The Tricopter V2.6HV Deluxe

Yet another Tricopter!? Yes! I needed a backup tricopter for a video shoot, so I decided to build one with high quality components, too see if there is any difference in performance.

Tricopter 2.6HV Delux

I choose to use the T-Motor 2216-12 800kV motors. I’ve used them before and I liked them, plus they were available at my local hobby shop. The ESC’s are the same  Hobbyking F-20A ESC’s I’ve used many times before. Once again I’m going to re-flash with Simon K’s awesome firmware. The modified firmware has little to none filtering of the PPM signal which means that the throttle response is much quicker.

The yaw mechanism on the Tricopter V2.5 and 2.6HV works so well and is so simple to build, I decided to use it on this build as well.

Tricopter 2.6 adapter plate

To mount the motor as simple and clean as possible I made a little adaptor plate.

The motor is bolted to the plate and the plate is then mounted on the yaw mechanism.

The plate is fastened with Zip-ties. This will absorb energy and save parts in case of a crash.

Magnetic induction servo

The servo I decided to use is a 12-Bit high resolution digital coreless Blue Bird BMS-A206. It’s a quite expensive servo I had left over from building a camera gimbal. It’s very smooth, quick and powerful. Unfortunately I had to cut the case on it to get the cable out of the way.

To get the proper distance between the boom and the servo output shaft I had to use a 1.5mm thick piece of G10

I simply glued to the bottom of the servo using CA.

Tricopter yaw mechanism

Ready to be installed on the boom.

This is how I ended up mounting the front motors. The hole spacing on the motors almost fit perfectly over a 10mm boom. Only a little material needs to be removed and then you can just bolt it straight to the boom. I made a couple of “spacers” out of 1.5mm G10 in order to not have the motor shaft rub against the boom and also have something on the bottom to hold the screws in place.

Looks pretty clean.

All the motors ready to go.

Tricopter tail servo

The tail servo and yaw mechanism strapped to the boom using zip-ties

The tail ESC. I modified it by adding a pin header which is directly soldered to 5V BEC output of the ESC and a separate signal wire. This is so I can plug in the servo straight into the ESC instead of having a servo lead going from the ESC to the control board and then back again to the servo. This saves 4 wires and is more efficient.

All the wires are fed through the inside of the square carbon fiber tube to make it look nice and clean.

Two front ESC with longer power and servo leads.

Still use the same old frame. (Which I now sell if you don’t want to cut it your self)

Looking good so far.

The power wires soldered to the XT60 connector.

The signal wires installed into plugs and the KK2 board in place.

Wiremesh

Added some orange wire mesh to the signal wires to tidy it up a bit.

Heat shrink KK2

The KK2 board isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, so I covered it in some transparent red heat shrink.

Camera plate tricopter

Cut a simple GoPro camera tray out of some 1.5mm carbon fiber.

Vibration dampener

I’m using the same vibration dampening system as the V2.6HV, but with 1.5mm thick wire instead of 1.2mm.

Front wire.

The wires installed on the frame.

Glued to the bottom of the camera tray. I used some extreme packing tape just  to make sure.

GoPro2 tricopter

GoPro mounted on the solid wire dampened camera tray.

Tricopter landing gear

Simple landing gear.

Installed on the tricopter using two zip-ties.

Graupner 9×5 E-props.

As usual I’m using a 300mW 1.3GHz transmitter from ReadyMadeRC

One thing I don’t like about almost all video transmitters is the connectors they use. They are sensitive to vibration and oxidation.

I always replace the connector with a direct soldered wire.

Servo wire works is my choice.

To make remove all stress from the solder joints I always drench the wire and joints in epoxy.

Transmitter done. The antenna is a Old man Mike optimized  Pin wheel I built earlier.

This is a 2.5mm 4 pin connector from a handsfree that is perfect for getting video out from the GoPro 1 and 2.

 

Here is the pinout for the GoPro 1 and 2.

I only use video so I only need the video and ground signals.

To make the cable stronger and look better I used 3mm orange wire mesh

I’m using the same voltage regulator/filter as in the V2.6HV build

I power the FPV setup through the balance connector on the battery, which gives me the option not to power the FPV setup when I don’t want to.

Covered in black heatshrink to make protect and make it look better.

FPV system done

Tricopter

In the air

RCexplorer V2.6hv delux tricopter

Rcexplorer Tricopter

Chewing up a FT Flyer…

More to come!

81 thoughts on “The Tricopter V2.6HV Deluxe

  1. Did you use the same size arms as in the 2.5hv version, or did you decided to use longer arms as in the original version? Also do the esc work fine only receiving the signal cable and not he ground signal cable?

  2. David, amazing work!
    A few weeks ago I’ve made a tricopter basing on your setup and now I see, that you have this same idea as me with the mountage of engines :)
    Take a look at the photos in free-time.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/111433301589756344294/TricopterRcexplorerCopyBuildPart1?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNuEx-uWpZGrbA&feat=directlink
    https://picasaweb.google.com/111433301589756344294/TricopterRcexplorerCopyBuildPart2?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJGu3__Eqf7sMg&feat=directlink

  3. i wonder why you are not using the gopro case this time? maybe for the lens of the camera to be centered in the roll axis and to be lighter, im correct?

  4. David – awesome!

    I know you are crazy busy with Flite Test, but would you add to your store the G10 components of the vibration dampening system? I do have a set of G10 centre plates already, so would just need the wire clamp parts. You could offer them alone or in bundle with the centre plates.

    Ta, glydr.

  5. I’ve often wondered if a tricopter could be made to work without the servo on the rear prop to control the yaw. Instead, use one set of coaxial props on the rear only….or is this just fundamentally wrong?

  6. Impressive build as always! My favourite part is plugging the servo into the ESC could you expand on this perhaps with a wiring diagram? I am mostly confused with how the servo and the motor are now receiving a signal from the FC?

      • I was confused on this as well.

        My post relates to images Tri26delux15 & 16.

        Can you name the pins as you’ve got them set up (signal/pos/neg)?

        The black wire you’ve got coming off the pin on the ESC is actually the signal, not a neg- lead, correct?

        Is red wire is pos+ and soldered to the actual PCB or the pin?.

        The grnd is the pin nearest the edge of the ESC?

        Why do you need the pos+(red) going back to the FC? Can the servo not get power from the ESC PCB directly by soldering the pin in?

        Sorry for being obtuse on this. I’m still very new to all of this.

        Great write up, as usual.

  7. Nice David. I hesitate between tricopter and Y6. Could you tell us in a few words why do you prefer to keep improving your tricopter rather than your Y6? Thanks

    • I reckon it’s because yaw control on a tricopter is super fast and smooth, whereas a Y6 using just rotational difference for yaw is going to be slooooow. Also, one less motor and esc.
      The more I learn about tri’s, the more sense they make. 😉

  8. David, where did you find that nice fit for the servo with round corners in the yaw mechanism?

    Waiting on the part 2, PLEASEEEEEEEEEE!

    OBS: You dont want to sell some others parts of that frame as well?

  9. Hi David,
    It would be extremly good if sold the whole frame kit not just the base! I would definitely buy it!

    Another thing: have you ever tried any multiwii fc? How come you still use KK board?
    Thanks

  10. Hi. David, good new tricopter
    I’ve made a tricopter basing on your tricopter. I absolutly apriciate your idea about tricopter.
    I improved the landing parts with landing wheel and body frame for KK2.0 board.
    Visit my web site. http://www.fpvtree.com
    some pages is korean language but you can see the many pic of tricopter build.

  11. So did you notice much of a difference using higher quality parts?
    And when powering the fpv from the balance plug, does it provide enough power to run an OSD, camera, and transmitter?
    Thanks David!

  12. I noticed that you don’t use the buzzer . and I cant see your osd . how do you manage your battery voltage while flying fpv of does your receiver have telemetry.
    best regards JamieDCO

  13. Another excellent design, I love the tricopters. David could you say where you got the 1.5mm music wire? I bought some 1.2mm music wire but it was very difficult to bend and causes larger wobbling of the camera tray. And how did you bend your wire so perfectly? Thanks!

  14. Could you go over how you solder up your voltage regulator? The diagram in the previous project notes was a little unclear for a layperson like me :-).

    For example, does the tantalum cap connected to the the low dropout regulator and gnu or the regulator, gnd and + in line (choke coil+ 22uF cap).

    Could you use two identical capacitors as long as the ESR was .056-.19 Ohm?

      • You can probably find them on eBay, but they’ll likely be marked up. The markup is no big deal honestly, as it takes forever to get the motors from HK if they’re shipping from asia even when they’re in stock.

        There are a lot of alternatives locally (stateside) to choose from. I prefer Tiger motors as the bearings are super durable and will take many many crashes without missing a beat.

        Use David’s motor choice as a guide to size: Tiger 2216-12.

        Conversely, I’ve used Flyduino and Witespy motors, all with the same basic result. . . eventually their bearings go out and need to be replaced. The Tigers, while slightly more money, are still flying, after many crashes. Check out getfpv’s site for Tigers. He’s actually got his own model which I think is actually a rebranded the Tiger 2216-12. His is called the FM-2216-11 900kv. I picked them up for next to nothing AND free shipping. Rcrotorpro is another local site that carries Tigers. Their shipping is a flat $10, a little high IMO.

        You truly get what you pay for when it comes to motors. Exceed rockets are supposed to be good too and are super inexpensive (hobbypartz). I’ve not personally used them but will probably get a set to test on quad.

        Hope this is helpful.

      • . . . regarding motor size for the Tricopter. If you visit fpvmanuals/getfpv, they’ll have a good recommendation since they actually sell David’s basic design as a complete kit. I’m building my own, but have used that site as an example of what works as well.

        If you want to lift lots of weight, go for lower KV, if you’re looking for faster performance with smaller props. . . higher KV (within reason). Sorry if this is remedial, not sure what’s your experience level. You’ll need your all up weight if you want to be exact about your motor choice.

        At the end of the day, you’ll want to figure what prop size you’re using, then combine that with the motor size/KV rating/wattage. Vendor sites will usually have a graph showing the amount of thrust achieved by prop size with their motors. Use this as a guide, then I might even cross reference that motor with google to see if folks are successfully using it in this build.

        You can also just go online and google to see what others are using.

        • Thanks. I ended up using the DT700s on 4s with 9×4.7 gemfan props. The setup works great but could use some more punch. I guess the DT750s are the perfect match for 9×4.7s.

          Tried 10×4.5 props but they draw too many amps for the DT700s so I prefer to play it safe.

          Thanks for the replies

  15. David,
    this is one clean looking design. I was wondering what the AUW ended up at? What size flight battery are you using?

    Thanks in advance.

    cheers,
    Andrew

    PS. Should add that your Niagara Falls FPV video is what got me started back into RC after a decade+ long break. Time to build another tricopter.

  16. Hello David, i´m new in tricopters but not in this hobby and I will buy all the stuff that you said in this tutorial and others. But I have a question about de KK2 board if is the same like DJI NAZA-H. If yes, which one you recommends? or what are the differences.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards.

    • I’m not David but I know that the KK2 is very different than the Naza. The latter is much more expensive and includes GPS and other sensors that the KK2 lacks.

      The KK2 is cheap and works great for simple multirotors and planes. The Naza provides more features like return to launch (RTL) etc.

      • Thank you very much cmavr8 for your reply, I bought the Naza that comes in red color. I´m building a tricopter.

        Do you know where is better to put the ESC´s? at the center or at the tip of the boom?

        Best regards

  17. Hi Guys,
    as usually the Servo BMS-385DMAX is in BK, I´d like to use an cheaper solution too, I´ve read that the MG-90 can do, but the BMS-385 brings over 4KG and the MG-90 only 2.5KG. Did Somebody knows what Servos work for the 2.6 tricoper too? How many KG we should need?
    Best wishes
    Ben

    • Ok, first of all, do not use the HKS-9257. I’ve had wagging!

      Right now I’m using the tgy-s306g from Hobbyking, which (at 5V) provides 2.4kg/cm. It works GREAT, I am completely satisfied but I only fly mildly.

      Another option (that I’ve bought as an alternative to the BMS but haven’t used) is the TGY-210DMH, which provides 3.1kg/cm at 5V. It should be better than the above. Slower but just as fast as the BMS.

      I finally got my hands on the suggested BMS which I will use soon.

      • Hi cmavr8, thanks for your advice. Now I´ve ordered an TowerPro MG90, cause I want to do my first test soon, I can´t wait for HK another 12weeks! ;-(
        The Motors is also the prob. as always the DT750 or DT700 are out of stock since weeks… I´ve tried to order the suppo 2212/13 but unsuccessfully too. Do you have any other idea of “cheap motors”?
        ….. I´m sure it is guaranteed to make big money, if you selling Tricopterparts in Europe without BK! 😉

        • Too bad about the motors :(
          Unfortunately I can’t suggest others.. I don’t know.
          Maybe search for motors in rctimer.com? giantshark.co.uk?

          Good luck, let us know if something works good :)

          Tail servos: I’ve tried 2 already, I’ve got 2 more to try… Don’t be afraid to make a few of the tilt mechanisms :) They’re interchangeable after all!

  18. so, I am new to the whole multirotor scene, and I am in love with how clean this version of the tricopter is. The one thing I would love to know is what battery David is using on this particualr version of the tricopter.

  19. Somebody knows:

    1) Where is better to put the ESC´s? at the center of the tricopter or at the tip of the booms?

    2) All the propelers needs to be right or some must be left? if yes, which motor is the best to be the contrary.

    Best regards

    • Pemase,

      1) Put them at the end of the booms under the propwash – this way they get cooled during flights.

      2) Put the front two props counter-rotating (either inwards or outwards) and then the tail motor any direction.

      That’s how I did mine and it flies perfectly…

      Regards,

      Andre

      • 2) It may be better this way, but it will fly fine with all props the same direction. I have it like this (all normal rotating props) but the controller keeps the tri tilted to maintain stable flight. No biggie :)

        • Thank you for the answer AndreKotze and cmavr8.

          2) Probably if the propellers spin on the same direction, this will spend more energy to compensate. What do you think? – I think that the controller needs constantly make corrections. Do you think that if we put one propeller with different spin, this will make the compensation naturally?

          3´) The Naza controller supports tricopters? if not, which one is the best?

  20. HELP! can´t calibrate ESC´s :(

    I made a tricopter with:
    1) KK2 board V1.2 (Without the USBasp AVR Programming Device, for upgrade)
    2) ESC “T-Motor T18A 400Hz”
    3) Futaba T8FG (airplane mode)
    4) Motors “T-Motor MT2216-12”
    5) 3 Cell battery 2200amps

    But I can´t calibrate the ESC.
    The “Motor 1” spins slow (like low energy). I read many forums, but to many people are confused. I have two KK2 boards and with both, same happens.

    Could you help me? really I´m very desperate, and I can´t find the solution

    Video link: http://youtu.be/EHNPA6_I9y4

    I will appreciate your help.

    Best regards…
    ………………………………………………………………………………
    I made the next instructions but don´t works :

    1: Important: TAKE OFF THE PROPELLERS OR DISCONNECT ONE WIRE FROM THE MOTOR!!
    2: Turn off the FC power.
    3: Turn on the transmitter and set the throttle to max.
    4: Press down button 1 and 4, keep pressing until last step. Releasing the buttons aborts the
    calibration.
    5: Turn on power to the FC
    6: Wait for the ESC to beep its full throttle calibrated signal. Takes a few seconds, depends on the ESC.
    7: Lower the throttle to idle.
    8: Wait for the idle throttle calibrated signal.
    9: Release the buttons.

  21. Hello David.. Yet another excellent build.
    I was wondering if you could give us some more info
    on your latest design. All up weight. Battery size. Flight time. Total length of the arms end to end no motor.
    Prop size and pitch. Thank you very much keep up the good work and excellent videos

    Thanks.. Bryce

  22. This build sure is deluxe! Nice work! You should call it “The real Swedish Monark” 😀

    On the picture of the two front ESC with longer power and servo leads, aren’t you missing 2 wires on the ESC on the left?

    Props from Denmark!

  23. How exactly do you add that rudder servo connector to your esc?
    How do you get the signal to it?
    I Can see getting the power from it but the signal???
    Bill

  24. I got a problem at the yaw. It is my first copter. Probably it is a problem about settings or hardware: I arm the kk2 and the yaw motor-axis is horizontal. When the motors just start spinning the servo moves a few seconds later by itselves some degrees and stops moving and stays in place. I can bring it back by TX in the center position, but a few seconds later the servo moves the same way by itselves back…
    The mechanism got no play, the (analog) servo is mounted directly like shown here on the pictures. Any idea what is going wrong?

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