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Old Jul 03, 2011, 10:07 AM
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giddyuperic's Avatar
USA, CA, Riverside
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Pro Boat Stiletto and DX3S

Wht do you guys think of this boat and what kinds of mods has any body done to her yet?? Pro Boat Stiletto and Spektrum DX3E Combo by Pro Boat
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 10:17 AM
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siberianhusky's Avatar
Canada, ON, Peterborough
Joined Nov 2009
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Check out OSE, the guy who designed it has a whole tread on race prep and mods.
Will be under the proboat stiletto forum.
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Old Jul 03, 2011, 10:43 PM
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United States, MI, Macomb
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New out of the box.

I just bought the Spektrum Combo and took it out of the box. Let me give you a little background of my experience for rigging race boats.
I make hulls from boat molds, but I don't have much experience with setting up up boats for RC. I also have a stock TC31 I've been running with my son. We joined a boat club and they have been helping me rig boats. I have plenty of experience with Traxxas short course trucks, but that doesn't really help me in the boat field.

Pro Boat Stiletto:

PROs: Expert Craftsmanship in hull build and paint job. It's display quality right out of the box! Nice package for the money. They really worked hard to build you a nice boat with a good radio.

Cons: Novice guys like me are lost on setup. I only have Lipo batteries, so I didn't know to order the programming module. Instructions are a joke and they shouldn't have even bothered making up that awful booklet with black and white photo's. Waterproof servos and reciever box are standard on a $200.00 Traxxas truck, the standard radio box is no longer wanted or needed. Things are already cracked and we haven't even hit the water yet.

Status: Still happy I bought it!
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 01:16 AM
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Boat Barreir

Pro boat has some really nice stuff, but they could do some things to make it a little easier to break into the boating scene. I hate to refer to Traxxas, but they made it possible for guys like me to start having some RC fun. The Traxxas Spartan is a junk boat, but it can be rigged by a novice (Like Me) out of the box in a few minutes. Plop in the Lipo batteries, hold down the program buttom for the music, and the low voltage protection is ready for 6S action at 50mph. Everything is waterproof, so you don't need tape or do anything else.
The Stiletto comes in a few pieces with some really lousy pictures and just a couple of guidelines. The ESC has to programed for Lipo using a card and it's the holiday weekend.
The servo and receiver are nicely taped shut, but that will have to come apart to install the antenna. The Deans plugs will end up in the garbage since everybody has switched to pin connectors or Traxxas High Current Connectors.
I'm sure there is plenty of reasons you would want to raise and lower the motor, but it doesn't tell you why. There is some guidlines for setting the trim and that helps a little. The motor trim has to be set manually with a wrench. It would be nice to have holes with a locking pin to make this procedure easier.
The steering servo is not waterproof, so I will have to change it sooner or later. The radio box will leak eventually, so I might as well swap it with a Traxxas 2075.
The Spektrum reciever will have to be ballooned or place in a Traxxas waterproof box if it will fit.
I have included a picture of my custom built waterproof Receiver/Servo module for my TC31. It has been underwater more times than I can remember, so please hold back the doubting comments. The radio box went into the garbage.
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 09:34 AM
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I'm trying not to sound like an ass or be a downer, so I apologize if it comes across that way...

No offence, but EVERY FE boat built for racing runs a taped off hatch or radio box to totally seal the components. There is a good reason for this, seasoned boaters aren't lemmings.

There is a big difference between driving through a puddle and being submerged (tunnel hulls will flip, it's just part of driving them). I can almost guarantee that the first time it flips your servo will be dead.

IMO, there's nothing difficult about starting to run the stiletto. It's already set up well out of the box, all you have to do is seal up the front radio box, put in the batteries, tape up the battery box and drop it in the water. The ESC even comes pre-programmed for lipos out of the box.

The instructions might be a bit vague on the advanced setup stuff, but that's likely intentional to not overwhelm a beginner.

You might have a bit of trouble with the servo now because the stock one has ~120oz/in of torque, the traxxas high torque one only has 80oz/in, which isn't a lot of power to turn that motor under load.
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 01:51 PM
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I'm just reading the instructions so you must forgive me. The instructions plainly state a programing card must be used to switch to Li-Po, but Horizon Hobbies ad says it comes pre-programmed. So I guess it's ready for Lipo, but it's not really clear.
I tried to explain that the Traxxas servos on my ProBoat Thundercat have been fully submerged too many times to remember. I mean underwater in a pond at least for more than 20 minutes at a time. I would have to say more than seven times. You may not be convinced but that type of reliability is good enough for me. I understand it may not be convincing for most people, but it really made things easier for me. I will not lie to you, some have been known to leak in other boats in our club, but it remains a rare event. The Waterproof reciever boxes work just fine.
A Traxxas 2075 servo has has 125oz of torque. We sometimes use them just for that reason. http://traxxas.com/products/parts/servos/2075
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Old Jul 04, 2011, 02:35 PM
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It's your boat and your choice, but like I already said, all FE racers run totally sealed boats or radio boxes. All nitro/gas guys run totally sealed radio boxes as well. They don't do this because it's the hard way, they do it because it's reliable.

Raw fuel/exhaust is also VERY hard on components, I would definitely keep a sealed radio box for a nitro boat.
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Old Jul 05, 2011, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wparsons View Post
It's your boat and your choice, but like I already said, all FE racers run totally sealed boats or radio boxes. All nitro/gas guys run totally sealed radio boxes as well. They don't do this because it's the hard way, they do it because it's reliable.

Raw fuel/exhaust is also VERY hard on components, I would definitely keep a sealed radio box for a nitro boat.
Oh yeah, they are drenched in fuel all the time. That's why they look so shiny! LOL! I'm not sure it's it's worse than being dragged on the bottom of a RC truck at 50mph on an open beach with wet sand pounding it and crashing into the water all the time, but the fuel could have a negative effect.

I'm sure radio boxes are a good idea, I just don't find them useful enough to go through all that trouble. The only thing that annoys more than a radio box is those stupid rubber boots! If you have to remove the radio box, the boots make it even harder to take apart. The boots were glued to the box and went into the trash as well.

I'm just a beginner so you have to give me some time to find out things the hard way. I just noticed a lot of seasoned guys messing with these boxes all the time. It was even more discouraging to see the boxes leak from a bad flip.
They had to scramble to remove the reciever and servos to dry them out. I just figured it was silly not to have waterproof servos and a sealed reciever container even if you have a radio box.

Maybe I'm just too lazy or really ignorrant. Probably both.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 10:41 AM
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The radio box is not waterproof!!

The Stiletto was "not" programmed for Lipo out of the box. My local hobby shop programmed it for me.

The Stiletto snapped out of the water when I hit the throttle like a jack rabbit. It was hauling at least 27 to 32 mph on 4s with 5000 35c. It will prabably do better if I knew what I was doing. The variable steering was not set, so I turned too hard and it flipped. This little sucker hauls!

The "waterproof" radio box filled up with water as expected. Was it he rubber boots for the cables? Was it the antenna hole? Was it the rubber boot for the servo wires? Was it the power switch, or was it the tape? Who knows, but this radio box has 5 different holes in it with boots or seals and it's unlikley that it will ever work.

I have some work to do.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 12:52 PM
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How do you know it wasn't programmed for lipo? The only difference is the LVC setting, and unless you ran a pack completely flat there's no way to notice that.

I dunno why yours leaked so badly, but I've witnessed a stiletto with the stock radio box setup sit upside down for a good 10 minutes and it was dry inside. A couple drops of water in the battery area, but none with the RX/servo.
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 01:05 PM
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If it were me i'd probably just put a touch of silicon in the seal for the cabling etc, that should stop any leaks and if's it for a moving part such as steering cable from servo i'm assuming this also has a boot over it, i'd put marine grade grease in there, usually white in colour and extremely water resisitant.
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Mod Time

I have had some time to catch up on making the Stiletto a little more water resistant.

I decided to move the reciever to a waterproof case and give it better access. The ProBoat servo was removed and replaced with a waterproof 2075 Traxxas servo. This will make the radio box obsolete. I left the cover in place for the antenna and power switch. I cut the corner for draining.

This worked well for the Thundercat, so I shouldn't have anymore problems.

The members of my club and I remain mystified by the Stiletto's awkward setup arrangement. Everybody seems to agree the servo should be in the rear with solid linkages and the ESC near the front. The batteries should have an area of their own. The cable system seems reliable, but dubious. I think this boat needs a serious redesign to become a big seller. Removing the steering cables to insert the batteries is annoying to say the least.

This is well built boat with some real performance. The quality is there and the boat hauls butt. Sadly, it gets a D- on the setup arrangement. This boat may be too complicated for first time users wanting the thrill of high speed. A good engineering effort to make this boat user-freindly and waterproof would make it a true legend.
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 03:41 PM
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^^ Every tunnel I've ever seen has the radio box up at the front, even older nitro ones. Do the guys in your club have any tunnel experience?

How are you going to waterproof the ESC if you do away with the radio box? The stock servo would withstand some water (might need to be dried and lubed every so often), and the receiver is water resistant as well (conformal coating on the circuit board). The ESC isn't very water resistant from what I know.

As for removing the steering cables to get the battery in, I've never seen anyone have to do that, even with a single 4s5000mah pack?

Just a bit of a side note, I don't think anyone is marketing the Stiletto as a beginner or first timer boat... even Horizon lists it as race ready.

Here's a thread on one of the hottest tunnels this summer, the radio packing is very similar. The only difference is that everything is in one big radio box:

http://forums.offshoreelectrics.com/...e-tunnel/page4
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wparsons View Post
^^ Every tunnel I've ever seen has the radio box up at the front, even older nitro ones. Do the guys in your club have any tunnel experience?

How are you going to waterproof the ESC if you do away with the radio box? The stock servo would withstand some water (might need to be dried and lubed every so often), and the receiver is water resistant as well (conformal coating on the circuit board). The ESC isn't very water resistant from what I know.

As for removing the steering cables to get the battery in, I've never seen anyone have to do that, even with a single 4s5000mah pack?

Just a bit of a side note, I don't think anyone is marketing the Stiletto as a beginner or first timer boat... even Horizon lists it as race ready.

Here's a thread on one of the hottest tunnels this summer, the radio packing is very similar. The only difference is that everything is in one big radio box:

http://forums.offshoreelectrics.com/...e-tunnel/page4
Wow, this is odd!! Did you even read my post? THE SERVO IS WATERPROOF AND THE RECIEVER IS IN A WATERPROOF BOX! DID YOU LOOK AT THE PICTURES? The radio box is no longer needed! There is no need for radio boxes anymore. My ThunderCat no longer needs a box. ZIP, NOTTA!!

Yes, I have to remove at least one steering cable to remove the battery cover. The wire cables are actually rubbing over the plastic battery cover. Look at the pictures, the cables are tightly bound over the clear battery cover. The cover will not lift off with cables in the way. If the top of the battery box was lower, it would actually work.

The guys in my club have experience with tunnels and tons of other boats. Theres been plenty of advancements in rc boats, it doesn't mean anything has to stay the same.

Race ready! That means experienced boaters only? No impulse buy? So this boat is for advanced users only? You mean to tell me this boat is for a niche market only? OH MY!! OK, this boat is only for guys who really know what they're doing.

I have racers in their 70's at our club that have been doing this since the 50's. They were the ones who showed me how to ditch the radio box and use Traxxas waterproof parts.

Do you even own a Stiletto?
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 10:26 PM
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I don't own one, but I've seen enough run that I know they work out of the box.

IMO, it's all a waste of time and effort to ditch the radio box, but it's your boat and you're enjoying it so that's all that matters.

You didn't answer about the ESC though, you'll want to have that somewhere sealed. If you run it out in the open it'll fry on the first run.
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