Oh my the SubRegatta is approaching fast. Panic sets in.
So I have no illusions that I will be finished the Sierra this summer, but I sure want it sea worthy by regatta time. So I am putting some things on hold to get the basics implemented...
This is what she looks like now:
You can see there is a plexiglass base that runs most of the length of the hull. There will be a lead weight on a lead crew beneath the plexiglass. This is part of the "automatic pitch control".
From the front you can see the platform where the torpedo tube assembly will mount.
This is it with the torpedo assembly in place.
There are a couple of torpedoes sitting on top for size. The aluminum one with the white nose is true to 1/60 scale.
Sitting above the torpedoes will be the retractable front diving planes. They will have to be another post...
Looking from the back of the boat...
You can see the motor running outside in the wet. I'm not even sure what type of motor I have installed right now! But it's dead easy to change.
Next is the rear side thruster pump. There will be front and rear side thrusters. I am planning on being able to toggle the rear thruster. If it pushes the same direction as the front then it will allow the sub to shift sideways. If it goes in the opposite direction then they will turn the sub. What I lack in sub-driving skills I hope to make up for in "maneuverability for dummies"...
The model will run on two 7.2v battery packs. I have them in a small lexan case. Nice and watertight. Small and mounted as low in the hull as I could make it.
You can see the 1/8" brass control rods heading to the front of the boat.
Looking forward of the batteries the next thing is the on board air supply.
That's the base for it. There are four aluminum angles that clip the unit onto the plexiglass that runs the length of the hull. So it's no-tools to clip it in / out.
Right now you can see the two brass regulators. One will control the pressure going to the ballast tank. The other will control pressure to the cylinder that operates the periscopes. The torpedoes are attached to full pressure.
Then there are the clippard valves are used to operate the ballast, and periscopes. There will be four more of them in the front of the hull to operate the torpedo tubes.
Being a cautious type the clippard valve that blows the ballast tank is a "normally open" type. So if something fundamental goes wrong and I loose all power it will open and blow the tank.
The air tanks fit above this hardware.
As you can see they are fuel bottles from a camping store. I have tested them to 120PSI without issue.
Originally they were going to be my only ballast system. They would refill the oversized ballast tank 3 times. Now I have heard about using surface air in a "snort" ballast setup these tanks remain, and will provide air to get back to the surface, and fire torpedoes etc.
Moving further forward:
That's the ballast tank. According to my early testing it's oversized, but that's easy to fix...
You can see the little cylinder on the to used to vent the tank.
The entire tank is mounted on two rails. I am hoping this will make it easy to adjust the static trim.
And in front of the ballast tank...
The WTC. As you can see it's an 8" wide lexan box. Fits neatly in the hull. If happen to drill a hole in the wrong place I can replace it for $15.
I am planning on pulling out the control rods from the front of the box, and all the electrical connections from the back.
In terms of driving the model I am working to the following layout for my transmitter:
(I wonder why I called it reciever? and spelt it worng.)
I am using a Robbe F-14. Channels go like...
1 = Dive planes.
2 = Rudder.
3 = Throttle.
4 = Side thrusters.
5 = Adjust the level of the APC.
6 = Ballast control
On channel 7 there is a 16 function decoder. I use this to control the lights, torpedoes, periscopes, etc.
It all sounded pretty simple when I was thinking about it. When it came time to plan out the electronics it got pretty complex.
Hmm shall have to finish that soon...
Some of the stuff that has to go in the WTC...
I have the WTC split into 3 basic levels. The lowest has the servos for control surfaces. Then as we go up we get more and more electronics.
Sorry about the focus...
You can see the servos that will be on the bottom. They will control the rudder and rear dive planes.
There are two vacuum pumps for the ballast. They come from Caswell. They are great. I'm running 7.2v so I stayed with the smaller pumps. When I tested them I found 1 pump was a little slow. So I put in two.
As the ballast control servo moves it actuates one pump, then the second, then the air from the fuel tanks. This gives me a level of control on the rate I fill the ballast tank. Did I mention I love those little pumps and the concept of using surface air...
If you look into the fuzzy middle of the WTC you can see a servo on it's side. That one is modified for continuous rotation. I shall be chaining it to the lead screw that will control the ballast weight.
Looking from the side...
You can barely make out the APC level control. It is mounted so that a servo can adjust it's angle. This way while on the surface I can angle the hull so the stern points down like it does on the drawings. When it is submerged it can be adjusted to level. At least I hope so.
The APC will control the rear dive planes and the ballast weight (if it is enabled).
Now we can count the weeks to the regatta I am a little worried about the number of things to get done. Ahh the excitement.
It's a great day for R/C sub building.