Hi guys!

I bought a 3DR Y6 some months ago. I purchased LOTS of spare parts in subsecuent purchases, but neglected the purchase of the actual Y6 DIY "body" (it was like 62 USD and provided the whole fiberglass planes, LEGS (ehem), arms, bolts, nuts ....)

As Murphy dictates, two weeks ago I serioulsly crashed my Y6 (you can see it at the end of this video:


... breaking  in half all Y6's THREE LEGS (no legs now!!). So I went into 3DR store and placed one 2013 DIY Y6 Kit into my cart. But then also I had some questions regarding my minimOSD and data display, so I opened a ticket on their support.

Since I was talking with them thru support, I did not actually clicked on the "CHECKOUT" button, waiting a couple of days to see if I had to purchase something else, or they gave me any kind of money back due to another situation, I will post separately, because it deserves it.

While waiting their answers, I realized that the DIY Y6 KIT 2013 I had in my shopping cart was gone, I searched their store, only to see that all individual parts, nuts bolts, separators, etc.used in the 2013 Y6 where deleted from the store. When I asked them, 3DR told me they are NOT selling it anymore. OUCH!

 Several questions arise:

1) Did anyone tried to transplant electronics, motors, etc. from 2013 model into a 2014 model chassis ? I am particularly concerned about the "flight computer" as the 2014 is designed to use the new PIXHAWK, but I got the old 2.6 arducopter CPU. I ** THINK ** it is just the same, both go glued in the same place, nothing to worry, but anyway ... anyone ?

2) Legs! I am about to build some emergency legs out of PVC tubes, but it doesn't hurt to ask: Is there any other source of legs for the 3DR Y6 ? I assume that anyone with a cutting plotter, or handy at fiber glass cutting could fabricate them.

Last but not least, a rant about 3DRobotics: I purchased my Y6 some months ago. it is not a "cheap chinese copter" ... I assumed they would carry at reasonable price, some parts for some time, or at least give some kind of warning about "taking the older parts" out of their system. I actually HAD one 2013 DIY KIT in my shopping cart, when they "eliminated" it from the system (and from my cart).

Regards, and excuse for my poor english,


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  • Hi Enrique,

    Maybe too late but wanted to report that I called 3Drobotics and asked about the landing gear (broke mine too and always need a spare) which they said they could sell me at $10 bucks per leg. A bit pricey. I spoke with Fabian and he asked if I wanted the 2013 or 2014 version. Here's the number. ‪(858) 225-1414‬.

    I agree with your rant on 3DR parts availability. I have sent them feedback regarding this.


  • I can't understand why you wouldn't just buy the new 2014 legs for your Y6.  If you are buying a set of 6 leg pieces, then it shouldn't matter whether you get 6 2013's or 6 2014's, right?  Looking at photos of the 2013, the main difference appears to be the 2014 legs extend out a little further away from the copter's center.  That's a very helpful thing, as it is so easy to tip over a three-legged copter. 

    As far as the rest of the frame, I don't think there is enough difference between the two to warrant them continuing to supply both.  There are more cutouts in the topmost plate.  The plate below the autopilot is wider so video and telemetry boards fit on it.  I can't tell how or it the two lower plates changed, but they didn't change much, apparently.  I don't see anything that indicates your equipment should have any trouble fitting on the new platform.  The height available for the APM doesn't look any different in photos, but there certainly could be a small difference.  The added cutouts in the topmost plate certainly make it easier to check wiring and such.  The top plate will also have mounting holes for the GPS mast.  I don't see any photos off-hand with 2013's with a GPS mast, so I don't know if they were always there or not.  

    My point is that these all appear to be incremental improvements, not major incompatibilities.  You cna look at 2014 and do the same comparisons yourself.  We won't be certain until you build yours and compare.  If I'm wrong, then that's rather annoying.  However, if things are as they seem, then you are trash-talking a company for not letting you buy old versions of stuff when the new version is improved and fully compatible with the old.  Why not get the stuff in hand and see if it works.  Alternatively, just ask 3DR if you will have any problems fitting your APM2.6 and other 2013 hardware on the new frame and see what they say, rather than assume you will have problems and have been wronged by them?  

    I saw the crash video, too.  Sorry you lost your copter.  I can certainly sympathize with that.  Maybe the speed was more than it looked like, but I'm actually surprised at the amount of damage.  A few days after I got mine I ran it out of battery (doh!) and it did a similar thing.  Mine was hovering at 100ft altitude and landed on concrete.  It broke spacers between the legs, and put one hairline crack in a leg.  They were bowed a bit, but I'm still flying with them now that I've straightened them.  The antenna mast broke, too.  The arms, frame, and plates weren't damaged at all.  So I'm interested in what yours looked like..  Can you post a picture of the carnage?

    Odd about your 3DR antenna stuff, too.  That's pretty irritating.  I would think, like you did, 5.8 antennae would work on 5.8 systems.  If you find out any more about that situation, please let us know.  I'm about to buy some cloverleafs, as well, so I'll need to consider that sort of thing.  You might just e-mail them and ask what differences there are and what you need to look out for when buying antennae.  I kind of have a feeling the incopatibility answer might have been a bad guess, and you might just have gotten a bad antenna.  I'd ask them if they want to swap them out in case the antennae are just faulty, or if they have actually wouldn't expect their antennae to work with Fatshark, and if so, how do they know, etc.  

    Any idea what caused the crash?  I'm always interested to better understand the limits of these things.  It looks a lot like what mine did when the battery died (at like 8 volts - before I had any clue how to understand the limits of the batteries and the battery alarm was deactivated when I got it.  Hopefully that's avoidable now that I know more and have it set up right).  If you had lost transmitter signal, the thing would have just RTL'd, right?  Please share any insight you have on the cause so we can all learn a little.  Thanks.

    Good luck with the repairs.  

    • Haywood:

      Hi! ... thanks for your concern and ideas.

      First of all, I couldn't find the Y6 spare legs as a product to buy, (whatever year model´s). AFAIK, you can only buy those as part of the DIY KIT, and ... well ... stock the rest of the parts.

      On the rest of the frame, I have my doubts with the motors (I am using 880kv motors, that came as an option with 2013 model, but does not with 2014 model!) I also have my doubts with the APM 2.6. 

      This in turn motivated me to ask 3DRobotics support dept. about "migrating" a 2013 Y6 hardware into 2014 Y6 frame, with -regrettably enough- no answer about it from them.

      About the antennas, they "work": That is, I can see video for like 50 to 80 meters in clear sight, then it abruptly stops the connection. If the antennas where faulty, I assume that the transmitter would burn out. But then, I am not an engineer on radiofrecuency or antenna design. I am just a "consumer" that read about "getting the MOST on MY FPV setup" with the money to try ...

      I would say that 3dRobotics should eventually be interested in giving a bit more of tought to my problem. I can always resource to get back to my earlier antennas and also never again buy something from them!

      The crash was caused by battery depletion: There was very little usable juice left on each cell, and I assume the cells got unbalanced due to strain. This is the "problem" of using 3 cell batteries instead of 4 cell (which provides an extra redundancy cell, so to speak).

      Since also my MinimOSD was NOT getting all data correctly form the APM, the voltage was completely wrong. like 1.1 Volt always, independently of battery charge. I had to resource into calculating "on the fly" by the time fly when it was necessary to end my flight. I miscalculated for like 30 seconds... the Y6 fell from about 30 meters height, into a protuding rock.

      The battery got inflated and I had to dispose it. The three legs got cracked ... let me take a picture of it... they cracked in a fairy straight line, right below the second plastic separator, the three of them. Other than that, and a motor that developed a mini mini mini side move in it's shaft, which I replaced, the rest of the Y6 seems to be ok!





    • Moderator

      Hi Enrique - a few weekends ago I decided to migrate my 2013 Y6 to Pixhawk etc etc.  The motors (880kv), escs etc were all fine, legs were the old 2013 version and it just worked.  Took about 3 hours to take apart, reassemble, test and have flying.

      If you're interested in the 2014 Y6 frame kit, just grab it.  You're just talking about aluminium arms and fibreglass.  Aside from the battery, it sounds like everything should just work.

      If you still want the 2013 legs (which weren't that great a design tbh), I have some here that I can send you.

    • David,

      Thank you for your kind offer. I will try to graba 2014 Y6 kit (whenever they get it back into stock) .. I am not getting a Pixhawk, so I will need to use the old arducopter 2.6 on the new frame. 

      I will get the gps mast also, which I saw comes with the cables to use it. I've been searching for alternative y6 frames but I could find none. So I will keep on 3drobotics side.



    • Yeah, from 30m and into a rock would do it!  I misjudged the altitude from the video.  I thought it was only a few meters. 

      You might need to use CT Config or the Minim OSD config program to set up the proper battery and RSSI monitoring.  Those get set differently for 3s vs. 4s, but reading 1.1v all the time sounds like a problem with the battery monitor hardware, as a guess. 

      The terms "KV" in motors is a unit system of K/V, or (Revolutions per minute) per Volt.  850 to 880 is a small difference.  Using a 4s with 850s is the 2014 difference, vs. 880's with 3S.  They sell the 880's on their site still, and of course you can get motors anywhere.  You can't mix and match them, I'd assume, but they will bolt up just the same and run just fine.  It is only a 3.5% difference.  There should be no issue using the 880s on the new frame. 

      If anyone else here knows otherwise, please let us know.

      I think you will benefit from the new legs, slightly.  I was able to get additional legs ordered separately from the repair kit by calling them.  They don't list it on the site, unfortunately. 

  • It's sad the a company that is pushing so hard to make drones for people do not support there previous model.  They should have parts available for people like us who spend thousands of dollars believing in the 3DR company. I picked 3DR thinking they would provide the support needed. I to have the 2013 Y6 and needed a new co-axle motor mount.  I called 3dr and got transferred to the Tijuana were they take customer calls.  The guy told me he would call me back and give me some prices on parts.  He never called me back.  You go to the 3DR shop and you would expect them to carry parts for there drones.  What you get instead is a crappy a** shop that does not have nearly what you should have.  You end up spending a lot of time searching elsewhere for parts.  I am glad to see that I am not the only one having issues here.  Maybe I should have went with a competitor that will have a better supply chain...

    • Yep, Matt, so they are loosing customers. I am about to start looking for alternative "cheapo" chinese frame with support for coaxial config, in order to rebuild my Y6 with it. I got pissed off also at the expedited way in which they answered me with the "we are not carrying them anymore" ... let me cut and paste to see how sad it is:

      "At the moment the Y6 DIY kit (2013) has been discontinued, I apologize for this inconvenience. "

      Yep a hell of an inconvenience, I am trying to produce some legs with PVC tubing.

    • Buy the foam tubing (we call em noodles in australia) that kids play with in pools and use that for Y6 legs. Cut them into 15-20 cm lengths with a cut out where the leg will fit and attach with cable ties. Not perfect but does the job.

    • Interesting idea, mP1 !! I got one of those somewhere :) Also, here I leave a nicer video I made while learning to fly my Y6 :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CECGqgyzdsw

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