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Author Topic: Tug Bow Thrusters  (Read 981 times)

Mach1

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Tug Bow Thrusters
« on: June 03, 2019, 01:37:49 PM »

I have just obtained a ready built model of the Amsterdam tug and noticed that it has a Graupner bow thruster built in. I have connected it to a battery and the motor seems to run well.
Although I have used speed controllers on previous models that I have built for the main propulsion motors, I have never used a bow thruster before.
Do I have to connect the motor to a speed controller, and in turn to my receiver, and what controls due I use on my transmitter to operate it?
Any help would br much appreciated.
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 03:25:47 PM »

I have just obtained a ready built model of the Amsterdam tug and noticed that it has a Graupner bow thruster built in. I have connected it to a battery and the motor seems to run well.
Although I have used speed controllers on previous models that I have built for the main propulsion motors, I have never used a bow thruster before.
Do I have to connect the motor to a speed controller, and in turn to my receiver, and what controls due I use on my transmitter to operate it?
Any help would br much appreciated.

Think of your bow thruster as a propulsion motor - it is just aimed sideways rather than fore & aft.

You need some way of turning it on & off both forward & reverse. You could use a servo & microswitches or a switched controller but much the best solution is to use a speed controller just as you have with your main drive motors.
I am not familiar with the Graupner unit but you can find out how big a controller you need by connecting the battery to the thruster via an amp meter.

I use the sideway gimbal stick that I use for ailerons on my model aircraft. You need to be able to use it just as easily as your main drive motors.
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dougal99

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 03:28:10 PM »


speed controller? yes so you can control the rate of turn.
Receiver? yes
I use the LR stick that is not the rudder, usually on the throttle side. However, pick a channel you're comfortable with, its your boat.  :-))
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CGAux26

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 03:30:32 PM »

I have a bow thruster in my Model Slipways Loyal class boat, not original equipment.  It is controlled through a Proboat ESC, which I had in surplus.  On the TX the BT is controlled with the left stick, going left to right.  Up and down on that stick is motor throttle. 
It works very well.  I like having the variable speed which allows fast spins or just a bump of sideways motion.
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Mach1

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 04:34:17 PM »

Thank you all for your help & advice. Yes, thinking of it as a sideways propulsion motor makes it clear in my mind. I will use the suggestion of finding out what size ESC I need and get it fitted.
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DaveM

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 05:17:06 PM »

The motor should be run on 6v or 7.2v - no higher. You can expect a current of around 5A, so a 10A speed controller would be OK. Make sure that you buy one which will run the motor at the same speed in either direction, because some feature reduced power for reverse. If it has BEC then you may need to remove the red wire from the Rx plug - that's if your main motor speed contoller also has BEC.
DaveM
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Taranis

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 06:08:15 PM »

 I think I use an AE unit of yours Dave for mine in my tug.
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ANDY
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DaveM

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 06:46:49 PM »

It's a pretty good choice, Andy. No BEC to witter about; full power in each direction and the fastest repair service imaginable if you do wire it up wrong! Just don't expect any sympathy... A P79 would do the job nicely. https://www.componentshop.co.uk/p79-condor-10-2-autoset-computer-speed-controller.html
DaveM
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Mach1

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 07:51:24 PM »

Thank you for your advice on speed controllers for my bow thruster. Very helpful and it seems that there are a few traps that I could have fallen into had I not asked the questions.
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meechingman

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 06:23:34 PM »

I was impressed with the one I fitted to my ex Smit Nederland. I had a spare 10A ESC and three spare channels on the R/C, so that was easy. I also use the x-axis movement on the left stick for control. A full speed burst will turn the tug through 180 degrees in a few seconds. Comes in handy when leaving the dock - just a quick kick on the thruster to move the bow away from the quay and then slow ahead as normal.

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Mach1

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 07:29:32 PM »

Thanks for your encouraging post. I bought a speed controller as recommended and am looking forward to installing it at a later date. The model that I obtained from a club member needed a bit of attention, mainly painting and updating the electrics, so I will tackle that first.
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ivorthediver

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Re: Tug Bow Thrusters
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2019, 10:47:23 AM »

Well I am a total A E user since I started and All my kit is from the same supplier , I which I have never had any issues with and always taken Daves advice , so listen to him he has guided me very well over many years  :-))
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