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Author Topic: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions  (Read 7291 times)

h1pst3r

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New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« on: January 01, 2009, 04:46:35 PM »

Thanks in advance for all the great posts here!

Santa brought the Seaport for my 4-year old son for Christmas. As you all well know, the elves should have prepped the boat with proper RC gear!

After many hours spent reading I've got the following upgrade parts here or in the post:

Traxxas TQ3 3-channel TX
Traxxas 2215 3-channel RX
Pro Boat waterproof F/R ESC - (http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=PRB2314)
Hitec HS-325HB servo for steering - (http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HRC33325S)

I am basically following George Harmon's build without the replacement prop. Anyway,I hope someone might help with these questions:

1. With the ESC I bought (which has 6v BEC) can I plug my Traxxas 2215 right into that for power or do I need a battery pack for the RX? If I can connect it, do I need a futuba-to-BEC lead -- something like this:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXTUL0&P=FR

2. The ESC can support 4.8-12v batteries. Pardon my ignorance, but does that mean I can run any type of battery (nimh, LiPo, Gel Cell) within the supported voltage range of the ESC? Sorry, but all the battery types and voltages are bit confusing. Given the ESC, can I reuse the Nicd pack that came with the seaport?

3. Based on #2, which battery type do you all recommend -- what are you using? I will be using the stock motor and would like decent speed with nice long run-times.

4. I was hoping to retain the hose and pump. I assume I would connect this to the RX, but the existing connector for the pump is a two pin with black and red wires. Can I just get a standard connector that would fit my Traxxas 2215 (matching the pin-outs) and plug it in to the RX?

Thanks in advance to everyone in this forum!

-Chris in Boston









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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 05:16:52 PM »

Hi mate
Welcome to the forum,with regards to battery i kept the original and it does give a good turn of speed,and running time.
If you change to 6v like some of the guys have done,you may not get the speed but a longer run time,which as said above
the original lasts long enough.One thing though if you intend to keep the lights put a switch to turn on/off as they drain battery,which is no good
during daytime when you cant see them,and water squirt drains lots of power
Hopefully some help
Mark
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Weeds

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 05:21:42 PM »

Hi Chris,

Are you in Boston, MA USA? If so, we must be neighbors!

1. With the ESC I bought (which has 6v BEC) can I plug my Traxxas 2215 right into that for power or do I need a battery pack for the RX? If I can connect it, do I need a futuba-to-BEC lead -- something like this:


You don't need a battery pack for the RX - just plug your Traxxass 2215 into the ESC and you'll be all set.

2. The ESC can support 4.8-12v batteries. Pardon my ignorance, but does that mean I can run any type of battery (nimh, LiPo, Gel Cell) within the supported voltage range of the ESC? Sorry, but all the battery types and voltages are bit confusing. Given the ESC, can I reuse the Nicd pack that came with the seaport?

You can't run Lipo (not without a lipo cutoff), but NiMh, NiCd, and Gel Cell are all good choices and supported by the ESC. Yes, you can reuse the NiCd pack that came with the seaport!

3. Based on #2, which battery type do you all recommend -- what are you using? I will be using the stock motor and would like decent speed with nice long run-times.

The battery that comes with the boat is 9 volts but you can run a 6 volt battery but it will be slower. Has anyone tried a 12v battery with this boat?

I was hoping to retain the hose and pump. I assume I would connect this to the RX, but the existing connector for the pump is a two pin with black and red wires. Can I just get a standard connector that would fit my Traxxas 2215 (matching the pin-outs) and plug it in to the RX?

No, the pump can't be plugged into the receiver - you need an rc switch in between the pump and the receiver. The easiest thing to do is get another servo and a fish out a micro switch from and old cd-rom or vcr and connect pump to the battery through the switch - the servo pushes on the switch and turns on the pump.

Have fun,

The Dickie Tug was a good choice!

Jeff
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h1pst3r

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 05:30:00 PM »

Jeff -- thanks for the sweeeet reply!

I'm in Boston USA -- my sons and I cruise around Jamaica Pond, my other with his Reef Racer2 (fun boat!).

Anyway, you have helped me make up my mind about sealing the bottom of the boat with epoxy. If there was any chance of easily using the pumper as it was, then I was going to leave the water ballast system. Now I will seal up the hull, and cut out the top as a battery tray/ballast.

As far as batteries -- is there any advantage to a 7.2? Also what are good places to buy a proper battery all ready to go, as opposed to building my own cell. What capacity should I get?

Thanks a ton!

-Chris

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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 05:32:45 PM »

The crew and equipment must have jumped ship when i got my boat (the wheelhouse was empty)
yes did try 12v it flew for 5mins,but the motor got so hot it melted the mount with plenty of smoke
not recomended
Mark
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h1pst3r

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 05:36:24 PM »

Mark-

Just the opposite, my house is so over-run by playmobil and lego figures that a few of them took over the tug and are heading for new horizons!

Thanks for the replies -- how long a run do you get from the original battery pack, and for how long do you charge them?

-Chris
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Weeds

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 05:52:07 PM »

Hi Chris,

I am going to send you a private message to answer some of your questions in more detail.

In my experience, the screws that hold the deck ought to be replaced - they rust quickly and strip. Better replace them with similar steel screws and put some oil on top of the heads.

I ran my Boat in Charles River with the Charles River Sailboat club - they give you and your children a RC Laser sailboat to play with if you just show up :) I had my dickie tug cruising around and raced my friend around the Storrow Lagoon. In the boston area you've got two rc boat clubs - www.marinemodelers.org/ and http://www.esplanadeassociation.org/thingstodo/model_sail_aboutus.html

Now, for the battery, I saw a 9 volt nicd charging system in a local store on sale for just 5$!!! That was a month ago, so it might be gone, but if I get a chance, I'll check if it's still available and let you know.

I charge batteries until they are warm (but not hot)

I kept the original balast tank and effectively keeps the boat stable. Believe it or not, with a new motor, I've sailed my Dickie tug a mile up and down charles river and it was a very pleasent 2-3 hour walk.
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catengineman

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 05:54:32 PM »

Just a small observation here chaps  :-))
there seems an awfully lot of mentioning on speed?
Tugs are the work horse of the water, the plodders with power :-)) that run and run and run (figuratively speaking that is) power and longevity are the norm 15 hours of pushing pulling against 2 hours of 3inch bow wave and wet decks.
Not that I am against the speed kings in any way its just my way on looking at things.

PS: having as much fun as you possibly can is the best way to enjoy life.  :}

R,
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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 05:56:11 PM »

Leave my battery on charge overnight,will give around an hour running or more,but if your like me (full throttle)
time can vary,where i sail its very windy so the motor is consuming more power to get up the lake,but its good fun
watching coming downwind at full speed.
As Jeff is giving you good advice,if you do find some water in the bottom of boat,check propshaft/hull as some people
have had water ingress due to lack of proper sealing
Mark
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Weeds

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 06:02:42 PM »

And that's my Dickie sailing on Charles River in Boston, MA on a nice summer wekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oulmmWns3sc&feature=channel_page

Let me add, in response to craftysod, that after 1) sealing cracks where water can come (but keeping the ballast tank as it was) 2) regreasing the prop shaft with coastal marine grease from Autozone - the leaks are gone. Your esc won't get hot, so what I did is smudge DEP Kitchen and Bath silicone from Sears all around the the receiver and the esc and i've had them work submerged under water. Now these were cheap $5 units that I didn't care to ruin - so i don't recommend that method if you are just starting out.

I just created a discussion group for Boston RC Boat Modelers who wish to run on Charles River.

http://groups.google.com/group/bostonrc

Please join!

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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »

Catengineman
I agree with you,the tug is a workhorse,spent plenty of time in navy watching and admiring the power these boats have,
i just like to see the bow wave and stern wake that my seaport can make,makes it look more real,especially as i sail it in tidal water
Mark
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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2009, 06:20:46 PM »

Jeff
you brave man,would'nt sail my boat there with all that traffic,this is the only footage of my boat on water
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3BF2OzARZ4g&feature=channel_page
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Weeds

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2009, 06:26:17 PM »

Craftysod, I sail without a rescue boat too!  {-)
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h1pst3r

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2009, 06:42:17 PM »

Hey Guys,

Regarding batts once again-

Why is the discharge rate important? Also, other than cost, is there any disadvantage to getting as large a capacity (Mah) as possible for the longest run times. Are there any appreciable difference between 7.2v, 8.4v, and 9.6v?

All things being equal what is the major advantage to NiMH versus NiCd?

Thanks!

-Chris

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craftysod

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2009, 06:56:20 PM »

Chris
with the answer to this question,its best to look into the electrics and black art section,or ask there.
The boffins who know electrics can help you
Mark
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Weeds

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2009, 08:52:04 PM »

NiCd - cheaper, but they get "memory"
NiMh - more expensive, no "memory"
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dougal99

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2009, 08:53:18 PM »

Hey Guys,

Regarding batts once again-

Why is the discharge rate important? Also, other than cost, is there any disadvantage to getting as large a capacity (Mah) as possible for the longest run times. Are there any appreciable difference between 7.2v, 8.4v, and 9.6v?

All things being equal what is the major advantage to NiMH versus NiCd?

Thanks!

-Chris



Basically

Volts give you speed/power and Amps give you duration. Consequently the more volts the faster you can go however, your motor will get hotter and depending on its rating have a shorter life.

More amps gives you longer duration. Your motor will take the amps it needs so getting a larger amperage battery, providing it will fit in your boat, will just give you longer on the pond.

NIMH versus Nicad. NIMH no memory effect and allegedly greener than Nicads. Nicads purportedly give up their power quicker than NIMHs so are better for fast electrics. I only sail a Club 500 and have not noticed any difference but haven't done any tests.

HTH

Doug
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stallspeed

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Re: New Tug Captain -- RC gear retrofit questions
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2009, 04:23:17 AM »

Hey Guys,

Regarding batts once again-

Why is the discharge rate important? Also, other than cost, is there any disadvantage to getting as large a capacity (Mah) as possible for the longest run times. Are there any appreciable difference between 7.2v, 8.4v, and 9.6v?

All things being equal what is the major advantage to NiMH versus NiCd?

Thanks!

-Chris


Hi Chris,
The discharge rate or power capacity is important because the faster you discharge a battery the more of its stored energy and voltage is lost internally and the less energy gets used up in the load.

 A 2.4Ah AA cell won't cut it for racing because it would lose half a volt and one third of its power at 15 amps.It would likely burn up.
A slow 5 to 10 hour discharge would show no difference between what you get from a 2.4Ah AA cell and a race pack sub-C cell of the same capacity  as 95% or more of the power goes into the load anyway.

It is exactly the same reason why you could not use zinc carbon batteries in tape recorders  as the 1/2 ohm resistance meant the discharge rate was pitifully small and they were inefficient with cassette motors.
Incedentally this is also one of the reasons that RC companies advise against using single use batteries in receiver clips.They have only one quarter the power capacity(discharge rate) of nimh batteries so two or more servos causes the voltage to droop before they are used up as they cannot take the current surges of two servos like an AA nimh.
Jim Gonzales
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