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Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

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Old 10-10-2009, 02:23 PM
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GRobbinsJr
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Default Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control



Hello everyone -

Ihave a few questions I'm hoping more experienced folks in the forum may have some insight into. I have a Fairwind III that I'd like to make some modifications to - but I'm not sure how "typical" they are.

    [*]One is I'd like to move from the 4 AA batteries the boat requires to something like a rechargeable NiMH battery. Has anyone done this successfully?[*]Another is I'd like to power the boat with an auxiliary electric motor to assist with bringing it back when the wind calms. I've looked at the Graupner sailing yacht power set, and would like to power the boat with something like that. Has anyone powered their sailboat with auxiliary electric power? If so, how did you do it?[*]Because there would now be a need to control the motor (in addition to the sail and rudder controls), I'll need a remote control that can handle all three. Any thoughts on how best to approach this?[/list]Many thanks in advance for the advice and thoughts anyone has.

    Best regards,
    Gordon
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

For the battery, use a 6 volt receiver pack. Get it from your local hobby shop. Nickel metal rechargable.

Never tried an auxilary motor, so your on your own. It probably wouldn't be class legal if you ever wanted to race though.

If you go with the aux, you'll need a speed control and a 4 channel radio/receiver. This will up the price alot. Use a Spectrum DSM 5 channel.

The Fairwind is pretty good in light wind and shouldn't have a problem getting home. It may take a while and some judisious sail handeling, but it will get there.

Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:11 PM
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GRobbinsJr
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

Thank you for the feedback on the battery upgrade and remote control. I have no intention of racing this particularboat - it is purely for pleasure sailing on the lake next to my home. I plan to get another that I may race at some point if I can locate a club in my area.

I have one other thought of adding running lights to the boat as well, hence part of the idea behind the battery upgrade. But the most important to me is the auxiliary power. I'm an experienced sailor having grown up along the south coast of Massachusetts and RI, so I am comfortable sailing the boat in most conditions. But I'd like to add the motor as the wind is shifty and unfortunately unpredictable at times on the lake (as is the case with most small lake and pond sailing).
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

A micro-switch activated by right rudder + full right trim connected to a 280 motor with a very small prop is enough to get you home if there is no wind. It's not fast, but that's not what you are after.
As in full size boats, put the prop alongside the rudder,and use a Graupner folding prop, this will reduce drag when sailing.
The only other way to deal with a no wind situation is to take along a bottle of wine, wait with a glass in your hand, until, finally, enough breeze comes along for you to return to port, and then have First Mate drive you both home.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

For local clubs go to [link]http://www.modelyacht.org[/link].

I've had lighting on a couple of boats. I used 1.5 volt bulbs in series, powered with a 9 volt battery( 3 bulbs for standard nav lights). If you power lights from the receiver battery, it won't last to long. Don't rely on the RX bat. Use a separate battery for lights.
The Graupner unit probably requires a 7.4 V bat. Power the lights from that.
There are also several lighting kit on the market. Check your LHS. With the 5 channel radio, you can even turn them on and off remotely.
Lots of guys are making lighting with LEDs. Takes lots less current but some electrical knowledge (which I don't have, LOL).

Big boat experiance is a large plus. They sail the same way, you just can't hike out. But you stay dry!
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

I like the wine idea. Maybe a ham sandwich too!
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

LOL - I agree with you on the bottle of wine. Luckily, the lake is next to my house, so I can stumble home if the wind is so light I finish the whole bottle.

Good info and feedback - thank you for the insight.

- Gordon
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:33 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

BTW, the boat I have (and I plan to get another, as the first one has developed a series of stress cracks in the foredeck and behind the keel, despite the hull being FRP) is a Kyosho Fairwind III. Beautiful lines, and it has sailed well (albeit it briefly, due to the cracks).
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

I think that the foredeck cracks are unusual, but I have heard that some hulls have been a bit thin in some areas, usually around the transom area.
I don't have one myself, but check out rcgroups , modelboatmayhem , and here , for build logs and comments on sailing and tuning tips.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

Also try : [link]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Fairwind900/[/link]
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

Hey GRobbins
There may be another way to do this and save a ton of money/work/agravation .
How about , instead of going thru all that , why not get urself a "ready to run" tug or electric motor boat - the idea is A) you get another
RC toy and B) if you Fairwind gets becalmed your tug can take a line out to it , you litteraly on purpose tangle the two together and
then pull the whole lot in - we use those 250' mason line things from a home center - they come on a nice spool , all you need is a
few bobbers or such to keep the last , i dunno , 12 feet of line behind the tug on the waters surface so you can pull that around a
stranded sailboat . Or depending on your rescue crafts power , it could possibly pull your Fairwind in - a wire coat hanger cleverly
attached to the tug could grab the jib fitting ? hope this helps .

Allan
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:28 AM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

I've never used anything but rechargeble batteries to work the electronicery.
Combining the wine and the spare tug sounds a brilliant idea. When the wine is far enough down, and the tug is deployed, snagging any of the yachts with any of the tugs should do the job.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:23 AM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

LOL.  Well, I never expected to go down the wine path, but it certainly added some great humor to this post. 

I do want to go down the path of powering the existing Kyosho Fairwind III model I have.  Since it has some fairly extensive cracks, I'm going to use it as a test/learning platform, and then take that knowledge and experience to a net new Fairwind III I can personalize (and power).  I'm in the mindset of making it similar to a real boat - the kind I grew up on (complete with auxiliary power).  I love when things in the scale model world are able to mimic (and replicate) on a scale level the capabilities of full scale craft.

I've done a fair amount of research over the past couple of days on speed controllers, power options, batteries, and remote control radio systems, but I have a long way to go - and I think some experimenting will allow me to gain experience.  Winters in New England can be long, so I have plenty of time to work on the experiments before the lake(s) thaw in the Spring.

That said, any experience others have had out there is very welcome - and I will share anything I learn in the coming months.  I'll be looking to understand better how to link motors, speed controllers, batteries, and radio systems together that will effectively work - and now that I see different voltages, battery types, radio types, etc., out there, I realize I have a lot to learn! 
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: Fairwind III - Battery Upgrade, Auxiliary Power, and Remote Control

Oh Joy, a lake at the bottom of the garden,
Be still, my beating heart!
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