smallest submarine - RC Groups
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Feb 02, 2013, 07:14 PM
derk's Avatar

smallest submarine

well, because i found some nice items that fit together in my head, i decided to go for the smallest rc submarine. it might end up slightly longer than some of the super cheap toy ones that barely run, but it will be the smallest 3 channel dynamic diver built on the forums.
i started this whole thing when my wife gave me parts from a pen that broke. it had this lovely clear plastic tube on the outside that looked just like a miniature wtc tube! i did some measuring and found out that one of my new 3ch IR receivers could fit inside with a battery as well
so i am going to build the receiver kit and wind some more actuators. i might try a X tail on it, but i'm not sure yet.
once i get all the insides figured out, i will shorten the wtc tube to as small as i can make it.

today i tested how well it stays dry in the tub, as well as tested if the IR will work under water. both tests tell me it should work just fine indoors, so i will run with it.
the receiver i used in the pictures is a 2 channel differential thrust type. its meant for airplanes so it has no reverse, neither will the 3ch i have to build. i am considering adding thesteve converter to the motor output and using a servo board instead however. depends on how much room i have.

if anyone wants to try this, feel free to post in here.


thread about the IR system:

the gentleman who makes the kits:

his website (korean)
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Feb 04, 2013, 12:01 AM
Registered User
chester2240's Avatar
Thats cool! I dont know hardly any thing about these but does the IR work under water?
I want to try a micro Sub ill look around in my work area if i cant throw one together.
Feb 04, 2013, 12:08 AM
derk's Avatar
i actually wasn't sure how well it would work which is what i tested once i had the water tight container working. for in the tub at the bottom of about 12" of water it worked just fine, so it should work in any indoor setting. once its done i will get some good video of it in action, hopefully something really cool. i'm building the receiver tonight, then all thats left is making the nose and tail shaped and the control surfaces.
Feb 04, 2013, 12:49 AM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Should be no problem sticking a couple of IR LED's underwater so you get 100% of the possible range vs losing some to surface reflection and stuff like that.

Feb 04, 2013, 01:47 AM
derk's Avatar
i don't think i will need to go to that extent. i will try another test, take a picture of active IR transmission through a fish tank and see if its going through. i wouldn't ever need much more travel than 12-24 inches anyway, the receiver wont go crazy if it loses signal like normal 72mhz or 75mhz can. i could also have the transmitter pointed into a pool and shoot a video from the bottom of the pool and see how much IR light it sees.

anyways, back to soldering
Feb 04, 2013, 10:59 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
A few years ago, I archived a German builders photo for inspiration.

Small sub...
Feb 04, 2013, 11:54 PM
derk's Avatar
i have seen those ones in the past, and they were certainly tiny and complicated, my goal is pure size and not scale. mainly not scale because i stink at making things look like a real counterpart
but thanks for the motivation

still working out bugs with the receiver, hope to try another fix tonight and see if that fixes it.
Feb 05, 2013, 11:22 PM
Registered User
tchalfant's Avatar
derk! that is really small! Great work there!
Feb 06, 2013, 12:29 AM
derk's Avatar
thanks, i finally got the receiver to cooperate, so now on to all the fun parts!
i am hoping to keep this light enough to not need any flotation foam and just some keel weight to help her stay level.
Feb 06, 2013, 06:00 AM
Registered loser :)
subscribed! ....for obvious reasons

Feb 06, 2013, 08:49 PM
Way cool, Derk!!

Following with great interest!!

Keep on keepin' on, bro'!!
Feb 07, 2013, 11:43 PM
Micro Boat Forum Founder's Avatar
Feb 19, 2013, 02:31 PM
Registered loser :)
any more progress?
Feb 19, 2013, 08:36 PM
derk's Avatar
not lately, i have a deadline for some indoor flying events, so i have to push myself to work on them. though i did play around with using blue-tac for a small mold for the nose, just shaped it with a ball bearing and sized to the tube, then poured in some 30 minute epoxy. it worked well enough. i think when i do it for the real one, i will add micro balloons to help keep the density close to water's so its not using up buoyancy.
one thing i am concerned about is the very close proximity of the actuators, that they might interfere with each other. i might need to play around with centering magnets or small pieces of steel to help them stay independent.
so until i get more on the current list done, this is on standby. indoor flying is seasonal, the tub is always there lol
Mar 11, 2013, 10:45 PM
Pilot, Co-pilot, Navagator
nemoskull's Avatar
i keep tossing around this idea in my head, but a surface runner only of a ww2 fleet or type 7 boat, around 8 inches. there is this nice little water foutain at the mall.........

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