In 2010 my friend Alex sent me a video of someone flying a quad copter around a field. I had never seen one before and I was instantly fascinated. having never played around with RC Models before i new very little about what was involved.
It took me almost a year of watching YouTube videos and reading forms before I would take the plunge and start ordering random components from Hobby King.
This was before people had started to refer to them as Drones and a lot of the designs on the internet were still been flown manually with only giros to stabilize them. I decided that I would eventually use these flying contraptions to shoot video, so in my search for a stable design I came across David Windestål (www.rcexplorer.se) and is tricopter V1 ( using Heli Gyros) and tricopter V2 (using KapteinKUK control board).
Flite Test was a great resource when I started building my first tricopter. I used Davids V2 design and the v1.5 KK board from Hobby King.
I opted for a plywood hub as it was easy for me to get, but rest is pretty close to Davids design. Here is a picture of it flying.
My first Attempt was pretty stable but had no accelerators so it needed constant inputs, this meant it ended up in a lot of trees.
For my Mark 2 and added I added the KK2 board which game me self leveling. a much more stable design but loose propeller adapters caused her to fly vertically down into a concrete floor.
New motors and round fixed booms made the MK3 very stable and good for taking pictures with a gopro. but was difficult to transport.
With my MK4 i went back to square folding booms and I added a servo controlled camera stabilizer. It was a fine ship but loose wiring caused more vertical flight into the ground.
Eventually in 2013 I put in an other big order with Hobby King and got an ardupilot for my MK5. This was to be my masterpiece and i was going all out with the deign.
It even had this amazing Carry case that my Dad built for it.
Backpack straps for bringing it on hikes.
This was a great Drone and I got loads of great shots with it.
But alas it was not to last. On the 2nd June 2013 while shooting video for a hiking project on Carrauntoohil the MK 5 decided to fly off into the mist and was never seen again.
After a few months I got back in the game and bought a tricopter frame kit from rcexplorer.se
This was a fun drone, it flew well and I had a lot of fun with it.
The in 2014 I got a Rep Rap 3D Printer. and started printing drones.
The 3D printed tricopter was too heavy so I abandoned it and started working on quad copters.
This one was cool because it had folding arms and the camera could you look up for inspecting bridges.
Then I upgraded to the Pixhawk and built a new frame around it.
You can see I also built a 3D Printed servo gimble in this version.
Here is a few of my other flying toys.
When I crashed and broke my 250 racing quad i printed a new top plate for it.
This is a mini 250 size 3D Printed Drone I designed.
I stared converting this old Play Station one controller into a Mini TX. But so far I haven’t gotten past the proof of concept.