Introduction: RC Boat Made Out of a Deli Cup and Recycled RC Airplane Parts (With Bonus Mod at the End)
This boat is an affordable, easy to make remote controlled boat made out of a 36 or 24 oz. deli cup, a small propeller, hot glue, duct tape, a large Popsicle/craft stick, a small plastic box, and some common RC electronics (I am using all of the electronics from a Hobbyzone Champ)
Step 1: Video
I didn't have a pond or lake available, so I jut used a bath tub. A tub or a kitchen/bathroom sink big enough works great for testing your water proofing.
Step 2: Parts List:
- 2+ Channel Transmitter and small receiver.
- Servo (can be any type as long as it is compatible with your receiver).
- Motor and ESC - BRUSHED ONLY - It needs to be brushed because they work better under water.
- Battery for the electronics (this depends on your electronics, for instance, I used the battery that also came from the RC Airplane that I got the electronics from).
- Small propeller that fits the motor (most propellers will work, I used one off of the tail of a RC helicopter)
- Deli cup (36 oz. or 24 oz; 36 oz. recommended).
- Small plastic cup w/ lid that fits all of the components (I used one called the "Really Useful Box").
- Weights (anything works, such as a fishing sinker, but it helps if it is rectangle shaped so you can put the box on top of it).
- Duct Tape.
- 3/4 in. craft/Popsicle sticks.
- Some type of wire to use as a pushrod (Paperclips work fine)
I got some of my parts here:
Battery, Transmitter, Receiver, Motor, and ESC:
Step 3: Tools:
- Hot Glue gun with hot glue sticks
- Hobby Knife (X-Acto, Snap knives...)
- Drill with 1/2" and 1/16" or 1/8" drill bits
- A black felt marker such as a Sharpie
- A Multitool can help, but it is optional
- An extra set of hands can help, but you don't need them. If you can't find someone to help you and you want help, you can try using "Helping Hands"
Step 4: Forming the Hull (the Deli Cup) (click on Each Picture for Instructions)
First, guess about a quarter of the cup's circumference, then cut it out, but DON'T CUT THE LID!!!
Next, glue the top on to the cup and use duct tape if you need
to make the edges smoother.
Keep the part that you cut out to use as the hinges .
Now put it in some water to make sure that it is sealed. If it leaks, push it under water about half way, and if you see bubbles, that is where your leak is, and use hot glue or tape to patch it.
Step 5: Add Weights
Add any type of weight that makes the boat sink about 1/3 of the hull's diameter, then make sure they are in the middle, then glue them in place. Make sure to test a lot because if the weights are too far forward, backward, or to one side, it will affect the boat and make it perform worse and it will be harder to get it to go straight.
TIP: If you want more steering control, put the weights a little farther back, and if you want less control if you are new to the hobby, put them closer to the front (the front will be the bottom of the cup, not the lid).
Again, make sure to test a lot for balance.
Now set this part aside and we will make the next part.
Step 6: Attach the Smaller Container
First, drill a hole in the lid big enough to fit the plug of the motor through. This side of the lid will be the back. Look at the pictures because they will help a lot with explaining the instructions. Don't glue anything yet.
Then, drill a 1/2" hole by where the servo's pushrod will come out, and cut out a small line so you can take the top on and off.
Remember, don't glue anything yet.
Step 7: Make the Fin and Rudder
Cut two 1.5" pieces of craft sticks and glue one on top of the other to make a rectangle that is 1.5" by 0.75" (The thickness of the craft stick.
Now, make one more of the same thing and glue them on top of each other with two pieces of plastic or hinge tape in between (see pictures).
Now cut two pieces about 4.5" long and cut a slant at the bottom.
Then, measure how many craft sticks it takes to equal the diameter of your motor. (It is better to be slightly less than more because the glue will take up a little bit) For example, as you can see in the picture, the motor I am using is as thick as 4 craft sticks.
Now cut that number of 3.5" long craft sticks (so I would cut four 3.5" long pieces)
If you use an even number of sticks, glue half of them together, then glue the two halves together with the hinges in between them. If you use an odd amount, glue them all together an cut slits is the middle to put the plastic in.
Now glue the two pieces with the slant at the bottom on with the motor in between.
Step 8: Optional Step: Making a Stand.
Making a stand out of craft sticks is very easy and will help a lot. Just look at the pictures.
You can also just use the duct tape roll.
Step 9: Gluing the Rudder on and Making Holes for the Motor Wire.
To glue the rudder on, just make sure it is as straight up and down as you can, then glue it like the picture.
Now, drill a hole at the bottom of the back for the motor wire.
Put glue around the hole to seal it.
Step 10: Gluing the Bottom of the Smaller Box and the Electronics in Place.
This first part is hard so look at the pictures and the notes. Here are the notes for the pictures in order:
1. Put the motor through the hole you drilled earlier. (Use pliers to help)
2. Don't glue it yet, but use a clip to prevent it from coming out because it is hard to get back in.
3. a. Glue the piece of plastic on.
b. Glue the wire in place.
Now to glue the electronics board in, cover the bottom with duct tape if there isn't a case, then glue that to the boat.
Finally, plug in the motor.
Step 11: Adding Steering
To make the steering parts, first, drill a hole for the pushrod to go through, then make the two pieces in the pictures.
Now, put them together like the pictures.
Step 12: Test
Now, plug in a battery, put the top on, and test it and trim if necessary.