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Pumpkin drop event

Building my first Tricopter

#1
This is the list of parts that I am getting right now. Is this good or should I change some things? Also do I need a BEC?

Hobbyking X900 Tricopter Glass Fiber Multi-Rotor Frame (USA warehouse)
NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv / 286w (short shaft version) (US Warehouse)
Turnigy Multistar 30 Amp Multi-rotor Brushless ESC 2-4S (USA Warehouse)
Turnigy Multistar ESC Programming Card (USA warehouse)
10x4.5 SF Props 2pc CW 2pc CCW (Green) (US Warehouse)
Hobbyking KK2.1 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board With 6050MPU And Atmel 644PA (US Warehouse)
Turnigy 4000mAh 3S 30C Lipo Pack (USA Warehouse)
NTM Prop Drive 28 Series Accessory Pack (USA Warehouse)
some 3.5mm bullet connectors
Fatshark Teleporter V3
Gopro viedo cable (planing on using a sony point and shoot. Will this work?)

I have a charger and xt60 connectors. Anything I'm forgetting? Or important steps I should remember for building?
 

Shufty

Senior Member
#2
If you're brand new to it, I'd probably steer clear of the X900, it's going to be far harder to fix than building the frame yourself when you crash (and you will crash). I've also not heard great things about those multistar ESC's (I can however recommend Afro ESC's they seem to work pretty well). I'd probably order some more props too :)

As far as I'm aware that GoPro cable is only for GoPro and won't work with a sony point and shoot.. You will likely not want to start with all the FPV/Cameras on it anyway when you're learning to fly.
 
#3
I'm not planning on starting with the FPV on, but want to add it when comfortable. Is the X900 a bad frame or is it that is uses the glass fiber rods instead of wood? Also do I need a BEC, and will a 20 amp ESC suffice for this estup?
 
#5
i first built a tricopter, and i built my own frame. good thing too, cause i crashed BIG time! totally wrote off my first frame. my second frame, i built it bigger, and with cheaper materials (used cheap wooden ice scraper/snow brush handles as booms) and a cut a piece of plexiglass into a top and bottom frame. this worked much better and was WAY more durable for crashing. ive got probably 2 hours of fly time on my quad, and today is the first time that i flew without crashing at all. granted, my last 4 days of crashes were due to motor winding failure... fixed the windings on the motor, and she flies great without incident.

i built my entire frame for 6$ haha! you are definitely going to want something strong and cheap for your first frame
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#6
Unless you know how to really dig into the guts, I'm pretty sure your point-n-shoot will not work for FPV. HERE's an excellent FPV camera. It also works exceptionally well in low light and large contrast conditions. . . and it's cheap.

As to the ESCs, if you're not going to purchase simonK flashed ESCs, I would skip buying the ESC programming card and buy a USBasp tool. It's a bit more effort than the programming card, but will reap the benefit of 'programing' the basic settings, as well as flash simonK. I would suggest THIS ESC, it has a BEC onboard, it's inexpensive, and I can say it's quite a bargain for the quality. It's only 20A, but I've yet have one fail, and I pump 4S 120C burst through them to 2830/8 motors with 0947 props and they barely get warm.

Of course you'll need a transmitter, receiver and servo.

Good Luck :D
 
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Shufty

Senior Member
#7
I'm not planning on starting with the FPV on, but want to add it when comfortable. Is the X900 a bad frame or is it that is uses the glass fiber rods instead of wood? Also do I need a BEC, and will a 20 amp ESC suffice for this estup?
It's probably not a bad frame, it's just that fiberglass it much more expensive and more difficult to obtain when you snap a boom (which you will) than 12mm wooden dowel rod (I bought several 1.5m lengths of it from my local hardware store for a couple dollars each).

Wood tends to dampen vibrations better than fiberglass too (vibrations are the enemy of multirotors).

As for BEC, I don't use a stand alone BEC for my tricopter, I just use the ones integrated into my 20A afro esc's. I can't seem to find any data on the amp draw from those motors swinging a 10" prop, from what I can see they are rated at 17A max, so they should be fine with a 20A ESC, but don't quote me on it, I'm sure others here would know much more about it than me.

I have seen others use stand alone BEC's on their multirotors, it does seem like a better insurance policy against receiver brown-outs, but you shouldnt need it.
 

DDSFlyer

Senior Member
#9
I'm running those motors with 20 amp Afro ESC's with 9x4.7 props but will prob group to the 10x4.5's next. You should be fine with 20 Amp ones if you wanted to but there's nothing wrong with more
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#10
I'll chime in with support for avoiding the multistar ESC's. I started with them on my quad and was NOT impressed. The stock firmware is not very good for multis as it can stall out and then won't restart until you shut down and restart. It never happened to me in the air (though I've heard from others who have had it happen in the air) but it happened to me on landing and takeoff in tall grass enough times to drive me crazy.

You can flash them with simonk - but even if you're going to do that I'd recommend going with a different ESC as there are other options (like the ones cyberdactyl linked which are also available in a 30A design if you really think you need it) which are just as cheap and better hardware which is easier to flash. The 30A's do have programming pads...but they're still a P/N fet design and don't support reflashing through the servo wire once you have simonk on them so if you're buying new ESC's it's a better bet to get the F20/30's or the Blue Series than the multistars.
 

Shufty

Senior Member
#11
I'm running those motors with 20 amp Afro ESC's with 9x4.7 props but will prob group to the 10x4.5's next. You should be fine with 20 Amp ones if you wanted to but there's nothing wrong with more
I run 20amp Afro's with DT750's swinging 11x4.5 props on 3 cells and it all seems to run fine. If I do nothing but hovering the motors and ESC's get a little warm, but not hot. Are you running 9x4.7 on 3 or 4 cells?
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#12
Fighterpilot777, While that X900 does look pretty nice I would be betting it wont last long in the hands of a beginner. The booms will snap very easily and the motor mounts and landing gear wont last long. The arms also look like they lock in place which is not a good thing in a crash. What you need for your first tricopter is something that is simple, light, easy and cheap to fix. Zipties and wooden booms don't look too flashy but they are easy to fix. Have a look at David Windestal"s tricopter 2.5 design. Also have a look at the Bat Bone on the Flitetest store. These both are pretty durable and cheap to fix. David's idea of using zipties helps to save a lot in repairs. I am currently in the process of changing my Bat Bone to use David's ziptie motor mounting method.

I wouldn't use the multistar ESC's. If you want to get into the fiddling of flashing simonK firmware into an ESC then Cyberdactyl's suggestion will work. If you just want to plug and play then go for the Afro ESC's. With these Afro's you won't need a BEC. I have the same motors on my Bat Bone as you mention with 9*4.7 props running 20 amp Afro's and it all runs pretty good. Your battery choice also seems rather large. 2200mah 3cell is a more common size but it all depends on the particular setup.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#13
Seriously, don't learn to fly with that heavy battery.

Use a 2200 or 1800mah and keep the copter light while you learn to fly. Weight means inertia when you crash. Inertia means more money and more time spent maintaing the copter after crashes.

It sounds like a 4000mah battery should mean longer flight times and it will some day. But while you are learning to fly, the 1800 mah battery means more flight time because you will spend less time fixing broken frame parts crushed to bits by a hard landing with a heavy battery.

Go Simon K on the ESCs. The difference is profound and will mean less time learning to hover.

A combination of heavy battery and non-Simon K ESCs will create a synergy that compounds your learning curve and will likely cost you more in the long run in time and money. Avoid both if you can, but avoid at least one like the plague. Your wallet will thank you.