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R/C fireworks boat

Old 04-28-2004, 09:43 PM
  #1  
liv2fly88
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Default R/C fireworks boat

A friend of mine has charged me with building a boat stable enough to launch fireworks from. I've come up with a remote launching mechanism (creative use of a servo, nails, and some model rocket motor ignitors), but I'm still wondering exactly how to steer the thing.
Here's what I've come up with so far. Please feel free to add in any suggestions and ideas on how to make the concept work.

-Pontoon boat (dual hull design) for stability and to provide enough surface area to mount the array of fireworks, also nice for using 2 motors (thrust AND steering)
-electric power (no fuel to set ablaze in case of mis-hap)
-above mentioned ignition system (no need for additional radio for ignition)

The problem I'm having is what kind of TX/RX to use for the two motors mounted to the pontoons in order to get proper control of both forward motion AND steering (thrust differential steering).

Any suggestions? I'm VERY open to thoughts and have a financial backer for the project, so cost is of mediocre issue.
-Scott
Old 04-29-2004, 11:57 AM
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jamescr
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

You need a two channel Radio set, Tx and Rx, TWO speed controls suitable for your motors, and a mixer unit, see Uksite www.actonkit.co.uk for equipment and main plus Rx batteries and switch. If set up as instructed will be able to steer boat by using motors, in fact spin on spot. No need for rudders

James
Old 04-29-2004, 01:07 PM
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Umi_Ryuzuki
 
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

You will need at least a THREE channel radio.
The first two channels can run the two motors on separate ESC, or
switches to run forward and reverse for steering like tank steering.
Or one speed control for the motor and one servo for the rudder.

The third channel will run a power strip made from deans plugs,( or your nail board).
Lights, laser pointers, gun lights, and fireworks have been run off this set up.
You can use the first two channels to drive the boat or barge.
The third channel will run your nail board, or Micro switches.

I use micro switches, and have been able to set up to five
switches around the throw of the servo.
I can then ignite the fireworks as you describe.
I use a #30 craft wire for igniters.
I can switch out two decks my ship. The bow deck
can then hold a box of 25 rockets(saturn missle battery) and
the stern will hold up to 12 "flares"(short roman candle type balls with report)
on either side of the bridge I have two additional flare launchers.
The fifth switch runs lights so you can see the postion of the boat to and from
the launch location.

The Key here is safety.
Do not rely on fuses. They can get wet, and long fuses can unintentionally
ignite other displays and quite possibley destroy the entire vehicle in an instant.

Provide a safety switch on the vehicle that is specific to providing power to the ignition system.
Make it big and obnoxious, and easy to see whether it is on or off. Label it!

You DO NOT want any of the fireworks to go off as you are hooking them up.
I have a fourth channel that sounds a piezo horn when the system is hot.
The system will not ignite, or give power to any circuit unless this fourth servo
has been switched to the on position.
The horn will only sound if the firworks are connected and ready to launch.
Properly insulate, and protect all fuses from accidental ignition from another display circuit.


NEVER hook up any of the fireworks with the batteries plugged in the results can be disasterous.
(You will probably be leaning over the display while connecting wires)
Provide a safety switch on the vehicle that is specific to providing power to the ignition system.
Do not hook up the final ignition clips till the vehicle is in the water.
Never carry the vehicle or place or remove the vehicle from the water while the
displays are connected and ready to fire.

If you can not imagine how to wire up create these safety measures,
it is probably better not to do this at all. [:'(]
Old 04-29-2004, 04:10 PM
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asmithnc
 
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

If you build it they will come (fire department). 911 on speed dial would be a must. Fireworks and myself don't mix ask the fire department.

Good luck if you build, fire extingusers and first aid kits might not be a bad idea. Post a video when you are done.
Old 04-29-2004, 07:02 PM
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Ron Olson
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

Ace R/C makes a dual stick radio system for running twin motors. I think that you can get these radios with up to 6 channels. Wow, I just looked over at my stack of magazines and I didn't believe it, an ad for Ace R/C right on top! An old mag with the cover ripped off. Gold Series Nautical Commander with 5 or 7 channels. Options include knob, slide or switch controls. www.acehobby.com
Cool project, too bad that it's not legal where I live.
Old 04-29-2004, 07:38 PM
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liv2fly88
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

Many thanks for all of your replies. Umi, your cautions regarding the multiple fail-safes are assuredly taken into consideration. Thanks also to Jamesr and Asmitnc. The mixer and fire extinguishers will be on-hand. The other reason for the R/C boat launchpad was safety... far away from everyone... and there's DEFINITELY enough water around to put out a fire.
Ron, I'm looking into the radio's you suggested. More channels for cutoff/launch relays are always helpful.

*UMI* about NOT relying on fuses... how is it you wire the electronic starter to the firework? I was going to wrap each fuse in aluminum foil to help keep away the errant spark and water splash, but it sounds like you have enough experience with this that I'll just shut my mouth and listen.

Again, thanks for your help with this. I'll be sure to post photos and a video (if i can manage to get someone to man a video camera for the show).
Old 04-29-2004, 11:35 PM
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Umi_Ryuzuki
 
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

I kind of feel like, "I shouldn't have mentioned it"[:@]

If you can, replace the fuse with the igniter and call it good.
Otherwise I wrap the #30 wire around the fuse three times, and then clip off the extra fuse.
This is why all the safety measures, everything is either a direct ignition, or short fused.
(I was a little concerned that you might light a fuse and have the boat make a run for it.)
Aluminum foil may short out the electrical ignition, so it sounds like kind of a bad idea.
Water is not really the problem. Accidental ignitions are the concern. Providing enough
space on the vehicle, and not overloading it is a good preventative measure.
Several small display runs are always better than one meltdown.
Being able to keep count of what you triggered, and what actually fired will be easier also.

Assume it will be dark.
Color coded wiring or labels are a must so that everything can be connected, and
then goes off in a predictable and purposeful manner.
There can be a lot of wiring laying about and getting everything hooked up properly is a must.
Flipping a switch and saying oops is a no no.


Circuit testing can be done with just the igniters on dry land. This allows you to test the "hot wire" and make sure that when you short a circuit, the igniter burns, and not your wiring. Also that the igniters you are shorting will burn through, and not keep the circuit hot if the switch is left on.
Being able to clear the firing switches, return the boat, and turn off the power in the water will save you if you have to return with a misfire, or live load on the boat. And that can happen quite often.
Old 05-03-2004, 03:30 PM
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75lover
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Default RE: R/C fireworks boat

Hmmm...sounds interesting. So are you going to convert a regular r/c pontoon into what you want or just build it from scratch? Please send pictures when it's going...it sounds great!

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