Micro tricopter

by Kezat, published

Micro tricopter by Kezat Dec 18, 2013
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After being unable to find a small tricopter (yet lots of small quads) I set out to make one. I designed this around the KK2 control board and Turnigy 1811 2900kv motors.

17cm between motor shafts and 29cm from each propeller tip.
170g with 1000Mah battery
11-12min flight time.
Assembled with zip ties so it is easy to replace parts. I have not yet needed to as it holds up quite well.
Soldering is required.
Leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.
6-6-14: Re-uploaded "micro tri arm4". Minor change to zip tie slots for the motor mount, mostly cosmetic.
6-10-14: Update both servo mounts to reduce confusion about what hole to use and to make is easier to feed the zip tie though.
6-14-14: Update tail motor side for minor cosmetic error for the ziptie slot. Also added extra ziptie slot landing gear/lights/esc and such.
6-14-14: added a reinforced version of the center body, if your trying to minimize weight or do not crash much the normal one should be fine.
9-2-14: Reinforcement of 9g servo mount and added the Sketchup file so anyone can mod it for a particular servo.


Printed with PLA plastic at 200 micron and around 7% fill.
Mount the two front arms to the main body with a single zip tie. These zip ties should be quite snug, I used pliers.
For the rear arm/pivot, first give the hinge slots a light sand to insure that the parts move freely and don't bind up. Mount the tail_body_side to the tail_motor_side using a 1.1mm music wire. I found using a bit of 1.1mm wire in a drill works great for cleaning up the hole a bit and reducing friction, don't drill to fast as you could end up melting the plastic.

The zip tie to attach the tail will also hold the servo mount. Feed the zip tie from the top of the tricopter body through the servo mount then up though the tail assembly, again get this zip tie tight using pliers. See photo.
The small servo mount is for a sub micro servo such as http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=3715
If you are in to RC stuff, the rest should be quite self explanatory.
2.5mm zip ties
.8mm music wire as servo rod
1.1mm music wire for tail pivot shaft. ~34mm long
Power wires and connectors of your choice I used 24 awg silicone wire.
Hobby King S0361 3.6g servo (works well for the price. Be careful not to over tighten the zip tie with this servo as it can cause the servo to bind up.)
TGY-375DMG Metal gear Digital Servo 9g (bit big for this size tricopter but works great)
KK2 multirotor control board
5030 Propellers (will need to drill out the center a tad with a 2mm drill bit. Drill straight!)
FrSky VD5M 2.4Ghz 5CH Micro Receiver (4CH will do if you do not need autolevel, but it is sure nice to have if you get in trouble or get too far away to see orientation.)
Turnigy 1811 brushless Outrunner 2900kv
Turnigy nano-tech 1000mah 2S lipo battery
Linkage Stopper D2.1mm (or creative bending of the servo linkage wire)
KK2 board settings that work for me but it may not be right for everyone.
Version 1.6
P gain 50
P limit 100
I gain 50
I limit 40
P gain 30
P limit 50
I gain 20
I limit 50
stick scaling:
roll 90
pitch 90
yaw 70
thr 100
Height dampening set to 10.
servo filter 35 (with the 9g digital servo)

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Sep 2, 2014 - Modified Sep 2, 2014

The 9g servo mount doesn't seem to be available, but I think I will just mount the servo on top anyways. Cool design!

Thanks for leting me know, I will re upload the file once I get home. I'm glad you like it, I would love to see a photo of how you mount the servo on top if you end up doing it that way.

Will Do! I'll be adding it to the I Made One section

I uploaded the latest version of the 9g servo mount, just a little reinforcement. Also I uploaded the Skechup file for it so anyone can mod it for any servo.

Great build! Its my next project...do you have any video?

I will try and get one up at some point, its something I have been planning to do from the beginning.

i have print your tricopter, he is very cool !!!
i have mount it with all your components and i have made all calibration
but i have a big problem….
my tricopter servo turn on one side when i push the throttle stick, and if i push again throttle the tricopter turn, turn and turn
Have you got an idea to solve this ?

A couple things you can look in to:
As you plug the power in make sure to hold the tricopter still for 3-4 seconds as it will do a minor calibration on power up.
Same thing as you arm it, make sure it is held still as you do so.

The KK2 board will start to have strange behaviors if the motors are powered on while its sitting on the ground for to long, basically its trying to move a little but the ground friction is not letting it so it will keep applying more and more power to the motors to try and move just a tiny bit, the same applys to the tail servo. It will try to yaw a little and find that it can't and so it will tilt the back motor more and more until its at max tilt.

Its not clear in your comment if you manged to take off at all so it a little hard to troubleshoot. Make sure you have selected tricopter layout on the KK2 board and that the servo is plugged in to slot 4.

Go in to receiver test and make sure that each stick moves the correct input AND that it is moving in the correct direction.

Make sure you have calibrated your ESC's

Thanks Yardracer, I'm glad you like it and that it went together ok. Never know how well it will work with another slicer and printer.

Was the servo mount loose or the servo loose in the mount? It was a little more tricky to get the servo mount zip tie tight then the others, the zip tie tends to snag a bit on the edges of the holes making hard to pull though tight.

Thanks for the feedback. If you have some time as some point a "I made one" photo would rock.

Great thing! I printed it in PLA and it assembled very well right off the bed. Only needed a little sanding to clean up the 'hinge' and the servo mount. Used a KK2.1 and your recommended motors/esc's. I wound up putting a ziptie around the whole arm and servo to reduce rocking, but otherwise the build was spot on. Great little flyer too on stock settings.