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Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
United States, CT, Fairfield
Joined Mar 2012
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Car ESC in an airboat?

Hey folks. First off I'm an airplane guy, I know next to nothing about RC cars. To further confuse the issue, I'm planing to scratch build an air-boat. Why am I posting this in the cars section? Well I'm interested in using a car ESC in my air-boat. Why you ask?

Ordinarily I'd use an airplane ESC but I want the ability to reverse. For obvious reasons, airplane ESC don't have reverse. I looked into boat ESC but they all seem to be water-cooled. As I may run my air-boat on snow or grass, that's not going to work. So I'm thinking why not use a car ESC? I have a few questions though...
First up will a car ESC work in an air-boat running a brushless airplane motor?

What's the deal with the braking feature, can that be disabled?

Does the low voltage cutoff completely shut off the motor or does it switch to a reduced power mode? I don't want to get stuck out on the water.

Can I run a car ESC with an airplane radio?

If so how would you suggest I setup the throttle, baring in mind the left stick (usually used for throttle) has no centering?
I'd like to invest no more than $50 in this project, using the electronics from from a crashed plane, some Home Depot foam-board & fiber-glass. The crashed plane's motor was matched with a 30a ESC running a 3S 2200mah LiPo. Anyway please help clue me in on the differences between an airplane, boat & car ESC. Thanks.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:34 AM
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wparsons's Avatar
Canada, ON, Markham
Joined Aug 2008
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1) You can definitely use one

2) The braking feature will depend on the ESC. Most car ESC's default to brakes when you push reverse, then when you push a second time you get reverse.

3) The LVC will pulse the power at first, but if you keep going it will totally stop

4) Yep, no issues there either. What will be tricky is setting neutral properly if you want reverse, unless you add a spring to the throttle channel. IMO, your only option is to put throttle on the elevator channel, or add a spring.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
United States, CT, Fairfield
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Thank you! Finally some clear & to the point answers (haven't had much luck elsewhere).

I suppose the braking feature is actually a good thing for this application. It makes sense to stop the prop before engaging reverse. I think it should be fine using the right stick for throttle. So basically throttle & steering will both be on the right. Push forward to go, pull back once to stop the prop, pull back again to reverse, left & right make it steer. That should work. Thanks again, much appreciated.
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 11:06 AM
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Joined Sep 2012
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Also you can get some escs with reverse delay like the reedy esc in associated cars. Just hold the brake and when the motor comes to a fullstop reverse will activate
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Old Dec 22, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Ahh that sounds cool. Thanks again.
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