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Tricopter frame style

#1
Hi everyone. I'm building a tricopter, it's really to see if I'm wanting to buy a rexplorer v4 frame, since I have had nothing to do with tricopters yet.

I've built some of the rear tilt mechanism, just needs some shaping and bits and pieces before that's done, linkages, standoffs between plates to stiffen it up. I'm thinking about the frame now.

DSC04173.JPG

Has anyone had experience with the folding arms? I could see an issue with the rc explorer style frame if the arms are likely to fold during flight. They are pretty heavy motors I plan on using. The plates will be 3mm plywood. Otherwise I will just build a locking mechanism for it.

Or should I design a locking mechanism for them?

Thanks.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#2
I suggest the folding booms are a nice feature that may prevent damage in a crash if you do it right. It will cause damage in a crash if you do it wrong.

Somewhere in there is the balance you seek. You are going to have to secure those booms and motors with a ton of torque are going to require more consideration. Then again, heavy motors provide more inertia in a crash and folding booms can absorb inertia in a crash if they collapse correctly.

Having built several, I recommend folding booms on a large tri-copter and rigid booms on a mini. My mini is smaller than a folded large tricopter so folding is much less of an impact. My motors are small and don't weigh much. There just isn't much inertia in a crash with one of my minis. The BatBone benefited hugely from folding booms. The key was in adjusting the friction lock before I flew to 'tune it' for that day. Too loose and the copter flies funky. Too tight and hitting a tree hurts more. I got a 'feel' for it after a few days and could adjust with an allen key and nut driver in a minute.

You will spend much more time experimenting with a tricopter to get the right 'feel' for it. They are harder to tune, harder to build and harder to maintain.

I have several high end copters. My favorite is my Twitchity Mini-Tricopter (210mm). I can't get the tail motor to spin today... The servo and pivot work, the other two motors work, but the tail motor won't spin. Maddening. But it will fly by the end of the day. Why, because it's just the most fun once you get it dialed in.

Tricopters are for madmen. :)

Here is mine after an encounter with a lilac bush in my backyard a few weeks ago. I was back in the air in minutes.
P5270002.JPG
 
#3
Thanks, great advise and write up. What do you think about spring/bungee loaded arms. Have them so that they always are pushed into the open position, and then lock just use the battery velcro strap to hold the arms together for transport? good idea or no?
 

Habakkukk

Fly Eagles, Fly!
#5
So no matter what you do, it will eventually wear down, get smashed up, immolated, lost, stuck in a tree, fall in a lake, or get completely destroyed. That's not a testament to your flying skills, it's just the nature of the hobby. dont be too worried about the strength of your wooden frame, it's cheap, but most likely won't hold up in a crash very well no matter what you do. Just have fun with it and buy some extra booms! Build, fly, crash and learn from your mistakes. As long as it flys it's a success. That being said I think making a crazy spring loaded arms would be a nice touch, but the more complicated the build, the more complicated the rebuild and the rerebuild.
 
#6
Thanks everyone. I am going to have the same shape plates as Davids tricopter, then try out using bungee cord to have them spring forward. If it doesn't work, then I will just take it out and put a locking pin in.

So no matter what you do, it will eventually wear down, get smashed up, immolated, lost, stuck in a tree, fall in a lake, or get completely destroyed. That's not a testament to your flying skills, it's just the nature of the hobby. dont be too worried about the strength of your wooden frame, it's cheap, but most likely won't hold up in a crash very well no matter what you do. Just have fun with it and buy some extra booms! Build, fly, crash and learn from your mistakes. As long as it flys it's a success. That being said I think making a crazy spring loaded arms would be a nice touch, but the more complicated the build, the more complicated the rebuild and the rerebuild.
Yup certainly. This hobby sucks as a student, just so addicted to it, I cant stop help me! :D
So far this project has set me back $40, I bought a used quadcopter for 30, and the probably spent another $10 on wood. Batteries and radio gear I had laying around. So far it's been pretty good.

Having alot to do with my miniquads and a few rc planes, I understand this hobby is expensive. This is a way of seeing weather I'm wanting to get into tricopters, without spending the money on a tricopter. I will probably end up selling it towards the tricopter v4 once I've had a few weeks playing with it.

Already got some parts sitting that Ive managed to pick up pretty cheap, new littlebee 30A sitting there not being used.
 
#8
I've built some of the rear tilt mechanism, just needs some shaping and bits and pieces before that's done, linkages, standoffs between plates to stiffen it up. I'm thinking about the frame now.

View attachment 72127

Has anyone had experience with the folding arms? I could see an issue with the rc explorer style frame if the arms are likely to fold during flight. They are pretty heavy motors I plan on using. The plates will be 3mm plywood. Otherwise I will just build a locking mechanism for it.

Or should I design a locking mechanism for them?

Thanks.
You are over thinking things, and your tilt mechanism looks like it won't take even one hit.

This is an old vid, but it shows Matt Hall's basic design and reasoning.


Watch some of his flight vids, he's one hell of a pilot and all the crashes you'll see is a testament to his design.