My Reef Racer 2 brushless boats - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2012, 12:32 PM
Always borking my corter
Build Log

My Reef Racer 2 brushless boats

I have two of these that I just finished converting to brushless & lipo power and just wanted to share a few tips I learned that I didn't find when I was researching the conversion.

First off, there is a motor coupler made by Aquacraft that can be used instead of drilling out the stock coupler or sleeving bigger couplers. The part number is AQUB7854. It fits a 3.2mm (or 3.175mm) shaft which seems to be the standard for 380 brushless motors. Second, if you're going to use the stock cooling coil, you need to remove the aluminum sleeve from the stock motor and place it on the brushless motor. The sleeve has a small tab that needs to be cut or flattened, it's very easy as the metal is soft. This will give the coil better contact for better cooling. And last, a great way to improve weight distribution is to use lipos made for airsoft guns. I used the ones below and they fit perfectly tucked up into each side of the hull. I also hard-wired them in parallel to keep the wiring to a minimum (it gets pretty crammed in there if you try to use a parallel connector). There's also room to slide them forward or backward so you can adjust your center of gravity.



Here are the specs on both my RR2s:

Hobbywing Seaking 35A water-cooled ESC, Traxxas VXL 4000kv brushless motor, OrangeRX GR300 micro receiver, Turnigy Nano-Tech 2S airsoft lipos, AQUB7854 motor coupler, stock servo, stock cooling coil, stock rudder, & stock drive shaft.

The second boat is pretty much identical except it's using a Hobbyking 'Donkey' 3000kv motor & Associated XP2 AM rx/tx combo.

I'll be doing some testing this weekend to see if the AM setup has a better range than the Spektrum. I have the extended antenna on the GR300 receiver but I have a feeling the AM radio will still do better. I also might try out a 3S battery setup one of these days, but not until I get tired of them on 2S and that may never happen.
Last edited by bflan2001; Oct 19, 2012 at 02:49 AM.
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Oct 30, 2012, 07:27 PM
Village Idiot!
I'm interested in how this turns out as I have one I'm planning such a conversion on and plan others to follow for the rest of the family shortly. Thanks
Oct 31, 2012, 01:24 AM
Always borking my corter
I finally got a chance to test them out in some open water a few days ago (they are way too fast for the pool now). I took them out to Shoreline, a small waterway at the south edge of the San Francisco Bay. One crapped out almost immediately because I stupidly forgot to align the motor with the rest of the driveline. You have to make sure everything lines up perfectly. It only got about 50' out before the driveshaft bored out the hull. Luckily there was a rowboat sitting close by that I commandeered to rescue the dead boat. Another 10 seconds and it would have sunk! All the electronics were almost completely submerged in water but they are all ok. Motors are waterproof and the ESCs I'm using are also waterproof. I waterproofed the lipos by dipping the ends in Plasti-Dip. I haven't yet waterproofed the servos but it seemed to survive, and the receivers I put in balloons because you really can't waterproof them. I'm going to try JB weld to repair the hull, I'll report back on how that goes.

On the other hand, the second boat did extremely well! Super fast, super maneuverable, tons of fun and laughs for myself, my brother, and several people walking around the park. We ran into one small issue with the steering freezing up. That was caused by too much force on the rudder, pushing the linkage past the normal end point and locking up the linkage. I'm pretty sure a simple extended linkage mod would fix it, but I'm going to keep it stock for now to see if it's even something worth worrying about. It only happened once and we were testing the steering pretty aggressively. We drove about 20 minutes and still had a lot of battery life left, and the ESC and motor were not anywhere near overheating. I forgot to bring my temp gun but the ESC was only warm to the touch, and the motor couldn't have been more than 100*. And since these are brand new batteries, they will get even faster after a few cycles. So all in all it was a big success. The only real issue was caused by me not setting the boat up right. I can't wait to take them out again!

I don't think I'll ever go up to 3S, these guys are pretty much maxed out with 2S. If you punch it from a stop it will shoot out of the water. And if you want to go top speed you have to ease into the throttle, otherwise you get torque steer (idk what the boating term is) and the thing goes nuts.
Last edited by bflan2001; Oct 31, 2012 at 01:32 AM.
Oct 17, 2013, 02:01 PM
Registered User


Hi bflan2001, I have a similar set up on my RR using the following motor and ESC. The motor shuts off every time at full thorttle, any idea?? Thanks.
Last edited by aiea; Oct 17, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
Oct 17, 2013, 03:36 PM
Registered User
1. Battery and/or wiring can't sustain the voltage at the current demanded
2. Too much prop for the motor/battery
3. Any combination of 1 and 2
Oct 17, 2013, 03:50 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by mfr02
1. Battery and/or wiring can't sustain the voltage at the current demanded
2. Too much prop for the motor/battery
3. Any combination of 1 and 2
Thanks, I've tried the following and still with the same results:

1) a bigger 2S battery
2) smaller prop
3) a bigger ESC (50A instead of 20A)

I will try the heavier wires this weekend, thanks!

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