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Author Topic: Engel Type 212A Build Log  (Read 27136 times)

Jack D

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Engel Type 212A Build Log
« on: December 04, 2014, 10:46:47 pm »

I recently decided to buy a new model boat which I could build relatively quickly and have few hassles transporting (when your fleet consists almost exclusively of 5ft  ships and you have no car, getting out to sail can be tricky). I've also liked the idea of RC submarines for a very long time and it just so happens that Engel's Type 212A submarine neatly fits the size requirement.

It also boasts that it is easy(ish) to build. I will test if the instructions and kit are idiot proof, because I have no experience of subs whatsoever, apart from a couple of hours playing with another 212A and getting a very good impression.

I purchased the brushless drive version of the submarine set which was released in November, along with the Hall Effect Sensor upgrade. First impressions are very good, with the kit coming pre- painted (though I will be adding considerably to it), perspex windows covering navigational light details already installed, all of the rudder linkages already in place and a really nice magnetised aft hatch for access to said rudder linkages.

So far I've only had time to do a basic inventory of the parts but it seems that everything is in order. Work will begin in earnest on the weekend. Here is a photo of what you get in the box.



Wish me luck- I'm going to need it!
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U-33

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 07:20:53 am »

That's a nice kit, you'll enjoy the building and the sailing...keep the build log going, and plenty of pictures are mandatory!


Rich
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Rich

K-157 Vepr. Akula-II (project 971U)
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~~~~~~~  "Motorflotes need love too...."  ~~~~~~~

MotorFlote build log : http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,15222.0.html

Bob K

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2014, 08:51:02 am »

I will be following this with great interest Jack. Very well engineered, good instructions, but I became a bit stuck on mine a couple of years ago so would appreciate lots of photos and info, especially on assembling the three hull mouldings.  ie epoxying the bayonet-ring section to the long hull section.

I have seen one sailing, very quick and agile.
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

Davy1

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 12:07:47 pm »

Nice photograph - It looks like an early Christmas!

Enjoy the build and let us know how you get on.

David F
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U-33

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2014, 01:17:15 pm »

The men you need to ask questions about this kit are Ramesh (Wheelerdealer) and Andy (Subculture), both members on here.


Ramesh has built a 212A so he'll know all the answers to those little problems you may come across, and Andy knows all about bayonet fittings.


Rich
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Rich

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~~~~~~~  "Motorflotes need love too...."  ~~~~~~~

MotorFlote build log : http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,15222.0.html

Subculture

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 04:41:30 pm »

Looks like an assembly job rather than a traditional kit. I don't think Engel could make it any easier could they?

It's a fantastic performing model. I would advise dialling the throttle down a bit as it's you first submarine, these get a lick of speed up on brushed power, so on brushless they should be even livelier and you'll find it easy to scuff up the nice paint finish when you're learning the controls. If you've done any model flying, then you might fin it easier to control, you tend to 'fly' this boat rather than sail it.

Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 01:41:46 am »

First of all, thanks to all of the replies and advice posted in this thread so far. While I might not be able to respond individually to all of it, rest assured it is all being taken on board. Who knows, it might help other people browsing the thread in the future too (hello future people!).


I will be following this with great interest Jack. Very well engineered, good instructions, but I became a bit stuck on mine a couple of years ago so would appreciate lots of photos and info, especially on assembling the three hull mouldings.  ie epoxying the bayonet-ring section to the long hull section.

I have seen one sailing, very quick and agile.

I've also seen one sailing and I've had the pleasure of sailing it as well. They are very fast- especially as you get to periscope depth and the rounded bow becomes more efficient (whereas of course a pointed bow works best running at the surface and less well underwater). This brushless version should be able to easily beat 10kph submerged. Of course I bought the brushless version for a longer running time so I'll be using the bare minimum of available throttle (most of the time- surfaced the extra power might come in handy and the underwater rocketship could be fun after a bit of practice).

As to the bayonet lock ring, this version of the kit comes with it pre-installed and lubricated. I also believe it's been pressure tested. I have taken some photos if it helps, but as U-33 already suggested it is probably best to ask other people with more experience. As Subculture said, this IS an assembly job.  While I don't have much experience with traditional kits either, I do have a couple that I inherited and are waiting for my skills to develop and this submarine arrived much further along, with all of the watertight bulkheads already installed it seems. Which I'm grateful for- I wasn't relishing the prospect of installing watertight bulkheads. That being said, I don't want to give the wrong impression. This is not an Almost Ready To Run boat by any stretch of the imagination. A great deal of wiring is required and some amounts of construction.

Below are pictures of both the bow and stern O-ring mounts in situ which at least shows the way they're orientated on this model (whether you could have them another way I don't know).


Stern locking ring



Stern ring alignment



Bow locking ring



External shot of the locking ring.



On to today, I started work on the kit this evening after recovering (slightly) from the most vicious cold I've had in years. It was all pretty basic stuff, assembling the battery compartment, fitting said compartment to the piston tank and putting the pressure switch in place with associated brass and tubing. The two tubes with nothing attached yet are used as handy routing for power cables from the batteries at the bow to the electrical systems in the stern. The first potential flaw I've seen with the kit is where the tube to the ballast tank is routed, cutting access to the battery compartment in half which could make completely removing the batteries for recharging potentially problematic, but I'll have to cross that hurdle when I get to it. So far I'm impressed by how well everything goes together- the only hiccup was the routing holes for cable runs were out of alignment by about half a millimetre and needed some filing.


Battery compartment assembled and attached to the piston tank. The unit at the opposite end to the piston is the pressure switch.


With various routings for air, water and power cabling installed.



Finally an image of the same unit as above but flipped so you can see the reverse. Maybe it was because I was tired, but I was initially stumped as where this water line should be routed going from the photo in the manual. I think it took reading the thing five times to finally realise it should go into the piston tank, which was clearly stated in writing.

I'll try to get a bit more done in the weekend proper.

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Davy1

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 12:55:36 pm »

Don't forget there is also a nice article by John Parker on this build in "Model Boats" September 2013.
Lot's of detail on finishing, trimming and sailing with no major problems in construction you will be pleased to note!
Enjoy the build.

David F
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Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 03:26:40 pm »

I've heard about that article before- I should probably have a read of it!
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Davy1

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 04:02:41 pm »

Yes, I must admit I'd forgotten about even though it is only a year ago!

I found a reference to it by searching on the AMS Forum and then realised I had kept a copy.

Pm me if you have problems finding a copy.

David F
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Bob K

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 05:07:40 pm »


As to the bayonet lock ring, this version of the kit comes with it pre-installed and lubricated. I also believe it's been pressure tested. I have taken some photos if it helps, but as U-33 already suggested it is probably best to ask other people with more experience. As Subculture said, this IS an assembly job. 


Sounds like Engel have done some major improvements to the 212A kit.  Having the hull sections effectively built and pressure tested is a real boon.  Maybe customer feedback encouraged the hull upgrade.  My problem is that it's not clear how the ring is epoxied in to get the right 'locked' orientation.  A wrong guess . . .  Fatal !

Apart from that it is incredibly well made, and as you've said it goes like a rocket.  Once I can get the hull parts problem solved I look forward to completing it.

Bob K
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

Mankster

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2014, 08:23:31 pm »

Looks like a lot of the tricky work is done. I still would have liked to seen them selling a full kit version. I will be interested to see how the sub performs with the new power plant.
Do you know what paint is used for the hull? You will be needing some to touch up the bottom hull due to scrapes etc...

Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 10:50:11 pm »

They still do the regular kits with the brushless propulsion as an upgrade- I believe if not bought in a set they don't have the same level of pre construction.
I'm glad this set already has had a large amount of work done to it- as my first submarine (indeed, my first Kit boat built from the beginning), I wouldn't be too confident in some areas and the progress would be very slow.

The colour is referenced in the manual- I think it may be an uncommon shade so you'd have to get some made up. I will probably be buying a durable aerosol version to touch up scratches etc on the bottom from a local paint manufacturer.

I've been working on the sub quite a lot this weekend- the piston unit is assembled as is the servo tray. I'm currently constructing the main power plug which will be able to isolate all of the batteries at once, which will be handy for powering up and down at the lakeside. My only niggling feeling so far is about the pressure switch- so far there haven't been any instructions to wire it up and I get the feeling I'll need to sacrifice another servo extension lead to do it. Photos will follow, I haven't had the time to do a detailed report.
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Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2014, 02:35:42 am »

I've again been at work on the sub today. I've been sorting out the power distribution system today and now there's one plug to easily disconnect everything, so the batteries can be arranged nicely and plugged in to the tech rack and left for a while before operation (the original intention was for the port to act as a single charging point for the receiver and drive batteries while the batteries are still in the rack but I decided firmly against it). The only thing left to do with the power system is to connect the ESC to the drive battery leads and install the receiver for everything else to draw power from.


From last weekend's work, here is the beginnings of the reciever block which fits to two circular bulkheads which make up the servo compartment. The rectangular slot in the facing side is for the main power plug to sit neatly in.



Here are the two sections of the plug which fits in the aforementioned piece. The plug on the left goes to the main and receiver batteries and there is no heat shrink on the strain relief circuit board (the board makes it much easier to solder connections to than the pins on the plug itself). As it turned out there space inside that small compartment was at such a premium heat shrink would have become a hindrance on the left section.
On the right is the part of the plug which feeds power to the rest of the boat. The two large wires supply the ESC while the smaller cables are running in parallel off of the receiver battery. One set goes to the receiver and another to the piston control board.



Here is a close up of the piston control end as it stood last week. Most of the work is complete- the white microswitches have been connected to the motors and the circuit board and you can also see the small cuboid magnets on the large gear. The Hall Sensor is the red bar mounted close to the magnets (visible here just above and running parallel to one of the brass support rods). The only connections missing is the cable from the pressure switch which plugs into a two pin connector visible at the top and on the reverse side of the board and the main power to the unit which is provided through the small blue block labelled with black and red paint.


As the tech rack stands currently with leads of the batteries installed and the servo/esc/receiver block installed aft of the piston tank. the three black wires from the ESC on the left plug into the motor and need little to no further work, but the battery leads need hardwiring to the supply cables from the main battery. The receiver will be mounted on the grey plastic plate facing the viewer into which all four channels will be installed along with the power lead from the receiver battery, which you can see as the only Red/Black coloured servo lead in the picture.
You can also see the servos mounted sideways in the boat just forwards of the ESC.


It's starting to look like a proper tech rack now and will soon hopefully be ready for it's first power up and calibration of the main systems.
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Mankster

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2014, 07:08:53 am »

Looking great. You want to use a multimeter to check that current can't flow between adjacent contacts of the MPX connector. I fried my first one, turned out the flux i used to make it easier to solder was a conductor and bridged some of the contacts. It was only a tiny current that could pass but it managed to melt the connector after a while.

Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2014, 03:30:57 pm »

Looking great. You want to use a multimeter to check that current can't flow between adjacent contacts of the MPX connector. I fried my first one, turned out the flux i used to make it easier to solder was a conductor and bridged some of the contacts. It was only a tiny current that could pass but it managed to melt the connector after a while.

That's a very good idea. I checked while I was constructing it and there were no issues, but I went back and double checked and yes there is a slight short circuit on the male plug between the reciver power leads. It shouldn't be too much trouble to correct it and putit back together.
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Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2014, 08:54:48 pm »

As it turned out, the 'short circuit' was actually the resistance across the piston control circuit- there weren't actually any faults with my dodgy wiring.

Still, now with the ESC power cables soldered together and all the power systems in place, I installed my 40MHz receiver as per instructions (though the aerial will likely be modified later for use in salt water) and got ready to do all of the calibration and set up of the electronics.

As is the custom, I built an ad-hoc shrine around the 'test rig' to the machine god to bring me good fortune.



Well, I guess it sort of worked? The ESC worked fine, although the power leads as marked in the manual were the wrong way around (the water cooling ports were also missing so it could have been a slightly different model of ESC). I also set up the autolevel which works now and I *think* I've successfully set the servos to 60% throw, but I'll only know for sure once the whole lot is connected up to the control planes.

Setting up the piston tank though is a can of worms. It seems to go through the setup of the proportional unit all right until the end then the red light of low voltage doom comes on. Since I don't have a proportional slider for the dive unit yet I then switched it into non proportional mode and the tank just sits there with the red low voltage LED on (after turning everything off and on again). According to my voltmeter the receiver battery was still running at nominal voltage so I'm not entirely sure where the problem lies. My voltmeter might be lying though so I've put the receiver battery on charge to see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't I might have to muck around with the voltage cutoff potentiometer which I REALLY don't want to have to do.

The piston does automatically move to 'empty' then the power is first switched on though which is good.

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Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2014, 11:05:06 pm »

And a very, very quick update- I think I've found the cause of the problem. I've only just found the wiring diagram for the whole sub (I have no idea where that piece of paper's been lurking, I didn't know it existed until an hour ago) and it turns out the ballast tank should run from the 12v drive battery, not the 4.8v receiver pack.

The instructions as written in the step by step guide I somehow interpreted as needing receiver power to the ballast tank, whereas in fact the one step was referring to two entirely different things, probably because it made the logical assumption whoever was building the thing would have noticed the separate wiring diagram!

I short, I am one of the world's biggest idiots for not going over the paperwork more carefully before starting!
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derekwarner

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2014, 05:51:03 am »

Jack....you certainly are not JC on the cross with misinterpreted black magic  >>:-( instructions  :embarrassed:........keep us posted  :-)) ..... Derek
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Subculture

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2014, 10:18:39 am »

What radio are you using, Jack?

Jack D

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2014, 09:58:29 pm »

The piston tank is now commissioned in non proportional mode. I re wired the plug, made sure the auto-bail function worked, plugged in the reciever battery and... nothing. Then after unplugging the reciever battery and inserting it the correct way around (it's the first battery of that kind I've used where the male has no guide rail, it will take some getting used to) and it works as intended.

Next up is sorting out the propshaft then sorting out the rudder linkages and connecting the tech rack to the hull. Not really a whole lot left before it will hit the bath (I hope!).

What radio are you using, Jack?

At the moment I'm using a 40mhz Futaba 6EX-PCM. I haven't popped the hood yet to see if a proportional control can be fitted to channel five or six. If not then I will be most likely buying another transmitter with a proportional slider option fairly soon- managing the piston on the same stick as the throttle I can see becoming tiresome, fast.
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hmsantrim

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2014, 01:47:27 am »

 Hi Jack.
 
 if you make a good job of the build it can make silly money in germany.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281521952930?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
 
frank
 
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TomHugill

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2014, 05:12:57 am »

Hi Jack.
 
 if you make a good job of the build it can make silly money in germany.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281521952930?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
 
frank

If you read the ad properly you can see that's not the engel. It's twice as long and more than three times as heavy!
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Subculture

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2014, 03:10:06 pm »

Not many digital sets can be reconfigured by exchanging switches for pots. The FC16 is pretty good in that all 8-channels can be configured as switches or proportional channels, and it's still available new and not too pricey.

If you don't mind searching around for a 40mhz module, a Turnigy 9XR (or a 9XR pro) is extremely versatile and they cost peanuts. A FrSky Taranis is really flexible but about three times the price, still very good value though.

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Re: Engel Type 212A Build Log
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2014, 05:11:35 pm »

Didn't realise you could put a 40mhz modual in a 9x, that's very good to know!
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