RCExplorer Tricopter 2.6 NoHV Build

by Nicolas | February 1, 2014 | (10) Posted in Projects

This is going to be my Build Log about my Tricopter 2.6. It is going to be a NoHV, so a 3 cell instead of a  4 cell
setup. But I'll be following David's Plans and Guides in building it.

The parts I will be using are:

- T-Motor 2216-900kV motors
- T-Motor 18Amp SimonK ESCs
- 10x10mm wooden booms
- M3x30 bolts
- M3x16 bolts
- M3 locknuts
- 1.5mm CFK for the Tricopter Body
- 1mm Plywood for the camera Mount
- 1mm Steel-wire
- 4mm Crabon rod
- MultiWii Crius SE v0.2
- Power Distribution Board from Flyduino.net
- Spektrum AR8000
- Hitec HS-5055MG Digital Servo for the Yaw Mechanism
- 10x4.5 CFK reinforced SloFly Props

And a lot of other parts which I had lying around in my Workshop like:
- 4mm Plywood
- 3.5mm bullet connectors
- Nylon distancers in different lengths
- and a lot of zip-ties


Now lets get started with the build.

A friend of mine cut all the required parts with his CNC mill for me since there were a lot of parts to cut. I already
bent the wires for the camera mount. I would have loved to buy the parts from Flitetest, but unfortunately i can't
get them shipped to germany.

All the bolts and tools required to build the frame.

Cleaned all the edges of the CNC cut parts since the CFK parts still had razor sharp edges.

Mounted the rear part of the camera mount. I chose 37.5cm for the armsas David did with his latest build.

The front arms and the front part of the CM mounted.

The frame is done. I already mounted the landing skids which i am going to change later on.

Time to start the Camera mount.

Everything glued and clamped down to dry.

Mounted on the frame with the velcro strap for my GoPro for FPV.

I shortened the bolts. They were far too long, but i couldn't get 20m bolts so i had to shorten the 30mm ones.

Installed the ESCs and Motors on the front arms. At first I spiralled the motorleads around the arms. Later I found
that I built myself an electromagnet by doing that. 

Power distribution board already with some of the connections soldered.

Contolboard and reciever mounted on top. In the beginning I wanted to use the TM1000 for telemtry, but discarded
that idea because of lack of space. 

Video transmitter mounted on th rear arm.

So far so good. I was still waiting for some parts to finish the yaw mechanism.

Changed the motor wiring.

Now for the yaw mechanism. I started by widening the holes on one part.

Jammed the 4mm Carbon rod inside.

Shortened the rod and sanded it flush.

Installed the servo horn on the mechanism.

Time to prepare the servo. I cut of the ''wing'' that was closest to the main gear for mounting.

I glued a piece of plywood underneath the servo to elevate it to the perfect height.

And installed on the rear arm.

Just as David, i had to make an adapter plate for my motor to fit on the yaw mechanism.


At first i didn't want to cut the motor wire but then i decided to do it at last.

Just soldering the last connections so that everything gets the power it needs.

As i said earlier, I changed the landing skids after running into some troubles. Everytime my Multiwii board initia-
lised it moved the servo rapidly, resulting in the Tricopter oscilating atop of its skids. Because of that i made a
sturdier version. 

Now everything is finished. I moved the reviecer to the front of the Tricopter and the satelite reciever underneath the
frame, along with some other minor changes.

This is my sort of complete build log of my Tricopter.
Since this is my first article/build log please fell free to post comments and suggestions towards things i didn't
mention in my article or things i could change on my Tri to make it better.


Thanks in advance,

Nicolas from Germany

PS: Since the weather in my area is quite bad, a video will be following when the weather allows it.


mmerry2 on February 19, 2014
Nice landing gear setup.
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carsonpauli on February 19, 2014
i love it thanks for sharing!!
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Splat01 on February 19, 2014
I want a friend with a CNC machine!!!
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Splat01 on February 19, 2014
Oh, and also, I love these kinds of build logs. Ausgezeichnet!
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Nicolas on February 19, 2014
Thank you very for your response guys!! It means a lot to me, since this is my first article. If you should have any questions i will try to answer them as quickly as possible.
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Nicolas on February 19, 2014
*much... Damn typos! :D
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ghostrider03z on February 19, 2014
How are the gws props for hub balance?
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Nicolas on February 20, 2014
I don't know about the GWS Props, these are fiberglass reinforced props from a german website where I bought most of the electronics.
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BackPackModels on February 21, 2014
Hey Nicolas! I´m from Germany too, close to Hannover ;D Great job on your Tricopter. I built one myself but can´t get the parts for the tilt-mechanism. Where did you buy yours?
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Nicolas on February 21, 2014
Thank you very much! ;D I bought them from Hobbyking, just like David did. I actually waited 6 weeks 'till they were back in stock, because every other alternative I could think of didn't feel right, so i immediately bought 4 packs.
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Flamingo on February 21, 2014
Your issue with having the stuff shipped from Flite Test got me thinking... I sure do hope David sets up a "Flite Test Europe" when he returns to Sweden, with local production of fast build kits etc. I'd guess that Flite Test has enough of a following in Europe that the investment (facility, laser cutter etc) would be worth it. Also, they could get the volume to make it worth while to cargo ship the foam board to Europe. Perhaps not for resale as sheets, but at least for the speed build kits.

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Nicolas on February 21, 2014
I totally agree, it would be awesome if that would be possible. I already looked at buying the viggen speed build kit, but paying 45$ in shipping for a 45$ kit is a bit much for me, especially as i am still a student. Maybe if the demand is big enough Flitetest could make a deal with logistic companies about a better price for shipping. Time will tell. :)
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ricknoon on February 24, 2014
How does it fly? The servo oscillating on start-up might mean that the servo wasn't centered when installed? Also I've learned that long leads between the ESCs and motors can cause problems, best to keep them short. I'm planning on building something similar soon. I'll spend most of my effort on static and dynamic balancing of props and motors, and dialing in the kk2 gains.
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Nicolas on February 25, 2014
It flies really well, even though i haven`t dialed in the gains completely yet.
The servo itself doesn't oscillate on startup, when the multiwii board initializes, it moves the servo from center all the way to max and back and with the motor on the mechanism it is quite a lot of mass going from side to side ending up in yanking the whole tricopter. But it isn't a problem anymore now that i have built a different landing gear.
When you have finished your build, make an article about, I will make sure to check it out.
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Nicolas on July 29, 2014
Thanks for the new comments. I should be able to post a short flight video in a few weeks at the latest. I haven't been able to fly lately, because i was very busy at school.

Cheers, Nicolas
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Fearless FPV on December 25, 2015
Very sweet! Love the undercarriage!
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RCExplorer Tricopter 2.6 NoHV Build