Tricopter

3S LiPo, Quanum Trifecta frame, 2204 2300KV motors
Project started on May 25, 2016.

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As a second attempt for a self-built copter, after my far too big X666, I decided to try and build a Tricopter. These only have three motors, with the third degree of freedom (yaw) being provided by tilting the back rotor using a servo.

Top view
Front view
Top back right view
Top back left view
Yaw mechanism tilted
Folded up, side view

Here are some recordings of the FPV footage. Be aware that these videos are recorded from the received signal on the ground. Not only can you see lots of interference and other HF problems, the loss of quality from the video recorder and the YouTube encoding is also very noticeable. In real-life, the picture doesn't look that bad.

Quanum Trifecta Crash Yaw Mechanism
Quanum Trifecta mysterious crash

I quite like the Trifecta frame. It can be folded down considerably for easier transportation and storage, while still being surprisingly sturdy.

You need to use a relatively small battery, otherwise the copter is too high up, the back foot not reaching the ground, balancing on the battery. I printed a longer foot because of that.

I had some problems with the first servo I tried, but after switching to the metal gear servo listed below, the yaw mechanism has worked perfectly.

Parts List

The prices listed below are just what I found while doing this page some years later, not the real prices I paid back then.

Part Description Cost
Frame Quanum Trifecta Mini Foldable Tricopter Frame 27.67€
Servo Emax ES09MD Digital Metallgetriebe Mini Servo 12.90€
FC AfroFlight Naze32 Rev6 Flight Controller (Acro) 23.06€
ESCs 3x ZTW Spider Series 18A OPTO Multi-Rotor ESC 2~4S (BLHeli/SimonK Firmware) 24.99€
Motors CW 2x Multistar Elite 2204-2300KV Multi-Rotor Motor 3-4S (CW Prop Adapter) 23.90€
Motors CCW 1x Multistar Elite 2204-2300KV Multi-Rotor Motor 3-4S (CCW Prop Adapter) 12.45€
Props 10 Pairs LDARC 5x4.5x3 5045 5 Inch 3-Blade Propeller CW CCW 6.95€
Cam Sony 700TVL PAL FPV Camera 15.00€
VTx SkyZone TS5823 5.8GHz 32CH A/V 200mW Mini FPV Transmitter 17.12€
OSD Minim OSD v1.1 19.79€
Rx FrSky D8R-XP 2.4Ghz Receiver (w/telemetry & CPPM) 25.66€
Battery Turnigy 1400mAh 3S 40C Lipo Pack w/XT60 13.42€
OLED 128x64 I2C OLED 9.99€
Sum 232.90€

Here are some more photos.

Folded up, back view
Folded up, front view
Front view with Xiaomi Yi
3D printed electronics mount on top
3D printed longer back leg, on copter
3D printed longer back leg
3D printed electronics mount
Copter closed up
Xiaomi Yi 3D printed holder
Poorly 3D printed camera holder