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RCExplorer Tricopter V4

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#1
Well I had been debating if I really wanted to do a multirotor build, which one it would be, and when I'd get started. So now one could say I've pulled the proverbial trigger that answers those questions at least in part and our favorite Swede is to blame with the release of his latest and greatest tricopter, the V4.

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To keep myself on good terms with my bride I need to keep this relatively inexpensive or at least spread out the expense over time therefore I've begun this adventure with just the top and bottom boards. I know DW is big on performance and efficiency therefore his setup would be top-notch but regardless I'm choosing to mix and match with parts not from his kit. I will share my thoughts of the wisdom of that choice in retrospect.

My intent is to simply build a fun FPV platform that has both function and form. I'm not sure what all that will entail but a RunCam2 will likely be my next purchase that I'll use on the V4 and other platforms while the build is underway. Eventually I hope to have a 360 panoramic cam that will allow VR pilots and/or passengers to look all around without the need for an onboard camera gimbal.
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#2
Subscribed. I've been thinking about this one as my second tricopter platform. I'm still a noob with my electrohub tricopter and want a couple more months of experience with it before moving to a more complicated/modern platform.
 

JimCR120

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Site Moderator
#3
Aside from my Blade Inductrix, I am about as noob as one could be and I'm not all that sure if my micro-quad even warrants any points. On David's website he says he'll be doing a build, so I'll be following that very closely as well as gleaning info from past builds. So to be fair, what you might learn from me is what not to do.

Another thought I am considering is prop guards. With all the props people talk of changing I wonder why they're not more in use. I haven't had to change a single prop on my little Inductrix.

Thank you for the support.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#4
look forward to your build.. i too have got the itch to try a tricopter..

hobby king has there trifecta frame on sale for 17.00 so i ordered one. i figure it would be a good first tri-copter and see if i want to build a 600-680mm size tricopter for a action cam AP platform.

so if i like what the trifecta does.. ill do a a larger build for just a AP build.. originally i was gonna do a tarot 680 pro hex.. so been collecting parts for it.. then i found a carbon fiber 600 kit that all the parts iv bought for the 680 Pro Ap build will transfer over..

so was a no brainer for me.. to fork over hobbyking 17.00 for a trifecta tri-copter frame.. plus i think its a cool little frame..ill be building it on the cheap using parts i have hopefully :D plus couple more bucks for 6 more 1s batterys. i now have twety one 1s batterys ill burn the blade nano up before summer is over at this rate :D

chris.
 

JimCR120

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Site Moderator
#5
That's a nice looking little frame for $30 and getting it for $17 definitely would be a time to give it a try.

I just got an email this morning that my order has shipped so we'll see how good the delivery times are from Sweden.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#6

looks like this pusher style would work well with Davids frame.. not sure how you would mix it tho.
about the only thing i get is, it uses props from a glider. and since the tail can not spin.. has to be some kind of free wheel, i dunno how it works.


david make one, so we can learn with you.. it sure would be just as interesting as your duck from hell project :D
chris.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#7
That pusher tricopter looks to be a Pixhawk equipped flight controller. They might be running the PX4 VTOL setup which has most of the mixing/transition stuff implemented.

https://pixhawk.org/platforms/vtol/start

In particular, if you watch the FunCub "quad" video, you'll see something a little different but somewhat similar. In the Fun Cub though, because it has wings, it can shutdown the multirotor motors in forward flight...
 
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JimCR120

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Site Moderator
#8
Well, I haven't entirely neglected this build though it is certainly taking much longer than I ahd hoped and I cannot deny I have neglected keeping the forum up to date. I apologize. I will pick up where I left off.

Since last posting on this I received the F3FC, carbon fiber bottom plate, mulitpin connector, and boomstop. I then let them set on my shelf for several months until Christmas time when my youngest son was in town and we were both all fired up about everything rc. So I soldered on the multipin connector and boomstop just as David demonstrates in his video.

I then ordered from Hobby King (3) Turnigy D2205 2300KV's, (3) MultiStar 30A OPTO ESC's, (2) sets of bright orange 3 bladed props, and of course some LiPo's including... gasp... my 1st 4S.
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They arrived and I was stunned to find the ESC's only had 2 wires going to the servo type plug. So because I am unfamiliar with these strange ESC's, they have yet to be op checked. I did try, but couldn't get them to spin any motors. Hopefully that will change today or at least this week. Did I mention I work at the local public school and here in Maine they have a thing called February vacation? Well yes and now I have the time and the place (I have a newly built workshop downstairs, if you don't have one get one and you'll wish you did it long ago. Now my projects don't get "cleaned up" (hidden) and my better half is happy to see my projects confined to a space, with walls, a door, and maybe even a lock.)
 
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cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#9
(I have a newly built workshop downstairs, if you don't have one get one and you'll wish you did it long ago. Now my projects don't get "cleaned up" (hidden) and my better half is happy to see my projects confined to a space, with walls, a door, and maybe even a lock.)
Amen to that! :D
 

JimCR120

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#10
The workshop isn't complete but it is functional with space for lumber, planes, soldering and a minifridge for refreshments. Had I known I would have built this 10 years ago!
 

JimCR120

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#11
Anyway, so here I had these new parts and didn't know how to op check them. Therefore I pressed on to find a receiver. This was a foreign search for me as I had been used to receivers having ports for several servos but in time I settled on the Spektrum SPM4648 for $25.
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I still had a problem... how to connect this receiver to the flight controller. The satellite cable for the receiver doesn't fit the FC's multipin connector. So after some more web searches on RCExplorer.com I spliced together half of a servo lead with half of the satellite lead. I also moved the little UART1 jumper to the 3.3V position which corresponds to Spektrum's operating voltage. These are tiny and not so easy to manipulate. If you misplace it, you might be a while looking for it. Trust me.
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It worked! I then re-did it to make the pigtail a more reasonable length.
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Binding to my DX7 went as with any other receiver though I couldn't see much interaction until I connected the FCB to my iMac through a USB cable and fired up CleanFlight. Here I could finally see stuff happening! David's instructions were again very helpful with these unfamiliar steps (loading CleanFlight, updating the firmware, fixing the orientation, etc).

Then it was again time to order more parts.
 

JimCR120

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#12
Another order from Sweden arrived with a front spacer, a low voltage alarm, an enhanced tilt servo, a tilt servo mechanism, and an H tool (for tilt servo calibration).
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... which brings me, finally, to where I am at today.
 
#14
I really like david w's tricopters. I haven't bought one of his kits but I've used a lot of his ideas. i'm sure yours will turn out great.
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#17
I remember David saying he was a big fan of Swedish Fish but rather liked Funyons quite a lot. They were both there in the store as I was plannng the build so I got 'em both. Turns out others in the house like them too so now I'm out. Time for another secret order, shhh.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#18
It's a nice reminder of the Swede. All you need are some 80 year old hard-tack crackers from a green Army tin and the copter MUST fly! :)
 

JimCR120

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#19
Yeah, I'm building again and I think I might just make it.

So I made some arms (I apologize for the lack of fish pointers but they are yummy).
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The wood came from a pallet I had laying around.
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I don't know what kind of wood it is but I'm supposing wood meant for shipping should have some strength.
The planks are 1/4" and after cutting them square I realized how different 1/4" is from 10mm. I suppose I could have added to the spacer but I didn't want to deviate here and have it snowball into all kinds of other mods I'd have to do.
 
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