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by Charles Darley

Development of the electronics

We are looking into the electronics concerning failure of the motor control system. Should the propeller become covered in weed then the current drawn by the motor could/does rise significantly.

John, the electronics friend and I are developing a monitoring system where by the current to the motor is shut off if it exceeds a predetermined level. After a time delay, the monitor board then allows a short pulse of current, if the fault is still there it is shut down again and so on.

At the present time the test rig show the system to work in so much as it shuts down the current to the motor but the programming of the micro computer may need alteration or it may be a need for electronic component changes to make a system that is usable in the model. The led lit above is a simulation of the over current state.

The led will eventually be used to indicate via the navigation red lights on the main mast that the model ship in is trouble and not under our control

I am currently working on a control system to monitor the battery condition of the main motor battery supply and the battery to supplies all the power for the electronics. Jelly lead Acid cells do not like being discharged below about 10 volts under load. The system proposed will look at the battery volts and if it is at 11 volts (rather than 10 volts to further protect the battery) then it will switch a relay to a secondary battery and indicate via the RED lights on the main mast that there are problems.

This will alert the person operating the craft to return to the quay side for investigation.

Similar arrangements are in hand for the electronics battery but here the critical state will be a higher voltage. Thus the fail safe situation will be used to notify in good time the impending doom of the battery and bring to the craft to the quay as soon as possible.

Facilities to monitoring the temperature of the main motor are being considered.

This system will be quite separate from the over amp system given above. Each system is controlled by a micro computer which was programed to suite our needs.

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