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Thread: Who wants to build a semi-scale all-wood micro hydro?

  1. #1
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    Default Who wants to build a semi-scale all-wood micro hydro?

    I've been away from the sport for a while, but I never lost my interest in the micros. Because of the way I house my boats when not in use, they don’t suffer much deterioration from long-term storage. I decided to get them up and running with modern radios and batteries recently, and I’ve been quite successful. I finished a couple of partially completed projects (the BBY Micro Hydro and the BBY Micro Scat Cat) and have a couple more “projects” that I may get to sometime in the future.

    I, like most of you, have that constant desire to always be building SOMETHING, and I’ve been wondering what that next something might be. Years ago, I built several of Garry Finlay's 1/16 scale designs. Many of his designs have been up-scaled to 1/13, 1/12, and even 1/10 scale. Garry's hulls always performed flawlessly. They were a hoot to drive, and they were FAST. I always liked his Atlas Van Lines hull; I thought it was the perfect mix of performance and elegance. I have his plans for the 1/16 scale Atlas in a *.pdf format and as an AutoCAD block drawing. I can't use the existing AutoCAD block for laser-cutting because of the way the block is comprised, but with a LOT of work, I could trace it at 1/20 scale with polylines and get it into a suitable format for laser cutting. This would make a 17.4" hull length. Alternatively, I could print his existing *.pdf plans at a reduced size to get an accurate 1/20 scale drawing for scratch-building.

    So here's the thought that has been going through my mind: How many people would be interested in building a 1/20 scale boat from an all-wood kit? If there is sufficient interest, I would produce an AutoCAD drawing based on Garry's reduced plans and modified to the appropriate material sizes and drive geometry, then have a bunch of kits laser cut. Garry will get full credit for the design; I would just be shrinking it to 1/20 scale.

    Yeah, you can get an Aquacraft GP-1 that closely resembles this hull for a hundred bucks (with a radio!!), but it’s just another mass-produced toy. How many people are willing to spend a bit more than that, plus the time and effort to build something that looks a thousand times better and meets SSSH rules (2S and under 18")? I’m guessing several will.

    Santee Sport Scale Hydro rules have changed over the years. It used to be 2S (previously 6 NiMh), with a maximum hull length of 18”. It has to look like a hydroplane, so ‘riggers are out. Lastly, we spec’d out a certain really cheap motor. That motor is no longer available, although there are many on the market that are “close”, so we simply eliminated the motor requirement. Yeah, you can put a pricey, high-tech, high-power motor in there, but you’ll lose runtime, gain weight, and seriously over-power these little hulls. These aren’t SAW boats; they’re tight-circuit oval boats. Put too much power in there and you’ll spend a lot of time upside-down.

    I think the best motors for our 2S setups with these little hulls are the 28mm outrunner helicopter motors in the 3000 to 4000 Kv range. We chose 2S to keep weight and costs down. Helicopter motors often have built-in fan-cooling, thereby eliminating the need for plumbing in an already tight hull, and the outrunners have the torque required to spin a relatively large (32mm max.) prop. Current draw for these little motors is low with our preferred 29mm props, so even a 30-amp controller without any additional cooling works just fine.

    So who’s up for it?

    Here are some links for parts that will work and will be the basis for my driveline revisions:

    Collet Coupler:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/TFL-2-3mm-T...gAAOSw1DtXLaZF

    Shaft:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/RC-375-350m...19.m1438.l2649

    Strut:
    http://offshoreelectrics.com/proddet...prod=ose-80046

    Rudder:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aluminum-Ru...QAAOSwux5YPi74

    Motor: It’s your choice here. See a few examples:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Green-14-8V...cAAOSw9eVXVpHH or https://www.ebay.com/itm/047-KV3600-...UAAOSwaNBUeV8I or https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tarot-450MX...sAAOSw7z1Z7waT
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

  2. #2

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    I would have been interested but the good place to run smaller boats near me is now closed to boats so I now have no good place to run smaller boats which is why I have sole everything except one 1/10th scale.

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    Well, the CAD drawings are nearly complete. All the hard work is done. I need to find a laser-cutter guy that can do the work. I need to know how much kerf to account for, then add retention gaps and it's done. That may have been a lot of CAD work for nothing though, the silence is deafening.
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  4. #4

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    This is my GP-1. It reminded me of the Blue Blaster the first time I saw it. A simple wing and some graphics and there it was. Also the running gear has all been beefed up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by H&YRACING View Post
    This is my GP-1. It reminded me of the Blue Blaster the first time I saw it. A simple wing and some graphics and there it was. Also the running gear has all been beefed up.
    I saw that Tower had the GP-1 for $100.97. I went back a couple of hours later and they were Sold Out - Discontinued. I would have bought one the first the time I saw it, but realized I have enough boats. I do want to build the Atlas though as it will look really cool. Where did you get the graphics for yours?
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Parts layout:
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    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-11-2017 at 12:44 PM.
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    Well. I ordered enough wood to build a prototype. Jeeze, balsa has become expensive.......
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    I'm going to do something different on the drive for this build. I successfully built a 1/32 wire-drive on my BBY Micro Scat Cat, so I'm thinking I will do something similar on this hull with the idea of reducing hydrodynamic drag and making strut adjustments simple and easy. Stay tuned for something I'll bet you've never seen before.
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    Default Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control!

    As I said in an earlier post, I've bought some wood to build a prototype hull and I'll post the build here on this thread. I've ordered some parts from Asia, so it will be a while before they all get here. I made a spreadsheet of the costs, and it looks like anyone here can have a boat on the water for about $250, excluding a receiver, a battery, and finishing materials. That would be with a conventional 0.098" flex cable drive and a plastic prop. I'm going to do a wire drive, but that will require a lathe and a 0.062 reamer to make a new nose piece for the strut. Some of the more clever here could get away with just a drill press to achieve the same result. The aforementioned $250 figure includes a motor, a coupler, a stuffing tube, an ESC, a strut, a rudder, a turn fin, a servo, all the wood, and the laser-cutting.

    That's CHEAP for a quality scale hydroplane. How many here spend more than that on just an ESC for their 12S monsters??
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    I think all the laser guys must be swamped. I sent RFIs to three local laser guys and not one has responded. What's up with that?
    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-13-2017 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Fix Typos
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Well, the closest laser guy finally got back to me. I modified the parts to account for the cutting kerf (0.005" for the ply parts, .0075" for the balsa), added the retention gaps, and sent the files to him. Let's see what he wants to charge me....
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    Well, I got the price to laser-cut all the wood parts. It's not cheap, but I designed in a lot of features such as precise-fitting parts, wing and fin pin locations, lightening holes, a motor mount, and a servo mount, that would be hard to duplicate with simple hand tools. Maybe I can get a break if I make more than one.
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Here's a little update on this project: I have the wood now, I have the massaged AutoCAD files, and I have a price from the laser guy. I'll be dropping off the wood and the files sometime after the dust from the holidays clears. This project will take priority over the nano-hydro in another thread. For this build, I'm thinking the 1977 Blue Blaster. Does anybody have some suggestions for graphics? I've tried Mike McKnight for a different build, but it's been more than month since I sent him cash and all I hear from him (on the rare occasions when I DO hear from him) is "Maybe I'll be able to get to it tomorrow...."
    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-24-2017 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fix Typos
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    So does anyone have a source for graphics other than Mike McKnight? I just filed a PayPal dispute because he doesn't return my emails and it's been about 6 weeks since I sent him cash for a graphics project. I've never done business with him before, but he obviously isn't very interested in my crummy little project.
    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-28-2017 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Fix typos
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

  15. #15

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    There are a lot of graphics people on the various RC dirt oval pages.

  16. #16

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    Jeff Ross may have the graphics for that boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjs View Post
    There are a lot of graphics people on the various RC dirt oval pages.
    Quote Originally Posted by JimClark View Post
    Jeff Ross may have the graphics for that boat.

    Links??


    Well, Mike McKnight finally contacted me and sent the graphics that he had been sitting on for weeks. I doubt he will ever do anything for me again, but that's OK; I'll never send him an order again, so it all works out.
    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-30-2017 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Add Smiley Face
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    While I'm waiting until after the first of the year to start the laser-cutting of the wood bits, I thought I'd share some old hardware ideas that may find a new home in the future. I built a couple of these little gear drives a while back; one with the mounting screws "horizontal" and one with them "vertical". I don't recall what happened to the horizontal one, It may have been sold off in a hull package a decade ago. Anyway, I was digging through some parts and found this one. I thought I'd look around and see if 2825 out-runners were still available in the 5000Kv range. Nope! I tried the horizontal one in my H&M Micro Shovel back in the day and it ran about the same as with the "spec" 2632 3000Kv motors (see last photo).

    One of the reasons I built a gear drive is I was having an issue of torque lifting the left sponson out of the water on a long straightaway. With the prop and all that rotating mass going one direction the effect was pronounced in these little hulls. With the motor spinning one way, and the prop in the other it was reduced considerably.

    I'm not keen on putting it in the Atlas as it will raise the CG a bit more than a direct drive, and I've already selected a power plant for it. It would be best suited for an application where the output shaft needs to be really low in the hull; lower than the radius of the motor. Additionally, it has a 1/8" shaft so a larger selection of couplers are available.
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  19. #19

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    Good stuff here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjs View Post
    Good stuff here!
    Thank you!

    Years ago, I built a scaled-down version of Jay Turner's XS Cat. That was back in the NiCd days. In order to have a low-profile motor, I built a scaled-down version of a Hughey gearbox and ran 2 Speed 300 motors (5000Kv) on eight 800mah (AA sized) cells. The thing was wicked fast and stable in the straights, but because of all those heavy batteries so high up in the tunnel section, any cornering at over 10% power meant a barrel roll for certain. I sold the hull as I recall, but I kept the gear drive. This motor would be a drop in replacement for the Speed 300s and would make a potent 2S power system: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leopard-Hob...EAAOSwjk9ZSeVw

    Hmmmm........ Not ANOTHER new project!
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  21. #21

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    I got into FE right before brushless... Hughey gear drives, RC-Hydros ESCs, Fast Electrics (Australia) neo brushed motors, BBY Oval Masters, etc, etc.

  22. #22
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    I know. You and I joined this site right about the same time. I still have a Graupner Key West with a Hughey gear drive in it. I did convert it to a Lehner basic 5300, but it was still 6 NiCds. I made my own watercooling block for the Schulze ESC, and a CF servo tray and ESC support. In the last photo (dated 1/28/06) you can see my yet unfinished BBY Micro Scat Cat as part of my fleet. There's a thread on it here in the Boat Building Talk forum that I started more than a decade ago and recently updated. I wonder if I did a thread on the KW. I'll have to go back and look.

    Update: I checked and there is no KW build thread here. It might have been on RRR.
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    Last edited by Dr. Jet; 12-31-2017 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Add update
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Hmmm.... I need to have a serious talk with myself about hijacking my own thread....
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Should I give you a warning?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jet View Post
    Hmmm.... I need to have a serious talk with myself about hijacking my own thread....
    "Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.”
    Billy Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimClark View Post
    Should I give you a warning?
    I consider myself severely warned. I will get up from my chair and spank myself five times.
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    Default Atlas Update (About Time...)

    Well, I could not find info on Jeff Ross, but I did find Callie Graphics in New Mexico. See https://callie-graphics.com/ She has been more than accommodating over the holidays, is very responsive to emails, AND... She has the Blue Blaster graphic on file. Furthermore, her rates are about 1/3 of Mike McKnight's for her more complex graphics. I will have both sets of graphics on hand shortly and I will give a quick review on quality versus price.

    I'm looking forward to the Atlas build. I think it will be beyond fun and truly rewarding.

    As I raise my glass of champagne this New Year's Eve, I give a toast to Trent Hare. A true visionary and unsung hero. Thanks for guiding me to be able "Think Small". The big stuff is cool indeed; but it's pricey, it's fast, it's cookie-cutter, it's elitist, it's common. Yeah, it fits NAMBA, APBA, and all those other acronyms, but you don't have any more FUN than do I.

    Let go of the shackles; build a micro and experience the freedom to explore your abilities to be creative. 1/20 scale at 35mph is essentially the same as 1/4 scale at 175mph.
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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    The wood parts are in the laser-cutter guy's hands. They should be done in a week or so.
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

  28. #28

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    Jeff Ross is Monojeff on here.
    Paul "tug Killer" Upton-Taylor, Cat lover.
    FastElectricBoats.co.uk

  29. #29

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    What are the dimensions of this blue blaster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryemartin1958 View Post
    What are the dimensions of this blue blaster?
    Length: 17.4"
    Width: 8.5"
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

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