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Feb 13, 2013, 02:50 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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Introduction to "Homebrew"

Forum Name: "Homebrew" Hacks for Model Boats

Description: Open Source Technology for Digital Command, Control and Communications (C3) Systems for boats.

Actually, The System Lords (bless 'em) informed us that we ran out of room with the original description and we had to condense it it down to the above.

So what got left out of the new, improved description but is definitely going to get addressed in this forum?

The biggest word left out was MECHATRONICS,* as it covers such a wide area and so many technical disciplines but, as imposing as the word and concept are, mechatronics is what we attempt to do every time we try to add electronic or mechanical effects to our models. I have yet to meet a successful modeler who is not a serious JOT (jack of all trades) technician, in other words, a mechatronics designer and fabricator.
  • Animatronics; the animation of many of the everyday actions that occur on a boat that bring them 'to life' as well as the necessary C3 functions required to control our models. This is everything from a rotating radar scanner, to the ships cat waving her tail to the main batteries elevating, coming to bear and firing or running up a flag signal or an animated swabbie sending by semaphore are all forms of simple mechatronics.

    Also included this forum's purview and portfolio are
  • Systems and methods for conducting real time video and returning it to shore,
  • Real time data logging and the creation of functional sensor platforms for model boats.
  • Auto pilots and position holding systems for model boats.
  • Novel propulsion and propulsion control systems for model boats. (Feel free to cross post here if you have a great system already posted wherever or at least post a link.)
  • Radios are no longer made with Shellbacks in mind. We ha'e make due with buggy and aeroplane rigs. In this forum, hacking an aircraft rig into a credible ship's helm will be considered a good an noble endeavor (as long as it has adequate photographs).
  • Given the potential that digital tech could give us, radios are, as currently configured, twenty years out of date! WE will change this!
    And last but not least....
  • 3D Printing and CAD/CAM for Shellbacks.



This Forum will cleave closely to encouraging the philosophy of the old "Stanford Homebrew Computer Club" style cybernetics culture based around open source hardware and software, open architectures and open source ideals.

to Whit:
  1. We are as inclusive as possible, in both technologies and people
  2. We share and publish as much as we possibly can (using copyleft, creative commons and other open licensing schemes such as the GNU General Public License.
    Does this mean you loose the rights to your work or can't make a profit from you labor? No, you can, depending on the license chosen, retain varying degrees of control over your work-product as there are different levels of licensing and sharing.
    It also means that while others can build upon your work, they cannot steal it and you may indeed make money from it.
  3. We share and teach as much as we possibly can because we were all n00bs once.

    And we will learn by making and doing!


    On the use of jargon and the definition of technical and insider terms.

    Please remember that we are going to have a LOT of folks reading this who do not speak geek, let alone digital or mechatronic, sooooo

    If you are using a tech term that you think might be a bit on the difficult side or obscure for the un-initated into the techno-priesthood. Please take a minute and define it and, if possible, provide an explanatory link at the end of your post. If possible forgo some abbreviations the first time and define them as follows: an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), thereafter you can use the abbreviation freely.


    DS18B20: A 'single wire' programmable digital temperature sensor. Datasheet here - Adafruit

    ADC: Analog-to-digital converter Wikipedia

    I2C: Inter-Integrated Circuit; generically referred to as "two-wire interface" Wikipedia - Tutorial

    SSR: in this case, a Solid State Relay, an electronic switching device in which a small control signal controls a larger load current or voltage. Wikipedia

    Yes, I am working on compiling a glossary / dictionary, but this will not only help speed things up with the glossary, but also sooth the frustration for folks unfamiliar with the jargon.


    On the use of structured and properly commented code..

    Bgnome makes a very good point here.
    Originally Posted by bgnome
    Also, if one posts code, it should be annotated.. as orraman did in his first post.. an explination in the code line, to explain what the bit of code does, very helpful for the person learning, or, god forbid, the poor tech that has to come up behind the original tech to fix problems down the road. all my code back in my PLC days was annotated. because sometimes, the tech coming in to fix the problem maybe your, and time is money, so dont waste half your time deciphering the code to people talk!

    also K.I.S.S. not the rock group band, but the philosophy... Keep It Simple, Stupid. that alsowill help stream line your code, and keep a small footprint which is critical in these small environments.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
*Mechatronics is a design process that includes a combination of Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Control engineering and Computer engineering. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering, that is to say it rejects splitting engineering into separate disciplines. Originally, mechatronics just included the combination between mechanics and electronics, hence the word is a combination of mechanics and electronics; however, as technical systems have become more and more complex the word has been "updated" during recent years to include more technical areas.

French standard NF E 01-010 gives the following definition: “approach aiming at the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, and computer science within product design and manufacturing, in order to improve and/or optimize its functionality"

A mechatronics engineer unites the principles of mechanics, electronics, and computing to generate a simpler, more economical and reliable system. The term "mechatronics" was coined by Tetsuro Mori, the senior engineer of the Japanese company Yaskawa in 1969. An industrial robot is a prime example of a mechatronics system; it includes aspects of electronics, mechanics, and computing to do its day-to-day jobs..
One of my backup ideas for Forum Name / Description had been "Mechatronics for Model Boats." Problem is hardly anyone ever hears of mechatronics so I went with animatronics and C3.
Last edited by craig_c; Feb 21, 2013 at 05:23 AM.
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Feb 13, 2013, 04:06 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
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Technologies Supported - Just a starting list (pm me with suggestions)


  • Linux
  • C
  • Python
CAD, CAM and Advanced Fabrication
Local Resources:
Last edited by craig_c; Feb 22, 2013 at 05:49 AM.
Feb 13, 2013, 04:08 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
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reserved for house keeping I

Probably a glossary PM the definitions boys an girls!
Last edited by craig_c; Feb 13, 2013 at 04:20 AM.
Feb 13, 2013, 04:09 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Thread OP
reserved for house keeping II

Probably a recommended Library,,,
Last edited by craig_c; Feb 13, 2013 at 04:32 AM.
Feb 13, 2013, 04:09 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
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reserved for house keeping III
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Feb 13, 2013, 04:09 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Thread OP
reserved for house keeping IV
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Feb 13, 2013, 04:09 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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Thread OP
reserved for house keeping V
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Feb 14, 2013, 10:44 AM
Registered User
Robert Pulse's Avatar

Congrats on the new thread

My only problem is I don't know how to make Rasberry PI

I'll be watching
Feb 14, 2013, 02:13 PM
Registered User
tugs's Avatar
Originally Posted by Robert Pulse
My only problem is I don't know how to make Rasberry PI
I'll be watching
Hey Bob,

You might find exactly what you're looking for here:


and something for the rest of us who are looking for something different.

And for the Duinoids:

Have Fun and don't over-indulge!

Feb 14, 2013, 05:15 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
My handle on Instructables is "beergome" as it is at a lot of places...

I also use the name "Cerebral Knievel" in various forums.

anywho... I only have two builds up over at instructibles, one for a "rain barrel" I made that reclaims condensation water from my attic mounted central AC unit air handler, and my recipe for a scratch built Whiskey sour. but I got one in the editing stages about that little wooden sloop I have a build log for over in the sailboat section. I'll probably fast track it to go live when they have another RC contest. But the water barrel one got me featured and won me three months of Pro membership to the site.

Lots of knowledge to be found there, I've been a fan for years
Mar 21, 2013, 04:38 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar

Flanking/Backing Control Board System

Great forum. Still looking to see where I should post this. If I am in the wrong place with this send me a pm and ill remove it.

RC Flanker Rudder control pwb test (2 min 46 sec)
Last edited by Pond Sailer; Mar 22, 2013 at 03:53 PM. Reason: edit spelling
Mar 21, 2013, 06:43 PM
blutoh's Avatar
Hey Gary,

Thats a sweet setup! Does the board let you tune the mix amount. If you have more info to post, you should do a build log in it's own thread, I'm sure you get a lot followers.

Last edited by blutoh; Mar 21, 2013 at 06:48 PM.
Mar 21, 2013, 07:32 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
Hey Pete, no I don't think I am going to have another forum. I really like this one place to share and talk about concepts for model boating. I just was not sure that this was the place. I am not seeing yet new fun stuff. so I thought I would show this prototype of a flanker board. to answer your question, I think so. the mix is controlled by the pot on the board that is by itself. the other two pots that are next to each other are for centering the rudders.

This desing is drawn up by Leal Kanstein, and another gentalman Keith Lingschid get all the credit for making this idea work. To see this work I got a friend to make up a few pwb's for testing. I am finding that this was done so well that I do not see anything that needs to be changed. Capt. Lee gave me access to the scematic that allowed me to do this. So If I get some ideas to test on this board ill try it and make another video. I have plans of putting this into a tug and getting real info in how well it performs.

Dec 07, 2013, 12:51 PM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
Last edited by Pond Sailer; Dec 07, 2013 at 01:00 PM.
Dec 02, 2016, 08:17 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Every time I see the header for this forum I think it says Hebrew Hacks for Modern Boats, think it's about Jewish cooking and have to go to the kitchen and get some challah.

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