Tricopter APM2.0

It seems after searching several sites that not many people are using a tricopter? and even less still with the new APM2.0? anyone got any advice, problems, PID settings that work well? mine is nearly there, RTL, Alt hold and Loiter seem to work o.k but only 70% of the time? when they dont work the copter just shoots off in a random direction until its nearly in the ground or out of controllable sight so I am a bit dubious to test it with waypoints e.t.c in case I never see it again? does the APM work better with other frames? any tips advice are very welcome...

Edit: After much studying all of the above problems were down to not understanding the code and how things work, I am pleased to say that I do now understand and have no issues with the board or software, and am glad to do things this way as I have learned alot and enjoyed the rewards..

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  • I'm wondering if I can join this conversation between the two of you Dean & Ovidiu?  It looks like you've got a constructive dialog going.

    Tonight I maidened my FPVManuals Delrin Tri with a new APM2.  All in all it went pretty well.  I've been flying it with a HobbyKing KK clone FC and the APM2 was worlds better.  Stable mode worked well and altitude hold just rocked.  But I too am having some Yaw issues.  I'll make a video tomorrow to show what I'm seeing, but there are 2 main issues - first, when I roll left or right the yaw starts to wander clockwise and doesn't stop until I give it some reverse yaw.  Second, when I do a hard yaw, after I return the stick to center the yaw kind of bounces back, maybe 15° is the opposite direction.  It looks sort of like it hit something elastic.  It doesn't make it unflyable, but it is irritating.  I'm wondering if this is all somehow a magneto issue.

    I also has serious issues with all things related to the GPS.  It took over 25 minutes to acquire a GPS fix, even though I was in a huge field, totally clear, and my cell phone and car GPS had no problems finding satellites.  Once it did find them, I tried Loiter and it was a bit dodgy.  I probably tried it 15 times, and only once did it really stay inside a 30m or so circle.  The other times it would usually drift backwards, regardless of what direction it was pointing.  Sometimes very quickly.  I let it go maybe 100 meters a few times, then had to stop it before I lost control.  Winds were perfectly calm so I don't think that was an issue. I have big plans for scriptable waypoints so I'd love to get this working better.

    Here are two pictures of my craft.  I'll try to get some videos next time I fly.



  • I have changed the way front motor spins so now #1 is CW and #2 CCW but the tricopter acts like before, so now I'm sure it's not about the direction of spinning, I think there maybe the tricopter "thinks" I have all props CCW and it tries to correct by rotating a little the rear motor. Maybe I should change something in the settings so it knows I have 2CCW and one CW.

    Here's the video, before and after changing the rotating direction of the front motors.

  • Moderator

    I expect you need to reverse the tail servo...

  • Moderator

    I can get the servo to stay in center on arm and disarm... This isn`t too much trouble? if it bothers you?

    What firmware are you using? I think the heli firmware would cause the issue you are having?

    Just an idea? I am not saying you have done it wrong.. :)


  • I used one pusher on the left arm and two normal props on the other two arms.

    I'm almost done, just have a few things to fix:

    1. I don't know why when I move the right stick down, the rear motor spines faster, and when I move it up, the fornt motors spin faster, it should be oposite IMO. I will reverse the stick in the APM2 setup to fix this.How you guys have this setup? reversed in the APM config? or reversed in your radio...or when you move the stick to the top your copter goes back?
    2. The rear servo doesn't move, I removed the red wire on all ESCs and I think the APM2 board is not feeding the outputs with +5v from the inputs, I think I will have to connect the red wire from one ESC so this will feed the servo too. I still need to do more research as now I think it's oposite to what the wiki says, jumper ON to get power from output, and off to get power from input, but I only have power on input and the jumper is on. I will read the wiki again now.

    any advice is appreciated

  • There are many things that affect the magnetometer - ESC and other current flows, magnets in motors, servos and beepers, steel brackets, nuts, bolts ...  In the first few minutes of flight, the software will automatically calibrate the magnetometer to compensate for these things.  It just means that the yaw might be a bit unstable until the calibration is complete.

    The CCW propellors are the most commonly available (and generally cheaper) type and the "All-CCW" configuration is good because only one type of prop is needed.  I have a KK on my Tri, and that is what was recommended on the KK site and what I use.  Are your propellors all "Pusher" (CW) type?  You should try it anyway.  The software should compensate if you do an in-flight levelling.

  • My first tricopter had a KK board and now I try to mount the APM2, but can't find the option where I set two motors cw and one ccw, in the manual it says it's optional with no modification to the code, but can't find it in MP. Anyone around to help ? or are you flying it using the same direction for all props

  • i have an even worse siutation... i cant even do a lift off.... my y6 stays on the ground even at full trottle.  dont know where the problem is.

    its seems all people are  doing a quadrocopter....  i did a y6 because i taught it would have better carry load capacity and more redundancy...

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