Tri-Copter Fun Flying.

Tossed the legacy Contour HD camera on the Tri-Copter today.   Keep in mind this is pretty much hard mounted and there is no gimbal so it’s not nearly as smooth as previous Dead-Cat, or Hex Gimbal videos.

photo 1

Details of the build are here in Part 1 and Part 2

Some video from two different batteries.

SimpleCopter Tri-Copter 2.0


Hanging where it rests…

photo 3

I would most definitely FPV this thing.  It flies that well… A smidge under powered with the Contour HD but that’s a heavy camera.   FVP gear is next up on the list, that and finishing the micro 3D Printed quad that I have almost all the parts for.

Tri-Copter Proof of Life

OK, I got some tail swivel parts from my buddy, and got her all back together.

In reality the left arm is still broken, just wedged in the body for this demo proving that she does fly.

Tri-Copter / SimpleCopter Proof of Life

This thing is going to be loads of fun once I get the arm fixed and a few things touched up. 

Like adding some color to it for orientation and some lights.

More later.

Tri-Copter for the Win!

This Old House

Claudine was doing some digging (No I don’t know why) and found some good information on our house at the Ohio Historical Society.


The Document: Ohio Historical Society Inventory Record

It lists the build date as first Quarter of the 18th Century.  We always knew it was old, and knew the very first record of property tax collection was in the 1840’s, but this puts it as being built prior to 1825.

“Despite unsympathetic exterior and interior alterations, the house remains significant for it’s rare plan type.”

I guess that’s the polite way to say.  Someone screwed up this house along the way, putting siding on it, and taking down walls and sealing up the original fireplaces.”  Yeah, we wish that stuff hadn’t happened too.

Despite the never ending issues that come with having an old home, we do like this place.

But it’s easy to understand why folks don’t tend to invest in restoring them once you do the math.   You’d never recoup the costs involved with doing so.   We’d love to remove the siding, the the cost of doing that, with the expected costs of fixing what we’d find underneath, and coming up with a solution to preserve the old Brick just simply wouldn’t be worth it.  We’d never get our money back.  Ever.  Our house simply sits “On the wrong side of the tracks” in Trenton.

I believe the county/Friends of Chrisholm has spent millions restoring the Historic Farmstead.   Funny thing is, some of those folks are buried in our back yard.   It’s a really cool place though and I encourage you to visit it if you’re into local history.

Here’s a little Quad-copter fly-by of the property, including some of the highlights:

The Tri-Copter

So my buddy has one of these, and since I recently smashed up one of my acrobatic quads and broke a speed controller.  I now have 3 of something so a tri-copter seems like a good plan.

I was really impressed with my buddy’s tri.   It was quite acrobatic and stable.   Actually looks like an as-good if not better camera platform than some of the DJI based quads.

So I ordered a frame.    The SimpleCopter 2.0  There’s lots to like about this:

  1. It is relatively cheap, about $50, for the frame and landing skids (with shipping).
  2. Only 3 motors and ESC’s
  3. It’s really light, and the booms are 1/2 x 1/2 pine boards that you can get, oh, at just about any hardware store.
  4. IT folds up for easy transport
  5. Most of the mounting things are simply wire-ties.   So you can break a motor mount, and it costs you less than 10 cents.

My buddy has already made some improvements, he has a nicer 3D printed tail yaw control.   The motors I have don’t have the brackets to mount to it though.  I’ve ordered some.   He also whipped me up a couple 3D printed mounts for my motors for the front arms.  If your motors have the simple brackets you just strap those babies on with wire ties.

I had some time tonight to gut the crashed quad and start on this.

The 3D Printed motor mounts for the front arms which still attach with wire-ties:


His awesome 3D printed rear mount with shiny new Servo:

Power distribution board all mounted up (more of a test fit):tricopter_build_03

Test fitting my Naze32 Flight Controller and RXR:tricopter_build_05

Still unsure about where to put the ESC’s, in between the top and bottom frame parts I suppose.

The motors are 980kv, which are super fine/super fun on a 330/350 size quad with 8” props so I’m expecting to swing 10” props on this and we’ll see how that goes.  If I don’t like it, then we’ll get some 1400-1800vk motors.    But for what I think I want this for, FPV that might work just fine.

I should probably paint this thing to protect it.   Maybe I’ll do that with the next one, cause you know there will be more than one Smile

I’m semi-interested in APM or Pixhawk on one of these too.

More as it develops.

More Gimbal Footage

A simple flight


I was super-windy…  15-20mph winds and this quad with gimbal is a tad underpowered.

Was still a good flight (read: No Crashes) and no APM Pixhawk issues.  At least not this time.  That was the reason I had set it aside for a while.   APM still has some issues.