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Jun 24, 2017, 04:03 PM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
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Discussion

Volantex V972-4 ATOMIC Offshore Racing Cat


VOLANTEX V972-4 ATOMIC
OFFSHORE RACING CAT




https://www.banggood.com/search/volantex-v792-4.html


I'm reviewing the latest RC boat by VOLANTEX and offered by BANG GOOD, and it's a beauty. 36mm 1800KV brushless outrunner, 40mm dia. propeller, 40A ESC, and more!

The boat comes in a large box displaying both the yellow paint or red paint it may come with (color choice sent at random), with each side showing a single hue. The end panel has indicators to inform the of contents, which can be a brushed motor version of the boat, a brushless powered example, or a brushless-powered boat with radio and battery included (Ready-To-Run, or RTR). The example I'm reviewing came in "Plug and Play" form or PNP, meaning that I have to add my own radio system and battery pack.

My box arrived looking somewhat crushed and mistreated, with one box corner looking like it had been dropped upon as well. But nothing inside was damaged, so good packing-for-shipping there. A minus-10 points for the shippers whom abused it so.







Opening the box provides that "WOW" factor we all look for. What a beauty. Gloss red (or yellow) paint with a gloss black canopy. The bold vinyl graphics really stand out on this boat and look great.







A quick flip of the beast reveals it's underbelly. The Atomic racing cat has a stepped, twin-hull design with the 3 planing surfaces on each side set at a slight angle from front to back. The leading edge of one planing surface sits higher up than the trailing edge of the plane in front of it. The 3 steps are to reduce water adhesion and thus drag, for greater top speeds.







The single stuffing tube is seen protruding from beneath the hull and routed to the adjustable prop strut. The latter item lets you set prop depth, and angle too to some degree.

At high speeds, air is trapped in the area between the dual hulls and the water, the volume of this area gradually reducing from bow to stern, slightly compressing the air and lifting the boat partially out of the water for less drag. This is how these race boats go faster than monohulls, but it's a delicate balancing act. Too slow and/or too heavy, and you get no lift. Too fast and/or too light, and you go flying....the BAD kind of flying. Take your time and experiment with weight, balance and power if you wish to try to make the Atomic go faster than stock. This is the general rule with all racing cats.










Walking around to the back end, we see the propeller, rudder and prop strut molded in black plastic composite, and looking sturdy enough to do the job. The prop strut is adjustable up or down, and came from the factory in the upmost position. A white Teflon or nylon spacer between the drive dog and strut housing reduces friction under high loads. A drain plug on the transom helps with getting the wet stuff out.

Propeller size for replacements is 40mm diameter by 1.4 pitch, and with a 4mm unthreaded bore. Props with 3/16" bores can be used with a 4mm adapter sleeve, available from many hobby supply outlets. Flex shaft diameter is 3mm on the motor end and with a 4mm rigid prop shaft with M4 threads.

The rudder assembly of this boat is unique in that the water coolant pick-up tube serves as the hinge pin for the rudder blade. The tube's lower end is cut at an angle with the opening aimed forward into the flow, to force water through at moderate to high speeds.










Examining the rest of the contents of the box reveals a laser-cut plywood boat stand that slides together easily. The parts fit together snuggly without any adhesives required to hold it together.






Also included is a small clear baggy containing a few tools and other needed items. The boat came with 3 hex wrenches and a multi-size nut wrench, the most tools I've ever seen included with an RC boat. Nice. There is also a spare 40mm prop, some extra "Velcro" hook & loop strips for holding down your receiver, and a binding plug. The plug I felt was an unusual item to provide with a boat that doesn't come with a receiver. I guess you get the same bag-o-bits for the PNP boats and the RTR versions with radio alike.






Lastly, an owner's manual is provided with basic info on boat operations and more. A large troubleshooting section in the back of the manual should help with most RC boat issues.

]







Getting back to the boat, it's time to pop the top and look at the goodies inside.

The hatch is held down by a single rotating latch in the stern and a round pin up forward. The hatch is a hollow shell, leaving plenty of room to glue flotation material inside for recovery reasons, in case the hatch is lost during a run. The motor projects up into the hatch area, so keep that in mind with installing Styrofoam or your flotation material of choice. A foam strip set in place around the hatch opening of the hull resists water intrusion.







The interior of the hull contains acres of space to work with, but keep balance in mind when installing your radio or relocating electronics or hardware.







A plywood battery tray is mounted on the port side for retaining the Li-Po pack. A similar tray resides on the starboard side and can also be used to hold a battery, should one decide to relocate the ESC and place a battery pack on each side to run dual packs (2S x 2 in series for 14.8 volts, or 3S x 2 in parallel for 11.1 volts for more run time).





The attractive 36mm class brushless outrunner is fitted to a water-cooled motor mount. The mount is attached to a black plastic tray that also retains the end of the stuffing tube for easy motor/shaft alignment.







The motor is equipped with a collet-style coupler for attaching the flex drive cable. These couplers are far better quality and less damaging to the drive cable than cheaper, grub-screw type couplers.

IMPORTANT! PLEASE check your coolant lines for any kinks that could obstruct flow. The hose from my ESC in it's stock location to the motor mount was too short at 4" (100mm) and had a bad kink in it, just visible in the upper-right portion of the photo below. I had to replace it with a 6" (150mm) length section of 1/8" i.d. (or 2.5mm to 3mm i.d.) hose to prevent kinking. There was also a small kink in the line from the rudder pick-up to the ESC near the latter.

The new hose can be seen in the photo just above this text.




A good size servo is included for steering duties. This particular model is fitted with plastic gears and output shaft, so I recommend that if this one ever fails or you decide to bump up power and speed with a faster motor, then upgrade to a metal gear servo for greater durability. For now, this one will do nicely.











The included ESC is rated for 40 amps and 4S Li-Po packs. Recommended Li-Po pack is 2600mAh 3S 25C, but you may want to try a 4S 14.8 volt pack for use with the 1800KV motor for a faster ride. Careful weight and balance adjustments may prove necessary to prevent flipping if you choose to take that path.






Coolant flow path is shown below. Water is routed from the rudder strut pick-up to the ESC where it picks up some heat and then heads to the motor mount where more heat is drawn off, then dumped overboard on the port side via a small metal outlet.








CONCLUSION
All in all I find this a very impressive amount of boat for the price. I think it has lot of potential for upgrading or customizing, or just bypass the fuss of modding and have lots of fun with it as-is. The Atomic is more than capable of that.








EDIT: Take note that a second boat arrived with an undamaged box, but the motor mount had come unglued from the hull. Be sure to check for a loose mount before running it.
Last edited by AirDOGGe; Dec 01, 2018 at 11:45 PM.
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Jun 24, 2017, 04:27 PM
Pro Semi Driver
Johnnysplits's Avatar
Another airport boat. Did UPS ship that boat? Banged up box has UPS shipped all over it. What's the price of this boat?
Jun 24, 2017, 04:34 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Awesome job Airdog! Can't wait for a running video


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnysplits
Another airport boat. Did UPS ship that boat? Banged up box has UPS shipped all over it. What's the price of this boat?
It's $109 PNP right now

Pro tip: click the product link to see the price
Jun 24, 2017, 04:51 PM
Pro Semi Driver
Johnnysplits's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panhead5496
Pro tip: click the product link to see the price
Skipped right over that looking at the pics
Jun 24, 2017, 05:54 PM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
Thread OP
Shippers were EMS Express Worldwide to the United States, then picked up by DHL Express for final delivery. UPS is innocent this time...

I'll add current pricing to my review, but as they always say "Prices are subject to change".
Last edited by AirDOGGe; Jun 24, 2017 at 07:06 PM.
Jun 24, 2017, 06:02 PM
aka MicroModDude
microhelidude's Avatar
Awesome review AirDogge!
Jun 24, 2017, 06:27 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnysplits
Skipped right over that looking at the pics
I did the first time too

Wish they would sell the hull cheap, the FT hulls are like $10, could use nicer parts and electronics and make it rip
Jun 24, 2017, 06:44 PM
Pro Semi Driver
Johnnysplits's Avatar
Did you look at the bottom of that hull? It probably couldn't go over 40 without handling problems.
Jun 24, 2017, 07:10 PM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
Thread OP
If you mean 40mph, then that's pretty fast for a plastic 24" cat, or any 2-foot-long boat for that matter.

I suspect it may need some weight up front to control lift if it's going to go faster than stock, judging from current videos running on 14.8v.. At least it's cheap enough to experiment upon.

Since I don't have 4S packs, I may try popping that 3650 3300 Leopard I have in there with a smaller 36mm 3-blade prop and see what happens. We'll see. I'm gonna try it stock on 3S first, since I already ordered two 2650mAh 3S 25C packs as recommended.
Last edited by AirDOGGe; Jun 25, 2017 at 08:47 PM.
Jun 24, 2017, 07:26 PM
Registered User
ApexpredatorGT's Avatar
Dude you write some great reviews, somebody who has no idea about rc boats can read your reviews and learn a lot.

Also, boat seems really nice, can't wait to see a run report
Jun 24, 2017, 09:41 PM
Registered User
Panhead5496's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexpredatorGT
Dude you write some great reviews, somebody who has no idea about rc boats can read your reviews and learn a lot.

Also, boat seems really nice, can't wait to see a run report
+1!! Airdog does an awesome job.

I am looking forward to the run as well. I'm thinking there might be some wipeouts since you are used to v hulls
Jun 24, 2017, 11:35 PM
Dutch RC Reviewer
Dutch 79's Avatar
Very nice review, can't wait to get mine released by the greedy Dutch customs,.
Jun 25, 2017, 01:17 AM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
Thread OP
Thank you for the compliments, all. For those wanting to see video of this boat in operation and don't wish to wait, Microhelidude has a couple of very good clips of his Atomic running on 3S and 4S power available for viewing:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnB...ZEbk6SA/videos
Jun 25, 2017, 01:41 AM
Fast electric boats maybe
Jeffro Bodine's Avatar
I just watched his 4s run looks like 14.8v might be a little too much for it ,I just ordered mine and can't wait till it gets here,also forgot to mention you did another killer unboxing video well done
Last edited by Jeffro Bodine; Jun 25, 2017 at 01:51 AM. Reason: More to add
Jun 25, 2017, 01:55 AM
Registered User
ApexpredatorGT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDOGGe
Thank you for the compliments, all. For those wanting to see video of this boat in operation and don't wish to wait, Microhelidude has a couple of very good clips of his Atomic running on 3S and 4S power available for viewing:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnB...ZEbk6SA/videos
Really nice running boat on 3s, four cell looks over powered.


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