Does anyone have any info about this rowboat? - RC Groups
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Aug 01, 2010, 12:42 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar

Does anyone have any info about this rowboat?

Hi folks.. been goofing off in the beer mines again, and this caught my interest
a little R/C rowboat!

The Remote Control Pirate Rowing Boat! (1 min 8 sec)

thing is, I can't really find that much information about it, other than it apparently uses four servos to control the movement, and that movement can either be controlled by clever servo mixing or a special control board made by some guy in Germany.
I also believe the servos are rebuilt for continues rotation.

I figure that if anyone knows more about it, then it would be you guys
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Aug 01, 2010, 01:29 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Looks like it may be an old Graupner Tina or maybe a bit of a variation on the indian paddlers..


There were also these paddlers, first posted by Kmot in 2008...

A bunch of links were posted on the second page here.

Viking ships at Bellevue Regatta
RC Viking Ship @ Bellevue Regatta (1 min 23 sec)

Another Viking ship
RC Viking Ship @ Toronto Hobby Show 11B4 (5 min 10 sec)
Last edited by Umi_Ryuzuki; Aug 01, 2010 at 02:44 PM.
Aug 01, 2010, 02:36 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
I was fascinated watching the first video above... plenty of servos and linkages to get me all excited, sure... but note the syncronization of the oars after a turn! If they were independent, they'd get out of sync and the boat would wobble along like a pollywog... left right, left right... but they don't.

How'd he do that?
Aug 01, 2010, 02:48 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
thanks Umi!

though most of the links on that one thread were dead, I eventually found this:
grampas rowboat internals

from what I can tell whats going on is that you have the back servos pushing the oar forwad and backwards, and another lifting the oar up and down with a Adriano (sp) chip co-ordinating the movement. The doll's just along for the ride

I'm actually pretty sure if thats the case theres probably a program for the chip lying around some where on the web.
Aug 02, 2010, 11:18 AM
Big Boats Rule!
boater_dave's Avatar
If it runs like the Tina, there is a common eccentric drive that runs both oars at the same pace and in sync. Another mechanism modifies the arc of one oar.

Aug 02, 2010, 12:20 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
thanks dave, I figured the Tina Mechanism used some type of clutch. Its a shame they're so hard to come by nowadays.

looks like the more modern ones uses servos and a programmable mixer. from the pages I found it looks like an arduino chip with a custom program on it.
Aug 02, 2010, 01:20 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
So the servos may not be modified at all.
You could achieve the same rowing and sycnronization by
constantly rolling your joysticks around the gimble arc.

The Arduino takes over that function and probably allows the
rowing action to take place using two channels.
Aug 02, 2010, 01:53 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
nope.. no need to, and would be counter productive i would believe... the servo modification.. removing the stop.. was to turn the servo into a continuous movement geared motor for a more... clock work approach I saw in another description...

this method looks the most elegant and versatile. just like you said, two channel operation. the arduino takes the X,Y and translates it to the gimble action you described.
the chips are cheap and easy to work with, just gotta figure out the programming. the chip also has the ability to take the encoder data from the servos to synch everything back up.
Aug 02, 2010, 02:36 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
About 15 or so years ago, a former member of our club scratchbuilt a rowboat that worked rather well. I think he used a single modified servo to operate the oars, and another to turn a rudder. Simple, but impressive---.
Aug 04, 2010, 06:36 PM
Registered User
I remember the transmission in Jim McCouls Viking ship well. Pat M. may have a picture of it. Jim used a separate timing belt pulley for each oarsmen that rotated the respective oar in a circular motion. His biggest problem was coordination of the two sides which were independent of each other. Typical automatic transmission engineer; about 40 pulley wheels and just as many belts, lol.
Aug 05, 2010, 12:54 AM
Registered User
This Is a setup that was in the next to last month's Marine Model International and there was a link to the maker. He is doing a beta test of the mixer unit and I want one. Will see if I can Liberate my issue from the Boat Mafia at the Lake and include it here.
Aug 05, 2010, 01:26 AM
Registered User
there been an article not so long ago in the mag. marine modelling hers some of the pics. lulu
Aug 05, 2010, 01:08 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
The servo gear stop may be removed, but they are not continuous rotation servos.
1. The potentiometer giving feed back to the Arduino board are not able to rotate continuously.
2. The linkages are not designed to pass the center of rotation.

Aug 05, 2010, 05:10 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Never having seen a video of the servo's in action, I don't think they need to travel more than 45 degrees. Well maybe 90. I would think dead rest stick would have the oars ot of the water
Sep 11, 2010, 07:21 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
What issue of Marine Model Int'l was that??
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...

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