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Apr 10, 2013, 10:19 AM
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edwardjohn's Avatar
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F450 Quad converted to Tricopter

So i got this F450 laid around without electronics last year(transferred to Reptile) and stumbled upon this yasuo840 on youtube showing his F450 converted a tricopter! it's a damn good idea!
Tricopter KK2.0 FW V1.0 LCD Control Board with Q450 Remodeling Vol.30 Test flight (6 min 6 sec)

Finally got time recently and kicked my ass to start the project.

And the parts were actually already landed in my room like months ago. I ordered them based on those good folks who shared tips of their diy tricopter such as,
1) David from (check out the Tricopter V2.5) for tips on the rear servo
2) Oldman(not sure his name) or Hallstudio from for the setup

Here's the result, took me one night

- F450 quad frame
- Sunnysky 1100kv
- F30A ESC
- HBK 30A props. (Lasted multiple crashes and even it's bent till there's a white spot, it still flies w/o complaint!)
- Test Zippy 4S 3000mah or 3S 1800-2200mah. The 4S 2200mah doesn't fit. Damn
- Trex700 landing gear ;D

The flight experience
1) First flown with 3S just to find out how it will fly, indoor. The maiden flight, servo was wobbling quite bad until you can hear oscillation/resonance sort of thing. So tried
- setting Yaw gain and Servo filter, tuning it up and down and still it's wobbling even at Zero gain.
- props off, check motor, prop adapter, balance the props
- spin up motor with kk2.0 removed to the table
- spin it up again without prop and confirm it's the servo that is shaking, not some off balanced issue
- Keep trying various parameters and thank god KK2.0 is a blardy seriously nice, easy and consistent board on tuning!
* also this thing is damn light like paper!(after u got used to your hexa)

2) So how in the end? things somehow got better, just minor wobble after multiple "reset to factory settings". Weird. And the last minor wobble comes from the freeplay from within the servo gear itself. So? i just have to ignored it.

3) It was sunday, went to the usual flying spot with the regular buddies and start doing outdoor tuning. My style of flying I tune it until there's "locking" feel.

4) Starts the spots flying then I start to realized a problem. The tail keeps dropping(pitch back)! Further test shows that pushing up the throttle will drop the tail! That's weird, and i think that's likely because the front arm opening is only 90 degree(quad are 90' x 4 = 360' u got me?) instead of the usual 120' degree opening of tricopter, hence this Tri body is narrower and not wide or geometrically normal like the normal thing.
So if you intend to mod your Quad to Tri without opening the front wider, it's not gonna be suitable for sports flying. In autolevel things got much better but the problem persist.
- Also finally did multiple flips that i ever wanted to do but never dare. haha. To do that, play with the stick scaling as mentioned by hallstudio. Don't increase too damn a lot at once if not u gonna get uncontrollable and continuous flips/loops within the loop as small as your multirotor!

5) Tuesday evening on our regular flying session, hooked it up with fpv gear and boy! it was hell fun! On 4S, 1100kv, 8in props, but the power was just nice! Even tandem with a plane. Flying thru 'pondok' and children playground with ease due to its tiny size. It's just so so so easy to fly it around, anywhere, not like my heavy hexa. And the Alt hold was surprisingly good despite there's no barometer onboard. ;D it also hovers well, no drama even hands off tx. No vibration seen on the FPV despite all 3 blades were bent with white mark visible. ;D
And because it runs on airwave, all 4 buddies with the Fatshark Predator switched to my channel and became the passenger and enjoy the fun with me. haha

Not to say this Tri flies better than a Quad but due to its portability(also slimmer body), it's the easiest FPV gear i can carry it anywhere anytime now. hehe. It's for those occasion that I want to troll or thru tight space and it's so much lighter than my quad too!(when bare w/o fpv & on 3S).

Anyway, that flight was without gopro, it has now as shown in the pic and hopefully shoot some good fun videos tomorrow, please wish the bent props last and has only 1 4S that fits.

Hope this shed some tips to those wanting to build a tri but kinda unsure of how to make the rear tilting mechanism too.

Lastly, sorry for my bad bad english.

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Apr 10, 2013, 08:51 PM
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I have the same frame laying around in my place. How did you mount the tail boom arm?
Apr 10, 2013, 09:33 PM
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edwardjohn's Avatar
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Originally Posted by SpeedRacerXX
I have the same frame laying around in my place. How did you mount the tail boom arm?
Haha sure.

Just measure and drilled holes on the upper and bottom frame. It it's a PCB integrated board then do check for shorts before hooking up everything.
Apr 11, 2013, 06:16 AM
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edwardjohn's Avatar
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Video is up. Got lucky with the near miss thru basketball hoop "landing gear".
FPV - F450 Quad to Tricopter (6 min 49 sec)
Last edited by edwardjohn; May 07, 2013 at 03:50 AM.
May 07, 2013, 03:50 AM
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edwardjohn's Avatar
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Well here's an update video. And by now this frame has been replaced by another DIY frame which can become different configuration anytime.
FPV Tricopter Sunday Fast Fly (5 min 10 sec)
Dec 17, 2013, 01:12 PM
Preeti Juneja
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Hi Edward,we are running a special on RC mods on
Feb 23, 2014, 11:34 PM
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Which Trex 700 landing gear are you using? 700E or 700F3C?

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