RC pontoon from a toy car

[Kevin Sandom] built this boat using a radio controlled toy car. The two pontoons are recycled from Styrofoam packaging material using some thick wire to connect them and provide a framework for the propulsion and control circuitry. The motor itself is a hobby outboard, which really only required [Kevin] to develop a method for steering. He walks us through the build process in the video after the break, where we find out that the original toy has a pretty bad design flaw. It seems the car used four AA batteries to drive the motor, but one of the four batteries was also used separately from the other three to power the control circuitry. Running that battery down faster than the others shortens the life of the whole.

This is considerably easier than the underwater ROV hacks we’ve seen before. We do think that it would make for a fun weekend project, and we’d bet you’ll get some weird looks for piloting what appears to be garbage around a pond.

[Thanks Rob]

Comments

  1. mark says:

    As for garbage in the pond, see the bottle-based RC “Footie” sailboats:

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1294350

  2. tulcod says:

    nice little build, but please, your show, you’re just trying too hard man! chill out and cut the music, unless you’ll do it right :P

  3. operative says:

    Nice concept for beginners that have lots of electronic stuff they don’t use. As for the video, i stopped watching it after 1:45. The music and overall soundquality is incredible bad and annoying

  4. fartface says:

    The motors will draw far FAR more than the control circuit.. The perceived flaw is a net no effect due to the fact that the motors in the RC car will kill the batteries far faster than any problem caused by the tiny draw from the receiver causes.

    This is actually a very common design in low cost toys.

  5. Harvie says:

    I like the goa/psytrance playing on background…

  6. yetihehe says:

    Kevin’s site looks just like this boat… nonetheless nice hack.

  7. Bill D. Williams says:

    I agree with fartface, even with his odd name.

    Kids will actually figure out that they can move the batteries around and get more power out of them.

  8. dude says:

    I thought shaking only worked for ink cartridges?

    if the loads on the battery were equal… would it be possible to hook them up in serial and parallel?

  9. Booker T. Worthington says:

    Now this is what I call a hack!

  10. grovenstien says:

    Loads of drag! Cut the pontoons in half, i reckon they would still provide enough buoyancy. A proper hack none the less!

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