Mini Tricopter kit – (Product archive)

The RCExplorer webshop has permanently closed down. This post is here only for reference. This item is no longer sold. If you wish to make your own, you can download the design files for free from here. 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 utilize parts from the Tricopter V4. It uses the same F3FC frame, servo, 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 power distribution 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:
  • 3 x 1/2 length carbon fiber arms
  • 2 x Motor mounts
  • 1 x Front spacer
  • 1 x Tricopter top board of your choice
  • 1 x Tricopter bottom board of your choice
  • 1 x Tilt mechanism
  • 1 x Servo setup tool
  • 1 x GoPro strap
  • 1 x Battery strap
  • 1 x Zip-ties
  • 1 x Tricopter side plate
  • 8 x 40mm Standoffs
  • 1 x Frame holders
  • 1 x Top tray
  • 1 x Board camera mount + mobius mount
  • 1 x Black rubber bands
  • 1 x Mini tricopter screw pack
  • 1 x Silicone wedge
Recommended electronics:
From RCExplorer:
  • 3 x EMAX RS2205 2300KV Motors
  • 3 x Littlebee 30A ESC’s
  • 1 x BMS-210DMH Servo
  • 1 x HQ6x4.5 CCW Propellers
  • 1 x HQ6x4.5 CW Propellers
The parts above can be bought here at a discounted price
More from the RCExplorer store:
  • A beeper is highly recommended. It makes the setup procedure a lot easier, and it can be used as a lost model alarm, failsafe indicator, low battery and so on.
  • 6mm Wire mesh for protecting the ESC cables
  • 3mm Wire mesh for protecting servo cables
  • Male to male servo connectors
  • XT60 battery connector with 5cm cable
From another supplier:
  • 1 x Nanotech 4s 1800mAh 35-70C battery
    • Alternative: Tattu 1800mAh 45-90C
FPV Setup:
  • Camera: Sony Effio 800TVL WDR 2.8mm lens
    • Alternative: PZ0420M 600TVL (without case)
  • Transmitter: Fatshark 600mW 5.8GHz transmitter
  • Antennas: Spironets
  • Video googles: Fatshark Attitude SD
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.

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