Category Archives: tricopter

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Servo BMS-385DMAX on tricopter replaced with MG945 servo

Tail servo on tricopter using airframe of version 3 , which has been written here,  actually can not work normally because of an accident as I have written here. I’ve replaced the servo of BMS-385DMAX with the MG945 servo from towerpro. 

Actual size of the servo is too big and strong torque. But since I have had it before, I have to put it on tricopter. I still maintain to use a mechanical thrust vector system, because it has proven very robust and sturdy. This mechanical system uses direct coupling. Later I will add the coupling between the servo and mechanical axis, servo axis is not easy to shake. Thus if an accident occurs on the tail tricopter, the servo will not be exposed to strong pressure.

Direct coupling of Tail servo mechanical system 

Action at low altitude flying

Replacing tail servo of tricopter

TowerPro MG945 servo

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My tricopter design

This tricopter airframe design using wood blocks to the size 0.5cmx1.5cm. Each arm uses two beams of wood tied together with plastic spacers. Arm length about 47cm measured from the center axel of motor to the CG. To make more tricopter look beautiful, I added a canopy made of styrofoam 6mm. The addition of this canopy, from the flight test results add stability while sliding.

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Need stick trimming on tricopter

When there are not balanced lifting on tricopter when you raise the stick thrust around 50%, you need to setup an offset in the yaw , ailerons and elevator sticks on your radio. Or do the trim setup on the radio. Because on my radio use firmware ER9X, i use the offset which on the available menu of ER9X firmware. 

In my case, my tricopter right arm is too strong a driving force, the channel of “AIL” necessary  offset to the right, the left arm thrust needs to be raised. But will result in ‘yaw’ towards the right, thus in the channel of  ”RUD” should be offset to the left.

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Tricopter flight testing in the field’s University of Brawijaya

This time, I tested my tricopter in field’s University of Brawijaya. I enjoyed it, and tricopter very stable. Battery capacity prevented me from playing much longer time. Less than 5 minutes tricopter flying, battery alarm was sounded, as a sign tricopter must go down to the runway. I will order the LIPO about 6000mAH, later.


  1. Frame size:Arm size, Motor axel to center about 47Cm. Motor axel to motor axel about 82Cm. Height about 19Cm.
  2. Brushless motor:3 x DT750, drive with 20A ESC.
  3. Propeller:1 CW 11×4.7 + 2 CCW 11×4.7
  4. Controller:KK Board ATMega 168
  5. Power:LIPO Turnigy nano tech 50A, 2200maH
  6. Weight:Total 1290gr

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How to change reponses of throttle stick on ER9X firmware for tricopter

Previously, I was driving my homemade tricopter with a linear throttle response settings. For me this is too linear response caused when the throttle is reduced, tricopter down quickly.

I tried to change the response of the throttle stick to using the curve. I am using the firmware ER9X flysky radio that has this facility. 

I let the Expo remains 0%. I try to just affect the throttle response, and make it more comfortable to pilot. Rapid response is made from low throttle 0-50%, at 50% above the response is reduced.

Throttle curve setting as in the video below.

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Tricopter maneuvers testing in futsal field

This time I test my ability as a pilot of tricopter. Also aims to test the stability of tricopter made by me. I’m still too difficult to control and often disoriented when I was not behind tricopter. I tried doing the twist slowly, with a combined roll and yaw stick. Finally I can do though is often disoriented.

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Tricopter hover test

I try to test again my handmade tricopter on hover performances.

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Tricopter fitted with a canopy becomes more stable

I have tricopter flight test as it has been posted here, be fitted with a canopy. Tricopter face becomes more beautiful and graceful. Once I tried to flight test, different looks, performance becomes more stable, especially if the thrust me down became not come down quickly because there is an air cushion.

I plan to add wings to the arms in front to look more beautiful. Or may increase the stability of the aileron.

Flight test

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Flight test of tricopter using ver. 3 airframe

In this post about tricopter testing using a airframe design of version 3. Regarding the design of the airframe of ver 3 was designed by me, I have posted here. But some  modifications has been made to reduce the high vibration, by releasing the motor protection is made of fiberglass. Furthermore, the motor is placed directly above the tip of the arm, fastened with bolts and Rivet.

This is an experience of second time as pilot, I can fly tricopter with confidence to the stable with no accidents.

First Test

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Second Test

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Third Test

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Fourth Test

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  1. Frame size
    Arm size, Motor axel to center about 47Cm. Motor axel to motor axel about 82Cm. Height about 19Cm.
  2. Brushless motor
     3 x DT750, drive with 20A ESC.
  3. Propeller
    1 CW 11×4.7 + 2 CCW 11×4.7
  4. Controller
    KK Board ATMega 168
  5. Power
    LIPO Turnigy nano tech 50A, 2200maH
  6. Weight
    Total 1290gr


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New design of version 3 tricopter frame

The first version of tricopter frame that I made as I have been positing here, too heavy to fly. I am not satisfied then create a new one is version 2 as I have been posting here

Version 2 is flying at very stable, but unfortunately I did not record it in video form. The last time before the crash, photos of tricopter looks like the following.

The total weight of about 1.2kg, using Lipo 2200mAh, 3 pieces of DT750, 3 pieces 10×4.7 propeller. Due to my carelessness as the less experienced pilots to fly tricopter, finally fell. The damage was a broken rear propeller, rear arms folded toward the front.

 This accident caused me as a pilot can not estimate the time of flight, at an altitude of about 6m out of power. But of this accident I have weaknesses that exist in the frame.  Weaknesses are:

  1. Rear Arms too flexible towards the horizontal. This will cause oscillation when it will take off, due to the thrust vector.
  2. The whole arm is less robust. Required construction with a lightweight and robust materials.
  3. It should be added to the cage, to protect the rotor of the motor.

The third version of the tricopter frame

 This third version, I use a wooden beam 1cmx0.5cm as his arm. I combine the two beams of wood with a plastic spacer with a distance of about 1.8cm. 

Center Plate

 As the center plate, i continue to use acrylic with a thickness of 4mm. By using acrylic, 3 pieces of the arm can be held with strong enough.  

The front of the bottom plate made extending, place prepared for lipo. Usually the rear arm is heavier than the front left and right arm because there is a servo and mechanical, so it can be used to balance the CG position at its center.

If necessary center plate will be cut into smaller in size, but does not reduce strength to hold the arm. 

Center plate has sufficient space about 3cm wide, enough to insert the ESC. There was also enough to put a silicone cable which in fact requires considerable space, especially when the front arm is folded back.

Version 3 tricopter frame

 The results of the design tricopter shown in the photo album below:

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The uniqueness of vector thrust mechanical 

I designed a mechanical servo for motor on the rear that is different from the general mechanical. Here I directly connect the servo with an iron rod. Iron rod being held by the aluminum tube by using two bearing to reduce frictions. ron rod which is connected to the servo using the servo plastic arm to be cut. Then put into an iron rod and reinforced with bolts. The other end of an iron rod attached to the aluminum tube to hold the motor mount. 

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Making tricopter airframe became lightweight

Tricopter airframe of my design result that i posted here is too heavy if setup  using 3 motors. I will use it for Y6 copter because has the robustness . Now, i decided to create a new so lighter weight with a total weight not more than 1kg. This time I should be more careful to calculate the weight and the use of materials. Weight can be reduced is the airframe, while the electronic components and supporting not possibly be reduced. Components that have the assurance of weight is:

  1. 3 motor, DT750, @78gram, total: 232 gram
  2. Nano-Tech, Lipo, 3S, 2200mAH, 45C Constant / 90C Burst, total: 201 gram
  3. Receiver frsky: 9 gram
  4. Controller: 9 gram
  5. Tower Pro mag 18 ESC x 3 (reflash), @19.5, total: 58.5 gram
  6. Silicone cable, connector etc,  approximately: 30 gram

Fix weight will be : 232 + 201 + 9 + 9 + 58.5 + 30 = 529.5 gram

For example, if the planned total weight is 850gr then the rest of the airframe that the maximum weight allowed is 850gr – 529.5gr = 320.5gr.


The three arms of airframe materials used alumium piece of 1cm x 2cm box. I plan to make the long arm of the distance between the motor axel and CG is 50cm. Also, Front left and right arm can be folded into the back of the arm parallel to the rear, for easy transportation to the field.

To estimate the weight of the arm by using aluminum box, need to be weighed to obtain density values. Picture on the left, aluminum is 42cm long with a weight 63.8gr. Thus the value of the density of this aluminum is 63.8gr/42cm = 1.52gr/cm if no reduction of weight. Assumed if the extent of reduction of 1/3 the total weight will be (2/3) * 63.8gr = 42.53gr. So the density becomes 42.53gr/42cm = 1.01gr/cm.

Weight reduction should be considered by not reducing the strength of the material. To reduce the aluminum material, i use a milling machine 10mm and 0.5mm.

If the individual requires long sleeves 50cm + 2cm = 52cm, then the total weight before do to weight reduction  wil be 1.52gr/cm * 52cm = 79.04gr. However, if the weight reduction is 1/3 of total weight, the weight will be 52.69gr. So the total weight for the 3 arms will be 158.08gr.

If one arm require long about 50cm + 2cm = 52cm, then the total weight before weight reduction will be 1.52gr/cm * 52cm = 79.04gr. However, if the reduction in weight 1/3 of total weight, the weight will be 52.69gr. So the total weight for the 3 arms will be 158.08gr.

Reducing the weight of the arm

I can reduce the weight of the arm by making a hole with size 4cmx2cm on one side by using a milling machine.

Arm length is 42cm, the weight to be 35.9gr, still has the strength and robustness. The density will be 35.9 gr/42cm or 0.855 gr/cm, very lightweight. Now the weight down to (0.855/1.52)*100%=56.23%.

For comparison the wooden arm of the weight is 58.4gr 1cmx2cmx60cm size. Then the density is 58.4gr/60cm = 0.913gr/cm. But has the disadvantage can not be reduced weight and easy to absorb water.

So the choice is aluminum as tricopter arm.



Center plate

Center plate is very important to tie the three pieces of arms in order not changed because no force and pressure and keep the robustness. Of course if you can have a light weight.

Here I use a fiberglass-acrylic with a thickness of 5 mm. The rear arm tied with two 4mm bolts. Two fornt arms  fastened with a bolt that can be folded backward. But I need to add a bolt lock to stop two arms so do not move when flown.

For a while, I did not reduce the weight of the center plate and I would do at the end if necessary. Center plate has a weight of 124.4 grams. However I doubt the strength to hold the arm, if the surface of the center plate is reduced.

Motor mount

To put the motor to the arm, I make my own mount for the DT750 to be stronger than the original. Of course they are made of aluminum then becomes a bit heavier than the original. However, very strong because it uses the M3 bolts. The two bolts used to hold DT750, one bolt is used for hooking into the arm.  I use this  mount for all three motors.

Tilt Mechanical of rear motor

On this mechanic, I use a direct connection to the servo shaft with two bearings. In this way, tilt will be a smooth movement. Two bearings mounted in a nylon tube in the two sides.  I use an iron with 5mm diameter, then inserted in the bearing hole. By using aluminum tubes, rear motors can be connected  by using bolts.




First flight testing

Previously I had never flown a multi rotor, so I do not believe in myself if I could fly this tricopter. I decided just to test if the lift could be stabilized.

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Second flight testing

 I tried a second time to be confident.

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Third flight testing

Now I believe myself to fly a homemade tricopter.

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Tricopter of my design has a total weight of approximately 1100 grams by using a 2200mAh Lipo. When it began to hover absorbing power about 120Watts or 10Ampere at 12V Lipo voltage.




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My design of tricopter frame

This is an article about frame design for tricopter. My creativity is in the form of a new design tricopter frame, made of aluminum, box and pipe.  I combine the two ways to remove the assembly from the frame tricopter, by folding and by taking off parts.

This is my first experience playing with tricopter, had never flown. I ventured to make from scratch by reading theory, video, and the experience of others.

This frame design has the distance between the motor and the center of the frame about 55cm. So it is a large category of tricopter frame.

If frame in condition of disassembled, tail arm can be folded into front and two arms of front motor can be pulled as two separated arm parts. Also three landing gear can be opened by loosen of three screw.

First Setup

This is my first experience making tricopter. This tricopter design is a combinations of aluminum, wood, steel wire and kid baseball as landing gear.

My setup as follow:

  1. Length of motor axel to center is modified about 50cm.
  2. Batery Lipo 2200mAH.
  3. Controller KKBoard ver. 3.0 (Atmega 328).
  4. ESC 3x Tower Pro Magnum 18A, reflashing.
  5. Motor 3x DT750, 750Kv.
  6. 3x propeller 11×4.7.

Tricopter is too heavy

My design is to heavy about 1450 gram.  The total thrust is approximately 3x1200gram = 3600 grams. Will raise approximately (1450/3600) * 100 = 40.3% of maximum thrust. Current will flow when lift is approximately (18Ampx3) * 40.3% = 21Amp. It is assumed that the maximum thrust of each motor will absorb the current 18A.

I hope the approximate calculation is correct, this tricopter will be able to fly even though only a few minutes.

If the tricopter weight of 1450gr can hover, I will reduce the weight of the frame to a minimum, but still sturdy.

Current’s Hover of my heavy tricopter frame

I measure the total flow, while tricopter hover at about 14Amp. The difficulty is producing lift the motor to be balanced. I suspect when reflash ESC towerpro mag8, tp_nfet.hex firmware versions are different versions. Or has one propeller CCW (front left) has different characteristics and have the most powerful thrust.

This Tricopter hover on the condition of 50% of the throtle. At full throtle, has a strong lift. I try with the help of hand-held with tricopter is above the head. I can loosen the grip and let go of the hand quickly, tricopter can fly, but still not balanced.

These experiments use a gain of 1/2 to 3 potentiometer.

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