Tadpole 3 inch

By Daveymaders on Mar 01, 2021

3  460  4

First sub 5 inch drone i have built so plently of things to learn with this one.
The idea of building this drone was to make it plently powerful for outdoors flying and hopefully also fly inside with some prop guards and throttle scaling.
went for the Tadpole 3 inch frame as it was very cheap but also supporting a top mount battery that I would prefer for outdoor flying. I chose this over a Gecko 3 inch frame as it was far lighter, far cheaper and would also take a whoop AIO which i was aming for (with an adapter).
Xing 1404 3800kv motors in my mind were a decent choice for a higher powered build for the weight and size. I myself also prefer a lower kv setup given the choice so stayed away from any higher kv's which are more common in a smaller motor size that would typically be used on this kind of build.

After building the first time round, i stated with a test flight outside without prop guards and a 4s 450mah 75c battery. I very quickly found out that such a battery was really not a good for flying freestyle outside and battery sag was starting at a pathetic 40-50% throttle. i then moved to a 4s 500mah 80c battery for that little be of extra juice but this was not too much better. I finally then moved onto the battery i now use exclusively outside - Tattu R line 4s 650mah 95c. A pretty big battery for the size of the drone but it flew fantastic. the motors happily chewed through on a typical freestyle flight without either the battery or motors being too warm. Flight time was also around 8 mins! whilst also doing these tests i moved from a micro lollipop to a UFL lollipop 3. this resulted in much better video as the antenna was larger and further away from the rest of the drone. well woth the extra weight.
Built as above the drone weight was 99g including props. the AUW with battery of course was 177g.

tried two different prop choices - HQ 3X2.5X3 AND HQ 3X3X3.
i much preffered the 2.5 pitch for better response and more throttle resolution.

Next it was time to work out the indoor flying portion. i had to find out some way to protect things from the drone propellers. First thing i tried was to look for a 3d print for my exact frame. There are indeed decent prop guards for 2.5 inch tadpole but not my 3 inch. I found some decent looking guards online so opted to try these and trim down as needed. They arrived and seem to be really good quality! far better than most 3d prints out there.
I attached the guards and decided to take it outside for a fly first to see how different it flew with the guards on and everything else being the same. I have to say i was actually very impressed! no noticable issues, and flew just as good with them as without. it may have been a tad slower but it really was not noticable. i decided that instead of taking the guards off for ourside flying and putting them back on for indoors (my first idea) i thought it was just as good to leave it on for both. the flight time was still about 8 mins.

As for the battery for indoor flying a 4s 450mah 75c battery was plently enough with a throttle scale of 45-50%
for the sake of saving weight a 3s 450mag 75c at 70% flys just as well.

All being said its a really versitile drone and i am dead happy with it.
the final Drone weight is 116g.
the AUW for indoor flying on a 3s 450 is 157g.
with a 4s 450 it is 167g
the AUW for outdoor flying on a 4s 650 is 194g



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Jodie Froster   Mar 02, 2021  

I fear for your antennas, they are so VERY close to the end of their life. Flopping around where they can be hit by the props if they bend the wrong way, is a countdown to extinction

Daveymaders   Mar 02, 2021 

I have to disagree. The receiver antenna is zip-tied underneath the heat shrink and has no side to side give. the video antenna, even if it were to bend (its more flexible at the end, where it is near to the props) - the top impacts the guard anyway. it is also zip-tied to prevent upwards movement.

phaley51   Mar 01, 2021  

Nice Build, How is this flying indoors? a handful? I have a 2.5 tadpole 2s 8000Kv and that thing is quick, always wanted to try it inside though.

Daveymaders   Mar 01, 2021 

Hi! it flies absolutely fine to be honest. it is a slightly larger and heavier than most indoor fliers but if needed i can always scale the throttle up and down as needed.

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