Introduction: Cheap Versatile Mini Tricopter

About: One to watch out for.

It had been a long time, and a crazy sale came up on

Stuff was dirt cheap, and i wanted to get back to building after a rather long gap.

I was stuck between a miniquad or a tricopter, hours of research later I decided on a tricopter and bought this frame, that was selling for USD4.99.

I came up with an idea, et voila, i used some leftover parts and got this thing up.

Have fun building and flying.

Step 1: Get All the Stuff

All that you need-

3 motors (Cobra 2206, or any other similar motor, max size 2212)

1 servo (tgy-9018MG)

1x Trifecta Frame

3 pairs Propellers (6040 kk)

Transmitter and receiver

3s 1000mah 30-60c lipo battery (upto 1400mah recommended)

Openpilot cc3d Flight controler

3 ESC (i used generic 30A, youre better of using the Afro 12A esc, if you have a fatter wallet)

Basic tools-

Soldering iron



Step 2: Prepare the Frame

The frame comes with an instruction manual.

We'll be building it a bit differently, as i found it easier this way-

Attach the landing gear on the front legs.

Refer to the manual as to how to mount the front arms, donot tighten down the plates just yet, as we are yet to put the back arms on.

Step 3: Mount the Motors

As easy as it sounds, mount the motors to the front arms.

Snip the wires short and rout them down.

Refer to the pictures, for further clarity on what to do.

Step 4: Front ESCs

Solder the motor onto the ESC.

Do this for both the arms.

Solder any wire to any terminal, it doesnt matter, you can change motor rotation direction by swapping any two wires.

Step 5: Back Arm and Yaw

These are the parts you get for the back arm. ( img 1)

First up, we will assemble the yaw-

Press the steel bit's flat end into the arm, and the gear onto the motor mount.

Press the motor mount onto the round part of the steel bit, push it all the way down.

Refer to the pictures

Rotate the yaw manually, there should be no resistance, or any slop.

Step 6: Back Arm Part 2

Fasten the yaw mechanism down using the provided screw, refer to the instruction manual as to what screws to use.

Mount the motor.

Mount the servo and refer to the instruction manual.


If you are using an ESC that fits inside the back arm, skip this (refer to the manual for that)-

If you have an ESC that does not fit in the back arm, then DONT cut the motor wires.

Rout the motor wires and servo wires through the arm, as shown.

Place your esc in the slot meant for the PDB.

Take your wires out through the frame (it is rather tricky to wiggle it out) and get them through the sides into the pdb area.

Your servo wires should be removed from the top of the frame.

Solder the Motor wires onto the ESC as shown.


Step 7: Power Distribution

Take some insulation tape to isolate the diy PDB from the esc.

Solder all positives and negatives on the PDB as shown.


Shut the cover over it and screw it tight.

Step 8: Flight Controller

Use the gyro tape provided to mount the flight controller.

For all connection diagrams refer to openpilot/librepilot GCS.

Mount the receiver using double sided tape.

Connect the receiver to the flight controller, and the ESCs to the flight controller, following openpilot's connection diagram.

Once done attach the top plate to tidy it all up.

Step 9: Tidy Up

Ziptie the ESCs.

Velcro the battery.

Tune it and fly.

Refer to this link for all FC related information-

Step 10: Get Ready to Explore

This instructable has provided the Tricopter as a platform for testing and development, you can do a lot with this-

Add gps

Use it for racing

Aerial photography

And many other purposes

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Participated in the
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Make It Fly! Contest 2017

Participated in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017