Beta testing of the forum

forum-quote-iconThe new forum is now up and running! Please keep in mind that it is currently under beta testing.

Hopefully everything works the way it’s supposed to, but you never know…

The forum is running on pretty simple code so don’t expect too much fancy functionality ūüėČ

There is no need to create a new user for the forum, the same login that you use for the site in general will work on the forum as well.

Happy posting!

Caught up! – Stock update

1bhkWoohoo! I’m finally caught up on orders! Thank you so much for your patience and support. So far 810 orders have been shipped out, and 583 tricopter kits have been sold.

By your requests, I’m working on getting a forum running so that we all can share experiences, setups and such with each other in a more convenient way. Hopefully it will be up very soon.

Today I inventoried the remaining stock and updated the shop. As I’m writing this, there are 30 tricopter kits in stock. May the odds be ever in your favor ūüėČ

More parts are on their way, but I’m afraid the holidays might¬†slow down the shipping companies. As soon as they arrive, I’ll update the stock again.

Tricopter based on David’s design in Tasmania

Hi there,

Thought is might be good to post some info on a ‘Heavy’ tricopter based on the rcexplorer design. It’s now up to 1.85Kg and is going great. It’s built on David’s plates from flitetest with wooden booms. The added weight has happened because I desired stabilised video.

The best performance boost was switching from 3S to 4S batteries, (just noticed I haven’t updated the schematic lately oops ūüôā

So to that end it now has a tarot 2d gimbal, APM 2.6 flight controller, 4S 5200mAh lipos, 850Kv motors with 11×5 graupner e-props. She goes well and I get a good 15 minutes flight time, up to 70Kmhr and 40 degrees of pitch without loosing height. It’s been out to 1.8Km on 2.4GHz rc and 5.8GHz (600mW) video RHCP….

I’ve linked a video in case you’d like to see the result….

Best regards,

Glen

Tricopter Tricopter schematic rev1.1

 

Here’s a Youtube video I’ve just uploaded…

Tricopter in Tasmania

 

RC Explorer V3 frame y6 config

Whoops, my tricopter turned into a Y6!

Y6 Build update

Weighs in at 1254 grams with no camera or video transmitter systems on it.

Tiger Motors MT2212-16 750 KV

Props: APC SF 11×4.7

Battery: 3DR 5100mah 3s 8C

ESCs: Turnigy Plush 10a BLHeli flashed

Reciever: FrSky x8r-ii

Flight Controller: the evil DJI Naza M V2

hovers for 18 minutes

 

In the next week am planning to add better landing gear, OSD, Gopro, 3 axis gimbal system, video switchter, fixed flight camera, and a 2nd 5100 mah battery.  It should be a great FPV system.

 

IMG_20141201_053029494

RC Explorer Tricopter V3 frame Y6 config

 

 

 

 

Tricopter Tip

First of all, thanks to David for all the time he spent creating an awesome tricopter design. I have been wanting to build one since I saw David’s original V1 tricopter¬†and¬†I finally took the plunge when he started selling the V3 kits. I have built it and it flies well, but the main problem is on the other end of the transmitter ! I have flown some beginner fixed wings and the occasional cheap beginner helicopters but never a tricopter. I haven’t had any major crashes, but I have popped off the landing gear numerous times. So many times in fact that I gave up on cable tieing them back on. Unfortunately this lead to the electronics taking a hammering as I had zip tied them under the motors as David suggested.

Tricopter V3 landing damage

As you can see the caps on the end had been badly damaged and I have ordered new ESC to replace them. The fix that I have come up with is to use larger cable ties attached to the booms as per this post on Flitetest.

I also added a strip of the foam packing that was in the tricopter frame box, to the bottom of the battery plate with double sided tape, to help cushion the landing and provide some damping.

My tricopter flies well but has a tendency to wander, I have played with the KK board settings but I’m looking forward to David’s promised video on how to set the KK board for the tricopter.

Thanks again David !

cheers

Andrew

 

My powerful V3 Tri

Great thanks to David for creating this great set.

My first tri was a monstrous V2.x, with 50 cm long arms of 12mm x 21 mm pine. My wishes for the tri was to have GPS functionality, ¬†so I ended up with a HK Pilot Mega 2.7 with an UBLOX Neo-7M external GPS and compass. First flight with this one really showed the potential of the tri – it flew very nice with no tuning needed in the HK Pilot Mega 2.7 with the¬†ArduCopter V3.2 firmware. When David opened his web shop, I managed to get hold of one signed version of his frame kit. It has been fun moving all parts from my first tri to this new, smaller frame. Except, I managed to “let the smoke out of” my HK Pilot board, so I had to order a new one. To be able to have more control of the status of the HK Pilot, I ordered the 400 MHz Telemetry radio set as well. Motors are the well known hexTronix DT750 accompanied with the HobbyKing F20A ESCs (SimonK flashed) and a set of 11×4.7 Carbon Fiber propellers. Powered by a 5AH 4S LiPo this gives me almost 20 minutes happy flight time on the new frame.

To make it easier to control the power to the flight controller and the ESCs, ¬†I added two 12V 50A flip switches from Biltema before and after the ¬†HK Mega power module. Not very nice looking, but very functional. Now I can easily power on the Flight Controller before I power on the ESCs. Emergency power off is also just a “flip of the switch away”. At the same time, I added some RGB LED strips from Biltema as navigation lights, red to the right, green to the left and white on the tail. These are bright enough to help seeing the directions of the tri even at daylight, and I guess it will be cool when I dare to fly in dark night;-) As extra landing gears, I ¬†cut some 12mm metal bands covered by shrink tube and created some flexible rings that I strapped to the booms. These brakes any rough landings enough to save the rest of my tri from worse damages;-)

Finally I made a cockpit of 2 mm Plexiglas to protect the electronics. In addition it gives quite a nice touch to the tri.

This all looks good, but I have found a couple of minor problems. First of all,  when using such a huge battery,  the wires holding the battery tray could have been made with larger diameter and thus allowing better distance to the screws of the frame. 1 cm larger diameter would be perfect, so the landing feet would need to be higher as well. As it is now, I had to turn the screws upside down so that my huge battery is not damaged by the screws.

Second is that I had to make a bigger front piece for the frame in order to strap the GPS pole securely without having to drill a hole in the nice frame (I learned the hard way on my first, wooden frame, that GPS mounted in a drilled hole will brake something at a crash;-) My new front piece is wide enough to allow putting on the cockpit and then strap the GPS pole to the front piece outside the cockpit. It would be nice having such a wide front piece as an option from David.

Third is the sharp edges of the carbon fiber arms. You all should ensure the cables are protected by some type of rubber so they are not cut when you crash.

Four, ¬†one day¬†my tri started yawing on centered stick and I was not able to get it out of the spin even with full counter yaw. After a pretty nice landing, I discovered that the servo had moved from its neutral position. ¬†Thinking this was ¬†an SW¬†issue, I loosened the screw and re-positioned the tilt mechanism on the servo and took off again (yes, I’m an amateur;-). Some minutes later the same happened and I then realized ¬†the teeth in the 3D printed tilt ¬†mechanism were broken. I have now glued and screwed on the servo horn like on the V2 tilt mechanism. I have now learned that I was wrong in using blue Locktite on the screw, because this dissolves the plastic of the 3D printed parts. So, be careful with the mounting of the servo to the 3D printed tilt mechanism, DO NOT use Locktite, instead use a very small amount of CA to secure the screw.

Finally, I discovered that the arrow on my GPS is off by many degrees, ¬†pointing at SE when real heading is S. Be aware of this and check your directions with a manual compass. Actually, Turnigy and the Quanum¬†LEA¬†6 GPSes seem to be having the arrow printed in correct direction when the GPS is mounted as I had to mount it. Well, I finally managed to make my compass show correct direction. It is depending on a perfect calibration, WITH “auto declination” enabled and GPS 3D lock, it seems. After many attempts, I finally got it correct.

Ahh… before I forget it. Mounting the propellers to the dt750’s can be tricky. I have been using nylon lock nuts, but so far this has not been good enough. Especially when running Auto Tune on the HK Pilot Mega 2.7, the motors are throttled pretty aggressively, causing such a momentum that the nut is loosened and a crash will happen. This has happened at least 2 times, that I remember, but luckily no big damage on my tri as result of these.

You’ll find pictures of my Tri at¬†https://plus.google.com/photos/103353033003930390762/albums/6086386364104882705, as well as a video from one of my test flights:¬†http://youtu.be/u5NVEeTcyzg

 

Threadlocker and ABS does not mix

Tricopter Tilt mechanism 4NoLoctite2

Warning! Do not use loctite on any parts of the tilt mechanism! ABS and other thermoplastics react with the chemicals in the Loctite. The chemical breaks down the bonds in the ABS, making the part very brittle and weak. Use a tiny amount of CA glue on the screw instead.

Loctite website states this:

Not Recommended For

  • Use in pure oxygen and/or oxygen rich systems and should not be selected as a sealant for chlorine or other strong oxidizing materials
  • Use on plastic parts, particularly thermoplastic materials where stress cracking of the plastic could result

After some testing I noticed that the original Loctite reacts the strongest, breaking down the ABS very quickly and a larger portion of the part is affected. Simply screwing the motor screws into the motor makes the whole top piece explode in to tiny pieces! Off brand threadlockers seems to be hit or miss if they do break down the ABS or not. So I highly recommend not using any kind of threadlock on the tilt mechanism at all, or any ABS parts for that matter.

Thank you Robert for bringing this to my attention