DIY Y6 Copter with autopilot


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Hi Guys,
i want to share my new Project i have started with a kolleague. We have a lot off fun in the office flying wit our micro quads, and because i´m infected him with the virus, we decide to make a project together. The Plan is to build a copter from Scratch with a size about 600 mm and full autopilot functionalities Camara Gimbal for aerial fotografy and additionaly FPV with a budget below 700 €
So we will make a groupbuild of two identical copter.

First decision was to choose which copter configuration, and we decided to build a Y6 copter. Y6 because the Tricopter Design is a nice Shape, and a Y6 configuration because of the lower complexyiy and safety compared to a tricopter.

Next decision was to Choose the motors. We decide to use the EMAX 2216.
The Decision was made because of the following facts:
runnable with 3s and 4s. 10" Prop is a nice size and i can use the Props also on my Tricopter and up to 1000g Thrust with 4s lipo each motor, which means a total lift thrust of 5,6 Kg including the efficency losses because of the motor configuration.
The current will be approximately 20 Amp each motor so we can use 25-30 Amp ESC´s. Before we buy the ESC´s and Lipos i will check the Power, Thrust and real current on a motor Testbench.

For the Frame we will use spare parts which are made for other copters and self made carbon plates for the main body.
THe Booms and motor holder are ordered from HobbyKing (16mm Carbon booms) they define the size of the Frame.
The Folding Mechanism for the front Booms will be the Parts from Tarot. They are Cheap and well designed.
for the Body we will use 2mm adn 1,5 mm carbon plates with the size 300x200 mm.

For the controller we decide to use the HKPilot32 with GPS and 433mhz telemetrie.

the motors are in Stock and for the Time we are waiting for the Booms and parts to be delivered i started with the Design of the frame in Sketchup.

This is the aktuall status. There is a lot of drawing and shaping needed. The Plates will be shapped when the decison for ESC´s is done, so we can calculate the space needed. Also the max folding angle of the Booms has to be defined. In the Picture its parallel to the rear boom. I will Post later pictures of the components. The diameter is 680mm and the angle of the front booms is choosen 135° to prevent the props affect the Cam picture.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-17 um 20.18.51.png


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now mostly all parts have arrived.
This are the booms. They are really light weight.



32 gramm is fine. The boom with 2 motors, props, wires and folding mechanism weight 228 gramm.


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Next fun will be to cut the carbon into shape. I will try with diamond blades.



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Hi, after sime drawing work in CAD i make a wooden mokup to check if all works before start cutting the Expensive carbon.
Arm to arm is now 603 mm with 135 degree boom angle for the front booms.
The place for ESCs is also marked.





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Next step is to drill the holes to the carbon. We build 2 so 4 carbon plates will be drilled together.


Preassembled to check if fits together and to explain my mate the design.
The motors are al mounted now, but not in the picture. We have disassembled again, and next the carbon plates will be cut to shape


Total weight will be 2.5 kg so the desired specifications will be fulfilled.


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This are the next steps.
Adapt the Front design to attach the landing gear.


After that, the carbon plates are cutted to the basic shape, and aditional holes were drilled to attach the carbon tube mount for the Gimbal snd batterys. To cut the carbon i use dimond blades for the




And that is what it looks like now. Unfolded and folded.



Bottom view





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Long time ago, but today my mate had time and we continued our group build.
The ESCs are ll connected, the 180a atopilot is soldered and mounted. All wiring is done. On Sunday we will continue with the flight controller and rx connection.






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Inside Electronics work is done.
Started connecting the outside electronics.



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All basic settings are done. It arms and motors spin correctly
Now ready for first TestFlight in Stabilized mode.



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first try with props. Only basic settings. Now i have to check whats going wrong.
Motors spin all correctly. Pitch channel works correct, yaw is cortrect, but Roll don´t react and it flips slowly and immediatly to the right. Have to recalibrate the ESC and then will see.



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Ok, now i need help.
The problem is that the ESCs loose their calibration and i don't know why.
Doing the pixhawk calibration routine, all ESCs are well calibrated and the motors spinning nicely and all synchronized. After reconnecting the battery the calibration is lost!
I have also tried manual calibration of each esc individual with ssme result. I'm using simonk ESCs.
Any ideas?


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Site Moderator
So I'm checking out your boom hardware. I went to HK which you referenced and I think I saw what you have. To mount the booms to the chassis you have one that holds the end of the boom and then another piece the boom snaps into when extended. Is this right? How do you like it?

Also, isn't there a tilt mechanism for the rear motor? I couldn't see it.