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Suggestions on how to power and motorize a steamboat with 2 side wheel paddle wheels.

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Suggestions on how to power and motorize a steamboat with 2 side wheel paddle wheels.

Old 05-06-2015, 05:30 PM
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Steveoo
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Default Suggestions on how to power and motorize a steamboat with 2 side wheel paddle wheels.

I am building a large wood model of a Hudson River Day Line steamboat, the Washington Irving. The hull is 51" long with two 31/2" diameter paddle wheels. Ideally, I would love to power the boat with 1 motor for each paddle wheel so that I can turn the boat by using different motor speeds on the 2 paddle wheels. How can I set up the RC to do this? I am not sure it is possible since there is only one throttle channel on my RC receiver. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions as well as motor and ESC ideas.
Thanks,
Steveoo
Old 05-07-2015, 01:29 AM
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mfr02
 
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A mixer is intended to take information from the throttle channel and the rudder channel and combine them to drive two ESCs differentially. Quite a few on t'interweb. The alternative is to get a transmitter that is capable of mixing, or has enough stick to do the job manually.
Old 05-08-2015, 01:20 AM
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Hydro Junkie
 
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Something I have seen done is modify a twin stick four channel radio to a three or four stick arrangement. By running two sticks vertical, you can have your twin throttles while mounting a stick horizontal will work for the rudder. The last stick/knob could be used to run a winch, rotate a light or run a bow thruster, just for example
Old 05-08-2015, 09:00 AM
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Thanks for your helpful suggestions. With your suggestion in mind, I just called Futuba tech support and they said that there is a simple solution: run one motor with the left vertical stick which is normally the throttle channel; then run the second motor through the right vertical stick (which is the elevator channel 2 on this seven channel receiver) through a second ESC. The tech said that the right vertical stick puts out the same voltage as the left vertical stick and doesn't care what it is attached to. I will have to order some additional parts to change the right stick so that it works like the left stick. This solution sounds almost too good to be true! I will try it and let you know if it works.
Old 05-08-2015, 09:59 AM
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MajorTomski
 
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I've got an easier solution than the Futaba suggestion. I used to use this on my RC blimps.

Set the right paddle throttle on the 'elevator' stick so that up, away from you is full forward and down, towards you is full reverse.

Set the left paddle throttle on the 'aileron' stick so that left is full forward throttle and right is full reverse.

Now hold the tranmitter at a 45 degree angle to your self with the antenna pointing off to your right.

Move the right stick to the upper corner of travel and you will have full forward on both paddles. Move it straight down to the other 'corner' and you'll have full reverse. Any combination of forward and left or right will give you differential steering.

Or buy one of these:
http://www.harbormodels.com/site08/i...mixer_p40c.pdf
Old 05-09-2015, 10:42 AM
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Steveoo
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Thanks Major Tomski for these very exciting suggestions. What is really hopeful is that according to your instructions you can have the motors run forward as well as backward. This is very important since I will need that capability to turn the ship since the hull is so long. Futuba said that I would not be able to reverse the motors, but I did discuss with them using the throttle channel rather than the aileron channel which may not allow for the reversal. According to your suggestions I should be able to do some turning using differential forward running and differential reverse running which should allow for turning in a relatively short distance in a kind of "pivoting" movement.

I have some questions:

I assume that I will still need 2 ESCs, right?

What do you mean by "setting" the paddles?

I will be wanting the motors to run at fairly slow speeds. Will the speed of the motors be determined by how far I move the right stick up or down?

The Marine Motor Mixer looks really interesting and should work. I will look into it.

Regards,
Steveoo
Old 05-10-2015, 01:01 AM
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Most ESCs intended for scale marine use have center off, proportional forward and proportional reverse, all determined by the stick setting on the TX and no messing about toggling through "brake" to get to reverse. I am assuming that you intend to use DC motors, which do reverse just by reversing polarity, which is what marine type ESCs do very well under simple direct control from the stick. It is possible that your Futaba tech only knew about aircraft, which don't usually reverse. Or brushless motors and ESCs, where reverse is not yet as common as it should be.
The channels are pretty much identical, the only difference being their name on the label, so that anything can be plugged into any channel. The radio can't tell the difference between an ESC and a servo because, at that stage of the electronics, there isn't any difference.
Your TX, ideally, should have its sticks spring to center, this makes switching on much simpler and more certain.
Old 05-10-2015, 06:08 PM
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Yes, I presumed you had marine or car speed controllers which are off in the center of their travel and have full forward one way and full reverse the other. That 's how you get turning with the set up I've suggested.
Old 05-11-2015, 05:23 AM
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MajorTomski
 
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On a follow up, if you only have aircraft type forward only ESC then you can get half of what you want with what I described above. You will not get reverse or 'pirouette' turning capability, just a normal turn to the right or left.

Program your esc's so that neutral on the right stick is off for both ESC's. Full left aileron is full forward throttle for the right paddle. Full down elevator is full forward throttle for the left paddle.

Again, with them programmed hold the transmitter at a 45 degree angle to the right. Move the right stick to the upper left corner give full straight forward, moving the stick left or right from that full forward should give some proportional steering to the left and right.
Old 05-12-2015, 02:15 PM
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Steveoo
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This discussion has been very helpful and has given me hope that I will be able to power my steamboat. What I think is most important is to be able to have the motors work independently of each other in forward and in reverse so that I will be able to turn the ship sharply, i.e. "pirouetting". Because the hull is so long and the rudder is so small, it will not be possible to turn boat with rudder without using up half a lake. So on the basis of your suggestions, here is what I am planning:

1. Put the left TX vertical stick on the Futaba receiver channel 3(throttle)
2. Put the right TX vertical stick on the receiver channel 2 (elevator)
3. Use 2 DC 3-9 volt motors (any motor brands or vender recommendations?)
4 Use a separate ESC with forward and reverse capabilities for each motor (any type, brand or size recommendations?)
4. Use separate batteries for each motor (any type, brand or size recommendations?)

I am assuming that moving the sticks up (away from me) will give forward and moving the sticks down (towards me) will give reverse and that each motor will function independently and in a graded fashion. This sounds like the simplest solution.

If you feel that this will not work or that I am making incorrect assumptions, I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know let me know.

Thanks very much to all.
Old 05-13-2015, 10:50 AM
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MajorTomski
 
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1. Put the left ESC and motor on the TX left vertical stick on the Futaba receiver channel 3(throttle)
2. Put the right ESC and motor on the TX vertical stick on the receiver channel 2 (elevator)

Now your ship will steer like a bulldozer:
Both sticks full forward and it will sail straight forward
Both sticks full back and it will sail straight aft

Left (throtttle) stick full forward and it will turn RIGHT
Right (Aileron) stick full forward and it will turn Left

Left (throtttle) stick full back and right (Aileron) stick full forward and it will spin Left

Left (throtttle) stick full forward and right (Aileron) stick full back and it will spin right

These are probably your best bet at speed controllers:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXAXT8&P=7

The ONLY problem you will have with your set up is the throttle stick does not center so you will have to manually make sure your throttle is at neutral to get the left paddle stopped.


5/15/15 one other thought:
Because the hull is so long and the rudder is so small, it will not be possible to turn boat with rudder without using up half a lake. So on the basis of your suggestions, here is what I am planning:
Make the rudder bigger?

Last edited by MajorTomski; 05-14-2015 at 05:24 AM. Reason: Additional thought
Old 05-17-2015, 11:58 PM
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An alternative ESC - http://www.mtroniks.net/prod/Boat-Sp...-Marine-15.htm
Known to be simple to use and reliable. No idea how the prices would compare where you are, but there are US dealers.

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