I like boats. I make my own RC Depron cut airboat almost every year. It’s a nice weekend project: simple to build, simple to operate. Even children can have fun with airboats. They are safe enough and simple to run.
This year’s airboat is a slightly more advanced model than most RC airboats out there: it has two motors with a differential thrust, FPV camera, and transmitter, flight controller, GPS and runs INAV. Yeap… it can not do RTH yet, but at least shows distance and direction to home. And this is always something!
Next week passed and Depron Airboat is almost ready. Almost, since it still needs some finishing and I’m missing a BEC. Turned out that total power usage of one 9g servo and FrSky X4R receiver is slightly too high to just use single LM7805. 350mA during servo movement means more that 2W of heat ((12-5) * 0.35) over single LM7805. Too much, so I will have to scavenge old models for still functional step-down converter.
One of my first DIY RC projects was a Depron Airboat I’ve build almost exactly 2 years ago. 12x6x2 inch hull, motor, servo, rudder and ESC. And honestly, I loved it. It was a great fun playing with it. Too bad, it did not survived very long. It broke in a middle of a lake and I decided my live is worth more. All I have left is a video
This season I started to build another Depron airboat. Slightly bigger, heavier and with more power. And partially 3D printed. Hull will be made from Depron, but propulsion and steering system will be (is) printable.
After few hours of printing time, propulsion and steering is done. What is left is to make a hull. 18x8x2 inches made from 6mm Depron. I might cover bottom with glass fiber and impregnate with polyurethane wood glue diluted with alcohol.
New thing will be a reversible ESC. I’ve already configured and tested FVT Littlebee 20A to act as reversible ESC and it seem to be working like expected. I only wonder how effective rudder will be when on reverse. Not much I effective probably…
And yes, STL files will be available when this is proven to be working. Everything for the community 🙂
It’s not a secret, that me, and QuadMeUp, are not only about quadcopters. From time to time I like to do something completely different.
When I was a child (10-12 or something like that) I loved to build boats. Simple crude design: styrofoam or bark, simple sail or DC motor and tinwire propeller. No RC link. Just let it sail in “somewhere there”.
When I got a 3D printer and learned that servos can be converted to continuous rotation simply by replacing potentiometer with a pair of resistors, the idea to build paddle wheel boat powered by servos was almost obvious.
So, here it is!
Hull can be 3D printed, STL files are available on Thingiverse
Wheels are powered by 2 TowerPro 9g servos converted to continuous rotation
RC link by cheapest FrSky compatible D8 receiver
2S LiPo gives enough “juice” and with power usage of about 300mA it can sail for hours
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