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Best gear for budget Tricopter

#1
I've been trying NOT to want a multirotor ever since starting in this hobby but space is so limited where I live and it makes it hard for me to stick to my flying wings and get any kind of flight time so I'm going to start a slow build of a tricopter. I have always built cheap but strong so that will be what I will be working towards. Though I may be asking for your help I will update the original post as I gather information, build my tricopter and test out the features.

Multirotor operators, please make suggestions to me on the following!

Project requirements
  • Must utilize a 2200mah 20C battery (or 2 in parallel) - I know it is a low C rating but I'm not looking for acrobatics, I actually want a sluggish copter that feels more like a fixed wing if possible.
  • Must use larger props (around 8in) for max flight time, common props are desired.


Project goals
  • Experience FPV through a 700TVL board camera
  • Keep the cost down (looking to use ESCs and Motors that are less than $10 - $15 each)
  • Scratch build everything (I want to use all wood for the frame)
  • Make it foldable
  • I don't care what control board I use I just want the cheapest I can find, I got more than a decade of video game tailored muscle memory that can take over for bad stabilization :)
 
#2
2200mah 3s battery
20amp SimonK flashed ESCs
light wood frame

Then Either:
Sunny Sky X2212-980kv motors - 10x5 or 11x4.7 props
Sunny Sky X2212-1400kv motors - 8x5 or 8x5 props


The 980kv motors with larger props will be more efficient with longer battery life and be able to lift more. It will be affected more by wind and react slower to your input. The 1400kv motors with smaller props will be more maneuverable and respond faster, but will have less battery life. If you plan on attaching a GoPro, then the 980kv is a better choice. If you will use a light board camera then either will do fine.

Your 20C battery rating should work fine with the 980kv, but you should double check for the 1400kv.

I really like the SunnySky motors. They are quiet, run cool, and balanced not to mention reliable.
 
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Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#3
Wow, your request is an easy one. Cheap as possible, yet works well. That's how I started and, more or less, try to keep to that mantra.

Sounds like you have the props and batteries. And I would assume the receiver and transmitter.

So you need a frame, ESCs, motors and a control board?

The motors that are very inexpensive ($11) and have worked flawlessly for me is Rctimer's 1300KV A2830s. I've now have or had 12 of them, and they are great for the price and will do 3S and 4S.

The ESCs are HKs F20A at $8. You'll need to flash them with simonK, so you'll need the USBasp PC interface tool and you'll need to whip up a press-pin interface to the ESC. I've yet to have one of these ESCs fail and I've used around 20.

The KK2.1.5 is an awesome and inexpensive FCB.

The frame I would suggest is the $8 F330 Glass fiber mini or the $13 450mm version of the same with the integrated distribution board. Well worth the extra $5.
 
#4
Thanks for the info, I would go with the 980kv motors most likely if they provide longer battery life. I know that the maneuverability will be reduced but I want a multirotor that feels like it is heavy tot he pilot. I don't have a GoPro and don't plan of recording HD video from one in the future, I want to experience FPV and while I may record from the ground station ... I could care less about watching the video later.

Any suggestions on control boards? I heard there was one available for like $15?
 
#5
So you need a frame, ESCs, motors and a control board?


The ESCs are HKs F20A at $8. You'll need to flash them with simonK, so you'll need the USBasp PC interface tool and you'll need to whip up a press-pin interface to the ESC. I've yet to have one of these ESCs fail and I've used around 20.
Yes, that is what I need, the frame is buildable or easily buyable I just need the parts you mentioned.

Works out perfectly that another FT member sold me a package of parts that happened to include the very programming device you mentioned ... it was meant to be! :)

as far as the frame goes I am sticking to a tricopter, I really want the rudder input and its one less motor and ESC to worry about.
 

ssteve

Senior Member
#7
For a fc get the flip1.5, it's about $18 if you have him solder up the pins and throw in a cable. It's a better board than the kk board and a lot friendlier than most kk nutswingers would like to think it is. The kk board is $30 plus another $6 for the cable to flash a firmware on it that's worth a darn and then eventually you'll end up breaking a lcd screen or two etc. if you plan to do much with multirotors I'd suggest spending $28 on the naze32, but the flip board is great for the price.
 
#9
And one part I would suggest not skimping on is the tail servo. I've busted a few cheaper ones and it sucks.
I'll look into the Flip 1.5 (can do all the soldering and nonsense myself to shave down the price)

I am most assuredly going to get a nice digital metal gear servo.
 
#10
This project has been on the backburner due to the fact I haven't had it in the budget but I got a $75 gift card to newegg as a parting gift from my old job and that would get me started.

What do you guys think of these items?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1NV1N79525

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1GK1V38303

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA40F1V02864

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1NV0UU5662

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1ZZ1X15358

The gift card would cover the 3 sets of motors and escs plus a tail servo, then I could build the frame from wood or aluminum and buy the FC on eBay or something.
 

RichB

Senior Member
#14
I have a plan for a good wood tricopter frame. Simple to make and looks good, durable with easy arm replacements. One of the reasons I made an account here is to share my tips. I might have to post a tutorial on it.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#16
I assume you have a remote and receivers that can handle 5 or more channels already since you fly planes, so I am skipping radio gear.

Here is the David's tricopter build which is about the cheapest frame there is:
http://flitetest.com/articles/tricopter-scratch-build

I would run a Naze 32 Acro or KK2 flight controller.

The Altitude Hobbies kits are a quick way to go but are not the cheapest. For less expensive look at Afro Simon K ESCs.

I like the Altitude Hobbies Suppo motors. Cyberdactyl has a line on some RCTimer motors that he likes that are considerably less expensive but take considerably longer to get here. I THINK these are the ones.

Run these ESCs and motors on an 1800 or 2200mAh 3S 35C lipo with 8045 rotors and you can be in the air for <> $150.
 
#17
I'm appreciative of the input but I was really hoping for a response to my Las post on the first page. I have a gift card for a particular online store which limits my selection. If I get enough feed a to say yay or nay on the products I linked there it would let me know if I could start building now or wait until more appropriately funded.
 
#19
This project has been on the backburner due to the fact I haven't had it in the budget but I got a $75 gift card to newegg as a parting gift from my old job and that would get me started.

What do you guys think of these items?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1NV1N79525

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1GK1V38303

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA40F1V02864

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1NV0UU5662

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1ZZ1X15358

The gift card would cover the 3 sets of motors and escs plus a tail servo, then I could build the frame from wood or aluminum and buy the FC on eBay or something.
Weird... I'll just quote myself
:)
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#20
Sorry, been messing with TOR and am not used to Firefox yet. Thank you for re-posting the links.

Hmmmm, NewEgg. I like their computer components, motherboards, ram, processors etc...

The 980s will want to spin 10" props. Use these for a lifting machine (GoPro) not an aerobatic copter. It comes with the ESC so if you get this one, you don't need the 30A ESCs.

This one is looks like a good versatile motor. It will spin 8" - 10" rotors so you can go lifter or aerobatic with it. It doesn't come with a prop adaptor that I can see so you will need some M3 collets or something like that. It doesn't list the weight but I would expect it to come in at <> 40 grams or so.

The emax version is about the same.

The servo looks like a typical analog 9 gram metal gear servo.

The ESCs should work for the 1200kv motors. The 980s are the most complete set and the most powerful but the least versatile and heaviest.

I will have to poke around newegg more. They seem to sell more than OEM PC parts these days. :)