Tricopter V3 build video

Here is the mammoth 1 hour and 24 minute long build video for the Tricopter V3.

You will find all the materials needed as well as the recommended electronics on the product page

Video Index:
00:00:25 – Camera Plate
00:04:30 – Front arms – Mounting motors, soldering ESCs…
00:25:10 – Tilt mechanism
00:33:36 – Tilt mechanism – Attached servo horn version
00:43:30 – Back arm – Extending servo wire, mounting ESC…
00:47:40 – Current distribution and telemetry voltage
00:50:00 – Mounting the camera tray and arms
01:03:43 – Mounting the Flight controller and receiver
01:09:30 – Mounting the FPV transmitter
01:15:25 – Balancing propellers
01:19:47 – Motor bad bearings fix
01:21:10 – Center of gravity
01:22:00 – Beauty shots and flight video

226 thoughts on “Tricopter V3 build video

    • At 01:09:24 you can see how the connection is made. There are two male to male servo leads connecting the signal pins on the Optima and the kk2, I assume the Optima is powered through the SPC-Port, which is also used for voltage telemetry.
      Hope this helps

  1. I’ve got a small question.. Why don’t you mount the esc:s on the frame instead of on the booms? Should give a more clean look?
    Do they even fit there?

    • The frame is pretty small, but yes you can mount them on the frame. There are a couple of reasons why I put them at the end of the booms; Cooling for the ESC’s, Less RF interference for the receiver – which gives better range, and it’s easier to make it looks clean with the wires.

      • Ok, you’ve thought it through then ๐Ÿ˜‰ (didn’t expect anything else)

        Is the RF interference coming from the ESC or from the cables?
        Thank’s for the answer ๐Ÿ™‚

        Hope your weekend has been good. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Both. More from the ESC but also from the cables. But as the Tricopter V3 uses carbon fiber arms they shield the wires (as they are conductive), which reduces the noise pieced up by any antennas close by. I get roughly 2km on 2.4GHz (Aurora 9 with a Optima 9) with this setup.

  2. Good evening, David.

    Again thanks for sharing with us all.

    I see that you use the HobbyKing F20A UBEC ESCs quite a lot. I too am using them, but I have come to a problem after flashing mine with SimonK frimware (bs_nfet.hex). Today, after flashing my ESCs, I connected them to the motors and calibrated them one by one. Then I re-connected them to the DT750 motors (no props on) and the HKPilot Mega 2.7, the same way I had them connected with stock firmware.

    However, after connecting the 4S battery and waiting for the GPS lock to be able to arm the HKPilot, I noticed the ESC providing power to the servo got very hot doing nothing. This never happened with stock firmware. (The other two ESC are connected to the HKPilot with only ground and signal cables).

    Have you exprienced this yourself? What may be causing this?

    By the way, do you have/know where to get the stock firmware for these ESCs?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. hi david i ordered my tricopter on 26/9 and i was wondering when it will get there in the USA?
    PS my tracking code says that its still in Sweden my tracking code is:
    UA187689080SE

  4. cool
    PS can i do a review on my youtube channel? i was wondering because some people don’t like to have there stuff reviewed on youtube and sense I’m just starting up it would be so cool if your tri could be my first video

  5. you can see the review probably a week or so after i get my tricopter. you can see it athttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLShBg8ziaHnt0ldzc9UBwA
    sorry its not a link but you can copy and past it into you browser
    PS please tell me what you think about my youtube channel.
    and don’t forget to subscribe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Yay!!! I got mine Today!! now the waiting game, sadly i haven’t received my HK parts yet…

    Thank You David!!

    now to wait for the KK Video…..

  7. It just dawned on me, that my “perfect” setup may not be as perfect as I had thought it would be. I have ordered 2 Afro 20A Slim ESCs for the front booms, and 1 Afro 30A ESC for the tail boom to make the tricopter look as nice and light as possible.

    My concerns are: Can I mix these ESCs, or am I asking for trouble?

    • No trouble, just a setup issue. If you have a kk board then you’ll have to get a bec. On the kk board, on the right side, the board and rx is powered from M1. M1 does not share power with M2-M8. The latter connections share power. You’re going to need to get power to them, or to the servo, in order for the servo to function. I don’t think the bec on the Afro, being rated at .5a, is enough for the tail servo. So what I would do is take the tail esc’s wire, the one you would usually connect to M3, split the wires, run the signal wire to M3, run the two power wires to M1. Now your board and rx will be powered, and the tail esc will work. The tail servo plugs into M4. Now you must get power to the tail servo, so you can run power from a bec to any unused port, M5-8, connect the front left and right boom’s esc signal wires to M1 and M2. Good to go.

      Disclaimer, I’ve never done this. I just found out myself how the kk board is layer out as this is my first non-mini/indoor hovering craft build. I just hovered it yesterday, and it works. That is my total experience with the kk board. Someone please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Thanks for the reply Patrick ๐Ÿ™‚ I have tried to understand the description in the KK2.1.X Instruction Manual v1.16S1 Pro, Appendix I โ€“ Powering the KK2.1.X which I assume covers the KK-mini also? (Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups). If I understand correctly, the UBEC connected to the M1 delivers power both to the KK board and the receiver connected to THR,V+ and GND and nothing else.

        “In general, only one BEC should be connected to M2 to M8. In the case of a quadcopter, you will have three ESCs connected to M2, M3 & M4. If they have switching BECs, their 5V wires should not be connected together on the M2 to M8 power bus. Therefore, remove all 3 red wires from the servo connector and put some heat shrink over each one (leave one BEC on M2 to M4 if you need to power a servo on M5, M6, M7 and/or M8). ESCs with linear BECs are ok to leave the 5V wire in the servo connector. If in doubt, remove the 5V wire.”

        Does that apply regardless of the number of UBECs or only if more than one ESC with UBEC is connected to M2-M8? Would connecting ONE switching BEC to M2-M8 to power the servo be ok?

        The Afro 30A has a linear BEC so connecting that to M1 should be fine? The KK board and Rx should not draw more than 0.5A?

        Connecting a switching BEC directly to the servo would still send voltage back to the KK board? I was considering wiring the switching BEC directly to the servo and FPV, but I guess the servo would send noise to the FPV transmitter?

        I have not been able to find specifications on the amp draw of the servo. Hobbyking has very limited documentation on their products…

        • You understand right that M1 supplies voltage to the board and rx, and nothing else. The afro’s bec to M1 is all good, as the board and rx will not draw more than .5A. As to bec’s on M2-8, I gather as long as they are linear, you could run as many as you desire. I think you could connect one switching bec to the M2-8 rail for the servo, or run the bec straight to the servo. It would not send voltage back to the board if you ran it right to the servo. Not sure if a switching bec would introduce noise to the system, though. I guess turnigy claims theirs is interference free. Why aren’t linear bec’s more popular? What fpv gear would you power off the bec? If it is noisy, I think it would go everywhere as the kk board shares ground between M1 and M2-8. I’ve heard digital servos can introduce noise as well, so perhaps fpv gear running off the same circuit wouldn’t be good? Looked good up until the fpv gear started running off the bec. Hmpf. You can always try it, maybe everything would be fine, fpv is fickle like that! I have installed a filter between my fpv thingies and the rest of the business and my video link is quite happy.
          I have no idea what that tail servo (turnigy 210) draws either, couldn’t find that info at all! I would assume it would be less than 1a.
          If it starts to get all complicated, I’d just order the Afro’s with the bec, and spin again. HK has a no fuss return thing.
          Curious as to what fpv gear is to be hooked up to the bec.

          • David has an excellent writeup on the differences between linear and switching BEC’s here: http://rcexplorer.se/projects/2012/07/the-tricopter-v2-6hv/

            I plan on using theSkyzone Plug-N-Play FPV 200-Set With TS5823 TX, RC832 RX, Sony CCD and Circular Polarized Antennas from Hobbyking (I send a lot of business to Hobbyking, wish David could somehow benefit from it?) As far as the Tx is concerned I can draw current directly from the LiPo regardless of flying with 3S or 4S. As long as I stay with 3S I can also power the Sony CCD from the LiPo. But when I want to use my GoPro Hero3 or use a 4S LiPo, I need a 5V BEC for the GoPro, and/or a 7-12v bec for the Sony CCD.

            • Sounds like you will have to be electrically creative! I’m running 4s, built a regulator with the lm2940 like david made, and run all fpv at 12v, works well. Eventually I will need to power a gopro, so might just do a capable bec on M2-8 and use that for the gopro and servo. Wish I could find the amp draw spec for the tail servo, then I’d know better which way to go for a bec.
              I like the immersion rc vtx because you can use 3 or 4s, just wish they made one with 12v out. I think part of the reason fpv is so much fun is the diy joy of actually getting the stuff to work! Even the supposed “plug and play” stuff runs into issues. It’s silly, I tell ya. It’ll be interesting to see what you finally do.

              • I did a bit of measuring on the TGY-211MH (TGY-210MH still inbound from Hongkong) by inserting a multimeter between the +5v leads going to the servo:

                When frantically flipping the controls back and forth (no motor running) highest value is 340mAh. When simply holding the servo, restricting its movement: 740 mAh. Which means, in one case the amperage supplied from the Afros is enough, in the extreme case it is not… The KK2 board won’t shut down though, as it draws the power from M1, which is a different circuit. Running a slim afro without UBEC on M2 and M3, and simply plugging a standalone BEC into M5 might be the way to go. As far as I can read from the manual, there is a M7 option for the servo, that should be optimal in relation to gitter. That would rule out using the SSG (super Simple Gimbal) though. Looks as if I have to look into reassigning ports also…

              • I’m replying to myself, but this in to dkdarkness, as no reply was option was available on your post. I guess long conversations aren’t allowed in the comments! I don’t like forums, but I do like exchanging info. There has to be a good in-between type of thing, no?

                Eh, anyway, thank you for that information on the servo! That means my two Afro .5A bec’s I have going to M2 and 3 are enough to power the servo safely, with not much room to spare. Now I just need to know what the gopro would draw, and maybe I could use the 5v out from the immersion rc tx, or I will build another circuit board with a 12v regulator and a 5v regulator, as I am quite into building circuits on prototype boards, most fun I’ve had in a while! I’m enjoying learning about electronics very much. I like the linear regulators, every time I add a switching reg of any sort, my video goes a little crappy. I’m actually starting to think running opto esc’s and just building a linear regulator board with Lc filter, with 5v to power the rx, kk board and servo, and a 12v supply for the camera and tx, would be a pretty good way to go. If I think about it some more, it may end up being not smart and inefficient. Doesn’t mean I won’t try it though!

                Sounds like you are entertaining a host of options also. Good times.

  8. Does anyone have a suggestion as to some settings on the kk board? The stock settings gave me a twitchy hover, so I turned the pitch and roll gains down a bit. Have yet to try it as it is raining today. No idea as to what the yaw settings do?

    • Never mind, it’s great now, I just turned the gains down to 35, left everything else. It’s all fine tuning now.

      Now I’m not sure if I should use stick scaling or expo to adjust the feel. I felt that the sticks were a bit soft and I was moving them a lot, so I lowered my expo. Scaling is set to 30 30 50 90. Anyone have any help there? Expo, scaling, or perhaps an artful medley?

      I want to play with it and try to get it happy, then compare my settings with what david recommends. I am correct that he hasn’t posted a kk video yet, right?

      • about the kk video…yup, still waiting for it mate but as i read he’s in the US doing some fun stuff (movie about drones) he’s back the 23rd so hopefully the kk video will be posted after that (knock on wood). i just saw the first episode…pretty cool.

        so…could you share your findings while it’s posted?…sadly i’m still waiting for my HK parts. info is always welcome…happy flying..

        • Presently:
          PG 40
          PL 100
          IG 25
          IL 20
          Yaw is stock kk settings
          I started with the stock settings and it was twitchy, I lowered the gains to 35 and it felt mooshy so I tried these settings and so far so good. I’m new to full sized hovering crafts, so I’ve not a lot of experience to base this on.
          Stick scaling:
          R 45
          P 45
          Y 50
          T 100
          With these settings I had to lower expo to 15% to give me a situation that felt good. Still feel like I have to move the sticks a bit much, so next flight will experiment. Probably more expo, with higher stick scaling.
          No idea where to begin with self level. It works with the stock settings, but there’s a funk to it I can’t quite place. Not sure what to expect with it. I like having the security of switching it on when things go a little weird on me. Like I say, not a lot of experience.
          My sense is that I need to change and feel, change and feel, lather, rinse, repeat. I will have to do some research so that I know what I’m aiming for. It seems a solid explanation of the settings has, like Sasquatch, never been fully realized!

      • Expo makes the stick more or less sensitive around mid stick only. Stick scaling widens the maximum RPM that the motors will change when the stick is moved. So if you think the copter moves quickly enough when you give full stick, but not quickly enough around mid stick, increase the expo (possessive number on futaba and hitec). If you feel like the copter doesn’t move fast enough at max stick, increase the stick scaling and maybe add a little negative expo to make it a little softer around mid stick. Just try your way around it. You’ll get a hang of it pretty quickly.

        • Thanks! No worries on the kk video, it’s more fun to poke around with it for a while anyway. I can get a feel for the thing and when you make your video, it will make more sense to me. Another win/win. Fabulous! On a side note, The kk board is so easy to setup and get going, it’s kind of ridiculous. Great piece of kit, as they say.

          This tricopter has been so much fun every step of the way. I’ve been thinking about one for a long time. My patience and research paid off, I am quite content with this one! I could seriously go on and on about the level of joy I’ve been experiencing, but I shall restrain myself for the sake of brevity. Also, I’ve heard that in Swedish culture, large emotional outpourings are frowned upon? Wouldn’t want to make that faux pas.

  9. Today I found a few minutes with nice weather to go and do a maiden.
    As the video clearly shows I have somthing to learn controlling the Tricopter.
    So far I have only flewn DJI NAZA based multirotors in GPS and ATTI mode, as well as fixed wings. So I have a little learning curve to climb on this one.

    This video also shows the quality and durability of the frame. I only need to replace a couple of zip-ties.

    http://youtu.be/yMQD-A5w4IQ

  10. Hi David
    I just made my first tricopter V3 flights this afternoon, and i must say that it is really REALLY awesome!
    It is very light, my 1st flight was 19 minutes long :O !!! (with a 3S 5A battery)
    I handled to adjust PI gains really quickly (which is new for me ; i didn’t even brake a prop ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    So thank you very much, your tricopter rox!!!
    I’ll share some vids ASAP

  11. This thing is so great. I am so glad to have this, my first hovering fpv rig. I grew tired of planes, it’s hard to find a place to fly them. It seems a lot easier to fly a tricopter, you can pretty much do it anywhere. I really got sick of flying my versa wing in unforgiving territory, where even a good landing is rough on it, let alone stuffing it up from tight approaches and less than ideal topography. That foamboard doesn’t take a whole lot of those landings before it’s a floppy mess! Not saying I’ve thrown planes away forever, but it will be a long while before I build another fpv wing! I really can’t wait to get a gopro and start getting some video. I’m loving the swooshy feel of this thing too. Awesome!

    Thanks again, David,

  12. Any tips for mounting the Park340 motors? The hole spacing and screw size seems to be completely incompatible with the included motor mounts. I’m considering sanding the booms then using zip ties to attach them via the cross shaped motor mount.

    • I meant Park450. It turns out the screw holes are different sizes so I can fit 2 of the included 20mm screw via the motor mount but not all 4 and the collet on the back of the motor protrudes by about 4mm so X shaped adaptor is still required as a spacer, think I’ll be using zip ties or buying new motors…

      • I went with the NTM 28-30 1200kV (I have a lot of 3S 2200 mAh LiPos), but now I kind of regret not going with the 900kV NTM 28-30S for a 4S low Amp setup. I would love to use the “Multistar High Capacity 4S 5200mAh Multi-Rotor Lipo Pack” as a power source for the RCExplorer Tricopter. In my calculations, they would be perfect (5200mAh@10C: 52A/3 = 17.3A) for the 900kV NTM 28-30S (max Amp 18A)?

      • Sorry about that Adam. You can mount the motors using only 2 screws if you want to, Just turn the motor so that the screws are right up against the boom before tightening down. Removed the park450’s from the recommended list as they don’t work with some modification. The ones I used I modified with C-clamp motorshats and I forgot that the stock park450’s has that collet on the bottom. Very sorry about this Adam

  13. A note on the KK-Mini board and CPPM: the only “documentation” that HK gives specific to the Mini is a product introduction video in which Chris shows you how to connect CPPM WRONG. I spent some frustrating moments before turning to RC Groups and confirming this. Just like the KK 2.1.5, CPPM is delivered to the Mini through the AILERON signal pin. The HK video has you connecting the signal to the THROTTLE pin, which not surprisingly does not work. This is my first KK board experience, so it was easy to fool me into following the directions ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have fun,
    Steve

  14. …In Need of an Unoccupied Soul who can share some light…

    I’m a Noob, and because I’m a noob I can’t seem to understand how to make the Connections from the kk mini to the hitec aurora 9 Rx. As David Said, the KK video will be posted in a few weeks. As we all know he’s awesome and I got a few links from him on this matter.. but I still don’t understand (yet) how this works.

    If someone has the same configuration (kk mini and aurora 9 Rx) and would like to share this info with Us Noobs you’ll be our hero.

    Deeply appreciated,
    AJ

  15. I was about to flame David about connecting ESCs without UBECs to the KK2 board and powering it. After all, he has made a great product, and I come from the world of DJI Phantom, where I can not be bothered to read instructions and figuring things out by myself(!) even though David has not sold me the items…
    Well, I did stumble upon the MANUAL for the KK2 boards, and the powering thing is very well documented on page 25 ๐Ÿ™‚
    ——
    Some ESCs donโ€™t have an internal BEC so you will need to use an external UBEC. If you already have an ESC (without a BEC) plugged into M1, you have the following options to power the KK2.1.X and receiver.

    โ€ข Connect the UBEC to a spare receiver channel. This will power the receiver and the KK2.1.X via the cable that connects the receiver and KK2.1.X.

    โ€ข Use the Mixer Editor and copy the M1 settings to M5 (or any spare output). Connect the ESC for motor 1 that your would have connected to M1 (output 1) to the new motor output you just configured. Now, you can connect your UBEC to M1.

    โ€ข Use a servo Y lead to connect both the ESC and UBEC to M1.
    Some ESCs have low current BECs which have been known to โ€œbrown outโ€ when large motor currents are drawn. If this happens, the KK2.1.X will reboot and therefore results in a crash. If you are concerned that this could happen, you should use an external UBEC and connect as above.
    ——

    https://www.google.dk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CF4QFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dronetrest.com%2Fuploads%2Fdb5290%2F428%2F769b8acab60b33aa.pdf&ei=m9VLVKj7NKi6ygOgm4DQCA&usg=AFQjCNG8l-Yjeeagq2zpt6pXQG2h3L_9KQ&sig2=e2ecw5o9jeTOQOAV0v3JHg&bvm=bv.77880786,d.bGQ

    • David says two weeks in a previous post.
      There is a Hobbyking video on connecting the board here: http://youtu.be/QrL9rgncUmg?t=2m39s
      SimpleCopter has a video here: http://youtu.be/e6K4NXoq-Qk?t=32m54s
      He uses a KK2 board and not a mini, so the pin out of the board is slightly different, but the setup should be the same (he uses the RCExplorer frame).

      Please remember the RCExplorer motto is: “Exploring the RC world, one crash at a time” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hello there,
      For what it’s worth, I used the full sized kk board (not sure if any difference from mini in terms of settings, or which one you are using) and it hovered just fine on the stock settings. I just selected the tricopter from the motor layout menu. Just make sure that your motors are spinning in the same direction as indicated in the “show motor layout” menu.

      I built the thing with all the recommended 4s bits just like in the build video, as this is my first multi, and wanted to start off with a known quantity. I figured David just may know what he is doing by now, and so followed it exactly. It hovered a little twitchy, but not crazy. I just lowered the gains in the PI editor and it flies good now.
      Here is what I have:in the PI editor Presently:
      PG 40
      PL 100
      IG 25
      IL 20
      Yaw is stock kk settings

      Then it’s a matter of stick scaling and what not, but that seems to be a preference thing and can be explored individually.

      My main point is that, so long as you select the right layout, verify the motor direction, think clearly, logically, and don’t panic, the thing should hover. Baby steps, go slow. Now get out there and explore! Ok that was dorky. Whatever.

      Good luck, it will feel good to give it a go.

      It will also feel good to be sure and wait for the video, depending on your mindset!

      • Hey mate! Good info, as always…

        Sadly i’m stock at the “how i plug, and where to” building phase lol…
        Will wait for David’s Video on the kk mini (cus’ i’m a noob I went with exactly the same setup..kkmini-hitec 9 Rx).

        I tried to match how he made the connections in the video but it only shows for a fraction of a second. i went ahead and start playing with the kk board and made some different connections between the kk and the Rx but I don’t seem to get it right yet…a few no signals…then a reversed “rudder” and throttle but that was only after I made the “discovery” of how he plugged it at the hitec Rx it was horizontal instead of vertical…but if Someone is reading This.. Don’t Do as I Did!..I’m just playing for now…I’ve got no idea of what I’m doing, but that’s just part of the Fun in learning…

        But Seriously, if someone has the same setup (hitec9 Rx-kk mini) and wants to shade some light, please do.

        Happy Flying Mates and Gals!

        • Oh, that step! Yes, there are resources as pointed out above. My suggestion is to fully immerse yourself in the study of those resources. Find out what needs power, how to get it there and do you have enough if it, etc. this way, you will really understand what is happening and what to do when it is not. For instance, when you have to troubleshoot a problem, you will know exactly where to focus attention. Because you know that the board gets its power from a certain pin, and it’s not powering up, you can check for voltage at that connection and go from there. In other words, you don’t have to just check all the connections and wonder why something still isn’t happening, you will know what things to suspect, because you embedded the information firmly in your dome piece from reading for hours!

          Knowing why you are connecting things and how they work is key to success! And keeps the smoke inside the components where it should be!

          • Hey mate! yup, knowledge is the key to success..but you have to have the knowledge first lol…

            and let me tell you mate…I consider myself a “Jack of all Trades, Master of none”…I’m more of a computer guy (as i know the inner workings of it/code/hardware-sofware).

            Fortunately my life right now is around explosives and fireworks which makes me awful happy lol..I’ve been playing around electronics all my life, sadly not in a continuous time line..which has made me a little bit rusty.

            Didn’t knew anything about tricopters until i saw David on Flight Test and saw what he did there and on “Pyros”(he flew over some fireworks and since then I’ve been like a little kid trying to do the same).

            Right now I consider him as the “Maestro” as we say in spanish..

            I’m just going to wait for his KK video, I know I’m not the only one looking up to him, he’s just a good human being and good things always happens to good people. Right now I know he’s doing like a million things. But if I could wait for the kit (awesome experience by the way) I surely can wait for the video.

            I’m pretty sure that after completing the connections and learning about the kk and flying in general will make me expand-upgrade and try new things tricopter.

            p.s. stopped playing because i made a wrong connection and the kk blacked out for a brief moment (no smoke yet lol..) I almost had it… can almost taste victory haha

            Patience is a Virtue…

            • Patience truly is the essence of the whole thing, ain’t it? Most big fails, (and I can apply this to so much more in my life than the things I fly) were preceded by flustered, pressured work during which I most likely missed out on something really cool just to set up a big fail.

              I see you’ve been to the seminar too!

              I think waiting for david is best thing. He will probably lay it all out for us in a really smart way. Los of set up videos by mortal folk often leave lots of holes, have no endearing accent, have no camera operator, and so on and so forth. I am looking forward to seeing how wrong I have mine, and how much better it can fly. Flies really good now.

              Good luck, I will be looking forward to being one of the twenty thousand or so viewers of David’s kk video with you all!

      • I just watched this episode (again) http://youtu.be/2GwZsdEpAa4 Since my KK-mini is still stuck somewhere between Hongkong and Denmark, I decided to order the Flip32+ (Naze32 funfly clone in the 36x36mm form factor) from a local dealer. It seems much more complicated to setup to match the same motor configuration of the KK board etc, so I hope you are serious about putting a Naze32 setup guide together also ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Received my Afro and Afro.slim ESCs today. The wires seemed to be welded onto the Afros, had to crank the soldering iron to 800F to remove the lead free solder. The wires in the NTM 28-30 1200Kv motors seem to be tinned all the way, making them pretty stiff. Not an issue on the front motors, but could be a problem on the tail motor that moves along with the wires. Also the bullit Connectors on the Afro slim are 2.5mm and won’t fit the 3.5mm on the motors. Will propably just solder AWG18 or AWG16 wire from motors to the ESC anyway.

  17. Really enjoyed the movie even if I don’t own the kit yet. I have a question partially related to the film. I listened to a flitetest podcast today which reminded me you still prefer the KK2 board (which I already knew since you talk about it in this movie). So I was wondering what firmware you prefer. Keep posting more movies and articles! Cheers Thanks!

  18. Hi,
    My kit is almost finished and I have started purchasing the components to build the voltage regulator.
    I have some questions about the 1mH coil.
    Are there more specifications to get of this or any good link to buya suitable one?.
    I have some ferrite rings and enameled wire but I have no idea ohow many turns I will need trying to make one coil my my self.
    Any help will be appreciated

  19. Hi!

    The motor Turnigy Park450 1200kv 18A 175W was removed from the electronic 3S tips, any reason? I bought these one and if you do not recomend anymore I will change.

  20. Hi !
    I just finished building my Tricopter. It look awesome and everything seems to work perfectly ! I will try fly it tommorow in my garden (fingers cross ๐Ÿ˜€ ).
    I may have found a problem with my yaw motion… I think I set the servo to neutral position with my radio correct and put a slightly angle to the right (as David show in Flite Test’s Tricopter Scratch build video). When I put throttle, it come back to a nul angle but when I move the stick, yaw angle is a lot more important to the right the to the left.
    Did I do something wrong ?
    Thank you !

    • Bonjour tout le monde !
      I try to fly today with no changes in KK2.1 setting and well… It doesn’t fly ๐Ÿ™ (I’ts my first build btw). When I put throttle, the back is way more power full than front motors… The tricopter swing to the front (I don’t know how to say in English :s). Also, sticks don’t respond very fast, I mean it almost don’t respond at all. I think I have to change KK board’s setting. I tell you later if it finally work ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh ! Also the alarm for low voltage is strange. I try to programme last night. I had a 4s 3000mAh full charge so I put alarme setting at 128 and it start ton ring so… I don’t kwon what is wrong with me, I may be a very bad tricopter builder ๐Ÿ˜€
      Bonne journรฉe (have a good day ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      • Hi!
        That voltage setting on the kk board is to sound the alarm. In other words, when the voltage of your flight pack reaches the setting you chose, the alarm sounds. You have it set to alarm you of a full pack! Choose a lower value.

        My first build and kk board too, so no good advice on your other issues. Accelerometer calibration? Maybe the board doesn’t know where level is? Is it facing the right way? Motors spinning in the direction the board thinks they are? Basic ideas, but that’s all I got! Good luck, curious to know what it was.

        • Hi ! Thanks for your answer ! I think I’ll just change settings and look for some tuto on youtube when I can.
          I charge my battery (16.8V) and put alarm setting at 128 (12.8V right? for 3.2V per cell)and I just test and it start buzzing as soon I push “back” button… I am really lost ๐Ÿ˜€

        • Hi David ๐Ÿ˜€
          I did a throttle calibration after seeing DkDarness post but it’s too dark out there so I’ll try tomorrow if it’s better. I thougth to try in my room but I think it was a bad idea ๐Ÿ˜€

          For th batterie I have to add 2 wires from main power cable and link it to “batt” (the red plug on to left ?)

          Thank for your help !

  21. First flight today with the Flip32+ board and frame build from scratch using Davids brilliant video and 3D printed parts! I’ll try to compile a little video ๐Ÿ™‚

    Can’t wait to get the real kit!

  22. I had a disturbing dream last night. I had crashed my tricopter. Two booms were broken completely and one was dangling by a few fibers. I was very much upset and decided I would have to use wood booms until I could order replacements. What a relief I felt in the morning.

    Thanks for listening.

    Probably had this because I was all excited about the copter all over again as I finally have a way to record video. Cheap, too. Not a gopro, not even a mรถbius, but a Flip Video recorder. Remember those? My friend gave it to me, because it is about as good as the iphone camera anyway. It’s not a convenient form factor or weight, but it works well. Anyway, it’s fun to get video. Now I can start chasing discs at the disc golf course!

    • Did you check your tricopter as soon as your were up ? I often made this kind of dream and woke up sad of very angry xD but don’t worry dreams are often your brain making memory of the day and trying to remember what you did. During it process it may associate what you plan to do or feeling with your memories ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I say nothing wrong, I may check my last year courses on memory :/
      Oh by the way, I hope my English is not too bad and to… Hum how say that… Direct ? Straight ? I may speak in my direct French way and sometimes I didn’t mean to be that direct :S so let me know my mistakes and everything ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Indeed, this is probably so. As this is my first regular sized multirotor, I’ve been learning, trying to go slowly. As I become better, I try new things. As I try new things, I realize I could try something and crash. Maybe I was preparing myself, knowing it is a real possibility. Having been a student of rc for a few years and a student of life for longer, I firmly understand but one thing: nothing is permanent. Everything must pass! Certainly when flying foam board aircraft this is painfully obvious. In the case of the tricopter, perhaps painful. Building is fun, though, so good either way?

    I enjoy your English, as I do everyone who is non-native. The phrasing is insightful and makes my brain think in new ways to decipher. I love it. Your English is still better than my French will ever think of being!

    No worries, direct is good.

    • Being a PhantomObserver myself, I did crash my Tricopter yesterday. Since I packed both zip ties and ekstra propellers, it took a full 70 seconds to repair the cracked boom and broken propeller and be ready to fly again ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t be afraid to crash. You build the tricopter once, you will be able to rebuild it easily ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yes indeed I did finally crash! Right into a tree at high speed. Whacked a few branches, and fell out of the tree on it’s back and bounced back upright. I too was three props, some zip ties and a camera remount away from being while again. It broke the fpv mast, the entire tilt mech, and two landing gears. The tilt mechanism suffered no real damage, except for a small piece of the servo shim. Works fine though. The zip tie approach works a treat indeed!

        Problem is I had no spare prop, so I ordered in a haste from readymaderc, and only ordered regular props, I thought they came in pairs, one cw, one ccw. Nope. They just come in pairs. Oops. Would have had it running this weekend, but had to order the right props. I could have flown it, but didn’t want to resolder the motor wires to the esc temporarily. It has been strange not to fly it everyday!

        Ordered plenty of spares!

          • It is a great machine, yes! I had a hard time at checkout, choosing the responsible shipping option. Very tempted was I to pay crazy money to get them here sooner. Alas, that would not be satisfying on the long run. I can just go for walks in the meantime, make tea, sew something. Patience!

          • Back up in the air today! Flew great.

            Just wanted to mention that holy crap, the hq props are so much quieter than the multi star props from HK! They fly so much smoooooother too. Sounds like the motors are not working as hard to turn them.

            If someone is wavering between the HQ’s or the multistars, my limited experience suggests that HQ is superior.

            It was so quiet, I had to just hover it on front of me for a few minutes and stare at it. It was actually kind of eerie, in a great way. I then pulled the goggles down and found the whole flying experience to be much more mellow than with the multistars. When I hit the throttle hard, it climbed more evenly, where before, quick climbs would be a hair-raising event.

            Had to share my the joy of HQ.

  24. hi david when i was building my tricopter the build was awesome but this was my first time using the kk mini board. the screen will come on and i can navigate the menu but when i try to do any flying it does not do anything it just says “SAFE” on the screen and nothing happens, and i know that the board gets signal because i went to the receiver test and it all cheeks out. Thanks,
    Berkut47

  25. Hello David!
    Items arrived yesterday afternoon! Thank you!

    I’m putting all things together.

    Tri 2.5 (mmm, first flight was a total crash due to inexperience, but then it has been a joy to fly with ๐Ÿ™‚ and the kk2 is really amazing.

    Updating my tri, i’m trying something different: arducopter, gps, telemetry and sonar… a lot of cables = a lot of work ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you, from italy!

  26. Second flight today. Did an error in setting up the flight modes, and was stuck in angle+baro mode. The baro mode seems to sensitive, the motors and props probably are too powerful for the PID settings. The Tricopter jumps forward/up and down at times. Did some stick scaling on my Taranis (50%/75%/100% from switch) Works really well. At 50% the tricopter is really docile, I guess perfect for FPV, at 100% it is crazy fast and agile! I’m loving it ๐Ÿ™‚ I get 10 minutes of flight time (down to 3.5v) on a 3S 2200 mAh LiPo (at 7 degrees C). Had to stop when it got dark. Just ordered a ZIPPY Compact 5800mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack and LED strips from Hobbyking to be able to fly longer into the evening ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyone have experience with that kind of payload (433g)?

    • Hi DK ! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Euh, for my first build I ordered one package (more or less 700g) and paid 19$ for shipping and a second one between 1500 and 2000g for nearly 38$ (ouch ! ๐Ÿ™ ).
      Order came after 2/3 weeks (I don’t really remember) in France. It’s a lot longer if it come from International Warehouse than Euro or UK warehouse but they are so empty…
      I don’t know where you live but you may have something like 18$ to pay and 2 weeks to have your order ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Oh, I have ordered a lot of stuff from Hobbyking. Only twice from the International warehouse, and both times a complete disaster. I live in Denmark, and packages valued over $13 are taxed an additional 25%. Fair enough. Unfortuneatly the carrier charges an additional $27 to front the tax… making any purchase over $13 from outside the EU very expensive. Right now I am waiting for goods ordered on October 8th. Hobbyking fudged up and didn’t process the order until October 24. Got notification today that the package had made it all the way from the distribution center to the airport in a meager 17 days. Very impressive.

        BUT – what I wanted to know was, if anyone has tried to put that kind of payload on the RCExplorer Tricopter V3 on a 3S setup? It runs on the NTM 1200Kv motors with 10/5 props. I plan to add an additional 200g of GoPro+gimbal, and another 20g of FPV gear… I guess I’ll lose much of the agility?

        • oh… I feel so bad right now, my English is very bad xD It seems that I didn’t understand the question ๐Ÿ˜€ I want to dig a hole and burried myself for a long time, like 1 or 2 days xD
          Bye ! ๐Ÿ˜€

        • It should be fine. 1200kV and 10/5 props should have plenty of power. Depends on what type of FPV flying you want to do. Heavier setups makes for smoother footage. But I bet you’ll have some spare power with that setup to have some fun

          • Thanks for your reply David! I’m just planning on putting a SkyZone TS5823 V2 VTX with Circular Polarized antenna on the frame, and use my “old” hero 3BE as camera. Flying no more than 500m away, and using the Quanum DIY FPV Goggle Set with Monitor (KIT) as a screen for framing my shots. Nothing fancy ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess adding a brushless gimbal will actually make it more difficult to fly true FPV, since you loose the sense of angle (roll and yaw)?

    • I fly with both a lighter 3000mah 4s and a 4000mah 4s that weighs that much (437g) and it flies great with the big one. A little more hmmmm… Ox-like and stable than with the lighter battery. I flew them both on a windy day to see how the tricopter would fare in those conditions and I much preferred the heavier battery. It will obviously be a little slower, but the stiffness of the frame keeps it all locked in and uses the weight to its advantage.

      • Just received at note that my Order: #7297 has completed (the frame kit) ๐Ÿ™‚

        I received my PFV gear, carbon props etc (ordered on Oct 8) on Saturday. I plan to build a light version with the original frame, once I have my camera platform build. So far, I am way passed 1400g. Made a test hover in the back yard, and the extra weight actually prevented it from jumping in the air when using the Baro mode on the Flip32+ board. Unfurtunatly it is now dark, stormy and rainy in Denmark so no chance of a test flight any time soon ๐Ÿ™ I have added a strip of waterproof LEDs on the underside of the camera plate. Am I the only one, who is running out of power outlets fast?

  27. Hi !
    I flew a little this morning and had my first crash. I just broke a prop, nothing bad ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know what happened, it was flying great but it starts going foward and my stick was full backward… ๐Ÿ™

  28. Hi !
    I finally manage to make it fly great as you can see in this video ๐Ÿ˜€
    As you may also see, I broke a prop and I have to buy new one. For now all my motors turns in the same way (I buy the propelers mentioned on Flite Test, the 9047SF Slow Fly Electric Prop CW 9 4.7) but I will be better if the front left motor turns CCW but I don’t know which propeller to buy (lenght and pitch). I am running 4s Turnigy 3000mAh LiPo, Hobbyking F20A Speed Controllers and DT750 750kV Motors.
    Thank you !

  29. I feel envy of those crashing dreams lol…
    I haven’t left the ground yet…not even the setup ๐Ÿ™

    Anyone with a kk mini aurora hitec 9 setup that could give me a hand?

    I’m getting some signals and I’ve been playing around with “what goes where and what happens when the leads get mixed up” but I still have some questions about it (the perks of being a noob).

    Thanks guys…

  30. I watched with envy as David mounted his antennae using the mounts included with the HiTec Aurora… So since the weather does not permit me to fly, I created some for myself ๐Ÿ™‚ Along the way I decided to make a foldable transmitter post that would provide some protection also. Find them here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:551865

    On a different note: Do any of you RCExplorers actually own a 3D printer enabling you to benefit from this?!?

  31. Hi guys !
    As I am wainting for my new propeller I was looking for my first FPV setup and I need your advice ๐Ÿ˜€
    I have I so much heard and seen about Fatshark that it must be the best but it’s so expensive ! Well if it is what it need to have a good FPV experience I may find the money xD So wich model I could use ?
    I also heard about immersion RC tx 600mw but I think in France I can only use 250 and if I need more I’ll to register to not be illegal. I’ve plan to use a mobius (and later buy a gopro of course ๐Ÿ˜€ )
    What do you think of this ? http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__53706__Quanum_DIY_FPV_Goggle_Set_with_Monitor_KIT_.html

    Thank you ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Yesterday I received the kit!
    Shipment was fast (2days to Italy), packaging was actually probably the best I have seen since I got into RC, very effective and well thought out. Everything was still in place as David put it.
    Components are of very good quality, I cannot find anything I would complain about. Again, my standards might not be at the highest level, but really, all the components looked just perfect!

    I was waiting for it for quite a lot, so I already had lots of work on the electronics done. In one evening I completed it. Looks very good, better than in pictures!

    Tryed to plug in a lipo for the first time and pffff, magic smoke! I had one of the afro esc plugged in reverse polarity, so it nearly cooked a lipo, heat up a lot the wiring and cooked one of the esc. Carefull guys, afro esc do not have reverse polarity protection, it thakes a second to fry one!
    Also carefull at the wiring (it is quite tricky to get things done, if you want to do a good job. It is very little space to work with. (This is the only thing I don’t actually like about the tricopter, wiring managment is a mess for me…) Also it is easy to cut your wires closing the arms, if you have them coming out that end. Better to take them out from the front side…
    So I am grounded for another week, since afro esc are out of stock in eu warehouse, orded one from ebay(uk).

    I then tested the other motors with props on, and discovered another problem… Ntm propdrive 900kv, they do have shitty C clips. I found a replacement locally, so no problems here, but carefull doing the thing David does in his video when pushing in the shaft… It is easy to get the clip in a bad shape…

    I haven’t seen it fly yet, but it looks soo good! Hope to get it up soon!
    Thank you David!

      • That esc from ebay is not here yet… ????????
        I really want to get it up in the air, it will be my first time ever with a multi, so I am excited as a kid on Christmas day!
        The man who will invent cheap and fast delivery worldwide will conquer the world!

      • Hi David and all you guys!
        Today I finally maiden my tricopter. It was my very first flight on a multirotor, I only flew a Bixler before…
        It was nice! Smooth and gentle, I managed to hoover it pretty much for the whole 4s 3300. It had no fpv gear on it, I will learn to fly LOS first.
        I really did not think it would be that easy to keep it in the air (of course I was using SL mode only…)

        The software I am running is the 1.6++ by RC911, I picked that because I think the mixed mode (SL-acro) will help me on the transition when ready. It was all stock, also because I would’t know how to tune it ????.

        At the end of the flight I had two bokwn zip ties on the landing gear… I did not had any hard landings, but the sharp edges of the gear probably cuts them off easily… Not really a problem though.

        Another thing that was not in place was the battery, it slides off place even though is strapped tightly. A couple of thin strips of that silicone thing as for the camera, to be glued on the batt tray would be a nice add on for the kit.

        Overall I am very pleased with the tricopter, I will want to think about a better wiring arrangement into the frame and maybe an hole for the servo wires on the top plate, but apart from that, me like it!

        I have now a couple of questions for you..
        I balanced the HQ props as precisely as I could, ending up scraping off quite a bit of material and adding quite a lot of hot glue to the hub. For the task I used a dubro balancer. Anyway, by hand I can still feel vibrations on the booms especially low frequency at low RPM. Is this normal even with the best balancing work one can do or I should try harder?

        In SL mode, starting from a pretty steady hoovering, if I push the stick to move forward or sideways the copter also gain altitude without throttle stick changes. Is this normal? If it is not, is there a way to deal with this?

        Tak and ciao!

  33. So I had my second crash today. A rather serious one at that. Turns out disarming your motors at 20m attitude will do serious damage to the Tricopter. To be fair, the tilt mechanism was the only part that bugged me, since it takes some time to print at fit. I broke the already cracked inferior hobbyking boom (no surprise there) one of my custom landing gears, the top of the tilt mechanism and the top wire holders and of course completely destroyed the enclosure and arm of my MotorPixie Mini gimbal. The GoPro survived unharmed. I will post some boring footage once I get it processed.

    /Terje

  34. Hi guys ๐Ÿ˜€
    Here is my third flight video ๐Ÿ˜€ https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ssibf7p5372ezq/WP_20141123_001.avi?dl=0
    (It seems my dog doesn’t like flying stuff I’m sorry for its bark ๐Ÿ™ also sorry for my sister speaking and filming the dog xD you might turn of your speaker after 20 seconds of flight ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    I have to say, it fly amazing and it’s “only” the V2.5 version so V3 should be awesome, it’s sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I fall in love with this tricopter ๐Ÿ˜€ I used to fly with a little Hubsan h107D wich is awesome for little garden and my room but this tricopter… Wow ! Thank you David for this design, you are a Rc genius ๐Ÿ™‚

    Next step is FPV ! ๐Ÿ˜€ I like the Hubsan for this, everything was done I just had to turn on the radio and it worked ๐Ÿ™‚ However with the tricopter I’ll have a “real” FPV ๐Ÿ™‚
    I thought to buy Fat shark Attitude V2 what do you think ? Predator V2 seems also great. I don’t know what to do ! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bye !

  35. So winter is coming… Any thoughts on a vacuum molded canopy for the RCExplorer Tricopter? ๐Ÿ™‚

    – David, you have your own 3D printer and CNC machine for creating the parts you sell. Would a home build vacuum molding machine not be the next logical step ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Saw the video (http://youtu.be/tDJgXQmYEew) on how the DR1 shells were handmade made out a fillable christmas ornament? If you or Flitetest were ever to make a kit, vacuum molded parts may be the way to go?

    • That is a good idea ! It could hold on the frame with rubber band, one for the back et one for each front arm. We would just have to hang one end of the rubber band on one side, wrap it around the arm and hang it on the other side ๐Ÿ™‚ Am I clear ? I’m not sure I am understandable xD

    • Hi, Terje.

      Nice idea. I actually made a canopy for my tri, but as I do not have a vacuum mold, I made it after the idea from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKlFBKt9NIY. The plug and press ring I made by hand – no fancy CNC machining of the parts. After I removed the excessive plastic, I spray painted the canopy, only with a couple of masking tapes to allow me seeing the LEDs of the flight controller through the “windows”.
      Looking at the result, it is not perfect, but it sure looks nice more than a meter from the tri;-) Plus it really protects the flight controller and receiver. I use Velcro to secure the canopy to the frame.

        • Hehe, Terje:-)

          I thought of that and also I thought of making a CNC machine in order to make the “perfect” plug. However, sometimes we just have to accept that we cannot make everything 100% perfect. For my use, the canopy I made is good and nice enough, with just a little wrinkle in one corner due to too much plastic in that area. If I could get hold of 1mm Plexiglas instead of the 2mm I used, the result would probably be better. Anyway, I will not make a new canopy unless the one I have is broken in a bad crash:-p

          • Not 100% that’s just crazy talk! ๐Ÿ˜‰

            For me, the journey is as important as reaching the goal ๐Ÿ™‚ I got my Phantom 2 Vision with the goal of taking stunning photos and videos. Never got to that goal. The journey was very educational though! Building and rebuilding multirotors is almost more fun than actually flying them (due to harsh restrictions in Denmark). Did some experimentation with “night” flying and tricopter recovery yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRJs72YOcv0

            • Not 100% enters when you get into the time squeeze between work, family and hobbies. I do agree with you that the building and rebuilding is the really fun part. If I wanted to only go flying I guess a RTF quad would have been enough. Having built the tri-copter from scratch is perfect when you crash and need to repair it on the field. I had one crash cutting the servo cable to one ESC, but due to having all I needed to put on a new male servo plug with me at the field, I managed to go flying again after only 15 minutes ๐Ÿ˜‰

              It’s getting colder here in Norway too now, so I do not get as many flight minutes as I would like. I guess I will be using my simulator or the Hubsan X4 to improve my skills during the dark winter months.

              By the way, I just uploaded my (rather long) video of a test flight I did last Friday: http://youtu.be/u5NVEeTcyzg

              • Are you running Cleanflight on a naze32 or flip32+ or something different? I like the lights for orientation ๐Ÿ™‚ I am still struggling with baro mode, running basefligt on my flip32+ board. It seems to be over compensating. Ordered another flip32+ to try Cleanflight and auto tune on.

                • I’m using the HK Pilot Mega 2.7 with an Ublox NEO-7M GPS/Compass. The firmware is the brand new ArduCopter 3.2. The HKPilot Transceiver Telemetry Radio Set V2 (433Mhz) I have hooked up to my Samsung Galaxy S5 running the DroidPlanner app. I have an issue with the external compass, so I have still not tried the most advanced modes on the ArduCopter 3.2. Yesterday I tried the drift mode. It gives smooth turns with only using the right stick, but at the same time it was weird to fly like that. As the drift mode relies on a good GPS and compass, I did not trust the mode too much and was quick to return to Stabilize mode when I felt I lost control. I had some issues with other GPS modes earlier, including a bad crash on my first V2.5 tri, so learning to jump back to stabilize mode has proven very important ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  36. First I would like to share my experience with 9×5″ CF props on 1200Kv motors running on 3S and a take off weight of 1420g: they are not providing enough lift. 10×5″ nylon props work fine though. Have ordered 11×5″ nylon props to see how the perform on my setup.

    Second I have upgraded my FrSky X8R with sbus to ppm cable and enabled ppm on the Rx with great success. I now have 16 channels available (needed one for gimbal roll), and sonar requires ppm on the Flip32+.

    Is anybody else running sonar on the Flip32+ board? I am having trouble connecting the sensor as M5 is used for motor 3?

      • To start with the frame is my training frame (3mm plywood with HK booms – can’t wait to get the real ones)

        (approx weights)
        5800 mAh 3S LiPo: 399g
        Gimbal: 130g
        2 axis controller: 30g
        GoPro: 74g
        FPV: 20g
        FrSky vario
        FrSky LiPo sensor

        I hope to be able to be able to connect my Flip32+ to the telemetry of the FrSky receiver to cut the varo and lipo sensor. Also the gimbal controller can be slimmed down. I hope to fit a HC-SR04 sensor for sonar though (10g naked)…

        I am totally aware that the excessive weight is what is killing my booms on impact ๐Ÿ˜€

        P.S.: Next project is to fit the Sunnysky X3108S motors to the frame. Yes I know that the standard tilt mechanism won’t fit – I have altered your design slightly and printed one that accepts up to 40mm motors.

        • Terje,

          How did you get the custom tilt mechanism printed? I would also like to run a large diameter motor, but I do not own a 3d printer or know what material to have it printed out of.

          I assume that your larger motors and larger prop will allow the copter to have much longer flight times on 4s?

          • Hi Steezus, I printed the original STL files from David and flew with them with great success. Then I applied my calipers and created a near identical 3D drawing in AutoCad Fusion 360. Then I scaled the tilt bottom to 15×12.5x10mm and added room for another zip tie in the 15mm section. Then I scaled the tilt top to 12.5x15x12.5mm and increased the thickness of the 40mm disc to 3mm. The tilt mechanism now uses a M3x50 screw. Hardest part to draw, which still needs to be tested, is the spline part. My Solidoodle 4 does not print as fine detail as Davids printer so I don’t know if construction is durable enough.

            I am not planning to use (still being shipped from China) the Sunnysky X3108S because of longer flight times on 4S but because of the vibrations of my 1200Kv NTM motors when flying beyond 3/4 throttle. I hope using bigger props at slower speed will eliminate the vibrations I get – and I really like the sound of big props in the morning! ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • I wrote David who was quick to allow me to share my alterations to his excellent tilt design. You can find the design on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:581940

              The design will allow you to use motors with a can up to 40mm. Be mindful of the Force, Luke. More powerful motors leads to added stress on the frame. Added stress leads to frames breaking. Frames breaking leads to crashing. Crashing leads to suffering… Or at least rebuilding ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. hi everyone !

    I try to setup my PID on my tricopter V2.5. I use KK 2.1.5 board. My actually settings are p gain : 150 and I gain : 95. What do you think ? I saw a lot video and all are saying to high every until it start to oscillate but I increase p gain until 250 and I gain until 100 but it never oscillate… My fingers started to froze so I stop trying level everything ๐Ÿ˜€
    What you think ? Should I keep increase gains ?
    Btw I’m running exact same setup as David in the Scratch build video of Flite Test (4s battery, 20A HK ESC and DT750 750kv) xD
    Thank you !

  38. Hey guys,
    hope someone of you can help me out with my KK mini board issue.
    I just completed the assembly of my tricopter today and started up the flight control board.
    It starts normal, i can arm it and power up the Motors…but nothing happens when i press the right button for menu. Also nothing happens while starting up pressing button 1 and 4. Is it really a Hardware issue?
    Thanks a lot for your help. I am sitting here and want to go flying around….

    • Do you get no message at all on the screen? If you can arm and throttle the motors the board is at least partly functioning, but if there’s nothing on the screen the board either needs to be repaired or replaced…

      • oh the screen it looks as it should look like. I see that it is in save mode and battery voltage….everting is fine. down right is the menu writing (sign) dont know how to say. but the display stays exactly the same when i press any of the buttons. iam not able to do some changes like pi editor uns stuff like this.
        i wrote an email to hobbyking, we will see what they say and by the way i ordered a new board around here, to get this baby in the air whithin the next days…

    • Dear Santa,

      I have been a very good child this year. I worked hard making a good tricopter and tried to help when I could (not a lot in fact xD ). I was wondering if you had a 3d-printer laying around in your workshop that you could lay near my christmas tree ? It would help me making awesome stuff, like a mini-tricopter-racer ?

      Good luck for your annual shipping and be carefull, it’s cold outside !

      (At least I can try ! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

            • I definitely have to look at it ๐Ÿ™‚ I always wanted one, even before loving multirotors xD I was wondering wich software you are using ? Is it possible to use the same for different printer ?

            • I am frankly super surprised that the Ultimaker 2 can produce the detail it can?!? If I hadn’t seen the parts David sent in the kit, I would have dismissed the claim that any printer can precisely dose any amount of filament using 2.85 diameter filament and pushing it through a tube almost a meter long?!? I went with the Solidoodle 4 (while they were still manufactured in Brooklyn, NY) because it uses non-proprietary 1.75 filament (which is most common in Europe) and a direct-drive extruder onto a heated printbed. Only downside is the limit in temperature (shuts down at 238C). More exotic filament types like nylon and rubber require higher extrusion temperatures.

              My advise: Don’t look at the price of the printer, look at the price of the filament and if you can use any brand, or are limited to proprietary filament (DaVinci XYZ etc), and what types of materials it can print.

              • Thank you for your advices Terje. I think I will wait in order to save some money ๐Ÿ˜€ I have seen some “kit” or that you can buy parts, like on Banggood,however it may be more reliable to buy one from a manufacturer, isn’t it ?

  39. Is anybody flying with the Hobbyking Multistar 2212 920Kv or Multistar 2216 800Kv motors? I am considering bying either the 2212 set of four or the 2216’s for a light FPV racer setup (time to have some fun!) I would go with SunnySkys, but there is no good dealer to be found…

    • The multistar 2212 920kV are rebranded Emax motors. They do get hot when running on 4S and 9×5 props and are not that efficient, but they work ๐Ÿ™‚ Haven’t tried the 2216 motors. On 4S and 10×5 props they might work well… It’s not going to be a racer on either setup though. Get some 1200kV motors and 8×5 props on 4S. Much racier and flies great ๐Ÿ™‚

      • But but but… I already HAVE the NTM Prop Drive Series 28-30 1200kv motors! Are you really saying that all I need is a 2200 mAh 40C 4S LiPo, some 8×5″ props (might be running them on my existing 9×5″ carbon props) and an 12v BEC to avoid blowing out my LED lighting? What am I going to use my $120 hobbyking store credit for? ๐Ÿ˜€

        Thanks for your reply, David! Really appreciate you taking the time to answer questions while you are busy ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Hey !
    I did my first FPV away from home, in the Alpes ! ๐Ÿ˜€ Nice weather, almost no wind … It was a nice first experience but I was looking at the video recorded on the mobius and… “Is that jello ??” All my helice were balance, the camera tray is good… I don’t know to do ๐Ÿ™ May be my prop balancer is bad, I should buy the dubros one…
    Any idea to kill those bad bad vibrations ? ๐Ÿ˜€

    cheers !

    • 1) Balance your motors. I would love to tell you how to do that, but David does it so much better ๐Ÿ™‚ http://youtu.be/xixni4trNq8?t=1m54s

      2) Use a bigger (heavier) battery. More weight on your battery/camera tray means more mass to move. I use a massive 400g battery and 130g gimbal with my GoPro, and have no jello issues even in strong winds.

      3) Use a seismograph app on your smart phone to measure vibrations on your booms. You will find that there are more vibrations at certain rpm’s than others. Choose a prop size that gives you the right amount of lift in the rpm range where you don’t get much vibration?

      • Hi David !

        I don’t feel any vibrations on the frame… My first thought was the props but on an earlier video I had no jello… I remembered I had a very bad crash … I just have seen that there is a little crac on the plate holding the uppon part of the camera tray … I’ll order you new oe as soon I am back home ๐Ÿ˜€ As Terje said I’ll also balance the motors I use this battery : http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__35838__Turnigy_3000mAh_4S_20C_Lipo_Pack_EU_warehouse_.html

        337g is not enough ? xD

          • Euh… Yeah the front one, but the top plate. The one which hold the camera tray on the frame ๐Ÿ˜€ Dammit my English is better after a beer or two ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I put epoxy on the front and it’s stiff again but the back one is not broken but it look likes it suffered a big torsion during the crash and there is white mark on the plate ๐Ÿ™ I know I am not clear xD I wish I could post a picture but I don’t know a good way to do it… any suggestions ? ๐Ÿ˜€

            What ever, as soon as I am back home, I’ll order new spare plates ๐Ÿ˜‰ And balance my motors and also buy the dubro balancer xD

  41. David,

    What kind of wire cutters/strippers are you using in this video? I’d like to get some like yours.
    I’m thinking of converting my current setup to use your frame for FPV. It looks like an awesome setup and your videos both on RCExplorer and FliteTest are always the best.

    Thanks!

  42. Hi David,
    I just have finished building and setting up the kk mini. Now I have a small issue: The KK always outputs zero on the ESCs and centers the Servo. When I increase the throttle nothing happens. Rx input is ok and the board says also ok. So what can I do?

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