RECENT TUG RECOMMENDATIONS
AS OF JUNE 12, 2013.
I'm often asked what electronics I recommend. This is from a recent email. These are only suggestions. Please review other manufacturers and make your own good decisions.
The instructions are online. I recommend the following ( towerhobbies.com pages )
2.4 ghz radio. No crystals. No frequency conflicts. A good thing if you are recovering a disabled boat that might be on the same frequency as your rescue boat. No long pokey antenna. Black electrical tape can cover the adjustment wheels to keep it on track if you pass the transmitter to visitors frequently. Only uses 4 AA batteries. Most AM & FM Transmitters use 8ea AA batteries and draw 5 times the current of this 2.4 ghz model. For weekend use, one set of 4 batteries will last all year.
Good safe ESC electronic speed control. It also provides power to the radio receiver so no separate battery is needed for it. Made for cars, but it will stay dry in the tug. Avoid some ESCs. See this page for recommendations: http://www.vac-u-boat.com/ESCs.htm
The radio above doesn’t come with a servo. You will need one of these.
Medium CA (super glue) to bond the deck to the hull and ends of the rub rail.
Or you can use the Devcon “2 Ton” epoxy from Ace Hardware. Don’t use 6 or 15 minute epoxy. Over time, moisture will degrade them to rubber. Only 30 minute or longer is really waterproof. You will need the additional working-time anyway. You will use this for gluing the ballast and to install the prop-shaft/skeg area. I’d recommend it to install the hull liner, although that could be done with CA if you are in a hurry.
You will also need a filler to mix with the epoxy for some applications. Talcum powder will do fine. Exotic fillers (microspheres) aren’t necessary. Weight saving is not a factor. Filler will strengthen the epoxy and prevent the epoxy from being so brittle once it is cured.
At full power with average rudder use, the tug uses 670 milliamps. Actual use is not constant full power. Divide 2,000 or 3,000 by 670 for hours of use.
This is a beginner-level 1,500 mAh battery, wall charger, and AA’s for your transmitter. Best price.
Other chargers cost more to charge faster, to peak automatically, or are
flexible to charge NiCads, NiMh, or LiPoly batteries too.
Never run a battery down to zero. They tend to overheat if over-charged, or when draining the last 5% of the power from them.
Finally, a carton of BB’s will make good ballast. Better, if available, lead bird shot (#6, 7 or 8) takes up less room in the hull and won’t rust over time.
I recommend Krylon Fusion paints (walmart, ace hardware) because they stick to clean styrene without sanding and will never peel. Home Depot just came out with a line of Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2x paint labeled for Plastics. Preliminary tests show it sticks to styrene as good as Krylon. Won’t peel. Bonds great. Stays too tacky to be able to mask and spray over with other colors within the 1 hour recoat time limit. Much more pigment than Krylon Fusion. Krylon will dry and can be taped and recoated nicely within its 2 hour recoat limit. For both, never spray on humid days or they will blush. Never recoat between the times listed on the cans or the new coat will wrinkle the old coat.
Please review this page on painting to avoid trouble: http://www.vac-u-boat.com/Painting%20Tips%20Menu.htm
That is about it.