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Larger thruster motor development?

#1

I’ve come here to this forum to ask this question because Blue Robotics keeps rejecting my emails to them and doesn’t appear to have a phone number to call which is somewhat frustrating when you want to spend money with a company on its products.

I’ve read some chatter about Blue Robotics possibly developing an even more powerful thruster motor than the 200. Can anyone comment on that?

I’d hate to purchase a pair of 200’s for my project (a mini personal solar electric catamaran) only to find out I could have purchased larger motors had I waited a little longer.

If this development is in the works, is there a timeline for expected availability?

And if so, will the motors work with the current Thruster Commander?

I don’t mind buying 200’s for now to get started and upgrading later if the rest of the components will be compatible.

Thanks, and sorry for having to post this here.

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(Adam) #2

Hi @SolGato,

Can you describe the issue you’re having reaching our email? Are you getting an error or email server rejection of some kind? I’m not sure why this would be happening, perhaps something to do with your specific email account and Gmail. Have you tried using another email address or a different computer/network?

Yes, I am working on a larger thruster. There is no official timeline or expected launch date at this time, but it will likely be available no earlier than the end of of the year, quite possibly later.

The Basic ESC will not be able to drive it at full power, but the more powerful ESC intended to work with it will still work fine with the Thruster Commander. There will not be any changes to the PWM signal/throttle range in the ESC firmware.

-Adam

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#3

Thanks for reaching out Adam.

Please see attached notification I received. I did not try to send from another account. We use this email and server daily for business and personal related email and this is the first time I have ever received this in reply.

And thanks for the info on the development. I’ll go ahead and move forward with the purchase of a pair of 200’s, controllers and Thruster Commander and look forward to a possible upgrade in the future.

Thanks ~Will

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#4

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#5

One more question if I may, I imagine the larger motors that are in development will handle more voltage. I see the Thruster commander can handle up to 28V.

Do you know what the voltage max will be on the new motors?

Asking because I’d like to build a battery to use for now that will also work with the bigger motors when they become available.

And on that note, does the Thruster Commander limit the voltage to the basic ESC’s or do the ESC’s provide any kind of limiting?

From what I’ve read it’s best to limit the 200 thrusters to 22V Max.

If the Thruster Commander doesn’t limit/protect the motors, then why is it rated up to 28V?

Was this integrated with future larger motor development in mind?

Thx.

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(Adam) #6

Hi @SolGato,

Please see attached notification I received. I did not try to send from another account. We use this email and server daily for business and personal related email and this is the first time I have ever received this in reply.

It looks like your email address has been marked as spam for some reason in our email system, sorry about that! If you PM me your email address, I’ll see if I can possibly remove it from the filter or fix whats happening. Otherwise, you may need to use another email address to contact us, there may be something odd going on with Gmail spam filtering.

Do you know what the voltage max will be on the new motors?

The maximum operating voltage has not yet been determined, but it is designed to run with an optimum balance of thrust and efficiency at 24 V. The maximum acceptable operating voltage will likely be around 30 V.

Asking because I’d like to build a battery to use for now that will also work with the bigger motors when they become available.

The larger thruster will have the aforementioned optimum balance of thrust and efficiency with a 6S lipo/li-ion battery (25.2 V max, 22.2 V nominal). A 7S or 8S battery will likely be fine on the high end as well, with down to 3S also fine with lower thrust and higher efficiency.

And on that note, does the Thruster Commander limit the voltage to the basic ESC’s or do the ESC’s provide any kind of limiting?

The thruster commander is a simple PWM signal generating device with some optional channel mixing to operate ESCs, servos, lights, or any other device that accepts RC style PWM signals. It does not do any power regulation and is unrelated to the ESC supply voltage.

From what I’ve read it’s best to limit the 200 thrusters to 22V Max.

As noted on the product page, the T200 is rated for operation at up to 20 V. Exceeding this with a 22 V supply is not recommended. You can read more about this limitation and what to expect if you choose to ignore this recommendation here. Another topic that is relevant to this discussion and goes into more detail can be found here.

If the Thruster Commander doesn’t limit/protect the motors, then why is it rated up to 28V?

The Thruster Commander is a generic PWM signal generating device that can be used for applications beyond just our thrusters, there is no reason to artificially limit the supply voltage. The voltage regulator on board was chosen for its wide input voltage range and low cost, and resulting in the 7-28 V input voltage.

Was this integrated with future larger motor development in mind?

Not specifically, but yes, this does mean a battery used to supply the ESC powering the larger thruster will also be able to power the Thruster Commander just fine.

-Adam

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(Etienne Demers) #7

Hello Adam,

Any hint on the specs you are trying to achieve?

Will you be operating at a different voltage?

What is your target date for this?

I am VERY interested.

Cheers,
E.

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(Adam) #8

Hi Etienne,

For now we have to a be a little cagey releasing public information about this larger thruster, as there is a lot that has not yet been finalized and is subject to change. We’ve found jumping the gun on this in the past has unfortunately led to confusion and frustration!

The specs that are set are a 24 V design voltage, and being well over twice as powerful as a T200. There is currently no set target date, but we will be letting all our distributors know once we have something we are confident in and can share.

-Adam

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#9

Aloha @adam,

Thanks for answering my questions in detail with what info you can offer at this time. It will definitely help me build something that can work for now, but also support the larger motors when they later become available.

I went ahead and placed my order through your site and am looking forward to receiving the components for my solar electric catamaran build.

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(Etienne Demers) #10

Hi Adam,

Thank you for sharing this information. It give a good idea of where things are going.

Cheers,
E.

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(Christian) #11

…lot of different Trusters on the marked, and Much else arriving soon )

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#14

Without the nacelle I don’t think it’s a competing product and like you say, this is all a bunch of open source stuff that people can modify however they like. It’s only bogus if it’s a straight undercutting copy type of thing. Please share any 3d printer files to thingiverse if you can. I just recently put the rmg mold and some good info up there to help people get a tether disconnect for ~$150.

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#16

If this were a thread BR created to announce a new product, it would be out of place for people to post their own things, but that’s not what’s happening.

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(Christian) #18

…you get Quickconnectors for 120$ 8 pin(Sea con “copy” 400m rating,… then Scotchcast and a mould or …big Shinkingtube :wink:

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(Adam) #19

Hi all,

We created this forum to be a place for open discussion, not just about our products, but about all of marine robotics in general. Discussing other manufacturers vehicles and components is absolutely fine if it comes up! We make it a point not to edit or delete anything unless our users wish us to do so, and have no intention of censoring any civil discussion. Our view is that any discussion of marine robotics vehicles and components, not just ours, is a good thing that furthers our mission of increasing the accessibility of marine technology. Of course many users here are most familiar with and we can best add to discussion about our products, so naturally the focus will be there.

I would like to point out that although we do have a very open platform and our software is open source, not all our hardware is. We do have some electrical schematics posted on our Github for components like the SOS leak detector, Bar30, and others. However, we hold some components, like our thrusters, more closely and do not make the design files freely available. In fact, our thruster design is patented, both in the US and EU.

-Adam

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