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Old Jun 02, 2013, 04:00 PM
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FightingSteel1's Avatar
Missouri, USA
Joined Jan 2008
151 Posts
Question
Radio that works well for animation/sound?

I'm a total newbie about radios, and I guess I'm on the right track looking into 2.4ghz models that will be legal for boat use.

I'm a little concerned about how many channels I need and how I can control some functions I want for the ship I'm building. It's a KMS Bismarck, and besides throttle and steering I plan to have working turrets (probably all connected to one channel) and sound. The turrets would just move back and forth on one axis, but for sound I'd like an engine sound that runs constantly, and a push button or something to activate a 15" gun "salvo" sound. Are there radios with buttons or a switch that would activate a sounds like that?

I'd like to have a stick radio, not pistol grip. Something where the throttle control doesn't revert to neutral when it's not being moved. What would best fit my ideas?
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Old Jun 02, 2013, 04:59 PM
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blutoh's Avatar
United States, NJ, Livingston
Joined Mar 2012
1,604 Posts
As you have already discovered, more scale functions require more ways to operate them, There are many ways to approach this. You could go for a very high end radio system with many channels, like the Spetrum DX18, or go to a micrprocessor based system which you would have to home brew, like this one that can expand to more than 128 functions. If you are comfortable working with electronics, read thru the homebrew section here in the boating forum. As far as sound effects systems, same thing applies. There are great commercial units available, and also homebrew units like this one developed by some brilliant fellows that hang out here on rcgroups. The big difference is that this one is polyphonic, it can play 8 simultaneous sounds and is implemented in software on a micro, as opposed to strctly hardware. And again, it comes down to how much you want to get involved in the electronics and if you prefer store bought to homebrew. Also, if budget is a factor, the homebrew stuff can sae you some money. Hope this helps.
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Last edited by blutoh; Jun 02, 2013 at 05:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 02, 2013, 05:19 PM
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FightingSteel1's Avatar
Missouri, USA
Joined Jan 2008
151 Posts
Thanks for the response.

I'm really just looking at throttle/steering (2 channels), Motor/Gear Assembly for turrets (1 Channel) and then the engine sound and gun sound. Would 5 channels cover that?

Also, I'm trying to figure out other electronics stuff like how much battery power I need to run all of that. I'm a planning type of person, and R/C ship building seems to be more experience and searching through mountains of threads on forums. I wish there was a more centralized information center to figure this stuff out. I've heard of the raspberry pi. Is that a reasonable option to just play a couple of sounds on command?
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Old Jun 02, 2013, 05:41 PM
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blutoh's Avatar
United States, NJ, Livingston
Joined Mar 2012
1,604 Posts
Five channels should do it, but go for 6 or 7 (contingency planning). The 6/7 channel systems are cheap enough. There is a sticky thread dealing with electrical at the top of this forum with good information. Don't be afraid to ask questions here, there are many willing to help and share knowledge. As for the raspberry pi, its a great option, and at $35 its a steal that opens up a lot of other capabilities in addition to sound. BUT, as I said earlier, you have to be inclined to get your hands dirty with the electonics. For your first boat, you might be better off with commercial units, you'll have enough to learn and coordinate without adding more complexity.
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Old Jun 02, 2013, 05:50 PM
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FightingSteel1's Avatar
Missouri, USA
Joined Jan 2008
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I'll probably go with a 6 channel then. I assume some of those have switches/buttons for a couple channels I can activate sounds with?

I have a background in IT/Website Design so I don't know that I couldn't understand the Raspberry PI if I looked into it. I guess it would come down to a cost vs. time between that and more "RTR" commercial sound units.
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Old Jun 02, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Blackpool, Lancs
Joined Feb 2006
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A 4 channel set will have 2 of 2 axis sticks, a set with more channels will have these stick plus either switches or control knobs depending on whether the extra channels are proportional or not, and this can only be determined by reading the specs, then asking around for an interpretation of those specs.
A 6 or 7 channel set should do your job adequately, keeping speed and direction on the main sticks, and putting the other functions on the other levers/knobs. For gear to plug in at the model end, there is a wealth of information on here - http://www.action-electronics.co.uk/ - look for speed controls, mixers, the servmorph and there is a comprehensive sound unit in there as well.
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Old Jun 03, 2013, 02:53 PM
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FightingSteel1's Avatar
Missouri, USA
Joined Jan 2008
151 Posts
Regarding a battery, would a couple of 6V 2300mah+ NIMH sticks used in parallel in the model give me a reasonable runtime (maybe an hour)? This would be to run the 2 6V 380 motors, Servo, ESC and two 6V 3RPM motors for the turret animation.
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