Home Built E.P.I.R.B. - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Nov 10, 2017, 04:35 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar

Home Built E.P.I.R.B.

Besides having scale RC boats, I also have a submarine. Being a static diving sub, I am quite afraid of losing it...so I only use it in my pool where I can see it. I've been working on a locator buoy. I've found that a 1000mg tums tablet will dissolve in just about 1hr in ph neutral water at 65 degrees F.-give or take 15 min.
So I've taken a wine cork and a tablet and 5min epoxied them to a base and wrapped 10FT of cord around them. This should cover the depth of most ponds. It should last for the time of sub usage without releasing. Of course I envision replacing the unit after each run. I could see painting the cork red, possibly some kind of disguise for boats like a lazarette, and coming up with a quick install attachment. On the sub it would probably be a throwaway but on a boat it would last until something "no bueno" happens. Am I reinventing the wheel, is there something out there that does this already?
I remembering reading Laser110's post(Boat down &found) about taking days to find his sunken boat..if one of these were hidden on deck he would have had it back in 1 hour...I'm looking for suggestions on the engineering and operation of this buoy. Yes the base shouldn't be plywood (should be aluminum) Remember that the attached picture is only a prototype...thanks.
Last edited by Bob Gaito; Nov 10, 2017 at 08:15 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Nov 10, 2017, 04:44 PM
Mopar Musclecar fanatic
xx29l9's Avatar
Dissolving Tums...very creative idea. Plus you can eat some extra's to help the stomach while waiting for the sunken one to dissolve.

Nov 10, 2017, 05:39 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
and extra rope, I could hang myself if I loose that sub...
Nov 10, 2017, 05:45 PM
Registered User
I think this subject would be better addressed in the Sub section of the forum. As well, this idea has been explored with multiple options by the SubCommittee. You might want to take a gandy at their message board.

Nov 10, 2017, 07:35 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Good point Jonathan..but like I posted I think it could be well received in scale boats should one disappear below the waves as in lazer110's post about his tugboat. I know that my boats are going to have a fail safe on board whenever they go out. Especially considering the man hours that go into producing some of these pieces of art. If my Egg Harbor collided with another boat it would be on the bottom in2minutes! A 25lb boat with mostly aluminum and iron doesn't stand a chance..
I have reviewed the sub committee and found things like an alka-seltzer on board to follow the bubbles?? bottle rockets to mark position?? and hydrophones to track the downed vessel?? if you have something that can recover a downed sub or boat for $1 dollar or less in 1-2 hours in sub committee forums PLEASE send a specific link I would greatly appreciate it.
Last edited by Bob Gaito; Nov 10, 2017 at 08:16 PM.
Nov 10, 2017, 08:14 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Further thinking, you could hide it under a seat cushion on the fly bridge...the float doesn't have to be a wine cork..it just needs to make it to the surface when it releases..
Nov 10, 2017, 08:55 PM
lots of water; some of it thin
chum444's Avatar
I think your idea is also very applicable to surface craft. I like it! Since I only run alone & therefore don't have collision worries I have not incorporated any marking devices. In addition I mostly run in water below shoulder level. However I do intend to run the BD in salt water in Eel Pond in Woods Hole. Sinking there would be an indication of having a really bad day. You jogged my memory that some marker device should be added.
Vaguely recall that there was an idea posted in either the Scale or Dock Talk Forum regarding a marker device.
Post both in the Sub and Scale section.
Nov 10, 2017, 09:10 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Done! thanks Bill..its cheap, its easy, once hidden -forgetaboutit! Like I said one's going under the bridge cushion on the egg ,ones going under the APU hatch on the Pace and I'll just strap one to the deck on the Gato temporarily unless I'm showing it or in the pool...
can't wait to see pictures from Eel Pond! Should look right at home...you really need to take it to Bahamas and do a photo shoot--that's a BD's true home! ...1:1/2 scale Mahi Mahi anyone?
Nov 10, 2017, 10:57 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
I use the Getterback on my quadcopters and also my airboat. Works the same as your idea.

Nov 11, 2017, 08:05 AM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Thanks! Very ingenious device is it very new? ..but at 40 bucks a pop I would be reluctant as a lot of modelers are price conscious. I can see it would be great for a drone..I guess there are many different applications...the tums thing arose out of the need/worry to retrieve a downed sub where it's already under water in normal usage. Unfortunately the getterback would blow ...I needed something that would delay deploying for the time of the run. And in thinking about it, a surface boat wouldn't need the delay..only a disguised float and cord (and possibly something to hold in place during running)

Nov 11, 2017, 01:37 PM
Registered User
CaptCB's Avatar
All nice ideas IF what you are recovering is light weight.
Now, a 10 - 65 lb. tug is going to be a different problem. Requiring dive gear and a crane on a boat for the heavier models.
My preference, is build so there is almost no chance of the boat ever taking on water in the first place! My boats can be run "decks awash", and in the pouring rain, and they will remain dry inside.
Nov 11, 2017, 01:54 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
We always cemented an old CA or pill bottle to the underside of the deck and tied it to a frame.

The Getterback is an upgrade.
Nov 11, 2017, 03:52 PM
Scratch n Scale
Bob Gaito's Avatar
regarding the heavy models...probably submerged weight on a 65lb model is 25lbs?..thats where the kevlar cord comes into play...all you need to do is bring it to the surface not lift it out-and now the 65lb displacement model full of water weighs 130lbs!!

Umi's got the right Idea go cheap and functional....spend the 40 bucks on margaritas..
Nov 11, 2017, 09:13 PM
Registered User
CaptCB's Avatar
Yea, but Umi LIKES sinking her boats on a regular basis.
Nov 11, 2017, 09:19 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
$40 bucks now?? They were $20 when I bought mine.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Pizza Trays Plane... aka the Very Easy Plane V.E.P. built with cheap F939 parts RC Lover san Foamies (Scratchbuilt) 2 Feb 07, 2017 05:50 AM
Discussion V.E.P. Very Easy Plane built using pizza trays and F939 parts RC Lover san Foamies (Scratchbuilt) 0 Jan 05, 2017 04:05 PM
Discussion V.E.P. Very Easy Plne built using pizza trays and F939 parts RC Lover san Foamies (Scratchbuilt) 0 Jan 05, 2017 04:03 PM
Mini-HowTo BAD SPAD (35.5cc home built S.P.A.D.) plans/building instructions. frequent crasher Giant Scale Airplanes 9 Jul 30, 2016 04:17 AM
Discussion Home built r/c Ready2Fight Car Talk 3 Jul 06, 2009 01:24 PM