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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:07 AM
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Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,396 Posts
Build Log
Tricopter V2.2

The build method described in my last post has proven itself extremely crash resistant but it's
heavy. I can't do anything major about that, but I made some minor changes which do help:
1. I dropped from 1/8" thick aircraft ply down to 3/32" and then covered it in a layer of 1.7oz Kevlar.
Stick it lightly to the wood with 3M 77 spray adhesive, and then thin CA to bond it. Works great.

2. I also dropped from 1/2" OD diameter dowels for the arms down to 7/16".

3. Built a lighter anti-vibe mount for the GoPro. The old one is aluminum plate with squishy
silicon-like donuts between. New one is just two layers of ply with 5 memory foam style
earplugs glued between them. It has proven very effective at killing jello inducing
vibes, even when I've beaten the props up and they're no longer balanced.

All told this reduced the weight by about 5oz.

I've also been battling flaky ESCs. I originally used cheap Hobbyking 18-20A ESCs and
they worked just fine. I cooked a few over time (mostly getting em wet) and had
to replace em. Problem is, the newer version of the exact same ESC (looks identical)
has different electronics/firmware, and it now uses auto-throttle calibration. This just
does not work for multirotors because any sudden high throttle maneuver can cause one
ESC's throttle range to extend while the others do not, and suddenly it acts like you've got
a full stick's worth of trim... Lots of crashes resulted from trying to deal with that.
Made the mistake of trying some Castle Thunderbird ESC's which have the same problem, but
also some other nastiness as well. Castle admits that their ESCs are *not* suitable for
multi-rotors. Finally picked up some Hobbywing (not king) 18A ESCs from rcdude.com
and they have a proper throttle calibration sequence and they work great. Just tested em out
today, and it makes a *huge* difference. Given how handicapped I've been up to this point
I expect to really start pushing the limits.

Also looking forward to an OpenPilot CopterControl board some time in the
future to replace my FY30A + KK mess.

Attached are a couple pics with the update, and my latest video
FPV - Keep Moving (6 min 39 sec)

Notice that there's no jello at all, despite the props sometimes having massive chips in them
from trying to cut down trees and bushes.
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Last edited by Daemon; Jul 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:37 AM
Copter-FPV rules
WEIDI.'s Avatar
Österreich
Joined Mar 2009
73 Posts
Hey Ian,

good summary and interesting looking Tri.
Why havn't you tried SimonK-flashed ESCs?
It's not that hard to flash them and they're acting "crispy".

Btw, I've seen your latest Hero3 Black Ed-vid experimenting with slowmo's - really cool!
Didn't know it's available already.

Cheers,
WEIDI
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