I'm very pleased to announce the successful maiden* flight of my scratch tricopter!
( *the true first flight was a flop, with a prop fully falling off and another one breaking - but it didn't make for a good video )
There were times that I had my doubts during this project, and there were several times that I almost broke down and purchased a flight controller rather than trying to use AeroQuad.
Special thanks to my wife for shooting the video, and being supportive while I built my first flying machine.
The only compromise that I had to make was that I had to use the "AeroQuad Configurator" on Windows, breaking one of my original goals of doing this using open source tools only. I tried REALLY hard to build everything on a linux OS, but when it came to configuration I could only figure out how to calibrate the accelerometer using the 'Configurator' tool.
The video shows that I don't quite have control over the yaw yet ( that spinning is not intentional ), so there is the next challenge.
As I refine this I'll post more details on the configuration and AeroQuad configuration process, which can be quite challenging. The forums are a little difficult so search, but there is a lot of good information on there. ( especially for help with using the MPU6050 )
I've already ordered 16 more propellers, I'm down to only the three on the craft for now. I'm going to try using a counterclockwise tail propeller which is supposed to counter the spinning that occurs from using 3 props going the same direction.
I'm also going to put together a final parts list and try to put a total price on this build. If I don't count the cost of my new transmitter, it's probably about $125.