I'm new to this forum (and rcgroups) but not new to RC! I've been playing with radio control cars and stuff most of my life, I currently have a Nitro T-maxx truck, an electric MiniRio boat (soon to be brushless!), a bunch of small coax heli's, and a SlowFly park flyer (mostly flown indoors). So since I find heli's in general to be pretty intimidating, but I'm slightly obsessed with the way they fly, I've decided to build and try my hand at multi-rotors!
Now, I have to start off with the reason for my choosing a tri over the many other formats and variations of multi's; that it's a platform I can understand the flying dynamics of, it's cheap and easy to build and strong and reliable enough that it can be learned on without too much damage when I crash it! Hence, I've gone with a modified rcexplorer design (like so many before me) and so far I quite like the design, reliability and cheapness of the whole project.
I'll be updating this build log as I go and probably posting my materials and parts list on this first post later when I have it all in place and I know what I've had to use, along with tips, trip-ups, and whatever I screw up as I go (cause it isn't fun if i don't swear at this thing at least once in a while when building and flying it, is it? ).
I started this project about 3 weeks ago, deciding on what design I wanted, which parts I needed, and my layout and general build plan. When that was all decided I made a (fairly large) hobbyking order, and picked up some other supplies locally and began the project.
I cut out my frame plates about a week ago from a template I based on David's design, but incorporated my own ideas, and cut out the arms and some coat-hanger wire landing gear. Then I built some ping-pong ball navigation lights that will go on the ends of the arms to let me know what direction my copter is at all times, and in keeping with my first design idea, I'm sticking with the KISS theory for this first build so I'll work around the copter as I go starting with tail, then left and finally right for all things that need to be different. Hence, my tail is red and it's a pull prop, Left is green and is a Pull, and finally Right is Blue (opposite of red) and is a pusher prop. This idea will help keep things simple as I decide to make changes/modifications to different systems.
Here's just the frame plates and arms screwed together with 4-40 temporary screws until I get my M3's in the parts order. You can see how I've changed from David's design and my arms are 45cm long from the CG point, but I might put the larger plate on top yet and mount an FPV camera upside down later on.
And here's the folded out frame with training/crashing landing gear attached!
And since I got my parts on Friday morning, it only makes sense that I started building today!
These are the plates I originally cut out of 3mm MDF hardboard, and have now soaked them in a laquer and wood penetrating bath that will strengthen and protect them. They're hung on fishing line to dry out and cure overnight.
While I wait for those to dry, it looks like there's a tricopter in this mess here somewhere...
Now I have 3 arms done! Good work for a day, but I might have to rewire those ESC motor wires tomorrow, so I'll look at my plan tonight and try again tomorrow when I can actually put the plates in and assemble the frame.
So now I'm up to date on this project, and since I killed most of my assignments this week I'll probably be back tomorrow for more work, if not I'll definitely be finishing the frame and basics on Monday and maybe a test fly next week!
Enjoy your thanksgiving weekend (those who are in Canada with me), everyone else just enjoy your weekend!