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Powered SUP on board speed control?


(John Bailey) #1

I’ve just ordered a T200 that I want to power a SUP but am finding it difficult to find information on how/where to get an onboard waterproof speed controller to attach to the esc? It seems most options are RC not direct connection. Cheers John


(Rusty) #2

Hi John,

Thanks for the post. There aren’t a whole lot of options out there for direct control of an ESC, especially waterproof ones. We usually recommend “servo tester” devices, which will output the right signal, such as this one:

That’s not waterproof, but perhaps it could be adapted. We’re working on developing some better options for this but we don’t have a release date for that yet.

-Rusty


(John Bailey) #3

Hi Rusty,
thanks for your reply. I’m a bit surprised how hard it is to do this. I sort of thought from the website forums with kayaks and SUP’s listed that a few more of the issues might have been sorted. I have wondered then if an easier solution is to go via RC control which I guess is how most of your units are controlled, which leads to the next question which is, Is there a small, waterproof, close range controller that I could use to control just speed that I could hand hold or fix to a tiler?
Cheers John Bailey


(Rusty) #4

Hi John,

I know and I understand your surprise. Almost all of our products are designed for use in robotics, which means that there’s always a computer to provide the control signals. For SUP/kayak, that’s not so practical and usually well out of people’s comfort zones.

We’ve been actively working on a simple controller for situations like this that will provide speed control and steering control for a few thrusters on a SUP, kayak, or even a scuba diver. I’m hoping to get that product out within about 2 months if you can wait that long!

-Rusty


(John Bailey) #5

Hi Rusty,
Again thanks for your reply and yes I would be interested in the switch development.
I guess I should tell you a bit more about my project/ideas. I am a 63 years old and retired. I am am normally active in SUP, Windsurfing a little Kitesurfing and Adventure motorcycling. I have been having a few nerve problems in my leg and have been spending a bit more time sitting around. To keep me occupied my son has got me into FPV drone building and flying.
It has been this crossover of interests that lead me to Bluerobotics.
I have been watching with interest the development of foils, especially on SUPs and Windsurfers. The SUP foils are low speed foils with Youtube footage of elite paddlers being able to paddle up on flat water then body pump to keep it flying, or paddle with medium effort on a down wind run to fly their board. While I have no experience yet with foil riding I do SUP surf, quite often I go out in waves that are hard to get on early because they aren’t steep enough to get moving with or you get on too late as the break and you crash. Add to this the problem of short SUP surf style boards in that they change direction very quickly as you paddle and become unstable as you paddle on the face of the wave while you try to catch it.
So my idea is not to mount a motor on the board but on the paddle, to use in both boosting foil SUPs to fly and giving SUP surfers a boost to get on waves much earlier and allow surfing further away from busy surf breaks where SUP surfers generally aren’t welcome. As far as I can see other than a few goofy Youtube’s no one has really done this. As the t200 seems light and powerful enough, I hope, to fix to the rear of a paddle blade with the controller and batteries up by or within the handle for better balance. The design criteria is performance boost rather than cruising, although cruising could also be a selling point. As far as I can see your motor seems ideal and possibly unique and could be an area that might be beneficial as there is nothing on the market like it, especially with the current explosion in interest in using foils.
I would be interested in your thoughts on any of this .
Cheers John Bailey


(Rusty) #6

Hi John,

I’m glad you’ve taken an interest in this. There are definitely a lot of opportunities to combine thrusters with board sports.

We’ve got a few threads about foil boards on the forum that are worth reading. The main take-away is that the T100/T200 thrusters probably don’t have enough power for foiling.

That said, there’s definitely enough power to get a normal SUP or kayak moving fairly quickly. We’ve had a number of people do that. We haven’t focused on supporting that much yet, but we’re hoping to do a little better in the future. There are a few components, like a good thruster controller, that will help out a lot.

-Rusty


(John Bailey) #7

Hi Rusty,
thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions. I have looked at quite a bit of stuff on the net and have seen most of that already. But none of them are trying to do what I want to do, they are all trying to make powered boards, which for foiling would need to be quite powerful to continually power them. I don’t want a powered board/foil, I want a powered paddle to “boost” my paddling experience. This clip shows a guy paddling a foil up, https://youtu.be/GLRRUSIayOU I want to achieve this with a boosted paddle. Not just on flat water but when there is small wave/chop that is currently hard to foil or surf the powered paddle opens them up to catching. So any thoughts or development on the switching is appreciated, it only needs to be single function, speed control. Thanks again.
John


(Rusty) #8

Hi John,

Okay, I understand. I think the easiest path forward is to wait for our new product in 2 months or so that will make this easy to do without any programming or electronics work.

That video is cool and definitely makes me think this might be possible with a thruster.

-Rusty


(John Bailey) #9

Rusty,
great to hear your thought that the t200 might work in this situation. I am happy to wait a couple of months or so for your direct controller to be available, and please let me know as soon as it is. I would also be very happy to test any development models and give feedback ideas etc if that might be of any help to you and aid it’s progress.
Again thanks for your input and look forward hearing from you in the future.
Cheers John


(John Bailey) #10

Rusty,
I forgot to add another idea and that is to use a remote controller such as those used with powered skateboards with the benefits of initial ease of building but also improved waterproofing of battery and esc’s by not trying to add external controller. It also then gives options of where to mount it, separately from the rest such as in the handle or hand held in some way. This could also add some safety features?
Cheers John


(Rusty) #11

Hi John,

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. We’re thinking that for an application like this you’d want to hold a dead-man switch so that if you fall off the board it will stop.

-Rusty