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Author Topic: Marinized radio control gear  (Read 4154 times)

Derek Warner

  • Guest
Marinized radio control gear
« on: June 22, 2005, 06:21:57 AM »
Hi PD's - some twenty five years ago I read an article in the UK
publication "Model Boats" where a modeller had converted a standard four
channel aeroplane R/C set for boating & I am sure it was similar to :-

Took the two forward & reverse motion potentiometers & sticks & removed
the sideways gimble & mounted both of these in the right hand face
quadrant & assume added a second notched arc cam for the second motor

Under the left hand quadrant the third potentiometer must have been
mounted with the pot shaft facing the front plate as a small ships wheel
was attached for rudder steerage [assumed as spring return to neutral] -
I do not remember the mechanism for functioning the 4th channel

So thinking about this I looked at my new unused 6 channel JR set &
thought - no you fool - you lack the electrical knowledge, but I do have
a 25 Y/O Futuba FP4L so took the back off the TX - now if I photographed
the four sets of red/brown/black wires to each pot & sketch & convert
all those wires into an understandable hydraulic circuit it does not
seem such a daunting task

Has anyone thought along similar lines? & Brett it will be relatively
simple - the only KISS factor may be in the mechanical building etc -

ron hillsden

  • Guest
Marinized radio control gear
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2005, 06:22:50 AM »
Has anyone thought along similar lines? & Brett it will be relatively
simple - the only KISS factor may be in the mechanical building etc -

Yes, it has been done before. I have 2 cautions:

1. Make sure your radio is on a marine frequency as opposed to an aircraft frequency so you don't crash someone's aircraft. Your 25 year old radio maybe on one of the old R/C frequencies which are used by toys now, in which case any kid operating an R/C toy car /boat/UFO etc will give you grief if they are close.

2. If your radio is on a marine frequency, it predates the narrow band units in use now. Probably not a problem if you are using your model out in the toolies by yourself, but if you are at a meet with other model boaters, that radio will cause interference on 4 of the newer narrow channels.

3. What is your model worth? If it's more than a couple of hundred, you may want to spring for a new dependable and currently legal radio to protect your investment.....and you should be aware that there is a radio available with these mods - the Ace Nautical Commander

gerald gardiner

  • Guest
Marinized radio control gear
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2005, 06:23:19 AM »
Robbie & Graupner also build radios for marine use, check out some of the robotic sites as they also use this type of control. The Magazine that had the modifications in it was Radio Control Boat Modeller by Argus Publication in 1990. But as Ron says Keep it Legal on a SURFACE frequency.
Toronto, Canada

Derek Warner

  • Guest
Marinized radio control gear
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2005, 06:23:44 AM »
Thanks both Ron & Gerald - funny - my previous searches on Goggle for
"radio control model ships" or any variant on that did not bring any
reference to the Ace Nautical Commander, nor Robbie & Graupner

This morning one search location on Ace Nautical Commander also
suggested looking at a Futaba F14 Naval R/C system, but I cannot find it

Gerald - there must have been more articles on R/C conversions for
maritime use as the one I read was on the train home one evening from
HMA Garden Island Naval dockyard in late 1997 - train trip = 90
minutes = re read it for = 90 minutes - regards Derek


  • Guest
Marinized radio control gear
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2005, 06:24:17 AM »
I feel that you could do the conversion ( "hack" :-) as you suggested,
however, is it worth the effort ?

You might find that you find it /harder/ to achieve the desired control over
your motors -- "because you have the facility !!" -- I know that sounds
stupid, but consider, at one stage model racing yachts tended towards
the complex - some even having up to SEVEN sail winch & trim servos
(combined) on a typical 'M' class yacht ( 50 inch LOA), all to have /total/
control over the sail trim.

And guess what ?? was /not/ worth the effort ! - as soon as the yacht was
more than 30-50 feet away you could not tell if you were using the gear to
its best effect anyway !!! And in the competition rush you did not have
enough time to remember what trim lever to use anyway. Of course paddleboats
are some what more sedate in operation.

But if you insist -- I did look into setting up a unit ( for a yacht) in the
mid 1980's and found it very difficult to get appropriate /slider/ trim pots
that could be connected to a master unit - as per the Multiplex unit I've
mentioned. I also checked to the idea of shifting standard gimbals to one
side ( like the ACE unit mentioned in other postings) but there was not
enough space in the chassis to clear the printed circuit board . Another
chassis could have been made , but I gave up on the idea anyway. :-)

( Note that the ACE unit appears to be a simple metal case - not plastic, so
construction along those lines is quite simple. )

Also, I think that Multiplex radios have been taken over by HiTech, so you
find a appropriate radio there.

BTW - why arn't you using the /fancy/ JR radio ??


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