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Help with my hovercraft build

hhall1089

Junior Member
#1
Hey guys I need some help with my hovercraft that I'm making. It's very similar to the one shown on Flitetest a few weeks ago. I'm trying to attach my forward thrust motor to my elevator channel. Everytime I try, it just cycles through the arming process over and over again. I tried changing controllers and receivers, but the same thing happens. I also tried putting the forward thrust motor in the throttle channel, and when I do that it works perfectly, but my main lift motor now has nowhere to go. Any suggestions?
 
#2
The elevator channel defaults to the center of its travel, which translates to half throttle for your application. The motor will not arm unless it is at zero throttle.

You will have to hold the elevator to the end of its travel (probably down, but not always). The motor should then arm, but then you're stuck with the problem that your throttle will default to half when you let go of the stick. To solve that you will need to get into the more advanced programmable radios.

Or use a brushed motor and Oooooold fashioned servo operated mechanical speed control that you can adjust the travel the same way you do the rudder or elevator.
 

Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#3
I think the way Peter did it he had both ESCs on a Y-harness to the throttle channel. So throttle would both cause the skirt to fill up and the craft to move forward. Either that or he had the lift motor on a switch to be always on/off and the pusher motor on the throttle.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#4
Why not set the thrust motor on the throttle channel and the lift motor on the aux channel with the rotary dial where you can manually set lift to work under varying conditions. Flat icy surface less lift needed, bumpy land surfaces need more lift to clear the humps and bumps in the ground. Then set up a servo on the aileron channel to make the drive motor turn or a set of fins that work to change direction. That's how I would do it anyway.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#7
On my devo 7 I have a rotary potentiometer next to the gear switch labeled aux 2. I was going to set that up at some point to control a mini servo and use it to adjust flight camera in flight instead of having to keep loosening screws and readjusting the camera each time I improve and can pitch more forward on my quad.

You can see it here just above the throttle stick in the upper left side of radio.
Complete walkera FPV setup..jpg
 

Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#8
On the Taranis there is also a dial on the side of the case that is easy to reach while without too much hand movement. (bottom left)
taranis3_1_3_2.jpg
 
#9
I know this is an old post but I thought I'd share how I set up my hovercraft that I built yesterday. I wanted to try several different ways of controlling the two motors. I set up one of the three position switches to control it three different ways.

The 1st, is what I'm calling "hover mode." When I move the throttle stick up, only the lift motor spools up. The thrust motor is attached to the elevator stick. This is nice in some ways because you can have it hover without driving into something. Good for taxiing or areas that have a lot of obstacles. Or testing it out in the pool (works great). To do this I have each motor in a separate channel and the elevator channel within my Taranis is set at -100% I believe. So when it's at center stick, it's reading zero. I may be wrong on the %.

The 2nd, I don't really have a name for, "throttle mode" maybe? In this one each motor is still in a separate channel, but they are partially mixed together in my Taranis. This is probably my favorite because I have it setup where the thrust motor doesn't kick on until the lift motor is at 50% power. This way you can hover, and as you go past 50% on the throttle stick the thrust most kicks on. It eventually catches up to the lift motor at about 75% power. This way seems to work really well and is the best of both worlds. If anyone wants details on the Taranis Mixes let me know and I'll get them.

The last way is how Peter had his hooked up, both motors run off the same stick, on the same power. So 50% stick = 50% power on thrust and lift. This works fine it just seems like it always trying to go really fast, and I have a lot of trees in the yard... I still have the motors in separate channels they are just mixed together within the radio. I didn't use a y-harness so I could get the other two methods to work with unplugging and plugging in things.

Hope this helps someone making a hovercraft. Mine is a lot of fun, but this year I'll actually be excited about snow/ice.
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#11
http://forum.flitetest.com/member.php?7376-brettp2004. Those are great solutions to setting up the motors. I may have questions on the 3-mode switch setups and how to get that to work. (my VF-9 project will be using something like that with my AT10)

Question:
Has anyone tried an exhaust style thrust thereby only needing one motor?
It would keep it light and maneuverable. I'd like to have a few things my 4 and 7 y.o.s can tool around with safely.

I just had two micro motors arrive, and was wondering if I shouldn't just build a hovercraft to tool around with, while I work on some yard-sized dragons to fly/dog-fight with.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#12
If its for the kids and play time is more important than engineering then you could build a simple airboat and fit removable casters (of reasonable size on the bottom. or even 2 fixed wheels on the front and a single caster at the rear where the fan and rudders are located.

Great fun speed, can be quite quick, and to use on snow or water just remove the casters/wheels. 2 channels only required, throttle and steering. for impact protection a small bicycle inner tube could be stretched around the hull and inflated.

All the fun of the hovercraft without the hours of engineering and far more time out of the battery for fun.