Intro: How to Make a DIY Remote Control Airboat
Here we will be building a Remote controlled boat. The build is fairly simple even if you have little to no experience with electronics and DIY. You can also have a look at my Youtube video to see all the steps and the tests here
The materials you will need are:
- A Styrofoam container
- 2 Motors and Propellers
- Foam Bard
-An old RC vehicle
Step 1: Taking Apart an Old RC Car
To start off we take apart a remote control car. From the RC car all we need is the steering system and the circuit board that controls all the RC functions. All the wires leading to LEDs were snipped and will not be used. Wires leading to the battery pack, the antenna, and the drive motor were snipped but will be used.
Step 2: Attaching the Hardware
Once the component we need are removed from the car we are let with the remote control circuit board, the steering system and the antenna. Those can be attached to the styrofoam plate and then two motors and their propellers can be mounted on top of foam board.
Step 3: Making a Steering Mechanism
To make the steering mechanism I drill two dowel sized holes into two Popsicle sticks. One sits on top of the motor of the steering mechanism, the other should be glued to a piece of wood .5 cm away from the steering motor. The one glued in place will serve as a pivot point for the next piece built. The piece that pivots should be a Popsicle stick cut to 3 cm and two dowels should be drilled in it 1.5 cm apart. That piece can now be put into place, the dowels extruding from it should fit into the holed drilled in the two mounted Popsicle sticks.
The last step to complete the steering mechanism is cutting out two steering fins and gluing them onto the parts of the steering mechanism we just placed. If this step is unclear i recommend having a look at the video
Step 4: Doing the Wiring
All the hardware is now in place and only needs to be wired up. To start we attach two motors in parallel to the wires the drive motor was previously attached to. To attach the wires in parallel i simple connect the positive of each motor to the positive of the drive wire from the circuit board. The negatives of the motors will attach to the negative from the drive motor's wire.
Next comes connecting the battery pack. In the picture i used a pack that fits 2 AAA batteries but upon testing i realized i needed 4 AAA batteries. Once you obtain a battery pack, simply connect it to the wires that connected the circuit board to the car's battery pack. At this point they should be the only two unused wires remaining so you can connect those wires to the battery pack and add a switch in between.
Before testing it out we also need to protect the circuits. I cut out some foam board, sized it accordingly, and placed it over the wiring to protect it from water.
Step 5: Testing It Out
Now that the build is complete, get down to a calm body of water, place the boat in and control it using the remote controlled car's remote. If you want to see how mine worked you can see it here
Since this boat has nothing on the underside it can be tested in very shallow water. This is a good idea to test the boat out for the first time so you can make sure everything works without it drifting away.
Make sure to watch out for the range of the remote so that the boat does get too far away from you and lose signal. Also watch out for using the boat on rough days because it is very small and you don't want the circuitry to get wet.
If you liked this instructable or tried the project please be sure to leave a comment and a like for me, thanks.