I’d imagine anything 8V-19V would work fine, like previous kits/modules. Amp draw will depend on how hard you run the module GPU and CPU. (This is what the specs seem to indicate, but I haven’t gotten to the bottom of this yet.) The module itself doesn’t draw more than, at most, 30W, so 12V/3A would be plenty, even allowing for inefficiency in power conversion.

Finally: The devkit motherboard has no obvious mounting screws. There are two 10mmWx100mmDx20mmH plastic bars, which you can probably drill into? Those bars also serve as stand-offs from the surface below, and have nothces for components on the board itself, so you don’t get to use the full 20mm height for mounting purposes. The bars also screw into the heat sink, with two screws each, so another option is to design a mount that replaces these.

Hope this helps.

Incidentally, the CAD drawing doesn’t show the specification of thread pitch and diameter (that I can see) for the four screws holding those two plastic “rail” standoff blocks to the carrier and heat sink. Is there an “official” specification of the thread pitch and diameter (I’m guessing it is metric)? Since it is a fine pitch going into aluminum (the heat sink seems threaded) I’d hate to mess that up even once with a “close but not quite matching” screw.

Also, trying to remove the screws is hard – they seem locked in place with something like red loctite :-(

The devkit has an integrated heatsink, so unlike the fan on the TX1/TX2 kits which you could remove from the TTP, it isn’t really recommended to remove the heatsink from the devkit because it’s bonded with thermal paste and pads. The OEM module will ship with a TTP like TX1/TX2 that will simplify customized modular cooling solutions.

But that makes no sense, because the devkit manual tells me I have to remove the heat sink to get at the M.2 NVMe slot and other connectors on the top of the PCB?

I was thinking about using a set of longer screws which go through the plastic base as a means of mounting. The heat sink wouldn’t be removed for that. Is there a listing somewhere of the exact thread for those screws? If I got some which were longer and wanted to do nothing more than bolt the carrier to a metal tray it would be fairly simple (I would make the tray itself as some sort of quick disconnect, but the tray would attach via longer versions of those same four screws).

@snarky: You gain access to the M.2 slot by removing the Jetson+heatsink from the carrier board. The Jetson itself can not be removed from the heatsink. Believe me I tried :) (See attached pic)

OK, but the carrier board is fastened to the heatsink through four screws through the plastic standoff bars, and those four screws won’t come out (I don’t want to pull hard enough to strip the heads, for obvious reasons!)

It looks like you had better luck! Is this some weird head drive like Pozidriv, not Phillips?

No I just used a phillips. The screws just screw out. You won’t strip anything. They are meant to come out, that is how you gain access to the M.2 slot.

That’s why I’m so surprised that mine are driven and/or threadlocked so hard.
It’s not like I don’t have screw and tap removal equipment to help me if I strip them, though, so I guess I should just crank at it.
Then I can check which thread is on the screws. My prediction is going to be M3 for now, but that’s not based on anything other than visual inspection!

They did have blue threadlocker. But that is only medium strength and easy to overcome. I used the #2 phillips driver from my iFixit toolkit.

When I pulled the screw out to view it there was indeed threadlock, but it seemed to be fairly light and wasn’t hard to unscrew. The problem is, I don’t have thread guages and it is looking to be metric. I’m interested in simply getting longer screws and keeping it all as is, but mounting to a metal base with four simple holes.

Does anyone know what thread this is?

My son got his Xavier delivered last week and its weight was measured as 667g (whole devkit assembly including carrier board with no cables).

I don’t feel condifent to trust these plastic standoff bars for holding 667g weight under possible impact. We are thinking of drilling holes in the aluminum heatsink for mounting purpose.

-albertr

The mentioned four screws going through those plastic rails seem to terminate in the aluminum, so you wouldn’t need new holes. You’d just need to do one of the following:

  • Get longer screws and mount with plastic rails on top of another mounting point.
  • Use the existing screws with your own mounts replacing the rails and having the same thickness and countersink.

Since I would probably order online I was hoping someone knows what thread those four screws going into the heat sink use.

Before terminating in heatsink, these bolts go thru devkit carrier board. I’d rather avoid putting any stress or vibration on them. But maybe I’m just overly cautious.

-albertr

In a factory there would be a designated torque setting. Something of that size would be around 2-4 inch-pounds. This should be constant regardless of how the mount is used (the threadlock would help against vibration). If this isn’t sufficient, then the hole size would need to be different.

I finally got to check it for real. (And one of the screws was harder than the other, and that’s the one I had initially tried, thinking they all were like that.)

The screws check out as standard black oxide M3-0.5x30 mm thin head machine screws.

The head goes into a 4mm deep recess; I tried a socket head replacement just for fun and it fit fine.

The two plastic spacers are different shapes, and only properly mount one way, although they are not keyed. Two different custom plastic injection molds for just these stand-offs? I can see why they’d want to charge $1300 for each devkit!