The Mini Tricopter, a different mini multirotor that packs a punch.
The Mini Tricopter was designed to utilise parts from the Tricopter V3. It uses the same Naze and PDB, servo, tilt mechanism, motor mounts, front spacer and arms (cut to half length). Which means that you can convert your regular size tricopter to a Mini Tricopter simply by cutting the arms (or getting new pre-cut ones) and screwing on the Mini Tricopter add-on frame. (Warning: cutting carbon fiber is dangerous and may harm your health. Use proper protection if you try it.) Also, don’t forget to downsize the electronics accordingly.
The frame has a built in adjustable mount for a board-camera with up to a 40x40mm footprint. The angle can be adjusted continuously between 0 and 40° so that you can start out easy and as you progress in your flying, you can add more and more angle to the camera. The camera is well protected by the frame itself as well as the fact that it is held in place by rubber bands, which protects the camera even more during a crash.
The Mini Tricopter also easily carries a GoPro camera with protective housing. The camera is easily mounted on the top of the frame. A GoPro4 session or Mobius/Runcam can be mounted inside of the frame on the Mobius Shelf. This plate can be mounted in two positions to allow for different configurations and camera angles. The supplied silicone camera wedge can be used to fine tune the angle of the camera.
Flying the Mini Tricopter can be best described as driving an overpowered rear-drive car. It’s not the fastest around the track, but you’ll have the biggest grin on your face when the race is over. The recommended electronics package makes this little beast go almost 160km/h (100mph). The thin arms and smallish body makes it pretty aerodynamically slippery. It requires very little power to cruise at high speeds and it absolutely loves long low-passes with big wide turns. Flips, loops and rolls are quick and crisp thanks to the center of gravity and center of mass being very close to each other.
Transporting the Mini Tricopter is really easy as the arms can be folded back, just like on the larger tricopter. Folded up it’s only 10cm wide and 30cm long (35cm with 6 inch props sticking out straight back) and 8cm tall. The folding design also makes the Mini Tricopter crash resistant, as the arms may fold back, absorbing energy. The tough “cage” protects the electronics and battery on the inside.
The recommended battery size for the Mini Tricopter is a 4S 1800mAh with a C rating of 35 and upwards. Be sure to check the size of the battery as only batteries up to 110x35x35mm will fit inside of the “cage”. Larger batteries can be fitted on top or below but you’d lose the protection. I also highly recommend using the tricopter frame with integrated NAZE32 and the PowerDistribution frame with BEC as otherwise it will get really cramped inside of the “cage”.
When using the Power distribution frame with BEC, it is not recommended to power an OSD, High power LED’s or similar from the BEC at the same time as the servo. It can lead to the chip overheating.
Tricopters have received very little love in the development of modern flight controller code. With the Mini Tricopter this became very obvious as the yaw performance in the original Cleanflight code was lacking. I tried my best tuning the PID’s but I couldn’t get it to a level of performance I was satisfied with. This is when the community really stepped up to the challenge. The user Lauka, on the forums, wrote a special Tricopter version of the Cleanflight code called “Triflight”, which with it’s many alterations, already has improved performance greatly. The yaw is still not quite perfect but we will continually try to improve upon the code and PID settings. You can join us in this quest for perfection simply by posting your findings in this thread. Together we can bring back the tricopter with it’s phenomenal flight characteristics from the brink of extinction.
To make setup as smooth as possible all PID’s, filters, TPA, tail TPA and such are already tuned for the recommended electronics package. Just click the “Preconfigured Cleanflight Setup” tab above and follow the instructions.
Pinout for the ESC’s and servo is (Looking at the tricopter from above with the tail pointing towards you):
Motor pin 5 is left ESC
Motor pin 4 is right ESC
Motor pin 3 is back ESC
Motor Pin 1 is servo
The kit contains:
- 3 1/2 length carbon fiber arms
- 2 Motor mounts
- 1 Front spacer
- 1 Tricopter G10 frame (Unless otherwise selected)
- 1 Tilt mechanism
- 1 Servo setup tool
- 1 GoPro strap
- 1 Battery strap
- 1 Zip-ties
- 1 Tricopter side plate
- 8 40mm Standoffs
- 1 Frame holders
- 1 Top tray
- 1 Board camera mount + mobius mount
- 1 Black rubber bands
- 1 Mini tricopter screw pack
- 1 Silicone wedge
- 3 x BE2208-10 – 1800KV Motors
- 3 x DYS SN20A ESC’s
- 1 x BMS-210DMH Servo
- 1 x HQ6x4.5 CCW Propellers
- 1 x HQ6x4.5 CW Propellers
More from the RCExplorer store:
- 6mm Wire mesh for protecting the ESC cables
- 3mm Wire mesh for protecting servo cables
- Male to male servo connectors
From another supplier:
Battery connector of your choice, example XT60
- Camera: Sony Effio 800TVL WDR 2.8mm lens
- Transmitter: Fatshark 600mW 5.8GHz transmitter
- Antennas: Spironets
- Video googles: Fatshark Attitude SD
Want to make your own? That’s correct, You can download the design files for free. Even if you don’t have the money to support me, I still want you to be able to enjoy the hobby by making it yourself. Please enjoy and share this great hobby with someone. Click here for the download page.