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Tricopter or Quadcoptor for first one?

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#1
Title says it all, for my first multicopter should it be a quad or tri? This is for FPV flying around my neighborhood since there's not enough space for planes.
 

Airwolf

Senior Member
#2
With the same motors/props, and the same flight controller:

Quadrocopter - more lift (but also weights a bit more and draws more current), more props = more stable, less complicated (no yaw mechanism), but also slightly more expensive (additional motor, esc, propeller), less maneuverable. Requires 2 counterclockwise props.

Tricopter - less lift, not that stable, more complicated (yaw mechanism), slightly less expensive, more maneuverable. Can fly with all standard props.

If you can afford it - do what I did - buy the parts for tricopter and quadrocopter. Then it's just a matter of simple frame reconfiguration and reprogramming your flight controller... And if you decide that you like tricopter better - then you will always have a spare motor and ESC.
 
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ananas1301

Crazy flyer/crasher :D
#4
If you can afford it - do what I did - buy the parts for tricopter and quadrocopter. Then it's just a matter of simple frame reconfiguration and reprogramming your flight controller... And if you decide that you like tricopter better - then you will always have a spare motor and ESC.
Why didn´t I think of that! It is also nice to have a spare one because the instability of a Tricopter might result in a broken motor, even though I think that is a pretty tough to reach.

And yeah good summary
 

Shadow74

Multi-rotor madman
#5
I too agree, great way to sum it up Airwolf.

I have both, fly both, love both. It really is personal preference. It also depends much on the style and type of flying you do. Tri-copters are very FUN to fly, they are a bit more maneuverable leaning more toward the characteristics of a traditional heli, cuz the tail has such positive control. When I film something however that I need to have ROCK stable footage, for me personally, the quad hands down is the winner. (at least at this point) The Tri-copter does not seem to want to hold itself still in a hover nearly as easy as the quad, but for moving and tracking shots of lets say, a boat or a motorcycle the Tri-copter seems to be a little quicker and able to "turn & burn" faster than the quad.

I have flown both FPV and both are very nice FPV flyers. I really dont think you could go wrong either way. Like I said....I love both of them.....and will always have both.

Eric
 

bmsweb

Site Moderator
#6
I'm in the same boat. I'm thinking of going Quad for that additional lift and stability for videoing. My mate is building one now so I'll wait till he has his under control and I'll get him to build me one :)
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#7
I actually found the tricopter easier to fly.

Granted I had already been flying helicopters, and quadcopters by the time I put together a tricopter.

That being said, the tricopter just felt more like a plane to me (that would hover while level...), which made it seem easier.


The other "large" advantage, to me at least, for tricopters, you don't need to keep stock of counter rotating props.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#9
I imagine you could set it up that way, but you can run all the motors the same direction. Yaw is controlled by the pivot of the rear motor.
 

Shadow74

Multi-rotor madman
#11
I actually have mine setup the same as the front 2 motors on a quad.....one regular and one counter......this way they cancel each other out and the tail can stay closer to center so that you have a more even/equal amount of travel on your yaw servo. But they do fly fine running all standard props. Personal pref really.
 

Burg

Never catch a multirotor
#15
BM, check the 'Multi Rotor Battery Tray Mount Kit, Long for 10mm Arms' further down the web page (my link above). This is an additional front tube on which you can mount the cam. I used this tube to mount the yellow heli canopy (see one of my earlier photos). But you can mount this extra tube backwards on the centerplate as well. I can post a photo if you like?
 

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#16
Sure, let's see a photo...I like RadicalRC stuff, I get all my slow stick stuff from there. The photos on his site are on the small side though.
 

Burg

Never catch a multirotor
#18
BM, here are some photo's.
With the use of the extra front tube and the long battery tray you could perfectly attach a GoPro for example.
It gives also the possibility to get the COG right by sliding the lipo back or forth.

With this tricopter I used 10x10mm carbon tubes (hobbyking's).
Looks good but not 'modify friendly', difficult to drill in etc.
I believe the cheap pine wooden spars are better.
They give a little bit of flex which is good to absorb vibrations more.
Also the flex gives somewhat smoother flying caracteristics.
When broken after a crash, very easy and cheap to replace.

1.PNG

2.PNG

3.PNG
 

ananas1301

Crazy flyer/crasher :D
#19
Nice setup Burg!

However your´s seems a little more breakable then Davids Tricopter and that is why I went with David. It is said quite often that you´re going to crash either way you take. The possibility of the arms moving back is awesome but can go on someones nerves after a while.