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Thread: Rescue Barge


  1. #1
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    Rescue Barge

    I've been out of the hobby for 2 years. We bought house, moved, sold the old house to my uncle. He passed away, and it's been a headache selling his house, and taking care of his estate. Now that it is over, back to important things.

    I still have a couple of working airboats. The Anarchy electric, and a modified AquaCraft Alligator Tours Airboat. Several more in work.

    But first, I want a better rescue boat. Some of the lakes we visit have bullrush growing around the edges. Murphy makes the boats die, 8' from shore, stuck in a clump of bullrush. PITA to retrieve.

    I saw a very cool electric rescue barge powered by 12V electric starter motors. I've attempted to contact the person who posted the video, he's not responded to me, or anyone else based on the video comments.

    So... I've reverse engineered as much as I could. Here's pics of his setup, and mine in work.















    The tub was intended for mixing concrete. It was very close to the dimensions I was looking for. Certainly strong enough. I put a sheet of acrylic on the top. It will likely be painted when finished. Next step is welding up a couple of steel motor supports, and giving it a test run in the pool.

    I also have a FPV camera setup I plan on adding too. It will make grabbing a boat on the far side of the lake much easier.

  2. #2
    Having an air boat to bring in dead boats at our club is often a real benefit, worth having one as the waiting time adds up to lot's of lost running time.

    Looking good so far. Could you give me some spec on the speed controller? Interested in that. Plus your FPV rig will be noted with interest too.

    Funny how often folk share videos of their work then don't engage with enquiry. Odd that .

  3. #3
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    Very odd indeed!

    The controller is available here: http://www.dimensionengineering.com/...sabertooth2x25 Same product is available on Amazon, same price. Here's how the DIP switches were set for this application:



    Each starter motor, with the tri-blade installed, draws just under 9A at full throttle. This controller is rated at 25A per channel, so no worries.

    The FPV equipment is a "FPV582 Plug and Play 5.8 GHz 200mW Wireless System". I've had this on my RC truck for a while, chasing raccoons after dark. They soon learned the sound of the truck, and soon as they hear it now, they start running. Rather than buy the expensive goggles, I use a 7" LCD monitor ($50).

  4. #4
    Ideal, thanks

  5. #5
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    Making progress...











    Ran out of scrap steel. Need to purchase another piece of 3" wide 1/8" thick flat stock to make the motor mounts, and the base plates. Should have it up and running in a few days...

  6. #6
    Hmm, you have CTT crimpers for your terminals? Nice to them crimped down correctly. And your printed heatshrink sleeves, you're in the Electrics industry?

    Loving the truck btw

  7. #7
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    Busted, I'm an electronics tech. Got hooked on using Amphenol 59250 crimpers at work. Couldn't afford the $1K price tag, so I bought a used one on Ebay for $100.

    Love my truck too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Gee that truck is spotless man!

  9. #9
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    The truck is clean only 'somedays'. Today ain't one! But sometime soon...

    In the meantime, made a little progress.





    Still new at welding, but it's not going to come apart anytime soon.











    Got the motor pedestal painted, now drying in the garage. Bolt the motors to the pedestal, the pedestal to the acrylic sheet, and the sheet to the hull. Wire it up, take it for a test run in the pool, maybe this weekend.
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  10. #10
    Beasty .

    What are you going to be rescuing with it?

    With your welding, maybe try dwelling a little longer at the edge on the vertical side of the fillet as you wave it in.

  11. #11
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jeremy_H;11758264]Beasty .

    What are you going to be rescuing with it?

    With your welding, maybe try dwelling a little longer at the edge on the vertical side of the fillet as you wave it in.[/QUOTE

    I had been running airboats primarily with Dennis L (on this forum) as he lives local, and use to work with him a LONG time ago. We have mix of airboats. Electric, small nitro, medium nitro, and even gassers with weedeater 2 strokes.

    My little electric twin prop pushes the smaller boats pretty good, but many of the ponds have weeds in them. Doesn't take long to foul a prop (or two), and now I have two boats to rescue.



    The tall weeds are like magnets. And as much as it looks like you could walk down the bank, push the weeds apart, and grab your boat, ya can't. That's a hard lesson Dennis learned. I was lucky enough to just watch. As you walk out onto the grass, it feels a little spongy. Good reason for that, it's floating. At some point, your body suddenly tears through the carpet of floating grass, then you end up nipple deep in the water. Dennis got a new cell phone out of that deal.

    We do take fishing poles, but if there's a long run of bullrush, just can't get a shot at the stranded boat. Some folks take a canoe. I accepted the challenge, and I'm building this beast of a rescue barge. Got a few tricks planned to enhance the rescue ability.

    I agree with your comment on the welding. I'm still a newbie. Watched lots of videos on YouTube. Just need to spend more time in the welding seat. Projects like this are a good excuse to hone a new skill. Mother Nature has also reminded me I'm due for some new glasses... my bifocals ain't cutting it. At some point, I became an old fart.

    Dennis also has a rescue boat planned. Think he's considering more of a tugboat design. Have to wait and see...

  12. #12
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    Sorry for the low light video. Just a quick test of the setup. The 12V battery was stuck to the hull deck for the test. Consequently, made the bow too light. The final version will have two batteries below deck, slightly forward of center. That should offset the weight of the twin starter motors and mounting pedestal.

    Few design tweaks, then will work on the onboard video setup, and retrieval attachment device.

    Daylight testing video will soon follow.

  13. #13
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    Took another video this afternoon. At least you can SEE the boat in this one.


  14. #14
    Yeah that's better lol!

    It's doing what it's supposed to, ideal. What kind of duration are you expecting from those batteries?

  15. #15
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    I'll have to check again, but IIRC, both motors running is about 9 Amps @ 12 V (full throttle). I'll have 14 AH of batteries onboard. The math says about 1.5 hours at full throttle. Considering that it's primarily a rescue boat, that's way more capacity than is actually needed.

  16. #16
    thailazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy_H View Post
    Beasty .

    What are you going to be rescuing with it?

    With your welding, maybe try dwelling a little longer at the edge on the vertical side of the fillet as you wave it in.
    That looks like pretty good welding to me as welding tubing against solid plate you really have to be careful not to punch through the tubing.
    Tiger Flyer #49

  17. #17
    2manytoyz's Avatar
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    It's 1/16" thin wall tubing, burning through was a concern... but I could have overlapped the corners a little better.

    Hey, you should have seen my welds a year ago!


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    That is looking awesome. Makes me want to get a boat up and running soon. Dennis


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