My large heavy lift Y6 multicopter, that I have built for aerial photography and videography, is now finished.
First time I flew it I used my KKmulticopter board which I have now reprogrammed from a quad X to a Y6 controller. It flew very well and stable compared to my quadrocopter and my small Y6.
I will write a little of the building process and the parts list.
The frame is the Y6 carbon frame from Coptersky that I previously have reviewed. I hadn’t tried it in the air at the time when I wrote the review but I must say that it performs really good.
I have put on some protective dampening on the landing gear and that was good. The landing gear is actually a bit fragile even if it looks well dimensioned. One of the thin carbon fiber tubes on the sides actually cracked after a not too hard landing.
The motors are RCtimer 3536 11 750 kv. My first choice of motors was the Avroto 2814 short shaft but they were out of stock for a very long time, so I bought the RC timer motors instead. They are short shaft too, which is great for coaxial constructions.
The motors are well balanced, but not perfect. There’s not much vibrations from the motors anyway, but I actually fine tuned two of them with small zip ties.
I really hope that those motors are good enough for my applications, even though they where in the lower price range. Many people say that in the end it will be more expensive to buy cheap motors to begin with and then upgrade to more expensive motors. Let’s see how that turns out, I will definitely blog about it if I upgrade my motors in the future.
Anyway, it would be even more expensive if I bought the mid range Avrotos only to find that I need to upgrade to AXI, or other even more expensive, precision motors in the premium range.
So far I have flown it with my KKmulticopter board and my Open Pilot board. They both have only 6 PWM outputs, so I haven’t yet tried the camera stabilaztion. My Arducopter Board is the one I will use later on since it has 8 PWM outoputs.
I will blog more about my flight control boards and compare them.
The ESCs are Turnigy Plush 30 A. I have good experience of the Plush 18 A for my quadrocopter. I didn’t spend too much time to calculate what ampere I needed. I just figured that 30 A x 14,8 V is 444 Watt per motor. For the full rigg of six motors thats 2 664 Watt. So I figured that was enough even if RCtimer actually recommended 40 A ESCs for those motors (maybe thats for 3S or something). The Turnigy Plush 30 has a burst rate of 40 A.
Neither the motor or ESCs has been particularly warm while I’ve been flying around. The setup is obviously lighter without the camera, but I believe it will be pretty ok anyway. If they would get too hot, I will simply place som heat sinks on them.
The propellers are all APC 12×3.8 SF so far. I will probably change to 12×6 or something for the lower set of propellers. They need a bit higher pitch since they are in the down wash from the upper propellers.
Large propeller surface and low pitch is efficient and suitable for heavy lift and slow speed multicopters.
When it comes to multicopters for aerial photography, you should use slow flyers, because you will hover and fly slowly most of the time. There are not many high velocity maneuvers.
Since the propellers are so large and will lift so much, it’s not possible to use prop savers, which is really good for small multicopters.
Things I could have done differently
Since this project patrially is experimental, I shouldn’t built it so definitive. Eg everybody is talking about how good it is to solder the motors to the ESCs, instead of using bullet connectors, in order to avoid unnecessary broken connections. That is probably true when you want to secure your final construction, but for me it would have been better with bullet connectors.
It would be less time consuming, it’s easier to change motor rotation (eg KK and open pilot spins the motors in different direction on a Y6) and easier to change parts if it eg would turn out that the 30A ESC was too small or I want to change motors.
Now the ESCs are immediately under the propellers (due to short cables) which may cause vibrations. Next time I will probably use internal wiring and place the ESCs in the center. That will look better too!
I’m happy with this multicopter so far and it performs very well. It will probably take many hours of flying before I feel that my flying skills are limited by the multicopter.
Heavy lifter Y6 parts list
Frame: Coptersky Y6 XL
Motors: RCtimer 3536 11 750 kv
ESC: Turnigy Plush 30 A
Propellers APC 12×3.8 SF
Camera: Canon 550D/T2i