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Aug 15, 2019, 06:20 PM
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New Product

Waterproof Servos


I am excited to announce that my company, Blue Trail Engineering, is now offering TRULY waterproof servos.

These servos are depth-rated down to 100 meters are are top quality: titanium output shaft and hardware, 3-mm thick Delrin case, and a choice of quality waterproof connectors. The servo case has provisions for pressure-compensated oil filling, and I have tested this feature in prototypes. I expect to be offering these oil-filled versions within a few months, and they will be rated to at least 600 meters.

These are made in the USA (Longmont, CO to be specific) and are stocked for immediate availability. I also offer underwater connectors and cables, as well as a high-efficiency thruster for use in ASVs and AUVs. I think if people peruse the website and look at the specifics of the products, they’ll find that this is the real deal: reliable products for underwater robotics at affordable prices.

Thanks for looking!

Damon McMillan
Blue Trail Engineering
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Aug 19, 2019, 04:16 AM
Crazy bubble-head!
Nemo's Avatar
These looks to be exceptionally well-engineered. Thanks for sharing the link and info.

Unfortunately, at $330 a piece, integration into hobby-grade RC subs is likely not feasible for most people. Requiring one servo each for rudder, aft planes and forward planes, you're looking at $1000 just in servos?

These have their place in the deep ROV crowd, but not in the scale model community.


Bob
Aug 20, 2019, 12:49 PM
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Thread OP
Bob,

Thank you for your candid reply. I totally understand.

I have considered offering these servos as a kit for around $120. You would put your own standard-sized R/C servo inside and assemble it yourself (it is simply an R/C servo packaged in a waterproof case... although there are some tricks to make that work). However, I'm a little hesitant to offer kits right now because I want to establish a reputation for quality, which means that I want each servo that I sell to be tested in a pressure chamber.

But I would be interested to know if $120 plus the cost of whatever servo you want to put inside would be attractive to people.

Damon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo
These looks to be exceptionally well-engineered. Thanks for sharing the link and info.

Unfortunately, at $330 a piece, integration into hobby-grade RC subs is likely not feasible for most people. Requiring one servo each for rudder, aft planes and forward planes, you're looking at $1000 just in servos?

These have their place in the deep ROV crowd, but not in the scale model community.


Bob
Aug 20, 2019, 06:50 PM
Latitudes vs Attitudes
Bob Gaito's Avatar
Damon -very nice equiptment, unfortunately many model sub mariners are now using 2.4 ghz, meaning that the periscope never fully goes below the surface, and people with the FM units probably would consider 10ft as crush depth. For the guys at the surface, an IP 67 rated servo treated with corrosion x and dipped in flex seal would suffice-under $50 and the guys with the low freq radios can get by with any of the IP 68/69 servos under $150..As was mentioned your gear is way overkill for the guy in his garage who already can't tell his wife what he is spending on his sub...best of luck, thanks for the post B.G.
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Aug 21, 2019, 03:25 AM
Crazy bubble-head!
Nemo's Avatar
Damon,

As a supplier to the hobby, I can attest to the fact that not all builders are fighting budgets. There is a niche for this product, but it will be small, at least in scale model submarines.

The real issue here is that you may waterproof the servo, but the wired connections to the command and control compartment still need to be addressed. Most subs use 3 servos, that's 9 wires (or a minimum of 5 if you start talking about cutting/splicing cables and sharing power and ground).

The kit idea is a good one. At $120, it's more attractive, but still painful, particularly understanding now that the product is basically a housing and not some sort of super-engineered wonderservo (which would help justify the price tag).

Engineer an elegant, small waterproof servo connector and now we'll be talking about something...
Aug 21, 2019, 09:27 AM
Registered User
tchalfant's Avatar
Damon,
Bob is right, there is a small niche for this in scale model subs. Even the ROV market (consumer grade) is probably very small as well. Commercial you may be in the market. However, a small waterproof connector is a bigger draw (to me at least). The key word is small - at least for the RC submarine market.
When you posted about thinking of making a water proof servo, the same thoughts were made then. Price and connection to dry space. Is your price unreasonable? The ROV or experimental manned submarines it may not be. I just do not hang around that market.
I am very impressed with the quickness you got this out there and I do hope for success on your sales. We need more people like you.
Peace,
Tom
Aug 21, 2019, 12:05 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Bob and Tom,

Thank you again for your feedback. You're right: I am definitely going after the ROV market, but figured there may be some true R/C subs fanatics out there who would be interested.

On to connectors... I do in fact sell connectors and cables as well. I encourage you to look at the website to check them out (www.bluetrailengineering.com). In particular, I sell something called a "simple penetrator" which is, as the name implies, very simple. It's just an O-ring-equipped, barbed bulkhead fitting to which you can attach some polyurethane tubing. If you have two of these, you can connect any two compartments or devices with tubing, forming a waterproof conduit. Then just feed the wire of your choosing through the tubing. No potting involved. Maybe you guys already have something like this, but I have never seen these fittings sold anywhere, so I made my own.

I also make a waterproof cable and matching bulkhead connector. When I started designing these, I was hoping to get the price of them down to about $20 or $30 per pair, but simply wasn't able to (apparently nobody else has been able to either, as you know). But they are at least much smaller, especially in the length direction, than the common "Subconn" waterproof connectors.

Thanks again for your feedback and interest!
Aug 21, 2019, 02:33 PM
Registered User
tchalfant's Avatar
I can speak only for me, but I like a sealed divider. If the hose failed, then water would not have a path to my dry area. When I do a connector currently, I use a solid brass wire then solder wires on to make that transition between wet and dry side. I am playing with an automotive wire connector that claims to be water “proof” for a depth that my sub will not intentionally go to. That being said, it is bulky


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