Vac-U-Cam TM

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With Hewlett Packard hp 315 PhotoSmart® Digital Camera attached.

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 Tim built this Camera Boat with a an HP 612xi digital camera.


Vac-U-CamTM Camera Boat Hull Kit
For Radio Control
Manufactured by Vac-U-Boat

To view a PDF of the instructions, Click HERE.

A stable camera platform for use with water-resistant or water-proof digital cameras. A 3-channel radio is recommended to control the rudder, speed control, and camera shutter. With a 2-channel radio, you can "Y" connect the shutter servo to the rudder servo to take photos while sitting still in the water. It has the same hull and running gear as the Vac-U-Tug and includes a Camera Mounting Deck and Universal Shutter Linkage Hardware with all deck and running hardware made of brass, aluminum, or stainless steel. With this boat, you can take water-level photos of lakefront real estate, nature scenes, or your club's watercraft. Camera and Radio/Electronics are not included. Use the radio gear from your "Vac-U-Tug" to operate this craft.

Hull Kit contents: Everything that comes with the Vac-U-Tug hull kit except: A Camera Deck Hardware Package is substituted for the Pilot House, Pilot Roof, and Exhaust Stack. The Deck has a wedge shaped cabin that forms a level platform to mount the Camera Deck when the boat is properly ballasted.

To complete this Camera Hull kit, you will need: ADULT SUPERVISION, 2 ounces of 6 or 15-minute epoxy, medium CA glue, (Regular or non-toxic model cement will work fine but CA "super glue" is needed for the end joint of the rubber rub rail) electric drill with bit assortment, screwdrivers including a tiny Phillips screwdriver for servo screws, scissors, hobby knife or Xacto® knife, 20 to 30 ounces of ballast weights (a carton of 5,000 BB’s or lead shot work well), pencil, masking tape, light sewing-machine oil, plastic-friendly model spray paint or non-toxic type polyester brush paints compatible with plastic, and a camera that weighs 16 ounces (one pound) or less with its shutter button mounted on its top and tripod screw mount on the bottom.

To complete the radio-controlled camera boat, you will also need:


A three channel surface frequency radio with two standard servos. 2.4 GHz radios are preferred so you don't have frequency conflicts with other RC boats on the lake. These let you control the shutter of the camera with the third channel. Many pistol radios are 3 channel for roughly the same price as a 2-channel.



A two-channel AM radio, (rudder & throttle), with two servos can be made to work with a servo Y connector, connecting the shutter servo to the rudder servo to take a photo at extreme right or left rudder. (for example)

You can use a two-stick model or a pistol-type radio like R/C cars use,


An Electronic Speed Control (ESC) with forward and reverse,

NiCad batteries are still around. Most modern battery packs are Nickel-Metal Hydride NiMh, which are safer and don't have a charge "memory". LiPo Lithium Polymer batteries work great if you have a safe charger.

To avoid fires, always supervise the charging of any king of battery.

A 7.2 volt rechargeable battery (six cells),


For a 20% boost in power, a seven cell 8.4 volt pack, (Recommended for tugs used for towing or recovery work.)


A Battery Charger. Inexpensive wall chargers will work


but "Peak Detection" chargers are best for your batteries

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Model Victoria sailboat photos and an interesting reflective landscape taken with a digital camera mounted on the deck of a Vac-U-Cam Camera Boat. 

Give your club photos a whole new perspective!