Decided to write up about my experience in building my lastest multicopter, a 3dr hexa. The lessons learned from the exercise include

  1. Check before you start , that you have all the screws  and spacers are available.
  2. Decide on what flight controller you are planning to use.
  3. Start your build early enough, so that you could catch some sleep.

 I should thank the 3dr folks again for the awesome work they have done. The build was straight forward, the only challenge was that once i opened the box, and laid out the contents, I realised that some nuts and spacers were missing. This lead to my next lesson, given i had promised myself to take the hexa for test flight next day, my choices were limited, cannibalise an already assembled 3dr quadcopter and hexacopter ( from quadframe) or not to build. So I decided to proceed and strip my 3dr (from fully build to mere frame and bits missing) and took my (qaudframe) hexa to parts.

The next one to make my mind up on which flightcontroller to choose. I had a choice of six in front of me, mk,uavp, st32, APM1.4, hoverfly and APM2.Again, this goes back to lesson number 3, the later in the night the hazier your brain becomes. Finally i decided to go for the APM2. The final result of this build defenitely shows the signs of non functioning brain.

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Comment by Jeff Taylor on April 16, 2012 at 2:25pm

Anish, Sorry to hear that some parts were missing, let me know what they are and I'll send them out to you asap!

Comment by Anish on April 16, 2012 at 2:52pm

@Jeff thanks very much for quick response. I seem to have missed the nuts that go on the disc, the screws and spaces that go on the legs :(. Its most likely one of the screw packs was missing...BTW I could assure you that everything else was there :)

Comment by Jeff Taylor on April 16, 2012 at 4:16pm

Alright we'll get that out to you then!

Comment by Peter Hinson on April 16, 2012 at 4:45pm

One night! You are a brave man. My build was missing a few connectors, but the folks at 3DR took care of it promptly. 
I noticed that you're mounting the motors with the included adapters. Have you found an advantage to using those vs mounting directly to the frame?

Comment by Maxime Carrier on April 16, 2012 at 6:21pm

My god, I'm currently building a tricopter from scratch using arduino/6DOF and bad motor from my first RC aircrash (it flow almost 10 seconds :D). When it will fly maybe I will write my story here, some people wont believe how much trial&error I did lol

I have never flow an RC heli, I have never seen a real RC pilot, hopefully foam airplane are almost indestructible, I hope it will not be too difficult to control my tri :)

Comment by Anish on April 16, 2012 at 10:59pm
@peter well my friend and test pilot had agreed to go flying next day morning. I didn't disclose the fact that we manage to crash two multi's on that day and decided not to fly the new build ( as it was too windy). Btw this is my fifth multi, admit to bit of over confidence :(
As for mounting frames, they act as my spacers :) I do admit I was left with bolts of a certain length , so I wanted to protect it from going into the rotor ( brushless motors this naming convention gets tricky ) windings of motor
Comment by Anish on April 16, 2012 at 11:03pm
@psychomaxter by the sound of things, you seem to know what you are talking about :) do post your experience. I would suggest you have a look at ardupilot source and may be join the dev community. It is always good to have fols like you joining it ;)
Comment by Maxime Carrier on April 17, 2012 at 7:25pm

@Anish

Hehe, currently I'm not ready for developing a real drone (GPS etc ..), I need to make my arduino stabilisation (my accelerometer filter algorithm seen to work great by simulation) program work before and I need to learn how to fly it after. Do you know a good quadcopter simulator ? ;)

Mark 1 : (without arduino)

 - 3 horrible tower pro motor (15A 1400 kv), vibration is horrible, accelerometer data is apocalyptic

 - Motors vibration like hell, bearing and motor base become extremely hot when motor is still cool (even without prop)

Mark 1.5 (without arduino, last step)

 - More powerfull motor, lighter frame (25A 950 kv), IMU will be monted on a sponge (I hope that will be enough)

Like Steve Austin, faster, better, stronger !

Comment by Anish on April 18, 2012 at 1:32am
@psychomaxter u could use xplanes, rc-sim or open source versions. Btw it's a bold design ;). Btw learning from masters like Bill, Tridge etal helps preventing plateauing soon (hence longer linear phase of learning) and I have to admit most of the folks have been very good (esp Bill) to newbies like me ;)

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