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Solar Airboatee needs help!

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM
  #1
Lady Wandauvial
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Default Solar Airboatee needs help!

Ahoy maties!

This is my first time building an airboat and Im trying to make it using Solar Power panels. I know it wont be as powerful as the ones that you guys can design, but I am entering a competition for Solar Powered Boats and I thought an airboat would be a really radical idea!! Every year that I enter, everyone uses underwater propellors, so I want to do something totally out there!!

Being the only girl in the comp, noone ever wants to help me out much so I thought maybe you fellow Airboatees may be able to help me out a bit!!

I have seven solar panels to place on the top, which will be connected to my motor. I have seen some people use CD covers as their fan. Any other suggestions??

The hull will be made from a surfboard blank (the foam is nice and light).

It will also need a steering system... Ive got the remote control but not sure of the best way to rig up air steering.

Anyways, if anyone can help me out with some suggestions, particular;ly on the most efficient way to wire the motor to the prop and steering would be greatly appreciated!

Happy hovering!!
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

Cool idea for using solar power!  Is this a speed race?  Airboats aren't the fastest craft on the water to begin with!
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:41 AM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

I like it - I think with the low power output You will have lesss drag than a boat with a underwater prop and without a water rudder - even less drag.
I am not familiar with electronics so I doudt I can help You there... When You say CD cover for a fan. Do You mean a Cooling Fan for a computer ? seems like that may work .Are you planning any rechargable batteries to store excess power? maybe not neccessary.
Anyways - Good Luck I hope you win one for the AIRBOAT TEAM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:58 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

Thanks for your replies!!!

Yeah, I was hoping that having the fan propellor might mean that there is less drag than the underwater prop. Im glad you thought the same thing

Ive actually located a great propellor from a local hobby shop so I dont need to use the CD case idea. Unfortunately we arent allowed to use stored power.... so it just has to be the solar power that the panels generate at the time of the race.

Im also not usre what may be the best way to rig up the steering system???? Any ideas?
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:32 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!


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ORIGINAL: Lady Wandauvial
Im also not usre what may be the best way to rig up the steering system???? Any ideas?
Why not use the same system that other RC airboats use, with two rudders controlled by a servo? Can you use stored power for the control system?

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Old 05-16-2012, 03:06 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

Yeah, we can use batteries as stored power for the steering, just not for the propellor....

Do you know where I may be able to find a blue print or design layout for an RC airboat. Ive never made one like it before?
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:35 AM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

I dont think this has any dimensions supplied - Size wise I think You are going to have to work around your solar panels and make it as small as possible - but able to lay the pnels out flat.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

How many volts are you talking about?

What I think would be perfect for your project would be the running gear for a Flyzone playmate micro airplane.

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...=FLZA2000&P=PU

I don't know what your budget is like, but you probably could make a pretty fast airboat from those parts.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:57 AM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

What size / how many solar panels are you using ?- how much power do those produce ? - perhaps you could incorporate the panels into your engine stand, Ya. I would definetly do that.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:01 AM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

Here is a little one - 2 1/2" long made of a micro helicopter. This thing ROCKED ...till it dunked a few too many times.

for some reason pictures no workey
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Solar Airboatee needs help!

I have a solar panel thats is 12V 5W. Its about 20cm x 20cm. There is a limit to the surface area that your panels cover. The panel itself weighs about 0.8kg.

I found two 12V fans that dont use much power to run effciently so I am going to try and give them a shot....

Im still stuck on the steering though. There arent a lot of hobby shops here so gotta find a way to effectively steer the boat. Ive got a servo and controller but may have to use heli/plane steering???
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