Model Building Tips & Tricks 

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A wide range of batteries are available for the model boat builder. Your options range from standard disposable batteries to more expensive but longer lasting rechargeable. The voltage used to power a motor will determine how much speed it is capable of producing. For model freighters 6 to 7.2 volts is normally adequate. 

For small models AA or AAA size may be used, each battery provides 1.5 volts.

Large models can use C or D batteries. These provide the same voltage but run longer.  They also add much more weight.

Disposable batteries are easily mounted in an inexpensive holder from Radio Shack. 


A wide range of options are available in rechargeable batteries. standard size rechargeable batteries can be used in place of disposables. Though more expensive to but initially, they are cheaper to run in the long term.

NiCd Battery Packs
For larger models the choice would be a 6 or 7 cell rechargeable battery pack.  These affordable batteries produce between 6 and 7.2 volts and last much longer than standard batteries. The higher the milliamp-hour rating (mAh) on the battery the longer it will provide power. 

Your local hobby shop or Radio Shack will provide batteries ranging from 1000 mAh to 3000 mAh, this means the 1000 mAh battery has only 1/3 of the capacity of the 3000mAh battery. The R/C model "Great Laker" is powered by two Radio Shack 7.2 volt 3000 mAh  batteries. This gives the model a very long running time of about an hour.

These packs come pre-wired and plug directly into the speed control.

Gell Cell
6 volt Gell cell batteries are commonly used in large models. They are
maintenance-free and
ideal for model boats.

A 6 volt 9.6 amp hour battery powers most of the Moon Light Modeler's fleet. He uses as large a battery as space permits.  

Gell cell batteries do not like to be quickly drained and will not last long if operated that way (with a fast drain motor connected to them). 
Visit the Power Sonic web site for more information

Power for Lighting and accessories
Lighting and accessories can be powered with individual alkaline batteries.  Available in 6 and 12 V. 

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