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Futaba T6k - Throttle 'lock'? RC customization.

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Futaba T6k - Throttle 'lock'? RC customization.

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Old 03-04-2019, 02:43 AM
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Question Futaba T6k - Throttle 'lock'? RC customization.

The company I work for just bought a rc boat with a heck of a lot of survey equipment installed on it (I work as a surveyor doing surveys of anything underwater) and we're all a bit new to the rc world. This may(hopefully) be something simple so I apologize if so but like I said, we're all still a bit new to the rc world. I'm used to sitting on the boat and working, not on the shore watching/controlling.

We are using a Futaba T6k controller.

Two questions-

We would like to program some kind of 'throttle lock' that we could activate using one of the unused switched on the controller. To better describe, we would like to be able to lock a speed without having to constantly hold the joystick. What seems to be the tricky part is that this can not be a pre-set speed as depending on the environment we are surveying in if it is against a current or with, etc, we may need to 'lock' more or less throttle. Is this possible and if so, how?

Next, which is most likely much more simple, at the moment the distributor programmed the controller to only be using the right joystick for both throttle up/down as well as turning left/right. It should be possible to change this to have the left joystick control the throttle up/down and the right joystick control the turning left/right?

It's mainly the throttle lock that I'm concerned with now as I'm pretty sure I can figure out separating the joystick controls but any and all suggestions help!
Thank you!
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:23 AM
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I've got some questions that are pertinent to any answers:
1) Does your boat have an onboard receiver?
2) Have you tried changing the transmitter switch outputs to where you need them per the owners manual?
3) Does your transmitter have a ratcheting system on the left stick?

Depending on how you answer these questions will give us someplace to start when it comes to helping you with your situation.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I've got some questions that are pertinent to any answers:
1) Does your boat have an onboard receiver?
2) Have you tried changing the transmitter switch outputs to where you need them per the owners manual?
3) Does your transmitter have a ratcheting system on the left stick?

Depending on how you answer these questions will give us someplace to start when it comes to helping you with your situation.
Hi Hydro Junkie, thanks for the reply!

To answer your questions:
1) We have a Futaba R3008SB receiver that is installed in a AutoNav box with a PixHawk Radiolink, etc.
2) I have tried using the manual as well as a couple hours of googling to figure out how to manually assign chanels but havent had any luck yet. I have something in the back of my head saying that I should be able to do so in Mission Planner but to be honest I'm not sure.
3) I'm most likely wrong but the ratcheting style control seems to not be available or needs a add-on to be able to get the ratcheting function to work. I have two screws that I can adjust tension but there is nothing in the manual showing how to change to ratcheting style.

I did have another question, I think I figured it out, but as we have the boat out of water to fix with other things I havent been able to test it. We would like the throttle controls to be more 'progressive'. Less sensitive when moving from the center increasing in sensitivity when fully pressed. If I understand correctly with my minimal use of rc, it seems like using the Dual Rate or EXPO function would give me the result I'm looking for.

Many thanks for any and all input!!
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:50 AM
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Okay, based on your answers, I think I have something we can work with:
1) Since you have a separate receiver, you can change where the channels are plugged in to it. Going by what the instruction manual shows:
  • you should have the rudder servo plugged in to channel 1 on the receiver to have right stick control
  • you should have the throttle plugged in to channel 3 to have left stick control. It sounds, from your description, that the throttle servo is presently plugged in to channel 2, normally used for an aircraft elevator or a right engine throttle if using twin drives with separate throttle controls
2) The left stick normally will hold a throttle position and should not need any kind of adjusting or modification. I went through the manual and found where the other three stick channels can be adjusted but nothing was listed on the left stick throttle channel. I'd check it to make sure it will hold it's position and, if it does, you're good to go
3) To get a more progressive throttle response, you would need to program in some EXPO, as you already guessed. What EXPO does is take the input from the sticks and makes them less linear than they would otherwise be. The more EXPO you add, the more response you will have in the middle of the throw than on the ends. You will end up with the same maximum as with a linear response but the response with be much slower at the ends and much greater in the middle. Conversely, if you reduce EXPO, it will make the response more pronounced at the ends and less pronounced in the middle. However you want the response to be, the proceedure is explained on page 100 of the manual

Hope my rambling helps
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Okay, based on your answers, I think I have something we can work with:
1) Since you have a separate receiver, you can change where the channels are plugged in to it. Going by what the instruction manual shows:
  • you should have the rudder servo plugged in to channel 1 on the receiver to have right stick control
  • you should have the throttle plugged in to channel 3 to have left stick control. It sounds, from your description, that the throttle servo is presently plugged in to channel 2, normally used for an aircraft elevator or a right engine throttle if using twin drives with separate throttle controls
2) The left stick normally will hold a throttle position and should not need any kind of adjusting or modification. I went through the manual and found where the other three stick channels can be adjusted but nothing was listed on the left stick throttle channel. I'd check it to make sure it will hold it's position and, if it does, you're good to go
3) To get a more progressive throttle response, you would need to program in some EXPO, as you already guessed. What EXPO does is take the input from the sticks and makes them less linear than they would otherwise be. The more EXPO you add, the more response you will have in the middle of the throw than on the ends. You will end up with the same maximum as with a linear response but the response with be much slower at the ends and much greater in the middle. Conversely, if you reduce EXPO, it will make the response more pronounced at the ends and less pronounced in the middle. However you want the response to be, the proceedure is explained on page 100 of the manual

Hope my rambling helps
This helps emensely!

I did notice that I wrote incorrectly and that it is a T6K-V2 that we are using and not a T6K, I dont know if this changes anything.

I have now programmed the EXPO controls for the channels used and now we just need to get out and test and see if we need to adjust them. CHECK

I still havent figured out how to change from self neutral to ratchet type with the joysticks and sent an email to Futaba to double check if this is possible with this controller. Both joysticks are self neutral type. I opened the controller and can see where you would install a sprint to be able to use the ratchet function so I do believe it can be done with this controller though we didnt receive the reserve pieces along with the controller when we received it. I'll have to check if there are any hobby stores in the area that have any that will fit.

Lastly, you wrote about changing the input channels to be able to have the controls as I would like. Is this done in the settings of the rc or manually? I opened the AutoNav box on the boat where the receiver is located and it only has wires into 7/B and 8/SB. Does this help clear anything up?

Also, I think I may be using a different or update version of that manual for the V2 as the pages didnt match up.

Thank you again!
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:07 AM
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Yes it does. The people that set the boat up set it up in what's known as serial bus. When configured in this manner, the servos are programmed to react to a specific channel on the transmitter. Since I don't know how the manufacturer set up inside the AutoNav box, it makes things a bit more interesting. I've been using the term servos since that's normally how boats are set up. My boats all are set up with servos plugged into the receiver and then running pushrods to the carb and rudder. Your system may be very different. Something I should have asked earlier and, due to not thinking about it, didn't is does your boat have a prop and rudder or two props?
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:17 AM
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I found out why the pages didn't match up. I was looking in the T6K manual, not the V2 manual. While the information in them is pretty much the same, the layout was different
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Yes it does. The people that set the boat up set it up in what's known as serial bus. When configured in this manner, the servos are programmed to react to a specific channel on the transmitter. Since I don't know how the manufacturer set up inside the AutoNav box, it makes things a bit more interesting. I've been using the term servos since that's normally how boats are set up. My boats all are set up with servos plugged into the receiver and then running pushrods to the carb and rudder. Your system may be very different. Something I should have asked earlier and, due to not thinking about it, didn't is does your boat have a prop and rudder or two props?

It does seem that the joystick should be able to be made into ratchet style, if thats what you mean. When I opened up the controller I could see that both of the joysticks were setup as self neutral and that the plastic backplate and spring that would be used to create the rathet style was missing. The problem is that the distributor didnt seem to send along those parts and I cant find anything more than the spring on the internet.

Our boat is definitely a bit different, I should have clarified that earlier. It is fully electric and has two props. We are going to take a look at Mission Planner and see if we can make any adjustments to the rc from there.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:26 AM
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Around page 159 in the manual, long after your eyes will have have glazed over, it mentions "stick modes". Hopefully yours will have been supplied set as "Mode 2", which is the norm for boats.
On the same page it mentions that the stick ratchet can be changed by Futaba Service as a charged modification. If your transmitter shares common construction with other Futaba transmitters, the job of conversion is probably little more than fitting the detent spring and possibly a plastic bracket, available quite cheaply. Although there are variations depending on the transmitter model, looking at the list when I searched for "Futaba transmitter ratchet spring kit". Knowing which case shares commonality with yours is the tricky bit.
As the boat is rudderless with two motors, it will steer by differential power.
Three ways of getting this -
1 - manually using two throttle sticks, used by people whose sole aim is satisfying operation of the boat. Best avoided if the boat has serious work to do.
2 - mixing the throttle and rudder (steering) signal channels using a mixer on board the boat. Lets you pick which stick the rudder is going to be.
3 - mixing the throttle and rudder control using the transmitters on board logic

For keeping a boat on station, or on track in moving water and/or in moving air, there have been several threads recently on various forums involving the use of things like Arduinos and GPS.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mfr02 View Post
Around page 159 in the manual, long after your eyes will have have glazed over, it mentions "stick modes". Hopefully yours will have been supplied set as "Mode 2", which is the norm for boats.
On the same page it mentions that the stick ratchet can be changed by Futaba Service as a charged modification. If your transmitter shares common construction with other Futaba transmitters, the job of conversion is probably little more than fitting the detent spring and possibly a plastic bracket, available quite cheaply. Although there are variations depending on the transmitter model, looking at the list when I searched for "Futaba transmitter ratchet spring kit". Knowing which case shares commonality with yours is the tricky bit.
As the boat is rudderless with two motors, it will steer by differential power.
Three ways of getting this -
1 - manually using two throttle sticks, used by people whose sole aim is satisfying operation of the boat. Best avoided if the boat has serious work to do.
2 - mixing the throttle and rudder (steering) signal channels using a mixer on board the boat. Lets you pick which stick the rudder is going to be.
3 - mixing the throttle and rudder control using the transmitters on board logic

For keeping a boat on station, or on track in moving water and/or in moving air, there have been several threads recently on various forums involving the use of things like Arduinos and GPS.

Hi mfr02, thanks for your reply,

I checked and the controller is set in Mode 2. When reading more in the manual, it seems like changing to Mode 1 will give me the desired result of left stick thrusters and right stick turning though it said that this should be a modification done by Futaba service. It's not just as easy as changing the mode and trying? I just want to check before I do something that cant be undone. I'm also a bit concerned as it seems that they have set up the receiver in a different than normal fasion where I could just change the wire from receiver chanel 2 to 3 as they have only used channels 7 and 8.

I'm heading by a hobby shop today to see if they can order me the pieces I need to be able to be able to have a ratchet style left joystick.

As for steering, we're planning to use just the thrusters at the moment but have talked about the idea of attaching a rudder in the future depending on how the boat handles after the tweaks I've been able to make. We should be testing it tomorrow. We need it up and running asap!!

Thanks again.
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