Toothpick 3 (TP3)
The popularity of the TP3 and entire Toothpick-style class is truly gratifying to see. The following is the genuine TP3 formula but of course this is only a recommendation. You can build however you like as there are many options in this area today.
TP3 frame or
Babytooth frame in 3mm thickness
Gemfan 3018 or Gemfan 3016
4S 30A AIO board
Bee Brain V2 canopy
Caddx Ant Lite 4:3
MiniMortal T V2
Should come out to about ~103g AUW. The option between TP3 or Babytooth is moreso a personal preference between unibody or multi-part frame designs. The multi-part design tends to perform slightly better due to the thinner arms.
The concept behind the TP3 is to have the most well balanced flying platform across all metrics. Control, speed, power, efficiency, noise profile, safety, ease of build, maintenance, reliability, durability, and cost effectiveness. Any of those components can be changed to your personal preference however there’s a give and take to any changes. If you change up to a larger motor, you will get more power, but you also have less flight time and more motor weight/speed which will make the frame more likely to break in a crash. If you’re looking for uber power and speed, this may be a good option for you. The setup presented above has been optimized around the components available to be as optimized as possible.
The following are settings that should perform quite optimally on this platform but note that different environments will change the way a quad performs so you may still need to adjust things.
This image above is to indicate that RPM Filtering is ON. Previously BF 3.5.7 was the best firmware for this sort of platform but the more recent BF 4.2 builds with RPM Filtering have surpassed 3.5.7 just a little bit. The main benefit is that you can get more consistent performance with RPM Filters. If you're not sure what RPM Filters are or don't want to change any firmware, we strongly encourage using 3.5.7 because it's not really any worse.
A great easy RPM Filtering install guide: https://bit.ly/2NY74g4
The Free RPMf: https://github.com/JazzMaverick/BLHeli/tree/JazzMaverick-patch-1/BLHeli_S%20SiLabs
The important setting to note here is that D min is turned OFF. D min will mess with small quads this size and until the code improves, it's recommended to turn off. Other settings include low stick response and zero throttle boost. These are more personal settings but give you a more 'raw quad' feel without software changing the way the quad feels.
These filter settings are for RPM Filtering ONLY! Do NOT use these settings if you do not have RPM Filtering on. It will not fly well and you could burn an ESC or motor. If you do not have RPM Filtering on, leave this screen at it's default settings and just turn on the D-notch filter.
Just a note about the prop options. We actually started to prefer the 3018 more than the 3016 because the quad has a little more speed with it. The 3016 is no slouch however and has overall slightly better handling characteristics. The 3018 can have up to 30% more flight time as well which is sort of moot since you already get 3-8min on the 3016 props.
The TP3 story:
At its inception, the Toothpick formula was to turn a whoop inside out and give it the ability to perform like a much larger craft. A typical brushless AIO whoop board with similar whoop motors but no ducts and very large props for the size craft on a very light frame. The resulting performance was jaw dropping in any configuration from an AUW of ~37g on 1S to 73g on 2S and pure jaw dropping performance on 3S.
The goal with the Toothpick project was first and foremost to be safe for most environments, fully legal, quiet, durable, reliable and most importantly, loads of fun! These features should not be compatible with each other but the magic of crazy good disk loading metrics and power radios made it possible.
As with anything, the more you do it, the more developed and fine tuned your tools become. Like a surgeon that gets better at their craft and graduates to more and more developed instruments, the TP3 is literally a refined, purpose built, surgical instrument of the sky. If built to top end spec on 3S, this sucker is nearly a bullet and some of the safety goes out the window. However the same setup on 2S or with some throttle cut becomes a very safe friend :-)
The TP3 formula is similar to the original. Extremely low weight, large props for such a low weight and the smallest motor that can spin that prop with good control. The pudding is in the details however and we spent months intensely testing everything just to find out that what we’re looking for doesn’t exist! So we started making custom parts. There is a lot in how it’s setup as well but that’s better left to the video than writing pages on pages...
We won’t deliberate too much because the overall TP3 formula is already well known but this thing is so incredibly easy to fly with its low weight and incredible control, it’s exactly what the advanced pilot needs to push their own limits and exactly what the novice wants to learn on.