Project: Quanum Trifecta Drone (Part 1)

The Quanum Trifecta sold through Hobbyking is a circa 295mm Tri-copter that folds for transport yet still carries 8″ propellers.  The robust design and sub-AUD50 price making it an ideal choice for my next build.


Initially I wanted to build a TBS Discovery/Reptile/Alien style 450-550mm quadcopter, but the folding portability of the Quanum Trifecta drew me in.

Budget for the build is influenced by the “known” platforms like the DJI Phantom3 being available for under AUD700.  Numerous other competent big platforms like the Hubsan X4 Pro and Xiaomi are even cheaper!  As a result the budget is set to a very tight AUD350.

There’s a lot of information on RCGoups and Youtube about the pitfalls as well as tips and techniques for successful construction.  I’ve read through these in the hopes that my build will be easy.

My Quanum Trifecta

The biggest challenge is to avoid scope-creep and hanging plans on the fly because somethings “on sale” and then ending up with a hodgepodge of bits that work but don’t quite come together.

  • Quanum Trifecta Frame
  • Metal Geared servo (Corona 919 or similar based on RCGroups Trifect thread this is more durable)
  • 2208 ~1250kv Motors (Probably Racerstar as they’re very affordable at AUD8 each)
    These perform well with an 8038 prop on 3S.
  • Some 18A ESCs I have spare (Multistar Mini V2)
  • A Flysky RX

For the Flight control I’m a bit torn between going APM/Pixhawk (probably a Micro APM like I’ve got in my 250) or trying out Cleanflight/iNav with a F3 based board.  10DOF of course.  The latter have the benefit of being “cheap” and add-ons like Sonar are much cheaper to implement.   APM/Pixhawk Sonar and Optical Flow systems are much more mature if pricey.  It’s a bet each way.

The difference is all about cost, I can have a 10DOF F3 board and Sonar module for less than the typical micro APM price, plus the same style of Sonar for the APM costs about 3x what it does for the F3 (which itself is 1/10th the price of “good” APM/Pixhawk Sonar).

When I chuck all the parts into carts and look at the price it comes to a hair past AUD200 (including buying stuff I already have).

In my next post I’ll start on the shopping experience!

Updated to real BLHeli and it’s AWESOME

When I bought these Emax Nano v2 20A ESCs I thought I was getting a bargain.  In hindsight they have been the root of many hours of uncertainty and confusion.  Once the “stock” BLHeli was replaced with the real BLHeli though it all came together. Continue reading Updated to real BLHeli and it’s AWESOME

Lessons from Flying my DIY Quadcopter Badly

The hardest thing about building my own quadcopter from random parts has been the process I’m about to describe.  Using (flying) it.  You see, if like me you’ve never flown anything before you’re going to be starting at the bottom of a steep learning curve. Continue reading Lessons from Flying my DIY Quadcopter Badly

2016 Rathmines Catalina Festival Car Show Gallery

Problems Updating EMAX Nano ESCs

When I ordered all the bits for my first Quadcopter build I didn’t do much due-diligence.  That’s how I ended up spending tens of hours trying to update the BLHeli firmware on the EMAX Nano ESCs.  This post takes you on my journey of frustration and enlightenment. Continue reading Problems Updating EMAX Nano ESCs

The FlySky FSi6S Transmitter

In my previous posts I’d skipped over the need to buy a new Transmitter as part of my drone build.  After much deliberation and anguish I ordered a FlySky FSi6S  from Banggood based on a killer price. Continue reading The FlySky FSi6S Transmitter

Last Week on Instagram – 3rd October 2016

Last Week on Instagram

Last Week on Instagram – 29th August 2016

Last Week on Instagram – 8th August 2016