I own a RC boat older than me, will be using it for an arduino project, need help! - RC Groups
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Nov 19, 2012, 06:44 AM
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I own a RC boat older than me, will be using it for an arduino project, need help!


This is my first message in this forum. I'm new here; but I'm familiar with the hobby and with electronics for a long time.

Here is my issue: I own a model RC Boat named "Christina", which is older than me (I'm 25 years old). It's remote and receiver board is dead. My plan is renew the Boat with using arduino, xbee comunication, wireless cam, digital compass and GPS. Takeout the original parts, try to repair them and store them for being able to return the boat to its original.

First, my boat has an bilge system, which is completely mechanical. As water level rises, a foam starts to swim, locks a gear system into the shaft of the boat. And that gear set is connected to a primitive pump. I certainly want this system remaining in my boat!

My plan is without removing the shaft, using a stronger dc motor. What is the ideal motor rpm for a boat, considered that it is directly connected to the shaft?

Boat uses 4 "C" batteries and 4 "AA" batteries! It is hell of a weight. In my project I'll be using a much lighter battery, probably LiFePo4. I think this weight reduction will be bad for the stability of the boat. So I plan to put some weigth inside at bottom of the shell of the boat. In original the batteries are close to the top of the boat. I guess as I get the weigth lower, the stability of the boat should increase, am I right? I will plan the inside of the boat according to this information. So if you can help me, I appreciate it.

And if someone made a project like this before, I would love to learn how they did it and used which programs for gps plotting and etc.
Last edited by huseyinozsut; Nov 19, 2012 at 08:54 AM.
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Nov 19, 2012, 09:11 PM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
If the weight is too low it makes the boat rock faster. The higher the weight the slower the boat will rock until it gets unstable and turns over.

I once spent ten VERY uncomfortable minutes on a sail boat with no mast, sitting on a mooring. The same boat with the mast up was a pleasure to be on. Old timey freighters were carefully loaded with this in mind and the bilge was the last place that things were stowed. Read "Tug of War" I think the author was Joe Richards.

I know nobody is going to be in your boat, but videos of it under way might look funny if it's too stable.

Edit: Here's a link to something about Joe Richards,


Last edited by PeteSchug; Nov 19, 2012 at 09:19 PM.
Nov 23, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Ok now, thing are getting clearer. Things I will use:

1) Ardupilot and it's recomended GPS unit.

2) Wireless telemetry kit

3) 8 x 2300mah 3.3V lifepo4 A123 batteries

4) Wireless camera kit

5) A high power motor.

I need help about motor and propeller.

First, I don't have a choise to get a bigger propeller. The original propeller is plastic and has three wings. What is the difference between plastic and metal propellers? An how can I learn my propeller's wing degrees? Or how I should choose a suitable propeller?

Second, I don't know the rpm of the original motor. Also I don't know it's power. It is a little bit hard to stop it with hand; but possible without any hurt. It is 6V and that is all I know. It does not have any signs on it. I want to renew it with a much powerfull one. But consumption is also importent for me. For higher efficiency should I choose brushless motors? Higher the rpm the better for the speed I guess and what about loaded current draws? What would a 15" loaded boat with a small propeller would draw, if my aim of speed is 10miles/h roughly? I just need a roughly answer like with 25% mistake.
Nov 25, 2012, 04:52 PM
Registered User
I took photos of my boat:

My propeller is 30mm. Without moving the propeller closer to the rudder, biggest propeller I can use is 32mm. With moving the propeller towards the rudder biggest is 35mm. What would be the difference between a plastic prop. and a metal one? Also I don't know my propeller's pitch. How should I determine the pitch of prop that I will use?

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