A short history of my endeavors in drones

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 knew very little about what was involved.

It took me almost a year of watching YouTube videos and reading forums 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 gyros 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 his tricopter-v2-2/”>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 the rest is pretty close to Davids design. Here is a picture of it flying.

My first attempt was pretty stable but had no accelerometers so it needed constant inputs. This meant it ended up in a lot of trees.

For my Mark 2 and added I the KK2 board which gave me self-levelling, a much more stable design but loose propeller adapters caused her to fly vertically down onto 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.

It even had this amazing carry case that my Dad built for it.

Foam insert

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 Carrauntoohill 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 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 started converting this old Play Station one controller into a Mini TX. But so far I haven’t gotten past the proof of concept.

My 3D Printed Drone -Old Project-

So I’ve been designing and 3d printing for a while, I’ve printed lots of stuff: shower holders, boxes, key phobs, buisnes cards, window winders and lots more.
I’ve lots more but the biggest thing that I have been working on is my drones.
I started with a tricopter.
2014-04-07 20.44.31

I used aluminium booms and 3d printed the rest of the parts. I used tiger motors from a Cinestar 8 (witch were a little overkill for what i was doing). It had a tarot 2D gopro gimble and a 3drobotics AMP2.5 . It worked quite well and I ran it on 3000mAh 3s battery’s witch got me about 8 min flight time (not great), the arms were too heavy and the center frame was to flimsy. I also found I had problems with the power board been too close to the compass witch caused very bad position hold in Loiter mode.


Eventually I put it to one side and started my next project the IK Quod : a 3d printed quad copter completely of my own design. My goal was to design a drone that

  • would be light enuf and small enuf to take backpacking 
  • could be 3d printed bar the hard wear (the parts that could not be 3d printed cheap).