Aquacraft vela - Page 34 - RC Groups
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Nov 23, 2011, 04:13 AM
Location: The Flightline
FourDollaRacing's Avatar
Originally Posted by 04_MINI
Is the Tactic radio that comes with the Vela programmable? I am in the process of installing a double haul system and would like to limit the sail arm movement.

Or should I just swap my Flysky Rx/Tx in my Vicky with the Tactic?
Adjustable travel volume (ATV), End-point adjustment (EPA), or Dual rates (D/R) will all limit servo movements. Different manufacturers use different programs and acronyms.
Changing the arm length will work, as mentioned previously, but also lessens the mechanical advantage of the servo.

Check this surface transmitter:

....Used by Masami Hirosaka - 14 time IFMAR World Champion.
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Nov 23, 2011, 11:35 PM
Registered User
No need to limit the travel of the existing sail servo. With about 120 degrees of travel, then with double hauling, that should be about right. I will see tomorrow as I am going to mess with my boat and finish the double haul system and see if it gives me the right amount of travel which measuring has already told me that it should. A computer radio for the boat would be cool, but not really needed. Ryan
Nov 24, 2011, 09:47 PM
Registered User

First Sail

I got my first sail with my Vela today. The boat sails pretty well, although the wind was pretty light like about five or so. After about twenty minutes of sailing the Hitec servo that I am using for the sail winch burned up again. Not sure what the problem is with this servo, as this is the second time it burned up. Guess these are lousy servos. Gonna send it back to Hitec again.
I do like the boat a lot and think it has a lot of potential, gotta sail it some more after working out the sail winch issue. I have an older futaba FP-S125 sail servo, but I do not think it is powerful enough. Guess I will use the factory servo for now till I can get a better more powerful servo that does not burn up.
Also the double sheeting worked well although I am still about an inch short on the overall travel. The Rod Carr sails are really nice and look good, although a bit hard to see as they are clear. Gotta find some telltales. Anyone got suggestions on that? Ryan
Nov 24, 2011, 10:50 PM
Boomer1's Avatar
Have you checked you wiring? Sounds like something is causing the failure.
Is it getting wet? Maybe moisture is causing it to short out??
Just a thought.

Nov 24, 2011, 11:24 PM
Registered User
Boat is totally dry and the servo is working fine for a period of time. Its hooked up the way its supposed to be as far as I can tell. Not sure what the problem is.
Nov 25, 2011, 11:18 PM
Registered User

First Sail

Wow the boat sails great. Upwind needed no helm after tuning and went really well. Downwind, the boat wanted to go towards the wind some, but was not to hard to correct for. The wind was not real strong, about five or so. Reinstalled factory sail winch, and found it is not up to the task. Gotta bring the boat into the wind for it to pull the sails all the way in. Gotta find a sailwinch servo that is not huge size wise, but fits in the same spot and will work unlike that darn hitec 7554 digital servo. That servo is junk. Will have to look around some and see what I can find. The futaba S125 sailwinch servo that I had laying around is not up to the task either with only 129 oz inches of torque. Pictures attached.
Nov 25, 2011, 11:47 PM
Registered User
thorsail's Avatar
Hey rssailor
I have had great results using old VHS tape for telltales - it is very light,
won't stick to the sails or hold moisture like yarn will. also, if you have any
nylon ripstop spinnaker material that will work as well. You just need a way
to fasten the pieces to the sails - I use 2 sided tape, but a small bit of sail
repair tape will work too.
I find the dark color and width of the video tape pretty easy to see from
shore, far easier than audio tape. I usually cut 4" lengths for the jib and
maybe 5" or 6" for the main.

Nov 26, 2011, 12:06 PM
Boomer1's Avatar
I don't claim to be an expert or an authority on servos for sure, but can share with you what works on my boats. I have some Hitec servos and have not yet experienced any malfunctions. My impression is that they are great rudder servos. My experience with a Hitec as a sail serov has been limited to their HS 645 MG. I found it was not strong enough for my tastes in my Nirvana (32" boat) It couldn't pull in the sails in heavy wind, in average conditions it worked fine.

I am just now testing a stronger Hitec HS-5645MG Digital and a BMS-630MG "Super Strong" Servo from Hobbyking. The servo arm on the Nirvana had to be modified to accept the BMS spline which has the same as a Futaba. The Hitec fits without modifications. Both have more torque than the HS 645MG at 6.0V:133.3 oz-in. I started out with in my Nirvana, so I am hopeful they will be up to the task.

Here are the specs for both - it would be great if the BMS works out - check out the price. You get 3 for the price of one Hitec! Well all most.

BMS-630MG Servo from Hobbyking. Very high torque for standard size servo.
Weight: 49 grams / 1.73 oz.
Dimensions: 40.5 x 20 x 42 mm / 1.60 x 0.78 x 1.62 inch
Torque At 4.8V: 181 oz-in
Torque At 6.0V: 195 oz -in
Speed At 4.8V: 0.17 sec / 60° at no load
Speed At 6.0V: 0.15 sec / 60° at no load current price = $16.25

Hitec HS-5645MG Digital 2.12 oz
(60.0 g) 1.59×0.77×1.48 in
(40.4×19.6×37.6 mm) 4.8V:143.0 oz-in (10.3 kg-cm)
6.0V:168.0 oz-in (12.1 kg-cm)
4.8V:0.23 sec/60°
6.0V:0.18 sec/60°
3-pole Dual Bearings Metal $54.95

I have listed the two best servos I have found for my 1 Meter boats - both are hard to find because of their being discontinued. These two can pull the sails in under the most servere conditions, no problem! I used the S5301 on a Seawind when I couldn't locate a S3801 - Both are very impressive servos! The S3801 is my person favorite - when ever I find one on line, I'll buy it to have as a back up or for a new boat.

In fairness to other good servos that may be out there, I have not tested every servo, but found these two are the best I have found to date. My sense is that 1 meter boats require at a minimum 185 ounces of torque to have the power to pull in their sails in heavy wind condtions. Food for thought anyway.

Futaba S5301 Analog 4.41 oz
(125.0 g) 2.32×1.14×1.97 in
(58.9×29.0×50.0 mm) 4.8V:233.0 oz-in (16.8 kg-cm)
6.0V:292.0 oz-in (21.0 kg-cm) 4.8V:0.29 sec/60°
6.0V:0.23 sec/60°
5-pole Dual Bearings Metal $94.99

Futaba S3801 Analog 3.77 oz
(107.0 g) 2.32×1.14×1.97 in
(58.9×29.0×50.0 mm) 4.8V:156.0 oz-in (11.2 kg-cm)
6.0V:194.0 oz-in (14.0 kg-cm)
4.8V:0.30 sec/60°
6.0V:0.26 sec/60°
3-pole Dual Bearings Hybrid $69.99

If you are not yet familar with the "Servo Data Base" at
you should check it out. Great resourse.

Last edited by Boomer1; Nov 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
Nov 26, 2011, 03:47 PM
Location: The Flightline
FourDollaRacing's Avatar

Digital vs. Analog

"In cases where servos are improperly set up, the resulting servo preload or linkage binding causes an abnormally high current draw."

"As opposed to regular servos, if a digital servo experiences resistance coming from any source, it responds right away with high torque and holding power, resulting in a high flow of current."

"Poorly aligned linkages, binding...., poorly adjusted [linkages] or sub trim, endpoint and poorly aligned midrange adjustments always result in high flow of current. [This] will cause burned out or hot running regulators or servos, high battery drain or erratic running servos or receivers...."

Link written for aircraft, similar principles for boats:
Nov 26, 2011, 04:50 PM
Kevin Gault
poltergeist's Avatar
I've got one HS7950TG in each of my one-meter boats, as well as a Hitec digital (not sure of the model #'s) in my V32 and Footy. All have been completely reliable so far.

One thing to consider is, if possible, the sail arm should point directly away from the sheet fairlead when the sails are fully sheeted in. This takes a lot of the static load off the servo when the sheets are highly loaded. On my boats the sail arm points almost exactly fore and aft when sheeted in tight.

I also run my boats with 6volts max. Any chance the fully charged packs you are using might be exceeding the max voltage rating for the servo?

Nov 26, 2011, 04:55 PM
Location: The Flightline
FourDollaRacing's Avatar

Thanks for the servodatabase link, Boomer.

See the attached picture for part of my stash of burnt-out servos:

After much trial-and-error, I now prefer digital servos for precision and analog servos for heavy loads. Analog servos do burn-out under stressful applications; but, last longer in my experience.
  • EFLRDS75H digital
  • cyclic servo (heavy load)
  • < one month operation
  • EFLRDS75H digital
  • tail servo (precision)
  • > one year operation
  • HXT900 analog
  • cyclic servo (heavy load)
  • > one year operation
  • HS-55 analog
  • cyclic servo (heavy load)
  • currently in operation
Dec 05, 2011, 01:51 PM
Registered User

Mini Cam on Vela

Not mine but saw this video on youtube:

I really like these little mini cams ...
Might have to pick one up!!
Dec 05, 2011, 01:59 PM
Useful Idiot
A direct video feed on the Tx might be interesting ...
Dec 05, 2011, 04:45 PM
Vela 1m Sailboat

Mini Cams

Originally Posted by winch
Not mine but saw this video on youtube:

I really like these little mini cams ...
Might have to pick one up!!

New new GoPro Hero 2, with the Wireless Transmitter Backpack which is coming out in February, will record HD video and send SD video wireless to any Video Goggles, I am thinking of buying one for a Quad Copter I am working on.
Dec 05, 2011, 06:46 PM
Registered User
Thx Auto - might have to delay telling Santa.

I like to race full size boats as well at a club here..
Don't know how many times I'd wished we had video of race but truth is ...we are to busy to pull out camera.

Looking to use for that as well...

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