HMS Beagle 1:36 - Page 10 - RC Groups
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Aug 06, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Well I finished up a few more details before taking the Beagle out for her first deep water sail.

First off... for some reason the original Beagle had a fake windowed extension jutting out of either side of her stern, which Marquardt's book on the ship called a "false quarter gallery". So, a good use for my leftover basswood strips was found this week making them.

It looked like the clip-on extension I made for the rudder was going to eventually damage the copper tape, so I decided to glue on a more permanent and much larger Plexiglas extension. If this doesn't hold I might re-do the rudder entirely.

Next I glued on a plastic disk to the underside of the hull so I can mount a small Tamiya "submarine motor". It uses one double A battery and attaches with a suction cup, so I guess I'm set for the next becalmed sailing day or indoor sail.

Finally I added red ribbons to the top of the fore and mizenmast to help gage the wind direction.

So on Saturday we took the Beagle to the Hourglass Pond, a favorite sailing spot of the local r/c club, Indy Admirals. Its over ten feet deep in places and pretty wide, so in preparation I bought a life vest in case I needed to do a recovery swim. I'm pretty fit, but swimming isn't my strong suit, especially if I have to try to carefully pull a flooded model ship back to shore.

The wind was pretty steady, gusting a few times, so I got to watch her heel over heavily several times as she chugged along. The tension on the mainmast rigging got a bit loose, so I had issues rotating the mainmast sails fully. Several attempts to tack were all defeated as I couldn't seem to get the main turned over enough to grab the wind on the other side.

But anyway, it was a fun 90 minutes of sailing. After I took her out I discovered some water had gotten down into the hull, but not too bad. A little sponge work and she was good to go.

(Had to take one final pic before sailing... just in case.)

(A big white catfish surfacing a bit close. There be sea monsters here! Man the whaleboats!)

Meanwhile, Indy Admirals were co-Hosting the 2011 SubRegatta at the Carmel Reflecting Pond, so I got to meet several members, as well as see lots of subs in action.

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Aug 07, 2011, 03:31 AM
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kotori87's Avatar
Beagle looks great out on the water! Looks like you've found a good place to sail. Those sea monsters are scary, though. Better stow some extra food in your whaleboats, in case Beagle goes the same way as the Essex...
Aug 07, 2011, 10:21 AM
Registered User looks like a great place to sail...access all around...up here in vancouver, foreign objects in the water are discouraged because they disturb the there are lots of weeds...ducks, geese, seagulls, and poo!!....but one lake was just dredged and i hope to take ad vantage of it soon......
Aug 08, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Well I'm still debating what route to go with the signal gun. The black powder versus CO2 options both have many pros and cons.

Another thought I had was trying some kind of water cannon. I guess you could have one tube going over the side into the water, and maybe a second tube going down into the hull to act as a bilge pump. After sponging out water from the last sail, that idea has some appeal.

So the question is, would there be any way a short squirt of water could also propel a smoke simulation? And maybe incorporate a speaker with an appropriate "BOOM" sound effect with it?

I suppose one advantage of a water cannon is you could actually take a few pot shots at passing model ships... or curious onlookers... muhahahaha... plus you'd never run out of ammo.
Aug 08, 2011, 02:56 PM
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kotori87's Avatar
When my battleship sinks, one of the more important tasks is blowing the water out of the cannons. This prevents the ammunition from rusting, but more importantly for you the combination of water and a large pulse of air can create a cool visible muzzle blast. The up-side is that you can make such a pneumatic water cannon reloading, and get 20 or more shots from a CO2 cartridge. The down-side is that the visible muzzle blast isn't as big as black powder or flour/talcum powder, and disappears very quickly.

I wonder if it's possible to use steam?
Aug 08, 2011, 05:37 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Steam visibility is very dependent on air humidity. On a cool, humid day, steam produces a great plume (from model steam locomotives or steamboats). But on a dry day, there is virtually no steam plume visible.

Your ship looks great at sea Jpop. Braces stretch while in use, so I commonly have to bring in my squareriggers at least once during a cruise to tighten them up. I use button bowsies to make adjustment easier.
Aug 10, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Hmm not sure about steam or even using CO2. I was thinking of maybe just squirting water with an impeller. Took at look at Strike Models listing for bilge pumps:

Not sure how to go about it. Looks like you need to have the motor down under the waterline to do what I'm thinking -- or heaven-forbid -- fill a container in the ship's hull with water.
Aug 11, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Brooks's Avatar
My vacutug uses an auto windshield washer pump for squirting. Works great, installation instructions here:

Mine draws water from the pond thru a screened intake port cut in the hull. No problems with leakage around the port after several years of running (port flange sealed with Marine Goop). Some more details of my installation here:
Aug 11, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Say, that looks awesome Brooks. Oh, but to put a big hole into my hull at this point... Wonder if I could install the pump in a housing under the hull with the water tube going up the side to the forecastle.

Just a thought, but I suppose you could create an alternative to the bb gun model ship combat for age-of-sail with that setup. Just have water cannons firing onto each other's decks until the water buildup swamps your opponent. It would certainly be very visually interesting. Plus, no eye protection required, no balsa wood damage and no filling up your local ponds with metal pellets. I suppose water hitting your sails would also add some excitement as well.
Aug 12, 2011, 03:19 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
I'm trying to find a place to buy some "lift off pin hinges" for connecting the spars to the masts. All the places on the internet seem to have a UK address, like this one: Are they called something else?
Aug 12, 2011, 09:34 PM
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Brooks's Avatar
If you are willing to make them yourself, Meatbomber has a nice design (similar, I believe, to what DanL uses on Syren)
Photo of MB's yard hangers Post#27:

I'm sure DanL has photos, too, but I don't know the particular post. Here's one of Paratroopers setup, nice and clear closeups Post#108

The simplest method is my pair of screweyes, I think (copied from Boyd, 1930). But the above method(s) give better swing, that is, swing that will not let the yards hit the shrouds. By freeing up the arc, you can have sufficient swing of the yards to work the boat to windward, yet still have your scale shrouds. Boyd's screweye method allows plenty of yard swing, but they will hit the shrouds, which is why he and I both leave them off our squareriggers.
Last edited by Brooks; Aug 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM.
Aug 13, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Thanks Brooks. If my weak screweyes ever break off I might go with the pin hinge, so I wanted a few ready to go. The screweye holding the main course spar actually brook off before her first sail and has been held in place ever since with superglue.
Aug 14, 2011, 06:34 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
The Beagle... SUNK!

Before taking the Beagle out to the Hourglass Pond for a second sail I needed to do some refurbishing from the previous outing. I added the main course to the sail plan, tightened eight standing rigging lines and re-rigged the rudder. Even with the poop deck able to lift up, getting your hands and/or tweezers into the rudder area is still tricky. At one point I had my wife see if she could have better luck at it.

We were going to go to the Indiana State Fair on Sunday, but after the tragic stage crash, everything got cancelled for the day. Since I had some unexpected free time in the afternoon I decided to take the Beagle solo to the Hourglass Pond. There was a nice 13 mph wind at first, that gradually died down to about 8 mph by the end.

I decided to be brave and launch from the wide, windward side of the pond. After pushing her out the main top sail slipped off one side of the bottom spar. Ugh. At the time I thought the spar had actually broke off.

But sail she did anyway. As she went along she apparently began to ship some water. Didn't think she was getting much. Guess I was wrong. Suddenly, as she's out in the middle of the pond, she stops responding. I had just recharged the batteries. Something's wrong.

So she continues to sail along, looking a bit battered with her arrant main sail. As she finally starts to get close to the far shore she is more visibly taking on water... and sinking.

So out I go for a swim as the deck submerges. I pulled her to shore, glad I had spent some time before practicing my one-armed recovery swim. I hauled her back on shore and dumped out the water. Yup, my waterproof box was full of water. The receiver was toast, but at least the servos all survived.

So, an adventurous outing it was. I doubt I will get the image of her stern going under, with the whaleboats afloat, out of my mind anytime soon. Next outing I'll have a bilge pump on board with its own power source.
Last edited by Jpop Andrew; Aug 23, 2011 at 02:21 PM.
Aug 14, 2011, 07:11 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
I've sunk Aldebaran several times.

The rx will dry out, shake out the water, if you can see drops inside.

The servos will likely have to be opened up; you need to dry the bottom, where the circuit board is, at least on Hiteck brand; to get there, you'll likely have to remove the top, exposing the gears also. Blow out the droplets with your breath, and let them air dry. Some BBgun battleship skippers use alcohol wash to speed the dry time. Take a photo of the gear arrangement before you progress too far, it's easy to get confused when you put it back together later. I had to open up a new one the first time I tried to put a dried out servo back together :-).

I punched a couple holes in the shrink wrap around my servo doublers to speed water exit.

I think I've salvaged everything that got wet. I've lost a couple servos on Aldebaran this summer, burned out the PC board. But neither loss was due to water; both were brand new, never been wet :-/. I was sailing her as a pure schooner rig, no squares. I probably got yard lock w/o realizing it (no square sails to give me a clue).

Beagle Will Rise Again!
Last edited by Brooks; Aug 14, 2011 at 07:17 PM.
Aug 15, 2011, 05:20 PM
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kotori87's Avatar
Time for you to learn how to recover after a sink. I am an expert at this, given that my combat ships sink at least once a month.

step 1: open up all your electronics, and drain out as much water as possible. Sometimes, this by itself may be enough to save your receiver and other electronics, especially newer electronics with surface-mount chips. This includes most 2.4ghz radios and some of the newer servos.

step 2: To make sure everything is fine, flush all your electronics with isopryl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol displaces the water, then evaporates rapidly. This is the standard treatment for salvaging electronics from sunken RC combat ships, and has been in use for at least 25 years.

step 3: air dry. Once you've drained the water and flushed the circuitboards with alcohol, give it at least an hour to dry. Powering up early may have various harmful effects, ranging from a 2.4ghz receiver coming un-bound from its transmitter to accelerated corrosion on servo plugs to total servo death.

There are a few other ways to salvage electronics after a sink, and a few pre-treatments that can reduce damage if you get sunk frequently. The most common treatment is a wonderful substance called Corrosion-X. This stuff comes in a spray bottle, but can be used just like isopryl rubbing alcohol. Squirt it in your electronics, and it instantly displaces the water. Better yet, you can resume using your electronics immediately, and the corrosion-X leaves a protective coat behind that reduces corrosion damage from future sinks. The downside is that if you corrosion-X your servos too many times, they will start to lose torque and slow down.

One popular pre-treatment for electronics is to drill ventilation holes in the case. This works especially well for servos. Drill a couple of small holes, between 1/8" and 1/4" diameter on the side of the case, and a couple more small holes on the bottom of the case, and any water that washes in will wash right back out again. This also allows you to flush the servo with alcohol much quicker, improving your chances of saving the servo while at the same time not requiring you to disassemble it.

Another popular pre-treatment for electronics is rubber-like coating called 3m Skotchkote. Skotchkote is similar to products like tool-dip and liquid electrical tape, except that skotchkote stays on for years, while tool-dip and liquid electrical tape start failing in months. The standard treatment is to brush the skotchkote all over the receiver's or servo's circuitboard. The nice part is that if you ever need to solder something underneath the skotchkote, a soldering iron will burn right through it, far easier than if you'd encased your receiver in epoxy. For servos, you do NOT want to skotchkote the potentiometer. This component is much more water-resistant than the circuitboard to begin with, plus the skotchkote doesn't seal moving parts very well.

Another pre-treatment option is to o-ring seal your servos. This protects against splashes and shallow submersion, but not deep sinks. Basically you seal up all the non-moving gaps in the servo (screw holes, seams where the case comes apart, servo wires, etc.) with skotchkote, then put an o-ring on the servo's output spline. This works very well when your ship is swamped with water but not sunk, or sinks in a couple feet of water, is full of foam, etc. For example, my USS Constitution got run over by a large-scale hydro. The collision knocked off Constitution's keel, and the entire ship turned turtle. Despite being upside-down, I retained control over the ship the entire time.

BTW those photos of a square-rigger in distress are quite impressive. I hope you never have to take another photo like that, but the images of Beagle, with sails flapping loose and yards astray, is simply stunning.

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