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Old Feb 24, 2013, 05:56 PM
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I cut a piece of .5 mm of styrene in a rectangle to fit in the top half of the Aluminaut. Then cut notches.
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Strung the antenna back and forth.
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Fit it in the sub. The thrill is it fit!
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But my performance was not good. With antenna down I got only 17' away before it would begin to miss signals. That was not good. Then the sub began to act possessed and motors were running when no signal was given. I half way expected it to rise off the table and do some scene from the Exorcist. Then as quickly as it started, it stopped. Everything stopped. No signals were being responded to.
I waited until the next day to check it out. Put in a fresh battery, just to be safe. And the receiver responded, but the port motor runs continuously. I have switched receivers and checked my programming with different servos and they work fine. So, it is time to disassemble again and check out the port wiring and ESC.
Going back to antenna, Greg, I am going to try what you did to see if I get better reception. My goal is between 40 and 50 feet with antenna down. I worry about the thickness having an antenna on both sides. We will see, all I can do is try, right?
Also wondering about creating an antenna with a circuit board like this garage opener.
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See how the antenna on the right in blue goes back and forth? I wonder if I can make one that will have enough length for my RX.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Just a suspician, but the aluminum might obscure and change your reception in a big way. give it a shot with styrene, it should work as long as you have no wiring issues that are hiding in there.

Looks great, will be exciting to see it hit the water (un-posessed of course!)

Cheers
G-O
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:01 PM
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Aluminum or Aluminium, I am confused, did I mistype that somewhere? I am not using aluminum.
If I do not throw this against a wall, it will be exciting to see underwater......just got to get it there!
Peace,
tom
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tchalfant View Post
Aluminum or Aluminium, I am confused, did I mistype that somewhere? I am not using aluminum.
If I do not throw this against a wall, it will be exciting to see underwater......just got to get it there!
Peace,
tom
oops my bad...... duh says styrene right in the description... maybe i should use them reading skills they gave me once in a while...
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 06:16 PM
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LOL - I wish I could say I do not do that, but I do, too often.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 08:10 PM
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Are you really going to be able to see it when it gets that far away?. I would think 50' with the antenna out would be good. Greg
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg W View Post
Are you really going to be able to see it when it gets that far away?. I would think 50' with the antenna out would be good. Greg
well, to ensure it gets good reception under water, a decent signal to start with is a big safety net.

could it be that the receiver is not liking the 1s voltage?
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg W View Post
Are you really going to be able to see it when it gets that far away?. I would think 50' with the antenna out would be good. Greg
Greg, you are right, but it is not the surface run....it is the underwater run that I am concerned about.

Derk, you might have a good point there. I will try a different arrangement of antenna, but will look into that more.

You guys ROCK!
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Old Mar 03, 2013, 04:12 PM
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It is looking like the ESC gave out. There is a strong acrid smell....something I have smelled before when a computer component decides to end its life and die in smoke. There are no visible burn marks, so I will unsolder everything and test each one separately. Work on that part tonight. If it turns out to be a fried ESC, I will need to order another one. Although, rumor has it, you can use the circuitry from a servo as an ESC. Hmmm.

On my antenna studies, I have been reading about quarter wave antennas and It looks like you can take a fraction of the wavelength and use that in an antenna. So far this is all magic and pixie dust to me. There are 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, or even 1/100th of a wavelength antennas. 75 MHz wavelength for Ch 69 (75.570 MHz) is 3.97 meters long. If I can use 1/100th length then the ideal would be 39.7mm?
Then in this test, Sombra Labs RX was tested with a trimmed antenna. A very interesting read:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=912056

The testing here is a fraction of the antenna length not wavelength..... Maybe it is the same concept, just two different perspectives. I will coil my antenna to 5" (1/8th) and see what happens.

TEST: at 5" length of antenna and with antenna down on TX, I got to a little over 25' away using the Polk TX (that is just short of a 50% improvement over the original antenna wrap distance of 17') . On a whim, I tried my wFly TX. I got a significant improvement at 41' distance with antenna down. A little surprising.
O.K. back to the shop for soldering and testing ESC.
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Old Mar 05, 2013, 08:26 PM
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It looks like I will order a new ESC. At best two weeks of downtime.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 11:46 PM
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The Aluminaut will LIVE! Thank you Crazygary - He sent me an ESC that he decided not to use.
I also have been working on the light bar.
Made a three piece mold and soldered up some really small electronics.
The plan is to cast it in clear resin. Then mask the lenses and paint it silver to seal and reflect the light. Then black to prevent light from escaping except where I want it to. Then a final external color (orange).
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So, I poured the clear resin into the reservoir on top and began to vacuum out the bubbles. I was supposed to have a 15 minute working time, but while vacuuming it got very thick. I quickly got it out of the vacuum and put it in the pressure pot. We will see what happens.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 02:05 AM
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So the casting as thought did not go all the way to the end. So I manually tried to push another batch of clear resin into the areas that had voids.
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Put it all together and wait.
In the mean time, here is a test which ESC glowed a pretty orange spewed very foul smelling smoke and died completely?
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That is right the one that is white on the upper left.
Here is the WTC crazygary sent me so the Aluminaut would live! I tested all the ESCs and they work.
So here is the casting coming out... pretty ugly.
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But it works so that was helpful.
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Then one light on the end would blink on and off if the support to the sub is flexed.
So I just need to be careful. Painted it silver and found some voids that needed filling. Packed some metal glaze into the holes and worked it in.
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Painted it black and tested the lights. One was not bright anymore.
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One of the middle lights is not reaching full brightness. Flexing does not help.
I either damaged the connection or some glaze seeped around the LED.
It is time to let this portion of the sub go. Maybe later return to it, but I want to focus on the core, get the sub working.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Tom, I hate working on the tiny stuff on the Marlin. I already broke two reed switches that were 1/4 inch long. They are fragile and tiny. I could not imagine tackling something like you are doing on the Aluminaut.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 07:54 PM
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Thanks Ken. I think that once this is done, it will be easier the second time and hopefully this thread will help someone else. It is doing it for the first time or doing something new like the light bar that challenges me. I have a new formula: Micro size + age = frustration

Now, your work is a thing of beauty.
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Old Mar 25, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Painted the the props aluminum. I have seen photos of them painted white or gray, I chose aluminum because the Aluminaut was the first to use aluminum hull for a deep sea vehicle. Checked the reference photos and added the props.
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Assembled the parts together and placed the sub in the water. The Aluminaut is nose heavy.
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But the piston ballast works very nicely.
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I will need to reverse some of the servos and one motor does not turn as quickly as the other when the command was given. The people blender (being run by crazygary's ESC) works like a champ. I will need to limit the power to it. Just a small amount of power and it moves.
Playing with it for several minutes, I got a tinge of panic, wondering if there was a leak somewhere. So time for a check.
Opened up the sub and it was bone dry. The piston was dry and the end caps that the wires come into was dry.

Trimming this is a little tricky because I cannot add foam. But I do have a keel that is filled with some weight. I can cut out or drill areas out to raise the bow.

Assembled the sub again and cut out a strip of foam. Filling the ballast tank, the foam was held on to the hull with a rubber band. At first the ballast could not lower the sub, but as I pinched off pieces of the foam the hull was becoming more responsive. Then I slid the foam forward, I was able to get a level sail.

So correct me if I am wrong, I have a chunk of foam 7/16" x 7/16" x 7/8" I need to convert this volume to weight and remove that amount of weight from the keel. Can someone help me figure that out?
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