G-day guys, and greetings from Sydney Australia.

I have a question regarding "Y" Copters....

Ive seen PROP configurations that say one prop needs to spin in reverse, and yet, - on others Ive seen all 3 props spin in the SAME direction....which way is correct? - is it possible to build a "Y" copter where all 3 props go the same way? and what is the difference in performance?

The reason I ask this is I'm only very new to this exciting hobby, and the FIRST configuration I saw on the net showed all 3 props going in the same direction so I I purchased a set of 3 blade props - but found later that they don't seem to come in a "counter rotation " version, so I'm stuck with these nice looking  12 x 8 props that all spin the same way.

I DO notice that D.I.Y shows BOTH configurations for a Y Copter -  ( again very confusing ) but don't know where to start.

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My tricopter has all three props spinning in the same direction and flys well.

With standard props (right hand?) I tilt the two fixed motors a few degrees to the left (looking out from center). This makes the craft fly level when staying in place (hover).

Good luck

Firstly, thank you both for your help.

I guess to get things into some kind of perspective, it might make things easier if people knew my current parts list

THE FRAME is a X535

I also have a KK board ( actually 2 one black one deep blue ).

I am running 1100 out runner brush-less motors  and 3x 60w esc's

I also have 3 12x6 3 blade props

Also purchased an Arduino  MEGA

a PAN / TILT cam ( for FPV on a 2 axis frame ) ( no extra servos, so it will be static for the moment )

and a Remzibi OSD with GPS.

and a 5000mah lipo

FIRSTLY, am I missing any parts to the puzzle?..

If I may direct a question to you Eric  (considering you run  the same kind of copter  I want to run.. )

I have it in my mind that the chain  of command for this system would work as such....

By a movement on the RC transmitter by me, the signal is sent to the RC receiver.

From the receiver, the Arduino takes the command and processes it, then hands it on to the KK board.

The KK board makes the adjustment and the copter moves accordingly.

( possibly I'm ahead of myself here ) but I think that I ( to make things less complex while I get my head around  the beast ) -  could take the Arduino ( including the Ardupilot ) out of the loop and run the Y copter on just  the KK board directly from he on-board receiver and "add" the mega later  - is that correct?

Also, when you refer to tilting  your motors a few degrees, re you referring to the front pair? - and if so

 how many degrees are we talking? and in which direction ( both tilting slightly inwards? - or both opposed  both cambering outwards? -  try to visualize this...

 if you were standing BEHIND the Y copter....  M1 is front left M2 is front right - and M3 (  controls yaw  )

which way do I "tilt" M1 and M2?

Ive possibly stuffed things  right up here, and sorry  for what might seem easy, but for me? - -  its quite  a learning curve..

Your thoughts suggestions ? - anybody?

I agree with michael, start with only the kk board and get the craft flying first, then branch out.

Tilt the motors perpendicular to their arms, not towards or away from center. KK suggests 5-10 degrees in the first link below but it depends on the props/power/weight. Mine was less but my craft was lighter too. It is not critical! Mine flew just fine with the motors flat, it just looked a bit odd while hovering.

Look through kkcopters FAQ if you have not.

kk suggests counter rotating front props

KK preflight check

I have 5 or 6 or maybe even 7 tricopters, I have run the props in both configerations and see little difference.  You should start simple to get an understanding of how things work.  The learning curve is very steep for a first time setup.  I started with the KK board and it works very well for a simple flight control system.  It gets very complicated as you progress with extra stuff.

A good source of information in Australia is Multiwiicopters, he has an excellent Wiki and a good product line.  The Arduino Paris and Quadrino boards are a good start for video work and learning how to program with a PC.  I am now using the APM1 and APM2 from DIY Drones but haven't tried the camera control outputs just yet.  I am not ready to challenge the learning curve with them until I get a better understanding of their operation.

I have tried several propulsion systems including EDF's and counter rotating motors.  Video attached of my counter rotating setup.  I shot the video as part of my testing.


I am building my first APM2 tricopter. I have not fully hovered yet as I see some jitter or maybe servo(tail) seem to be really sensitive. Is there anyway to determine what update rate the servo is being run at? I want to make sure it is running on 50Hz instead of 400Hz.


Hey Ed, I want to set up my tricoter the way yours is.  Would you mind sharing you pid settings?  I am running an fpv dream machine with a hobby king KK board on it and I want to add the APM2 so that I can add features like stable hover and return to home. Have you been able to do stuff like that?  I have the APM2 on a nexthex and havent had much luck with it being reliable.  It kind of like to just go off by it's self at times.  I need to work on it more.  Any help or suggestions would be apprecaited. 



Hello Adrian, I have tried the APM1, APM2 and APM2.5 and can't trust them.  I have had the same problem as you, I get a number of excellent flights and then they do something wierd.  I wished they worked properly all of the time, DIY Drones is a 30 minute drive and I like their crew.  And the potential of the equipment is awsome. 

Lately we have been using the DJI Naza which hasn't given us a single problem, this with 6 different machines in the past 6 months.  The Naza doesn't support the Tri-Copter.  I use the Paris board with GPS from MultiWiiCopter and it has been flawless.  It runs Arduino software which isn't to difficult, a little learning curve. 


Wow thats disapointing especially since I just spent another $150 on osdisplays and external gps units in hopes of getting a good stable tricopter set up.  When you talk to the DIY Crew what is thier response?  Is the code glitchy?  I really want the APM2 to work, and I have an aquaintance that seems to be having pretty good luck with it.  May be just some bad units?  My KK 2 board that I spent $29 on works pretty well just not as many features.  I'll check out the Paris board.  I wish I had done this before ordering the extra stuff from DIY. 

Hello Adrian,  I have tried and really want the APM to work.  I have purchased most of the extra stuff and the APM2.5 was looking so promising, I was showing off to my friends and it just went off to the right into a pile of rocks, bummer. The folks in San Diego are very positive.  I also use the KK 2 on some smaller stuff for sport flying and it works very well.  I like the on screen programming, it is simple and fast and easy to dial in the gains.  I like to put it in stable mode, toss it into the air and give it a bunch of throttle and watch it level out.

Hey Ed, is this a clone of the Paris Board you were talking about? 




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