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Nov 14, 2004, 11:42 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Ace Nautical Commander


Does anyone know if this radio is still made? Ace Hobby Distributors has it listed on their website but I've tried emailing them and calling them to no avail.
I've got my hands on a 32" fiberglas PBR and I have two of the Graupner Mini Jet Drives that begs for separate throttles and reverse buckets.
If they are not available, I guess I could make my own copy of the TX throttle arrangement.
One more thing- And I know this is a real odd size for model boats- does anyone know of fittings in the 1/12 size? Some 50 caliber MG fittings would be nice!
Thanks,
Frank
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Nov 14, 2004, 03:13 PM
Registered User
zorrow's Avatar
Ace Radios Are Getting Very Hard To Find, Ace Went Under New Distributor And They Arnt Really Doing Well, A Possible Substitute Would Be A Polks Hobby Tracker 3 Or A Robbie F14
Nov 14, 2004, 05:28 PM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Thanks, Zorrow!


Maybe that explains the lack of communication with the distributor. Oh well, it looks like I'll have to make my own.
thanks,
Frank
Nov 16, 2004, 01:32 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
The Hobbytown USA i go to for all my usual, everyday stuff tells me a couple of weeks ago that they can still order the Ace nautical commander, he quoted a price of approx., 250.00. They have also promised me the world on several items in the past without being able to deliver. Is SIG hard to order from? Still waiting for dope and thinner from them after 6 months thru Hobbytown. The Ace web site list distributors. if that helps. Ive heard that the F-14 is all show and no go with a big ticket price as well. I havent seen one in person or used it, so thats third party info, for whats its worth. One of my furture projects is to buy a cheap 4 channel radio and modify it into a nice twin throttle radio. After all, what is a twin throttle radio, but 2 side by side sticks with up and down movement, any radio today has one of those. Pick up a couple used or cheap 2 channel stick radios, gut them, put the sticks in that new 4ch. box. Get yourself a cheap or used 2 channel pistol radio, take the steering pot and wheel out and put it next to the twin sticks. Make yourself a cool old ships wheel and mount it on the steering pot instead of the foam job and there you go. A nautical commander with a wheel. Of course, that screws the warrantee on them, but, they were cheap to start with, so who cares. Hope this helps a little at least.
Nov 16, 2004, 08:09 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Hi, Mike!


Thanks for the info. I think that I will go the homemade route.

Last year, I got a wild hair about making a left handed single stick tx. I had flown some single sticks in the past, thought that they were cool but, since I'm left handed, I believed that a left handed single stick would allow me to be more comfortable in using a single stack radio. I took a Futaba SS and used the electronics from my Futaba 8U to make a modern, computer SS. Radio South does the same thing for $700 plus the parts and believe me, it's worth it. Anyway, I got it to work ok and tried to fly it. I guess that I'm too accustomed to flying right handed with two sticks and I was an absolute terror with the left handed SS! Crashed everything in sight. Tried a simulator but I still crashed. Sadly, I gave up my quest as I couldn't afford to keep crashing.

The moral to this rambling mess is that I have the electronics from an 8U that I will now recycle into a marine radio. I ordered a new case from DigiKey and I will make a copy of the Ace radio. I will need to get a 75mhz frequency module and a 75 mhz rx but that's cheaper than the Ace radio. With the parts from the 8U and the Futaba SS radio, I can pretty much construct the marine radio. An old two channel radio will provide the rudder stick as I'm not much of a fan of the steering wheel type radios.
I'll use channel 1 for the rudder; channels 2& 3 for the twin throttles; channel 5(retract switch) for the reverse buckets on the jet drives and still have 4 channels to play with. I'm thinks about some Ram sound models for the 50 caliber MG's and a diesel sound module for the simulated turbocharged diesel engines in the PBR.

I'm using the Tamiya plastic kit for the details on the Mark II version that I'm building. The PBR in Apocolypse Now was a Mark I boat.

Frank
Nov 16, 2004, 09:29 PM
KC8WPF
CG Bob's Avatar
Many years ago, Scale Ship Modeler Magazine ran a special issue called R/C Hot Boats. Loren Perry did an article called "TAKING THE CONN, How to Convert R/C Transmitters". He modified a Kraft 5 channel radio; a Tower 6 channel set; and a Heathkit 8 channel set. The Heathkit 8 channel unit was used in his USS LONG BEACH cruiser, and featured a rudder angle indicator under the ships wheel. All of the modifications were mechanical - not electrical; the only exception being the lengthening of wires to potentiometers.
Nov 17, 2004, 12:51 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Hey Bob, i have that issue as well, thats what gave me the initial idea. Looks pretty straight forward. Recently someone said that there might be ussues with the FCC on building your own radio, outside of the 72 vs 75 mhz thing. have you heard anything like that? Other than warrantee issues for tearing apart a radio which i assume anybody doing this already realises is over once you do it, i dont see any problem that would bother the FCC? I still dont see how you hook up a rudder indicator in the system and get any real accuracy with it. Looks like it was just a last minute add on for show? See ya friday.
Nov 17, 2004, 01:07 AM
KC8WPF
CG Bob's Avatar
The old Heathkit radios were available in kit form, you had to assemble the radio from all the parts in the box. I'm not sure about the FCC requirements or regulations, I'll look and ask at a HAM radio store near me when the sun comes up. Hooking up the rudder angle indicator is fairly easy with a gear, and a pair of protrcators to measure the angle. One protractor sits under the ships rudder, the other under the wheel or stick on the transmitter. Move the wheel or stick a little and see how far thr rudder travels, say 10 degree; make a mark on the transmitter. Keep moving the rudder in 5 or 10 degree increments.
Nov 17, 2004, 01:18 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Sounds close.....i guess you would examine the rudder as your moveing the strick to verify angle of deflection. The bottom line is i dont think it would realy matter outside of, is it deflected to port or stbd.? I guess you could get pretty closer though. thanks again for that Ham info in the email. I always wanted to do that. Mainly for Transciever uses though. I have a neat shortwave outfit at home, very old but still works. One of those old tube jobs. Although, you might need more than a simple ham license to use it?
Nov 17, 2004, 07:44 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Fcc


The reason that you could build a Heathkit, Ace or Royal kit TX was that the RF board came assembled and tested by a FCC licensed tech at the factory. The same would apply in my case as I just buy a 75mhz module from Futaba and don't do any tuning myself since I'm not licensed.

Yes, conversions of the TX are a matter of moving parts and extending cables, therefore, it's something that people like me can do. However, one must be careful in laying out your new tx case or you will ruin one or two (Don't ask!) New Tx's have very little space inside when you go and start to modify them. Of course,that depends on how much modifying that you want to do. Adding a switch wouldn't be two hard but, if you crazy, you'll need to think things through.

Also, the hardest step is the first one when you start to work on some expensive equipment that will probably never can be factory serviced again.
Nov 18, 2004, 02:23 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Hey frank, can you give me a link for digikey. i havent been able to find them thru normal search engines. Thanks in advance.
Mike
Nov 18, 2004, 07:38 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Digi-Key


Mike, here you go:

www.digi-key.com

Frank
Nov 19, 2004, 12:43 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Thanks Frank, just ordered a catalog. I didnt see where they listed Transmitter houseings? Seen about a million other things though. LOL.
Mike
Nov 19, 2004, 07:48 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Hammond Mfg.


Mike, look under "Boxes" and then plastic. I use plastic boxes made by Hammond. They come in different sizes, black or grey, have a pebbled finish, are two pieces with removable aluminum end plates. The end plates are great, especially for your ground. I use a hot knife and a dremel tool to make my cuts in the plastic. This weekend, I'll post pictures of the SS radio that I made and the box that I just got in. Dig-Key is a pleasure to deal with.
Frank
Nov 30, 2004, 09:23 PM
MY LOCAL HOBBY SHOP SAYS THEY CAN CONVERT A A FUTABA 4 CHANNEL RADIO TO TWIN STICK BY REPLACING THE RIGHT STICK WITH A RACHET STICK LIKE THE LEFT STICK FOR ABOUT $25.00. i AM NOT READY TO BUY IT YET, I AM STILL BUILDING A STERLING CHRIS CRAFT CORVETTE THAT I INTEND TO DO THAT TO.
TRY ALS HOBBY
http://www.alshobbyshop.com/store/index.asp
Dec 01, 2004, 09:50 AM
KC8WPF
CG Bob's Avatar
Buy the ratchet and screw, and install them yourself - save over $20.00.
Dec 02, 2004, 01:00 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Hey Frank...i recently recieved digikey's catalog and found those enclosures on page 1216...which one did you get that had aluminum end plates and did yours have a battery door? This catalog seems pretty confusing. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Mike
Dec 02, 2004, 07:42 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Aluminum End Plates


Mike, mine has the aluminum end plates but no battery door.
i owe you pictures, don't I? Will send tonight.
Frank
Dec 02, 2004, 07:48 PM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Here you go, Mike


Mike, here's couple of shots of the Hammond case that I'm using for my conversion.
Dec 02, 2004, 07:50 PM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Another


Here's the side shot.
Dec 03, 2004, 02:32 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Thanks Frank, looks good. I hate being a pain in the butt here, but the catalog doesnt mention anything concerning Hammond? At least not from what i've seen so far. Do you have a model number just to make sure i'm on the right page and all? These boxes in the catalog appear small in reference to standard Futaba enclosure sizes based on the dimentions listed in the catalog? Could be wrong there. Again, thanks for everything.
Dec 04, 2004, 08:39 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Mike


Mike, the Hammond # is 1598c. I'll look it up and get the Digi-Key #. The Dig-Key # is HM164-ND. Hammond makes two types of plastic- Flame retardant(expensive) and regular old ABS. I use the ABS. It lists for $13.76 for one. If you click on "Hammond" when you input the Digi-Key #, you will see all of what Hammond makes- neat stuff. The boxes come in different sizes. Digi-Key's online catalog is somewhat confusing!
Frank
Last edited by Frank Hurd; Dec 04, 2004 at 08:53 AM.
Dec 05, 2004, 11:52 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar
Frank:
I'm buiding a 3-motor60 inch Vosper torpedo boat and am also looking for an RC unit that has two throttle sticks and another channel to operate the center motor. Futaba suggested that I call an outfit back East that does warranty work on Futaba radios. They will take your brand new Futaba Skysport 6YG radio (on 75Mhz) and replace the right aileron/elevator stick with one like on the left side. That will give you two ratchet style sticks for throttles. I plan on using the flap servo, CH 5 to operate the third motor. The cost of converting is about $20.00. Call Futaba to get the address. I don't have it handy. Hope this offers a solution. I too looked for the Ace radio with no luck. You can get the ground version of the 6 channel Futaba Skysport 6YG without servos for $150.00 from the Robot marketplace. See www.robotcombat.com/marketplace_rc-6YG.html
Good Luck,
Mike
Dec 06, 2004, 07:51 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Thanks, Mike!


Good suggestion. Another thought- Even if you don't have a 75 or 27 mhz radio and you do have a module type tx, you can buy a module and a 75 rx for less than $150. And as CG Bob suggested, order the parts(less than $5.00) and convert the right stick to a rachet or even cheaper, just remove the centering springs. All options are cheaper than the $250 retail price of the Ace unit which IS NOT available. I asked Quantum Models in KY and they checked on it for me and said that checked with the distributor who told them that it was was unknown when the unit will be available. At least Quantum thinks enough of a potential customer than Ace Distributors! I'll do business with Quantum!
Wow, a three motor Vosper! Neat! I've figured out that, on my PBR, all I need is 3 channels. Steering, both jet drive throttles on one channel and the 3rd channel for the reverse buckets. I have an old Astro Hydro ESC which will have no problems with the two Speed 500 Race motors. I just wish someone made 1/12 or 150mm weapons like twin MaDeuces, single MaDeuce and a M60.
Dec 06, 2004, 08:30 AM

Converting TX spring sticks to ratchet operation.


Mike:

This is all you need. (I would post the picture if I could figure out how!!)

I have done 4 or 5, so far, on Futaba TX's. I bought a couple of ratchets from Hobby Warehouse ($1.99) and made the rest from brass strip.

Open the back of the TX and inspect the ratchet, already installed on the left stick, to get a clear idea of what you are about to do. Remove the appropriate spring and fitting from the right stick. Screw on the new ratchet. Close case. Takes less than five minutes if you don't have to search for dropped screws!

FWIW, a triangular needle file, judiciously applied to the "segmented quadrant", will give you "throttle detents" anywhere you want them. Caution: this step is not reversible!

Do a Google search on the 6YG, they can be had for much less than $150.00. I recently bought one new for less than $70.00 with another $40 for the matching receiver. See if you can sweet talk Bruckner Hobbies. You will have to be really nice to them, as they don't usually sell surface 6YG's.

Hope this helps.

Clive.
Dec 06, 2004, 08:44 AM
O.K. Let me try this "one more time"
Dec 06, 2004, 05:23 PM
Registered User
hookpilot's Avatar

Alternate radio to Ace Nautical Commander


Frank: I just checked with Tower Hobbies and they offer a brand new Futaba 6YG 75Mhz ground radio with conversion of the right joystick to a throttle/ratchet type for $170.00. It takes a few extra days to switch out the spring-loaded right stick. Tower is now an authorized Futaba repair/warranty station and can do this stuff without voiding the warranty. This is what I'm doing for my 3 motor Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat.

Mike
Dec 07, 2004, 01:20 AM
Registered User
OhioMike's Avatar
Thanks Frank......Let you know how ordering works out. Have a good day.
Mike
Aug 20, 2005, 08:30 PM
Gravity won...!
Jim Duda's Avatar

LONGSHOT! Ace Nautical Commander...


Hi folks - this might very well win "the longshot request of the year"...(wink) Anyway, I thought I read where someone was re-introducing the Ace Nautical Commander and the picture showed the IDENTICAL transmitter case to the original series. If true, then somebody must have an unassembled transmitter case somewhere which is exactly what I need. My throttle sticks and trims are oriented L-R and I need the standard ones. The pic will explain it all.

Can somebody suggest whom I might contact?

Jim in Austin
Aug 20, 2005, 11:58 PM
Registered User
Ace has listed the new Commander series radios (Sky and Nautical) in their latest catalogue (dealers only). They aren't in yet, but they are supposed to be here by the end of Sept. My guess is they are on a slow boat from China. The pictures show the Nautical Commander set up just like the old one except for the case. It looks plastic and more curvy. I'm just about to build a Midwest Lobster Yacht, and wanted to use two motors with two reversing speed controls.

Skippy
Aug 21, 2005, 01:10 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Duda
Hi folks - this might very well win "the longshot request of the year"...(wink) Anyway, I thought I read where someone was re-introducing the Ace Nautical Commander and the picture showed the IDENTICAL transmitter case to the original series. If true, then somebody must have an unassembled transmitter case somewhere which is exactly what I need. My throttle sticks and trims are oriented L-R and I need the standard ones. The pic will explain it all.

Can somebody suggest whom I might contact?

Jim in Austin
You would have to remove your electronics and existing sticks, cut the slots for the sticks to move vertically. Then before you remount the sticks, cut a piece of sheet styrene, or thin sheet metal to match the new holes and mounting points. The new sheet piece will cover the old holes, and remounting the sticks will hold the cover sheet in place.

Aug 21, 2005, 03:04 PM
Registered User
wingnut163's Avatar
Ahoy Mates;
there is a yahoo sight just for Ace people.
the Robbe F14 is a twin stick radio and can be exspanded to over 100 ch with moduals.
all so hargor models is the sole distruter of robbe now as opf Aug.
http://www.harbormodels.com/
skip
Aug 21, 2005, 06:45 PM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar
Thread OP

Source


Guys, I'm an old single stick flyer. Someone turned me on to Marv Jensen . He runs Jensen Jet Models and makes single stick conversions. He also sells pieces of the nautical commander like the rudder lever and the throttle levers. He sent me some samples of some marine radios that FMA was thinking about making and decided against it.No electronics. I'm going to send them back to him as I can't use them.Try him if you want to make your own tx. I just wouldn't hold my breath for the ACE radios.They have been promised for too long now.
Aug 21, 2005, 07:30 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
The following image is of a four channel futaba radio,...
Stuffed into a metal box that has a hinged removable cover.
I believe that additional accessories are controled using a modded MCD multi switch.
Aug 21, 2005, 09:01 PM
Registered User
BIGSails_0830's Avatar

Robbe F-14 radios


I purchased my Robbe F-14 Navy radio from the guys at Harbor Models about a year ago with no regrets, I'd order another in a heartbeat. Yeah it costs a bit more, but the expansion capabilities are what really caught my eye. I originally purchased this radio for a Robbe Atlantis, but will be using it for several other boats that are just begging for more functions. Currently I have 2 of the "Multi switch 16" modules. In the latched mode, I can turn on all 32 switched functions, were as the "momentary" mode I can only turn on 16 different functions at once. In addition to the Atlantis, I am curently working on a KMB PBR, and am in the process of gathering the funds necessary ($3300) to order an HMS Surprise from Steel Chapman and Hutchinson. The Atlantis doesn't need all of the extra switching funnctions, just rudder and sails, but the PBR will have sound modules and pump system to shoot water out the twin 50 cals up front. I recast the originals from KMB with hollow tubes to squirt water at the kids along the ponds edge. Whether or not I buy the Surprise or build a similar boat, I plan to use every switch possible to fire off broadside after broad side. I still looking into either a compressed gas systems, with something like graphite powder for smoke, or possibly a few grains of blackpowder to give it true realism. The Robbe radios have other modules like an all proportional switch module, to fine tune servos and the like, as well as combinations of the multi switch and multi prop modules. One other thing, even though they are german, the radios are made by Futabawhich use Futaba crystal and "J" plugs. They are a little more money, down the road you won't regret buying one.
Aug 21, 2005, 09:40 PM
Registered User
I have a near new in box ACE Nautical Commander circa 1990 Channel 62 for sale. Five function, model 20G550. Needs cells, but otherwise complete as once sold. Contact me off line if interested.

Wm.
Aug 21, 2005, 10:40 PM
Umi

What does that thing control!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Aug 21, 2005, 11:00 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
BigSails: Thanks for the report on the F-14. I have been interested in that radio myself. With the advent of all the new computer radios, however, I am wondering if the F-14 is still the best choice.

Do you ever have a need for "mixing" functions that the F-14 cannot do?
Aug 22, 2005, 07:49 AM
Gravity won...!
Jim Duda's Avatar
Wm. (Coosbay) I sent you an e-mail...

[email protected]
Aug 22, 2005, 04:47 PM
Registered User
BIGSails_0830's Avatar

Robbe F-14 Radio


Kmot,

For the applications I noted earlier, I do not need mixing capabilities. In addition to the 4 basic channels (rudder and sail control), I really only need the on/off functions for lights and such. I'm still trying to figure out how I am going to control the bow 50 cals on the PBR. I may connect the gun servo to the steering servo through a reversing module. This is the only instance where I might use mixing. I just like the fact that Robbe radios are easy to open, have a clean layout inside, and have plug-n-play type modules. The only draw back is the price and to a lesser extent availability. At $329 for an 8 channel radio with RX, the multi switch 16 module costs an additional $235 for the switches and RX module.

Matt
Aug 22, 2005, 07:53 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Thanks Matt.
Aug 22, 2005, 08:58 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff G
Umi

What does that thing control!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Bob Paluiny's four channel case mod controls all the sound, lights and water functions on the tug boat, and also runs two Mahogany runabouts. The first is a Dumas barrel back, and the second is a Mahogany Barrel back built from the dumas plans at 3x the scale. The larger one runs on a water cooled weedeater motor with electric start. So Bob just drops the 48-52" boat into the water, turns on the radio, presses start, and the boat fires up and starts running. The larger one also has a transmission of some sort that he built for reverse.
Mar 21, 2013, 07:15 AM
Registered User
Deckie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umi_Ryuzuki
Bob Paluiny's four channel case mod controls all the sound, lights and water functions on the tug boat, and also runs two Mahogany runabouts. The first is a Dumas barrel back, and the second is a Mahogany Barrel back built from the dumas plans at 3x the scale. The larger one runs on a water cooled weedeater motor with electric start. So Bob just drops the 48-52" boat into the water, turns on the radio, presses start, and the boat fires up and starts running. The larger one also has a transmission of some sort that he built for reverse.
So how did he do it then?

BTW your lines are coming along, expect them later next week
Mar 21, 2013, 11:07 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Thanks Deckie,

If you look across the bottom, just to the left of the large steering rheostat, there
is a small three positions rotrary switch. That controls the power to three crystals.
So the controller is set up for three different transmitters, and could run up to 12 channels.



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