S.S. Escondido - RC Groups
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Dec 06, 2010, 03:18 PM
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Build Log

S.S. Escondido

I am in process of a scratch built towboat that is going very slowly and my kids frequently ask when it will be done so they can 'drive' it. So, because I'm not getting that project done anytime soon I decided to start another one!

I wanted something scale looking yet fairly straightforward so that it can be built without a huge time investment and also so my kids can help me.

I decided that Glynn Guest's plans fit the bill and so starts the S.S. Escondido.

This will not be a quick build, due to my work schedule, but I should be able to do a few minutes here and there and still get alot done.

I have 6 scale vessels in progress but this will be my first build log and I am still new at this so I'll be looking for help from you all as I go along.
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Dec 06, 2010, 03:32 PM
Registered User
All the main parts are cut from 1/4" balsa at the standard 4" width and then glued together.
I did this a few weeks ago and have not yet made any further progress.

I'm stuck at propulsion now and want to get that installed before continuing building and I need some help here. This is a fairly small, lightweight model (30" long x 4" beam) and I'd the plans call for it to be twin screw. I'd like to follow that if I can find motors/gears to keep the price down.

What do you guys think of having 2 of these micro gear motors to drive this thing?

They would not be independently controlled but both running off one viper 15 marine esc.
(I can do that right...run 2 brushed motors in parallel off one esc?)
Anyone know of any other options?
Dec 06, 2010, 09:37 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Seems like with a 30 " boat you could just run direct drive with some low rpm motors
and some good ESC. Even the little springers run direct 500 motors.

I think your towboat probably could have benefited with a double sized build of the Escondido.

Dec 07, 2010, 08:46 AM
Registered User
proteque's Avatar
I dont know anything about the engine you linked to but I would go for direct drive with a 550 motor or something like that (as umi said). I have used the Aquacraft 550 motor low rpm in some boats with great results. so far no problems with heat even when tuging. I have combined them with ESC from pro boat. I dont really like it. too inaccurate at low speed.

the model I have used is called AQUG7012 and I have bought them quite cheap from ebay.
Dec 07, 2010, 06:00 PM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
Yup, UMI's right. This motor will do the trick:


I'm looking at the VX motor.

Even at stall it only pulls 6 amps and has good torque. Should be realtively inexpensive as well.
Dec 07, 2010, 06:12 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the input but I think a 500 or 550 will be way to big...especially since this build is going to have 2 drive motors. This really is a small, lightweight build....so I ended up ordering these motors...
The price was right and I think one of them should work...I'll be running them on 6volts so that should slow the 12volt motor down a bit. I'm shooting for 1000-1500 rpms max for scale speed. I'll probably end up making the props so I can tweak the pitch a bit.
The only thing is it didn't say if they are reversible but hopefully they should be.

What is the best way to attach the motor to the shaft...I can't find any universal joints with a 2mm bore??
Dec 08, 2010, 05:34 AM
Registered User
With low power motors and aligned shafts you might find that silicone fuel tubing is perfectly adequate and considerably cheaper than commercial couplings. If the shafts are undersize for the tubing, they can be "enlarged" with insulation striped from electrical wires.
Glynn Guest
Dec 08, 2010, 04:59 PM
Registered User
Thanks Waterspeed and Glynn...I'll wait until the motors get here and see what I can figure out.
Dec 16, 2010, 08:26 PM
Registered User
While waiting for the motors to arrive I managed to get a little done. I should mention that I added 2 inches to the overall length making the model 32" as opposed to 30" given in the plans. I just wanted to 'stretch' it out a bit so the cargo hatch areas don't feel too crowded. I sanded the profiles on the stern and the bow. I may add a bit more rake to the bow.
I got the hatch covers built and have started on the superstructure. These are out of .040" and .030" styrene sheet. Some of it is not glued together all the way so please excuse if anything looks crooked in the pictures.

The motors arrived so now running gear construction will be forthcoming.
Dec 16, 2010, 08:28 PM
Registered User
I see some of the pictures are kinda washed out...sorry about that.
Dec 17, 2010, 09:47 AM
Registered User
Jerome Morris's Avatar
Check your cameras flash setting and set it for a soft flash. Might help.
Dec 19, 2010, 11:31 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
I've had success cutting down glare with a layer or 2 of clean white handkerchief over an electronic camera's flash unit. When I was growing up, we had a white plastic diffuser lid that went over the Polaroid flash bulb attachment :-). We usually shot with the light pointed at the ceiling, something impossible with most modern electronic cameras, at least the 2 I own.
Dec 20, 2010, 05:37 PM
Registered User
Predreadnut's Avatar
Brooks,thanks for the idea, i've been having a devil of a time taking pictures of items I'm putting on sale on Ebay. This might do the trick!
Dec 21, 2010, 03:18 PM
NeverAgainVolunteerYourse lf
nick_75au's Avatar
nice build so far,
I'm with GlynnG on the Silicone tube, i use it in a Snell boat with a 12mm diameter 24000 RPM motor.
A bit late on this one but....
I'm worried that the motors you have selected may have too low rpm, I'm guessing that the props will be around the diameter of the motor can (wouldn't go bigger anyway)

Smaller props need more RPM than bigger ones to work effectively.
there is another motor on the American Science and Surplus site called the "LITTLE MONSTER" that spins at 4300 RPM at 6 volts or so. Same size as the other two.

There is no problem with running two motors off one ESC and with those size motor's a 1/18 esc from a car will be fine.


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