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Old Jan 09, 2016, 09:57 AM
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Build Log
Tri6 build

Not sure what to call this type of frame. It is like a Y6, a coaxial equilateral triangle hexcopter. It is very light and stiff, designed to have minimum wind resistance for the props as well as in forward flight. The shape also mounts the camera easily in front of the props.
The tubes are carbon fiber hunting arrows. The other pieces are 3d printed plastic.
Props are not the actual ones I will be using, just there to show scale. Yes I know the bottom ones are upside down.
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Old Jan 13, 2016, 03:25 PM
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Progress

Mounted the flight controller, receiver, PMU, GPS and LED.
Got some new props in today. The Iris + props are nice. One cool feature is that the threaded hub is not permanently fixed to the prop. It can be pried off and flipped over to mount the prop upside down for a coaxial setup. Of course, I really should have an opposite threaded prop hub if I want them to be self tightening. I can just use a nut instead.
I also got some T style props, 9" for the top and 8" for the bottom.
I may also try the 9445 Iris props on top and the 9" T style on the bottom or get some 10" ones for the top.
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Old Jan 14, 2016, 10:58 AM
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Battery mounting

Best guess for battery mounting. Hung under the rails with two rubber bands and a velcro strap. No way to check balance yet. Still waiting on the rest of my motors and the ESC's.
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Old Jan 14, 2016, 12:11 PM
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ESC's arrived

Now I just need to figure out where to fit six of them. They are less than 1/2" wide so lots of options.
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Old Jan 14, 2016, 03:50 PM
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Very elegant! Incredible craftsmanship on those 3d printed parts.
You'll have to tell us what the "all up" weight is before you maiden it. The power to weight ratio should be bonkers! Can't wait for more info.
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Old Jan 14, 2016, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenc3dan View Post
Very elegant! Incredible craftsmanship on those 3d printed parts.
You'll have to tell us what the "all up" weight is before you maiden it. The power to weight ratio should be bonkers! Can't wait for more info.
The frame weighed 180 g. including the gimbal mount, other 3d parts, rubber bushings and CF tubes. The tubes are CF hunting arrow shafts.
With motors, ESC, Flight controller, GPS, and receiver, I was guessing it would come up to 753 g. That's pretty light for a 450 size hex. I was going to cannibalize my F550 hex for parts. It uses the DJI E300 motors and ESC's. I found some cheap ($3) motors from 3dR. They are heavier but the little Sunrise ESC's are lighter so it may be nearly a wash.
With camera, gimbal and battery, it should be just under 1400 g. or about 233 g per motor which is very low for 2212/980 motors.
For the maiden flight without camera and gimbal, I will probably have to set the idle speed low just to keep it from lifting off.
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Old Jan 17, 2016, 07:01 PM
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More motors arrived

All motors and props mounted
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Old Jan 18, 2016, 11:05 PM
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Love it.
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Old Jan 20, 2016, 01:30 PM
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Skeleton trike, I like it.
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Old Jan 20, 2016, 04:36 PM
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Power distribution board

Thanks for the kind comments.
Worked on the PDB today.
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Old Jan 21, 2016, 04:04 PM
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ESC's mounted and wired

Main wiring is complete. Need to shorten the signal wires from the ESC's to the flight controller. I will add lights later and probably FPV gear after testing and tuning.
Still considering routing the motor wires through the carbon fiber tubes. I would have to reinforce the tubes where the wires come out.
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Old Jan 21, 2016, 05:21 PM
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Wiring top view

Still got a few things to tidy up and tie down, but this basically what she will look like.
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Old Jan 23, 2016, 10:15 AM
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Ready for maiden

Shown here with 3s 5200 mAh battery, all up weight is 1496 g. A bit more than I was hoping for but still very light for a hexcopter of this size. I was hoping to do a maiden flight today but we got 13" of snow yesterday and a couple more inches overnight. It's still snowing now so I don't even have a place to launch from. May try some indoor testing with it tethered.
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Old Jan 24, 2016, 02:32 PM
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It's Alive!

Did some testing in the garage to confirm that every thing was working correctly, then took her up for a short test flight outside.
Lifted off easily and hovered in place just fine. Definitely need to do some tuning. Started with pitch and roll gains at 140 and I think these may be too low. It seems to be reacting too slowly in correcting pitch and roll.
Will try to shoot some video of the next flight.
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Old Jan 24, 2016, 03:36 PM
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Flight 2 video to follow

Had to launch from the street in front of my house. Everywhere else is covered in 15" of snow. Had to dodge traffic a few times.
For now, I have removed the camera and gimbal until I get more confidence in the build and tuning. I added a rubber sanding block up front which weighs about the same as the gimbal and camera.
Bumped the basic gains up a bit and it helped. May need to drop the attitude gains as it reacts too sharply to inputs from the sticks.
Kept it low and slow. Noticed a problem with it losing altitude suddenly when I yawed to a certain position. I think it is caused by light shining on one side of the NAZA flight controller and affecting the barometer. This is a known issue and I should have covered it up but forgot. Now I have added a few layers of black duct tape over it. Hopefully this fixes the issue.
Video is uploading now. Will post as soon as it is finished.
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