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Old Aug 28, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Newbie, not sure what I have

Aside from those inexpensive helicopters, trucks and other vehicles you can get at Radio Shack, ToysRUs, etc., I am clueless about RC things but it seems like it would make for a great hobby to share with the kids.

So I picked this old boat up at a yard sale:

https://picasaweb.google.com/james.d...PK3uJ_U8pyDKg#

I would like to get it up and running for the kids and me before the weather gets too cold. I am ordering replacement batteries now but have no clue about:

- Heathkit GDA-57-1 Remote controller
... it has a 4-pin jack of some sort
... haven't opened it up yet so I am not sure how to power it
... don't know what the "4 MTR" stands for.

- The boat
.... It sort of resembles a Chriscraft, right? Do you think it was from a kit or homemade?
.... It looks to be in pretty good shape but for some cosmetic blemishes.
.... Once I replace the batteries, is there a standard way to charge them or do I simply use my 6/12v selectable charger on them?

I would be very appreciative of any suggestions, reference material, and general assistance with our little project.

Thanks,
Jim
Greenport, NY
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 05:48 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Apr 2007
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Don't even fool with the radio. It's a nice conversation piece these days. It's illegal to even turn on since the legal specs have changed since it was made (early 70's) and it was probably assembled at home, so you can't be sure that it even matches period specs.

Get a modern 2.4ghz rig and replace it and all the other electronics. The modern stuff is much more reliable, much cheaper and easier to work with. I personally prefer a two stick radio for scale boats, something like a Spectrum DX6i.

I would recommend the six channel for scale boating since then you can add and control all the working gizmos and special effects like lights and horns and other things that kids big and small love on their boats.

The Gel-Cells are probably dead as doornails - replace with new gel-cells.

Maybe replace the motor.

4 mtr = 4 meter band = 70 megahertz band - refers to the radio's frequency. The 72mhz band are AIR frequencies only now and 72.960 is NOT a legal frequency in any case. Do NOT use this rig. Do not even turn it on. Find a local RC club wanting a museum display piece.

Get a decent charger designed for model batteries - a car charger was overkill even in the old days. A fast overcharge of old batteries could be most unpleasant. I like and use the Triton2ED

Not Chris-Craft. I have forgotten the name of the kit or the manufacturer, it has been a very long time.

Check out the Woodies Thread. Look in the Build Lists, especially read the "Rebuilds and Restorations" treads for tips, techniques and materials. Remember too, the only foolish question is the one unasked. There are lots of great and knowledgeable folks here who are usually more than willing to be of assistance.

Welcome to the hobby.
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 06:50 AM
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Wow, Craig, that's great stuff, thanks! Looks like I have a shop that sells that stuff not too far from my office.

Gotta love hobbies and the hobbyists, all the esoteric stuff to master. Isn't it a little early to be answering this from San Fran?
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 07:12 AM
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Rochester NY
Joined Mar 2005
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Norco or something like that stiks out in my mind for the boat.
But not sure.
I have the same radio.
Built it around 1968 I think. It was my first proportional radio.
And check out the 4 wire servos.
What a blast from the past.
Good luck with your project. Should be fun. Dave.
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 12:28 PM
Boats on the brain!!
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Arnold, Mo.
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I would consider changing out that racing style of prop for one more suited to scale electric.
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 03:23 PM
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United States, CA, Hayward
Joined Feb 2006
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Norco it is and memory says it was the Catalina model. Good prop, new electronics and you are good to go. Figure on 7 cells or even 3s LiPo and it would be a fair runner. Had a nitro of some sort in it, motor mount is still there. Wish I still had mine, it would be a prime candidate for a brushless conversion.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 01:01 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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Early??

Listen to them.... the Children of the Night! What music they make
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptLee View Post
Norco it is and memory says it was the Catalina model. Good prop, new electronics and you are good to go. Figure on 7 cells or even 3s LiPo and it would be a fair runner. Had a nitro of some sort in it, motor mount is still there. Wish I still had mine, it would be a prime candidate for a brushless conversion.
Sounds great but it's all greek to me. My office is in NYC and conveniently just a few blocks from this place: http://www.fun-and-hobby.com/. What a hoot, I had no idea what you RC'er were really up to until I walked into this place. The RC geek there pulled out a bunch of things but this being my first go at it, I decided to tone it down a little -- so let me know what you think because I can swap any of this out if it is unopened.

- Controller: Spectrum DX2M (I actually bought a Westward 18 sailboat that includes it so my kids had something to play with while I was fiddling with the woodie, what the heck).
- Receiver: SR300 3-channel DSM Sport Surface
- MSC12L Fwd/Rev ESC LiPo cutoff
- Servo: NYA 370g Standard (E-flite)
- Motor: Losi 12T550
- Battery: Speedpack Silver 7.4v 4000mAh 2S 20C LiPo
- Charger: Prophet Sport LiPo 25w
- misc items (connectors, rudder pushrod, tape, etc.

But you say I need a new prop too? Am I going to be ok with what I have for now, replace later, or will I have be halfway down the aisle without the ring? Is that motor ok -- he showed me something more powerful but, hey, this is just a Catalina, right? What's a brushless motor and what would that do for me?

Anyway, much obliged to all for your input. Would love to have this all up for the holiday weekend and this is my last day in the city where I can buy parts.

Thx,
Jim
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 07:42 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
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Western N.Y. winemaking country
Joined Jun 2005
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Have fun Jim---.

Upgrading the running gear and some cosmetic work looks to be all you'll have to do.

Just don't go too far overboard with the new parts and keep things simple for now.

And beware the hobby shop owner who wants to sell you every pricey "must have" item that he can think of---.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by der kapitan View Post
Have fun Jim---.

Upgrading the running gear and some cosmetic work looks to be all you'll have to do.

Just don't go too far overboard with the new parts and keep things simple for now.

And beware the hobby shop owner who wants to sell you every pricey "must have" item that he can think of---.
Excellent advice and it's what I give to people starting out in things I know something about but I am not sure here where the line is between simple/necessary and overboard.

BTW, der Kapitan, I am in the other NY wine country on the North Fork of LI. Do you grow grapes too?
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 09:35 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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Originally Posted by der kapitan View Post
beware the hobby shop owner who wants to sell you every pricey "must have" item that he can think of---.
LOL! Ain't dat da truth!

Brushed motor - What you got already in your pictures of the boat. TWO power supply wires. Has internal brushes (green & yellow) providing current to the armature via the commutator (orange). The speed is controlled by controlling the voltage going to the motor, the more voltage the faster the armature spins. The brushes are a major source of friction in a brushed motor and a major point of failure as they wear out. Wiki Article

Brushed Motor

Brushless Motor - THREE Power wires. The speed of the motor is controlled by a computerized AC inverter - The ESC (electronic speed control). No brushes means much less friction loss and significantly higher efficiency. Wiki Article

Brushless motors come in two basic 'flavors,' the in-runner where the magnets are in/on the shaft. In-runners have lower torque and higher RPMs. Out-runners spin the outer case around the inner stator windings. Out-runners are slower and have higher torque than in-runners but both are much more efficient and provide higher RPMs than brushed motors of the same size and have been replacing nitro/internal combustion engines in many R/C applications.

Your salesperson sold you a brushed 550 sized motor and corresponding ESC with a power-tap for the receiver. Kinda surprised at that - not that it won't work, it'll work, but the trend now is totally toward brushless in boats since brushless motors give you more efficient unit, The one advantage the brushed motors do have is that they don't draw as much current as the brushless ones which basically require LiPo batteries because of their high current draw. Just remember that you can only use this speed-controller with brushed (two wire) motors.

In you Norco, battery weight isn't as much of a problem so you can use gel (sealed gelled-acid lead) cell batteries instead of the LiPos and count them as part of the ballast as well. One thing, and since I haven't sized a motor for a hull recently - so I'll throw this item to the others. Just off the cuff, I just feel that a single 550 brushed motor might be a bit undersized to get a boat the size of a Norco Catalina up speed and hold her 'on step.' Maybe a pair set up in a dual drive.

New prop: yep. You need to get a correctly sized prop for the motor and hull combination. For that again, I'll throw it to the other guys as (for me) it is a dark and arcane art shrouded in mystery for which I haven't found the grimoire and become an adept yet .

Note of caution: never leave charging LiPos unattended and never charge them in/on a flammable surface or inside an enclosed room. I know many of us charge them in clay flower pots and the like because of the danger of fire due to a damaged battery. It's one of those highly unlikely events that just bites you when you least expect it to... See the section in the Southern Soaring Club's LiPo article on operating temperature and "Thermal Runaway."

Added....

From the Southern Soaring Club website...
Electric Motors - part 1
Electric Motors - part 2
Electric Motors - part 3
Electric Motors - part 4
Electric Motors - part 5

Lithium-Polymer Batteries
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 10:33 AM
Boats on the brain!!
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Arnold, Mo.
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That motor is a 12 turn motor and is better used in a race car. Something like a 45 to 55 turn motor would be better.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 11:10 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
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Western N.Y. winemaking country
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Originally Posted by greenporter View Post
BTW, der Kapitan, I am in the other NY wine country on the North Fork of LI. Do you grow grapes too?
No, I don't grow grapes, but I do drink a lot of the fermented squeezings---.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by der kapitan View Post
Have fun Jim---.

Upgrading the running gear and some cosmetic work looks to be all you'll have to do.

Just don't go too far overboard with the new parts and keep things simple for now.

And beware the hobby shop owner who wants to sell you every pricey "must have" item that he can think of---.
This is probably the best advice there is so far for someone new. Just put it together and enjoy yourself. Be warned, it get addictive. If you find a club go visit them and have some fun there as well.
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Union, Maine
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I newI I'd seen this boat in an old add. Came from a Marine Models products catalog from the late 1970's
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