Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tricopter "Mechanical Fuse"

Last Summer, I hastily cut a tricopter frame from carbon fiber + foam laminate.  The stock I'd found wasn't large enough to make the whole thing, so I attached the arms with 4-40 nylon cap screws.

Well I crashed today (attempting a flip, needs more expo), and things were great!  Unlike last time, the frame worked as it was designed.  All I lost were a few nylon screws.  They sheared off in the impact, saving the harder to replace bits.

The only fix I'd make for next time is to lengthen the signal wire running from the flight controller to the ESC on each arm.  That way, the pins on the flight controller are less likely to get wrenched.

I went out flying tonight to test out some SMT LEDs mounted to the frame to help with orientation.  Banks showed me how to solder them up.
They work great.  I used red and green for port and starboard with a bright blue LED for the tail.  I took some long exposure shots in Walker, but the photos look as bright as day after exposing for 20 seconds.