|While we are talking about radio gear, to protect the receiver and servos I cover the control board with silicon grease, silicon sealant or candle wax! How many of you just passed out? If ever my radio gear gets wet for whatever reason, which is more often than I would like, the coating helps to protect it from corrosion. If you do suffer from a ducking, switch off the receiver in the boat as soon as possible and disconnect the batteries. When you get home, strip down and wash out all the radio gear with clean water. Blow or shake dry as much as possible and leave to dry on top of the hot water tank or radiator and you should be OK. If it doesn't work when you try it again, check for corrosion, particularly on the negative side of the circuit. Repair as and where possible. Also try scrubbing the circuit board off with a safety solvent or meths and a toothbrush. Now lubricate all the working parts and reassembled. If you are going to be brave and coat the insides of your radio equipment then do so only if you're fairly confident about doing so. Be careful not to get any in the servo motors and control 'pot' as you should use switch cleaner/lubricant spray in these. Don't mix any silicon grease, switch cleaner or solvent as they are not compatible although all three are needed when repairing a servo. Apply each carefully and precisely. Never use spray lubricants such as WD 40 etc. as these leave a sticky residue. I must stress however that all this extra protection is 'belt & braces' or a 'last hope' procedure and voids any manufactures guarantees. Most servo don't need anything more than a water proof box for protection.
Nearly all servos and ESC's will work with any receiver as long as you can find a plug that fits it. If you are in any doubt don't chance anything, ask someone who knows, there is always someone in the local boat club. If you can't find anyone to help, you could try the local model shop but he will probably try to a whole new set of radio gear so take your cheque book with you. Don't attempt anything you are unsure about and of course don't do any work on any circuit with the power or batteries connected.
|UPGRADING YOUR ELECTRIC SPORTS BOAT.
Right that everything covered, motors, batteries, circuits, wiring, speed controllers and radio gear that should get your boat going. Once your boat is going there are a few things we can do to make it go faster. How much faster you want the boat to depends on how much money and time you want to spend on it.
What you can do are in order of price;
1) Try a range of plastic props.
2) Upgrade the wire and connections.
3) Buy specialist metal props, the maker will recommend the best sizes.
4) Upgrade your cells or cell type.
5) Install more cells.
6) Buy a higher revving motor.
7) Buy a bigger sized motor.
8) Upgrade the running gear, eg, flexi shafts & ball-race gear boxes etc
Upgrading in order of amount of work;
1) Make sure the hull and running gear is perfectly clean and polished.
2) Correct or adjust the centre-of-gravity.
3) Improve motor/prop shaft alignment.
4) Install race quality running gear.
5) Install an adjustable flexi shaft.
6) Install surface drive.
7) Install a gear reduction.
8) Re-shape the hull.
Water cooling can be installed but it won't make your boat go faster, it'll just stop your overloaded motor burning up! Some or all of these improvements may be required in order to get your boat really moving but on some boats it's just not meant to be. Some boats will never ever be race winners either because of poor design or because they weren't anticipated as race winners. Don't be fooled, spending a lot of money on a boat may not necessarily make it go faster. Try to work out what the problem actually is before getting out a bank loan. It may be something as silly as a speed controller not switching to full power or tight running gear.
Fitting larger props to your boat you will make it go faster because the motor is made to work harder. The motor is actually spinning slower and therefore running less efficiently. Electric motors, like IC engines deliver their greatest amount of power and at high revs. Your choice of size and pitch of propeller must allow the motor to 'unload' i.e. let the motor rev at it's most efficient speed. A smaller or shallower pitched prop will reduce speed but improve run time significantly whereas a larger or high pitch prop will increase speed but reduce run time. Speed will always be a compromise and each modeller must ascertain what he wants the boat to do.
My usual route of upgrading is to first try various props, adjust the running gear and then try different motors. If all else fails I put the boat aside until inspiration strikes or I see another modeller with a good idea and copy that! The following review articles will show the development path for each boat.
And that's about all I want to say on electric power, if you have any comments, corrections questions or I've missed something out altogether, then email in and I'll ask somebody that knows what they are talking about!
N.B. In "IN DEPTH", the magazine produced by the Association of Model Submariners (AMS) it has been discovered that it's not electricity but smoke that make electronic circuits work. If you allow the smoke to escape from the circuit, it ceases to function. The smoke customarily escapes with a visible and audible warning in the form of an expensive flash and bang before you can switch it off. The AMS is currently seeking government funding for further research into this phenomenon. The research is to be carried out in the 'Submariners arms' with the help of generous amounts of hangover fluid to keep the brains lubricated.
all of this is just my opinion, but what the hell do I know!