MiniTricopter [No longer sold as kit]

    (14 customer reviews)

    $ 60.00

    Store closed

    SKU: MiniTricopterKit Categories: ,


    Please note that this is a legacy product, that is no longer sold as a kit. Individual parts may still be available if they are still in stock in the shop. Product information only acts as a reference.

    F3F3 Tricopter

    You can now choose the RCExplorer F3FC Tricopter flight controller (with integrated Power Distribution). Designed based on all the feedback we’ve received since the release of the Naze32 frame. This frame has it all; A more powerful processor, 3A switching BEC with selectable 5/6/8V output, no need for a separate power distribution board, pressure sensor, current sensor, low noise gyro/accelerometer connected via SPI and so much more. Read all about it here.

    Another huge leap in flight performance is the feedback enabled BMS210 servo. The flight controller now knows where the servo is at all times, which allows it to much more accurately control the tail. The F3FC frame has a dedicated feedback pad straight on the board for very easy hookup. All ESC’s also have surface mount pads straight on the board, which makes for a very clean build and saves a ton of space on the top of the frame.

    A carbon fiber bottom board is now also available. Increased stiffness, reduced weight (25% less) and über cool looks.

    The Mini Tricopter, a different mini multirotor that packs a punch.

    If you’re wondering how to build the copter with the new F3FC check out the Tricopter V4 build video. The build is almost identical.

    The Mini Tricopter was designed to utilise parts from the Tricopter V4. It uses the same F3FC frameservo, tilt mechanism, motor mounts, front spacer and arms (cut to half length). Which means that you can convert your regular size tricopter to a Mini Tricopter simply by cutting the arms (or getting new pre-cut ones) and screwing on the Mini Tricopter add-on frame. (Warning: cutting carbon fiber is dangerous and may harm your health. Use proper protection if you try it.) Also, don’t forget to downsize the electronics accordingly.

    Mini Tricopter Camera Tilt
    The frame has a built-in adjustable mount for a board-camera with up to a 40x40mm footprint. The angle can be adjusted continuously between 0 and 40° so that you can start out easy and as you progress in your flying, you can add more and more angle to the camera. The camera is well protected by the frame itself as well as the fact that it is held in place by rubber bands, which protects the camera even more during a crash.

    The Mini Tricopter also easily carries a GoPro camera with protective housing. The camera is easily mounted on the top of the frame. A GoPro4 session or Mobius/Runcam can be mounted inside of the frame on the Mobius Shelf. This plate can be mounted in two positions to allow for different configurations and camera angles. The supplied silicone camera wedge can be used to fine-tune the angle of the camera.

    Flying the Mini Tricopter can be best described as driving an overpowered rear-drive car. It’s not the fastest around the track, but you’ll have the biggest grin on your face when the race is over. The recommended electronics package makes this little beast go almost 160km/h (100mph). The thin arms and smallish body makes it pretty aerodynamically slippery. It requires very little power to cruise at high speeds and it absolutely loves long low-passes with big wide turns. Flips, loops and rolls are quick and crisp thanks to the center of gravity and center of mass being very close to each other.

    Transporting the Mini Tricopter is really easy as the arms can be folded back, just like on the larger tricopter. Folded up it’s only 10cm wide and 30cm long (35cm with 6 inch props sticking out straight back) and 8cm tall. The folding design also makes the Mini Tricopter crash resistant, as the arms may fold back, absorbing energy. The tough “cage” protects the electronics and battery on the inside.

    The recommended battery size for the Mini Tricopter is a 4S 1800mAh with a C rating of 35 and upwards. Be sure to check the size of the battery as only batteries up to 110x35x35mm will fit inside of the “cage”. Larger batteries can be fitted on top or below but you’d lose the protection. I also highly recommend using the tricopter frame with integrated F3FC with built-in PowerDistribution board, otherwise, it will get really cramped inside of the “cage”.

    To make setup as smooth as possible all PID’s, filters, TPA, tail TPA and such are already tuned for the recommended electronics package. Just click the “Preconfigured Cleanflight Setup” tab above and follow the instructions.

    The kit contains:

    Some of you might remember my everlasting battle with manufacturing of the carbon fiber arms. There is a reason why most companies I’ve approached have declined to even try making them. 10x10mm woven square tubes are really difficult to make. Extruded tubes this size is no problem, but they really suck. The arms we sell now are fantastic when it comes to strength, weigh, stiffness and have no warp.

    The problem is that the surface finish is almost impossible to get perfect. So far we’ve discarded large parts of batches due to these imperfections and it’s really not sustainable. We at least need to break even on the arms. That would mean either almost doubling the price or lowering the standards, or stop selling them altogether.

    Right now the most reasonable thing seems to be lowering the cosmetic standards in our quality checks. To be clear; only the surface finish is effected. The structural integrity and function is unaffected and the arms will be just as strong as before. The difference is that you might get arms that are scratched, have small dimples, have a visible edge of the carbon or other cosmetic impurities. Again, this will not effect the function or performance of the arms.

    Since you will now receive a lower quality product we have lowered the prices.

    Recommended electronics:

    From RCExplorer:

    The parts above can be bought here at a discounted price

    More from the RCExplorer store:

    From another supplier:

    FPV Setup:

    You will also need a RC Transmitter and receiver (Such as the FRsky Taranis). Make sure the receiver supports PPM or SBUS (or serial connection)

    This kit requires understanding of electronics, proficient skill in soldering and piloting skill. To fly multirotors, based on cleanflight/betaflight and similar, you will need to give constant stick input. The copter will not fly on it’s own (autonomously) nor will not hold its position in the air in standard configuration. It’s designed to give the best flight experience possible with great flying characteristics. A flight controller of the type this multirotor is using is designed to be felt as little as possible, this in order to let the pilot feel exactly what the copter is doing and to allow for precise flying without the feeling of fighting the flightcontroller.

    Although tough, the tricopter is not designed as a beginner platform, but to provide the absolute best flight characteristics and performance. It’s possible to learn to fly on it, but I would recommend that you learn on a smaller platform such as the Eflite Inductrix or on a simulator before taking on a multirotor like this.

    It is possible to connect a GPS to this platform, but functionality in the firmware is still under development. It is not a turnkey solution and it will not perform like a DJI Phantom. Autonomous flight is possible but it will require a lot of research, tuning and time to get it to work well.

    DIY50x50 Want to make your own? That’s correct, You can download the design files for free. Even if you don’t have the money to support me, I still want you to be able to enjoy the hobby by making it yourself. Please enjoy and share this great hobby with someone. Click here for the download page.

    Preconfigured Cleanflight Setup

    Update : To get the best performance download the newest version of Triflight from here:
    The setup procedure is pretty similar to the one described in the setup video but things will look a bit different as you now will be using the Betaflight configurator instead of Cleanflight.

    Watch this great step by step build and setup video by Andy RC. It shows how to set up the newer betaflight based Triflight version 0.7 beta 2.
    Skip to 21:10 for the transmitter (Taranis) setup
    22:23 – Triflight 0.7 Beta
    30:02 – Tail Tune 1
    31:29 – Tail Tune 2

    Warning! This setup is intended to be used with the recommended electronics for the tricopter. Especially important is using SimonK/BLHeli flashed ESC’s and a digital servo capable of 250Hz update rate (Such as the BMS-210MH) Using an analog servo with this setup file will result in a burnt servo!

    Download and install the USB to UART driver
    Download and install Google Chrome
    Install the CleanFlight App from the Chrome app store and launch it

    The tricopter will fly better with the propellers mounted the following (Copter seen from above): left – CCW, right – CW, tail – CCW. This will help in coordinated turns. It’s not a big deal if front motors are swapped, with left rotating CW and right CCW. It will only mean that you will be fighting it a bit more with stick inputs in the turns. However the CCW rotation of the tail motor is absolutely critical for proper triflight behavior. It will not fly well with the CW tail motor.

    Installation: Download the triflight_F3FC.hex file (This hex is made for the F3FC flightcontroller, To use another flightcontroller download the correct hex for your board here). Flash it to your board with the cleanflight-configurator as usual, but make sure to tick “full chip erase” box.

    If you’re using a windows machine you will need to install the Zadig program and convert the driver (See setup video for more info)

    Configuration: Setup your receiver (midpoints around 1500, min as close to 1000 from above as possible, max as close to 2000 from below as possible, also make sure to setup the deadband and yaw_deadband, as well as the board orientation (for integrated tricopter frame set pitch adjustment to 180), failsafe and any other features you would like to use. Next setup any mode switches you might want to use and I recommend setting the arm function to a switch. Calibrate the accelerometer on the flat surface (Mini Tricopter will need to have the cage sticking out over the table to be flat). Don’t forget to calibrate your ESCs also.

    The tricopter requires some configuration related to the tail servo. The most important is servo midpoint and endpoint adjustments. All the algorithms added for more stable and precise yaw control rely on the correct servo configuration, so follow the steps below with the most accuracy possible. It is highly recommended to use the Servo setup tool, which is included in the newer kits.

    Go to the Modes tab and setup a switch to activate the “Tail tune”. Hit save after you’re done.

    Make sure your tricopter is level on the roll axis. If you have calibrated your accelerometer on the level surface already, make sure it shows zero roll.
    You will need to connect the battery or some other source of flight power to your tricopter to continue, so make sure the propellers are off.

    Enter the tail tune mode while the copter is disarmed. Move the aileron stick right to setup the right direction throw of the tail. Use the yaw stick to tune the trow until the angle is precisely 40° (use the Servo setup tool). Move the aileron stick to the left and repeat. Then move the elevator stick up to set the midpoint of the servo. The tail needs to be level in relation to the tricopter frame at this point (use the Servo setup tool). Lastly move the elevator stick down. If the servo feedback wire has been connected the tail will now move back and forth a couple of times to measure and save the servo speed value. After the value is saved the beeper will sound the completed tone sequence. If no feedback wire is attached the completed tone sequence will sound and a virtual servo model will be used (which obviously isn’t as good as the real thing)

    You can do the setup using a protractor, but it’s less accurate and more difficult to do. You’re looking for the values for 50 (min), 90 (mid) and 130 (max) degrees from the horizon.

    Go to the CLI tab and paste the following to get the correct PIDs for the Tricopter V4 running the stock electronics kit

    set p_pitch = 44
    set i_pitch = 26
    set d_pitch = 25
    set p_roll = 47
    set i_roll = 30
    set d_roll = 25
    set p_yaw = 200
    set i_yaw = 20
    set d_yaw = 33
    set roll_rate = 55
    set pitch_rate = 48
    set yaw_rate = 60
    set tri_motor_acc_yaw_correction = 0
    set gyro_soft_lpf = 90.000
    set tri_dynamic_yaw_minthrottle = 200
    set tri_dynamic_yaw_maxthrottle = 70

    If you are running any other setup you will need to tune the PID’s and other parameters yourself.

    You’re almost done!. Mount the propellers and go outside. We’re now going to do an inflight calibration of the thrust factor value. Put the copter into a hover.
    Switch to TAILTUNE mode. You will hear a beeping battern from buzzer as a confirmation.
    Keep the copter in hover. The tuning process is only active when you don’t touch the pitch & roll & yaw sticks. You can of course use the sticks to keep the copter in place, the tuning process will continue when you release the sticks. FW will do beeps during the tuning (1 beep = decrease the ratio, 2 beeps = increase). Once tuning is done, you will hear same beeping pattern as when you first activated the tail tune mode, it will repeat every 2 seconds. Land and disarm. Do not turn off the tail tune until after you have disarmed or the values might not save.

    You’re done! Enjoy your first flight.

    14 reviews for MiniTricopter [No longer sold as kit]

    1. EdAmps (verified owner)

      This little aircraft is a rocket on rails! In my fleet of six Tri-Copters this one is now my favorite. I’m running a slightly different setup with ESCs and motors(Cobra 2208/2000kv and RotorGeeks RG20 BLHeli ESCs). I didn’t change any settings on the preconfigured Cleanflight Setup and it flew first maiden just great. David,you did a great job on this one.

    2. Dale (verified owner)

      Just got mine in the air yesterday. You couldn’t ask for an easier build. The integrated PDB and Naze32 make this a joy to construct. The tail is a work of art. Easy to put together and solid. No slop whatsoever. The video is nice, but I am a little confused why the mobius plate points so far down. I would have expected it to point up.

    3. Claas (verified owner)

      Awesome little fun machine. I had some trouble with the tricopter.hex and my pwm receiver but now it flying great and stable from the beginning. Great product. Very well done David!

      Thumbs up.

    4. Jakub (verified owner)

      A gorgeous little beast. 10/10 would recommend, just make sure your reciever and transmitter are compatible.

    5. Shawn (verified owner)

      I’ve been flying this now for a few days, and really love how it handles. The build was very easy. I had never used a Naze32 board before, but with the video instructions, I was able to get it set up with no problem. The Preconfigured Cleanflight setup along with Triflight made it fly very well immediately with very little fiddling. Acro mode took some tuning for me, I found it WAY too responsive initially. If it is your first time flying one of these, I would highly recommend turning your ROLL rate and PITCH rate down to about 0.20 before trying Acro and moving back up from there. This thing is stable enough that I’m planning to move to this frame for my travel video platform. The integrated PDB and NAZE32 board make it really compact and clean. I also have the tricopter v3 and love it, but if I could only have one, I think I would choose the Mini

    6. TimG (verified owner)

      Simply put, It’s a peas of are everything is machined very well and looks absolutely stunning. The way it is thought out is amazing and make for a lovely build and a very clean end result! I am in love with this little pease awesomeness

    7. TimG (verified owner)

      Simply put, It’s a piece of art everything is machined very well and looks absolutely stunning. The way it is thought out is amazing and make for a lovely build and a very clean end result! I am in love with this little pease awesomeness

    8. SeePea (verified owner)

      What a joy this was for a first timer into multirotors – the store, delivery (Australia), the various build guides and forum support all painless. Extremely well engineered and manufactured (Naze and PDB options added). A rewarding build (not just unboxing an RTF). Great to fly. The folding design and size make this so easy to pack and take anywhere. A very happy customer. Thank you David.

    9. elyas22 (verified owner)

      This is without a doubt the best tricopter kit out there at this moment in time, nothing comes close. Paired with the MiniTricopter Electronics kit it is a breeze to assemble and get up in the air, the combination of the hardware, software and community is what makes this an incredible piece of kit. Stable from first flight with no changes to PID settings, for a beginner you could not ask for more. This is my third and only successful attempt at building a tricopter kit and getting it into the air.

      Take the plunge you wont regret it, a worthy investment in my view.

    10. Kingfige (verified owner)

      Good evening
      I have now ordered a Tricopter.
      My question is there is a built Naze rev6 or rev5
      because I would like to take S.BUS.
      in rev 6 I have no inverter using at rev 5 already.
      Thanks for the answer.

      • RCExplorer – David

        Rev 5 so you need an inverter or modify your receiver

    11. AgentLAL (verified owner)

      Hello, I have one question. In the mini tricopter build video, there is a power distribution bottom plate. The build video is not updated. The only things you can get are f3fc or just g10 on the top, and just g10 or carbon fiber on the bottom. My question is, should I go and watch the tricopter v4 build video, as it has the f3fc and carbon fiber bottom plate, or should I just try and figure it out? Because the mini tricopter build video uses a PDB bottom plate.

      Thanks, Liam

      • RCExplorer – David

        Watch the F3FC product video or the V4 build

    12. AgentLAL (verified owner)

      Real Review-I have built my mini tricopter, it was a super easy build. This is my first bigger multicopter, I have other things such as the Blade Inductrix and the Nano QX, and it is easy to fly, in my opinion. I already had training on my micro quads and my brother’s Tricopter V3(which sadly flew away with my gopro hero3 silver on it) and while I was flying the V3, I discovered how angle mode doesn’t make it easier, but this tricopter flies great, it’s super fast, and it looks awesome. David, I think you did a good job on this one(but what do I know about multicopters? not accusing myself), and I’m looking forward to more tricopters from you in the future. One recommendation for builders is that you have a 7 or more channel transmitter.

    13. SnowyFox

      Is the battery included?

      • RCExplorer – David


    14. owenrocksit

      Dear David,
      Could you make a new video on the assembly with the new F3FC board or to let me know if I can follow the tricopter v4 video but make the booms and wires shorter and ad the cage?

      • RCExplorer – David

        You can follow the Tricopter V4 video 🙂

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