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Sep 05, 2019, 02:20 PM
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looking for comments as I keep building


I've been working on an RC hovercraft. I always wanted a boat but sadly would never get to use it enough to justify the expense when it dawned on me, I have almost all of the parts on hand already for an RC hovercraft.

A good chunk of this is going to be trial and error. The current state of this machine is probably 80%. I need to fasten my servo for the rear motors and print a cross beam to the motors. I also need to create a skirt. The wiring is complete and all I need to do is calibrate the ESCs.

Some of the highlights... I have a 3d printer, and that has made this 100% possible.

The body is light foam poster board. This is cheap and readily available. I'm not sure how water proof it is, but as of this moment, nothing in this build is actually water proof, so I'm not too worried. I'll start by saying that I have a 1/10 RC car that's closer to a 1/8 RC car. I wanted something comparable in size. This has three layers, the top layer, a middle layer to vent through the skirt, and a bottom layer that is hollow that the skirt will dump back into.

The motors are pretty generic 2S-3S motors something in the area of 2000kv I believe. Since they shouldn't need the torque of a brushed motor, I opted for brushless for the higher speeds. They have 4" props on them, the cheapest I could find, lol.

The rear motor mounts each have two parts. a base and a housing. I'm not using ducted fans, but I wanted to create some of that wholesome ducted effect as you can see. The two pieces each have a bearing (the same one that all the fidget spinners use) and a nut and bolt to hold them together, hopefully as friction-less as possible.

The lift motor housings. These are similar to the rear motors in that they're fake ducted motors. The idea is that they will push air down, which will have to move outward between the top two layers of the body. The only path for the air will be to travel through the skirt and back out below the hover craft.

The battery and ESCs. I don't like the setup I have right now. It's an ugly mess of wires and something I'd like to revisit. Each motor has it's own ESC, naturally. The ESCs are paired and share a signal and ground from the RX. These ESCs provide power as well, so only one ESC has those wires connected to provide the power to the RX. If anyone has suggestions, I'm open to hearing them, but I think this will just take some playing around with until I get something I'm happy with. Ultimately, I'd like to hide the wires inside of the hovercraft, but right now they're on top so I don't have to deal with lost air pressure.

The skirt. I haven't made one yet, but I'm planning to use a dollar store short curtain. I think it's light enough to provide some give, but rigid enough to not tear itself open too easily. I've seen just about every material imagineable when looking at other designs so it seems there are not wrong answers and there are no right answers here. The skirt will pinch between the layers. In the piactures you can see the venting/supports I made for the layers. The idea is, the skirt will pinch between that and the body. The top layer of the body will overhang by about an inch, that should push the skirt lower, giving additional lift since I don't know how I should be judging my weight in this one.

The RX/TX I went with a TX that can also be used for RC cars. The controls seemed similar to me. I also have a dial for the 3rd channel, which will control the lift motors. The idea is that, I don't really know how much power they'll need, so I'd like to be able to play with it and leave it at that setting once I find the right speed. I also know changing props will effect this, so I'll want to be able to adjust easily as needed.

I guess that's it right now. I'm hoping to take it out for a maiden run this weekend, but first I wanted to get some opinions on it. I've never built one of these before so everything is just a "lets try and see what happens" approach. Once I get it running nicely, I'd like to make it as water proof as I can and hide all of the electronics to make it look a bit more pretty.

What do you guys think? I'd be happy to answer any questions on my untested unit or hear any thoughts, criticisms, or compliments.
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Sep 06, 2019, 11:14 AM
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
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looks good!
their might be an issue with the craft tending to nose down with throttle as the ducts are so far aft. you may need horizontal vanes to direct the thrust so it pushes the rear down a lil bit to counteract the nose going down.
Sep 06, 2019, 11:59 AM
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Thanks, that's something I'll watch for.

I'm still planning to give this a run this weekend, weather pending.

I'm probably a little heavy towards the back, well there isn't any probably about it, I'm for sure heavy towards the back, so I'm hoping this might counteract that since I was worried I'd have the opposite problem and even considered adjusting the angle of my rear motors.

The thing isn't light, that I can fully admit. I'm, in general, kind of curious to see how the air flow through the skit gives it balance. I'm also really curious to see how it pilots through some different terrains. I'll be sure to report back with results and some video.


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