Converting a model boat to
a working remote control model is very easy once you understand the
basic equipment needed. In this section we will cover the radio
transmitter and related equipment.
The most basic system will
require a two channel system. The number of channels depends how much
you want the model to do. For each control function (rudder, speed,
whistle, etc.) you need one channel.
Coved on this page are
1. Two Channel System
2. Two Channel System with Speed Control
3. Advanced systems
Two Channel Radio System
The image to the right shows a
simple two channel system. Key components are:
3. Servos (two, one
for the rudder and one for a mechanical speed
control or can be converted to power
4. Battery pack
propeller shafts are covered in a separate section)
This system uses a Battery Eliminator Circuitry (BEC) which
eliminates the need for a separate receiver battery.
Shown above is the Futaba Attack
SR. This 2 channel radio is available at most hobby shops and
sells for about $60. The system includes transmitter, receiver
and 2 servos.
This is an example of a typical 2 channel receiver.
The servos or speed control (see below) are plugged into the
top slots and batter power to the bottom.
Channel 2 is the left stick (throttle) on the transmitter.
Channel 1 is the right stick (rudder)
The transmitter and receiver include a frequency crystal that
can be changed if desired. Model ships run on channels 61-90
in the 75mHz range (see chart below). This allows many models
to be operated together.
*Never trim the receiver antenna
Servos are used to move the rudder by connecting a control
rod between the servo and rudder arm. The Servo contains an
electric motor that travels a set number of degrees.
The second servo can be
used to control a mechanical speed control. If an Electronic
Speed Control (see below)
is used the second servo is not need.
A wide range of servos are
available depending on your needs. Standard size servos are
normally included when you purchase a radio system. Other types
can be purchased separately.
Examples of other types include
micro servos that are used in very small models while higher
torque servos may be used in large models.
Two Channel System with
Electronic Speed Control
Electronic Speed Control (ESC) is a small electronic
device that controls the speed of the motor. The ESC will
allow variable speed when traveling in forward or reverse and
also allows the motor to stop.
An Electronic Speed Control
should be considered for any model project, with out it the
motor will run at a constant speed, with out the ability to
stop or reverse.
The ESC is plugged directly
into Channel Two on the receiver and wired between the battery
and the motor. (see image
For models with multiple engines
one ESC can be used to control both motors, but two ESC's will
allow the motors to run independently.
The ESC is rated by voltage and
motor draw, check the specs when ordering. Prices Range from
$30 to $100. The lower cost models with suit most projects.
Radio systems with multiple
channels allow a modeler to include more working features. Multiple motors, bow thruster,
pumps and sound modules are just a few
Ace Nautical Commander
The Cadillac of remote control
boat radios. The pricey Nautical Commander boasts 7 channels
(5 from factory) and is built with a case that allows the
modeler to customize the controls and switches. Included in
the system is the Transmitter and receiver.
Click here for more information
The Nautical Commander costs about $250
Regulated by the FCC, your R/C
transmitter must operate on a "Surface Craft" channel.
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