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...that’s not an RC Sub...THAT’S an RC Sub!

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  • ...that’s not an RC Sub...THAT’S an RC Sub!

    Sorry folks, but I like BIG RC Submarines……….(1 of 3)

    Frank Salerno is a genius regarding to what he’s doing here, so much so that he has little care for such “mundane” things as learning to use social media or “posting” in forums. As for me, I feel it would be a shame to witness this project and not share it with you. I may have been doing this since the late ‘80’s, but I’m learning from the “new” guy, which is EXACTLY how I want it to be!! So my goal now is to document this build journey for him, and you.

    It’s difficult to believe that a relative newcomer to the world of RC Submarines would choose to undertake one of the more difficult subjects in our community, the SEAVIEW, and a fully operational 4 window version to boot! The SSRN SEAVIEW. But then again this particular newcomer is no stranger to model making. In fact Frank is a retired professional with the work title “Model Maker” who had worked in the Grumman model shop back in the day. He was one of the starters of Creative Model’s when they got laid off at one of Grumman’s infamous downsizings during the Lockheed love affair.

    For posterity's sake…...

    Need give a little background on the the history of this build itself, and the other reason I need to document it…..us!! This story really starts for us (the RC Sub Community) during the time I first met Ray Mason, which was at the very first Groton Sub Base Fun run in ‘92. Ray brought his famous home-brewed Disney NAUTILUS, which as far as anyone can tell, is indeed the first operational RC NAUTILUS, which he had built in the early ‘80’s. He also brought his home-brewed SEAVIEW , which was not operational at the time. Most people will remember this as the “foreshortened” SEAVIEW. About a 20” or so shorter than it should be given the beam. That was intentional so he could fit it in the blue Mitsubishi Minivan he had at the time. I remember this so well because I just purchased the now rare 80” SEAVIEW (DeBoer’s LARGEST version released) at the time and Ray was stoking me with ideas on how to get it operational. Over the next year his ideas were instrumental in me getting mine to run!

    FWIW, I miss that van, felt like we were traveling in the “Mystery Machine” everytime we went to the Regatta, too bad Scooby wasn’t there…..

    Anyhoo, it’s was at the first OFFICIAL SubRegatta in ‘93 that Ray, and the rest of the RC Sub Community (and real Submariners) saw what an RC SEAVIEW can do! And do it did!! Also a another first from Ray in the community, but now the SEAVIEW! It was big, it was bold, and heads snapped as this large, somewhat unconventional boat swam like a big grey dolphin in North Lake.

    I know! See, Ray tasked me to film this very first venture of his SEAVIEW, he had been busy filming EVERYONE else’s boat that day and finally had the time for history! So there she sailed to the delight of the crowd, with me at the camera following it’s every move!! The crowd was silent...Ray was praying. Then it was done and the audience clapped!! Ray had worked his way over to me during the surfacing and asked as he brought her home, You got it?” I happily replied,”Sure!”. He then asked, “You sure the red light was blinking?”. I went numb as I responded, “What red light?”.

    And that’s the story behind first RC SEAVIEW putting to “sea”.

    Back during all these shenanigans, Ray and Frank both worked at Grumman, and Ray needed a radar for his SEAVIEW made so he approached the Model Shop, and it was Frank who volunteered to have one “punched“ out. Well one thing led to another and Frank eventually acquired Ray’s SEAVIEW mold’s when he was at Creative Model’s. Seeing it was indeed out of proportion, the “out of control maniac” that he is, set out to make things right. He increased the LOA, the length of the nacelles, as well as the Sail among other things to satisfy his OCD. All of this based on what research material he could find, as well as lifting dimensions and details off the Moebius SEAVIEW.

    See, this is HIS boat, we all have one. Frank even made one from wood back in his youth. Therefore it’s no surprise Frank will push limits here, and fortunate for us because we get to learn. I’m personally fortunate as only living 15 minutes from his home shop where this magic is brewing.

    So this is Frank’s SSRN SEAVIEW story……….

    Frank and the 104” modified Mason Hull SSRN SEAVIEW.


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    THIS folks, is an RC Submarine, one that has “presence” when leaving a wake.
    Note the Teskey SEAVIEW and Moebius SEAVIEW down below for scale.

    Some more pictures indicating her size, note the old RC Transmitter for scale.


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    Starting at the bow, here are the operational Crash Doors…..

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    ….and the operating mechanism detail!

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    You can see a quick, yet detailed video of the operation here, (newer, HD version) : Behind the Crash Doors

    Behind the crash doors of course you have the detailed Observation Lounge and Control Room of course.
    Note the Moebius SEAVIEW Lounge/Control Room to the left for scale.

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    Here we see the underside of the bow with FS1 nestled in it’s bay. The doors, which are removed, will be operational as well. He’s working on that now.

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    Same view, with FS1 removed. Why? I’m told THAT will be an independent, fully functional RC Submarine as well! He’ll guarantee launching, but retrieval (even for him) will be problematic. He’s outta’ control I says!

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    The Sail, which will not only have functional Fairwater planes, but working ‘scopes, radar AND a practical snorkel for air induction!

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    Here you see the detail of the scopes and mast’s. The “Photonics” Mast is to the right, and the Snorkel to the left. Note the 3rd tube below the snorkel assy, that’s for the air induction itself. Everything will be pneumatic, drawing on his RC Flying experience. The air will not only be used to surface (Low Pressure Blower operation) but to refill the pneumatic air reservoir.

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    Now purist’s out there will scream “There were no Photonic’s mast’s in the 60’s, much less on the SEAVIEW!!” Well Frank get’s artistic license as many of us do! He reason’s the location of the Control Room with respect to the Sail warrants it, and I agree because she represented a sub of the future…and it looks cool!!
    Try this one, Congressman. Two "S"s in "progress."
    So if I see any of you little hack purist’s walking around a show like you do with your little ruler, I’ll introduce you to my baseball bat “Lucille”.

    Closer view of the mechanism.


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    I had to get some video of those operating as well, see it here: Periscope and Snorkel operation

    What you see here is the working mechanism for the Radar. Which of course will Raise, Lower and rotate….but not “Radiate”, so we can have men working in the sail (Bubbleheads will “get” me). Just crushed, but not fried.

    He was tweaking it so that’s why it’s not together at the time of the photo. Next time I visit the “SALERNO INSTITUTE for MARINE RESEARCH” (S·I·M·R) I’ll get some video.


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    v/r "Sub" Ed

    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

  • #2
    (2 of 3)

    As we move aft, here is the detail of the raised track (handcrafted brass), along with the hand holds (Stainless Rod) used by divers to move their way along the hull as Capt. Crane did in the movie. Frank asked about the raised track and if it was realistic. I could only tell him my experience aboard the GRANT and how it was recessed there. The sailor would hook his harness up to it and then could move forward and aft while underway in a sea. But seeing it on film as well as what’s on the Moebius SEAVIEW, he’s got it right for her.

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    As Adm. Nelson said, “Now, down here you'll find the sting of the ship……”
    These are the openings of the 4 working missile launchers Frank plan’s to have onboard.


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    The aft set of Launch tubes.


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    Inside the hull……


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    …..and the Launch tubes themselves!

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    A nice view from the stern looking forward to get a better impression of her size. Note the home-brewed WTC to the right (red end caps), more on that in a moment!

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    Now onto Propulsion and Maneuverability!
    Here you can see the business end of the Starboard Nacelle. Rudder and Stern Planes are made from brass, heavy brass. T-100 Terminator grade stuff! Certainly meets the first two requirements of any of my RC builds, Functionality and Durability.


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    Looking at the Port Nacelle, you can see another feature he incorporated that I consider Priority 3: Accessibility for maintenance and repair. Both these propulsion units are modular! ALL of this hand crafted by him.

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    The unit removed.

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    A closer view of the output end. You can see the handcrafted, brass stator and just make out the red rotor beyond.

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    Finally the water intake end. The motor housing (low KV range 500 size brushless motor) is removable too. Behind that you can see a better view of the rotor

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    ...tbc
    v/r "Sub" Ed

    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

    Comment


    • #3
      (3 of 3)

      Frank also needed to engineer and fabricate the water intake grills. He tried fiberglass as well as vacuforming them. You can see the attempts here, with the forward end of his WTC above.
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      In the end, sheet brass and a Dremel won out. Here is the outboard view....
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      .....and the inboard view.
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      Speaking of brass, Frank is an artist! Check out these handcrafted details, the penny for scale!
      Left to right, top to bottom:

      FS1 Observation Lounge Access Hatch - Deck Hatch - Radar
      Bridge Access Hatch - Sail Door - Ladder (duh)
      Missile Tube Muzzle Hatch

      You really have to see them to appreciate the work!!
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      Finally to the WTC. You can see the cradle within the hull, and the incomplete WTC to the right. Frank, like myself, enjoy's using AZEK . The white PVC trim for houses one can find at Home Depot, Lowes etc. Pros: Easy to cut, Machinable, sandable, Adhesives that work for PVC, light, positively buoyant. Cons: Positively buoyant. I find it readily accepts thermal type threaded inserts. Been using it for years.
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      The fwd end of the WTC. You can see where the ballast tank starts, his onboard gas reservoir and surge baffles within the tank portion, as well as the electronics conduit. Regarding those conduits, STAR TREK called them "Jefferies tube's" after the original Art Director Matt Jefferies, in our case I call 'em "Merriman tube's". Seems fitting somehow.
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      Here's the AFT end, with a ballast pump.
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      Aft section again where the Merriman tube enter's. Note the tank baffle too.
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      Closeup of the aft end....
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      .....and the fwd end.
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      Time for something "different". By now you noticed he isn' using the "normally accepted" 4" cylinder bulkhead, but rather those commercially available Mechanical Plastic Test Plug Gripper from Oatey. You can see it disassembled here. What a slick idea for those of us who don't really cast! I just love it when someone thinks outside of the box!! Machine off the flange and BAM, she'll sit in the tube like Frank did! He gets the 2019 "Sub" Ed "Whatever's lying around" Engineering Award!! Bravo Zulu dude!!
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      Well this is it for now. Next time I'm over at Franks I'll get an update and post it here.

      While it's slated to hit the water late this year, it will probably debut at Groton in 2020!!

      It truly is a pleasure watching members of our community tackle something of this scale head on, and get it to work. I know he will, he's got the backing of all of us. Ray and myself alone bring on close to 70 years of combined experience at his doorstep to help him. More importantly, Frank is teaching ME as well.

      Speaking of Ray, I want you to know Ray is one of the kindest, most forgiving RC Submariners I ever met.
      A red light that didn't blink proves it.

      May your boat always return to port.
      Last edited by QuarterMaster; 05-08-2019, 12:30 AM.
      v/r "Sub" Ed

      Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
      NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
      USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

      Comment


      • #4

        Stunning work. A major effort.

        David
        "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Bravo Sir! After viewing that, I think I need a cigarette! (and I don't smoke)

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, she is a beauty! Another build I will look forward to the updates on.
            If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob Gato View Post
              Bravo Sir! After viewing that, I think I need a cigarette! (and I don't smoke)
              Smoke all you want Bob, we're doing your Fleet boat next!!

              They're gonna get a kick out of your particular...how do I put this????

              ....solutions.
              v/r "Sub" Ed

              Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
              NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
              USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

              Comment


              • #8
                All I can post here is OMG WOW!!!! There are other words BUT I think they would not be appropriate to post here. Incredible work, Wow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Simply awesome. Sometimes bigger sizes allow better work and simpler solutions, but also create other challenges. Wait to see that wonder on the water

                  Comment

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