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Plane controller for boat

Old 08-05-2019, 07:05 AM
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Bkern10
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Arrow Plane controller for boat

I have an old plane with a 6 channel controller and I would like to know if I can use that controller for a boat. If so what do I have to look for in the boat kit?
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:57 AM
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An old plane controller?
It would really depend on several things:
  • How old is old?
  • What brand is your radio gear?
  • What frequency band is it on?
  • What kind of boat are you interested in?
Since I don't know where you are located, the first three questions are mostly to be sure the information we give you is accurate and meets the local laws.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:07 PM
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My radio is a Vanguard FM VG60R 72 MHz from the early 1990s. I just want a basic electric boat that I can play with with my grandson. I live in Williamsville, NY near Buffalo
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:07 PM
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My radio is a Vanguard FM VG60R 72 MHz from the early 1990s. I just want a basic electric boat that I can play with with my grandson. I live in Williamsville, NY near Buffalo
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:28 PM
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No you can't. 72 MHz radios are designated by the FCC for airborne use only. 75 MHz radios are designated for surface use.. And while it is possible to change a 72 MHz radio into a 75 MHz radio it must be done by a licensed person and it will dost more than it is worth. As far as aircraft use you may also have an issue with channel separation. That is right around the time narrow band radios were being required and the older radios are now no longer allowed. Check what channel it is on. If it is an odd number it is fine. If even there is a way to tell if is narrow band but I don't recall what that is. A local hobby shop with some older sales people, or a club that isn't all snobby about 2.4GHz can help you. And don't believe someone if they tell you no 72 MHz radios can be used. That's bull. The older wideband can't but the narrowband can. It might even say on the radio. Or someone else here might remember if the VG6R is narrowband.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:45 PM
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Cool

Today lots of basic entry-level boats come with modern 2.4 gig radios. Believe me, they are far superior to the old 72/75 hHz radios, with much less interference and usually less latency. Plus the wheel radio is easier for children to use.

I understand the attraction of repurposing what you have, but in this case current radios are superior. You can get a boat without a radio and pick up a used 2.4 transmitter/receiver cheap on eBay.

.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:49 PM
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Thank you RG and RPM. I was going to say the same thing, that is until I saw you both beat me to it. I love it that we are all on the same page on this one.
Bkern10, I would suggest you get in touch with one of the boating clubs in your area. I know there's a club that runs at Carey Lake, on Route 441 and just west of Canandaigua Road. IIRC, they run primarily gas boats and are a great group. I had the privilege of running with some of them back in June of 2015. If things ever work out where I can get back there again, I would run with those guys in a heartbeat. BTW, it's 81 miles from your local Tim Horton's to Carey Lake
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:04 AM
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Thank you all for the information. Although I am a little disappointed since I never used the plane that much I do appreciated all the help.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bkern10 View Post
My radio is a Vanguard FM VG60R 72 MHz from the early 1990s. I just want a basic electric boat that I can play with with my grandson. I live in Williamsville, NY near Buffalo
Having recently acquired not one but two of these VG6DR systems I can confirm they are narrow band. One of them is date stamped from 1992 and the other one is from '94. I have no idea how long they sat before I bought them but I plugged in batteries and they fired right up and work great. I have to say that they are very good systems. Honestly they are the only systems I've ever owned that have virtually no servo twitch upon powering up nor do they get interference twitch. I have newer fancier 72mhz systems like a 6channel JR and Futaba 9CAP Super and they all twitch. These Vanguards were high-end radios in their day. They are six channel and have dual rates. For a beginning aircraft modeler that is plenty of features in my opinion.

Other than the band your biggest issue is using it with a modern ESC. They have reverse mounted pos/neg posts in the servo plugs compared to the typical JR and Futaba stuff. You can make adaptors though. Here is one of mine.

Sad they stopped making them:
https://www.modelairplanenews.com/ai...sitor_pref_pop

Last edited by AllModesR/C; 09-25-2019 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Got RPM View Post
Today lots of basic entry-level boats come with modern 2.4 gig radios. Believe me, they are far superior to the old 72/75 hHz radios, with much less interference and usually less latency. Plus the wheel radio is easier for children to use.

I understand the attraction of repurposing what you have, but in this case current radios are superior. You can get a boat without a radio and pick up a used 2.4 transmitter/receiver cheap on eBay.

.
I have only used 72mhz equipment since I seriously into planes several years ago and see no reason to go 2.4ghz. My JR and Futaba have all the features of the newer systems and I'll probably never get advanced enough to use all of them anyways. Plus, I have heard that exposure to 2.4ghz is not exactly good for you. 72 is virtually harmless. Being exposed to spinning knives, chemicals like glow fuel , and speeding models in the hobby why compound health risks further is the way I see it.

Anyone know what this business about 72 being for air and 75mhz for surface is all about? When you're taxi-ing a plane around you are certainly using it as a ground vehicle. I can see using a 72mhz system in a boat but not the other way around.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by AllModesR/C View Post
I have only used 72mhz equipment since I seriously into planes several years ago and see no reason to go 2.4ghz. My JR and Futaba have all the features of the newer systems and I'll probably never get advanced enough to use all of them anyways. Plus, I have heard that exposure to 2.4ghz is not exactly good for you. 72 is virtually harmless. Being exposed to spinning knives, chemicals like glow fuel , and speeding models in the hobby why compound health risks further is the way I see it.

Anyone know what this business about 72 being for air and 75mhz for surface is all about? When you're taxi-ing a plane around you are certainly using it as a ground vehicle. I can see using a 72mhz system in a boat but not the other way around.
Using an air band radio for surface models (and taxiing a plane that is intended to fly does not count as surface) is a truly bad idea because almost nobody sensible running a surface model wants to mess with a flying plane. And hovercraft and airboats count as "surface". So separate bands for flyers and surface. Unlikely to be enforced by law agencies, but good manners says not to do it.
2G4 is highly resistant to interference, either electronic noise or anybody on the same band. Rather than use a set frequency band that somebody with the same frequency crystal is using, it picks an unused slot, reserves it against anybody else who is on air at the same time, and stays there.

2G4 is very much microwave frequency, but the power that a model transmitter puts out is a really minute fraction of what a microwave runs at. Harm brought about by radiation from model transmitters running at approved power output is pure BS intended to frighten the gullible, and is invaribly promted by people intent on achieving a bit of their 15 minutes of fame one way or another. Radiated power from old style radios could be harmful if the transmitter was powerful enough. But at permitted model power levels, harmless.
An up to date 2G4 outfit capable of boat control can be got for probably less than the cost of converting a crystal set to either 2G4 (to keep the facilities) or the appropriate legal frequency.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:03 AM
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True its an aircraft radio it would depend on where you intend to use it. In a public place anywhere there might be/will be others or the geneal public then its not a good idea. Alone on your farm pond miles from other RC users then who will know or care.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
True its an aircraft radio it would depend on where you intend to use it. In a public place anywhere there might be/will be others or the geneal public then its not a good idea. Alone on your farm pond miles from other RC users then who will know or care.
Nobody, until you take it somewhere else, having forgotten.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mfr02 View Post
Nobody, until you take it somewhere else, having forgotten.
If your dim enough to forget then don't use it!!!!!!!!! Its not rocket science is it? I know several guys who have regulated old outdated equipment and even older aircraft radios to all kinds of air boats, retrieval boats etc. and they stay at the cottage. Maybe the local wildlife will object maybe not. LOL

Heck I even used one to take my fishing line way out further than I could cast and it was an old aircraft radio no chance of interfering with anyone else. I think it may still be out there in an old plastic boat I converted to rc LOL

Dennis

Last edited by Propworn; 09-26-2019 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:06 PM
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True its an aircraft radio it would depend on where you intend to use it. In a public place anywhere there might be/will be others or the geneal public then its not a good idea. Alone on your farm pond miles from other RC users then who will know or care.
”Good idea” or not, public or private property, the use of an air frequency for a surface craft is illegal in the US. But if you drink and drive, smuggle illegal aliens and other illegal behavior, then I guess there’s no dissuading you.

https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...o-service-rcrs

.
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:47 PM
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Give it up RPM, the Worm is from Canada so anything you say won't make it into the first ear, let alone out the other
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mfr02 View Post
Using an air band radio for surface models (and taxiing a plane that is intended to fly does not count as surface) is a truly bad idea because almost nobody sensible running a surface model wants to mess with a flying plane.
I agree that I certainly would not want to bring down somebody's aircraft. However, I could theoretically only taxi my plane around for hours and it would be a ground vehicle no different than a boat or car. If I did this with a 72mhz system how would this be different than a guy running one in his boat? "Illegal" is not mutually inclusive with bad. Especially now that most are running the 2.4ghz systems what are the chances that somebody else would be running on 72 band and on the same channel as you close enough to cause conflict? Very slim. Now let's say we kept it legal and I decided to fly a park flyer in my backyard on 72 band. If it just happened that another guy is flying on the same channel 1/2 a mile from me and I bring down his plane or vice versa would this be any better because it was legal?
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:56 AM
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The segregation of bands is a very sensible idea, putting good manners on a legal basis that is simple to use.
A park flyer is unlikely to have its transmitter upset anybody else. More likely, it will be affected by the other guy. When it hits something expensive belonging to a neighbour, guess who gets the bill? The unknown crystal thing is a very good reason for the adoption of 2G4.
If you decide to flout safety rules out of sight in private where you 100% cannot affect anybody else, that is your concern. When you set a bad example in public, a different story altogether.
As wonderful and safe as you think you are and indeed might be, when somebody less wonderful than yourself sees you and does the same in the wrong circumstances, a problem that affects the rest of the hobby arises. Monkey see, monkey do. It only takes one irresponsible individual living it up for a few seconds to cause the rest of us years to live it down. And living down the unwarranted reputation will invariably involve higher insurance premiums.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mfr02 View Post
If you decide to flout safety rules out of sight in private where you 100% cannot affect anybody else, that is your concern. When you set a bad example in public, a different story altogether.
As wonderful and safe as you think you are and indeed might be, when somebody less wonderful than yourself sees you and does the same in the wrong circumstances, a problem that affects the rest of the hobby arises. Monkey see, monkey do. It only takes one irresponsible individual living it up for a few seconds to cause the rest of us years to live it down. And living down the unwarranted reputation will invariably involve higher insurance premiums.
And, here in lies the bigger issue. Quad(drone) flyers are doing things airplane flyers don't. That has made anyone that flies an enemy of the state. Is it fair to the law abiding plank pilots? Not in the least, but it is what's happening to the hobby
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
And, here in lies the bigger issue. Quad(drone) flyers are doing things airplane flyers don't. That has made anyone that flies an enemy of the state. Is it fair to the law abiding plank pilots? Not in the least, but it is what's happening to the hobby
Absolutely. All this FAA BS and media hysteria came only after drones hit the market. I honestly hate the things and it makes me agitated to think that we got lumped in with them. They don't even mesh well with traditional flying sites being they mostly hover and are harder to see than other fixed wings or helicopters. We've been flying 72 band aircraft for decades and never caused any problems. I am certain there were guys running 72 equipment in surface vehicles too. Whether it's a good idea or not is besides the point.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:05 AM
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Illustrating the potential problems that totally unskilled drone drivers can create was a You Tube or similar clip a while back, where a drone driver discovered that wind up there might be stronger and in a different direcion to wind down here. He basically flew into a cloud and it wandered off, its automatic position keeping not being man enough for the job. His fanbase were largely concerned by the damage it sustained after its final plummet. No worries about the tree it bounced off, nobody had a thought that if it had been a road rather than a tree it could have been a very different story.
Back when crystal control radios were the norm, you had to have some idea what was going on before you started operating. The automation that is galloping into electronic devices means that the skill threshold required to operate models is dropping sharply. As the prices also drop, the market is opened to a much wider base who don't want to know about their responsibilities when operating what can be a dangerous item in public, and mostly don't even realise that such responsibilities exist.
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