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Thread: Livewire's EKOS Build

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    Default Livewire's EKOS Build

    Let me start this thread off by saying, I'm completely new to FE boating.I have over 25 years of rc experience. Over those years I've raced everything from 2wd/4wd buggies, touring car, 1/8 off-road, and 1/7 GT on-road. But I never had any interest in boats until this year, when my in-laws bought a 40'trailer. The park they have the trailer in doesn't allow any nitro powered vehicles, which just so happens to be all of my current vehicles....bummer! So I picked up a AQ Mini Mono, we'll call it my gateway boat. I was very pleased with It's performance, that I showed it to some of the guys I race with. And they ended up picking it up as well. But of course that can only lead to bigger things, and before I knew it, they were getting Spartans, Revolts, and Stilettos. So I decided to go with the EKOS, knowing as a rtr it had its short comings to say the least.

    Just to be able to run with my friends, I knew I had to up grade the motors and esc's. So I got a pair of Leopard 2860 2190kv motors and a pair of Turnigy 120amp esc's. I was able to reach 60mph on 6s before the ice set in. So this is where I left the boat at the end of the season.
    After reading as much as I could on this awesome forum, I took notes from experienced members threads such as, LarrysDrifter, DrWayne, Keith Bradley, Darin Jordan, Ray schrauwen, and others. To gut this thing and build it proper!

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    After pulling all of the running gear out of the hull I removed all of the excess epoxy with my dremel. I rough sanded the hull with 100 grit sand paper to prep the surface to lay in carbon fiber for the first time. Here's a list of what I picked up to do the job.
    1 linear yard of carbon fiber cloth (2x2 twill)
    2 linear yards of vacuum bagging film
    1" finned wetout roller
    A box of Z-Poxy Pt40 finishing resin
    A few 1" and 2" brushes
    And some 1" and 3" squeegees
    1 can of 3M spay on glue
    2013-01-30 10.59.51.jpg
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    Last edited by Livewire121; 01-30-2013 at 12:17 PM.

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    2013-01-21 12.22.00.jpg2013-01-21 12.22.38.jpgI wish I had taken pics of how I layed the carbon. But like I said I was trying this for the first time.Here's a couple pics of how the hull turned out. Not 100% perfect, but not to bad for a first attempt.

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    here's a pic of the hatch lid, I should have tried to lay this in one piece tho2013-01-29 10.53.50.jpg

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    The size of the sheet of carbon fiber cloth I had was 36"x50", so I had tons of material. For the hull I layed in two layers 19" long but I can't remember the width. There's a couple little tricks to cutting this stuff. When you've layed out all of your stencils and you know the size of the piece that has to be cut from the roll. Look for one thread on the edge of the roll, hold on to it, and slowly pull it out. After you've removed it, you'll notice removing that thread has left you with a perfect line to cut down. I would do this for each stencil. Once I cut down that line that was made, I would spray each piece of cloth with a spray on glue. Doing this stops the weave in the cloth from wanting to open and it makes it so that you can cut out the stencils.

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    Looks good man! Are you going to reinforce the windshield? A flip at high speed will blow out the the stock one. I have seen some use a thicker piece of acrylic. I put the carbon fiber over the windshield when I did the hatch.
    814A2372-1EA6-4AC8-A189-BD887E3A82C8-1632-000000C58B791930.jpg
    "There's nothing else I really want to do other than get up and build boats." - Mike Fiore

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    I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the window yet. I'm debating on using a Eagle tree system with the gps unit, If I do I'll have to keep the window clear.

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    Here's a better pic of the interior2013-01-30 09.45.28.jpg

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    After the spray on glue has had time to dry, place the stencil on the cloth and cut it out. Like I said earlier I was putting in two layers of carbon fiber. The first layer was cut at a 45 degree angle and the second layer was cut at a 90 degree angle. The reason I did this was to add strength in all directions.
    Here's how it's done.
    1. Mask off the hull.
    2. Place the first layer on the vacuum film and wet it down with resin.
    3. Place the second layer on top of the first layer.
    4. Fold the film over the top so it's like a taco lol.
    5. Now take the 3" squeegee and squeegee out the excess resin, now you have a piece of pre-preg cloth. Leave it there for a few mins.
    6. Time to wet down the interior of the hull.
    7. After the hull has been wetted go back to the pre-preg and cut the excess film and resin away.
    8. Peel one side of the film off, leaving film on the top side. Doing this allows you to fold and work the cloth into it's position in the hull.
    9. Lightly squeegee the center tunnel and use the finned roller to work the cloth into the sponsons.
    10. Now carefully peel the film off.
    11. With the film removed continue to work the cloth with the roller until all the air pockets are gone and the cloth is laid flat against the hull.
    And that's it! Next I'm going to blue print the hull.
    Last edited by Livewire121; 01-30-2013 at 12:20 PM.

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    In the pic you'll see everything I needed to blue print the sponsons.
    2013-01-30 11.03.29.jpg
    Last edited by Livewire121; 02-02-2013 at 12:00 PM.

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    Start with 100-120 grit sandpaper to remove the paint and get down to the work surface.2013-01-26 13.15.55.jpg2013-01-26 13.16.50.jpg2013-01-26 13.17.25.jpg2013-01-26 14.36.16.jpg

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    Now wipe the hull down to remove any dust. I used methy hydrate to do this, because it dries quickly with no residue. After that you can go ahead and lay down the bondo.
    2013-01-26 14.52.12.jpg2013-01-26 14.52.39.jpg
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    Last edited by Livewire121; 02-04-2013 at 10:52 AM.

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    Now that the bondo has had time to dry, I started to block sand with 180 grit sandpaper.
    Attachment 93171Attachment 931722013-01-26 13.17.25.jpg
    Pay close attention to the inside edge of the sponsons aswell as the trailing edge at the back of the sponsons.
    You want to make these edges as sharp and as square as possible.
    After I finished that step I applied a coat of glazing putty to the sponson. When it was dry I block sanded again with 400 grit sandpaper
    to finish the surface.

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    Last edited by Livewire121; 02-04-2013 at 11:37 AM.

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    I've got some time before my parts orders get here to complete the build. So I thought I'd water proof my electronics. This is what I used, but Steven here at OSE carries this as well. http://www.offshoreelectrics.com/pro...prod=ose-dp270
    2013-02-01 23.19.03.jpg

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    I applied 3-4 coats on everything from the ESC's to the BEC

    2013-02-03 12.27.49.jpg2013-02-03 14.08.48.jpg2013-02-01 23.18.43.jpg2013-02-02 10.07.29.jpg

    Shrink wrap it again and you're done!
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    Well while I was waiting for parts to come in, I thought I'd add some lights. My friends and I usually meet up in the evenings to run, and we pretty much push it until we can barely see the boats! This should solve that......I should add that these are controlled by the third channel on the receiver.
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    After I finished the hatch, some of my parts came in. I removed the red anodizing and polished the venom parts. After these pics I trimmed the battery trays, took 1/8 off each side. So I can get the batts as low as possible and so I could carry bigger packs. Here's the mock up of the final layout. I epoxied in the motor mounts and servo tonight.
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    Oh yeah I also added sponson water pickups, that was no fun at all. I've got some touch up paint work to do at the end of the build.
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    I was going to pickup some 45mm 1.8 pitch 3 blade props for my Leopard 2860 2190kv motors, before I got my ARC 3665 2080kv motors. I just checked the speed calculator and it says the boat should reach 94mph on 6s with the ARCs!! Is that right and how accurate is it?!

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    Looking good....The lights are a cool touch. 6s is a pretty hot setup for those motors in the EKOS. I think your pushing the limits of the T-120 ESC's also. That boat would rock on 5s with x442's IMO.
    "There's nothing else I really want to do other than get up and build boats." - Mike Fiore

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocstar22 View Post
    Looking good....The lights are a cool touch. 6s is a pretty hot setup for those motors in the EKOS. I think your pushing the limits of the T-120 ESC's also. That boat would rock on 5s with x442's IMO.
    Thanks about the lights. Last season my Leopard 2860mm 2190kv motors handled 6s no problem. I thought by going down in the kv these motors would have handled 6s even better? I never had heat problems with the smaller motors, do you think these motors will pull very high amps?

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    The motors should be fine, it's the ESCs. If set up correctly 5s could put you in the 60mph range, I would run 6s for SAW only and keep the props reasonable as I think you'll be over the ESC current limits and any extended runs could let the smoke out.
    "There's nothing else I really want to do other than get up and build boats." - Mike Fiore

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    I might have to save my lunch money and step up the esc's to 200 amp swordy's lol or maybe a pair of Navy Race 150 Optos
    Last edited by Livewire121; 02-26-2013 at 01:13 PM.

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    Well another order came in and I was able to finish the final layout. I still need to complete the wiring, battery positions, rudder/servo setup, touch up paint work, and flotation. I'm still not sure what I'm going to use for flotation though? Either 2 part close cell expanding foam or pool noodles....any suggestions?? 2013-03-02 14.07.11.jpg2013-03-02 14.06.40.jpg2013-03-02 14.04.23.jpg2013-03-02 14.04.06.jpg2013-03-01 19.38.00.jpg

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    use pool noodles they can be easily removed and dried out and or replaced.

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    Looks good man. I would used noodles also and if you have an old life jacket, the layered foam inside works well too.
    "There's nothing else I really want to do other than get up and build boats." - Mike Fiore

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    I still have the original foam that came with the boat.

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    Tks....I can't wait to get her out in the water! Joel I had made some cap banks for the t-120's, hope it helps with smooth out the high voltage demands from these motors?! The caps are low esr 50v 1000uf, 4000uf per esc.
    Last edited by Livewire121; 03-03-2013 at 01:45 AM.

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    I see that Atomic (Venom) are releasing another 34" cat. Oh wait that isn't a new boat, it's just a rebadged EKOS. Same motors, same esc's, same problems. I guess they don't mind missing a chance to improve their models!! And the kick in the pants is, it has no real world licensing fees like they had with the King Of Shaves. You would think there would be a price drop, but know it's listed $30 more then the EKOS!! I had to up grade this thing right out of the box just so I could run with my friends proboats, aquacrafts, and spartans. IMO this is there chance to make this a more competitive rtr....just my two cents!

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