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Engel Submarines

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Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Sat May 26, 2012 9:33 pm

Allow me to introduce myself
I have just joined the SubCommittee message board :D , and I'm a typical newbie. I've just finished a Sheerline Trafalgar and now I'm looking for a new project. I've chosen to buy an Engel sub since I've heard about it's high quality and reliability :) . But now I'm stuck in a deep hole since I can't decide which sub to get :x . My choices are; 212A, VIIC, IXD2, Gato, Lafayette, Akula, Typhoon, and the 206. I'm just dismissed the Nautilus as a project as it is not suitable for my needs (which is filming the bottom of a lake). I do think that I should go with the 'modern' Engel subs, the ones that have a tech-rack, etc. These subs are; 212A, VIIC, Lafayette, and the Typhoon. I've done some research, surfing the web for info on some of these subs. What I turned up is that the older Engel subs like the 206 and the Akula are a real pain-in-the-butt to service, since they use a out-dated sealing method that allows for very limited access. Though the Typhoon uses that same 'out-dated sealing method', it is still a viable option to me.

I'm open to any of the subs I mentioned above.

What do you think?

Alexander The Great

P.S. There will be another topic about the Engel TAE/TMAX switch units and wether to have one or two piston tanks
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby JWLaRue » Sat May 26, 2012 10:11 pm

Alex,

Built correctly, any of the Engel sub kits results in a fine r/c sub. It sounds like you are not concerned (or minimally concerned) with the specific era or type of model? If you are principally looking for a "camera boat", then it may make good sense to select one that gives you the best camera platform.

Regarding the various Engel piston electronics, my preference and recommendation is the UNIpro ballast tank switch. I like to be able to have control over the full range of the piston.

You also asked a bout one piston or two. It is very much advantageous to have two pistons as this will allow the boat to remain on an even keel as the ballast system takes on water. A single piston will cause the trim to change (bow up/down) depending on how much is in the piston.

-hope this helps,

Jeff
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Sat May 26, 2012 11:40 pm

Thanks, Jeff

I never knew much about the UNIpro BTS since I, well never read about it. It now makes sense to use the UNIpro switch rather than any other system because I can control to entire volume of the piston. Now that beings up one question. Is UNIpro better than TMAX? I think so. Now that I think of it, other systems like the TAE system don't seem much good anymore (Of course, there's nothing wrong about them). But does the UNIpro have the ability to be upgraded with a Static Depth Controller? Because I plan on installing a Static Depth Controller and a Pitch and Depth controller, too. Also, it looks like it was designed for a single piston tank. Not good with two tanks.

Anyways, I was thinking about a WWII sub, since my lake has huge waves sometimes, it make my Trafalgar roll around very much. A sub that is designed mostly for cruising on the surface is most likely to be able to withstand waves. By the way, how prone are the fittings on the decks of WWII subs being torn away? My lake has sooooooooooo much junk down on it's bottom.

When I pulled up my boat anchor, it came with 5 pounds of seaweed and another 3 pounds of mud and other unexplained stuff.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Sub culture » Sun May 27, 2012 11:18 am

Out of the subjects you've listed, I'd say the Lafayette is the best of the bunch. It's extra size over the little 212 makes it a better candidate for carrying cameras for underwater filming.

Having said all that, if i wanted to film the bottom of the lake I think you'd be better off with an ROV style model, which you could build yourself using PVC pipe fittings and bilge pumps for thrusters.

Boats like the Type VII work much better on the surface than modern shaped vessels as they were designed to spend the majority of their time there. As boats evolved to spend more time submerged, the shape changed to a more optimised form for underwater. Boats based on spindle shaped hulls are much nicer and easier to handle underwater.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Wheelerdealer » Sun May 27, 2012 6:13 pm

Uni pro for single tanks subs, TMAX for twin piston tank subs. Static dept control is waste really, never seen it work well and not terribly practical - just park your boat on the surface or on the bottom if you need a break.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby JWLaRue » Sun May 27, 2012 11:37 pm

I find the TMAX to be overly complex these days assuming the use of two UNIpros and a computer radio (quite common) to mix the two channels...one for each of the UNIpros. I just don't like the (from memory) 0% - 85% and with the only fine control over that last 15%.

Go with a pair of UNIpros and use simple mixing to make them work in concert, using individual control over each UNIpro for minor fore-aft trim changes.

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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Mon May 28, 2012 12:23 am

You know, that's what I was thinking 8) .

By the way, I agree that TMAX is overly-complex with the need for 3 channels, the lack of proportional control over the entire volume of each tank. Sounds like I need to do some expensive and costly re-working of the ballast tank control panel :twisted: .

Anyway, what about TAE? I heard that it also monitors the condition of the receiver battery, something I would die to have :lol: . The UNI BTS switch (not the UNIpro) also has this too, but it's meant for single tanks.

I think that the SBTS switch (similar to TMAX, just used for a single tank) is also redundant, just like TMAX.

I wish that Engel would create a product that is just like a UNIpro, but is used for twin piston tanks.

Also, I think that a single tank is very bad for a camera sub. The fact that it upsets the levelness of the boat when diving/surfacing is unbearable. For a single tank type TA or XP, it's even worse. When the piston is at 85%-100%, it holds the boat at a unlevel angle. The only way to solve this is to move forward and let the pitch controller do the work. Then again, I can't always be moving when I'm trying to take a shot. The same thing applies to the UNIpro when used for a single tank.

This pretty much omits the Lafayette, and the 212A. I really need to consider this as the Lafayette and 212A are one of the most modern boats currently made by Engel, and are also the cheapest.

Yet I still need more evidence to start eliminating subs. I think I'm in for a biggie, since my local lake has huge waves, enough to make even a large canoe look like it's being played by god.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Sub culture » Mon May 28, 2012 6:56 am

FWIW, I've seen a few single tank equipped boats, and in my view the issue of trim change when flooding is extremely minor, to the extent you really don't notice it in practice.

It's possible to modify a TMAX to give greater than 15% proportional control of volume. The limitation is mechanical, in that Engel use a small slider pot for feedback. Use a longer pot, or a rotary pot on lever, and you can get more control should you require it.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Wheelerdealer » Mon May 28, 2012 2:11 pm

On my TMax equipped Engel Typhoon, I find the final 15% for trim more than enough to keep trim. I only use it in 2 channel mode as the for aft trim on the Typhoon makes next to no difference due to the positioning on the tanks. My Trafalgar is fitted with 2 600ml piston tanks positioned to make maximum use of for/aft trim and this work well with Tmax.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Mon May 28, 2012 3:08 pm

Okay, now I know something :lol: .
Now I'm more concerned about the way things are placed in the sub :shock: . I would like to have a Tech-Rack, since everything would have a place to go, and that wires can be in neat, organized bundles that are not in the way so you can locate a wire easily. I don't want a spaghetti factory of wires in my boat :lol: , as something like the spindle of the piston may catch on to them and pull them out of the socket, punch straight through, etc, and cause a short-circuit, malfunction, etc. Plus, the bars on the tech-rack helps the WTC from bending, deforming, etc.

The subs that have a tech-rack are; 212A, Typhoon, VIIC, and Lafayette. I've dismissed every other sub since it doesn't have a tech-rack.

I'm probably going to go with ether the Lafayette or the 212A. The Typhoon and VIIC are just too big for my tub and require a radio that I do not know where to get and how to get. Besides, it has to be in 75 MHz. Chances are that the radio needed for the operation of the Typhoon and VIIC is in 40 MHz or any other frequency that is not permitted by the FCC.

Now it just got harder :roll:

Thoughts, please
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Sub culture » Mon May 28, 2012 3:26 pm

They both build into excellent models that work really well. The 212 is a lot smaller, and more nimble, and quite a bit cheaper. It has a resin bayonet lock and is moulded in PU resin rather than the epoxy laminate and aluminium bayonet ring of the Lafayette.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Wheelerdealer » Mon May 28, 2012 6:21 pm

Yes I would go with the Laffaytte oe 212. Both perform really well.
The Futaba FF9 is a good radio to get, chances are the once you will find are in 72mhz but you get a plug in module to change it to 75Mhz. Its a 9 channel set that will cope with the Tmax system just fine, as it has 2 rotaory knobs and switches. I would look to get this radio even if you were going for a more basic sub. Ebay will be best bet.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Tue May 29, 2012 6:03 pm

Wheelerdealer,
I looked at the radio you mentioned, and for all I can say, I'm hooked :D .
Okay, back to the Lafayette/212A.
I made the decision :D that the piston tank type should be type EA, or XP, as TA may not get to boat into neutral buoyancy as water quality/ density, and temperature change all the time, Also I'm not so keen about re-trimming the boat every time I want to have a little fun at the lake.
I was thinking about system type XP, however it would only work in the Lafayette as the 212A's CTS board (EA) probably does not have the ability to be upgraded to system XP. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I do think that the Lafayette is perfect for my purposes as it has a large, flat, surface just behind the sail (fin, or conning tower) that is perfect for my camera :mrgreen: . Do note that I will be buying several cameras, in which their size and weight vary, accordingly.

I am sick of spending hours on the computer trying to find a suitable radio system. I have found some, and I am worried about the connectors not being able to plug into the receiver socket :cry: .

My next post will contain a pros and cons list of both the Lafayette and the 212A.

So, which one is better for me, the Lafayette, or the 212?
-Alexander The Great
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Wheelerdealer » Wed May 30, 2012 1:53 pm

If you want to mount a camera go for the Lafayette. I have both and 212 wont carry the popular Oregon Scientific camera.
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Re: Engel Submarines

Postby Alexander The Great » Wed May 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Wheelerdealer,

All right, I think we have a winner! Finally! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Many thanks to all who have contacted me. I will start immediately!

Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the next several weeks :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: . Hopefully I can finish the Lafayette by then.

Now if only I had a good camera... :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Alexander The Great

P.S. In the next several weeks or months, I will post another topic about another Engel sub... I am really attracted to them!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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