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RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

R/C Submarine modelers

RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JohnPhilley » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:47 pm

I'm very new to the world of RC. Not sure where to start. Do people usually buy pre-made receivers or build their own?
If I buy a ready-made receiver, can you modify it? For example, what if I want a stronger motor?
And what about the size/power of the battery? Does that limit/determine future choices?
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby salmon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:08 am

Welcome! Take a look here, http://www.subcommittee.com/sub101.html
This has basic information. To answer some of your questions, Receivers are pre-built and yes to everything else. Go over the site then see if you have questions.
Peace,
Tom
If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby Sub culture » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:18 pm

If you're new to R/C, I recommend you start with a model other than a submarine. Perhaps have a go at building a simple R/C boat. The cost is very much lower, and the build very much simpler and quicker. If you want to keep the sub theme, you could build a sub as a surface runner only, older boats e.g. those built around WWII make better surface runners than more modern designs which are optimised for submerged running.

I started out with boats, dabbled in cars, then went back to boats because the cost of remaining competitive with cars was beyond affordability for me at the time. By the time I got into subs, I was already very confident with R/C equipment, batteries and motors, but still found much to learn.

Had I gone in stone cold, I think I would have been totally overwhelmed.
'Why are you staring at an empty pond?'

Want to dive your boat in crystal clear water? Then you had better Dive-in- http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JWLaRue » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:07 pm

Sub culture wrote:If you're new to R/C, I recommend you start with a model other than a submarine. Perhaps have a go at building a simple R/C boat.

I would prefer to suggest a more nuanced approach to answering this kind of question. So let me ask some questions...
    Are you looking to start off by building a r/c sub or buy something that is ready-to-run?
    Roughly where are you located?
    Are there any folks near you that do r/c boats (or subs)?
    How handy are you, in general, with model building?
    What are your immediate goals for building your first r/c sub?
    Finally, have you had a chance to follow Tom's (salmon) advice and checked out our 'sub school' articles?

Bottom line - there are loads of folks here willing to help you.

-Jeff
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JohnPhilley » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:44 pm

Thank you Salmon, I will study that page.


I'm working on the 31" Brodeen Nautilus and I'd like to add R/C to it.

I'm located near Boston.
I don't know of anyone else who works on R/C boats.

How handy am I at model building? I don't really know. I'm learning. I can use all the help I can get. But I have surprised myself with some of the things I have accomplished so far.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby salmon » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:10 am

JohnPhilley,
That is a beautiful sub. One that not only looks good sitting on a shelf, but draws a lot of oohs and aaws from spectators in the water. Another great source here for members is the SubCommittee Report archives. There are tons of articles that will apply to your build and help you get running. Of course ask questions here, you got a great bunch of guys willing to help at your finger tips.
Remember crawl, walk, run. Do not get fancy on your first sub. I was taught that and it helped. There are a ton of frustrations in rc'ing a sub, but there is not a better enjoyment either. So, focus on getting the sub in the water and you can add fancy later. Again welcome and look forward to hear more about your progress.
Peace,
Tom
If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JWLaRue » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:50 pm

JohnPhilley wrote:I'm located near Boston.

John,

Send a PM to TonyG. He's one of the SubRon4 folks in your general area and they hold monthly meetings all year long. They can give you some hands-on pointers, advice. and help.

-Jeff
Last edited by JWLaRue on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed my boo-boo to correctly read "SubRon4"!
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby wlambing » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:18 pm

Jeff,

That's the second time you've called us SubRon 6. We are 4!!!!!!!!!!! Want Tony to come visit ya???

B^)
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby Ralph --- SSBN 598 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:58 pm

Welcome.

Submarines can be simple enough to be controlled with 2 channel as a surface runners.
(Motor and Rudder)

Then you can get more involved with 4 channels and have a diving model.
(Motor, Rudder, dive plans and ballast system. )

Then there's the sky. Add any of several ballast systems, lights, torpedoes, rotation guns, and so on.
==============
Is one harder to build than another. Not really. If you can build a simple boat you can with patients build a more complex boat. The difference is attention to detail and time involved to complete.

Remember to pick a section and work on it as far as you can. Then move to another section. You will arrive a point where all the sections will start being put together.

If you look at the whole project as one job, it will be overwhelming and most likely never be finished.

If you fine that you have reached a problem you don't know how to precede, ask questions. Some of the worlds best builders are here and they for the most part will offer suggestion on how to procede on your particular problem.

And remember, there is usually more than one right way to tackle a problem and work well.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JWLaRue » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:12 pm

wlambing wrote:That's the second time you've called us SubRon 6. We are 4!!!!!!!!!!! Want Tony to come visit ya???

Oh, crap! I don't want Big Tony coming after me! :shock:

That should teach me to stop reading the forum while in a business meeting….but probably won't. :mrgreen:

-Jeff
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby salmon » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:30 am

JohnPhilly,
We have a member who knows his Nautilus, check out Bob's site:http://www.rc-sub.com/projects/viewproject.php5?id=29
Peace,
Tom
If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JohnPhilley » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:42 pm

Thanks very much for the encouragement and support!
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:48 pm

I'm located near Boston.


Where near Boston? I'm out northwest in Ayer, Ma.
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JohnPhilley » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:11 am

I've got my Nautilus to the point where it's time to start adding the RC components, but I don't know how to choose them.
Does selecting the battery determine or narrow down your choices of what servos and motors etc. you can choose from?
If so, that would seem like the first and most important thing to decide on. I'm guessing that if I buy a 9 volt battery, that would limit my other component choices to those that operate on 9 volts as opposed to 12 volts. Is that correct?

I've looked at several RC web stores and there seem to be lots of choices, but how to put them together into one system is a mystery to me.

I know I can walk into a store and buy an 8 channel radio. But then what? The radio is supposed to come with a matching receiver, right? If so, do the components (motor, servos, etc) just plug into that?

How much electrical engineering is involved at this point or is it more plug and play?
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Re: RC Sub Beginner: Where do I begin?

Postby JWLaRue » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:51 am

JohnPhilley wrote:I've got my Nautilus to the point where it's time to start adding the RC components, but I don't know how to choose them.
I'll assume that you've had a chance to read through the SubSchool pages found on the main SC web page...and we'll go from there.
JohnPhilley wrote:Does selecting the battery determine or narrow down your choices of what servos and motors etc. you can choose from?
The primary decision criteria for selecting a battery voltage is the main drive motor for the sub. If your motor is a 6-volt motor, then a 6-volt battery works. Using a 12-volt battery may damage the motor. If it's a 12-volt motor, then you'd want 12-volts (or something really close to it like a 11.2-volt LiPo).

The other battery criteria is Amp-Hours, which determines how long you can run your sub before the battery goes 'flat.' This is based on how much current your sub draws when running...with the motor being the primary source of battery consumption.

I should note that the choice of ballast system may have an impact on choice of battery size as well.

The radio components (receiver and servos) can be selected independently.

My recommendation is to choose the various components to be used to run the sub, select a battery that supports the power requirements and then run your list of sub parts by one of us. We'll be very glad to help.

JohnPhilley wrote:I know I can walk into a store and buy an 8 channel radio. But then what? The radio is supposed to come with a matching receiver, right? If so, do the components (motor, servos, etc) just plug into that?
Just make sure that you are selecting a radio that works with submarines. In other words...a 2.4GHz will not work. Here in the U.S. we are required to use r/c radios on the 75MHz set of channels. At that point servoes will be plug-n-play. For motors, you'll need to get one or more electronic speed controllers (ECS), which is what will plug into the receiver. The ESC then connects to the motor.

JohnPhilley wrote:How much electrical engineering is involved at this point or is it more plug and play?
This is pretty much plug-n-play.

-does this help?

Jeff
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