SOTF- The Ship Of The Future

Discussion in 'Research and Development' started by jadfer, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    What cutting edge technology exists in our boats today. Does anyone have it all? What is the next, achievable step?
    So here goes:

    Hull - Fiberglass but could be carbon fiber in the future
    Decks - Wood or fiberglass or carbon fiber in the future
    Rudders - Airfoil, flared
    Drive motors - brushless
    Drive gears - gear reduction, perhaps a sealed 2 speed transmission in teh future?
    Pump Motor - brushless
    Pump housing - waiting for innovation!
    Pump Impellor - waiting for innovation!
    Pump controller - esc, firing board / relay, what could do a better job?
    Throttle - ESC, where do we go from here?
    Firing Circuits - Firing boards, dual-firing boards, I think we maxed out here.
    Batteries - LifePO4, prismatic plastic case - what does the future hold for this?
    Regulator - lite aluminum
    Co2 tanks - steel / brass fitting - do they have aluminum tanks for our sizes?
    Gun actuation - Solenoids, I think we maxed out here as well.
    Cannons - do we have anything new?
    Radio -2.4Ghz, Do we need them, a ship controller could be used or some other variant based on the xbee 2.4ghz chip.

    Did I miss anything current? I think that covers most of the systems in the ship with the most current techologies I have heard being used. Is anyone testing something that will really open up a category? Lets hear about it.
     
  2. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that you say fiberglass/carbon fiber is the hull of the future. I personally believe that it's the other way around: If you want something good, buy fiberglass. If you want the best, build wood. For those who know how to build a good one, a wooden hull will outperform a fiberglass hull any day.

    for pumps, the next big thing is a "manumatic" pump circuit. Basically, a three-position RC switch, with positions for "on", "off", and "automatic". On and Off are pretty self-explanatory. Automatic, of course, uses a water-detection circuit to turn the pump on. Stephen at Strike Models has demonstrated a prototype of this circuit, designed based on recommendations from Gascan and I. I can't wait for Strike to start selling them, but alas Stephen can only do so much at one time.
     
  3. SnipeHunter

    SnipeHunter Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more about wood hulls being better!

    Some of the IRC guys are using an automatic pump with a manual override already.

    Personally I think reliability is a lot more important than super tech and we should focus more on making what we have work 100% of the time. If something new helps that then awesome, but I see to many people sink when they shouldn't from failures.

    My guess for new tech stuff is lighter and smaller, making small ships more feasible, we've already seen this starting but I think it will continue. I'd love to get rid of the last servo in my boats(rudder) for something even easier to waterproof.
     
  4. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting, but just how does a wood hull outperform a fiberglass? (I am getting off topic but..). I like that the fiberglass hulls seem to have more hull volume and seem to be lighter, but that may just be in the build.

    My interest in Carbon Fiber would be ultimate strength with the lightest weight possible.

    I also realize some will always prefer proven technologies but I am looking at what is the cutting edge that is in use or near to being ready for use. I know lots of guys still use poppets even though solenoids have been in use for years and they may never convert, but that is based on choice rather than what benefit might be gained from new technology.

    I like the idea of the pump circuit, but first thing in everyone's mind is.... how reliable will it be.

    I would love to see some improved pump housings in particular. I am hoping an enterprising fellow will make some out of aluminum so I don't have to worry about over-tightening the pump housing and smoking the impellor, digging a groove into the pump housing.
     
  5. SnipeHunter

    SnipeHunter Well-Known Member

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    Wood hulls while having less internal space for gear have more reserve buoyancy.

    The auto-manual pump circuits I've seen are just a auto pump circuit with a manual override so they are about the same reliability as the current manual systems.

    I bet just about any machine ship with a mill could fab up an AL pump housing for you, they aren't that complex.
     
  6. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    Pump housing/impeller: pumps designed using at a bare minimum using the last century of scaling laws and general "do this, it will work well" information out there. further than that, complex 3d impellers, multiple volute housings, all designed using CFD and analysis tools to work efficienty....

    Hulls, kevlar would be a better choice for our application than carbon fiber.

    decks, engineering plastics should also be considered.

    ESC: will have built in voltage regulator software that compensates for input voltage drops as battery discharges.....

    Cannons: A competently designed all electric cannon that removes the need for the gas system and allows "dail a speed" functionality... I doubt we will get that, but I can dream.
     
  7. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    I think the Kevlar/Carbon fiber option will be one of the things that makes the smaller ships possible. I think battery technology is likely to advance as well.
     
  8. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    the esc compensating for voltage drop will help with that, allowing you to use more of a battery's capacity without slowing down than you can now, which in turn enables the use of lower capacity batteries than you can use now... for example, using NIMH batteries, I get 10 minutes at full throttle on my karlsruhe without slowing down much, but past that she slows down a bit. I can't fit more in, so I run lipoly cells so I can get enough capacity to not slow down, but I only end up using ~10-20% of the usable pack capacity of the lithium's... with voltage regulation, I could use a great deal more and use smaller cells
     
  9. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    I would love to ramble on about how hand-crafting your own hull piece by piece starting with only a set of plans is a spiritual experience that links a part of your soul to your ship, infusing it with the will to perform better in combat, but I'm not sure how many people would believe me :D

    Seriously, I prefer wood hulls to fiberglass not for internal volume (yes, they have less internal volume), nor for reserve buoyancy (no, they do not have more reserve buoyancy). I prefer wood hulls for the cool design tricks that a master builder can do with one. A classic example is how water channeling is generally easier to do in a wooden hull than a fiberglass one. Another one is making structural members like braces serve dual purpose for mounting servo trays, holding CO2 bottles, batteries, etc. One of the best examples I can think of is when one of the master builders in my club designed a watertight box for all his electronics using the twin skegs on his South Dakota and a pair of ribs. His twin keels, ribs, and subdeck all snapped together, and then he painted them with epoxy. I have also seen a few very small ships (Destroyers and Predreads) that had motor mounts and other hardware designed into the frame from the beginning. Wooden hulls allow a higher level of precision than I have seen in fiberglass hulls. On the other hand, wooden hulls also allow much more room to screw up, too, so it's not very often I see a truly incredible wooden hull. Done right, a wooden hull is far better than fiberglass. Done wrong, a wooden hull is far worse.

    edit: I would love to have a "smart" ESC that can compensate for battery voltage drop. What'd be even better is an ESC that knows what RPMs are required to move the ship at speed, and can power through minor mossing and/or long-term rust buildup on motors, etc. in addition to battery voltage drop.
    Also, for Big Gun warships, don't forget how much a Fire Control Computer can affect things. Instead of converging guns towards port or starboard, a Fire Control Computer allows you to fire full broadsides along a wide range of bearings. The Morgret C&C system can do this, but isn't ready for general sale yet. As soon as it is, though, I am totally upgrading my fleet.
     
  10. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    Cast plastic props
    lighter poppet valves
    smaller/lighter solenoid operated valves
     
  11. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    You'll note that I mentioned the voltage control for one good reason. RPM control is available NOW if a group of folks would band together fork over some money to castlecreations to update the firmware on their forward-reversing esc's or if you give up reverse (governor mode for helicopters does this). RPM control is currently not legal in some clubs/would almost certainly be banned by others if it showed up as common, as it would enable you to accelerate faster, as the governor will supply a great deal more power to the prop durring heavily loaded situations than it did at full throttle. Personally, I would like that, but I can see the gameplay issues it might raise and why some have gone to ban it or indicated that they would ban it.
     
  12. Jay Jennings

    Jay Jennings Well-Known Member

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    I have one question, how much does a composite fiber hull or FC computer cost?
    One comment I get alot is how expensive the initial start up costs are (once I explain the cost break down, most relax about the cost) but if these items are big $$ and perceived to be the way to go or to give an advantage, most newbs will want them and then cry at the cost.
    Just my 2 cents,
    J
     
  13. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    For hulls, the wood and glue required to build a wooden hull is less expensive than an equivalent fiberglass hull. On the other hand, the saws, sanders, drills, etc. also required for a wooden hull are another cost that must be considered, if you do not have access to them already.
    As far as fire control computer, the Morgret C&C system is pretty much an all-in-one unit. It's a radio, dual 30-amp drive ESC, pump ESC, water sensor, servo controller, solenoid controller, rate-of-fire timer, and pretty much every other electric or electronic function you can imagine, in a single unit. It is amazingly convenient, once you set it up. On the other hand, I have out-fought each of the prototype battleships with my own old-tech dreadnought, so the actual combat benefit is not very big.
     
  14. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    These are all great points, but as far as making this noob compatible.. not the point. If a noob is on a budget then he wouldnt be looking at the SOTF. This is probably geared more for the veterans. I wanted to find out what is the current State-of-the-Art technologies so that it could be combined into a theoretical ship of the future. I also wanted to find out what is 'around the corner' and the the C&C would certainly qualify in that category and I have been looking forward to seeing it for quite a while.

    I cant help but wonder what a kevlar hull would cost... would a rib ever break or get shot out?.. Hmmmm....

    I will post the updated SOTF list after we get more input.
     
  15. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    rough costing on the cloths shows roughly equivalent weights as 2X the material cost for kevlar over fiberglass and close to 6X for carbon fiber... greatly depends on specifics...

    I would hate to have to cut windows in the kevlar hull....
     
  16. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    It would be a labor of love!
     
  17. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    Kevlar's not particularly resistant to cutting. I think it'd be absolute overkill though.

    I do have another item that I discussed with Greg before: a pump design optimized for the rediculous speeds that the brushless motors are capable of.
     
  18. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see some faster pumps but I am sure that when pumps in Mwci pump too fast that a rule will follow it shortly to bring it into line. However I would love to see more consistency and reliability built into a pump so that I don't have to spend hours assembling a pump for optimal operation (30sec or less per gallon, looking for 26sec per gallon). This would help to reduce some maintenance time overall which is a good thing.
     
  19. SnipeHunter

    SnipeHunter Well-Known Member

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    What current problems do you see with what we use that you would like to solve? Seems to me that would drive improvements more than anything else.

    From what I've read so far it seems like the two big ones are:
    Weight for smaller ships
    C^2 for big gun

    What else?
     
  20. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    and I have one right now, designed for 12-16k rpm, but I am having trouble cutting the stainless impeller. I probably should go to aluminum for it for starters, but I had the 303 stainless, and it is not fun cutting it with 1/16" ball end mills.

    -Greg