Home Forums Everything about the Mini Tricopter A Question for All Mini Tricopter Pilots…

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  • #35241

    Hello everyone,

    After building, tuning and flying a few copters from scratch, I am hoping to purchase my first “real” multirotor. I am currently looking at David’s Mini Tricopter kit vs. some 210-size miniquad frames (5″ props). My question is specifically for pilots who have a Mini Tricopter: can it perform crisp aerobatics and perform as well as a quad in handling sharp turns and tight flips and rolls?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope to have a copter built to fly by 2017!

    Thanks.

    #35243

    By “crisp aerobatics” I mean maneuvers like those in this video:

    I understand that it depends a lot on the pilot and the PIDs, among other things, but I want to know if the Mini Tricopter can physically perform such maneuvers and how much more/less difficult they would be to perform on a quad.

    #35246
    GAntonjo
    Moderator

    Not being a skilled FPV pilot, I cannot tell you “Sure it can”. However, I have flown my miniTri (with stock V1 motors, V1 ESCs and F3FC Frame) with TriFlight 0.5,recommended PIDs and successful tail tunes enough times to tell you it is a very capable machine. You can fly it smoothly and slowly if you like and you can punch out all you like. Last few times I flew it inside a mountain hall used for handball and such sports. A short punch on the throttle could cause it to crash in the roof, but due to the performance of the minitri I had no problems looping and rolling the minitri inside hall. Outside in the flying fields making slow loops and rolls are no problems at all. The only disadvantage a tricopter has versus a quad (in my view) is the strength of the servo gears.

    #35247

    @GAntonjo Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

    #35258
    JRach
    Participant

    personally, I would get a quad for reliability because as soon as you bump the tail servo it flies like crap. ANd you have to redo the tail tune over and over again.

    #35263

    Hmmm…

    I would like to eventually become reasonably proficient at a) getting smooth aerial shots and b) doing a little bit of acro/freestyle flying. Not really looking for a racer at this point. So my question is: can the Mini Tricopter fulfill both of these duties to some extent, or should I purpose-build two separate platforms, one for each purpose? Money would be my biggest constraint.

    @JRach Based on what you said about the servo, I might get the Tricopter v4 as well as a 210-size quad. My understanding that when you’re dealing with larger airframes (i. e. TBS Discovery, QAV500, Tricopter v4, IRC XuGong, etc.) tricopters are far superior due to the yaw. But is it correct that the mini multicopters (i. e. Mini/Baby Tricopters, QAV210, Alien, ZMR250, etc.) in tricopter configuration fly inferior to miniquads when it comes to aerobatic flying?

    I’m thinking of using the Tricopter v4 for longer-rage FPV and aerial photography, and a miniquad for fast and crazy close-in flying. This cancels the durability issues as the larger tricopter, being flown in open spaces, is far less likely to bump into stuff compared to the miniquad. The mini needs to be as durable as possible as it will have to survive multiple collisions with obstacles, so a miniquad would be perfect.

    So I must decide (quickly!): am I getting two separate copters for different purposes, or just the Mini Tricopter to get a bit of both worlds?

    Basically, the reason why I started this thread was to find out if the Mini Tricopter flies as well as a miniquad when doing acro/freestyle flying.

    #35266
    billyd
    Participant

    If you are looking for an ultra fast and crisp racer, the alien 5″ quad as setup by rotor riot (see their store) is the most amazing quad out there IMO.

    The rcexplorer baby tri is a fun copter too. Not as crisp as the quad I mentioned but fast and nimble. The tricopter v4 is great for long flights and AP.

    #35267
    Terje
    Moderator

    To be honest, I’m using a 5″ Martian frame with the BabyTri hardware for flying dirty and fast follow shots, which works fine. For doing smooth video and basic acro I still use my F3FC based mini.

    The reason I’m using the quad is primarily because I can’t get airmode to work on the TriFlight firmware. I’m not sure tricopters will ever be able to use true airmode, because tricopters rely on the thrust of the tail propeller to do yaw. Quads can do inverted yaw on idle motors with airmode using the torque of the motors, tricopters can’t. Same goes for near-idle rolls. Quads simply spin up two motors on one side, the tricopter has to spin one motor up, and counter the torque with the thrust of the tail motor. That again forces the tail to lift (more or less).

    In conclusion, tricopters are not suited for near-idle acrobatics?

    #35270
    sree
    Participant

    Hi Jrach
    That’s a little disappointing. I have ordered a min-tri with great excitement, but having to constantly fiddle with it will take the fun away.

    Terje
    Is it your experience also that you have to do tail tuning often?

    Thanks
    – Sree

    #35271
    mcstan
    Participant

    I find I don’t have to tailtune all the time.. i just put the zip ties back on and the way i go

    I have notices that the babytricopter seems to keep the tail on better then the mini tricopter which slides off the end in a high speed crash but then again i got much better at flying it these days because i got used to it habits.

    i like the way the cam moves in corners and feels more natural, everyone thinks im crazy at my club for flying one, but sometimes it good to be different πŸ˜‰

    #35273
    Terje
    Moderator

    I don’t tail tune that often. Mostly when replacing the servo.

    If tricopters and quads flew the same there would be no reason to fly a tricopter? They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    #35277
    billyd
    Participant

    I own all of David’s tricopters and love them all. But they are not the same as a quad but that’s part of what makes them fun too. They fly differently but it’s not a bad thing.

    I don’t have to do tail tune often but I do try to avoid unscheduled contact with the ground. Obviously when you crash you’ll need to do it. But it’s very simple and quick so no big deal.

    #35279
    sree
    Participant

    Thank you all for your replies.
    I will also mark the alignments points on both servo and tribody so that if I can quickly align at field good if need be. Still waiting for arrival.

    Thanks
    – Sree

    #35281
    Fallkon
    Participant

    I have the 5 and 6 inch alien frames and beat the absolute crap out of them constantly, they perform amazing and take a real beating and just keep going.
    I would honestly start with quads as they are usually very robust and have no servo which is a huge pain no question. Its easy to damage or burn out a servo and then its a bit of work to get going again.
    The reason i like Tricopters is their smoothness when shooting video, but it takes a lot of practice to get to smooth piloting. The minitri is really nice and agile, but its also more fragile.
    Personally i wouldn’t attemt a lot of that stuff in the video with my minitri but my quads can pull that stuff off no problem. Ive also flown 3 and 4 inch quads which are a blast as well.
    Hope that helps a bit, check out mattystuntz youtube page πŸ˜‰

    #35300
    JRach
    Participant

    Hi, Sree and the-one-who-never-crashes I may have been exaggerating a slight bit but to be clear I LOVE my mini tricopter but it just has some things I don’t like. I’m running a low KV setup right now but hope to switch to Tmotor F60 2200kv and aikon escs. I wish that was the powerpack for the mini. But the things I don’t like is the servo and how the gears inside are so fragile and bendy. Sometimes while flying or LOS freestyle you can feel the deadzone of the servo twitch the copter about by 1 or 2 degrees on the yaw axis. But the part that annoys me the most is the harsh 20ΒΊ yaw to the left. I dont know how to fix it but if you do I would love to know. ALso I will be building this beast of a quad my friend has built one and it rips and screams like crazy. Check it out here… Little insane quad.

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