Graham Voss - Mandalay


  Barbie Boat

 HMS Indifference  

  UPDATE  - October    

On the first posting of 'Mandalay' one of my closing passages was how straightforward it was just to finish off the electrics. Converting the crane from wired remote to wireless Remote Control was to be 'straightforward'. Oh, how wrong I was!!!

After burning the candle till the early hours for several nights trying to work out why I could not get to do what I wanted I had to resort to help from a friend of my sons, Graham Lee. I explained what I wanted to do - all I want is for the crane to go left/right, up/down, etc when I push the transmitter switch. Graham said it was impossible without a bit of electronics. He started talking about diodes and the what. Lost me completely but I was so pleased when he kindly offered to draw me a 'simple' diagram and even gave me the 18 parts required.

The following day they arrived and I looked at the 'simple' diagram. Now I thought I had a basic knowledge of electronics but I obviously didn't as it confused me completely. Grateful for what he had done I tried desperately to learn - to no avail. The following day I just happened to mention it to a friend in work (it was probably the desperate look on my face that gave it away) and he said his dad was an electronics engineer. Enter Tony Gibbs!!!

Absolute doddle for him he said. In no time at all I received a circuit board measuring abut 2'' x 1'' with all the components attached. He even attached 12' wires to all 13 connections in different colours and drew me an 'idiots' diagram that even I could follow. I am ecstatic to say the least - it works brilliantly and I am looking forward to trying it out. I did have a crazy idea of attaching a hook and float and going fishing with it but I shall resist the temptation of maybe seeing my boat being dragged into the sunset by a carp or pike.

So my extreme gratitude goes to Graham Lee and Tony Gibbs - thanks guys!!

I have attached the diagram for auto reverse on any 6 volt motor with the required components. I have also attached the photo of what it all looks like in the frame.
The 2 switches are attached either side of the servo. Two arms go the micro-switch and bent at 90 degree angles to run behind the roller to stop them coming out, then soldered. When the servo is in neutral both switches are off. Either way and it switches either one or the other on and remains so till it is returned to central.
Although this used to guide the crane left and right, up and down and in and out I suppose it could be used in a multitude of applications. I hope someone can make use of it. maybe you would like to post it on the web site for others as well - you are quite welcome to do as you wish.

Kind regards

Hi Martin,
I have a home built boat on the site, which is currently having a major upgrade due to a 'roll' on the lake. That's the price of taking my eye off it while idle chatting (graham Voss-Barbie Boat).
Yes, I am still a novice but yes, I am still around and have built another. I saw a free plan in Marine Modelling International (July 2004) of a Dragonfly airboat. Excited at the prospect of not having my boat going round and round in circles in the middle of the lake after picking up weed, I decided to build it. Now I have never been one for conventional build of anything. I used the plans as guide only. In fact, the only part that was the same was the shape, motor and rudder.
I built the hull to the plan, except I used 4'' thick polystyrene sheet from the builders yard because I knew I was going to load it with lots of items. It was shaped and covered in brown paper, fixed with watered down PVA glue to 50/50. When dry the whole thing was covered in Solartrim self adhesive and stretched with a hair dryer to take out the wrinkles.
The topside was cut out both front and rear. The front houses the 8.4 1700ma battery and the rear holds the receiver, servos and speed controller. The rudder was made with 3 sheets of thin balsa, laminated to give extra strength and bevelled at the edges then covered with Solartrin and transfers. The motor was housed in 1.1/2'' waste pipe and the upright support by 3/4'' overflow pipe. Control of the rudder is by a snake control rod. I put a 540 motor in purely because it fitted the pipe I had and it gives a lot of power with a 7 x 4 pusher prop.
Then came the 'accessories'. I wanted something different (just like normal) so I opted for a Canal Barge type top made of balsa and covered in Solartrim. The two sections are joined to the deck by 4 split pins at angles. This makes it very straightforward to remove. Pull the split pins out and lift off the deck. A couple of runs and I wanted something new. Enter the crane!!!
After scouring the internet for pictures of cranes to build one I came across one on Ebay, already built and hard wired radio controlled and only 19.99. It duly arrived and within hours 10'' had been taken off it's height. it was fixed to the deck with plastic plasterboard cavity fixings, glued with epoxy into the deck. The base of the crane was screwed down allowing easy removal to convert it back. A piece of plastic floor tile made the radio gear cover. I screwed eight 'posts', which came from an old umbrella, and finished it off with light chain attached to each.
I am in the process of converting the crane from hard wired to radio control. Quite straight forward really. There are three sticks with forward/reverse movements. I am using three servos and each  will replace one stick. Two micro-switches are attached either side of the servo. The servo arm, when moved left will 'switch' the up movement and when turned right will 'switch' the down movement of the stick.
I anticipate loads of fun with this setup as my mates are already talking about holding 'transfer' competitions on the lake. How fast can you transfer an object between one boat and another.
There is only one thing left to work out. I want an anchor and, as I have one channel left on my Laser 6, I have no doubt it will be achieved in the very near future.

Boat name:        Mandalay
Engine:               Graupner 540
Length:                26 inches
Beam:                 12 inches
Weight (Barge)    4lb 12oz
Weight (Crane)    6lb 8oz
Top speed            8 mph

Graham Voss