Prop Vibration Comparison

2 November 2012

In my quest to get vibration-free footage with my tricopter, I tried various props with mixed results. In all tests, the GoPro was isolated from the tricopter body using silicone standoffs.

Props tested: RC Timer 8×4.5″ carbon fiber, Gemfan 9×4.5″ carbon-reinforced and APC 9×4.7″

Setup: Turnigy Talon tricopter frame, RC Timer 20A SimonK firmware ESCs, OpenPilot CC3D flight controller, Cobra 2213-26 motors, Turnigy TGY-306G tail servo, Turnigy Nano-Tech 4S 3300mAh lipo.

  • ari

    Nice comparison, but I find it a bit odd that the RC Timer props caused so much jello despite being balanced. Balanced should be balanced right? Maybe because they are just so stiff..

    • http://hovership.com Steve

      It could have something to do with the way the carbon was made, not being uniform unlike most props that are molded.

    • Redemptioner

      Pretty sure it is because the RCtimer CF props are uneven in their shape from one side of the prop to the other, I have also noticed that they are not aligned on the “hub” evenly. When you spin them on a prop balancer and put something (a skewer) to indicate the end point on the prop (from the side) and spin it round to the other side of the prop does not meet the indicator point. So when it spins, despite being balanced, the loading/lift on the blades is higher on one side.

  • Rick Lohre

    So stock plastic props are the way to go? Maybe since they are more flexible? Give more?

    • http://hovership.com Steve

      I would avoid most plastic props. Flexible is good for crashing but not for sport or aerial video. Most plastic props break/tear where the blade meets the hub.

      For smaller copters I recommend APC or Gemfan carbon-filled for those on a budget. Graupner e-prop are more pricey but are strong and light. Starting to try out various wood props for bigger copters, I hear good things about them.

  • Dan

    Where would you buy the APC props if your are from Europe (UK)?

    • http://hovership.com Steve

      Before US sellers started carrying Graupner props, I used to purchase from this shop in the UK: http://www.electricwingman.com/