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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Hobby Engine 'Richardson' Tug Upgrade
>> Permalink
Hobby Engine 'Richardson' Tug Upgrade Print Booklet
Author: NPJ   Posts: 4   Photos: 28   Subscribers: 3   Views: 438   Responses: 43   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)
Layout and Limitations (con) - Posted: 16th Oct 2017
I pressed something I should not have here are the extra images. Follows on from the 'Silicon Treatment'......



Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by NPJ on the 18th Oct 2017
These are what I have available.

I was going to kept the Futaba for the Yacht, but I believe they are both 6 channel.

What do you think?

Response by RNinMunich on the 18th Oct 2017
I agree Neil😉 The Turnigy is a good set and the RX nice and compact and light.
Cheers Doug 😎
Response by NPJ on the 18th Oct 2017
OK thats it then.

Now need to read up on the Turnigy settings.

All the best.

Layout and Limitations - Posted: 16th Oct 2017
Layout and Limitations

Although I am really quite desperate to get on and put a few bits in, it did strike me that before I mess the current systems up on the Tug, maybe I should find out how they work.

So although I am leaving the Bridge/Wheelhouse until after the Hull layout is resolved, I need to check out what connections are made to what before I detach it from the Hull.

So having a look in you see a busy circuit board and a plastic bottle! Pic 12 -16

What is needed is to determine which leads activate which features before I start chopping leads to separate Hull from Bridge.

To this end I attached the standard battery and fired up the Tranny. I reconnected the leads that I had unplugged and switched the boat switch to on. Pic 17/18

Action of motors, lights in three sets and ‘smoker’ cables were identified, but I have not found the ‘horn’ yet.
So that established what leads went to what and also raised the question for the future ‘what can be used later’.

I noted that some cabling groups and routes from Hull to Bridge where given the ‘silicon treatment’ which I intend to reinstate before replacing the Deck.

Having established how the setup works and what can possibly be retained, I removed the ‘standard’ battery, unplugged it all again and loaded potential ‘extras’ into the Hull to see how it would sit in the water.

Now I can separate the Hull from the Bridge completely which enables me to have a good look at potential layout and consider weight and its distribution. I did in the early days mark the waterline as it was with standard equipment and also the CoG point fore/aft, for later comparisons. Forgot about Lateral but I assume centre line.......................

Maybe pointless, but I made a drawing of the Hull and also laid out some of the components that may be used in the Hull itself. Pics 14/15.

Currently the weight of these ‘extras’ amounts to 562 grams 19.8 ozs, from which must be deducted the ‘standard’ battery weight 104 grams 3.6 ozs, when considering real differences, so 458 grams, 16.2 ozs and still below waterline

So I now have all these bits, the boat in three pieces and I am considering putting up a banner in the garage which would read... All the gear and no idea!

Next move will be trial runs on the new motor control set up and checking out the sound system using the Transducers.


Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by jarvo on the 17th Oct 2017
If you are keeping the smoker, follow the leads into the circuit board and mark them same with the lighting.
Cut close to the board and the same with the plug leads from the hull. Join them together (solder is best with heat shrink) that way you retain the plug and play to the superstructure. Also by removing the radio board a little of the top weight is removed.
Removing The Deck - Posted: 11th Oct 2017
Should have said before, note when removing these screws, they are not all the same size so keep separate.

Although they appear to stay in the deck, they do eventually fall out so, with them being so small, I removed them at the start by poking a small screw driver up the holes.

Also when lifting the deck, it is attached to the bulwarks and requires very gentle separating if you are not to mark the hull. I used an old thin kitchen knife to apply some leverage at various points.

You will find something like Vaseline, or light grease all, around the joint. I make note to replace this when rebuilding.

First things I noticed, no receiver visible and only one ‘tray’, that being forward. Looks like a lot of space for ‘extras’. I removed the tray so far as I could without removing any of the wiring.Pics 8/9.

I assume receiver and smoker is in the Wheelhouse/bridge and will need to check the wiring setup before going much further there. But that can wait until further down the line. Pic 10

What can been seen well now are possibilities for the layout of new components that may end up in the hull. I am thinking larger battery, sound generator, escape/mixer etc.

What can been seen well now are possibilities for the layout of new components that may end up in the hull. I am thinking larger battery, sound generator, escape/mixer etc. Pic 11.
At this point I need to start considering weight, CoG, balance when planning a layout.

Am I in too deep already!

I did place the tug, with all its standard bits, in the bath before I started and marked the water line for a comparison!

Next time I hope to be looking at 'lay-out' in the hull and sizing up the space some of the hoped for extras would need.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by NPJ on the 12th Oct 2017
Understood you two (maybe three!) but you should remember that I am an only child, spoilt brat, therefore waiting is never the first or second option.....................

I can live with not having smoke (sad) but I must have something else so probably radar rotating!

I can understand not charging Lipo's in situ, but thought NiMh were so much safer? If not, that could be a way of reducing weight as has been suggested.

Good news is that exciters have arrived ( incredible service) and they actually measure 2" or 50mm. Now there is progress.

There is one space one rib back from the front of the motors that would not require surgery. Maybe not good from noise pick up but could be worth a try.


Response by Dave M on the 12th Oct 2017
Only way to see if it works is to make a test rig and hold the exciter in place to see what it sounds like. Don't use the glue pads for now just hold in place with light pressure.
Radar should be ok weight wise.
All batteries should not be charged in a model, ever! They all contain chemicals and if a fault develops or they leak explosive gases the last place they should be is in an enclosed environment.
There are high power NiMhs that may be suitable as they can be had in different formations. Component Shop will make up a pack to your specs.

If you rush the only thing being spoiled will be the boat!
Response by NPJ on the 12th Oct 2017
Thank you Dave.

I will follow the advice re charging.

Hope this week-end to do some trial fitting and some drawing out of possible layouts.

I am away in a weeks time for ten days, so hope to progress before then.

Will post it.

However I will try and curb my impatience .................!

All the best.

Hobby Engine 'Richardson' Tug Upgrade - Posted: 7th Oct 2017
This is the beginning of a ‘diary’ of events. It involves a small Tug, the Hobby Engine Richardson and my attempts to improve its performance.
This is my first attempt at such a project and would not have been possible without the assistance of certain members of this site.

For those not familiar with this model here are the basic details......... Pic1&2

At 1/32 scale ( 1 metre = 31.25mm; 1 inch = 2 feet 8 inches), it has a Length of 54cm (21.25 inches) beam 17cm (6.75inches) height to radio aerial top 37cm (14.5inches) and weight at 1924grams (4.5 lbs) with standard battery and fittings.
It comes with 2.4 digital radio, 7.2v 800mAh rechargeable battery and charger.

Features include:- Twin 280 motors, functioning internal lights, external lights, smoke and horn.

So some (such as Rallyst) have quite rightly said “Why change it”? My answer is that I can never ‘leave well alone’ , that I found the transmitter controls rather ‘rough’, the battery life too short, the horn sound very weak and the smoke almost non existent. Plus the fact that it has been reported elsewhere that the steering when going astern was very hit and miss.
So I started to take it apart! Pic3

It is easy to remove the Wheelhouse by sliding the dark grey locker at the front of the wheelhouse/bridge and the stairway.
Once the unit is released, the white electrics connector underneath can be difficult and needs very gentle prising with a small screw driver. The other two plugs come easily.

This is where members ‘Jarvo’ and ‘RNinMunich’ came to my aid.............

However, some of the screws are obvious but others have been well hidden. They are to be found under some of the fittings on the deck. Pic4,5,6,7.

The next move will be to remove the deck, but that is for next week.

What am I hoping to achieve.....well from zero knowledge I would like to have engine sound connected to the throttle control, good horn sound, better control of steering when going astern and a six channel receiver with new transmitter that feels good to use!

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 19th Oct 2017
Hi Neil, you can't 'take up' anything from the original board as the receiving and decoding is all done in that large IC, which you are going to replace with the new RX. So you will need switch boards plugged into the new receiver.
Response by NPJ on the 19th Oct 2017
Having to clear up before going away for a while. Table top to clear and case to pack.

I have tried to load a small video, my first one, but this is my fourth try at uploading.

I would show that, thanks to the help of so many of you, I have made a trial setup of the sound unit in the Hull using the exciters. Had to have a go before I left (spoilt Brat).

It works! Happy with volume, even with decking off but volume control only half advanced and can function horn separate to engine sounds.

Dave M and Doug to name a couple have really helped me through to this point.

When I return, I will install properly and take images as this video does not seem to want to play with me.

Next challenge...the Esc/Mixer

Cheers to all.

Response by RNinMunich on the 19th Oct 2017
Good news 👍 Well played Sir 😉
BTW: you can't upload video directly to the site. You have to go via You-tube, which means creating an account if you don't already have one.
Have a good break, cheers Doug 😎