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YANTBL: Yet another NOOB tricopter build log

Johan

Senior Member
#1
Ok,

could not resist: now all the parts are in, I'll share my experiences.

First some info:

Although I'm not completely unfamiliar with RC, I'm revisiting after at least 30 years, so I'm pretty much a noob.

One episode of flitetest and I was hooked...

Watched most of the episodes and was intrigued with the multirotors, tricopters in particular.
I showed part of the bat-bone episode to my wife and she said: Wow, shouldn't we get one of those, that would be great with the GoPro? (yes, love my wife!).

So I started making a parts list (within minutes :) )


more to follow ....
 

Johan

Senior Member
#2
So what did I order, partlist:

FT:
1 x Bat Bone Tri 370 Kit:
http://shop.flitetest.com/multirotors/bat-bone-tri-370-kit/

1 x Original Tricopter Camera Mount Kit
http://shop.flitetest.com/multirotors/original-tricopter-camera-mount/


HK

3 x Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 2822-1275 Brushless Outrunner Motor
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=18150

3 x Turnigy Multistar 15 Amp Multi-rotor Brushless ESC 2-3S:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=25363

1 x TGY-375DMG Metal gear Digital Servo w/ Heat Sink 2.3kg / .11sec / 11.5g
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=11626

4 x 8045 SF Props 2pc Standard Rotation/2 pc RH Rotation (Flouro Yellow)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=25817

1 x 9047SF Combo (9047SF & R9047SF) (3 Standard & 3 Counter Rotating Per Bag)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=20859

gonna try both 8045 and 9047 ...

1 x Turnigy Accucel-6 50W 6A Balancer/Charger w/ accessories:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7028

1 x kk2 board:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=24723&aff=247441

1 x Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8ch Receiver (Mode 2) (v2 Firmware):
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...Mode_2_v2_Firmware_.html?strSearch=turnigy 9x

1 x Turnigy 9X LCD Backlight Kit - Blue (DIY)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_customerShowOrderDetails2.asp?idOrder=2007117838

1 x Wireless 9 in1 Simulator Adapter(gotta practice, right?):
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=24613

3 x Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=8932

1 x 10CM Male to Male Servo Lead (JR) 26AWG (10pcs/set):
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=21758

1 x XT60 to 3 X 3.5mm bullet Multistar ESC Power Breakout Cable
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=25479

1 x Boscam 5.8Ghz 200mw FPV Wireless AV Tx & Rx Set (OK, bit early ... for FPV)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=15295

Some random stuff (heat shrink, XT60's, spare connectors, servo extension wire)

PS, for those I had "Buddy codes", I posted those on the appropriate page (http://forum.flitetest.com/showthre...uddy-codes-Share-your-s-here!&highlight=buddy), they might still be valid ...
 
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Johan

Senior Member
#3
If you get drawn in, there is a lot to do / read / stuff to patch / mods to apply (so many out there).
So while waiting for the frame to arrive, I did the following:

- Installed backlight for the Turnigy 9X
- Applied the ''resistor" mod to the 9x to enable training mode with the module in place.
- bound receiver to 9x :)
- Created 6 pin ISP flash adapter from 2 servo wires to flash T9x / KK2 later on when USB ASP arrives (quite easy).
most usbasp programmers have 10 pin layout when alternative 6 pin is required for T9x and KK2 for instance.
- Created a setup for FPV ground station (Boscam RX + cheapo ebay 4" display)
- Soldered my own GoPro (3) video USB cable to connect to the Boscam,
thanks to Davids tutorial: http://rcexplorer.se/diy/2012/11/diy-gopro3-video-out-cable/
BTW: 10 pin mini USB are TOUGH to solder, so little space!! David did a far nicer job:)
- Tried configurations for the 9 in 1 simulator and got wired* and wireless working for the 9X on the Mac.
Currently using the simulator wit Heli-X (http://www.heli-x.net) (using XTR setting) in wired or wireless mode
- Practiced with Heli-X (and will do a lot in the future, I need it :) )

* for wired mode: first unplug the module, or apply the 1K resistor mod in the 9X, connect the training wire to Tx, then plug in USB and start program. The order is important, I could not get it to work otherwise...


Once the Bat-Bone arrived:
- put frame together
- added motor mounts
- added servo to tail boom
- made servo rods and connected to servo
- used receiver, one ESC (for BEC power) and servo to test tilt mechanism (Yeah! works fine).
- put camera mount kit together (bending the wire is quite hard in the beginning, and watch out with CA..... you might get stuck...)

Now pondering whether to mount the motors on top or below the motor mounts, both seem to require longer screws (estimate 3mx5mm) because of the thickness of the G-10 plate.
I will post pictures later on..
 
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baddox

Senior Member
#4
Could you give a bit more detail on the process to flash a KK2 board? I'm researching for my first tricopter build now, and I gather than you pretty much have to put a new firmware on the KK2's if you want autolevel to work, but I have had trouble finding exactly what cables/adapters are necessary and what the firmware options are.
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#5
I have to say, as crude a shop builder Hallstudio is . . .his motto is as he plugs the battery in for the first time . . . "the smoke test", he certainly knows how to pump out the T and tricopters to have no fear of crashing. And has taken that "no-fear" approach to impressive piloting skill heights.

He also does a very good job of walking you through the initial tricopter programming process on the KK2. Skip to 32:00 for the KK2.
 

Johan

Senior Member
#6
Could you give a bit more detail on the process to flash a KK2 board? I'm researching for my first tricopter build now, and I gather than you pretty much have to put a new firmware on the KK2's if you want autolevel to work, but I have had trouble finding exactly what cables/adapters are necessary and what the firmware options are.
You'll need an USBASP with USB on one end and a 6 pin cable that matches the KK2 on the other end.
Most have a 10 pin adapter on the other end, but some come with a 6 pin extension.

Most people use this one from HobbyKing:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...Programming_Device_for_ATMEL_proccessors.html
But it says that this is an archived article and the 'replaced with item' link points to an entire category?

Be sure that you do not get a USBISP (mx-usbisp), I bought a cheap one and it was not recognized by kkmulticopterflashtool

http://lazyzero.de/en/modellbau/kkmulticopterflashtool

kkmulticopterflashtool is the easiest way to update the firmware on your KK2, it is a GUI wrap for AVRdude.

The process is explained in for example this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNb3u8yIIV4
 
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Johan

Senior Member
#7
Now pondering whether to mount the motors on top or below the motor mounts, both seem to require longer screws (estimate 3mx5mm) because of the thickness of the G-10 plate.
I will post pictures later on..
I would prefer to mount them below, but the clearance between the motor and the boom / mount is very small, I wouldn't like to start sawing in the boom or shift the motormount more outward (the hole for the bolts than gets too close to the end, risking splitting):

motor_underneath.jpg

Of course I would remove the prop adapter below the motor :)


The mounting on top is quite easy:

motor_on_top.jpg

Both methods require longer bolts than that come with the 2822-1275's. I measured and think 3Mx5mm flathead bolts would work. The ones that come with the motors are tapered.

Using the supplied cross-shaped mount and zip ties would look awkward I guess since the G-10 mount is just as wide as the motor itself ...

I'm curious what David used on the V-tail quad episode for the front-motors since that is exactly the same combination as this one. I already asked in a comment on the show, but the guys are very busy :)
 
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Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#8
Johan,

If you're that close, you could sand the boom end along the out runner frame, making "just enough" clearance. If the boom end hits the base before it would hit the bell, it'll likely arrest the vibe in that axis enough to keep it from beating against the sanded end.

You could even wrap the motor in sandpaper and let it do the sanding for you, but that's probably not a good idea ;)

Keep it up!
 

Johan

Senior Member
#9
Johan,

You could even wrap the motor in sandpaper and let it do the sanding for you, but that's probably not a good idea ;)

Keep it up!
LOL, yes, let the motor decide what is 'enough clearance' by itself :)

I took a closer look at the stills from the episode and I think they're mounted directly:

mounts.jpg
 
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Johan

Senior Member
#13
Getting along nicely with the build.

- put the frame together (Thanks FT once again!, light easy and strong!)
- got the wire harness in place
- zip tied the ESC's and wires
- installed the engines (bolted directly to the G-10 frame)
- got the KK2 in its 'cove'
- connected everything to the KK2 / KK2 to receiver
- turnigy ex9r setup and stick calibration and misc settings
- calibrated ESC's on the KK2 using the ' button 1 and 4 method'**

Edit**I thought I'd calibrated, but the Multistar 15A do not go in Calibration mode (don't have one that is documented), but In programming mode, so instead of calibrating, I'd put in in programming mode and accidentally put the brake on or off I don't know, but in the meantime I've turned it off

But, I noticed one thing (did not play for long):

When in auto level mode:

When starting the (prop-less) engines I noticed that motor 1 (front-left) responds less to tilt than the other motors.

Drop rear, rear motor spins up, drop front right, it spins up.
Drop front left however and the response is less .... What to search for: wiring, ESC, motor?

Anyway: some pics of the progress so far:

Mail-bijlage-1.jpeg

Mail-bijlage-2.jpeg

Mail-bijlage-3.jpeg

Mail-bijlage-4.jpeg

Mail-bijlage-5.jpeg

Mail-bijlage-6.jpeg

BTW, on the bottom left is my home-made GoPro connector (thanks David for a yet another nice instructional video!), tough soldering those tiny USB pins :) ....

It is connected to a Boscam 5.8Ghz 200 mW link, but that is for later, first lets see if it flies with the minimum weight (no Cam, camera support FPV transmitter etc....)

Kind regards,
Johan
 
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Johan

Senior Member
#14
Ok,

So I did a second ESC calibration, now the left front motor is responding well.
Did some rewiring (layout) to get things tighter and figured out why the servo was not moving (it moving when it was connected directly to the transmitter), but not on the KK2.

The KK2 has two power circuits: one powered by OUT1 (typically the ESC of motor 1)
and one powered by anything that delivers power to OUT 2 .. OUT8 .
So you need to connect a BEC enabled ESC to at least (and sometimes at most if your ESC's do not support parallel connections) 2 output ports: motor 1, and motor 2 .. 8 , disconnecting (but not snipping) the red power cord on the 3rd ESC (assuming you've got a tricopter, otherwise you'd have to disable more.

So far it looks like this:

starttingtolooklikeit.jpg

Overall weight: 690 grams (With battery, but Turnigy 9x not included :) )

That's about 3 grams less than my estimate :)
 
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Johan

Senior Member
#17
High Voltage (false) Alarm

Yet another learning experience today:

I have been using one LiPo (balance charged right after purchase) for some time now, with no actual flight time on it, just the ESC checks, ESC programming*, KK2 config, auto-level checks, motor run checks, all with no props attached.

(*I also thought I'd done ESC calibration, but it appears my Multistar 15A ESC does not support calibration at all, I'd mis-interpreted some programming mode beeps as calibration confirmation ... go figure)

Back to the LiPo: I thought: I'd better check the charge on the LiPo (wouldn't want it to be undercharged without knowing).

So last night I plugged it into the Accucell 6 charger, balance port attached correctly (at least I thought so):

Message: High Voltage Alarm! (loud beeps at 1AM ... )
Googled that, panicked a bit (it means one of the cells is way off, one cell could be over charged and about to blow).
Made no sense considering the use (unless a faulty unit)
Calmed down, ready to do a discharge.
Checked again: appears I had put the 4 lead (3S) balance connector in the 5 lead (4S) balance port (must admit: it didn't fit nicely), this caused the alarm, once plugged in correctly all was well (nicely balanced and all).

Oof, got me scared a bit...
 
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Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#18
My Spektum DX8 scares me all the time. If I leave it on (which I do all the time), after 10 minutes it vibrates wildly and buzzes loud.
 

Johan

Senior Member
#19
Small progress:

Did some cleaning up, stole an idea I saw in a picture online:

- Use the longest (servo / ESC) wire to wrap around the other wires as a kind of make-shift wire tidy - up thingy.
Keeps wires together nicely

- Dialed in some expo on the transmitter (AIL, RUD, ELE)
- Tested in training mode on my simulator (I use Heli-X)
- Added some trims on the transmitter so the KK2 shows 0 one every input (Receiver test screen) when all controls are centered

Hmm, seems I'm just about ready for the maiden.. Better keep the I-Gain / P-Gain instructions handy :)

Today was way too windy BTW for that (clear blue skies, but wild gusts of winds)

Okay, and I'm a bit scared as well :)
 

Johan

Senior Member
#20
My Spektum DX8 scares me all the time. If I leave it on (which I do all the time), after 10 minutes it vibrates wildly and buzzes loud.
LOL,
I have the Turnigy 9x, flashed a few days ago to the er9x firmware.
Before that, it beeps on ANY key press and NO way to turn it off.
It was so annoying that the first mod I did was to put a two-way switch between the beeper and the lead.
I read (too late) not to use a too hot soldering iron, otherwise the beeper would partially melt (which it did).

So now I have a switch that switches between officially silent and silent because of a defect :)

All was unnecessary after I flashed the firmware to the er9x which comes with a volume / tone / pitch etc.. control.
So now I'm going to replace the beeper (or try to repair) since with the adde control it is a valuable extension.

The fact that originally it beeped exactly the same on alarms as on menu selection (EVERY button press) drives you crazy, my wife agreed :) ...