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.

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