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Most of the tools, consumables and devices discussed in these instructions are available
through Caswell Inc. http://www.caswellplating.com/models/index.html

For on-line help and useful information about this and other r/c model submarine
products join, http://forum.sub-driver.com/

3.5 SubDriver



GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The SubDriver is intended for use aboard wet-hull type r/c model submarines, operating
in fresh water.

The job of the D&E SubDriver (SD) is to provide propulsion; control surface actuation;
and the means, through the gas type ballast tank, to change the submarines displacement.
All in one removable, easily accessed system. Weve done the hard work for you all
you have to do is outfit the SD with your r/c system, angle keeper, ESC, fail-safe, and
battery and mount the SD into your wet-hull type model submarine. This single motor,
3.5-inch diameter SD is designed for use within intermediate sized wet-hull type r/c
submarines employing a single propeller, and having a length between 40 and 70 inches.

Included with your 3.5 SD is the hardware needed to make up and make watertight the
internal servo pushrods; a propel charging adapter; external and internal electrical cables;
and our unique Kli-Con magnetic linkage couplers, used to make up the SD pushrods to
your model submarines pushrods.

The 3.5 SD arrives to you already leak checked; the ballast system dialed in and tested;
and the propulsion motor installed, its shaft made water tight, and spark suppressed. Its
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now up to you to outfit your SD with the r/c system and other devices needed to make it
operational, and to then mount the system into your model submarine.

Through the use of simple rubber bands and our unique Kli-Con magnetic pushrod
couplers, installation and removal of the SD within your model submarine is an operation
that takes only seconds. The portability of the system permits you to operate multiple
hulls from a single SubDriver.



Typically, the 3.5 SD will be situated on or near the center of the model submarines hull,
with either a sealed lead-acid battery sitting forward of the SD or a battery contained in a
separate water tight cylinder (WTC) occupying that same space. The only mechanical
connections between the SD and the hull are the propeller universal connection, Kli-Con
type magnetic couplers, and a set of power cables that lead forward to the battery. Two
rubber bands act to hold the SD down on saddles you mount within the hull to accept and
index the SD securely in position.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE 3.5 SD
Length 20.5 inches overall
Diameter 3.5 inches
Ballast Tank Capacity 38 ounces
Displacement, Ballast Tank empty 102 ounces
SubDriver Weight, outfitted 52 ounces
Clear Lexan Cylinder material Polycarbonate
Bulkheads and other selected Parts Polyurethane


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WHAT WEVE PROVIDED WITH YOUR 3.5 SD
1. 4, Kli-con magnetic coupler sets
2. Air-Brush propellant can adapter
3. 2, 6-32X3/8 flat-head machine screws
4. 2, 4-40X1/8 stainless set-screws
5. Extra length of on-board bottle flexible hose
6. Comprehensive set of written instructions

WHAT YOULL HAVE TO PROVIDE TO OUTFIT AND MAINTAIN
YOUR 3.5 SD UNIT
1. Can of air-brush propellant
2. R/c system
3. Automatic Pitch Controller
4. Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) with BEC
5. Fail-safe
6. Battery (3Ah capacity minimum), and appropriate charger.
7. Rubber Bands
8. Various hand tools and consumables
9. Low Pressure Blower ballast sub-system (optional)

FUNCTIONAL DISCRIPTION AND ASSEMBLY

Your SubDriver system has three primary sub-systems which provide propulsion through
the single 500 size, 7-volt motor; house and integrate the devices needed to control the
motor, ballast, and control surfaces; and provide the means by which ballast water is
moved in and out of the ballast tank.

The SD cylinder is fabricated from a length of 1/8 thick polycarbonate (Lexan) shatter
resistant, clear, plastic tube. The forward, ballast, and motor bulkheads and associated
items are cast from polyurethane resin. The bulkheads divide the SD into two
compartments: The bulkhead that caps the forward end of the cylinder and an internal
ballast bulkhead define the ballast tank -- this is a soft tank, so described because it is
open to water at the bottom through three holes. Therefore the contents of the ballast tank
are equalized to that of the surrounding environment. The after dry space of the cylinder,
divided by the ballast bulkhead and motor bulkhead, is pressure proof to a depth of 30
feet thats about 25 feet deeper than you need ever operate your model submarine.

In short, your SD performs the three functions needed to operate your r/c submarine:
propulsion, control, and variable ballast.

Heres a detailed look at the 3.5 SubDriver and what you need to do to get it up and
running:

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PROPULSION SUB-SYSTEM
A single 7-volt, 500 size electric motor is mounted against the dry side of the motor
bulkhead with two machine screws that are accessed from the wet (aft) side of the motor
bulkhead. The motor shaft is coupled to an extension shaft that passes through a cup-type
watertight seal set within the center of the ballast bulkhead. The after end of the motor
extension shaft makes up to a small pinion gear that in turn engages the nylon spur gear
of the 3:1 gear reduction unit. The motor has been spark-suppressed and should not
contribute any electrical noise that would interfere with your r/c system, or other on-
board devices ability to operate effectively.

Use the Installed Gear Reduction Unit or go Direct-Drive? The output of
the 3:1 gear is presented as a Dumas type coupler. The coupler in turn makes up to a
Dumas dog-bone universal connector from that union you can either install an
intermediate drive shaft, with a dog-bone universal connector at each end (the after end
engaging a Dumas coupler attached to the forward end of the propeller shaft), or you can
elect to extend the propeller shaft forward, all the way up to the gear reduction unit and
couple to it directly. Whatever option you elect, its up to you to work out the rest of the
running gear.

The installed 3:1 gear reduction unit, mounted on the wet-side of the motor bulkhead,
acts to lower the motor RPMs and raise the torque to the propeller. In most applications
you will want to use the gear reduction unit as is. However, you have the option of
removing the 3:1 gear reduction unit, placing the Dumas universal coupler directly to the
motor extension shaft and connect the models propeller directly to the motor this is
recommended for propellers of a diameter less than 1.25-inch.

Rule of thumb for brushed motors: if the propeller diameter is equal to or less than the
diameter of the motor, its OK to run the propeller direct-drive from the motor without
fear of overheating. The only subjects of the recommend hull lengths in which the 3.5
SubDriver would be suitable and whose propellers are smaller than normal are the British
R-Class and Soviet/Russian KILO these models would benefit from the direct-drive
running gear configuration. Most other scale submarine hulls in the 40-70 inch long range
would require use of the gear reduction unit.

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However, there are further exceptions: The 1/96 OHIO hull kitM comes to mind. This big
hull with its large, slower turning propeller requires an even higher gear ratio. For that
boat I recommend adding another stage of gears. This is done by outputting the installed
SD 3:1 gear reduction unit into another 3:1 gear reduction unit, achieving a 9:1 ratio
between motor and propeller.

Hooking up the Battery and ESC Cables Two 6-32 brass all-thread lugs run
through the left and right side of the SDs motor bulkhead. They perform two jobs: They
pass current from the battery cables into the SD and also serve as foundations to mount
the two equipment support rails to the inboard side of the motor bulkhead. The external
battery-to-SD cables make up to the wet side of the lugs. Inboard, on the dry side of the
motor bulkhead, the ESC battery cables make up to the lugs. These cables are hard-wired
to the battery input leads of the ESC. If a separate BEC is used to power up the receiver
bus, the input leads to the voltage regulator are also made up to the lugs, in parallel with
the ESC-battery cables.

The SD-to-battery cable is long enough to reach the battery terminals the battery
located just forward of the SD, as low as possible in the hull. We dont recommend any
efforts being made to make waterproof the battery terminals fresh water is a poor
conductor and what little corrosion you get at the positive terminal after a days play can
easily by removed with a soft wire brush and a quick shot of WD-40. Same goes for the
exposed positive connector on the wet side of the motor bulkhead. However, if you wish
to make the connections maintenance free, simply coat them with some RTV gasket
making rubber (Permatex blue is the brand I prefer, available through Caswell Inc).

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Pushing a typical r/c model submarine hull through the water at a 2/3 bell, this SDs
motor will pull about 3 Amperes of current. The stalled current load (something went
terribly wrong if that happens!) of the motor is nearly 20A. Its a good practice to place a
re-settable or one-shot fuse between your ESC and motor that will trip or burn at 15
Amperes. Of course, you should use an ESC rated for at least a continuous 30A load. As
your ESC is likely to also produce the power for the receiver (and all other control
devices aboard your SD) it is imperative that you do not place any fuse between the
battery and ESC remember: put the fuse between the ESC and the motor!




Servicing the Motor and Motor Watertight Seal Should the propulsion
motor ever require removal for service of the watertight seal or motor replacement
(brushed motors such as the one installed have a reasonable, but not unlimited, service
life), heres how you remove it from the motor bulkhead: First, remove the gear reduction
unit; remove the brass pinion gear off the shaft extension; removing the two mounting
screws that secure the motor to the motor bulkhead (youll have to dig away the cured
RTV sealant used to make watertight the screw heads); and pull the motor free.

Re-installing the motor and other components goes like this: First, insure that the
extension shaft Oilite bearing is cleaned, then apply low viscosity silicon oil; carefully
install the motor onto the motor bulkhead, taking care to guide the extension shaft slowly
into the Oilite bearing, through the watertight seal, pressing the face of the motor against
the inboard face of the motor bulkhead; rotate the motor to line up its two screw holes
with the corresponding holes in the motor bulkhead; make up the two mounting screws,
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then apply RTV sealant to make watertight the screw heads; check for unbinding rotation
of the motors extension shaft; make up the pinion gear; and re-install the gear reduction
unit. Then test for proper operation.



The Battery
The battery will be mounted forward of the SDs ballast tank, the after end of the battery
butting up against the forward bulkhead of the SD. Work out a sound mounting bracket to
hold the battery into the hull, placing the battery as low in the hull as possible. Typically
you can expect an hours run time with a 3-Ampere hour, 7-volt battery. If you swap out
batteries at the lake or pool for additional run time make sure, before hand, that they
weigh the same. Batteries of the same part number and even lot number will vary as to
weight.

The trick is to gather the batteries and weigh them. Mark the exact weight on each
batteries case. Using the heaviest battery as a base-line add a wafer of lead of appropriate
weight to the other batteries till they all weigh the same. Use Electricians tape or RTV
sealant to secure the lead wafers to the batteries. Failure to get all the batteries to the
same weight will introduce trim changes to the submarine each time you exchange a
battery.

Though we recommend you use a 7-volt battery, you can use a 12-volt battery as long as
you dont lean on the throttle too much this will prevent over-taxing the 7-volt motor
which would overheat possibly damaging it or, worse yet, creating so much heat within
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the SD that the expanded air within would unseat the motor bulkhead off the cylinder
with catastrophic flooding being the result.

Youll note that at the bottom of the motor bulkhead is another all-thread lug. The
inboard side of the lug is made up to the receiver antenna wire (cut back to a length that
will reach from receiver to lug). The outboard (wet) side of the lug has already been
made up to a waterproof antenna, sized for a 75mHz band receiver.

CONTROL SUB-SYSTEM
The after dry-space within the SD contains all the propulsion and control devices needed
to animate your model submarine. Provided are cast resin and machined aluminum
mounting fixtures upon which you will secure the servos, receiver, angle-keeper, fail-
safe, low pressure blower (LPB), electronic switch, ESC, BEC, and other devices that
must be housed in a dry environment.

Quick, Easy Access to all Devices The SD is designed so that the majority of the
devices that operate the submarine are affixed to the motor bulkhead -- when the motor
bulkhead is removed from the cylinder the devices, in mass, come with it, without
disturbing their electrical and mechanical couplings. The only device that remains in the
cylinder when the motor bulkhead is removed is the ballast sub-system servo, which is
mounted to the ballast bulkhead. The only internal connection that needs to be made up
or undone as you remove or install the motor bulkhead is the ballast sub-system servo.



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Mounting the Devices We recommend you use standard sized servos. You have
plenty of room for them and they have the torque to push the largest of control surfaces
against any flow resistance your model submarine will encounter. I recommend, for
simplicities sake, that you either glue the base of the servos to the aluminum tray (this
tray is secured between the two resin equipment support rails that in turn attach to the
motor bulkhead) or hold the servos down with servo tape (a self-adhesive, foam core,
double-backed adhesive tape). You will have room on the tray to mount other devices as
well.

I use servo-tape to secure the ESC, receiver, fail-safe and angle-keeper to the resin
equipment bulkhead shelves and to the underside of the aluminum equipment tray.
Before doing so scrub the resin contact areas with a lacquer saturated abrasive pad to
remove mold-release oil. Wipe clean. And youre ready to lay down servo tape and
mount the devices.



If you elect to install a low pressure blower device, we recommend securing the air-
compressor-motor and electronic switch to the underside of the servo tray. The LPB
induction and discharge flexible hoses run to the forward end of the ballast bulkhead
3/32 brass tubes. On the wet side of the motor bulkhead two more flexible hoses run
forward atop the cylinder one curves up and terminates atop and within the model
submarines sail. The other flexible hose terminates in a fitting over the ballast tank.

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BALLAST SUB-SYSTEM
The forward half of the cylinder, divided from the after dry-space by the internal ballast
bulkhead, comprises the ballast tank. The ballast tank is categorized as a soft tank as its
open to its surrounds at the bottom, therefore the structure is subjected to little differential
pressure whether the tank is full of liquid or a gas, regardless of depth.

The installed gas sub-system employs stored air-brush propellant, contained within the
copper on-board bottle which is secured within the ballast tank. At room temperature the
stored liquid propellant (no matter the quantity contained) sits at a nominal 70 PSI
pressure. When released through the blow valve, the Propellant gas acts on the water
within, forcing it out through the three openings in the bottom of the tank from whence
the water came in. A restrictor, between the on-board bottle and blow valve, limits the
flow rate of propellant gas reducing the rate at which water is discharged from the
ballast tank during the blow.

Note the use of flexible hose between the on-board bottle, restrictor, and blow valve: this
hose will burst at a pressure well below the failure pressure of the copper on-board bottle.
The flexible hose constitutes a gas-relief safety valve to protect the gas type ballast sub-
system from damage: Before the on-board charge of liquid propellant rises to a dangerous
level the flexible hose will fail, dumping the contents of the on-board bottle into the
ballast tank and from there out the three holes at its bottom. Spare flexible hose has been
provided to replace a burst hose if an over-pressure event occurs.
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So, what would cause such an event? Simple: you failed to perform the required pre-
mission checks and left the SD in the hot car where the propellant charge within the on-
board bottle rose to the critical flexible hose burst pressure of 400 PSI. Bad on you!

Below Ive laid out a SD with the components of the gas ballast sub-system installed and
below that an on-board bottle with its attached restrictor and blow valve.



The ballast water is introduced into the ballast tank by opening a vent at the top of the
ballast tank. Gas formerly trapped in the ballast tank finds its way out (air initially, then
propellant gas after the first vent-blow cycle) and is displaced by water entering through
the three big holes in the bottom of the ballast tank. The water is forced from the ballast
tank when the blow valve is opened the gas creating a very slight over-pressure within
the ballast tank that pushes the water out the three holes in the bottom.

In the decades since we developed the line of SubDrivers (formerly called, WTCs)
servo types, shape and torque rating have changed. Today there seems to be an endless
choice of servos. Thats why you see a servo adapter used in the dry side of the ballast
bulkhead. The adapter insures correct placement and rigid mounting of a specific type
servo within the ballast bulkhead. The adapter can be removed and replaced by other
adapters designed for other servo types. Pull out the adapter and you can drop in a
standard sized servo if that is your want.

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The vent and blow actions are achieved through a common linkage operated by the single
ballast sub-system servo. The linkage and blow valve are mounted on the wet-side of the
ballast bulkhead. A gas-saver device works to disable the blow end of operation when the
tank is dry this feature works to minimize unnecessary discharge of propellant during
the blow cycle. The ballast system vent valve is mounted atop the cylinder and is acted
upon by the head of an adjustment screw located atop the linkage arm.

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Adjusting the ballast sub-system Three points of adjustment of the ballast sub-
system linkage are provided. Keep in mind though that your SD is delivered set-up and
ready to go. However, servo end-points commanded by other type r/c systems than the
one I use here may vary, requiring re-setting of the ballast linkage.

This is how the ballast sub-system should work: With the transmitter stick that controls
the ballast sub-system centered (neutral), both the blow and vent valves are closed. When
the stick is moved to the left, only the vent valve opens, flooding the tank. When the stick
is moved to the right, only the blow valve opens, blowing the tank dry, yet is forced shut
(even if the transmitter stick is still pushed all the way to the right) by the gas-saver end
of the linkage.
In normal operation a small amount of water will remain in the ballast tank when the gas-
saver kicks in to stop the blow. If you wish to blow out the remaining water, push the
transmitter sticks trim lever all the way to the right and put the stick over to the right
this over-rides the gas-saver portion of the ballast sub-system linkage. Gas will continue
to be discharged as long as you hold the stick in the blow position, even though the
ballast tank is dry.

Four conditions exist that will call for a re-adjustment of the ballast sub-system:
1. Gas fails to escape through the vent valve when you command a vent from the
transmitter.
2. Gas continues to bubble out of the vent valve when the transmitter stick is in
neutral.
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3. The blow valve emits little or no gas when you command a blow and there is still
a significant amount of water in the ballast tank.
4. Gas continues to be discharged through the blow valve when the ballast tank is
dry and the transmitter stick is in neutral.

You may have to restore proper operation of the ballast sub-system by making one, two,
or maybe three adjustments, outlined below. If so, make sure to re-test the sub-system
with each single adjustment you make. Do not make more than one adjustment between
tests! And make adjustments in the order outlined below:

First, adjust the position of the two wheel-collars on the servo pushrod. Moving the
wheel-collars forward provides more vent and less blow. Moving the wheel-collars aft
provides less vent and more blow. Insure that you maintain an approximate 1/16 gap
between the inboard faces of the wheel-collars, this to prevent their binding up on the
linkage arm during servo pushrod travel. After each adjustment make sure to re-tighten
the wheel-collar setscrews.

If moving the wheel-collars did not resolve the problem, go on to the second adjustment:



Loosen the blow valve setscrew. Moving the blow valve forward will cause earlier
operation of the blow valve. Moving the blow valve aft will retard blow valve actuation.

Youll need two hands for this one on the setscrew wrench, the other holding a pair of
thin-sectioned, long, needle-nosed pliers. The pliers, when grabbing the body of the blow
valve, will clear the centrally running pushrod. As you make the adjustment, move the
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blow valve only a 1/16 at a time. After each adjustment make sure to re-tighten the blow
valve setscrew and test.




You should never have to do this last adjustment. But if you must:

Remove the vent valve body off the cylinder. You do this my removing the two short 2-
56 machine screws that hold the valve body down onto the cylinder. Very carefully, with
a sharp putty-knife, peel the vent valve clear of the cylinder. Note that it was made
watertight by a bead of silicon RTV adhesive. Pulling the vent valve off the cylinder
reveals the linkage arm vent valve adjustment screw. You will be altering the height of
the screw to change the degree of force applied to the vent valve as the linkage moves in
accordance with your commands.

As you adjust the height of the linkage arm adjustment screw make no more than a half-
turn between tests. Turning the screw clockwise reduces the closure pressure on the vent
valve element. Turning the screw counter-clockwise increases the closure pressure on the
vent valve element.

As you can imagine, setting the vent valve adjustment screw is a long and laborious
procedure and one you should avoid if at all possible!

Once set you then apply a fresh bead of RTV sealant around the vent valve body where it
makes contact with the cylinder. Take care not to squirt the adhesive under the vent valve
body where it will might make contact with the rubber vent valve element, locking it in
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place. Its a good practice to move the entire linkage to the vent position before laying
on the RTV this will help keep the rubber element away from any goo that squirts
through.




The forward end of the cylinder is capped with a removable bulkhead. You can reduce
the water capacity of the tank by removing the bulkhead, cutting off a portion of the
cylinder, replacing the cap and testing repeating the process until you have just enough
reserve buoyancy in the ballast tank to take the model from submerged trim to sitting
with the waters surface at the submarines designed surfaced waterline when in surfaced
trim.

Or, instead of cutting off a portion of the ballast tank cylinder, which would render the
SD unserviceable for larger r/c model submarines in your collection, you can place a
removable hunk of foam high in the ballast tank. Doing so reduces the tanks floodable
capacity. However if you use the displacing foam trick, youll have to add fixed ballast
weight in the models keel to overcome that added buoyancy when the boats in submerged
trim (ballast tank full of water, less the space occupied by the foam). But the additional
foam and fixed ballast weight works to your advantage; doing so increases the boats
static stability.

CONTROL SUB-SYSTEM DEVICES

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The SD will have to be outfitted with the devices needed to provide control of the motor,
the servoes and the ballast sub-system(s). Youll need a battery (one battery provides
electrical energy for all SD systems); an electronic speed controller (to control the
direction and torque of the propulsion motor); a receiver (detect and interpret the signals
from your transmitter); fail-safe (provide for autonomous operation of the ballast system
to blow the ballast tank in the event the radio signal is interrupted); and an automatic
pitch controller (to detect changes in the submarines pitch angle and send corrective
commands to the stern plane servo). These are the basic devices. You may wish to add
more capability to your SD. One such optional device is the Low Pressure Blower ballast
sub-system (a means of using outside air to empty the ballast tank, reducing reliance on
the on-board propellant gas supply).

Below are pictured those devices, less the battery:



Battery Youll want a gel-cell, sealed, lead-acid battery of a capacity (which drives
battery size and weight) as high as you can fit into your submarine hull and still have
enough room around and near it to install the compensating foam needed to counter the
gatteries weight. Typically, a 12-volt, 4-Ampere hour battery is the biggest you can fit in
the smaller hulls in which you would use a 3.5 SubDriver.

Youll also need a dedicated charger suited for charging lead-acid batteries; likely from
the same source you secured your battery.

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You may wish to go with the new Lithium-polymer type batteries. If so you will be
compelled to use a battery charger designed for that type battery and to fabricate or
purchase a separate water tight enclosure in which to house the battery with the
attendant complexity of running all-thread studs through the WTC bulkhead to make up
to the battery, through the battery cables. However, all this work is worth it as the
Lithium type battery exhibits a power-density nearly four times that of the lead-acid type
battery.

Battery Eliminator Circuit Even the larger SubDrivers, such as the 3.5 SD
described here, have precious little internal dry space to give up to redundant or
inefficiently packaged devices. Such is the situation with the electrical power source and
voltage regulation required for most of the devices aboard the SubDriver. Specifically,
there is no room for a dedicated battery to provide the 4.8-volts fed to the devices through
the receiver bus.

That is why you want to employ a battery eliminator circuit (a voltage-regulator) a
device that takes the main battery voltage and reduces it to the desired voltage needed at
the receiver bus. Its off the receiver bus where power is distributed to the other devices
that require a 4.8-5 volt power supply. The BEC is either built right into the ESC or is a
dedicated unit mounted somewhere in the SDs dry space.

Below are pictured three BEC/VRs: The one Im pointing to in lower foreground is a
component of the fine Mtronics ESC I use in almost all of my bigger r/c submarines.
Note that mounted on the end of the ESC is an attached VR a very good design, getting
the solid-state device in the open hastens heat dissipation, permitting the unit to pass
currents (for brief periods) greater than the 1.5 Amperes most of these things are
designed to pass without damage.

Two freestanding BEC/VRs are also pictured. The one to the right shows the simplicity
and compactness of the device: just two wires to make up to the 7-12 volt battery (these
run in parallel with the ESC cables that make up to the battery lugs on the dry side of the
motor bulkhead), and two output wires that deliver the regulated 4.8-5 volts to the
receiver battery port through a standard J type connector. Im also pointing to a BEC
mounted to the underside of this 3.5 SDs equipment tray doing so permits the semi-
conductor to dump excess heat quickly into the aluminum tray/heat sink, improving
device efficiency and life.

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Automatic Pitch Controller Without doubt the most important, purpose built
piece of technology in the r/c submarine field is the automatic pitch controller (APC).

The principle inventor of the APC is Skip Asay, the Godfather of American r/c
submarining. This guy, back in the 70s, realizing the need to artificially stabilize the
model submarine about the pitch axis (angle, or bubble in submariner speak), first
experimented with modifying helicopter rate gyros. He converted them into pendulum
type gravity displacement reference units. Skip went on to produce proper APCs of his
own design, each new effort rendering a smaller more capable device. Finally, getting his
APCs to the point today where Skips APCs (and similar units offered by those who
have paralleled his work) will fit into the smallest of r/c submarines.

The APC is connected between the stern plane servo and receiver channel-2 port
(transmitter right two-axis stick, up/down axis), or channel-6 port (transmitter control
dial, upper left). The APC device parallels your transmitted stern plane commands with
corrective signals it generates as a consequence of the angular displacement it detects. If
you dont send any commands to the stern planes then the APC works alone to tend the
stern planes, stabilizing the submarine about the pitch axis; working to maintain a zero
bubble angle.

Most APCs permit you to negate a portion of the APC error signal to the servo when you
move the transmitter stern plane stick or dial the APC corrective signal is still presented
in the resolved output to the servo, but the major component of servo travel will be what
you command. You are in the loop as to what pitch angle your submarine assumes, but
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the APC is a vital piece of gear in that it greatly reduces your workload. Proof of point:
Once your submarine is trimmed out and running fine, disconnect the APC from the loop
and try to drive the model underwater. The model will be nearly uncontrollable in pitch
and if you get it under control youll have to be so engaged that the sweat will soon by
flowing into your eyes! No APC, no fun!

As with any complicated device, follow the manufacturers instructions when you set up,
install and dial in the product.

Fail-Safe An electronic monitoring device we inherited from the r/c racing car and
hydroplane folk: this device is intended to act if and when the receiver looses the
transmitted signal. In our application the fail-safe device works, once it detects loss of
signal, to command (immediately, or after a pre-set time delay) the ballast sub-system
servo to the blow position, surfacing the out-of-control submarine.

The fail-safe device is connected between the ballast sub-system servo and, typically, the
channel-4 port of the receiver. The fail-safe device is another must-have item aboard your
r/c submarine. Follow the manufacturers instructions.

The left/right motion of the transmitters left two-axis stick normally controls the gas
ballast sub-system servo. Right motion of the stick opens the blow valve. Left motion of
the stick opens the vent valve. With the stick in neutral, both vent and blow valves are
closed.

R/C System Not much to talk about here, other than just about any r/c system you
buy will work to control your r/c submarine. At the minimum get a 4-channel system. But
the price on the gear today has come down so much that most of you can spring for a 6 or
8-channel system without breaking the bank.

Just make sure you purchase a system that operates on an Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) approved band of frequencies. In America, those of us without the
appropriate license are restricted to using r/c systems on the 75mHz band. Incidentally,
the FCC has assigned 72mHz for model aircraft operation, only. Never NEVER use an
aircraft r/c system for any purpose other than controlling model aircraft!

Also, dont use any of those new, fancy 2.4 gHz scanning r/c systems for r/c submarine
use. The higher radio frequency they work at mostly bounces off water, and what RF
energy that does get to the submerged model wont be of a magnitude great enough to
assure reliable control of the systems aboard.

Electronic Speed Controller The Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) takes the raw
electrical energy from the battery and, if its equipped with a BEC, does two things:
Primarily, it works to control, as you work the transmitters throttle stick, the amount and
polarity of electricity sent on to the single propulsion motor.

21
A secondary, but vital function (performed by most modern ESCs) is to reduce the
battery voltage to 4.8-5 volts and send it on to the receiver bus (through the red and black
wires) where it is distributed to the other electronic devices aboard the vehicle.

Almost universally the ESC will connect to the channel-3 port of the receiver, which is
controlled at the transmitter through the up/down positioning of the left, two-axis stick

Many ESCs feature an on/off switch which isolates both the battery-to-ESC and BEC-
to-receiver circuits. You may wish to form a pushrod to actuate the ESC switch, running
that pushrod through an unused 1/16 watertight seal. That would permit you to remotely
turn the SD system on and off if you connected the pushrod to some linkage you could
move with the model hull assembled.



Low Pressure Blower An optional device, but one that will shift the status of the
gas ballast sub-system to emergency use only. The Low Pressure Blower (LPB) ballast
sub-system takes air from the surface (the sail of the model submarine must broach the
surface so the tip of the LPBs induction hose has access to air), and pump it into the
ballast tank, displacing the water within. Venting of the ballast tank is still performed by
the gas ballast sub-system servo working to open the vent valve. However, blowing of the
tank with the LPB is controlled through another channel of the r/c system.

The LPB compressor can either pump air or water. However, the ballast tank can only be
emptied by the LPB if its induction hose intake is above the surface. The robust nature of
the compressor negates the need to isolate the LPB motor from its power supply when the
intake of the induction hose is submerged.
22

The LPB motor can either be controlled through a mechanical switch, controlling battery
power, worked by a servo, or you can use an electronic switch to direct battery power to
the LPB motor when commanded.

I typically control the LPB using the channel-5, two-position toggle switch on the upper
right hand face of the transmitter. Within the SD you plug in either the LPBs servo or its
electronic switch into the channel-5 port of the receiver.

The brush type motor of the LPB unit is not spark suppressed when you get it. Spark
suppression must be installed to reduce the amount of electrical noise that otherwise
would be sent through the control leads and into the receiver, diminishing its
performance.

A typical spark suppression network comprises two small ceramic
capacitors, which should be rated .01 microfarad mF. Youll find these at
your local Radio Shack or electronic parts supply house. Make up the two
capacitors as shown below. Solder the outboard end of each capacitor to a
pole on the motor; solder the common inboard end of the capacitors to the
motor case; then make up the motor-to-switch wires. Thats all there is to
it. For this work I recommend a 25 Watt soldering iron its big enough to
hold the heat needed to solder the capacitor wires to the motor case.




23
Ive presented two different sized motor-compressor units for you to examine. The bigger
the unit, the more air it will push, but also the more current it will draw from the battery.

Note that Ive hooked up an electronic switch to control the LPB motor. When using an
electronic switch make sure that none of the motor power is derived off the receiver bus.
You do this by disconnecting the electronic switch-to-receiver lead red-wire. See the
separate cable wires leading from the electronic switch? Those make up to the internal
battery lugs at the motor bulkhead. Its the job of the electronic switch to route current
from the battery to the LPB motor, NOT to route any of that motor current through the
battery bus!!

Remember: You dont want the total current load on the BEC to exceed 1.5 Amperes for
any significant length of time.

Examine the J connector in this photo: Note that Ive disconnected the red power lead
between the electronic switch and the receiver just to make damn sure I dont pull
motor current off the receiver bus! Be ever mindful that the systems BEC is current
limited, and that if you fry the BEC, your boat is dead in the water and if that occurs
while submerged Well, buddy. Youre going swimming!



24



TOOLS AND CONSUMABLES



TOOLS
Youll need the usual array of hand-tools to set up and maintain your SD. Additional
tools needed include little hex wrenches for the 4-40 and 6-32 setscrews; a tire-valve
(Schrader valve) wrench; short and longed nose alligator hemostats; and a
Volt/Ohm/Ampere meter. These items can be purchased at hardware stores, automotive
supply stores, and hobby shops.

Rosary and Rabbits-foot are optional.

CONSUMABLES
The consumables youll need include cans of air-brush propellant; rubber bands to secure
the SD within the model submarines hull; RTV adhesive; a needle applicator filled with
silicon oil to lubricate the various watertight seal o-rings and cup-seals; a small tube of
silicon grease (distributor cap grease is a good alternative) for the bulkhead o-rings; and
lint free paper towels.

25
MAINTENANCE

Proper maintenance of your 3.5 SD is the only way you can be assured of the units long-
term successful operation. Ive defined three phases of maintenance. Procedures you have
to perform before, during, and after playing with your r/c submarine model.

First, theres the preparation of the SD and model submarine, the Pre-Mission checks;
maintenance performed periodically at lake or pool side as you play with your model, the
Mission checks; and the maintenance, repair and preservation tasks required to prepare
the SD and model submarine for the next outing, these are the Post-Mission checks.

PRE-MISSION
Before taking your r/c model submarine to the lake or pool for an afternoons fun, youll
have to get your SD up and running. The post-mission maintenance operation (done the
last time you had the model out for use) left the SD with the motor bulkhead (and its
attached devices) separated from the Lexan cylinder. With a clean lint-free cloth wipe the
inside edges of the cylinder, where the motor bulkhead o-ring will seat. Grease the motor
bulkhead o-ring with silicon grease.

Make up the fail-safe circuit to the ballast system servo leads and carefully push the
motor bulkhead into the cylinder and seat the motor bulkhead o-ring within the after end
of the cylinder as you do this rotate the cylinder in your hand, checking that you dont
get any wires caught between the o-ring and cylinder.

Hold the motor bulkheads equalization valve (the tire-valve on the face of the motor
bulkheads wet side) next to your ear and depress the valve stem. You should hear a
pronounced whoosh of air escaping. Thats the air within the cylinder initially
compressed as you pushed the motor bulkhead into the cylinder a few minutes ago. If you
dont hear that sound (five-minutes is the minimum time to wait after installing the motor
bulkhead onto the end of the cylinder), you have a leak somewhere and that has to be
found and fixed before you proceed with anything else.

And youll open the equalization valve each and every time you install the motor
bulkhead into the cylinder if you dont, the over-pressure caused by the bulkheads
compression of the space, coupled with the further expansion of the air within caused by
heating of the internal devices, might pop off the motor bulkhead. Bad Ju-Ju!

26


A drop of clear silicon oil is placed on all running gear bearings within the model
submarine. And oil at all bearing points on the SDs gear reduction unit and pushrod seal
body exit points. Dont forget the ballast sub-system servo pushrod seal you access that
through the aftermost hole in the bottom of the ballast tank. Dont make a mess of things.
Use those lint-free wipes!

Install the SD into the models hull, as you do make up the intermediate drive shaft
between the SDs gear reduction unit and the models propeller shaft. The magnetic
couplers that interconnect the SD and models pushrods should make up on their own as
you sat the SD down on its saddle. Run out the external antenna atop the cylinder (under
the rubber-bands) as high as you can manage. If installed, make up the external flexible
hoses of the LPB ballast sub-system to the tubes set into the motor bulkhead.

Tighten the on-board bottle tire-valve and give it a charge of propellant. Heres how you
do that:

Weve provided you a Propellant Charging Adapter, used to transfer Propellant liquid
from the Propellant can (that you purchase at the local hobby-shop, typically used as the
gas source to operate small spray-brushes) to the SDs on-board bottle. The objective is
to transfer liquid, not gas, into the on-board bottle. Therefore you have to invert the
propellant can as you make the transfer.

When you press the propellant charging adapter down tight on the on-board bottle
charging valve (a modified Schrader valve) a small quantity of the liquid will be
transferred, but not enough to be useful. To get more liquid into the on-board bottle, you
27
press its valve stem momentarily to vent off some of the gas. This cools the bottle,
lowering its energy, and you charge it again this time you get much more liquid
transferred, enough maybe for 10 vent/blow cycles.

Propellant is typically comprised of a near even blend of Methane and Butane (two
highly flammable items, something to be mindful of), a mixture that will assume the
liquid state if at or below room temperature and confined to the point below its vapor
pressure of about 70 PSI. The propellant within the on-board bottle, when the ballast sub-
system blow valve is opened, experience a rapid pressure drop and a portion of the liquid
flashes to a gas its that gas that is picked off within the on-board bottle and sent
through the flexible hose where the rushing medium-pressure gas is slowed as it passes
through an in-line restrictor. From the restrictor the gas enters the open blow valve where
the gas is discharged into the ballast tank, forcing the water out.




Turn on your transmitter (insure first that the throttle stick is in neutral), then power up
your SD (either by hooking up the battery or switching on an internal switch, if thats
how you control power to the system) Its vital that every time you make up the battery to
the cables that you observe correct polarity failure to do so will likely ruin the ESC or
any other device (such as the LPB electronic switch) directly connected to the battery
cables. Check all control surfaces and other r/c features for proper operation and direction
of travel. Check the propeller setscrew tight -- dont over-tighten.

Range check the r/c system in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

28
Place the model submarine in fresh water (a dedicated test-tank or the bathroom tub) and
check for proper operation of the ballast sub-system and that the model assumes proper
trim in both surfaced and submerged trim.

Turn power off to the SD, switch off the transmitter, box up the model, prepare your
field-box, and load up the car youre ready to go play!

MISSION
At the lake or pool you will perform the mission checks. These include unshipping the
model from its box, inspection of the model, turning on the transmitter and SD, a quick
check of all r/c functions, and immersion of the submarine in the water.

Initially, with the submarine only feet away from you, command a dive. Once the
submarine has submerged check for correct operation of the fail-safe feature by turning
off the transmitter and waiting for the model to surface. Turn the transmitter back on.

That check successfully over, dive the boat again and maneuver out a bit. Bring the boat
back, surface, retrieve it, and march it back to your workstation. Open the hull up and
inspect the SDs for any signs of flooding a foggy dry space or when you roll the model
over and there are droplets of water appearing on the inside of the cylinder. These are big
warning signs you have a leak somewhere!

Every five-blow/vent cycles bring the model back to the workstation and recharge the on-
board bottle with propellant. Monitor the condition of the battery and replace it when you
notice a drop in speed performance. Check the physical condition of the control surfaces
and linkages every now and then.

Stay away from model ships and boats; especially racing boats and deep-keeled sailboats
operating in your patrol area. You hardly know where youre submerged r/c submarine is
most of the time its a sure bet the other model boaters dont! Theyll run your ass
over in a heartbeat! Like it or not, in any group of r/c boaters and submariners, the
submarines out there are regarded by the target-drivers as little more than submerged
speed-bumps. Act accordingly.

29


When youve had you fill of r/c submarining (youre tired, your boat broke, or it got
creamed by a Skimmer): Open up the hull and disconnect the battery; turn off the
transmitter; using the Schrader valve tool, vent off the remaining propellant from the on-
board bottle; when you can no longer hear the hiss of escaping gas, box up the model;
return all tools and consumables to the field-box; load up the van, and head back to the
shop.

POST-MISSION
With the model back on the shop bench, it is vital that you attend to the disassembly of
the model, removal of the SD, and perform the preventive maintenance steps needed to
insure the long and useful service life of both. Dont wait till after dinner do it now!

Turn on the transmitter, then connect the battery and make the model ready in all respects
(do not re-charge the on-board bottle). Check the transmitters trim settings you likely
cranked some into the control surfaces while you were running the boat today time to
take those trim levers on the transmitter and set them back to neutral, but only after
adjusting the boats control surfaces to the new neutral positions. Open up the model and
adjust the appropriate Kli-Con connectors length in the direction and amount needed to
place the surfaces in the same position they were when you had cranked in the trim
offset. Remove the battery from the boat and turn off the transmitter and put both items
on charge.

To get them from under foot, wind up and rubber band the antenna and battery cables; if
installed pull the LPB external induction and discharge flexible hoses off the motor
30
bulkhead tubes; grab the motor bulkheads white-handled lanyard in one hand, and
holding the cylinder down firmly on a table with the other hand, pull slowly till the motor
bulkheads o-ring clears the end of the cylinder; pull the motor bulkhead out a bit further,
enough to get access to the ballast sub-system servo lead. Reach into the cylinder and
disconnect the ballast sub-system servo connector a set of hemostats is a useful means
of reaching into the cylinder to perform this operation; pull the motor bulkhead and
attached devices clear of the cylinder; place a drop of oil on the inboard and outboard
sides of the pushrods where they enter the seal bodies; put your nose right up to the
motor and other devices and sniff for indications of any burnt insulation or fried semi-
conductors (acrid or burnt rubber smell), repair or replace defective or suspect devices.

Store the motor bulkhead assembly in a dry, room temperature, well ventilated and dust
free environment.

Examine the dry space within the cylinder, checking for water if any is found, wipe it
out with a lint-free cloth and find out why! Put a drop of oil on the rubber face of the vent
valve; put another drop of oil on the ballast sub-system servo pushrod (accessed through
the aftermost flood/drain hole in the bottom of the ballast tank). Place the cylinder in a
dry, room temperat6ure, well ventilated, dust-free environment.

Check over the model submarine for damage or ware and take appropriate actions to
make the model ready for the next outing. Put the model submarine back on display or
secured within its transportation/stowage box.

Inventory your field-box and replenish the consumables and replace missing or damaged
tools.

INTEGRATING YOUR SUBDRIVER WITH YOUR MODEL
SUBMARINE

How you mount your SD within your models hull and where you place it are two
important matters:

MOUNTING THE SD WITHIN THE MODEL SUBMARINE

The Saddles The recommended means of supporting and holding the SD fast within
the hull is to manufacture two horseshoe shaped saddles in which the SD is cradled and
held fast with rubber bands. The saddles can be manufactured from wood, plastic, or any
other suitable material just make sure that the material is either impervious to water or
is made watertight with some kind of overcoat.

Indexing The SD to The Hull To insure that the SD, when installed aboard the
model submarine, is fixed in position, install a pin in the forward saddle this pin fits
into a hole you drill into the bottom of the SDs cylinder. Of course this hole has to be
located in the ballast tank portion of the cylinder.
31




MAKING UP THE SD AND MODEL SUBMARINES PUSHRODS
A number of years ago Brian Stark invented the magnet coupler, a means to interconnect
the SD pushrods to the model submarines pushrods quickly and with near zero backlash.
Use of magnets in this application simplifies the task of making up and breaking those
connections (as you either install or remove the SD from the model submarine hull).

Each set of Kli-Cons interconnects the pushrods of the SD and the submarine. We
provide 4 sets of Kli-Cons with this kit, giving you the ability to magnetically
interconnect pushrods to operate the rudder, stern planes, bow/sail planes, and a fourth
mechanical function (bow plane retract mechanism or torpedo launcher for example). The
threaded brass fitting at the end of each Kli-Con has a bore to accept the end of a 1/16
diameter pushrod we recommend you glue this fitting to its respective pushrod with CA
adhesive. To break the bond of cured CA all you need do is touch the brass connection
with a hot iron a few seconds, the CA fails and you can separate the Kli-Con from the
pushrod.

32


The Kli-Con connectors are uniquely advantageous when you need to interconnect
linkages that have elements in each half of the model submarine the magnetic attraction
between the two ends of such a linkage makes it any easy matter to place the upper hull
over the lower hull, move it around a bit till you hear the distinctive click as the two
magnets join, then all you have to do is secure the two hull halves together. Such is the
situation with the1/72 SKIPJACK r/c submarine model Ive been using as an example in
this document: The sail plane pushrod is attached to the bell crank up in the sail and that
pushrod is part of the upper hull half of the model. However, the SD and its half of the
sail plane linkage is in the lower hull half. The Kli-Con connector solves the problem
when it comes time to join or take apart the two model hull halves.

Below Im pointing to a forward facing Kli-Con half-connector that will make up to its
counterpart attached to the after end of the upper hulls sail plane pushrod. Note that Ive
removed the threaded coupler from the end of this Kli-Con half and replace it with a U
shaped piece of 1/16 brass rod. The after end of the rod in turn is soldered to a 1/16
wheel-collar that screws tight to the sail plane pushrod. Adjustment of the sail plane
linkage is done by moving the wheel-collar forward or aft on the SD pushrod. Simple!

An added benefit of using the magnetic couplers is that at some force level, in tension or
compression, the magnetic force will be overcome by mechanical force and the magnetic
connection between the set of Kli-Cons will fail. The force required is much greater than
the fluid motion induced drag presented to the control surface operating shafts, so you
can be assured that linkage disconnect will occur in situations that involve collision, or
mishandling of the model itself, not the normal forces experienced by the linkages as a
consequence of the vehicles motion through the fluid.
33




MAKING UP THE INTERMEDIATE DRIVE SHAFT
Output of the SD gear reduction unit terminates in a standard Dumas type Universal
couplers. An intermediate drive shaft fits between the SD and propeller shaft you
manufacture this item.

You have to come up with a Dumas dog-bone type coupling rod (Dumas part number,
2019), cut it in halve, and mount the end of each dog-bone into the end of a length of
7/32diameter aluminum tube (K&S part number, 105). Its not enough to CA the plastic
dog-bone piece within the aluminum tube, you also have to drill a 1/16 diameter hole
through both tube and dog-bone shank and press a short length of 1/16 diameter brass
rod into the hole this to insure that the dog-bone and tube union does not come apart
under high torque situations.

34


The spacing between the models propeller shaft Dumas coupler, and the SDs Dumas
coupler will dictate the length of the intermediate drive shaft. Size the intermediate drive
shaft so that about 1/16 of fore and aft slop exists, this to prevent binding or unnecessary
wear on the propeller, or SD gear reduction unit motor thrust bearings.

The intermediate drive shaft is made up as you place the SD upon its foundation saddles.

TRIMMING THE HULL FOR SURFACED AND SUBMERGED
OPERATION
Where do you place the SD in the submarine? Best general recommendation is to place it
so that the center of the ballast tank is at the center of the hull the idea is that you will
arrange the boats center of gravity (c.g.) and its center of buoyancy (c.b.) at the center as
well. You establish the c.g. by balancing the completely outfitted model and moving the
fixed ballast weight till the c.g is centered longitudinally. The objective is to permit the
ballast tank to change the submarines displacement without changing its longitudinally
positioned c.g. or c.b. The fixed ballast weight and buoyant foam are so arranged so that
the submarine is statically stable on the surface and submerged on an even keel (or zero
bubble-angle).

The buoyant foam you RTV into the hull will be placed as high as possible, but most of it
must remain below the surfaced waterline you will wind up with a rather narrow band
of foam running the inside perimeter of the upper hull half. Through experimentation, as
you trim the boat, youll find how much and where to place a fraction of that foam above
35
the water line in order to achieve static stability on an even keel in both submerged and
surface trim.

The amount of buoyant foam affixed within the hull is there to insure that the submarine,
with the ballast tank flooded, will assume submerged trim with only enough reserve
buoyancy remaining to lift the top of the sail an inch or so above the surface; and with the
ballast tank dry, to assume surface trim on or near the submarines designed waterline.

CATASTROPHIC EVENTS AND HOW TO PREVENT
THEM

A catastrophic event is just that; one or more situations that result in the loss (sinking) of
your model submarine, be it at the local community pool or a 200-foot deep lake.

Its a nice day, spectators are gathering around you at the waters edge as you drive your
submerged r/c model submarine along, the tip of the periscope the only evidence of the
machine-in-motion just inches below. Everythings running perfectly and you feel great
about it. Youve adopted an all to obvious air of superiority: confident in your mastery of
the sciences and crafts, your jaw unconsciously jutting out in a Prussian Officer posture
of supreme self-assurance and dominance. You are a God! The arrogance you project is
stifling. THIS is your moment in the Sun! ...

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Dumb question maybe, but multiple answers to which you should have worked out before
you plopped your expensive toy into the drink and made a fool of yourself. Below are
some of those unasked questions and the answers.

Over time I have experienced just about every problem one might expect to encounter
during the operation of an r/c submarine model some of those problems I never
anticipated. Here are the lessons learned:

HOW ABOUT A PROTECTIVE BOX FOR YOUR EXPENSIVE
SUBMARINE MODEL?
Slamming the van door on the models stern as you rush off to make a meeting at the lake;
somebody accidentally brushing up against your unattended model, sending it crashing to
the floor; having your model leap off the cars back seat as you slam on the brakes to
avoid running a red-light. All these things have happened to me, and each time the model
involved was badly damaged. In frustration at all the stupid repair work, I began building
custom sized, sturdy, transportation and stowage boxes for my fleet of r/c submarines.
Thats right: make a box to protect your model from the above hazards and more. Youll
be glad you did!

Cant figure out how to make a simple wooden box? Then, youre in the wrong game,
pal! Take up knitting or something else simple.
36



FLOODING OF THE SUBDRIVERS DRY SPACE
The most obvious cause of catastrophic loss is flooding of the SubDriver. Water in the
after dry space will not only decrease the boats reserve buoyancy, it will also quickly
work to short out the many devices you use to control and power the submarine once
those devices start to wink out, youre dead!

And this is where rigid discipline, exercised during your pre-mission, mission, and post-
mission checks will save you. You dont install that SD until you are absolutely sure it is
watertight. And remember that in the mission operations, one of the first things you do
after running the model a few minutes in the water after its initial dunking, is to pull it
out, remove the upper hull and invert the SD to check for water within the dry spaces of
the cylinder. Neglect to do these things and someday you will loose a model submarine to
flooding.

Its an awful feeling, at the end of the day, to bring back home at an empty boat stand!

LOSS OF ELECTRICAL POWER
What Im talking about is loss of power at the receiver bus. This usually is the result of
an over-taxed BEC. You will either be using an ESC with an installed BEC or you will
provide a dedicated BEC to convert the high Voltage of the battery to the desired 4.8-5
volts needed at the receiver bus. Keep in mind that the receiver bus feeds power to all the
other devices aboard the SD and if the BEC fries you are dead in the water fine if
youre on the surface devastating if the lights go out submerged!
37

What usually scotches the deal is when you permit high current devices, such as
solenoids and motors to dine off the receiver bus insure such devices are hard wired
(through a suitable switch) into the battery for their electrical energy.

The solution here is to know the maximum current rating of the BEC installed in your
boat and to measure and know the actual load, knowing that the load presented is within
the capability of the BEC. Most r/c systems, APCs, and fail-safe devices combined
wont come close to drawing the maximum BEC current even with all the servos in
motion, working against reasonable forces. But, you cant make that assumption -- you
have to KNOW!

Its a wise move, during SD set-up, to place an Ampere meter in series with the battery
and, with the all devices hooked up to the receiver, measure the load as you wiggle all the
servos through the transmitter. If the average current draw does not exceed the rating of
the BEC, then your fine. Any spikes over the rating and you have a potential BEC killer
on board a stalled/binding servo gear train or maybe a short somewhere. Find the
problem and fix it before you get underway. As you take the measurement the throttle
stick must remain in neutral.

BALLAST SUB-SYSTEM FAILURE
Even if you trim the submarine to have a few ounces of positive buoyancy in submerged
trim, at some critical depth, usually only a few feet beneath the surface, box
compression will reduce the displacement of the dry space of the SD and foam to the
point where the boat becomes neutrally buoyant. Deeper yet and the boat becomes
negatively buoyant, and starts to sink unless you get it in motion and use the dynamic lift
of the hull and control surfaces to bring the boat back up above the critical depth.

So, dont count on those few ounces of reserve buoyancy near the surface to bring your
boat back up from the deep if it suffers a ballast sub-system failure. Forget it! That boats
on its way to the bottom!

Again, perform those pre-mission checks so you KNOW the ballast sub-system is
working fine. And keep count of your blow/vent cycles as you operate the boat, and bring
it in for a propellant re-charge every now and then.

UNDERWATER ENTANGLEMENT
No problem in a pool or a well surveyed and examined body of open water. However, we
all eventually operate in water of low visibility and unknown depth, bottom type, and
obstacles. Too often public lakes are used as a dumping ground by idiots and kids: at
some sites youll find cut away fishing lures, shopping carts, bicycles, house-hold
appliances, and even cars littering the bottom.

Such obstacles all to often ensnare a submerged r/c model submarine and the only
means of recovery is to slip on some fins, snap a mask on your puss and go down there
and get it! Or you find a SCUBA diving friend or pro to do the dirty work for you.
38

If you cant swim, dont have any SCUBA buddies, or are too cheap to spring for a
professional Diver, then I would suggest that you find another hobby!

SO, IN CONCLUSION

A guy whos been inventing, testing, improving, and producing product for the r/c model
submarine hobby for over 20 years has made this 3.5 SubDriver available to you. Im one
of the acknowledged experts in the field today. You, by purchasing this SubDriver,
assume the responsibility of using and maintaining this product correctly as you pursue
success in this hobby/obsession of ours. All the above words and pretty pictures
contained in this document are there to guide you in that endeavor. Use em!

I would be remise in my responsibilities as Historian if I didnt acknowledge those
inventors and practical Engineers who introduced me -- through their writings, lectures,
and demonstrations -- to the activity of r/c model submarine building and operation:

Norbert Bruggen, David Wick, Mike Dorey, Skip Asay, Brother Otto, Arthur Meyer,
Simon Smith, Bob Dimmack, Dave Copeland, Ron Perrott, Greg Sharpe, and Dan
Kachur.

Not a complete list, but these guys come to mind immediately as the best in the field
in my not-so-humble opinion.

This is such a fun hobby for me demanding an understanding and practical application
of engineering, design, methodology, materials selection and use; fabrication, painting
and weathering; and operation of a submerged r/c vehicle. All these activities rolled up
into one field of endeavor. So many things to get right before your model will look
good and perform as a fair representation of the real thing. And, when you get it right,
what a wonderful feeling that is!

We successful r/c submarine enthusiasts are, because of the complexities of our activity,
a small group. Are you up to the challenge? If so, then welcome aboard.


David D Merriman lll
D&E Miniatures-Caswell Inc.