Not quite mint condition

Looks like I was a little too enthusiastic about the condition of the boat. For some reason the range of the remote is about 1.5 meters. There is nothing I can see which could be responsible for it, at least no loose wires, but I’m far from being an expert.

The second thing I realized when I opened the box containing the electronics is that there is only one circuit board containing everything. I guess that makes it cheaper producing the boats, but I guess I’ll have to replace everything except the motors.

This box contains everything, the wires are connected to battery, motors, ON/OFF-switch, on the backside is another one to the antenna.

Well, considering that I would have replaced all that stuff anyway I still consider it a pretty good deal.

Boat arrived

Today I got the boat I ordered last week. As stated previously, it is an “Atlantic Yacht” by Heng Long. The boat was returned to the retailer, so he sold it as defective on eBay. Since it was returned I expected something broken, but hoped it wouldn’t be serious. Well, it exceeded my expectations. At least regarding the “broken parts”, its performance leaves to be desired.

First a full view of the boat.

Continue reading Boat arrived

Possible future project: Automated roving tank

I know, people are going to scream “Skynet” about this one, but I just can’t resist. I have am RC tank (coincidentally¬†also from Heng Long) sitting around here, doing nothing. Until today I thought it was dead, but today I realized it works after changing the channel. When controller and receiver are on channel A it doesn’t work, after changing both to channel B it works fine. No idea why.

Anyway, after realizing it works fine I decided that this might be a nice project after I get my Boat working. There is one problem though I need to address on both projects: Having more than one motor for propulsion. Every code I’ve seen yet on ArduPilot assumes that you only have one motor for propulsion. Normally that’s no big deal, I just wire both motors together and connect them to the ArduPilot as one.

That doesn’t work on the tank though, since tracked vehicles need to control both tracks independently for steering. On the boat this will be useful to program closer turns, having one screw turning forward and the other one turning backward.

New Project: RC boat autopilot

Today I took the first step for a new project that kept returning to my mind for the last couple of days.

I bought a remote controlled boat on eBay. The boat is an Atlantic Yacht by Heng Long which is sold by the retailer as “defective” because it has been returned by a customer. No idea what’s wrong with it, I hope it’s just the control unit I’m going to replace anyway.

Currently I’m planning to equip it with an Arduino based¬†ArduPilot¬†that is modified for marine usage.