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Build a Tri or Quadcopter

Some notes from a presentation at Maker Faire:

  • Software from AeroQuad. Runs on Arduino/Arduino Mega
  • Hobby King in Hong Kong is cheap.
  • Some people use round carbonfiber/fiberglass heli tail booms, but round bars are trouble - it's hard to keep things aligned/square. Motors can rotate around the bar. Use square aluminum towel rail instead.
  • He used helicopter landing skids
  • HK motors can be unreliable - seizing or disintegrating
  • He used a 5 Ah LiPo
  • 7 channel RC system is best, 6 is ok, minimum 4 channel
  • You will break props.

Tri vs Quad

Tricopter reduces motor, prop, ESC costs by ~1/4. Increases thrust vector calculation complexity slightly?

Parts substitutions

What should you know if you want to deviate from the parts list in the tutorial?

"go with the recommended sensors if you want a quad that will be up flying within a few weeks"

SparkFun's 6DOF Razor is not recommended.


Analysis-based tuning (eg Ziegler & Nichols) is not recommended: