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Best Tri-copter platform for low-level Go Pro filming?

Numptee

Junior Member
#1
Hey guys!

I've been into RC cars for about 10 years on and off and since I started I've always wanted to get into RC helicopters too, but was always told they are too hard to fly/expensive (back then, anyway...I'm 26 now, and it would seem as though the hobby has become 1000% more accessible now!). Anyway, on with the story.

A little while ago I got into street luge, and have been having a great time editing together GoPro footage of it all...but this footage is always from the perspective of the rider. There is a particular guy in the gravity sports community called Yvon Labarthe that films stuff professionally with an octocopter and a DSLR (absolutely astonishing footage: http://vimeo.com/48757306).

That sort of setup is amazing....and totally, TOTALLY beyond what I am thinking of, but I would love to set up a much simpler platform (after watching some Flite Test episodes, I'm pretty sold on going a tri-copter for better FOV...thanks guys! Loving your vids) for carring a GoPro (or equiv.) action cam and do some chase work...I think it would be fantastic to get luging from that kind of angle!

What I'd like to know is what would be a good (but not crazily expensive) platform for this sort of thing....I haven't done much research on electronics yet but seeing as GoPros do vid out I'd be pretty keen to do FPV (fixed camera mount for now) with some sort of stabilisation module for some smooth pan shots.

I was having a look on the hobbyking website and thought the "Turnigy Talon Tricopter" looked pretty awesome for the price...but really, I'm just basing that on the use of carbon rod for arms....any advice people can throw in my direction really is greatly appreciated...I am in no rush with this project as I still have loads of footage to use from rider cams, but I would definitely like to set something up in the coming few months.

Thanks for digging through my ramblings, looking forward to hearing everyones opinions.

ps. If anyone is wondering wtf I am talking about re. street luge, here's a work in progress (its a bit of a crash vid...those sorts of accidents are pretty rare!):

 
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zev

lumpy member
#2
well, probibly one of the best tricopter setups is the RCExplorer (aka David Windestål) tricopter, and it is practicly made for lifting goPro's. can be built for about $250+-.

one problem you will have is speed. most any tricopter (or octacopter, of septadexacopter) cant fly much faster the 30mph, and even at that speed cant really turn. as a downhill longboarder myself, I know you guys may be doing 60mph plus, so full speed flying shots may be impossible.

as you probably know, most professional street luge/downhill longboarding videos are done from a crane jib on a pickup truck, but the crane itself can be $10-15k and then there is the cost of the pickup… so I suppose that is out of the question.

so, you could get cool shots with a tri, but probably not everything you are looking for.
 

Numptee

Junior Member
#4
Sorry for the incredibly slow reply guys, I appreciate your responses. I ended up going the DIY route and buying Davids' laser-cut frame plates.

Here are some pictures...I have left the booms a bit long (55cm from end to end) as I figured a: I can always cut more off, and b: apart from the rear motor, I don't have to mount the motor at the very end of the arm.

Numptee_000549.jpg Numptee_000554.jpg Numptee_000555.jpg Numptee_000557.jpg

I have used 0.5mm thickness nylon washers throughout to dampen any vibrations, along with alloy screws & nyloc nuts.

I also made some carbon fibre suspension landing legs...all up the frame weighs in at 177g, which (in my newbie mind, anyway) seems pretty light for the size of it...

My next question was going to be...what motors would people recommend? Ideally I'd like to have a stable platform for gopro filming with a fair amount of power when needed...which is probably what everyone asks for :) Why is it that so many people go for the DT750? Weight seems like one drawcard....are there any alternatives? (It's on backorder at the moment...has been for a little bit).

Also, would the following be a possible option for mounting the motors on the front booms:

http://www.multiwiicopter.com/products/sku-31

Not the cheapest option, but seeing as there would be 2 spare ones left over, it doesn't seem like too bad of an option. I figured double bands of zipties could attach these to the tops of the booms...there would be a .25mm-.5mm overhang on either side of the arm...not that I'd think it would matter too much? Alternatively they could be mounted to the bottom of the boom...that way the vertical flex on the mount is transferred into the arm instead of pulling away from it....anyway, keen to hear what people think on the idea :)

Cheers,

Andy
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#5
Looks great so far. Keep the photos coming.

The DT750's are good. The larger diameter bell gives a slight advantage with low RPM torque. The drawback to them is they are kind of a pain, as they need to have the shafts trimmed and the leads epoxied to the stator windings, as they poorly attached as they come from the manufacturer. I would suggest JB Weld instead of epoxy, but there's a caveat. In any event, they are inexpensive solid workhorses for sure.
 

Numptee

Junior Member
#6
A small bit of progress while I wait for Hobbyking to stock more DT750s... made a battery/GoPro tray :)
WP_000560.jpg

Could have been lighter and a LOT neater....but hell, at 28g I'm pretty happy with it :) Will go fancier once this one gets smashed into the ground! ;)
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#7
Nice CF layups there. You may need to consider antenna placement so as to not get interference.

I'm a fan of the Tricopter 2.5 for gopro work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa0DDfWn1Qs&feature=youtu.be

Do take care - these things aren't friendly if they crash into a luge participant or spectator. Though it does occur to me that someone who goes down a mountain in that manner has a higher threshold for danger exposure than most!
 

Numptee

Junior Member
#8
Cheers glydr, I was actually driving through Canberra less than 2 weeks ago on my way down to Cooma for a luge event! :)

With reference to the antenna, is there something specific that I have done that may increase interference? Or is it a pretty main concern for tricopters in general?

Yea I certainly would prefer to not smack it into someone...although you are wearing full racing leathers/helmet etc, so I think you would be pretty unlucky to end up with anything more than a bruise....the tricopter maybe not so much though!