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Own design sub using Playmobil propulsion

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  • Own design sub using Playmobil propulsion

    I always liked the Playmobil propulsion and steering unit they made for their pirate ship. I thought this might be neat with a submarine as it is fairly reliable and simple. First I tried to incorporate into an existing sub model but that obviously doesn't really work, so I decided to make lemonade out of my lemon and make it part of fantasy sub. That also gave me the chance to design my first own sub. On a napkin these designs always look so simple and should be a quick job. Yeah right. Took me months to get something working. Had many design changes as you can see from the various pictures. Learned a ton (also thanks to some of my questions being answered on here) about what works and what doesn't and why.
    After many trials in the tank I tested it twice in the pool, today being the second time and it was relatively successful: The boat drives, steers, dives and rises again. Just all very slowly as the boat is by now pretty heavy to be stable and the Playmobil propulsion was designed for something lighter.
    The boat is entirely 3D printed and on the inside is a highly modified SD from the one that shall not be named. Its purpose is the static diving. As for the stuff sticking out: One is the 2.4 GHz antenna from Playmobil and the other item is the snorkel, which only lets through air. Since this boat looks like nothing else, instead of hiding the stuff I made it part of it. In the front (yes that's the front, Playmobil uses an impeller, not a propeller) is a cube camera.

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    Last edited by tifosi12; 11-19-2022, 04:58 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for the like. Always appreciated especially since nobody commented on this.

    I'm planning on bringing this sub to next year's run at Carmel, IN. Hoping to get some nice footage of other subs with the UW camera.

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    • #3
      So you're using a 2 radio systems? Propulsion and steering via the Playmobil unit running on 2.4 ghz and ballast control on a different system.
      Make it simple, make strong, make it work!

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      • #4
        This unit is compatible with Playmobils research submarine.
         
        Make it simple, make strong, make it work!

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        • #5
          Good luck my die in an hour, lost drive in one of the motor.

          Funny video
          https://youtu.be/1Ax5t6GS2Ys

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          • #6
            Tifosi, need some clearance: are those pictures showing the same model? What happened to the planes?

            Jörg

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            • #7
              Originally posted by redboat219 View Post
              So you're using a 2 radio systems? Propulsion and steering via the Playmobil unit running on 2.4 ghz and ballast control on a different system.
              Yes, exactly. Not ideal obviously but the static diving balance is on a knife's edge so I won't be doing too much up and down. Settle at periscope depth and then leave that remote control alone and just use the Playmobil for driving around.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by redboat219 View Post
                This unit is compatible with Playmobils research submarine.
                Left handed compliment?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cheapsub View Post
                  Good luck my die in an hour, lost drive in one of the motor.

                  Funny video
                  https://youtu.be/1Ax5t6GS2Ys
                  Those fish are weird.

                  I cornered the market on Playmobil RC propulsion units: Got three of them from the UK eBay (here in the States very hard to find). So I have plenty of backup engines. But they are virtually bullet proof: Have been using them for many years and never had a failure. Their engineering is really top notch.

                  Aside from this sub I like to attach them to ships: So you can build any e.g. battle ship without much fuss and take it to the pool. Just seal it and attach the propulsion unit.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JHapprich View Post
                    Tifosi, need some clearance: are those pictures showing the same model? What happened to the planes?

                    Jörg
                    Yes, that's all the same boat but in various different experimental stages:

                    Started out with a short version and the pilot with the "glass" canopy. That was bad for several reasons: As soon as the SD filled with water, the ship nose dived because of the lack of balance. So I had to stretch the boat, add compensating tank in the front and more weight underneath.
                    The canopy with the guy was a nightmare to flood and made static diving hard to predict because there is so much mass inside that dome.

                    I added the planes originally thinking I need them for stability. Then I started a thread on here where people explained a bunch about them which made me think maybe I don't need them. As it turns out the weights in the bottom made the ship rock solid, no need for the four planes.

                    Then I experimented with forward and rear planes for dynamic diving but they were not really necessary either.

                    After that I built two differently shaped superstructures (thats what I call the part above the water line) and experimented with different density which affects the buoyancy of the PLA. Ultimately I got it right and the superstructure matches now the fill volume in the SD.

                    As I said, not a pretty boat but one I learned a lot. What not to do, what to do and how to make the next ship better.

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                    • #11
                      Oh, I just made Commander. Yeah! :)

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                      • #12
                        I wonder why Playmobil designed the motor pods backwards?
                        Make it simple, make strong, make it work!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by redboat219 View Post
                          I wonder why Playmobil designed the motor pods backwards?
                          Good question. I don't have an answer. Maybe they tested the performance and found out that the impellers are more efficient. Or maybe they thought this looks cooler.

                          When I mounted them on my first ship (Lindberg Fletcher class destroyer) sure enough I did it the wrong direction. Oh well. Live and learn.

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                          • #14
                            So this is what you are using for propulsion and steering?

                            Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scott T View Post
                              So this is what you are using for propulsion and steering?

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Yes.

                              It's well designed. The LEDs indicate low battery and loss of signal. The steering can be trimmed and the unit has a simple process to bind it to the receiver for your own frequency. The battery pack is the lowest part and thus also helps with weight distribution and stability.

                              The only changes I recommend is to add two small blocks wedged between the unit and the attachment on the boat: in its original configuration the unit can swivel either way which translates into a lobsided ship above, easy fix though

                              I never found the radio controlled unit as your picture shows it. I only found it in combination with the pirate ship. So I ended up with a bunch of very irate pirates (harharrrr) who lost their mother ship.

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