Home Forums Everything about the Tricopter LR OldRaven's Tricopter LR build

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    Here’s my build story for my Tricopter LR.

    By the time I’m writing this it is already flying, so I have to catch up to where I am now. I was too excited building it that I did not have time to write down the steps during my building adventure.

    First the parts I came up with that I wanted put in my Tri.
    My plan is to do Long Range stuff with it in the long run, but first start by getting it airborne to get more experience with it and how it behaves.
    So I will be replacing my Reciever and VTX later for a more long range version.

    Reciever and VTX

    I don’t know what system yet, for my long range stuff I currently use a UHF system (EZUHF), but for now I will just use my Futaba system. If I have them money later I want to switch to Crossfire.
    For the VTX I have a 2.4GHz system lying around from my TBS Discovery Pro LR, but for now I will be using the Tramp HV (5.8GHz) for testing flying fpv with the Tricopter.

    Motors and ESC’s

    A new series of ECO motors from E-Max caught my eye, I first wanted to use the same motors David uses it the video, but decided to try the ECO versions to see how durable they are.
    For the Tri I’m using the 2207 1700Kv versions, and am currently testing the 2306 2400s’ on my TBS Source One.
    For the ESC’s I went with Aikon BL32’s 2-4S which are a bit smaller and lighter then the 6s versions.
    I’m testing these on my TBS Source one, and since I plan on flying the Tri on 3S they are nice enough.
    Added bones is that they are a bit smaller then the 6s version making it easier to attach them to the arm so don’t get in the way when you fold the arms.

    Flight controller and power distribution

    I’m using the Kakute F4 V2. I have no experience with it but since Davids uses it seems like a smart thing to do the same.
    And offcourse I also got that sexy baby PDB.


    I did not want to strap a go-pro on top of the Tri because I want to try and keep the weight as low as possible. So I wanted to use a Split style camera.
    I’m a bit worried about the latency with the split style camera’s and I wanted to get a a higher resolution then 1080P, So for me this is the perfect frame to test the CADDX Tarsier.
    And there is plenty of room to house the double board that comes with the Tarsier.

    Next stop a short step by step building story…



    First things first, I wanted to get a feel for the size of the frame. So I decided to first screw the frame together, and test fit the tail mechanism.

    The tail tilt mechanism needs some carefull sanding and filing to make it fit snugly. You don’t want it to have too much resistance, nor do you want it to beet to sloppy. So check often when sanding, it’s easier to remove material then to add it later ?


    PDB and ESC’s

    Really like the PDB, pre-tinned the pads and soldered an XT-60 connector to it.

    The esc’s are Aikon BL32’s the 2-4S version since I plan on flying 3s with the Tricopter.
    They support D-Shot 1200.
    After analyzing David’s video I was able to decipher how he connected al the ESC wires ?
    Here’s the PDB with all the ESC’s attached. The white wires are the signal wires that go to the Flightcontroller.



    Time for the KakuteF4 V2
    This is from memory as I was so busy connecting all the wires that I forgot to take pictures.
    Pictures attached here are after the first flight.
    I added wires from the PDB to the FC for the Current sensor, and connected the vbat and ground to the FC.
    The 3 white signal wires from the esc’s are connected to motor 1 2 and 3.
    The servo signal wire is connected to m4, and the servo feedbackwire is connected to the LED pin (as it’s recourced in the firmware)
    For now I will use my Futaba system with an s-bus reciever, so connected the RX wire to RX3 and powered the reciever from the baby PDB.

    I will connect the camera, VTX and GPS later. I first want to get this Tri in the air and do some testing.


    dRonin setup

    After all the soldering it was time to setup the Flightcontroller with dRonin.
    Installed the special tri version of dRonin from this Forum.
    With the Kakute connected to betaflight configurator I flashed the right firmware found in the install directory of dRonin.
    After flashing I could connect to dRonin and start the setup.
    And checked the motor directions and reversed the NW motor with the blheli configurator.
    Setup the reciever and all the switches. Disarm Switch!
    Calibrated the tail servo and did the system setting for it.
    Added the servocalibration to a switch and also autotune, then did a servo calibration and check i fit updated the value for the servo speed.

    Everything seemed to work so it was time to take off and do an autocalibration flight.

    I plan on using 3s 5200’s , but since I don’t have them yet am testing with 3s 3000 I have lying around.

    Check if the tail servo compensates when you spin the tri and that seemed to work.
    First take off attempt I always give as much throttle so it not leaves the ground and check all stick directions.
    Then lifted it off the ground and it started spinning clockwise even if i tried countering the yaw movement. Tried a few more times and decided to go back tot he drawing board.
    With help of the forum I realised that I had to reverse the servo.

    After reversing the servo direction , calibrated the tail servo and went outside for another test.

    Now the Tricopter took off without any problem. If flew great after getting used to how the Tricopter behaves in acro mode I flipped it into autotune mode and kept it in the air for 1 minutes until it was done measuring.
    Disarmed and went back to the laptop.
    After connecting it detected that I did an autotune flight and I saved the values.


    Now I have to wait for my tarsier.


    After my tarsier arrived I finished all the soldering work for the vtx, camera and GPS.

    Should have picked a TBS vtx for this build, I did not know dRonin does not support trampHV.
    So IF I’m going to upgrade this TRi to a Long range, I will get a TBS vtx.


    Hey! Great build, I have been following your posts. Do you have pictures with the CADDX Tarsier installed? How does it perform, did you have any jello effect? My frame will arrive soon, what do you think could I use 1900kv or 2300kv motors with 5″ or 6″ props for freestyle flights or should I stay within the 1600-1700 range?



    The frame seems to be made for a Tarsier 😀 , fits pefectly.
    I did not test it really yet. Today had to do an autotuneflight and this was also the first time I had the Tarsier recording so I could check the image quality.
    I did not balance the props yet and had no ND filter installed, but I have no jello..

    But I first have to tune the Tri’s tail and then I will do some serious testing and recording.
    I will post a link to the video here as soon as I have something to show.

    I’m not sure what to use for freestyle. I fly 3S now, and as David said with 1700kv motors and the big 8″ 2 blade props you can do some weird stuff on 4S. As the arms are design for the 8″ props I would not use “small” prop setup like 5 or 6 on this build.
    You could do some thrust calculations if you are unsure about what to use.

    I have no experience with freestyle with a Tri, but I would be carefull since that tail can do some weird moves when it can not keep up with what to do.

    Anyway.. here are some picture of the Tarsier installed in the Tri. (Props off)


    Wow, I may steal some cable management ideas from you! I would only like to do some slow and gentle freestyle flights with this one, with no sudden movements. I’ll probably just buy some cheap 6″ triblade props and use it with 4s, we’ll see how is that going perform.

    Waiting for your video and good luck with your build!


    Thanx! If you plan on adding a tarsier and you need the 3d files of the mounts just let me know.


    Tuning the Tri lr

    Well, here we go.. getting it to fly the way it was designed.

    First step was to run a servocalibration on the bench.
    Not that in the video David calles it Tailtune, but it is now called servocal.

    This measures the servo speed and adds it.

    Next step I did the first flight and in hover mode activate autotune.
    It will start measuring and doing all sort of stuff for a minute, then disarm and went to the computer.
    Accepted the autotune measurements.

    The yaw P an I are a bit high, and after a test flight and reading the forum I discovered it is best to lower these.
    My autotune Yaw P was 0.0086something and I 0.03ish
    I found a post on the forum with some settings made it respond better.

    I now have the yaw P set to 0.0068 and the yaw I to 0.0035 en the D to 0

    Next stop was to do an inflight Tailtune (servocal) but I cannot get it to do that.
    After the inflight tailtune you should get a Thrustvalue for the tail, but mine stays at 13.6

    If anyone is reading this, did you get the tailtune to work inflight and what was you Thrustvalue after measuring??

    This week the weather will be blegh.. so probably cannot do any testflight.

    Here are some pictures of the final testbuild.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by PeterPankras.

    Hey! Yes, I am absolutely interested in the 3D files, I think give this Tarsier a try. Can’t wait to see some 4k video footage. Can you upload the files here or you want to send in a private message?

    My PIDs are probably going to be totally different. I’ll be using Kakute F7 AIO with ArduCopter firmware for better mission planning capabilities. I had a really good experience with ArduCopter and tris, shouldn’t be so hard to tune this one too.


    Here’s some raw footage from the last flight. (It’s 1080P60 , not 4K as I’m still finetuning the Tri)
    As you can see the tail still keeps waggin’ around.


    Hope you can tune your copter. Can you share the 3D files for the camera mount? I have ordered a Tarsier as well, but it is going to take like two months for Banggood to ship… They’re out of stock.


    Sure, I’ll upload them tonight when I get home.

    Did you order the V1 or the V2.
    I believe the V2 has a shorter cable, I’m not sure if you can mount the board in the same location with a shorter cable.
    But you can still use the camera mount 😀

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