Introduction: Tricopter

Picture of Tricopter

This is how I built my first tricopter. I did not design the base plates for the frame David Windastå did. Most of this is also from flight test and Hall studios. I will not refer to it as a drone because the topic of drones causes controversy so let's begin. Here is a video of the first flight

Step 1: Parts to a Tricopter

Picture of Parts to a Tricopter

You will need tools
Drill
Jigsaw or hand saw
Pliers
Soldering iron and solder
Hot glue gun and hot glue
Packing tape
Zip ties
Tape measure


You will need
3 brushless motors 3 electronic speed controllers $21.50 each $64.50 for all
3+ propellers (you will crash and break your propellers) $2.79 each $8.37 for 3 sets
A metal geared servo $26.61
Kk2 board $29.99
A 3 cell 2000mah battery $8.50
10 Male to male servo leads $3
Radio and receiver $60
A sheet of plywood
Wooden booms any width up to 1 and 3/4 inches. Hight of 1/2 inch
11 screws and 10 nuts ( Any will work)
Wire harness aka power breakout cable $3.99
Wire Close hanger

lipo battery charger $30.00

tricopter frame

total cost $204.97

Step 2: Working on the Base Plates

Picture of Working on the Base Plates

Use the template you printed and trace it out on the plywood two times. Remember to mark the holes. Then cut it out with any saw they don't have to be perfect!

Step 3: Booms

Picture of Booms

Cut out booms at any length I think that 12 in for the front two and 14 inches for the back works the beast because it has the best yaw. Bigger ones are sluggish with yaw and smaller ones are twitchy. But always make sure the back one is longer.

Step 4: Drilling

Picture of Drilling

Drill out the base plates with a drill bit that matches your screw size. Have the two base plates together when you drill so they are perfectly lines up. As you drill the holes then put the screw in and nut and just tighten it down a bit to hold the frame pieces together. Then drill the holes for the booms 1/2 inch from the edge and 3/4 inch from the end. Do not do the longer back boom yet!

Step 5: Back Boom Attachment

Picture of Back Boom Attachment

To attach the back boom insert it in to the frame and mark out a dot in a each hole then drill out the dots.

Step 6: Putting on the Booms

Picture of Putting on the Booms

Attach the bolts through the holes and finger tighten the nuts. This should look like the picture.

Step 7: Painting

Picture of Painting

To paint the frame remove the front two booms and make them a different color from the base so you now the orientation.

Step 8: Yaw Mechanism

Picture of Yaw Mechanism

This is the hardest part every tricopter will be different you could build one like mine or buy one. I cut off just enough wood to hold the motor on the back and ran a screw through that into the back of boom hot glued in place. That acts as the pivot point. Then drill a smaller hole on each side that will Fit a close hanger wire. The attach the servo to the bottom of the boom with hot glue bend the wire into the servo horns then test.

Step 9: Soldering Motors to Wire Harness

Picture of Soldering Motors to Wire Harness

Solder the red wire of the Esc to the red wire of the harness same for the black wire do this for all 3 motors. Then also solder the Esc to the motor you can use bullet connectors or just solder them together. If they spin the wrong direction switch two of the leads.

Step 10: Connect to the Flight Controller

Picture of Connect to the Flight Controller

Attach the flight controller to the frame any way you want ( I used hot glue and foam) Connect the motors as it tells you left motor is pin header one, right motor is pin header two, back motor is pin header three , the servo is pin header four. The connect your receiver to the kk2 board pin one to Channel one and pin two to channel two and so on. I attached my antenna to a Lego that sticks straight up to get it more range with less dead spots.

Step 11: Landing Gear Battery Holder

Picture of Landing Gear Battery Holder

For landing gear I used some wood blocks with holes in them hot glued to the frame.

For a battery holder I drilled two holes under the frame to attach zip ties to to hold the battery.

Step 12: Setting Up the Kk 2 Board

Picture of Setting Up the Kk 2 Board

I used the basic tricopter settings and have not Changed them but you have to put it into tricopter mode. I also left my radio the same.

You go in to menu then Down to set motor layout and the tricopter

Step 13: Flying

You can fly the tricopter just like any hilicopter in the rc world but it has an aggressive yaw.

Step 14: Add Any Thing That You Want

Picture of Add Any Thing That You Want

Ideas
Fpv
Bomb drop
GPS
Retract landing gear
And many more

Comments

diy_bloke (author)2016-05-18

i love DIY, but ofcourse for 200 USD one can also get a ready made Tricopter or quad copter.
Great build though

NoorBhatia1 (author)2015-12-18

Will 1000kv be sufficient???

slash359 (author)NoorBhatia12015-12-18

Yep that is what I used you should use a 10 by 4.5 prop with it

NoorBhatia1 (author)2015-12-18

Will 1000kv motor be sufficient??

NoorBhatia1 (author)2015-12-18

Will 1000kv motor be sufficient??

slash359 (author)2014-07-06

4vulpes4 I added a video

4vulpes4 (author)slash3592015-05-18

Cheers

berbankgreen (author)2014-10-23

You need to do a few things, typically...

load tricpoter layout M4, M4 being the yaw servo (make sure you don't select "high" in the settings, keep it on low)

Reverse the servo from100 to -100 in miscellaneous settings.

Centre all trims to zero in the receiver test.

Now take the Plimit and Pgain settings down to 10 inPI editor

I gain and I limit should be zero.

fly it. If its spins, check the tail motor is tilting enough. Increase Pgain by 10 until its stable but not oscillating, then do the same to Plimit.

If tail rotor is juddering decrease its settings likewise in PI editor.

You should get close if you follow this.

gearup500 (author)2014-08-04

I hope this wins. Nice video!

4vulpes4 (author)2014-07-05

It would be great to have a video of the Tricopter in action

slash359 (author)2014-06-30

Please comment what type of mod you would want me to do

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