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Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

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Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby flying jeep » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:19 am

I guess the title pretty much says it all. Is the leveler simular to the gyro on a heli? I've flown helis and understand why they have a gyro, but a sub is so much slower why do you need one? A depth controler seems like a good idea if you ever lost control or sight of your boat, but how do they work? A pressure switch to a servo? When I was recertifying aircraft life jackets I always thought the co2 cylinder and valve would be perfect as a emergency blow bottle.
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Re: Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby Sub culture » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:03 am

You can run without a leveller, but it's very difficult to maintain good control when near the surface. The faster the boat goes, the more difficul this becomes.

Keeping a submarine at periscope depth for any distance without a leveller is like flying an aeroplane 3" off the ground, with one eye shut. Some pilots might manage it, but it's awfully hard.

At very low speeds, static forces help keep your boat nice and level, once you get past a snails speed, without a leveller the boat will begin to porpoise.

Levellers work on a pendulum principle. Up until about ten years ago, this pendulum was either mechanical or fluid based. However progress means we can now use accelerometer chips. These use various methods, the most rugged of which is sensing a bubble of hot air inside the chip e.g. like a spirit level.

Levellers used to be quite bulky and expensive. Now they're tiny and cheap- not fitting one is a no brainer unless you're really cash strapped.

Depth controllers are a nice luxury. But I would say that 99% of model submariners I've met run without one. They use a pressure sensor (usually piezo based), which acts as a wheatstone bridge, and that feeds into a microcontroller which in turn controls the hydrovane servo (often the forward vanes, but you can hook them up to the rear vanes). These sensors are a lot more expensive than accelerometer chips, which is why depth controllers tend to be that bit more expensive.

Andy
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Re: Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby flying jeep » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:57 pm

Hmm. If it keeps the boat level how do you dive? From what I've read in my sub tech book it's the down angle on boat that helps push it under water. So if you move the forward planes to dive, and it tried to counter act to remain level, how does it work? As you can see by my number of posts I'm super new to this...
Jay
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Re: Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby Sub culture » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:20 pm

You push the stick forward. The electronics will aim to keep the boat level with the stick centred.

Some levellers retain some control of the boat until extreme manual control takes place (e.g. greater than 80% stick movement) others will override immediately.

Depending what you prefer dictates which leveller you go for (there are several on the market now).
'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: Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby flying jeep » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:47 pm

Ok, so once it senses middle stick it will do its best to maintain level "flight". That is very nice. I wish I had that on every maiden flight of my fixed wing stuff.
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Re: Sub leveler and depth controler, who needs them?

Postby Sub culture » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:17 am

You got it.

Subs are just like aeroplanes, but in a denser fluid with the added characterisitics of derigibles (static divers) and rockets.

Levellers have sensitivity and in some cases speed settings, as the reponse of boats differs depending on size, weight, hull design etc.

It's all good fun.

Andy
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