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Calling all Tri-Copter pilots

Started this discussion. Last reply by David Jones Oct 26, 2016. 77 Replies

Hi all,I have finally put a Tri-Copter together in an attempt to get Tri's up to the same level of performance as the more common quad, Y6, X8, Hex and Octo. This is what I have put together:…Continue

Tags: Tri, Tri-Copter


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Profile Information

About Me:
RF Engineer with a solid understanding of filtering and control loops.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
Quads and gliders.

My quad has been a quick development to take some aerial photography on a 4wd trip along the Simpson desert.

I am on my second frame design that now folds up nice and tight and also carries the go pro effectively. It has pitch compensation through the ARM2 and 5.8GHz video feed back to some Fatshark goggles.

I am happy with the pids but I feel like loiter could be improved. Most of my tuning problems have come from the absence of the latest control loop descriptions on the wiki. But that goes with a community development like this. Maybe when I have time to go through the code I can draw up some new diagrams for the wiki.

I have broken 6 props, 5 on parts of my body an 1 on the ground. I had an esc cut out and tilt the quad into my legs on landing. I reset the esc's and forgot to reset the cut-out. I then had a mystery takeoff at my feet as I was downloading logs. I had plugged the battery in because I sometimes have trouble connecting when only powered by usb. Stupid mistakes....

All in all I am happy with my first attempt, especially as I really only spent about 4 days over the last 4 weeks working on this and it is my first quad attempt.

I would like to thank the DIY drones team for a fantastic job and I hope I can help in the future.

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Leonardthall's Blog

FPV Racing using Arducopter

Posted on August 18, 2015 at 5:19am 98 Comments

Hi All,

This is intended to help people who are interested in using Arducopter for FPV Racing and/or mini quads.

Personally I started using Arducopter because I wanted to fly FPV and get aerial video of my 4wd trips. I also wanted the comfort of RTL and Loiter to get me out of trouble and help me learn. Arducopter's focus at the time was autonomous…


Printed high speed AVC copter and crash

Posted on June 8, 2014 at 2:26am 73 Comments

Hi all,

I thought I would share the copter I hoped/hope to fly at ACV this year. I wanted to try to see what speeds I could get from a quad. I also thought it would be interesting to see what I could to with a 3d printer. I have access to a Makerbot 2x and I was also adding a heated bed to a friends printer. So based on the maximum dimensions of the Makerbot I designed…


ACRO for ArduPilot 3.1

Posted on June 29, 2013 at 2:42am 148 Comments

Hi all,

My motivation to get involved in the development team was to bring a good ACRO mode to ArduCopter. Three or four months ago Robert Lefebvre suggested that we could integrate the rate error and use it to correct the platform in the body frame. He went on to demonstrate this on Heli's. We have since learned that MultiWii use a similar approach and…


ArduCopter 2.9 PID Loops for STABILIZE, ACRO and ALT_HOLD

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 4:30am 19 Comments

Hi all,

I thought I would attempt to draw up a couple of diagrams of the PID loop in the ArduCopter 2.9 release.…


Comment Wall (7 comments)

At 6:28am on November 25, 2012, Hans Jakob Bosshard said…

Hi Leonard,

Thanks for your comment! Thats really interesting. Are you working in research or on applications? I my younger days I worked in the domain of the good old stripline technique for mw oscillators and amplifiers at the ETH Zurich and later on mw transmission systems for telephony and video for a swiss telecom operator. Also some years in mainly system aspects for high bitrate fiber transmission systems  Now I am early retired due to restruction at this operator.

Is it possible for me to receive a copy of your Matlab / Simulink simulation software to get a feeling? I am not yet enough used to rebuild up your models including the quad in Matlab / Simulink.

By the way  I attached the sonar sensor some 8 cm away from the center (see attached photo). Now the noise and spikes are reduced quite substantially. A further reduction is expected when connecting the APM 2 to the BEC I received from the DIY Drone shop. Best regards Jack


At 6:47am on November 25, 2012, Hans Jakob Bosshard said…

Hi Leonard,

Another question concerning your Matlab/Simualtion sofware. Did you determine the quadrotor model i.e. inertia values by experiments? If yes, which way? I found recently indications that someone used a so called trifilar pendulum method (see Harris' Shock and Vibration Handbook).



At 8:30am on December 8, 2012, Hans Jakob Bosshard said…

Hi Leonard,

With the new seperate BEC from the DiYDrone shop and placing the sonar sensor a few centimeters away from the electronic "center" the noise and observed spikes (when changing throttle) diminshed quite a lot. I am awaitung better times (without snow and rain) for a first fly outside for experiments and tuning.

Did you see already my last comment concerning receiving a copy of your matlab simulation program and determination of the drone i.e. inertia parameters and thrust?

Best regards


At 11:47pm on February 28, 2013, zhang xu said…

Hi leonardthall, really thanks for that paper,  I'll try to figure out how it works and  try to use it fusing other sensors like Optical Flow and GPS or ACC. That filter is  really a fantastic magic, i'll learn how to perform that magic by my self. 

At 2:47am on March 1, 2013,

Let me know if you want to have a chat about it over skype some time.

At 11:29am on May 2, 2013, Thomas Kranz said…

Hi Leonard,

since you developed the V-code please have a look here

thanks for your support

cheers from Germany


At 4:27pm on May 15, 2014, adam bazley said…
Hi Leonard,

i know that this is a strange way to contact you but I was wondering if i could get some help with editing the ArduPilot's user code sections ?
if you email me off list at you would rock.


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