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Radio recommendations

Old 03-08-2023, 07:38 AM
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kevinthoele
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Default Radio recommendations

I am enjoying 1/8 scale hydros on electric but wanted to see what radios you guys are using. I want to get something reliable because these speeds could be dangerous
Old 03-08-2023, 06:42 PM
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Most of the guys I run with, myself included, use a pistol grip wheel radio. I personally use a Futaba 4PLS(which is now out of production) 2.4GHz system. What makes these so popular is that you don't have to worry as much about how far to move the sticks to control your boat. I tried to use a twin stick radio, twice. I found it was very difficult to hold a straight line or a steady radius on a corner, things that are very important when you're running with other boats at high speeds, with a stick radio. You are right, these boats ARE very dangerous. Several years ago, I watched a scale Budweiser go out of control(never did learn why) and hit the transom of a Livingston 8ft chase boat. The result was a large hole in the Livingston due to the left sponson going right through the FG. Had the Livingston not been beached at the time, it would have probably been lost due to the damage it took.

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 03-08-2023 at 06:47 PM.
Old 03-08-2023, 08:48 PM
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kevinthoele
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Most of the guys I run with, myself included, use a pistol grip wheel radio. I personally use a Futaba 4PLS(which is now out of production) 2.4GHz system. What makes these so popular is that you don't have to worry as much about how far to move the sticks to control your boat. I tried to use a twin stick radio, twice. I found it was very difficult to hold a straight line or a steady radius on a corner, things that are very important when you're running with other boats at high speeds, with a stick radio. You are right, these boats ARE very dangerous. Several years ago, I watched a scale Budweiser go out of control(never did learn why) and hit the transom of a Livingston 8ft chase boat. The result was a large hole in the Livingston due to the left sponson going right through the FG. Had the Livingston not been beached at the time, it would have probably been lost due to the damage it took.
I do want a wheel radio for boats. Iím had not even considered using my 18mz. What replaced your futaba? Do they make water proof receivers? Do you water proof yourself? I have radio boxes but water still manages to get in. Thanks for advise
Old 03-08-2023, 09:38 PM
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I started out, in 1982, with a Futaba 27MHz twin stick two channel, mostly because it was cheap and I was a poor E2 in the Navy. It went into my first two boats, then found its way onto a shelf where it still sits.
Radio number 2 is a Futaba 9CAP on 75MHz. It's a great radio, other than the fact that it's more of an aircraft radio. It's also sitting on the shelf waiting for me to get some planes built to put it in.
Radio number 3(and 4 for that matter) is the previously mentioned Futaba 4PLS. I still use it in my boat that I presently run and will be using it in the multiple boats I'm building.
As far as I know, no one makes a waterproof receiver. There are ways to increase water resistance however. Here are four ways, each with it's own benefits and issues:
  • disassemble the receiver case and spray the circuit board down with Corrosion X and reassemble the receiver. DO NOT wipe off any excess from the board.
  • without disassembling the receiver, fill the case with Corrosion X.
  • coat the receiver circuit board with epoxy after removing it from the case, being sure to cover all component leads. After it cures, reassemble in the case
  • stuff the receiver into a balloon after connecting the servos. Tie the balloon neck closed with a wire tie
As far as benefits and issues:
  • Corrosion X isn't guaranteed to be water proof but can be removed if desired. It is, however, better than nothing
  • epoxy will pretty much make your receiver water proof but it also makes sending it in for repairs impossible since there isn't any way to remove it without damaging the board
  • balloons are not fully water tight and are susceptible to getting holes in them
Radio boxes have several ways for water to get into them:|
  • through poorly fitted and glued seams
  • through linkage or antenna holes
  • through the box lid
Since you have electric boats, do you tape anything over the opening when you're running? Many of the guys I know have a thin piece of lexan they put over the opening into the hull and it's taped down to seal the boat against water. My boat is nitro powered so I only have the radio box sealed. It has a piece of clear plastic that sits on a lip inside the top that is taped down as well. Foam or rubber seals/gaskets just don't work. Where my rudder and throttle linkages come out of the box, I have rubber or rubber-like bellows seals like these:
https://www.towerhobbies.com/product...PRB286072.html

Hope this helps

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 03-08-2023 at 09:43 PM.
Old 03-09-2023, 05:54 AM
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kevinthoele
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I started out, in 1982, with a Futaba 27MHz twin stick two channel, mostly because it was cheap and I was a poor E2 in the Navy. It went into my first two boats, then found its way onto a shelf where it still sits.
Radio number 2 is a Futaba 9CAP on 75MHz. It's a great radio, other than the fact that it's more of an aircraft radio. It's also sitting on the shelf waiting for me to get some planes built to put it in.
Radio number 3(and 4 for that matter) is the previously mentioned Futaba 4PLS. I still use it in my boat that I presently run and will be using it in the multiple boats I'm building.
As far as I know, no one makes a waterproof receiver. There are ways to increase water resistance however. Here are four ways, each with it's own benefits and issues:
  • disassemble the receiver case and spray the circuit board down with Corrosion X and reassemble the receiver. DO NOT wipe off any excess from the board.
  • without disassembling the receiver, fill the case with Corrosion X.
  • coat the receiver circuit board with epoxy after removing it from the case, being sure to cover all component leads. After it cures, reassemble in the case
  • stuff the receiver into a balloon after connecting the servos. Tie the balloon neck closed with a wire tie
As far as benefits and issues:
  • Corrosion X isn't guaranteed to be water proof but can be removed if desired. It is, however, better than nothing
  • epoxy will pretty much make your receiver water proof but it also makes sending it in for repairs impossible since there isn't any way to remove it without damaging the board
  • balloons are not fully water tight and are susceptible to getting holes in them
Radio boxes have several ways for water to get into them:|
  • through poorly fitted and glued seams
  • through linkage or antenna holes
  • through the box lid
Since you have electric boats, do you tape anything over the opening when you're running? Many of the guys I know have a thin piece of lexan they put over the opening into the hull and it's taped down to seal the boat against water. My boat is nitro powered so I only have the radio box sealed. It has a piece of clear plastic that sits on a lip inside the top that is taped down as well. Foam or rubber seals/gaskets just don't work. Where my rudder and throttle linkages come out of the box, I have rubber or rubber-like bellows seals like these:
https://www.towerhobbies.com/product...PRB286072.html

Hope this helps
I will try some of the above water proofing suggestions. I do have a fitted radio box with plastic lid that I tape with hockey stick tape. It works pretty well. I looked and I guess I will order Futaba 4 channel surface radio to replace the Sanwa radio I have currently. I didn't know any better when I ordered it and have experienced a few what I call fads that made me very nervous with boat moving so fast
Old 03-09-2023, 06:19 AM
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Hockey stick tape could be part of the problem. It has a very porous fabric base since it's used to improve grip during play. I use tape that is similar to scotch tape but thicker. Since it doesn't have a fabric weave to it, the tape I use doesn't allow for water to get through and into the radio box.
Old 03-09-2023, 06:33 AM
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kevinthoele
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Hockey stick tape could be part of the problem. It has a very porous fabric base since it's used to improve grip during play. I use tape that is similar to scotch tape but thicker. Since it doesn't have a fabric weave to it, the tape I use doesn't allow for water to get through and into the radio box.
Ok thanks I will experiment with something different
Old 03-09-2023, 02:13 PM
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I just found "hockey tape" that some are using for taping their electric boats. Is this the same as what you've been using or is yours the white fabric type?
https://www.allrc1.com/product-page/...e-1-x-33-yards
Old 03-09-2023, 02:29 PM
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Default Tape

Yes that the one Iím using
Old 03-09-2023, 09:04 PM
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Okay, I stand corrected
That brings us back to the rudder linkage hole, a leaking seam or where the wires come out of the box for the ESC.
Old 03-10-2023, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Okay, I stand corrected
That brings us back to the rudder linkage hole, a leaking seam or where the wires come out of the box for the ESC.
I will check those areas again. Possibly a seam area or where wire comes through box. I built out of plywood coated with epoxy with a recessed area that the lid goes into with tape on top of that.
Old 03-18-2023, 06:18 AM
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Hi Kevin,
I started with a Futaba Conquest AM 4 channel surface stick. Then to 2 channel AM wheel. I never replaced Futaba with anything less than Futaba. That's my opinion, no argument, simply that. They all still work. My latest is the 10PX.The Castle XLX2 is my latest inverter which is waterproof. For some of my latest scales and boats I'm implementing FASTEST gyro controlled ram wings.

What kinds of speeds do you expect?

Regards,
Hubert

Last edited by Clugh; 03-18-2023 at 06:55 AM.
Old 03-18-2023, 02:52 PM
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I need to bring radar gun out but 60-70 mph I would think. Hopefully more! I am new to fast electric so everything is new to me. Been experimenting for now. Going to build some turn fins and see what they will do to handling in turns. I have not made final decision on radio yet so I will check the one you use out. Thanks
Old 03-22-2023, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinthoele View Post
I need to bring radar gun out but 60-70 mph I would think. Hopefully more! I am new to fast electric so everything is new to me. Been experimenting for now. Going to build some turn fins and see what they will do to handling in turns. I have not made final decision on radio yet so I will check the one you use out. Thanks
Hi Kevin,

Thats def doable. Whats the set up??

As a side note Virginia Craftsmen builds a good sport 40 and scale turn fin in my opinion. Dyck Tyndall (EL Zorro) in Intlwaters.. An extremely nice guy with alot of kneeler knowledge. His fins are not the only ones that are nice but to me his sits up there with the "betters" for scales. The main thing is when you table the boat you align the fin in 3 axis. It can dig or lift the sponsion as well as bias the boats Straightline. Ideally you want to boat to track straight and level with zero rudder trim or input from you.

Regards,
Hubert

Last edited by Clugh; 03-22-2023 at 11:22 PM.
Old Yesterday, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Clugh View Post
Hi Kevin,

Thats def doable. Whats the set up??

As a side note Virginia Craftsmen builds a good sport 40 and scale turn fin in my opinion. Dyck Tyndall (EL Zorro) in Intlwaters.. An extremely nice guy with alot of kneeler knowledge. His fins are not the only ones that are nice but to me his sits up there with the "betters" for scales. The main thing is when you table the boat you align the fin in 3 axis. It can dig or lift the sponsion as well as bias the boats Straightline. Ideally you want to boat to track straight and level with zero rudder trim or input from you.

Regards,
Hubert

I have 2 1/8 hydros. Circus built from a kit and fiberglass Miller American. I am using Rattlesnake electric set up. Here are a couple pics





Old Yesterday, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinthoele View Post
I have 2 1/8 hydros. Circus built from a kit and fiberglass Miller American. I am using Rattlesnake electric set up. Here are a couple pics



Nice. Bill Brandts RRC turn fin is really attractive. Im of the opinion that a straight angled fin is easier to set up right than a continuous curved fin.

Last edited by Clugh; Yesterday at 06:34 AM.
Old Yesterday, 06:40 AM
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I had a friend who has passed now James Allen that was pretty anal about the hardware he built. These fins were milled from 1/8 inch spring steel. Some saw competitors us real knife blades. A knife blade belt grinder could make some really slick rudders and fins from steel... he set world records back in the day with all his own hand built motors and hardware..




Thin and sharp translates low underwater drag. We think prop blast is the best water pickup. Flow as much as you can.

Last edited by Clugh; Yesterday at 06:47 AM.
Old Yesterday, 06:50 AM
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If you would like a link where he shows you how to machine your own hardware Ill send it to you
Old Yesterday, 06:58 AM
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Yes that would be great. Thanks for the information
Old Yesterday, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinthoele View Post
Yes that would be great. Thanks for the information
You have the link in your personal message box. Lohring miller is also there and know a little something about setting up scale boats. He has captured with Brian Buass as the pilot a 2 lap record in scales or S or sport 40 hydro I cannot remember but this is the MUTT he has now.





James Scheafer of ABC props put his stamp of approval on Brian Buass propeller work with his props so there really isn alot left to say. I highly respect James opinions as a Nautical engineer and metallurgist. He knows his stuff and he says Brian is datt piff! and Lohring is very intelligent as far as I'm concerned. They have a strong team and those boyz are running hard Kevin. AFAIK they were supposed to be going for the IMPBA scale record sometime in the near future. You can see here it doesn't matter if water got in the hull. The electronics are all sealed away.

Regards,
Hubert

Last edited by Clugh; Yesterday at 07:32 AM.
Old Yesterday, 07:37 AM
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I have another German friend who is an engineer for Lehner Motoren.. Maybe he will chime in because he has some special ideas about the turn fin. He is the mechanical engineer so he can explain how it works better than I can. The blade is a round pizza cutter design.

Sorry I cant help with that one!!



He is a conceptual egg head that does alot of odd things like this. However they are always explainable and fundamentally sound. He has also held several world records back in the day with brushed motors. That may not mean anything to anyone but He also holds 9 patents in alternative fuels cells, avaiation instrumentation, and electric motors. He shows me and I'm thankful at 52 yrs. of age and so I take it in..Kevin.. This may be much more than you care to know if so I apologize.

Regards,
Hubert

Last edited by Clugh; Yesterday at 08:02 AM.
Old Yesterday, 08:04 AM
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Speaking of which I told him I do not like rudders with pivot mechanics like this and there are many.
Do you know why?

Last edited by Clugh; Yesterday at 08:07 AM.

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