Mk1 Images
Mk2 Images
Mk 3
Email me
R/C Universe forum comments / advice welcome!

New motors!

I now have a new pair of brushless motors, Overlander Tornado Thumper 3536/05, two 30A ESC units and a pair of 55000mAh Lithium-ion Ploymer batteries

And an onboard Arduino computer to act mainly as a stabiliy aid.

The Arduino

The arduino is a Micro Arduinoand will run a script I have put together.


Trying to keep 2.5Kg of boat upright on foils which are in effect directly under the keel is very difficult and a very smilar proble as trying to keep a bike upright, without a rider!

There are many self balancing robots on the web the use an Arduino to keep them upright, but they usually are on two wheels side by side or similar, but there are only a few attempts to keep a bycycle type machine upright, and only one that made it work without adding a gyro wheel (heavy spinning wheel).

The Arduino is connected to a gyro board, it will detect the boats attitude in the water, if it starts to fall to the left, it will turn the steering left to put the foils back under the boat to keep it upright, this is the same principle as used when riding a bike.

Steering whilst flying on the foils.

In order to steer the boat left, I will not turn the steering, but 'kid' the gyro that the boat is leaning to the left by telling the gyro that level is actually a few degrees off to the left.
The arduino will then turn the boat left and try to keep the boat level with the new 'what it thinks is level', this will make the boat constantly lean to the left by the few degrees I set and the boat will turn to the left until I correct the gyro back to 'real' level.

Well that is the theory!

Steeing at slow speed.

Whilst the boat is moving too slow to rise onto the foils, it is a pig to steer as there is no rear rudder, original attempts to add a rudder to the front foil support just made the boat roll over!

So the steering will be handled by the motors, the Arduino will speed up the outer motor and slow down the inner motor. This will also happen when it is on its foils, but will take some tuning to get it to work.

Other jobs handled by the Arduino

The Arduino will do the following jobs :-

I am just trying to get some new flexible drive shafts as I did not clean them properly after the last trip out and it has damaged them. But I hope to get the boat back in the water soon to see if the arduino system works, or not!