Build log
                                  by Ralph --- SSBN 598 
Now that my Akula II and Skipjack have reached a point that they run really well and at most need some fine trimming, 
I found my self with nothing to.
Well there is the ALMA but that's painting and the weather has now turned cold. (Did I mention I hate painting)

Last Sunday I was going back and forth to the shop where I also do my laundry.
I keep looking at the Type VII and Gato sitting on my back wind porch.

I like the looks of the WWII boats but looked in to the history and various changes between boats.
I can not tell one from another unless I have photos side by side.

So I decided to drag the Gato out and work on it.
Why? I just bought some wtc tubing to do a complete rebuild of the George Washington wtc
Turns out the tube is 2.5" in diameter and that just happens to be the diameter for the Gato.
So I got enough to do both.

I do not plan to modify the looks of the kit boat but there are some thing I will leave off so this can be RC.
There are so many small fragile parts that would not last long going through the weeds at the pond.

One more thing to point out.
I will probably bounds around from one thing to another.
It starts. - November 20th =================================================

I forgot to take a photo of the conning tower before I assemble the lower section.
I would have liked to cut the two side doors out but with the conning tower sided already glued together, I am not sure I want to cut in to it now. 
We will see.

Top of conning tower.
I have drill two 1/4" holes in the floor of the bridge to let air out.

4" gun assembled.
The gun is not installed to the deck mount yet.

November 22th =================================================

What you are looking at are the parts to make the propeller through hull tubes and the back support struts.
All those short pieces of brass are to size the outside tubes down to accept the 1/8" propeller shafts.
On the right is the through hull tube with the short pieces being the shaft bearings.
I will shorten them so they are the same length before in stalling in to the long tubes.
I will use a length of propeller shaft to align the bears as they cure.

The parts on the right are the rear support struts.
The will be shorten to match the original plastic parts and one end will be shaped and the other flat.
Those parts are no assemble yet.

I did not think the plastic bow plane operating parts would hold up.
Build new ones out of brass.
I cut several sizes of brass tubing to match the outside diameter and the pin size.
I plan to use two wheel collars to make the control horn and connect the two bow planes shafts together.

I made the brass horn by flattening 3/16" brass tubing.
Then I drilled a 1/8" hole on one end.
I put the wheel collars and the flat brass on a 1/8" shaft.
I soldered the three pieces together so I can get to the allen set screws when in the boat. 
The horn is long so I cut it to fit later.
I then drilled through the collars and brass strap to get the hole large enough to accept the bow planes shaft.

This shaft is smaller than the hole in the plastic bow pieces.
I made two short brass tubes to act as bushings and pushed them through the hull with a spot of CA on them.
I had a long shaft going through both hull halves and bushings to keep every thing straight.

I am working on the rods that lift and lower the planes but I have nothing worth taking photos of now.
They are long so I have enough to figure out how and where to put the control horns to make them work.
I made one using a ring that I saw in someone's video.
There was just too much slack, so I need to find a couple of ball links.

Here the bow planes rotation control rod is in the wheel collar connector.
nothing is permanent yet.

November 24th =================================================

A day has pasted and I had seen.
The doors were cut out and some glazing has been done.

Back to the propeller shaft struts and through hull tube.

Here are all the parts.
I have shaped the ends of 3 of the strut bearings.
The middle one is still to be shaped.

Chucked the tubes in to the drill press and with a fine file I shaped the ends.
My test propeller shaft is brass.
The shaft will be stainless when I get to the end.

I now have the shaft bearings and through hull tube done.
Except I have not cut the through hull tube to length which I do not know until I get the rear strut made and mounted.

While an making shaft parts, I might as well cut the opening in the hull for the tube.
Drilled a couple of 1/8" holes in the middle.
Using the dremel, I enlarged the hole by tilting the dremel on it's side and cutting the plastic away.
When I got close to the guide lines, I went to a small half round file.
The hole is ragged but there will be filler later.

Filed down to the lines and test fitted the through hull tube.
Got the tube to meet the hull at the guide line.
Will do final fit once the rear strut is in and holding the propeller shaft in the correct line.

November 25th =================================================

Fitted the bow planes.
cut the through control tubes.
Giving about 3/32" of gap to make sure everything turns. 

I cut the 2.5" wtc tube at 19" for the GW.
That left me with 29.5" for the Gato.
Set the cylinder on the two plastic frames.
Did not require much to get the tube to slide through.
I want the cylinder to sit about 1/8" above the locating pins on the hull.
This is room for lead weight ballast, later.

Two frames sitting in the hull half.

Wanted to look at the cylinder in the frames for fit.
There is room to move the cylinder forward or backward when I get to trimming.

I have not decided where I will cut the hull fro access.
Center of the hull.
Inside the deck fairing where it meets the hull.

I will finish the bow planes installation and the stern rudder, planes and propeller shafts  bow section
 before I decide.
I originally thought I would cut it at the center o the hull but now having talked with a couple of other builder, I may cut it under the deck.
They say the 2.5" cylinder will drop through the opening with no problem but the linkage may be a bit tight to get to.
So if I finish the bow and stern sections before attaching them to the hull, I may be able to get to make the connection in a place I can reach. (fat fingers)

Here I have cut a few parts to start the rear gun deck railing.
I can see I may have to build jig to hold these small parts.
The single part at the bottom is the stanchion.
That is going to be something that needs a jig so I can make 8 of those.

November 26th =================================================

I had a little time this morning.
Out to the shop I went.
Made two brass rear bearing and strut for the propeller shaft.

Took some brass tubing and flattened tit to make the airfoil strut pieces.
Flattened one end at the strut length and bent the flatten ends.

1 right and 1 left.
Marked the brass bearing housing to locate the strut centers.

Soldered the struts on to the bearing housing.

I drilled a hole in the stern section at the strut location.
Slowly lengthened the hole to accept the brass strut.
Once I get to where I can install the propeller shaft to get the correct shaft angle, I will then make permanent the rear strut.
The flat bent section of the strut goes through the hull and will be bent to lay flat on the inside of the hull.
This will get me a bonding surface to take all the load.

Now later in the day after doing real life stuff, I had about 20 minutes I could spend in the shop.

I went to town and picked up some 3/32" brass tubing while there.
This would be for the bow planes struts.
I cut 2 rings and 2 struts.

The rings will be soldered on to the ends of the struts. (done)
I did not like the slop the connecting pin had and would let the bow planes move up and down about 1/2" before stopping it.
I see others have used small ball connectors to deal with the slop.
Before I can get to a hobby store that might have those, I thought I would try this.
I filled the ring with good silicone rubber.
Once it cures completely, I will drill a 1/16" hole through the center for the hinge pin.
The silicone should keep the pin centered in the ring and also allow the pin to rotate side to side to let the bow planes rotate for dive and rise.

More to come on this test.
Got to build a bow plane mechanism .
Then I can figure out where to cut the long strut.

November 27th =================================================

The silicone has cured in the strut rod rings.
Cleaned it up with a knife and file.
Uses a sharpened 1/16" rod to punch a hole through the silicone.
The silicone hole closed up which made it tight on the hinge pin.

Worked on the bow planes.
Finished the assembly of the bow planes.
I used a 1/16" drill bit to lengthen the hinge pin slots to use a longer pin.
Dry fit all the parts then assembled the bow planes.
Bond the parts.

Here are the 2 planes with the struts in place.
1 is set in to the bow half.
The start of the mechanism to lower and raise the planes started.

Look at the planes raised but not fitted. (have to make the raise and lower mechanism first)

bow planes lowered.

November 28th =================================================

Think I will work on the rudder and the stern planes.

Here is the rudder and the bearing system I plan to use.
The vertical brass tubing is the rudder post.
The 2 little tubing piece at the top and the bottom are shims to size the locations in the hull to accept the 1/8" brass rudder post.
They will be permanently glued in to the hull.

The small pieces have been glued together and then slipped on to the rudder post.

Original rudder.
Getting read to cut the post off flush with the top of the rudder.

Cut rudder post.
New brass 1/8" rudder post tube.
1/16" pilot drill bit.
1/8" drill bit sized for post.

New rudder post with sizing rings slipped on.
Rudder post is not glued in to rudder yet.

I placed a small drop off CA on the bearing rest on the hull.
I place the shims on with my fingers and wiped excess CA off with rag.
Slid rudder post thought the shims to hold them straight.

Hit them with kicker and removed the rudder.

Test fitting of rudder post and trimming to get correct length.

Made a control horn.
1/8" wheel collar with one side sanded for better soldering.
The horn is made form 3/16" brass tubing flatten in vise.
Soldered and drilled for post.

Rudder set in place.

Made a control arm for the rear planes.
1/16" brass rod with a hook bent one end.
About 3/4 the way around.
The rod comes up on the rear side of the planes shaft.
Fits through slot in skag.
Glued to the planes shaft after twisting the hook around the shaft.

I should mention, I ground off the rudder post mounting sockets on both sides of the hull.
They were about where the top of the planes control rod stops.

Also ground off 1 propeller guard socket near the same place as the other socket I removed. 
I probably could have left this socket.

The planes control rod has not been cut to size yet.

November 30th =================================================

After removing the prop guard hull brackets and glazing the holes, there was sanding to smooth the glaze down.
Doing this removed some of the weld lines.

I read Tom's Gato build and he too had removed weld lines.
He also put them back using baking soda and CA.

Here, I have taped off the replacement weld lines.
There is a small open space between the 2 tape pieces.
I put baking soda in the space.
Using thin CA, I covered the baking soda.
I let set while I moved on to other things.

To keep from jumping around too much, I will show the finished weld lines after sanding using the tape for the thickness of the welding.
Thanks, Tom.
It worked really well.
The line replaces goes above the torpedo door.
Bottom hull, the line is below the bottom torpedo door.. 

Can see the line better here.
Center of bottom hull half.

Got a couple more lines to do.

Time to join the 2 bow sections.
I decided to d this now because I tried to work on the bow planes lower, rise mechanism and I could not hold it in place while trying to measure for the control horns.
Looking at Tom's build, I saw I could join the bow sections and cut the top out and would get access to work on the bow planes.

I had already glue the indexing pins to one side of the bow.
Applied glue to the pins and the edges.
Put the 2 halves together and taped to hold tight together.

I moved on to deck while the glue cured.

Back to the bow section.
I removed the tape and then marked the top of the bow section where I wanted to remove plastic.

The vise is not tight but only holding the bow section for the photos.

Using the Dremel saw blade and a could of files, I ended up with the opening in the bow section top.
Now I can reach in to fit the bow planes mechanism.

Before I glue the center hull sections together, I need to cut in all the flood ports.
Here are 2 on the stern section and 2 on the center hull section.

Marked and drilled a location hole where all the flood port opens are.
Now comes the long job of cutting and filing all those holes.

Tom, I think I am going to use your "Milk" trick to put the flood holes templates on the hull.

Later in the day.

I have done 1 more weld line on each stern half.
1 more to go that is about 1/2" long.

I have drilled all the round flood holes.
I have enlarged the oval holes.
I have laid out the paper templates of the flood holes from the stern joint seam going forward.
I have cut them in to small 3 or 6 holes per sheet so they lay flat on the hull and not buckled.

I have built the conning tower big gun.
Not sure if I will build the small machine gun or run as if it was in the stowed locker.

Things are going along fine.
I am building small parts and assemblies and not looking at the big picture except to see where I should go next in the sequence.

I can see washing the plastic parts and painting in the near future.

December 1st =================================================

Got up and felt good.
So, I will attack the flood holes.

Here you can see I am moving right along. 

Before I finish, I will try to explain how I did this.

Tom's build said something about using Milk to hold the paper pattern on the hull but also said it did not do well..
He mentioned a few other tried that did about the same.

Having thought about it, I thought I would try using the method I use to make frames and other plastic parts.
I got the middle deck and turned it upside down on the bench.
I took a scrape piece of paper and tested on the underside in case it failed.
I could sand it off with out damaging the boat.

I printed out the flood hole pattern to scale.
Took 4 sheets of paper to get the overlap I need to align them.
I cut the paper using the weld lines marked on the image.
This is after laying the paper pattern on the hull to make sure which weld lines to use.
I started at the stern break line.
 Now to what I did.
I did 2 flood hole sections at a time.
Here I am placing the patterns on the hull to make sure where they go.
Remember I drilled small holes using the full pattern. (I did not need to do that)

Starting with one of the pattern pieces, I turn it up side down making sure it is orientated correctly to the hull.
Have cement handy.

I wet the paper with cement and the lines on the pattern show through so I can see where they are.
Wet the pattern, covering the lines of the holes going about 1/4" outside the lines.

After covering all the lines, I do a quick covering again to make it wet.
The cement soaks in fast.
Once the second coat is on, lift the paper and place it on the hull with the cement down and in contact with the hull.
Line it up with the keel center line.
Using my finger nail, I press the paper in tight against the keel.
Press the paper down on the hull and rub the paper making it warm.
Tape down all 4 sides and rub paper again to make sure it does not move.

Do the same for the second piece.
Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Using my Dremel with a 1/8" bit, I drill in to the hull and then route out the plastic almost to the line.
I will use a couple of files to finish to the line.
I do not use the roto cutter. 
Not enough control.

This is after the filing and deburring.

Remove the tape.

Remove the paper.
Pull the paper tight way from the holes and lift gently.
It will most likely break at the mid point.

Lift from the other side.
You can pick the little pieces of paper off with your fingers.

After removing the paper with my fingers, I used an Exacto knife to scrape any remain paper off. 
Sand with wet/dry sand paper to clean the rest off (180 grit is what is on my beach. It is well used)

With the flood holes done, it's time to get serious.

Cut the top of the hull out.
This is were I stopped.
Fingers where cramping up.
Can not afford mistakes.
I real need to look at some other builds to see where they did the cutting.

December 2nd =================================================

Today has turned out to be one of those jumping around days.
My plan for today was more plastic holes in the deck.
Found some close up photos showing the layout of the holes at the deck stern.
But when I first got up, I started having thoughts.
So the plan changed.

I picked some small pieces of tubing.
3 sizes.
This will be part of the bow planes operating system.
Not the bow planes them self but more linkage to get to the bow planes.

This idea came from looking a Darrin's big sub about a year or so ago. (most likely longer)

What this is is to make it easier to get to the linkage for adjusting and setup.
Some measuring and cutting.

9 brass parts. (there are 2 plastic parts I have not made yet.

Top are 2 hinge peg brackets.
Next is a single long tube which will be the hinge pin.
2 short tubes go over the hinge pin and will rotate. 
  These will have the control rod horns soldered to them. (once I start installing it all and get the correct angles)
4 flatten brass tubes to make the horns. (already drilled)

All the parts assemble to get a look. (dry fit)
More work needs to be done after the bow planes mechanism is installed in the bow.
This unit will be low in the hull below the bow planes.
The horns where left long for now.
1 horn will raise and lower the planes and 1 will rotate the bow planes for dive and rise.
The unit is upside down on the table.
The end brackets will be screwed with 1 screw each side on to plastic blocks so I can remove the unit to work on it out of the boat.

Time to jump.

Made up the control rods for the rudder and stern planes.
I have an allen wrench mounted on a length of brass tubing to reach in the stern.
But I think I can reach the nylon clevis to open it to remove the control rod. (?? 2 options))
I did turn the planes wheel collar facing the back and I can reach it through the torpedo tube opening.
Turns out, I can not use the 4 torpedo tube doors.
They interfere with the rudder horn.

Held the parts in place and worked the control rods to check clearances and how much movement I have.
Rudder all the way to touching the planes.
The planes have about 30 degrees down and about 35 degree up. (more than enough)

Looking over the flood holes, I see I made a mistake.
I made 2 large holes where there should have been 2 small holes.
In the following photo, there is a number 3 on the hull between 2 lines.
That hole should be the size of the paper holes but turned 90 degrees.
I will have to fix that.
Fill the hole and make new small holes. probably make the holes in the repair plastic first.


Jump, again.

Held the stern against the middle hull to see how the propeller shaft strut and tube bearing sit.
The left side lined up to the strut and the hole in the hull.
Needed a plastic shim the thickness of the hull to hold the front end of the through hull tube bear away from the inside hull so the middle hull joint will fit under the bearing tube.
Tapes a piece of shaped plastic in the stern section where the joint will be.
Taped the long tube in place and then lined up the rear tube bearing to the stern planes using the propeller shaft as my guide.
I placed a flat piece of plastic on the stern plane holding it with a spring clamp.
The propeller shaft rested on the plastic making the shaft inline with the stern planes.
Need 4 hands to do this so help with tape and spring clamp did it.

Got my medium thick CA out and the kicker.
A drop on the rear strut at the hull where the strut goes through the hull. KICKED IT.

Made sure the little plastic shim was still in place and I lined up the long tube with the indexing marks I I put on the hull to get the end in the right place and centers to the fore and aft lines.
Medium thick CA on a .030" wire and drug it along the tube/hull seam. KICKED IT.
Made sure the propeller shaft turned freely. Yep.

Drooped a little CA on the opposite side of each joint and KICKED IT.

Removed propeller shaft. Only have 1 right now.
Did the other side the same way.
I had to break the long tube loose and line it up again.
It did not turn easily.
Line everything up again and a drop of CA.
Shaft turned nicely now.
CA the other side of the parts and You guessed it. KICKED IT.

The CA is to hold all the parts in place.
I will CA and baking soda the gaps, tomorrow.
Then I will finish by placing a plastic piece inside the hull that will be a block with a hole in it for the tubing.
I have some old silk span that I will put a couple of layers over the tube in the hull to make sure it holds.
Fill the outside with glaze and shape it to match the hull.
The propeller shafts line up to the center of the stern planes.

Once this is completed, I will measure the placement of the cylinder to see if I need to cut some of the long tube off.
Maybe an inch but maybe not.

December 3rd =================================================

Photo of the repaired holes.

Sanded flush with hull.

Paper pattern in place and new holes cut in.

Time to do a little glazing.
This all that is needed.
Sanding tomorrow.

December 4th =================================================

Worked on the 2 stern sections.
Filed and sanded to get the through hull propeller shaft housing cleaned up and the hull.
This took a while.
CA with baking soda is very hard material to get smooth and shaped.

Worked on the skag gap.
Placed a shaped piece of plastic in the slop so I and use it for a retaining screw later.
Going to make the back half to the skag removable to pull the dive planes out.

Opened up 1 rear torpedo door.
This will allow me to put the doors in the hull.
I can get to the allen screw on the rudder with a standard length wrench.

Now they need to be glazed to finish getting the shape right.

Sanded the repaired and flood holes.
Then applied plastic cement to harden it.

While I had the middle hull sections on the bench, I dropped the cylinder in.
Something was not right.
I had cut the 2 frames to hold the cylinder just above the hull index pins.
The cylinder is 29" long and with the frames on does not sit down low enough in the hull.

Using just one hull half, I used scrap plastic to lift the cylinder up.
I had a reference, from where I don't remember, that the cylinder would sit about 10..5" back from the bow end.
Marked the inside of the hull and placed the cylinder at that mark.

I had to raise the cylinder up 3/16" higher than the indexing pins.
I files the 2 frames on the indies top so the cylinder would go up.
Measured down through the cuts in the top of the hull to get the cylinder level in there.
Attached this slowly.
Once I got the cylinder to fit in the hull and level, I got measurements to make new frame saddles inserts.

Here is 1 frame with 1 new saddle on one side and a second saddle for the other side.
I doubled up the frames.
Did the same for the other frame.

These new saddles are just to support the bottom of the cylinder.

The cylinder fits and can be moved about 1" at the bow and about 1.5" at the stern.
When I place it will depend on the linkage connections.
Tomorrow, I may be able to put the stern section halves together.

December 5th =================================================

When I assembled the bow planes, I noticed the planes did not retract up tight to the hull at the front edge.
At that time I decided to live with it.
Well, as time goes on and I am now working on the stern and bow to get the control rods ion place and work smoothly, I find I can not live with the bow planes not being tight.

I knew that a small angle was needed on the hinge to get this to happen.
I thought I had done this. ? ? ?

Reading Tom's Gato build he added a drawing showing how the angle should be.

Got out to the shop and turned on the heat. (temperature in the shop was 38 F)
Took a few minutes to get warm enough to work.

First, I was going to take on the dive planes.
I cut the front hinge off.
The one where you can see the hinge pin.
Removed all the plastic from the pin and then pulled the pin and strut out of the bow plane.

Cleaned up the hinge pin of glue and plastic.
I put the planes back together and held it by hand.
Traced an outline around the plane and strut.
Remove the strut and turned it over.
Put it over the tracing and found I did have the angle when I built it.
\I just happen to put it in reversed.

Did the same to the other bow plane.

Guess what.
I had reversed it as well.

Made 2 plastic pieces to cover the hinge pin.
Cemented the pin covers in place.

While these 2 parts cured, I started making parts for the retraction mechanism.
Here the planes are seen with the pin caps and the start of parts for the retract.

Bow planes now sit tight to the hull.

More work to be done on the retract mechanism.

It has warmed up in the shop, so I thought I would do some glazing on the stern sections.
I glazed around the shaft bearing housings.
Now that I have done that, I took the stern sections in to the house to cure.

December 8th =================================================

Filed and sanded final glazing.

I need to put the weld lines back on.

I test fit the stern to the main hull.
Then I test fit the cylinder in one half the hull and put the stern on.
Looks like I need to cut about 3/4" off the propeller tubes.
This will leave room for the Dog Bone connectors.

Finished parts for the bow planes retract.

Here the planes are up. 

Here the planes are out.
Testing shows it works smoothly and without binding. (yea)

The horns have over travel so there is plenty to work with when trimming.
The holes in the hull where the struts pass through were enlarged vertically.

The horns have 3 holes.
The farthest out is for the struts.
The other 2 so there is adjustment on the throw.

This devise will be mounted in the hull below the bow plane mechanism.
There will be a brass rod from each of the 2 bow plane horns down to it's own brass horn.
There will ne only 1 brass horn going to the servo control rod.
This devise will mount using 2 small screws on to plastic blocks in the hull.
I will use the hole in the bow planes that gives the best movement with the most force.

I drilled more holes in the deck pieces.
Now have exhaust holes in the sides of the deck.

Test fit the cylinder in the hull with the stern and bow taped in place.
Looks like I may cut 1" off so there is room for the boot control rod seals.
This still gives me 28".

December 9th =================================================

This assembly will be mounted under the bow planes retract mechanism.
The control rod in the photo will go back to the servo in the cylinder.
The other 2 horns go up to the bow planes retract horns.
The plastic end pieces will be bonded under the bow planes rotation cross tube.
The 2 horns will reach forward past the rotation tube.

The location for the 2 plastic blocks has been made.
The plastic blocks have been installed and are currently curing.

While holding pressure on the blocks to get them to stay in place, I was looking around and I need to clean off the bench.
It is so cluttered, I only have access to 1/4 of the table top.
I have the conning tower, 2 guns & mounts, all 3 pieces of the deck, the box with parts and all the tools, glues, small clamps and parts for the ALMA and another project.

I think a bit of clean up is called for before I can go on.
There is no room for the Skipjack which I need to make a small repair to so the hull halves sit tight together.

Oh and I need to repair a window handle in my truck.
Not a big project.
Fitted the other side last year.

December 10th =================================================

Did not get much time in the shop.
Here is what I got done.

Bow planes mechanism completed.
There was some binding at first but I found it and changed the parts.
The 2 vertical rods where in front of the planes rotate shaft.
As the rods moved forward and aft, they hit the shaft as the rods reached top and bottom of the throw.
Did some bending of the rods and finally gave up.
There was no way to adjust one or the other if the rods where not exact to length.

Did some measuring and found I could run the rods to the back side of the shaft.
and turn the lower horn assembly over making the horns move to the back. Reference the hull. Back...Front)
Now the rods are straight and the rod on the right has a wheel collar so I can adjust the plane to match the other one.

Planes up for surface running.

Planes down for dive.

I still need to work on the right plane as the silicone bushing is not doing it's part.
Will need to make something new. to put pressure down on the hinge pin.

Cut the propeller shaft housings off 3/4".
New brass tubing to size for shaft have been made and installed.

December 11th =================================================

I started the morning, making adjustments to the bow planes mechanism.
This took a couple of minutes.
A little trimming of the hull hole the strut passes through.

On to the stern sections.
After cutting the shaft tubes, I need to make new brass tubing pieces to insert in to the large tube.
Got them in and then checked the shaft alignment through the 3 supports.
Requires some filing to get the new bearing to line up.
One side took just a little work.
The other took probably 20 minutes to get it lined up and smooth.
I like my propeller shafts to spin freely by hand.

I looked around and thought about cleaning up the bench.
Moves some tools to the right end of the table.
Then I could see, I had room to start assembling the deck sections.
To decide where to cut the hull, I need the 2 back sections of the deck to do the measuring to see how the cylinder will fit thorough the open after the cut.

I started by putting a piece of sheet plastic on the under side of the middle deck.
Let that cure for a few minutes. 

Tom's build pointed out that the deck is not flat.
I placed the decks on the hull looked down the deck.
Yep there is a 1.4" rise from end to end of the rear 2 sections.

Using wooden blocks, I set up a surface to put the decks on while the glue cures.
Glued and held down until the glue set.

While the deck is off the hull, it is time to make the 4 exhaust ports in the sides of the deck.
Here I have cut brass tubing to make the ports.
Drilled the holes to accept the brass tubing pieces.

2 ports in place.

Set the deck on to get a look.


WARNING ! ! !      Today is the day I have decided how I want to cut the hull for access.

I have decided to not cut the hull at the water line which has been my plan since I started.
But looking at Tom's build I did some measuring and found that his cut under the deck will work with the 2.5" WTC and the length I want.

Here goes.
If you get squeamish when cutting in to the hull full length, you may want to skip this section.

Taped the 2 hull halves together.
Set the deck in place.
Marked the outline of the deck with a black marker. (wanted a big line to see where not to cut)
Using the diamond saw blade, I will cut 3/16" above the marker line.

Look away .... I am going to cut this free hand.

First photo the hull has been cut.
Second photo the top of the hull has bee removed.
Have not started removing the melted plastic at this point.

Did a quick removal of the melted plastic but not to a finished edge.
Dropped the WTC in to the lower hull halves.
At the bottom of the hull you can see the 2 marks I have made to indicate where I want the front of WTC to sit between.
The opening is wide enough that the long cylinder drops right in.
Looks like there is room to add the end caps and still drop in.
I can cut 1" off the cylinder if needed.

Now for the time consuming part.
Clean up and make straight the cut edges.
Going to take my time and do short section and not try to do it all at once.

I was out in the shop, again.
Thought I would get after the edges and see how much work I am in for.

Got my favorite wooden sanding block and wrapped it with 80 grit sand paper.
Not to worry, my 80 grit sand paper is well used and is more like 200 grit.
There is one edge that is still in good shape.

 I sighted down the cut edge to look for high spots.
Just a few.
These I went after with the Dremel and a 1/4" sanding drum.
Before the sanding block., I cut all the melted plastic off and hit all with a file.

Now the sanding block.
I started at 12:55pm.
This went a lot faster than I thought it would.
Not only did I get the 2 hull pieces sanded.
I also got the 2 upper hull pieces sanded.

Once I was happy with it, though there could be more sanding after the hull halves are joined, I joined the 2 upper halves together.
This is how I left it when I closed up the shop.

December 12th =================================================

Sanded the glazed areas down to a smooth hull.
I can see a few low spots.
Filled the again and set aside to cure.

Well, it happened again.
Was looking at the bow and saw where I could make a little change and get more advantage out of the retract control rod.

Disassembled the parts after making a mark on each control rod about 1/4" back from the Z bend.

Cut the Z bend off and made a couple of small parts.
Using brass tubing that the 1/16" brass rod will go in, I flattened the end.
Punched it and drilled a 1/16" hole in the flattened area.
In the photo below you can see the part at the top places over the strut end sticking through the horn.
This moved the control rod out 1 more hole.

Soldered the new end to the control rod.
Made the second one the same. Almost. Little difference in length but a small bind in the rod fixed that.

Planes up.

Planes down.

I may remake the lower horn assembly.
I may make the horns a little longer for more throw.

I measured everything and now to make a drawing.
I may enlarge the photo and draw lines on it and label them with a corresponding list of parts and dimensions.

December 13th =================================================

The time has come to join the two hull halves together.
To get the upper deck mounted requires the lower hull to be complete.
Got to get the cylinder saddles cut and in place.
The deck needs tabs to hold it up once the saddles are cut.

Installed the 2 frames to one side.

Put the cement bond to each side and then put them together. 
Tape to hold tight while holding by hand to squeeze the parts together watching he seams for the cement lifting up.
Once the cement stops squeezing out, I can let go of the parts.

While in the shop, I thought I would work on the transportation box emblem.
Basic hull shaped and glazed to correct a gouge. 

When I was making these for the other boats, I made extra aluminum plates.

Once I get the hull glaze sanded out, I will mount the hull on the plate.
Then I can start making some of the parts that go on top of the conning tower. 

Here are the number my Bow Planes retract mechanism.

Finished out my day cutting the 2 frames and making index blocks to hold the deck under frame at the correct height.

Here you can see  2 plastic blocks on the front frame.
The placement was decided after holding the cut frame piece in place and seeing where it might work with the blocks on the cut frame piece. 

Showing the cut piece and it's block set in place.
The blocks are sized to fit through the hull open.

There is the cut piece in place on the deck support unit for a look.
More to do on the blocks before cementing them in place.

I test fit the cylinder.
I had to spread the hull about 3/16" at the front.
Other than that, it dropped right in.

December 14th =================================================

Have things to do in town but I got in to the shop for 30 minutes.

What I did was make the edge for the deck frame to sit on and not fall in to the hull.
Measured the lower hull l opening and found the 2.5" width.
Marked the hull.
Cut some 3/8" wide plastic strips out of my 1/16" sheet.
In the photo the strips are in at the front and back.
They go front 1/8" to nothing where the 2.5" ends.
The center section is still clamped.

After doing this, I thought I would lay out the tools I use the most.
This will go with the post yesterday. 

December 15th =================================================

Sanded the deck middle to stern section joint.
The joint on the sides where glazed yesterday.
Looks like a little more glazing to fill a low spot.

Assembled the deck and deck frame.
Set it in the hull to check for fit.
Looks good.

Test fit the bow section deck piece.
Tom mentions that the deck had a slight rise at the bow.
Looked for it and there it was.
Measured the rise.

Glued a piece of sheet plastic to the under side of the deck piece.
Let it cure.

Found some wooden blocks and small scrap pieces of plastic to level the deck and make the needed rise for the bow.
Placed the deck upside down on the blocks and shims.
Cement on the extra plastic piece then the edges of the bow piece.
Put on the main deck and moved it to line everything up.
Put pressure on the seam and then steel blocks to hold it all down to the shim blocks.

10 minutes later I turned the deck over.
Test fit the deck to the deck frame.
Sat it all on the hull and found that when I put the 2 deck sides at the bow on, I need to make sure I have the deck all the way back to the hatch stop at the stern or the sides will not fit the alignment pins.
Took it all apart.
Glazed the low spots on the stern seam.

Brought the Flat Black paint in to the house to warm it.
On to washing the deck frame which will get Flat Black on the hull shaped areas.

The painting has started.

Made a mistake.
I should have put tape on top of the flat areas where the deck will be bonded to the frame.
Now I will have to clean the paint off. oops!

The day is not over and I have done a little more.

I put a few more parts on the conning tower.
Built the kit stand because the hull keeps rolling on me while I try working on it.

Cleaned the paint off the deck frame where I need to apply cement.
And yes, I mounted the deck to the deck frame.

The deck side is not cemented. I used it to get the frame and deck in the correct spot.
This will make the side panel tight to the deck.

Before I bonded the deck to the frame, I again put wooden blocks and plastic shims to get the correct curve in the deck. (or close to it)
The deck is not flat.

December 16th =================================================

Later start this morning.
First thing I did was do some sanding on glazing on the bow.
Just things I didn't see earlier.

Test fit and found the hull was to narrow at the bow hull joint.
Make a plastic spreader bar.
A length of plastic longer than the gap across the hull.
Then added another strip of plastic that was a little shorted.

This allowed me to set the bar across the hull and the long piece set on the hull and the shorter piece would push the hull sides out as I move the bar forward.
You can see it about 1/2" back from the bow section on top of the hull.

Applied the cement.
Put the bow on and centered the bottom center line.
Moved the spreader bar forward and twisted slightly on the bow to get the bow to self center.

Before I put the bow on, I made sure everything that needed to be in the bow was there.
Don't want to have to work down in such a small space.

Moved on to the stern.
After yesterday's mess while making vent holes, I glazes some of the holes that didn't look like they were right.
I hand drilled a few hole again.
Glazed the slow spots I could see.
Set the parts aside to cure.

Not quite ready to instal stern section to hull.

Note: I put the small holes between the torpedo tubes on both the stern and bow.

I did not have a drill the right size.
I did have some piano wire that was close. (.028")
Cut a 3/4" piece and put in the Dremel.
I left the end of the wire with the cut edge.
I drilled 2 holes at a time and removed the melted plastic from the wire.
I have used wire to make holes on wood and plastic.
I have even used a sewing needle to make holes needed.

Installed the front side deck panels.
Bonded to the deck and not the bow section.
Will remove with the deck.

December 17th =================================================

Checked fit.
Glazed the deck side panel joint.

Back to working on the stern section.
Cleaned up the glazing where I had drilled holes.
Some had to be filled in and today I redrilled them.
Not perfect but much better.

Checked fit and installed the rudder and planes.
Cemented the 2 stern section halves together.
The propeller aft bearing strut was install.
It was cut in to 2 pieces to give access to the rudder.

Made a piece from plastic to put in the slot in the rudder capture piece.
I want to drill a hole doe a retaining screw.
This will give access to remove the rudder control rod and rudder.
Access to the Allen screw holding the rudder control arm is through the top right torpedo tube door which was cut out.

I cut more plastic out of the top of the stern section that will be under the deck.

I think I will be joining the hull with the stern today.
Going to give the stern cement time to cure before putting pressure on it to spread the hull to fit the stern section.

I have made up my mind on what I will do with the stern.
I cut it at the front edge of the rudder. (it is cut in the photo)
Continuing the cut I made on the skag.

The cut piece lifted off.

Rudder and control rods set in place.

Make a new rudder shaft and control horn.

Measure the shaft before cutting so I can get the length correct when I make the new one.

How I drill the shaft and keep it straight?

I cut some short pieces of brass tubing
One goes over the old shaft piece.
One goes inside the first piece which should be the diameter of the old shaft.
The inside diameter is the brass tubing I will use as the new shaft.
Drill is size of new shaft to be used.

Slip the large brass tube over the plastic shaft.

Slip the next smaller brass tube in to the larger one.

The shaft size drill should fit in to the brass tubes.
Ready to go to the tool shed and use the drill press to drill the holes.
Go slow and pull the drill out often to get rid of the plastic on the bit.
And remember there is about 1/4" of plastic before I get to the plane itself.
Then I want about 1/2" into the planes.
(I did this for the rudder as well)

Test fitting the new shaft in to the planes.
I made a new shaft assembly and horn which is all soldered together. {I need to straighten the control rod.)

The brass tubes in this photo are not the same tube I used to drill the holes.
The larger of the 2 tubes was 1/8" to fit the planes bracket on the skag.
It was cut to the width the 2 planes where to be a part..

The second brass tube fits in side the 1/8" and is 1.25" long so there is a minimum of 5/8" in each plane.

Control rod resoldered to make it straight.
Glue was put on the ends of the small tube and the tubes where pushed in to the planes until they stopped.

Before I disassembled the old assembly, I marked the ends of each plane to get the angle correct when rebuilding.

December 18th =================================================

I have attached the stern part that was cut out.
Using a long stainless screw from a bad micro servo, I drilled a hole through the front torpedo vent hole.
You can see the head of the screw if you look closely.
It threads in t a plastic block I put on the bulkhead center plastic that sticks past the opening in the hull.

Time to start installing the small detail parts.

Bilge keels.

Removed the cut section, I looked at the 2 cut edges.
The edge on the cut piece is straight.
The edge on the hull side is a bit uneven.
Just enough to see the seam cut after the screw is snagged up.
I glazed the edge on the hull and will sand it smooth after it cures.

I sanded the deck sides I glazed yesterday.
Found one small place to glaze again.

What to do?

I washed the rudder and planes preparing them for paint.
Might as well start putting the detail parts on the deck. 

Some of the parts are very fragile.
Where I can, I will attempt to make the parts out of brass.
Here the sonar has been duplicated.
I [places a reinforcement plastic block under the deck to help support the sonar mast.

2 parts.
1/16" brass rod for mast and 3/32" brass tubing flattened leaving in an oval shape.
Drilled a hole through one side at the center for the rod to go through but not all the way.
Soldered. DONE.

December 19th =================================================

Started this morning by Installing the sonar "T".
Made the pole that sits at the bow.

Sanding to fit the stern cut piece to the stern section.
I have a fit I like so it is time to join the stern section to the main hull.
Find my spreader bar and get the cement.

Why two bottles of cement?
The round bottle is empty. (almost)
The square bottle is half full and the one I am suing.
The square bottle has a bush for pin point spot bonding.
The round bottle has a wide full brush for paint on cement. 
I use the big brush.

Filled the square holes in the deck where the lifeline stanchions go.
I thought I would try making a brass railing.
THis what I have so far.
Problem is, when I try to solder the low line on the stanchions, the top rail comes off.

This may not be used.

However, I was reading the instructions to find the stanchions on the parts trees and it says to use the supplied thread.

Here is what I am thinking.
After finish sanding the deck to get the deck flat where I glazed the stanchion holes, I could drill holes for the brass stanchion posts.
CA them in place from the under side.
The I could use the thread and CA it in place on top the stanchions
The the lower line.

Once I get the thread on, I will run a test.
Put 2 stanchions on a block of wood.
Put the thread between them.
Make sure the thread hangs correctly to represent cable.

Paint the stanchions and thread with the black the deck will get.
If that works then move on to the deck.
If not try again and CA the thread full length.

December 20th =================================================

Sanded the stanchion holes.
Sanded a few other spots.
Glazed those spots needing more.

Set the hull on it's stand and place the deck and conning tower in place to get measurements to build the transportation box.
It works out that I can build a short box by taking the conning tower off and placing it next to the hull at the front or back.
The conning tower is taller than the hull with the sonar on the bow and pole at the stern.

Couple of days ago, I painted the stern planes and rudder.

December 22nd =================================================

The building of the transportation box has started.

December 23rd =================================================

I got 1 hour in the shop.
I unclasped the box panel and trimmed the glue off.
I was still inside the window where the glue would cut easily.
In stops it was getting hard.
After trimming, I have a tool made from an old file I use to scrape the excess glue off with.
It's like a 1/4" wide chisel.

After trimming it was time to put another wood trim strip on.
Used less glue this time hoping there is less to cut off later.
It wasn't that much but might well see if I can find the correct bead.

Got it glued and clamped on the bench again..
I use the outside bench because it is 1/2" thick steel and it is straight.
Any paint of glue that gets on it comes off with a 4" grinder.

Now in to the shop.
Looked at my 2 test pieces of plastic and epoxy.

Well, they are holding together so I guess I will do the hull.
Got the fiberglass strips in.
Not fun working this messy down in such a small opening.
I did find a box of latex gloss in a draw in the house.
I even used them.
Glad I did.

Got the fiberglass strips down on the seam.
I cut strips so I could skip the flood holes the best I could. There will be some filing but only 2 or 3 partially covered.

For my first experience with epoxy, I think I did okay.

Got the strips in and then I grabbed a clean rag and wiped the spots I got epoxy on the outside of the hull.
Got a few finger prints at the bow and stern joints.
I am amazed how clean this came off.

I got epoxy on the 2 nylon servo connectors.
I have lots of spares (just got a package of 10) and I can replace them but I think once the epoxy cures, it may just pop off.
Will see.

More tomorrow. Another strip on the transportation box. 

Printed out the needed 3 images of a GATO to make the badge that goes on the Transmitter case.
Glued them to the plastic pieces with the plastic cement.
They are there so when I get some time in the shop between projects, I can carve on them to make the 3D.

Put the letters on the transportation box badge.
Clear coated it.
It is now ready to install on the box when I get it done.
The reversed GATO is the template to put the vinyl letters on.
The small images is the size of the image going on the transmitter case.
  (I have cut the 2 pieces from plastic and shaped the back one.
The front one is rough shaped and is on the first in the vise after applying cement.

The image at the bottom is the transportation box emblem. 

December 24th =================================================

Unclasped one panel and started another.
I did this about 20 minutes ago and I can see the glue foaming out from under the strip.

Went in to the shop and spent 15 minutes shaping the Tx case badge.
I think this will do nicely.
It is just sitting there for now.
I will paint the blue stripe in the next day or 2.
Then I can mount the badge with silicone.

Note" the badges are not to scale.
All badges are 4" long on the cases and 6" long on the transportation boxes.

December 26th =================================================

The Gato build did not get set aside.
Early this morning I went out and trimmed a box panel.
Move back outside to the metal work bench and glued up another trim strip.

Came inside and started the ugly job.

Work on kitchen.
Cut the floor out to get to pipes.
Then cut hole to joist for support frame.

Went to town and got parts.
Next I need to lay on the floor and see about cutting out the rest of the old pipe and installing the new sections of pipe.
1 Tee, 3 straight connectors and about 18" of plastic pipe. 2 pieces total.

But there is submariner building going on as well.

Prepped and painted the bow.

Later I painted the hull.
The stern piece is there somewhere.
It got painted before the hull.

I see I have to clean up the bottom of the bow planes. (gray)
And I will need to paint the top of the bow planes black.

Just a little paint and it looks like I am getting some where.
Back to the pipes.

December 27th =================================================

I have unclasped and trimmed panel 3.
Got panel 4 on the bench and it is glued and clamped.

Looked over hull paint.
Needs a second coat. We all knew that.
9:45am I have water restored.
Got the hot water tank lit.
Soon a shower and off to a meeting with insurance. (pay the bill mostly)
When I get home this afternoon, I may get that second coat on the hull.

Will look over the deck and see if I can do the black on it.
Got home to cold, wind and the annoying dust.

Painting will not happen today.
Good news is I see no leaks at this time.
Got the lumber and things to start replacing the floor I cut out. 

December 28th =================================================

Went outside, not happy about that (38 degrees), and unclasped the box panel.
Cut the excess glue off.

Went in to the shop to get out of the wind and cleared a place on the work bench to do another panel.
This one is different in that the trim board needs to hang off the edge so it will be flush with the side panels when assembled.
This is the top.

Cut all the short trim boards that go across the panels long side to long side.
I will start gluing those in place tomorrow.

Still in the shop, I lightly sanded the black part of the hull with really used 180 wet/dry sand paper.
Later today, I may turn on the heater in the shop to get it warm enough to get the second coat of flat black on.

While sanding I was looking at the deck.
Not sure how I want to paint it yet.

All black upper deck.
Upper deck with that wavy line at the edge.
Just the deck boards leaving the rest gray.

Before I get criticism, remember, I am not interested in being detail correct.
If I was, my boat would look like all the others out there.

I have gotten myself in to a dangerous position.

I am thinking about trying to do a little weathering. (I hate painting)

Maybe a little wear on the deck walk paths.
If that goes okay, maybe a little rusting.

Maybe, I will just move on to the wtc. 

December 29th =================================================

Back from town where I got the nails, screws and hardware to finish the kitchen floor.
It has warmed up a little.
Out to the box panel.
Unclasp and trim the glue off.

Apply glue to the last long wooden trim piece on and clamp.

I also fit some of the cross trim pieces and applied glue.
The steel bars are holding the trim boards down.
Bars are 2.5" square solid bars.
I use to make trailer hitches for pickup trucks.

While I was out working on the transportation box panels, I had turned on the heater in the shop.
It took maybe 15 minutes to do the wood stuff, it was a little warmer inside.
I sanded and scribes a few lines on the deck where I had glazes.

Painted the sides of the deck and a few places on top the deck I wanted gray.

December 30th =================================================

Took the deck outside and placed it on the hull with the conning tower.
  (wondering if the gray is too dark?)

Removed the clamps from the panel that was on the bench.
Removed the steel bars as well.

Put the 2 ends trim boards on the the panel.

Setup to do the short trim boards on 3 panels.
Found a few items to use as weight to hold the trim boards down.
Yep, those are small steel targets at about 4 to 7 pounds each.
They will do nicely.

I move each trim board around to get the glue to squeeze all over the board and get some of the excess out.
If I were to put the weight on without doing this, the boards will slide off their marks.

I have the bottom panel ready fro trim boards but not enough weights.

December 31st =================================================

Late start this morning.
Spent 30 minutes outside at the metal work bench.
Trimmed the glue from all the short cross boards on 4 panels.
Got the belt sander out and sanded the edges to get the panel and the trim boards straight and flat.
Got the palm sander out and sanded all the trim board joints to get the glue flat down to the wood.

Besides being cold (30F) the sky is turning dark and rain clouds are coming.
I do not want to do any gluing if it rains.
Moved all the panels in under the tool shed roof.

I am going to stop for now but later if it warms up a little, I may go out to the shop and sand the gray paint on the deck to get it ready for a second coat.

But that may wait.
I have looked a more photos and I see where I would like to put a few small holes so the air under the deck and get out.
These will all be foreword in the front 6" of the deck.

January 1st - 2019 =================================================

Assembly of the transportation box. 
Sanded the bottom panel to make sure it was flat and straight.

Test fit the 5 panels.
Bottom, 2 sides and 2 ends.

Apply glue, clamps and several heavy boxes.
Clamps on table edge and boxes on back side to hold box panels.

There are 9 or so boxes holding the panels.
2 are clearly seen inside the box to keep the bend out of the bottom panel. 
Each box weights between 22# and 27#.

December 7th =================================================

The box in the photo above had the glue fail due to freezing over night.
The glue broke apart with very little effort.

Took the box apart and sanded down all the glued edges preparing it to be reassembled.

Below shows the last panel being regaled in place.
Small boxes inside the box are to hold the open edge level and straight at the correct distance from the other side.
The small boxes on top are to hold the panel down while curing.
The small 4"x4" boxes weight about 22 pounds.
The 4"x5" boxes weight in at about 26 pounds.
On the ends are small clamps with wooden block to hold the end panel to it's correct position.
When I place the end panels, I lean them in about 1/8" so I have pressure on the clamped block when I get to this point in construction.

To finish the box, I will and all the edged then add the remaining 2 trim boards on each end.
Then comes fitting the top panel.
Besides finishing the box, the box will come off the work bench tomorrow and the boat will go back on the bench.

Went out to the shop to check on the transportation box.
All looks good.

Saw the conning tower sitting on the bench.
Maybe a little time on it making railings.
Got the rear and front deck stanchions cut and installed.

The rear railing has been cut to right.
The front railing is still over length.

Before working on the horizontal rails, I will straighten the stanchions up.
And I need to bend the front deck stanchions to have a slight curve outward.

The rear deck horizontal railings are sitting in front of the tower with the needed bend put in.

December 8th =================================================

To main part of the transportation box is all glued together.
The lid has been fitted and all trim boards are currently glued in place.
Clamped and weighted.

I have cut the boards that go inside the box to support the lid frame. (Skipjack box build)

I do not have the lumber for the frame.
Going this morning for lumber and hardware.
Hinges and brass bolts, blind nuts and thumb nuts.

Here is the lid for the Skipjack box showing the frame.

Brass bolts to hold the lid on and a hinge for the hull stand. (also Skipjack)

Took the main box out to the metal work bench because the lid is still clamped to the shop work bench.
Glazed all the trim joints and panel seams.
Tomorrow, I will belt sand all the trim boards and seams.
Well, that took all of 15 minutes.

Okay, back to the conning tower.
Make 2 balsa boards to hold the upper brass rail in place for soldering.
Make 2 balsa boards to hold the lower brass rail for soldering.

I did the upper rail first and then the lower.
Need to file a few rough solder joints.
CA glue the ends to the tower and the first plastic post.

For the front railing I need to bend all the stanchions.
I will use 2 wooden blocks and make the curve I want to bend the stanchions to.
Put the brass rod in between the blocks and press together to bend the rod.

December 9th =================================================

Cleaned up the box lid.
Did some glazing on the trim joints.

Moved on to building conning tower railings.
The brass work is done.
I do need to do some bending adjustments to get the clean look.
Though I have looked at a lot of photos  and almost all have beat up railings.
Only those coming out refit have smooth curve railings.

There are so many different variations to choose from.
The good thing is, I am not a stickler for any particular boat.
I find something I like on a boat and try to use it.
Then I find something on another boat and I will use that as well.

Conning tower railing has been the current project.
The 1/72 kit comes with a 2 rail upper deck arrangement.
The original lay out was for a cable railing and the kit supplied thread to use for the railing.
The stanchions are so fragile, I decided to use brass.

Looked at photos, a lots to pick from.
add photos here 

This one looks like the one in the kit except it has welded pipe rails instead of cable.
This is the image I used when making my railing.

December 11th =================================================

Cleaned up the inside of the transportation box.
Primed it with gray.

The clamps are holding the bottom outside trim board s that where glued on after the painting.

Time to build the box stand pieces.
Did the measuring of the box width and the height I want the boat to sit on the stand.
Cut the pieces.
Cut the notch in the bottom of the stands for the hinges.
Here the stands with the hinges sitting on the lid.

Another look of the stands pieces.
One up and one down.

Moved the transportation box off the bench.
Gluing the half the frame to the under side of the lid.
Also glued 1 stand screw block to the underside of lid.
Third box back is sitting on the screw block. (screw block is where the screws for the stand hinge will be anchored)

December 12th =================================================

Today's gathering at the pond was canceled due to rain.
I was in the shop for an hour cleaning up yesterday's gluing.

I have 3 more frame boards to put on and the lid will be finished. (the wood parts)

Cleaned up the glue on the box.
Noticed I missed 4 end trim boards.
I had been wondering why I had these short pieces sitting on the work bench. 
Got them installed and clamped.

Next I will sand the box because there are spots with glaze that need to be smoothed out.
Then on to painting the outside.

December 13th =================================================

Removed all the clamps from the box and the lid.
Trimmed the glue and sanded.

Glazed the box, again.

Trimmed the glue from the lid.
Sanded the frame boards to round off edges.
Test fit to box.
First coat of primer.

Cut the stand to the shape of the hull.
Notched the stand for the cable that will hold the stand pieces up.

First coat of primer on.
Second coat on all parts in about an hour.

December 15th =================================================

It is suppose to rain today.
This morning it was foggy and wet.
This afternoon, there was a couple of times the clouds parted and the sun shown through.

Got a second coat of primer on the lid and the stands.
Got 2 coats on the stand saddles where I file the cut to fit the hull better.

Here is the lid back inside on the bench to dry.

During the second sunshine moment and got a coat of primer on the box.
Still sunshine an hour later and I got the second coat of primer on the box.
Took the box inside to the bench to dry.
It has started to sprinkle.
Weather says storm coming in is more intense than yesterday.
I got what I wanted done so, let it come.

Tomorrow, I will reinstall the boat badge on the box.

December 16th =================================================

Started by installing the ID badge.

Cut all the foam that is inside the box to support the hull.

Transportation box completed.
The boat is inside.

Hull, conning tower, rear gun and rear upper gun sitting in place.

December 20th =================================================

Late start today.

Yesterday was subnormal gathering at the pond.
9 to 12 submarines showed up and a 4 Viking rowers with sails.
My Akula II ran great.
My Skipjack ran great but there is a small air leak.
Only get bubbles when fully submerged and the pressure in the cylinder is at it's highest.
No water in the cylinder after 2 one hour runs.
I am happy.
Now I need to find where the bubbles are coming from and see if I can stop them.
In the shop and back at detailing the conning tower.

Got the tiny wire steps installed.
Lost several.
Found all but 2. (made them out of .020" brass wire.

Built the third deck gun.
The little one.

Drilled a couple of holes to let air out from under the conning tower deck.
These holes are under the guns.
You can see them but you have to look for them.

Detailed most of the periscope tower.
Not sure I got everything on there.
There are some parts I decided not to even bother with.

Put a couple of pieces I think are metal support frames on the tower.

I see I have to make 2 bars for the front of the tower railing.
The plastic ones did not survive removal from the tree.

I have got to find my small air and water pumps.

I will get a photo or two tomorrow.
Lots of parts assembled but not put in places to let the cement cure. 

December 22nd =================================================

Today's project was to find the small pumps I have.
Looked every where.
I found the centrifugal water pumps.
Not really what I wanted.

Looked in the parts boxes in the shop.
Still can not find the air pumps.
Still looking.

I did look at the pump that was removed from the Skipjack.
With a little filing, on 2 opposing screw tabs, the pump fits in the smaller cylinder of the Gato.
I originally was thinking of putting this in the George Washington.
But if I can not find the air pumps, this will do.
(For the GW, I happen to have another one of these pumps and replacement motors)

Got to go in to town today.
So there's not much I can do this morning.

I did get a tack coat of gray on the tower minus the periscope stuff.
If you look closely, you can see the red glaze showing through in spots.
Will get another coat on later today.

Later in the day.

Conning tower is painted. 
Tack coat and 2 full coats.

While I was painting gray, I painted the 3 deck guns.

January 23rd =================================================

Painting the conning tower decks flat black.
The gray is showing through.
But I am not sure I don't like it.
I may leave as it is.

Put a little thin paint on the top surfaces of the guns.

There is a little touch up to the sides of the tower where I got wild with the brush.

Here the deck is taped off ready for painting flat black.
Currently in the house where it is warm to dry.

I'll get another photo in an hour or two after I pull the tape.

Time has past.

Tape and paper removed.
Deck sitting on the hull.

Need to make a tube for the air pump intake.
I used a 5/32" brass tube so I can have 1/8" ID for the air pump.
I should have done this before assembling the masts pieces.
I could have used the center mast.
As it is, I used the rear most mast.
I cut the mast out of the assembly with a Dremel saw blade and exacto knife.
Removed the search light to use on the new mast and I removed the head of the mast to use on the new mast.

This is what I ended up with.
The mast is a little bigger that the others but it gives me the needed 1/8" ID.

I drilled down through the deck of the tower to make a hole big enough for the new mast.
Then I turned the tower over and drill through the bottom of the tower.
Did a little knife cutting to get the stanchion out of the tower.
Set the assembly on the conning tower for a look.
There is about 3/4" of brass tubing under the deck to attach a rubber hose to.

January 25th =================================================

I have worked on the Skipjack air leak and it is ready to go tomorrow.
Did a little on the Gato.

I polished two lengths of stainless 1/8" rod for the propeller shafts.
Slipped them in to the shaft support bearings for a look and I slipped the propellers on the shafts for a look. 

February 2nd =================================================

I got a small stainless bolt to hold the rear deck to the hull.
There is a frame under the deck at the rear tow eye.
This is where I am going to put the bolt. (bolt in threaded hole)
The plastic frame is thick enough, I did not use the nut.
I threaded the plastic.

Deck set on the hull and the hold down bolt in place.
I will touch up the paint later.
There are other placed to do.

The foam in the hull can be seen in this photo.
There is room for more if needed.
That will come near the end of the build.

February 3rd =================================================

Fit the rudder so it will travel full right and full left. (touch the planes)
Had to remove some of the torpedo door plastic. (I would leave the torpedo doors off if I do it again.. Interferes with the control horn)
Fit the plastic piece that holds the dive planes in place.
Just a little filing to get the rudder to clear the small bolt head that holds the plastic piece on.

Made another periscope top out of brass. 
The front one this time.

Touched up all the paint.
Where I filed material off and some small scratched caused by fitting the deck to the hull.
5 minutes at most.

Will clear coat it when it warms up.
I may try some very light weathering or more like deck path wear.
With all this fresh paint, it does look strange even for a boat coming out of overhaul.
There should be deck wear from yard worked moving about the boat in the yards.

Here is the boat sitting on it's stand

February 4th =================================================

Was opening up the Skipjack to find the problem(s).
After isolating the ballast tank motor, I found it no longer works.
New motor and controller ordered.
The controller may not be bad but if it is, I have one coming.. Could end up being a spare)

February 5th =================================================

Today will be a very short day in the shop.
I am not going to try working at 38 F for a high.

But I will get my 10 minutes plus on the Gato.

I have cut the plastic pieces to build the 1 to 2 gear assembly that will go on the rear end cap.
The 2 main frame pieces are made of 2 pieces of sheet plastic bonded together. (4 pieces altogether)
The re are 2 spaces made from 7 pieces of sheet plastic to get a thickness so the gears can fit between without binding.
The frames are made.
1 end spacer has cement applied, stacked and placed on 1 of the frames.
The assembly is currently in the vise to apply pressure during the cement curing.

Later today, I will do the same to the other frame and spacer.
This I can do on my kitchen table.

I will shape the 2 frame pieces to fit together with the 3 gears between the spacers.

I will cut bushing stock to the gear shafts.
6 all total.
Drilling the assembly after all the glue cures.

I will get a photo of all the parts when I take the first frame with spacer out of the vise and before I do the second one. 

February 6th =================================================

Assembling of the gear box. 

3 holes where drilled in to the frame with the standoffs installed.
Went to the drill press and started drilling bushing holes.
Using a drill bit the size of the gear center hole, I drilled first hole and put the shaft and gear in place.

Holding the second gear with my fingers, I drilled the second hole.
Put the shaft in the hole and place the gear on it.

Turned the gears to see if I got them too far apart or too close.
I can fix that when I drill the holes larger for the bushings.
Good gear mess. (not to tight and not to loose)

Held the 3rd gear against one gear leaving a gap to the other gear.
 I checked the motor rotation to make sure I get the correct rotation for the 2 gears that will turn the propellers.
As I did this, I realized it did not matter.
If the rotation is wrong, I just have to turn the gear box over.

Holes drilled for the gear shafts.
All gears mess is good.

Now to drill the holes larger to accept the brass bushings.

The drill was a little small but using the shaft as a guide and a longer piece of the brass tubing, I was able to hammer lightly and drive the bushings in to place.
Using the 2 shafts I have cut and the 1/8" drill bit as a shaft, I placed all 3 gears on the frame.
They turn with no effort and engage almost completely.

I disassembled what you see here down to the bare frame.
Sanded the bottom edge flat on both frame pieces.
Applied cement and lined up the parts.
Placed it all in the small table vise and applied pressure.

Once the cement cures, I will use the 3 bushing holes to drill through the second frame piece.

Once the frame is completed, I will shape the frame to fit the end cap which I have not yet made.
This will also hold the main propeller shaft seal in place in the end cap.

February 10th =================================================

Made end caps from pvc rod. (started out 4.5" id)
2.5" cylinder piece. 

Caps in the cylinder.
I checked the o-ring groove with an 1/8" o-ring section.

February 13th =================================================

After moving tools out to the tool shed, I did some cleaning.
Then it was time to stop and have a bite to eat.
Went to town and stopped by the post office.

Found a blue notice in the PO Box which means to go to the counter for pick up.
Look what I got.

Boat parts!

Gears for the Gato 1 to 2 drive system and the motor and parts for the Skipjack.

Work on the boats will continue on Friday.

February 15th =================================================

Got in to the shop for a few minutes this morning.
Cut the plastic sheet pieces to make the gear box height.
It will take 7 pieces on each side to go between the two main frames.
This will give me a gap between the frames to slide the gears in to the box.
These pieces are now under pressure in the small vise.

Measured the gears to fine the centers and then transferred the information on to one of the frames.
Drilled the first hole and place a shaft in the hole with a gear on it.
Using the drill bit I pushed the drill bit through to make a mark for the second gear.
To keep the gear teeth from being too tight, I places masking tape strips on the teeth and pushed it down between the teeth giving me a slight gap.

Drilled the second hole.
Tested the gears for fit.
It was very tight with the gears with the tape but a good fit when I changed the gear with tape on it for one that did not have tape.

Placing the third gear required to have it mesh with one gear and not engage the other.
So with the tape on one gear down in the teeth to give the clearance needed, I put tape on the same gear but I did not push it down in to the teeth.
This section of the gear was like a wheel.
Two layers of tape is the clearance I got when I drilled the shaft hole.
Using drill bits as shafts, I placed all three gears on the frame and turned the gears.
It is smooth and turns freely with no binding.
I like it.

After the cement cures on the two pieces in the vise, I will assemble the gear box and then drill through the frame holes to drill the second frame. 

February 17th =================================================

This morning the Skipjack repairs were completed successfully.
I was surprises that only the ballast tank motor had to be replaced.
I was sure it was going to be the ballast tank controller.
It seems to work fine.
The Skipjack is assembled and the batteries charge.
The boat is back in it's protective transportation box, ready to go. (Feb 23th is an informal gathering at the pond)
While the battery charging is going on, I have moved the Gato gear box assembly back on to the work bench.
In the last hour the temperature in the shop dropped from 48F to 37F, so I called it a day.
Only because my fingers where tightening up and I was having trouble picking up small parts. (grub screws)
Had to use needle nose pliers.

I still have 1 transmitter battery on the charge.
Should be finished in 15 to 30 minutes.

Then I am to stay so I can get warmed up. 

February 18th =================================================

In the shop a 8 am.
34 F.
Turned on heater.
Thought I would work on the gear box.
Need to start shaping the box to fit the end cap.

First thing, there is a problem.
The gears will not slide in to the box.
It appears that the pressure put on the plastic pieces to make sure I had a good bond has decreased the internal dimension enough to be smaller than the gear height.

Not good but not a big issue.
Out to the tool shed where the band saw is.
Using the band saw as an upright saw, I cut one side plate off.
The one I have not drilled for the shafts.

Put a straight mill bit in the drill press.
Clamped a couple of steel fences on the table and set it up to mill the surface flat where the saw cuts are.

Two passes and it's done.
This was not fun.
There is no heater in the tools shed.
Fingers are thinking about striking on me.

Back in to the shop.
Oh! the 10 minutes out in the tool shed has allowed the shop to warm up nicely.

Flat sand the side of the box I just cut to get the saw blade marks off.

Put flat pieces of sheet plastic on the cuts to raise the sides of the box.
Test by putting 2 gears in the box.
Turns out, 1 plastic piece on each side is enough to raise for gear clearance.
Applied cement and clamped in the table vise.

I did not put the side plate on.
I want to check after it cures if it is wide enough or needs another piece.
I also need to shape the side piece before I close up the box.

Made a new side piece.
Cutting the old one off has made too many cut lines and gouges to flat sand smooth.
Cut 2 pieces and bonded them together.
They are now clamped between two small wooden blocks.

Okay, I am going back to the house.
The heater is doing a good job.
It's has gotten up to 38 F in the shop.
Not good enough to be working on small plastic parts on the boat hull.

Will see what I can get done later today. 

After shaping the new layer of plastic sheet, it needs one more layer.
Cut the 2 pieces out and applied cement.
Back in the vise it all goes.

Still too cold to spend any time in the shop.

After bonding the parts, I brought the vise with the parts in the house to cure. 

A quick note.
Both the Skipjack and Akula II are in their transportation boxes and the transmitter is in it's carrying case with extra batteries.

I am ready for this Saturday's unofficial gathering of subnormal at the pond.
(next scheduled gathering is Mar 9th) 

February 19th =================================================

After spending time in town with the accountant to file taxes I got home mid day.

Out to the shop.
Removed gear box from vise.
Shaped the one layer of plastic to match the rest, I test fit the gears in the unit.
This looks good.
Did some flat sanding on the side that will get the cover plate plastic piece.
Still have plenty of clearance.

Applied cement to the 2 layer side plate and lined it up.
In to the vise it went.

I gathered up all the tools so I could pick out the ones that go in my field tool box.
Do not want to be scrabbling on Friday for Saturday outing.

I will leave the tool box in the shop until Friday and use tools as needed from the box.
This morning was a slow starter.
About 2 am power was out in the area I live.
This means no power to the house furnace so it got rather cold about 3:30 am.
It woke me up.
First I thought the propane tank was empty but immediately realized no power because the lights did not come on at the switch.

Went in the kitchen and turn on a couple of burners. (old fashion house heater. I have 1.5" thick 12" circle of steel plate just for this)

Power came back on at 5:34 am.
Furnace ran fr almost an hour to get the house heat back up to 60 F.

I decided to sleep in to 9 am then go to town after being awake most of the early morning.

On the way to town, I saw 7 trucks working on the power poles.
Looks like someone ran one over and blew out a couple of transformers about 1 mile apart.
Replacing power pole at one location and transformer at the other.

So far today, the high has been 39 F.
I am not going outside any more today.
Yes, I have become a wimp about the weather. 

I was thinking this evening about this current project for the Gato.
The gear box.
Looking at the post, I seems like it is taking a long time to build.

I want to add some information.
If I were to add up all the time I have actually worked on the gear box not counting cement curing, I have about 1 hour and 45 minutes in to it.
Trying to work in the shop while it is in the 30s and the tool shed in the low 30s, I can't stay out there very long.
10 to 15 minutes at a time.
I try to do measuring, cutting of plastic sheet, test fitting and then cementing parts together in a time frame of 15 minutes.

If it was warmer out side, I would have this done in 1 trip to the shop.

But it is not warm.
The heater helps but takes too long to actually get the shop warm enough to stay out there.
The heater is about 5 feet from where I work and is on my back which feels good until I turn around and the shock of the cold hits me.

The process is to get at least 10 minutes of building done every day.
Make progress every day.
Do something.

I have been thinking I might try weather by doing a little on the decking where people would be walking and wearing on the wood deck.
That I could do on my kitchen table in the evenings.

I thick I might bring some paints, brushes, some foam blocks and cotton balls and try doing some weather on paper plates until I get something I like the looks of.
Then on to the deck.

Worst that can happen is I tape the deck off and repaint the flat black where I mess it up.
I have repainted hulls where the paint curdled.
I think I can fix a deck if I don't like it.

The boat has been sitting in front of my tv now for a couple of weeks.
I am not sure I like the look of the boat in new paint as if just built.
Doesn't look right.
Even a new boat has growth at the waterline and wear paths on the deck.

Tomorrow, I should have the gear box finished.
Then see how I want it mounted on the rear end cap so I can cut the seals in for the main propeller shaft and the 2 control rods.
This will determine whether I use o-rings or bellow boots.
Got to find some 5/32" brass tubing.
I have some small pieces but not enough. 

February 20th =================================================

I spent the morning and some of the afternoon getting read for the rain and snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow.
Went an got a load of propane for the house.
Yes, I haul my own propane. Been doing it for almost 40 years.
Made sure the wind did not remove insulation from water pipes and faucets.

I did get in to the shop while transferring propane from the tank in the back of one of my trucks to the house tank.
In the shop I worked on the gear box.
Took it out of the vise and scribed some lines on it to square it up and get the correct dimensions.
Did some cutting with the Dremel diamond saw and then some sanding to get it straight and smooth.

Cuts 3 lengths of 1/8" stainless shaft making sure I had the 2 pieces for the propeller shafts.

I had cut 6 5/32" brass tubing pieces to use as bearings.
I need to clean them up and make them square before installing in the gear box frame.

Almost time to start getting all the motors, pumps electronics out and on the work bench to layout how I want every thing to be.

But I do not think I will be in the shop much for the next few days.
Highs are expected to be in the low 30's mid day.

Again there was progress today on the Gato. 

February 21st =================================================

Woke up to snow on the ground and light snow happening at 6 am.
It is now 11:35 am and the snowing stopped and the snow on the ground is almost gone.
Only left in the shadow areas.

Cold and windy outside.
Yep, I will be staying inside today because I can. 

February 24th =================================================

In the shop working on the Skipjack to make some trim changes after yesterday at the lake.

Tom, brought the correct propellers.
Originally I got two the same.
Now I have a right and left.

Cleaned them up with a file and prepared the shafts by grinding some notches in them for the glue I use that expands in to the notches and to the propeller hub.

Dipped the ends of the shafts in to the glue and slide the propellers on and then the hub cap.
Brought them in to the house to keep an eye on them and every so often, put pressure on the end cap to keep it tight to the propeller.

February 25th =================================================

Trimmed the glue off the shaft and hub joint.
Painted the propellers brass and painted parts of the shafts flat black where they will show when installed.

Installed propeller shafts and propellers.
Side view.

Stern view.
I see I need to do some painting in the tubes and vent holes.

Dog Bone connector installed on the propeller shafts.

March 5th =================================================

The gear box is complete.

Here the gear box is upside down.
We are looking forward at the bottom.

Side View.

Gear box on it's side looking at the top.
To the right is the single shaft going to the propeller motor.
To the left are the two output shafts going to the propellers. 

March 7th =================================================

This morning I finished the bow deck repairs where I drilled 5 additional vent holes on each side of the bow.
I have a 1/4" hole down in the eye lead on the bow. 

I also wanted to see how the gear box fit in the stern with the cylinder and end cap  set in plane.
It appears I do not need to do any more shaping.
The gear box fits with clearance from the hull sides.

March 29th =================================================

Gathered up parts that go in the cylinder.

Moved them in to 2 groups.
The stern section and the bow section parts.
There may be another servo but I have not decide where it will go yet.
Have to make a test port type assembly to see if it will even work.

March 30th =================================================

Time to do something.
I cut some aluminum out of my STOP sign aluminum supply.
2.5"x 3"x 1/16".

Marked for the servo opening.
Drilled a hole for the power switch.
Cut the ends so I could bend one end out for mounting screws and one end in for strength.
The long sides have 3/16" of material bent over to strengthen the plate.
Later I cut the 2 ears on the left end off.
They were not needed to make the frame ridged.

The servos will be mounted with the control horns down.
This gives me the most room for the longest horns in the 2.25" cylinder.
The aluminum frame will be attached to the inside of the front end cap.

The under side.

Frame, servos and switch sitting in the cylinder end piece and cap.

March 31st =================================================

The bow planes and retract servos have been mounted to the frame.
The power switch is installed.
The frame has been installed on the end cap.
The servos have been connected to the Rx and adjusted for center and through.

Looking at the end cap from above.

Looking at the end cap from the below.

I have marked the end cap for the holes that the control rods will go through.
I need to get some brass tubing before I drill these holes.
The tubing used as bushings for the 1/8" control rod sections.

End cap placed in the cylinder and the cylinder in the hull to check location and clearance.
Also checked the rear of the cylinder for the gear box and dog bone connectors.

May 3th =================================================

Finally back to work on the GATO.

Fabricating the rear electronics tray.
Got my speed limit sign out and cut a 2" x 15" x 1/16" aluminum plate.
Debarred it and sanded the sign reflective coating off.

Out to the vise.
I need to make the plate 2 1/8" wide after bending the long edges over to 90 degrees.
It does not fit in to the cylinder.
Now I will bend the edges over to about 110 degrees with my 24 ounce ball peen hammer.

This is slow going but it is producing the results I want.
I bent 3" of one end of the plate to  test fit in the cylinder.
This might do.
So I continued on bending both edges over.
It fits but is very tight.
Got the belt sander mounted in the vise and sanded the edges to clean up the hammer marks and make the edge straight it's full length.
A little more hammering and a little more sanding and I got what I want.
It fits without binding or dragging in the cylinder.
Looking at the bottom side of the tray plate.
Here it still needs a little more hammer and sanding work.

May 5th =================================================

After getting the tray cleaned up, I measured for the motor and 2 servos.
Hole on the right is for the main motor and the hole on the left is for the 2 servos.

It is hard to see but I bend the right end of the motor hole to make a mounting bracket for the motor.

Here I set the servos and main motor in place to check fit.
The right end of the tray still needs a notch cut and two tabs bent down to mount to the end cap.

Here are the other parts that need to be mounted.
The ESC and Fail Safe (on the table) will be mounted on the bottom side of the plate.

Not shown are the ballast pump and ESC for it which will go on the left end.

June 17th =================================================

Repairing broken periscope mast.

2 masts sections, 4 tubes to down size to periscope rods, 2 periscopes and 2 bottom pins.

Tape removed

Showing broken periscopes.

New periscopes test fit

August 2nd =================================================

Finally after 3 months I am back in the shop.

Decided to put the center deck railings on.

First I have to make them.
I am using 1/32" rod for the stanchions.
They are 1/2" tall above the deck, so I cut pieces 3/4" long.
1/4" will go in to the deck.
They will actually go all the way through and I will be able to put a drop of CA on the under side of the deck and add baking soda to stiffen them up.

Here are the stanchions for one side.
The wooden block I made to hold the stanchions vertically and to the correct height.
There is a groove in the wooden block that the stanchion drops in to.

Installing the first stanchion using the wooden block.
A drop of CA on the end of the stanchion.
Hold for a few seconds.
Remove block and turn deck upside down.
A drop or two on the stanchion end sticking through the deck.
Sprinkle baking soda on CA.
Move to next stanchion.

Taking my time, I installed the right side stanchions.
I decided to call it a day.
Now 9:15 am and it's over 90 F and rising fast.
Tomorrow I will continue the left side.

August 3rd =================================================

Got out to the shop early. (trying to beat the heat)

Before I started installing the left side stanchions, I looked over the right side to see how straight they were.
A couple where not quite straight up and down.
With a little effort I was able to bend them vertically. (less than 1/8" for the worst one)

On to the stanchions.
Cut the needed stanchion pieces.
Got the wooden block and CA out.
And away I go.
In less than an hour, I had the stanchions installed.
Tomorrow I will straighten any stanchions that needed it.

I placed the deck on the hull and the tower on the deck.
This is where I am now.

I still have to make the gate stanchion support angle rods.
Going to find a photo to help me get the angles correct.

Then the top rail will be soldered on.
I did a test piece a few months back and it was not hard at all.
Just got to remember to use a heat sink on the stanchions as I go.
The lower rail will be a strong sewing thread.
I will use a slip knot on each stanchion so I can pull the line tight.
I will then use CA to harden the lines or I may just use the gray paint.
Maybe the gray paint is better should I have to do repairs later.

I made brass railings for the conning tower so I think this should be easy. 
It's all straight wire.

August 4th =================================================

Items to be made today.
Stanchion tension supports.

Stern gate supports.
Lower life line is in place but not permanent yet.
It has to go to the gate stanchion.

Bow railing end support.
This is incorrect.
The gate is 2 stanchion to the right.
The support is in place but not permanently installed.
Trying to decide if I want to remove it and make the correct gate. ? ?
The life line can be seen tired to the end stanchion.
The black thread does not show up well against the black deck.

Here is a photo with the conning tower as a background to get the life line to show up.

I need to go down the line and make sure the life line is at the correct height from the deck.
The clove hitch knot will slit up and down but should not loosen up as I work with it.
After I get the line set in place I will put a small drop of CA on the knot at the stanchion.

August 5th =================================================

I thought about the bow railing gate most of last night.
Well, the decision was to correct the railing and put the gate in.
Looked at photos and found a couple that show the listening tube goes over the gate post.
Turns out the height of the railing post is just below the listening tube.
That worked out well.

Working on the railing for the deck access stairs.
One fits, the other will need to be remade.

August 11th =================================================

Out to the shop to work on the deck railing.
I started by working on the thread lower rail.
Using Thin CA, I glued the thread to the stanchion and then soaked the thread between stanchions to make it stiff and sag a little like cable.
I did 2 sections and then stood back and took a look.
The thread is too small in diameter.
It does not look right.

Well, on to another plan.
Remove all the thread.
Find the .032" diameter brass rod and go back to soldering the rod on the stanchions.
Installed between 2 stanchions and stepped back again to take a look.
The rod is a little bit too big but it looks far better than the small thread.

Keep going with the brass rod.
After about an hour of soldering and cutting brass rod, I ended up with this.

I need to go back and clean up a few solder joints that have too much solder.
Do some touch up painting
But I like the look.

There are 2 spots I needed to glaze to fill hollow spots.

The painting will be to paint the sides gray again.
Let it dry a couple of days and then mask off the sides (gray) and paint the flat black deck.
This will get the railings.
I think I will not protect the railing so it gets a little gray and a little flat black on them.

August 12th =================================================

Cleaning up railings.
Sanding the deck and deck sides for repainting.

While sanding I found a spot that I must have touched with the soldering iron.
I damaged 2 flood holes.

So I spent this morning building small parts to fix the flood holes.
This will be the backing for the glazing.

Backing installed
I will let this cure until tomorrow.
Then I will put glazing on it and let it cure.
Shaping after that.

August 13th =================================================

Glazing was applied this morning.
5 hours later I sanded the side of the deck and smoothed out the glazing over the damaged flood holes.
A little more sanding to get the black backing plastic down smooth with the sides.
Then I will slowly cut the glazing out of the flood holes.
I will start smaller than the hole should be so I can use a small file to get it to the proper size.
I think I will make a plastic peg the size of the other holes and use it to check the new holes.
But it is too hot to do fine detail in the shop. 105 F.
In the early morning I will start.

August 14th =================================================

Shaping the 2 flood holes has begun.
Using a small drill bit to make the entry hole and an exacto knife, I have rough cut the flood hole.
After rough cutting the holes, I used thin CA to soak the glaze to make it hard.

Now I can work with a small file to finish shaping.
I am not sure how I will deal with the deck frame which is very close to the flood holes.
Maybe 3/32" behind the deck sides.
I will just take my time and do a little at a time.

Back in the shop to make a wooden form to shape the holes.
Using a hard wood round dowel, I filed and sanded this former.

Here I am checking the shape and size against to the flood holes.
Being careful because there are two sizes here.
I need the larger of the two.

The wooden form fits tightly in an undamaged flood hole.
Next I will lube up the wooden form so the glaze will not stick to it.
I may use CA and baking soda instead of glaze.
Glaze is very soft and I need the flood hole edges to be harder.

August 16th =================================================

Working on filling the damaged flood holes.
No photos

August 17th =================================================

Repainting the flood holes is complete.
Shaping and sanding done.

Sanded the entire deck sides for repainting.
Did a little work on one of the forward rail gates.
Files down the excess solder to make the rail smooth. 
Wiped down all the parts.
Masking tape applied.

Out side to the painting station. (old cardboard barrel)
Smoke gray paint applied.

This is the side with the flood hole repairs.
Just left of the forward gate and off the barrel top.

August 17th =================================================

Deck is masked and painted.

Deck moved in to shop and masking tape removed.

August 20th =================================================

Tried weathering the deck.
Ended up repainting the flat black deck.
Well, it is 100 F in the shop.
It is 105 F outside.

I did the finger paint smear test.
I rubbed it hard and nothing came off or smudged at all.
I stainless steel brushed the weathered spots.
Taped off the deck from the hull sides.
Took it outside and repainted the flat black parts.
5 minutes later brought the deck back in to the shop.
Removed the tape.
Looks like it did before I started weathering.
This looks much better to me.

While out there and before taping, I built the brass railing around the forward deck access.
It looks good.
It got painted flat black.
After doing this which took about 15 minutes, I was done being out in the heat. 
Thought I would explain my problems with making the forward deck access railings.
I used the original plastic parts as patterns.
I tried to CA the brass on to the deck ledge.
I got both U bend pieces of brass glued in place.
But every time I touch those parts, they would break loose.
These became such a problem, I had decided to leave the railings off.
But without the railings, it does not look right.
Then I was repairing a side railing that needed to be refitted on the railing post to be straight.

At this point I had a thought!
The issue is the CA does not hold the brass to the plastic very well.
It's a small little ledge.
The thought was to make 4 posts.
Cut them long and bent them to the correct height and leave room for the top railing.
I drilled holes for the posts in all four corners.
Actually 2 corners had a notch filed in for the posts.
I bent the posts so they would go through the deck and to the under side of the deck.
I pushed the post though from the under side.
Holding the post straight with the bend tight to the underside of the deck, I put a drop of CA on the bend to hold it in place.
I did this to all four post.

I then added more CA to 1 post at a time and sprinkled baking soda on the wet CA.

They are now set very strongly in to the deck.

Next I cut and soldered the top railing to each post leaving the aft end open to the ladder.

August 21st =================================================

Time to return to building the electronics tray.
I am going to have to decide on a ballast system.

I have the following that might work.
1. I have the water pump and ballast balloon system I took out of the Skipjack to put in the piston.
2. The same pump can be used to pump air in to the ballast tank through the snorkel.
This would use an internal ballast tank to hold the air.
I can make a vent valve on top of the cylinder.
I can use the pump to pump air in and out of the tank by placing the pump pickup near the top inside the ballast tank. (1 less servo)
3. I could look for an air pump that pumps volume and is smaller than the Skipjack pump. (it barely fits and has to sit at an angle)

I am going to work on the forward electronics tray.
This has the bow planes retract and pitch servos.
It will also have the battery tray.
And I am thinking I will add another servo that will move the battery tray about 1.5" forward and backwards for trimming under way.
The reason is, I watch other long thin boats and they seem to have problems trimming surfaced and submerged trim.
There is a 7' Type VII run at our gathering and it has and actual water ballast trim tanks where it can move water inside the cylinder
back and forth to lever the both. This is separate from the main ballast system which happens to be 2 ballast pistons.

I may not be able to work on the boat for the next few days, so I will do a little research on the small air pump and see what I can find.
I though I had 1 of these pumps but I have looked and looked with no success.
Might of been one of those parts I thought about buying and then bought something else.
I did find 2 different inline check valves.

I originally wanted to make the ballast system a negative system.
I may still do that but right now, it looks like I may trim the boat with 1/2" of the sail above the surface and use the bow planes to dive the boat.

This will be decided when I get to making the 2 ballast tank frames that go inside the cylinder.
considering 2 options.
1. A small diaphragm in 1 of the tank ends or make 1 end move back and forth like a piston. Travel about 1/2" is all that is needed.
The diaphragm would be the easiest to build, I think. Just a servo and a can to move it back and forth.
This morning I did place the cylinder in the hull and move it around.
I think I found where I want it to be and have room for the controls coming out of both ends.
The controls in the stern, propeller shaft, rudder and stern planes control rods.
The rudder and stern plane controls move so easily, I will probably use magnet links.
The bow planes and retract are much harder to move so I think they will be direct connect with wheel collars.
Unless I can figure out why they are so much harder. (most likely the gears on the retracts and the extra linkages on the planes rotate.

This is not hard to do, just got to get the electronics trays setup and then make the linkage up. 

August 24th =================================================

Made it out to the shop.
Want to work on the rear electronics tray.
Test fitting what I have.
The propeller motor sits too low.
It needs to come up to almost center of the end cap.

The end cap needs to be finished.
The o-rings I have now do not fit.
The groove is not deep enough.
I left it that way when I made the end caps because I did not have o-rings to test fit.
Both end caps are done and the o-ring sits perfectly.
I can insert the end caps in to the cylinder without using a tool to push the o-ring down to keep it from pitching.
I just need to rotate the end cap about 1/4" and the o-ring will slide in t the cylinder. 

Back tot he main motor alignment.
This is the tray as it was before I started this morning. 
The edges are rolled under about 3/16" to stiffen the tray.
The edges touch the cylinder and will not let it drop any lower.

Okay, the solution is to cut the rolled edge off.
File and clean up the edge.
Go out to the big vice and rebind the edges.
It will be a little harder this time because the motor bracket is bent up and will interfere with the vice jaw.
So I will butt it up to the side of the vice and slowly bend the edge.

WEll after about 20 minutes, I have new edges on the tray.
Test fit shows me that it will drop more than enough to center the motor shaft in the end cap.
I did remove the motor and servos so there was nothing on the tray while I worked on it.
I will clean the aluminum up with a belt sander tomorrow.
I will need to cover my face so there is no dust or dirt to get on my face cuts.

After cleaning up the tray, I will make a small bent bracket that will mount on the end cap.
The tray will mount to the bracket with 2 stainless bolts.
Same in the Skipjack, 2 modifications back.

Once I get the brackets made, I can measure and locate where to drill holes for the shaft and 2 control rods.
I will drill holes for 1/8" brass tubing.
There will be the control rods and shaft bearings.
The shaft bearing will only go through the inside half of the cap.
On the outside of the cap. I will use the brass tubing to guide my cutter for the cap seal.
The propeller 1 to 2 gear box will be over the cup seal and keep it in place.
The control rods will be over the gear box and not thought the gear box.

Once I get the brass tubing in the end cap and the cup seal, I can start aligning and installing these equipment on to the rear tray.

The tray is now 1/4" narrow in width.
About half the distance from the edge to the motor bracket on each side.

August 25th =================================================

15 to 20 minutes in the shop.
Built a connector for the main motor to propeller shaft.
The motor shaft is bigger than the propeller shaft.
So 2 different sizes of brass tubing were used.
The large tube fits the motor shaft. (tightly. required a little filing to make it fit)
The small brass tube has an inside diameter of 1/8" to fit the propeller shaft.

I fit the small tube in side the larger tube.
I cut the large tube to the needed overall length.
Cut the small tube to half the length.
Soldered the small inside the large with one end flush.

Using drill bits, I cleaned out the solder excess.
There was not much.

Places the connector tube in to the small vise.
Using the wheel collar that fit over the outside tube, I drilled very small holes in the tube at each end through the set screw hole.
The drill bit was smaller than the thread to avoid damage.
I left 1/8" of tubing sticking out past the wheel collar.

Removed the wheel collars and proceeded to drill holes large enough to allow the set screw to go through.

With the wheel collars on the connector tube, the set screw goes through and tightens on the motor and propellor shafts.
The set screw keeps the tubing from spinning free.
checked the alignment of the motor and propeller shafts bu turning the motor case.
I see that the 2 shafts are straight and no wobble.

I can now mark the cut line on the tray. 
To the right is the 1 to 2 gear box with gears removed.

August 26th =================================================

Cut the tray on the aft end that mounts to the end cap.
Made the bracket that will mount to the end cap and then to the tray.
Bent a 3/8" aluminum angle that will fit across the end cap with room at each end.
Drilled holes for stainless bolts in the bracket and the tray.
About 1/8" in diameter.
Will pick up stainless bolts and nuts when in town later this morning.

Made the propeller shaft bushing/bearing that goes in the end cap.
It will stick out about 3/8" in to the cylinder.
The other side of cap will have a recess cut in for the shaft cup seal.
The bushing fits in the center of the cap where I have a 1/4" hole for the bolt that is used to turn the caps.
I place the brass tubing bushing in my small vise and place a piece of tape over it to use as a seal on the bottom of the cap.
This will keep the glue from running through.
I place the cap over the bushing tube and center it.
I tape the cap in place to the vise.

Now I can drip glue in the large hole holding the vise on an angle so the glue will run down between the bushing and the cap.
This will sit over night before I drill the excess glue from the bushing tube.
Once I get the end cap flat, I will use my seal cutter to make the recess seal shoulder.

This all sounds complicated but it took 10 minutes to set up after cutting the bushing to length and cleaning it up so the shaft runs smoothly in it.

While out in the tool shed, I got out the belt sander
Placed in in the outside big vise.
Sanded the tray to make it clean and have all the sanding marks going the same way.

I have not yet cut the tray to length as I do not know exactly where I will be placing the other equipment until I get the bracket and end cap mounted to the tray.

Do a little every day and it will all get done.
But this Wednesday and Thursday I am at the VA hospital.
Wednesday is to check on healing progress on my face and nose.
Thursday is optometry and most likely eye exam for new glasses.
I hope so.

The healing is coming along and I have been able to get out in to the shop and work on the boat.
Feels good even though I can not stay out there very long.
It is within my 10 minute minimum work per day.
Actually, I have been getting 30 minutes to 90 minutes per day. 
Back from town with the bolts.

August 30th =================================================

Got the end cap drilled and the propeller shaft centered and glued in.

Put CA on the railing gate wires.
Once it hardens, I can warm them up and shape them in to a better curve.

At gun deck.

August 31st =================================================

Today was mostly a loss.
I spent over an hour looking for my seal cutter.
I have not found it yet.
Option 2 is to make another one tomorrow.
Got tired of looking so I moved on to other things.

I need to decide on what seals for the control rods to use.
Choices are o-rings or bellows.
I use both and I like both.
Bellows are easier to install.
O-rings require less room and more maintenance.

If I have to make new cutters, I will probably go with bellows as they only need a holes drilled through the cap to get the brass tubing through.
No cutter required.

I shaped the 1 to 2 gear box to fit the end cap curve.
Reinstalled the gears and fit it to the end cap.
The shaft hole is slightly off center. Less than 1/32".
Found center and marked the cap.
Test fit to cap.
Need to get 2 stainless bolts to mount the gear box to the cap.
I clamped the gear box to the end cap and everything turns easily.
Need to mount electronics tray bracket to the end cap.

I now know how much propeller shaft is needed and can cut it to length.
I thing cutting it with 1/8" sticking through ought to do it.

The end cap will hold the propeller shaft cup seal in place once I recess the seal. 
Works well on the Skipjack. (re grease once a year has worked)

September 1st =================================================

Make cup seal cutter.
Shape piece of 1/4" thick flat bar by cutting and turning in drill press to get correct diameter.
Take to outside vise and file cutting edge on bottom of cutter piece.

Find a scrap piece of end cap for testing cutter.
This is to make sure the diameter is larger than small end of cut and smaller than the large end of cup.

Cup drops in to recess but stops about 1/3 of the way down.
Putting pressure on the cut and it will go to bottom of recess squeezing cut sides to end cap.

In the photo the cup sticks up above the end cap.
This is to allow the gear box to compress the cup in to the recess when gear box is installed.

September 2nd =================================================

This morning, I have cut the recess for the propeller shaft in the end cap.
Took my time and went slowly.
Got it to the correct depth in 4 passes. (always worry about going too deep)

Assembled the gear box to the end cap to decide where I want the control rod bushings.
Well, it is obvious that my plan to have the servo horns under the main motor will not work.
I would have to go through the gear box.

I am going to have to install the servos with the arms on top.
Bend some control rod to see where they will be to clear the main motor.
Going to decide if I will use 1/8" brass tubing to go through the end cap or try using 1/16" brass rod.

Need to cut several sizes of tubing to size down to the control rod.

Oh, I decided to go with the bellows to seal the control rods.
It appears that is what I had planned in the beginning.
The bellows where sitting in the parts to be used container.
No small o-rings.
Even had the through end cap brass tubing cut to size already.

The end cap is sitting in the small bench vise.
I had drilled small guide holes some time back.
I filled them with CA in layers using baking soda as I went.
To make sure it all cures, I will give it overnight.
Then after test fitting the control rods, I will drill the holes again.

Every day a little progress. 

September 3rd =================================================

Through end cap parts have been cut to size.
Locations for the through cap holes have been measured and drilled.
Bellows have been put on tubing for measuring.
2 control rod bushings (bellows) and 2 pump air tubes.

Test fit all the tubes through the end cap.

All tubes CA in place.
Will apply second time with thin CA to make sure it gets in to any voids between tubing and end cap.
You can see the gaps in this photo. 

This is what the completed read end cap will look like.

September 4th =================================================

The control rod reducers have been cut and assembled. 
The 2 pieces with short tubes on the ends to fit the end cap through brass tube. (1/4" down to 1/8")
They went inside the control rod brass tubes. (the 2 top long ones)

Control rods have been measured and assembled.

I need to make 2 tubing rings to go on the ends of the control rod through tubes.
They will help keep the bellows from sliding off.

September 5th =================================================

I have finished making the control rods and assembled everything.
The important thing to remember, this is a brushless outrigger motor.
The case rotates when running.
The control rods had to go around the motor case and not touch it when at full throw each way.

The end cap is complete and only needs to be disassembled to add the cup seal for the propeller shaft and grease it.

Moved on to the front end cap.
I needed to get (for now) 2 control rods and the Schreader valve installed.
Also had to fill the center hole used to turn the end cap.
Now to let it cure over night.

Build control rods tomorrow.

Second view.

September 6th =================================================

Front end cap assembled.
This would be the bow planes retracts and pitch control servos.

I am now working on the control rod connections to the bow plane and retract control horns.
Not much room in there to work on things.
So far it looks like I may have   to remove the retract controls and move the horn back to get a better angle on the horn.
The horn is almost horizontal when the bow planes are lowered.
There will not be enough force from the servo to hold the bow plans level during operation.
Remove and resoled the horn.
Rotate back about 10 degrees.

September 11th =================================================

Dropped the cylinder to the hull between the stop blocks.
Cut the bow plane control rods.
Soldered wheel collar to bow planes control rods.
Adjustments can be made by loosening the wheel collar and moving the bow plane control rods on the servo control rods.
I see the bends are not very neat but that can be fixed later.

A view up in to the bow.

September 25th =================================================

Lots of little things have been done.

Here I am working on the propeller shaft dog bones.

Measured and cut brass tubing for the extension.
I know, others have used aluminum.
I have aluminum tubing but it oxidizes so quickly, I thought I would go with brass.

Assembled with CA glue.
Now I have to drill and pin each end with a brass pin.

Right side dog bone installed. (not pinned yet)

Left side dog bone installed. (not pinned yet)

Tested the turning of the gear box and propeller shafts.
All is good.

Now to remove and pin the ends. 
To install the dog bones, I have to remove the dog bone connector on the propeller shaft and slide the shaft back out of the connector.

I spent a lot of time trying to drop the cylinder in and align the 2 dog bones at the same time.
I gave up.
Sliding the shaft out is relatively easy.
A couple of minutes and it's out and back in.
Later today.

Installed control rods to the rudder and stern planes.

Made up the connectors on the control rods to the servo control rods.
The bellows are not installed yet.

Another look at the bow control rods in place.

This means the control rods for the 
Stern planes
Bow retract/deploy
Bow planes dive/rise angle
Propeller shafts and connectors
are complete.

They will need a little bit of adjustment once the radio Rx is installed and I can test them for travel.

Back to working on the electronics tray.

September 27th =================================================

I have not been in the shop the last couple of days.
Doing other stuff.

I did get out there a little while ago.
Got 20 minutes of work done.

Back in December, I made the transportation box badge. (6" long)
I also made the smaller version that would go on the transmitter carrying case. (4" long)

I was looking at the Tx cases sitting on the floor and decided I was far enough along to install the GATO badge on the Tx case with the Tx I will be using for the GATO.

Did some measuring to get the blue stripe the correct size.
I decided to make the GATO on the surface and not submerged like the nuke boats.
I can now make the rear deck gun and install it for effect. (it may just be painted on)
A little touch up on the blue paint and I think this is good to go.

Note: the badges are not to scale. The Tx case badges are all 4" long as the transportation box badges are all 6" long.

Something got done today. --- progress how ever small is progress.

September 28th =================================================

Tx case paint touched up and cleaned up.

Cut sheet plastic squares to make bulkheads for ballast tank.
The frames are 2 and 3 sheet thick.
1 frame consists of 5 pieces.
There are 4 each of 2 pieces and 2 each of 3 pieces.
Each frame have 2 pieces on each end that fit the cylinder closely.
Between the 2 end pieces will be a 3 layer piece where the o-ring will go.
When I turn these, I will turn them all together.
Once I have them fit the cylinder, I will take the 4 ends pieced off the shaft and continue turning the 2 remaining pieced down for the o-ring.
Once I get the o-rings to fit, I will bond the ends to the centers making 2 ballast tank end frames.
I have 1/8" brass tubing with brass bolt threads soldered in the end to use as spacers to keep the frames apart.

In the shop the sheet plastic pieces have been covered with cement and place on the table with a block of wood on top.
5" C clamp pressing the pieces together for a good bond.
Will let sit for a few hours, maybe over night.
Don't what the pieces delaminating when turned.
Later in the day....4pm.

I was out in the shop to check on the plastic bonding for the ballast tank frames.
They look good and will be ready to work in the morning.
Will measure and mark a center to the pieces.
Drill a 1/4" hole for the bolt to go through that I chuck up in the drill press.
I will hand cut the squares in to circles by cutting on the line made using the test section of cylinder.
I will hand cut to the line which is the outside line of the cylinder and I will turn them down to the inside line in the press.
I will test fit them when I get close so I do not under cut the size.

I will remember to take photos of this process.
Build stories are not much fun without photos. 

September 29th =================================================

In the shop working on making ballast tank end caps.
Here are the plastic squares under the blocks of wood having been compressed over night while they cured.

Removing the clamps.
Under each clamp where 2 sections for the frame.

Took the sections out to the tool shed where the drill press is.
Marked the squares and drilled a 1/4" near center of each square for mounting on the bolt.
Using the band saw in the upright position, I cut the corners off each square to help with the turning. 
The cutter tends to catch on the plastic if it is straight out.

Time to put the pieces on a 1/4" bolt and chuck them up in the drill press for turning.
I am going to start by turning all 6 pieces at once to the size that just fits inside the cylinder.
Here I have turned all the pieces down to where I have a smooth edge on all pieces.
I can now work to get the outside diameter down to slip in to the cylinder. 
As tight as I can get it without binding.
The plastic disks should slide in with no effort but as small a gap as I can get.

I make a cut or two and then test fit.
I have to do this several times as I do not want to over cut the parts.

Here the stack of disks just slip in to the test section of cylinder.

This makes the 4 side pieces of the frame the correct size.

I now will remove all the disks from the 1/4" bolt and put the 2 center (3 layers of sheet plastic) back on the bolt.
I will turn these down until the o-ring put on the disks will fit tightly in the cylinder section.
This requires several tests as well because over cutting required new disks.

In the photo, 
Left are 2 baffles for inside the ballast tank.
Center are the parts to make 1 end cap and the o-ring is sitting on the ledge gap on the top part.
Right are the parts to make the second end cap with no o-ring sitting on it.

The parts have been cleaned up and sanded.
Cement bonder has been applied.
The disks have been placed on a 1/4" shaft to center everything.
The parts are now sitting on the bench with a 1/2" steel block sitting on top of the plastic pieces and a 5" clamp has been tightened down on the whole lot.

I will leave over night to cure.

Once the frames have cured, I will test fit in to the cylinder with the o-ring installed.
If I need to, I can put each part back in the drill press and turn the center deeper with a jeweler file.
I do not think I will have to do that but I have done it before to get a better fit.

October 1st =================================================

Today started by removing the new ballast tank frame.
Everything looks good.
Did a little 200 grit wet/dry sanding on the frames.
Go my small wooden stick out and wrapped it with 200 and did some sanding in the groove keeping the groove square.
Cleaned up the frames and put on o-ring in the grooves.
Installed it in to my short test cylinder piece.
Put my finger over the 1/4" hole on one end and blew in to the other end.
Good news....No leaks!

On to the ballast tank long rod spacers.

Here are the parts 
2 end frames
6 brass nuts
6 brass washers
2 long brass bolts which I will cut 3 pieces from each bolts.
3 1/8" - 12" brass tubes

I cut the long brass bolts in to 3 pieces each.
I put them in the drill press and turned one end down to fit inside the 1/8" brass tubing.
Cleaned up the other end so the nuts would go on smoothly.

I cut 6 pieces of tubing that slips over the 1/8" tubing to use as a stop for the washers.
Using my small table vise, I soldered the stop tube and washer to the long 1/8" tubing holding it at the correct distance from the end of the tubing.
The bolt has not been install at this point.
Soldering the spacer and washer took a little effort.
I made a short larger tubing to slip over the 1/8" and hold the washer lever on the 1/8" tubing.
This washer is not going to touch the frame end.
An o-ring will be between the washer and frame end cap.
This will make the ballast tank water and air tight from the rest of the cylinder.

Next project will be to determine where to drill the 1/8" holes through the end caps.
I think I want 2 near the bottom and 1 at the to, evenly spaces in 1/3s around the cap.

October 2 =================================================

Put the frame disks back on the 1/4" bolt to keep the disks aligned.
Drilled the first 3/32" hole at the point that will be the top of the disks.
Then drilled the other 2 holes 

The 2 frames between the ends are to slow down slosh in the cylinder when not full or empty completely.
The 2 middle frames have a flat side to let air and water past which needs to be at the top.

A side view where you can see the slots in the middle disks that allow me to put them on the brass frame tubing.

I slide the ballast tank frame assembly in to the test long cylinder with the end cap o-rings not installed.
This gives me approximately 11.75" of inside ballast tank length.

October 3rd =================================================

More work on the rear electronics tray.

Today, I made the bracket needed to hold the ballast water pump.
It is on a slight angle to fit in the cylinder. and not have the motor shaft hit the cylinder wall.
Rx is mounted between pump and servos.
This position makes it easy to plug in all the servos and esc(s). 

This is the top of the tray.
The fail safe will mount to one side of the Rx and the pitch controller will mount to the other side of the Rx.

This is the under side of the electronics tray.

The main propeller motor speed controller will be mounted on the bottom of the tray.

I have test fit this unit in to the cylinder and it looks like it will all fit with out further adjustments. (hope)
It also looks like I have gained more free space by about 1.5" .

October 10th =================================================

Here is the electronics tray in progress.

Yesterday while working on this I noticed that the inlet/outlet hoses can and will touch the motor case.
This would be a big problem.
To eliminate this problem, I decided to extend the brass tubing out past the end of the motor case.
This is a simple fix as I just needed to slide the next small brass tube in to the original tubes going through the end cap.
I used an expanding glue to hold them in place.

This is what I have now.
This gives me abut 1/8" clearance above the motor case.
This will not interfere with motor removable because the motor comes out through the bottom of the tray.
The servos I thought would be a problem but they will tip enough to also come out the bottom.
If I need to, I can cut the tubes a little shorter to get the servos out and still clear the motor case..

The Rx was moved to the under side of the electronics tray.
The speed controller is not on top. (it required less room letting the hoses lay down better.

October 11th =================================================

Here are the (right to left)
Rear electronics tray
Ballast tank frame
Front electronics tray
sitting next to the cylinder.

Here are all the parts in the cylinder.

On to running servo wires and main power wires.

October 13th =================================================

subnormal will be having their gathering this coming October 26th.
I am not sure if the Gato will be ready to run but it could be ready to show.  (waiting for parts)

I thought while charging Skipjack batteries, I would see what is needed to get the Gato transportation box finished and ready.
Looked it over and found I had only the foam block that the conning tower will be on for travel.
The box would have been very tall had I made it to handle the assembled boat.
So I decided to transport the boat with the conning tower removed from the deck 
This still makes the box tall.
The hull and deck are fine but the conning tower and it's mast are the issue.
The after mast is my snorkel and I do not want to remove it and have to deal with air tightness.
The 2 periscopes on the other hand could be made to slip in and out like all my other periscopes.
By removing the 2 periscopes, the transportation box is now a manageable height.

Cut a foam block that fits tight in to the underside of the conning tower.
Put the hull and deck in the box to see where I might put the tower so it would not interfere with the hull or the box sides.
Up by the bow seems to be best because the bow is thinner than the stern.
Found the position for the tower so I can still get my hand down in the box and under the bow to lift the hull out.
The 2 periscopes will be put in to 1 of the hull hold down foam block.
For my other boats, the periscopes sit on the hull foam block bottom but they tend to move around and fall to the bottom of the box.

I am going to photo the placement of the boat in the box ready for transportation.

Assembled boat.

Open transportation box.

Remove the 2 periscopes.

Place mast in to foam hold down block.

Removing the tower which is held in with 2 small bolts from under the deck.
Place the conning tower in to the box on foam block.

Boat in box with hull hold down foam block.

Boat in box with hull hold down foam block.
2 periscopes showing in block.

Boat ready to travel.

October 15th =================================================

While waiting for parts to be delivered, I put the cylinder equipment on the bench.
Got the servo extension wires out.
Need to get 2 maybe 3 wires from the rear main electronics tray to the front electronics tray servos. (bow planes equipment.

The third servo is an option I may put in the boat for fine trimming of the ballast tank.
Not sure exactly what I will do yet.

One of the things I am waiting for is the brass tube that will go through the ballast tank.
Here I have a short piece to give me a look at what it will look like.
And I needed to know if the 3 servo wires and 2 power wires will pass through the tube.
I might be able to use a smaller diameter tube.
I ordered that too.

Other than missing 2 bellow seals, everything is there. 
(the C clamp will be removed. It's holding the speed controller in place while the silicone cures)

October 16th =================================================

Early this morning I was at the VA eye clinic.
I received a pair of glasses that did not help me.
The left side was clear and sharp but the parallax was so bad that 10 minutes had me looking for a bucket.
The right eye was better but still not clear enough to see and make out anything.

Saw 2 doctors.
Well, it was all bad news.
Leave things like they are and I will be blind in 1 eye in 3 to 6 months.
The other eye is following along quickly.

The bad news is the fix is surgery.
I am wondering if all the surgeons at the hospital are talking to each other and taking advantage of me.

Any way it looks like surgery on 1 eye next month.
The right eye which is the worst one.
Got home.
Out in to the shop and I started working on wiring the rear electronics tray.
Put shrink tube on each wire going through the aluminum tray to reduce wear on the wires.
Made sure I left room to mount the Pitch COntroller and the Fail Safe.

I have gone as far as I think I can until some of the parts I ordered Monday start showing up.
I might do some connecting of equipment so this boat can be run on the surface.
Leave the ballast system unplugged and disconnected.
I would not have to drill holes in the cylinder to do this.
I would have to put temporary ballast lead in the keel but dive trimming would not have to be done.

Something to think about this week and next.

Next gathering is Oct 26th.
Quick update:

The ups truck has just delivered the first parts.
These parts are plastic cement and the brass tubing for the ballast tank.
I can work on the ballast tank. 

October 17th =================================================

I got a little time in the shop.
I drilled the ballast tank end caps for the brass tube that the wiring will go through.
Then I drilled and ground the hole in 1 end cap for the trim system I am planning to test in this boat.
Lots of hand grinding to get the big hole in the correct place so the 3 bolts that hold the tank together and the brass wiring tube all clear each other and I can still get to the long bolt nuts.

Got this done.

I was thinking of running this boat as a surface boat at the next gathering.
But I still do not have the rubber boots needed for the rear end cap. oops.
While in the shop and having the plastic cement, I glued up the sections to make the end caps for the GW.
Each cap is made up of 3 sections. Total of 7 pieces of 1/16" sheet plastic.

I make the end caps in 3 sections so I can turn the outside larger section down to size, then turn down the center sections.
After they are turned to the correct size, I glue them together to make an end cap with the groove already made.

I find it easier to do this with laminated end caps.
If the end cap was a one piece PVC piece, I would turn the cap and then cut the groove in last.
This take a little more effort to get the groove the correct depth.

SO far this is what I got done late this morning.
I have other things I am doing non boat related. 

October 18th =================================================

Turned the plastic parts to make the ballast tank end caps.
4 large disks and 2 smaller diameter disks.
The 4 disks are made from 2 layers of 1/16" plastic sheet.
The 2 center disks are made from 3 layers of plastic sheet.
I turn them all down to the large size to fit the cylinder inside.
Then I remove the 4 large disks and continue turning the 2 disks down to the size needed to put the o-ring on.
Once the parts are turns, I then put disks on a 1/4" rod. Large small large disks.
This will make up 1 end cap.
I brushed on the cement bonder and clamp the parts together with the 1/4" rod still through the center hole.
Do the other one.
Let sit over night.
I worked on the ballast tank for the Gato.
Drilled 1/2" holes in the two baffles.
Assembled the parts.
End cap, 3 brass rods, other end cap, tighten all 6 nuts on long rods.
Place the 2 baffles on the rods.
The baffles have slotted holes so they can be place on the long rods without having to slip over rods.

Make sure everything is straight and slips in to the cylinder easily.
Set the unit on the bench and block it so it does not move.
Use silicone to fix the 2 baffles in place.
Slip the long 1/2" brass tube and put silicone on the ends to bond to end caps.
This tube is so wires can past from rear tray to front tray. (3 servo wires and main power leads)
Leave set over night.

This is what I got done this morning. 

October 19th =================================================

Had a few minutes and out to the shop I went.
I did the final fitting of the o-ring on the new ballast end caps for the GW.
15 minutes and it was done.
Checked the Gato ballast tank frames.
Needed a bit more glue work to hold the middle anti slosh frames in place.

Went to town and checked if any parts have arrived.
So, I am at a stand still at the moment.
I want the new batteries so I can see if I can cut 1" or so off the cylinder.
I would like to get more distance from the rear end cap and the propeller shafts.
I want the dog bone connector to be longer to reduce the angle.

I think I can install the rear electronics tray and equipment to decide where to drill the ballast tank flood holes.
1 at the rear of the tank and 1 about middle.
I have a large tank at the moment and if I can reduce it's size, I want to move the front cap back.
I do not want to have a flood hole in the way.
With 1 hole at the rear, I can tip the boat bow up and drain any remaining water when done for the day.

I plant to start with two 3/8" holes.
If I need more, I will drill the middle hole to 1/2" and see what that does. 

October 20th =================================================

Did some wiring.
I made up the equipment end main power.
This is 2 silicone insulated wires that go from the batteries in the front compartment to the main plug in the rear.
This plug powers the main motor speed controller and the ballast pump motor speed controller.
The main motor speed controller supplies power to the Rx to the servos.

I soldered the 3 pump motor wires to the pump speed controller.
I have shrink tubing on the wires but I did not heat them.
If the motor turns the wrong way, I can move the wires to fix that.

NOTE: THinking about the ballast pump and realized, I can finish the wiring.
Why because it does not matter which way the pump turns.
The inlet and outlet tubes are 3/4" apart from each other and I can reverse the hoses and do the same thing with out soldering anything.

This is a 10 amp speed controller with forward and reverse.
Size is about 1/2" by 1" and 3/8" thick. 

Then I will heat the shrink tubing.

I can not make up the battery end of the main power wires.
Have t wait for batteries to know what ends plugs I need.
Also will I connect them together in parallel or individually.

I checked the brass tube going through the ballast tank for air tightness.
Needed to silicone the inside side just to make sure.
The ballast tank will be open to out side water pressure which is not much.

Back to real life stuff. 

October 21st =================================================

No work done to day.
Had appointments are 3 VA centers.
All went well.
More good news.
More parts have arrived.
2 mini 850 mah batteries arrived by UPS.
I also received e-mail message that the other 2 800 mah batteries are waiting at the post office.

There are still two items yet to come.
Boot seals and a new battery charger.
Both are expected here end of month or first of next.

With the batteries in hand, I can determine the cylinder overall length.
I can cut the cylinder and then I can decide where the ballast tank will sit.
The ballast tank is ready to slide into the cylinder.
Then I can start the drilling of flood holes in the cylinder.
2 or 3 should do what I want.

This coming Saturday is the SubRonLA scheduled gathering.
I think the Gato will be going for a show and tell.
Actually it will be more to get suggestions from the more experienced builders.
Their experience is much appreciated.
And they may have ideas that are easier to execute. 

October 22nd =================================================

New batteries have arrived.
I needed smaller size batteries.
Will O. suggested these Zippy batteries.
What I got was a 2 batteries pack.
These are 850 mah mini batteries. (LiPo)
So by using 2 batteries in parallel, I get 1700 mah.
More than enough for a day's running. (3 to 4 hours)

Batteries on thin side

Batteries in cylinder.
(There is room for a mini servo I will use for a trim system. (maybe) 
I amy get more room after water trimming.
I may be able to shorten the main ballast tank.
I made it long to start so I would have more positive buoyancy.

With these batteries I was able to cut off 1.1/8" off the cylinder.
This length was added to the propeller drive shafts.
This made the angle much less strained.

October 23rd =================================================

After doing stuff in town I got in to the shop, I remade the rear control linkage.
It had to be lengthen by 1/25" to make up for cutting the cylinder.

Got the connectors for the rear control linkage and the front control linkage.
It all looks good.

I will be away the next couple of days so, I decided to prepare the boat to go in the transportation box.
Got all the little screws and bolts in to a plastic box so they are all together in one place.
The boat in the box is now sitting in the living room ready to go to this Saturday SubRonLA gathering at the lake.
The boat is ready for show and tell.
Only thing not in the cylinder are the 2 servo wires and main power wires.
I have had them in the cylinder to make sure they fit but not needed for show and tell as they will block seeing most of what is in the cylinder.

I still have 2 parts coming which are scheduled to arrive in the next week or two.
They are not coming together so 2 deliveries to come.

Tomorrow, while out, I will pick up more 6mm hose which I need for the ballast system.
These hoses go from the rear end cap to the conning tower mast and to the top of the ballast tank.
They are slip connections so putting them in is a matter of seconds as far as time required. 

October 24th =================================================

Back from town.
The big town.
In my going here and there, I picked up the silicone hose needed, the medium CA and some needed power plug ends.

I think I only need boot seals to arrive.

All is going nicely.
A might slow but udder the circumstances I think it's all good. 

November 2nd

There has been no work on any boats while I wait for parts.
This morning at the post office, the last of the parts is here.

However, I may not work on any boats because I have eye surgery coming up
Don't want anything going wrong.
So I am going to take care for the next couple of weeks.
I will go out to the shop and check the new seals to make sure they are the correct size.
If not, I will be making adapters.
Or reordering more seals.

This post is to let everyone know I am still here and all is going okay. 

November 3rd =================================================

Got a few minutes in the shop.
Good news, the seals fit perfectly.
All seals installed on the Gato electronics trays. (End Caps)

Got a new battery charger.
The one I have uses car battery to charge.
There is a small part in the charger that burns out and gives a charging error and shuts down.
Research found a video showing the part and how to replace it with a little larger part.
This would end the error message.

I looked for a 120 ac to 12 volts dc power supply.
Turned out that buying a new charger with 120 ac already included, was cheaper.
And it is a duel charger so I can charge 2 batteries of different types at the same time.

After reading the instructions, I found I was missing a line that included a rule necessary to use the memory.
A 3 second rule.
Hold 3 seconds to by pass the setup and run the charging program.
I now have 4 batteries in memory.

LiFe 9.4 volts (Tx)
LiPo 9.4 volts (Tx)
LiPo 7.4 volts (Gato main power)
NiMH 12 volts (Akula II/Skipjack main power)

Turns out that the new charger charges the batteries much fast using the same 1 amp charge.
The display says that I am getting a more consistent 1 amp where the car battery gave a .8 down to .6 amp charge.

I can now charge while working in the shop and not have to stop and be where I can see my car while charging. (making sure someone doesn't drive off with the car)

Next 2 weeks I will be dealing with surgeons again.
Not sure how much time in the shop I will get. 

November 7th =================================================

5 hours of testing my eyes at the hospital yesterday.
Brought home several medical things to use up by Monday evening so I will be ready for surgery Tuesday morning.

When I got home yesterday, there was a message asking if anyone was up for running at the lake this Saturday.
I responded saying I was not sure because at that moment, I could not see out of one eye and the other was thinking it didn't want to work either.

Got through today and all is back to normal ... almost.
I responded to the message a second time saying I was good to go.
So it looks like boats in the water this Saturday. 

November 7th =================================================

While out and about today, I picked up needed power plugs.
I know, I got some 2 weeks ago.
Turns out I did not take in to consideration that I needed to make up charging cable.

I will most likely make that tomorrow while charging boat batteries.
Think it's time to run my Akula II.
It has been sitting in the living room for some time without getting to the lake. 

Ran my Akula II on Saturday, Nov 9th
Was a very good day.
Did have issues at first because the rear planes where reversed.

A quick plug flip in the tX and all was good.

Now this became a mental problem.
I run 2 boats on the same Tx.
This is not a computer Tx so any and all adjustments have to be made in the boat.

By reversing the Akula II, the Skipjack is not backwards.
I bought servo reverses some time back and in fact there is one on the rudder in the Skipjack.
After looking for those little ... items . I found none.
Looked for them online and found every where is out of stock.

Well, this will not do.
So I looked up reversing servos mechanically.
Found a video on how to do it and to the servos I use.
It was a ten minute job.
It required opening the servo case and moving 2 pairs of wires.
2 to the motor and 2 to the potentiometer.
Reassemble parts.
Good to reinstall in boat.

Now the fun part.
While looking for the little buggers, I found my work sheet for building the Skipjack electronics tray.
And right there on line 7, "Reverse channel 3 in TX".

Now in the future if I want to fix this issue so I do not have to modify the servo, I can move the rudder to the planes servo location and the planes servo to the rudder location.
This would do the same thing as reversing the servo.
Or I can just keep watching to see if the Servo reverses become available again.
They are about $3.50 each.
Now for an update...
Tomorrow is eye surgery day.
I am ready. 

November 17th =================================================

How about a real update.

I still have not decided on a ballast system for the Gato.
But I can do some wiring.

So this morning, out in to the shop I went.
I have all the parts now so I put them on the bench next to the cylinder.
Making sure I have room for everything.
With the new smaller size batteries, I have more room than needed. (maybe)

I decided to hook every thing up one part at a time.
All these parts are not in cylinder or boat.

1. I found a battery with the correct plug to hook to my electronics tray.
I will be feeding the Rx through the Main motor speed controller.
My other boats are done this way.
Enough voltage to run the main motor and the speed controller reduces the voltage for the Rx.

Plugged the main motor speed controller in to the Rx.
The main motor is hard wired in to the system.
Turn on Tx and then Rx.
I have forward and reverse.
Turn off Rx & Tx.

2. Plugged in the Rudder servo.
Turn on Tx & Rx.
I have main motor and rudder control.
Turn off Rx & Tx.

3. Plugged in the rear planes.
Turn on Tx & Rx.
I have main motor, rudder and rear planes control.
Turn off Rx & Tx.

4. Plugged in Bow planes retract servo.
Turned on Tx & Rx.
I have main motor, rudder, rear planes and retract servo.
Turn off Rx & Tx.

5. Plugged in Bow planes pitch servo.
Turned on Tx & Rx.
I have control of Main motor, rudder, rear planes, retract servo and bow plane pitch servo.
Turn off Rx Tx.

6. Plugged in Servo that may be for trim control. (at this point it is an option being thought about)
Turned on Tx & Rx.
I have control of main motor, rudder, rear planes, bow retract, bow pitch control servo and trim servo.
Turn off Rx.

7. Plugged in Ballast pump.
Turned on Tx & Rx.
Well it appears I have control of the ballast pump but it also looks like I have a motor that has problems or a speed controller that is about to burn out.
(I will have to check in to those parts)
But I have control of the main motor, rudder, rear planes, bow retract servo, bow plane pitch servo, trim servo and ballast pump.

That is 7 items controlled by the radio.
The count is correct.
All items work correctly expect the ballast pump motor/ speed controller.
I do have new parts I can replace the old parts with.

Keep in mind that the ballast system parts ran in my Skipjack for 2 years before the Skipjack was modified to a piston system.

I really need to decide on the ballast system.
Use this roller pump or something else.

I have to run the 2 main power wires through the ballast tank as well as 3 sets of servo wires.
I have a 7/16" brass tube going through the ballast tank that works.
I can get the servo plugs through it, one at a time.

I have long extension wires that I need to use to access the plugs when removing either the front or rear electronics trays.

This is what is holding up the ballast system.
The pump motor is an out runner motor and the wires may touch the spinning housing.
If I go with air pumps, this will not be a problem.
With air, I need to build a valve to direct the air from inside to outside intake.
Got to find the photo of one of these valves and see if I can build it.
I am still going t the hospital once and some times twice a week.
The big stuff is over for now.
Surgery on my eyes is now on hold for other things to get done.
I have more surgery on my left ear but that too has to wait until my neck surgery has healed more.

I am trying to get scheduled to get new glasses .. where this all started.
I have an appointment but it is so far out that I am trying to get in on a cancellation.
I have done this for other things so I will see how it goes.

As far as my health.
It is good so they tell me. 

November 18th =================================================

Got out the needed tools and proceeded to remove and replace the ballast pump motor and while I was at it, I replaced the speed controller.
20 minutes later this is done and tested.

But before I started, I looked at the Tx because it was originally used for the Skipjack which had some of the settings down as low as 50% on the two speed controllers.
Set all settings to 100%. Had 1 channel set to 130%. Interesting.

After replacing the ballast pump motor and speed controller, I testing all the channels again.
The main motor was too fast.
Went in to the Tx menu and reduced the forward and reverse to 50%.
A good starting point that can be changed once I have the boat in the water.
I don't want the motor over speeding to start testing.
I have made a decision on the ballast system.
I am going to trim the boat, Positive.
When the ballast tank is completely full of water, I will set the conning tower top at the water surface.
From there I can fine adjust it with weight and foam as needed.

By trimming the boat here it will give me the size of the ballast tank.
I made it bigger than needed because I did not know what the volume should be.
Easier to make smaller than bigger.

I will also set the waterline about 1/4" high.
Then I can weigh the boat down to it.

This should give me plenty of ballast tank to add the trim tank later if I find I want to have the boat as a negative boat.

I might have this ready for it's first run at SubRonLA gathering scheduled for Dec 14th.
If not, I have 2 other boats ready to go.
Tomorrow it is off to the doctor again.
This is the primary doctor and not the surgeons.
This doctor is trying to get my BP under control.
This I have learned is why the eye surgery was canceled.
The low number was too high.
Have to get it down if eye surgery is to happen. 

Nov 20th =================================================

I have been thinking. (trouble to follow ... usually)

I had a few minutes in the shop this morning.
I installed and tested the pitch controller.

Next, I started to install the Fail Safe.
As I was getting ready to do this, it occurred to me, that it would do nothing to save my boat.
At this point the the ballast system has no way of making the boat positive to come up.
The boat will need t be trimmed with about 1/2" or more of the conning tower above the water surface.
The ballast system is an air system.
The pump brings air down the mast through the pump in to the ballast tank to surface. or rise to water line.
To submerge the pump is reversed and pumps the air out of the top of the ballast tank and out the mast.
If the boat submerges enough to get the mast under water, there is no way to get air to bring the boat back up.

This is what the trim tank I was thinking about was to do.
Bring the boat up high enough to get the mast out of the water for air.

So, it looks like I am back to building some sort of trim tank that will tim the boat negative and positive to get the mast to the surface.

I will have to do some testing to see if I have servo strong enough to move a syringe piston or make a diaphragm to do this.

But for now, the next couple of day, life is getting in the way.
I was hoping to get the boat in the water for trimming this weekend.
Still might get there.

But if I want a fail safe in my boat, I have to come up with a way to make the boat positive after submerging.
Or I will have to make this a dynamic diver in stead of a static diver.

I have flipped the coin and I am just waiting for it to come down and tell me what I am going to do.
Afternoon update:

Went out to the shop and I got nothing done because it was too cold.
Temperature in the shop was 53 degrees and falling.

Yea .... I am getting too old to work in the cold. 

November 22nd =================================================

This is certainly an option.
Dropping ballast weight has been used for a very long time.
It is a consideration.

Because of the ballast system I have in the boat at this time, (it may change as I go), it only works as long as I keep the air intake mast above the surface.
Should the boat go below the surface and take on water in the air hose, the boat will become negative.
How much remains to be seen.
If it is becomes too much I may not be able to drive the boat back to the surface to get air.

I could use a high pressure emergency air tank but it is not my first choice.
I will trim the boat positive and keep up to an inch of the conning tower above the surface when the boat is not moving. (dynamic diver)

But I like boats that can be ballasted down to slightly negative and then be able to trim the ballast to bring it back up.

But the system in the boat now will not do this.
It needs a secondary ballast system to take the boat from positive to negative and back again.
I have some parts on the bench that should do this, if I have a servo strong enough to operate the piston/bellows under water pressure.

I can also use a small motor to move the piston/bellows but I need to make electrical stops so it does not over run it's limits and sink the boat when uncontrolled water is let in to the cylinder.

So first I will finish the electronics so the boat is positive.
I will water trim the boat to get surface waterline and then see how much ballast it takes to get to the top of the conning tower.
This will show me how much ballast I need to get to negative.
Shouldn't be much.
Then I can raise more of the conning tower out of the water and make the secondary ballast system more.
This should give me more trimming ability and the necessary positive ballast to bring the boat up to get the mast out of the water to finish the surfacing.

It all sounds complicated but it not.
The secondary ballast system is a simple small piston to create positive rise.
I would like to get from 4' down to periscope depth which is where my air intake is.
The main ballast tank is only open on the bottom with 2 small 1/2" holes.
The air is introduced in to the ballast tank from the bottom with a brass tube that goes to the inside top of the tank.
When diving the boat, the pump sucks the air out of the top of the tank until water fills the tank and water is pumped out the mast.

The secondary system changes the size of the main ballast tank with a small piston/bellows.

I have been researching small servos with high torque.
I sound 3 that have over 45 ounces of torque.

So I will do some testing on the bench to see if that is enough to move my piston/bellows before I order a new servo.

I hope is to start water testing this weekend.
Until I know how much ballast water I need, I am sort of stalled on the build.

Water testing will also show me how much lead ballast I need.
I can make up ballast weights ready for installation.
I will need to make molds for these weights.
My other molds are a bit too big. 

November 23rd =================================================

Out in the shop, I looked for ballast weights.
I make 38" thick by 2.5" wide and several inches long so I can cut what I need.

I found 2 large weights.
Also gathered up so loose lead to melt down and make more weights.

I fit the 2 blocks in the Gato and found the large one was too thick and the cylinder would touch it and hold the cylinder up a little.
Took it out to the all steel work bench and hammered it down until it was about 1/4" thick.
Then I put the block between the vise jaws and hammer a curve in to it.
A few test fits and I now have it fitting inside the hull curve. and the cylinder does not touch any more.

Here the 2 blocks are shaped and the newly pour block in the 2" aluminum channel, poured to about 1/4" thick.

Here the 2 blocks are in the bottom of the hull, not installed.
Just sitting.

The lead bar is still sitting on the work bench so it will cool completely before I start cutting it in to smaller blocks.
I have no idea how much weight I need. 
This will be trial and error once I get the boat in the water.

November 26th =================================================

Having put this off for several months, it is time to drill the ballast tank flood holes.
I believe 3 holes 1/2" in diameter will be plenty to handle the volume from the pump.
The pump has 1/8" inlet/outlet tubes.
After drilling I cleaned up the outside and inside burs.

Here the cylinder next to the rear electronics tray and the ballast tank frames.

I did some testing of a possible small trim tank.
The servos I have are not strong enough to move the piston in the 1" syringe.
Thought about using balloons but the ones I have 12" and 15" have been sitting in the parts box for 10 months.
Out of 9 I found 1 that did not leak.
I am thinking this is not good odds.
So I will not be using balloons.
They seem to hold up if used often.
Like car tires sitting or rolling.

So I am back to setting up as a static diver with equipment and associated stuff to make it a dynamic dive, later.

November 28th =================================================

No work today.
Just an update.
I have been hearing about rain in Los Angeles and every where down the hill.
Nothing here until about 6:10 am this morning.
It started very hard then just hard.
Then about 8:30 am, I noticed I could not hear it raining any more.
(I had not opened any windows yet)

About 9:30 am I opened the curtains and to my surprise the rain had stopped because it was snowing.
Usually when it snows here, it's later in the day.
Late afternoon.
But here it is.
Here are 3 photos from my front porch.

November 29th =================================================

Sun is out.
There is no wind.
It is cold but I think I can cut the lead bar in to ballast blocks.
And I think I can shape them before I get too cold.

Here are all the blocks cut.
I have shaped 4 blocks in the upper row.
The gray blocks are from the Skipjack trimming.
The bottom row are block I cut and have not shaped.
I think I have plenty for the Gato but I made extra just in case.
(while I had the torch out melting lead parts)

Size of blocks.
The mold was 2" wide.
I poured about 3/8" thick and cut about 2.5" long.
They are place in the hull with the 2" width front to back.

The blocks set in the hull.
Each block was tested individually to make sure they were not too tall and hit the cylinder.
I place each block one at a time where the center gray block is.
Put my short cylinder (24" in the hull and check by rocking the tube on the 2 saddle frames)
If the cylinder was lifted by the block, I removed it.
Pounded on it with my small hammer over the vise jaws.
This thinned the block and added more curve if it needed it.

I know the blocks cover some of the flood holes.
There are more than enough for the boat to submerge and rise.
It might be slower to get to the water line when first put in the water and it may drain a little slower when I take it out of the water.
Remember the big holes are 3/4" in diameter +-.
The little holes are about 3/8" in diameter.

None of the blocks are siliconed in place at this time.
I will do that when I put the hull in the water for trimming.

December 2nd =================================================

Out in the shop and still cold. 40 degrees.

So what can I do that will not take long.

Put the cylinder with end caps in the hull.
Place it against the stop blocks.
Measure for the 2 dog bone extensions.

Having cut the nylon dog bones in half some time ago, I put them in the lengths of brass tube I am using to lengthen the units.
I noticed that the dog bone connectors hit the brass tube when the ends are all the way in.
I pulled them out far enough to clear the brass tube and connector.
Measured the needed tube and cut.
Over the the other shed where I have some of my bigger tools. With the length decided , I put the first dog bone unit in the table vise to hold it then I drilled 1/16" hole to accept the brass rod I will use to pin the tube to the bog bone ends.

Back to the other shop and using a small ball peen hammer, I peened over the ends of the brass rod pins/

Here the 2 drive shafts are pinned and ready to be used in the boat.

Note: The bottom dog bone is new. The top is about 6 years old from my parts box.
          The nylon ends are bigger and do not fit the brass connectors.
           I tried filing the balls smaller but this did not go well.
           Option 2. Drill the brass connector 1/32" bigger down the center.
            This did the trick allowing the nylon ball to slip in with just a little clearance.
            I checked the other new dog bone unit and found the same issue.

Bow to go get warm.

December 5th =================================================

Still cold in the shop.
But I got to try to get my 10 minutes every day working on something.

While I was outside transferring propane from my 60 gallon tank that lives on my truck in to the house tank, I thought I would go in the shop and see what I could do.
Took the cylinder out of the hull.
Removed the front electronics tray and then proceeded to remove the rear electronics tray.
This was not easy.
The tray was wedged in and I had to use considerable force to get it out.
Looking in to the cylinder to find what was causing the problems, I could see that the servo wires and power wires where tight against the cylinder tube.

So, I need to clean up the wiring.
Shorten wires that can be shortened and reroute those I can not cut.

I got the 2 servo wire sets shoved through a length of shrink tube.
I can now fix this to the under side of the tray where it touches nothing but the tray.

I see I can shorten the 3 ballast pump motor wires.
There appears to be a large loop of wire that is not needed.
I can cut maybe 5" to 6" out.
Then the wires will not be looping from motor to the speed controller.
They will be almost straight with a little extra to flex a bit.

The main power wires plug is currently sitting to the rear.
It needs to be at the front where the power wires extension come from the front electronics tray through the brass tube going through the ballast tank.

I will have 3 servo wire sets extensions going through the ballast tank tube and I will need to make sure I have enough to get the trays out, one at a time.
The extra wire will be in the front section.

There is more stuff in the rear tray than the front tray.
I also see that the rear tray is angled down at the front end.
This is where the ballast tank pump is located.
I can see that the motor shaft is touching the inside cylinder wall.
I can not bend the tray at the end cap because the main motor is lined up and runs very smoothly.
I can bend the tray just in front of the main motor and behind the 2 servos mounted on the tray.
I only need the end of the tray up about 1/8".
To keep it up when n the cylinder, I have a piece of soft but stiff foam I plan to mount next to the pump.
This will keep up pressure on the tray and hopefully keep the motor shaft off the cylinder wall.

It should also allow the tray to slide in easier.
There should be no contact of any equipment on the cylinder wall.

That is what I would like to have.
I have high torque servos coming.
I will see if they have enough torque to work my small trim tank piston.
If not, back to a positive trim boat.
Now more good weather news.
Another storm it due here tomorrow to Sunday.
No work in the shop.
I might bring the rear tray in to the house and work on it on the kitchen table.
Or not. 

December 7th =================================================

Have time and I have cleaned up the rear electronics tray.
Removed un needed wire length and routed the wires so they do not interfere with the main motor or ballast pump motor.

This is the rear electronics tray.
It has the
8 channel receiver
Main propeller motor
Propeller speed controller.
Rudder servo
Rear planes servo
Ballast pump/motor
Ballast motor speed controller
Pitch controller
Fail Safe lost signal 
Main power wires and distribution

Bottom of tray.

Top of tray.

At this point I need to work on getting the tray to go in to the cylinder smoothly.
The pump motor angle needs to be changed to get the motor shaft off the cylinder wall.
I am not sure if it is touching.
I need to install it and using a flash light see if there is clearance.
It may have been all the wires that where pushing the tray down making the motor shaft touch.
Easy enough to check and fix.

January 1st, 2020 =================================================

I do not travel on New Year's day.
It has warmed up outside nicely.

So here it is, the boat's first launch.
This is after setting the boat in the water and doing nothing with the ballast system.
Bow is at waterline and stern is low.
There are only 3 lead ballast blocks in the hull.
I will remove the after one when I take the boat out of the water.

Ballast system set to dive.
Boat is level from back to front.
The water is at the deck side gray at the stern.

Progress of first dive.
Stern dropped like a rock.
Bow is still up.
Still diving.

As bow dropped the stern came up.
Boat is almost level here.

Dive stopped with water at 1/4" from top of conning tower.
This is a little deeper than I want.
I would like 1/2" to 3/4" of conning tower above the water.

Surfaced the boat.
This is close needing about 1/2" at the stern and 1/4" at the bow.
But until I get the submerged trim correct this means nothing.
I can see that my ballast tank is over sized and I will probably need to make the tank a little smaller.
But for now I will keep the over positive trim.

Boat needs weigh removed and moved.
The stern is on the bottom and the bow is under water.

Took the boat out and removed the rear most weight.
Back in to the tank.

The boat dove better and closer to level.
This time I continued the dive.
I want to know the ballast tank is full.
Well there was a point where the boat just went to the bottom and the ballast tank is not full.

Surfaced the boat.
Well I tried to surface the boat.
The stern came up but the bow stayed on the bottom.
Took the boat out of the water and drained the hull and ballast tank.

Opened the boat to remove the forward weight.
To do this I have to remove the cylinder.
A quick look tells me there is a problem.
There is water (1/2") in the forward compartment.
I have the cylinder out of the hull so I removed the end cap safety wires.
Removed the end cap.
Dumped the water out.
Removed the rear end cap.
No water but there is moisture coming through the ballast tank through tube.
Got to dry everything out.

My Tx is beeping so it needs to be charged.
Might as well charge the 2 boat batteries.

So my first sea trials showed me I need to take ballast weight out.
I need to look carefully at the front end cap and find where the water is coming in from.
Now it may not be the end cap but it might be the ballast tank through tube is not sealed well enough.

Once the battery is recharged and the cylinder reassembled, I will put just the cylinder in the water and with my flash light look for the leak(s).

I am going to let this all dry out for a day or two.
Reason is the batteries where in the water and I want to make sure I get them dry.

January 4th =================================================

I decided to out to the shop and maybe look for the leak(s) in my cylinder.
With charged boat battery and charge Tx off I went.

Once in the shop, I was getting ready to plug the boat battery in to the system.
A quick look at the cylinder ended this venture.
There is still moisture in the cylinder even though the end caps are off.

Looking at the front electronics tray, I see moisture on the 2 servos.
Then looking at the rear electronics tray, there is a lot of moisture.
The ballast tank section has standing water.
Not just moisture.

This does not look good.

I unplugged the front and rear electronics from the through cables.
Brought the rear tray in to the house hoping the warmer air will dry it out.

I did look over the front end cap control rod rubber boots.
I do not see and cracks or broken boots.

I think I will remove the electronics trays from both end caps.
Then I can water test the cylinder without electronics.

I have had several events where my cylinders flooded.
This was while running the boats.
Well I got in the water and did the near shore test dive where the second dive did not go well.

Twice the flooding was cause by me being distracted and forgetting to put the Schreader valve cap on before launching.
Both times I was able to run the boat on to the shore for recovery.
Opened the cylinder and pulled the battery out.
Both times after several days of drying (summer time, it was hot and dry) the electronics survived.

I am hoping that it all recovers this time.
But this is the third flooding and you know what they say about the third time.
After making sure the electronics is dry, I will disassemble everything and start from step one.
Test each and every piece of equipment before installing again.
This is after I make sure I have the cylinder water proofed.

Worse case, I have to start over with new electronics parts.
I think I have spare parts for everything but the Futaba Rx.
I have a couple but they are 6 channel and not 8 channel.

I have 1 or 2 synthesized Rx but I do not know if they work and I do not have instructions for them to program them.
Got them in a trade.

I do have a complete system gathered up but I have a specific project I want them for.

So, the first trim test went okay.
The second test did not.

This will be almost like starting over. 
Back in the shop.

I had made several lead ballast blocks.
Here are the blocks set in the hull.
When I got the boat ready for the water, I removed
3 of the blocks.
Left to right.
1,3 and 6.
I siliconed 2, 4 and 5 in with small drops of silicone for easy removal or movement.
First in water test showed me I had too much lead ballast.
I removed block 5, leaving 2 and 4.
Second water test told me I still had too much weight.
Today, I removed block 2, leaving only block 4 in the hull.
That block happens to be at the cylinder center.
The right block is still in the hull.
These blocks are heavy.
They are 2"x2.5" x 3/8" thick.

Cleaned all the silicone left from removed blocks.

When I cut 2 small foam blocks that where pushed in to the conning tower at the gun deck level.
They went beside the periscope masts inside the upper conning tower.

This boat does not have a fail safe in it. (yet)
I need to have the boat positive.
The trim testing showed that once the main deck is under water the conning tower sinks rather quickly.
I need the tower to be about 3/4" above the water.
That was not happening so I hope with foam in the tower, it will be easier to trim the conning tower above the surface when the ballast tank is completely flooded.

No it is a matter of getting the electronics to dry out and work again before more water testing can happen.

January 18th =================================================

I noticed I have not been here lately.
Well some of that is my many visits to the doctors.
But the rest is because it is still too clod outside for me.

But today, I took the cylinder with the front end cap back out to the shop.
Was out there because my cloths washer is out there.

While in the shop, I looked over the front end cap o-ring groove.
I took a round rod and wrapped 400 grit wet and dry sand paper wound the rod.
I hand sanded the bottom of the o-ring groove by turning the end cap by hand and dragging the rod in the groove.
It appears to be much smoother now than before.

Took me about 10 minutes.
My hands got so cold I could not bend my fingers.
I am done!
Got to get warm again.

But I am counting this as my 10 minutes working on the project.

Weather says 52 degrees.
My shop thermometer says 50 degrees but the light breezes feels much lower.
The walk from the shop to the house has me getting near the house heater for a few minutes when I come in.

Tomorrow is suppose to be 5 degrees warmer.
I hope to get the electronics back in the cylinder.
Maybe even get the cylinder in to the water tank for testing. 

January 19th =================================================

It has warmed up.
Out to the shop.
I assembled the rear compartment.
Making sure to silicone grease the o-ring.
Basically, I installed the front end cap with the 2 servos mounted on the cap.
Took it out to the water test tank.
I stood the cylinder up vertically with the front end cap down.
I put the cylinder in the water to the bottom of the tank. (about 12")
I left it there for 3 minutes.
Brought it up to inspect the front compartment.
I did not install the rear end cap so there was no internal pressure built up to hold the water out if there was a leak.
Sure enough about a teaspoon of water in the compartment.
Removed the end cap and drained the water and then wiping it dry.

I inspected the o-ring groove, the 2 bellow seals and the schreader valve tub.
Nothing appeared to be the problem.
The o-ring did slip in to the cylinder very easily.
I put 2 layers of teflon tape over the groove and regreased the o-ring and installed.

I looked the 2 rubber boot seal carefully checking between the folds.
No breaks found.
I twisted the boots on the through cap brass tubes.
Very tight.
But I decided to put tie wraps on to make sure this was not where water was coming in.

Checked the Schreader valve tube.
Could not find any problems.

Okay, reinstalled the end cap in to the cylinder.
Back out to the test tank.
This time I was prepared to pressurize the cylinder.
Holding the front end cap on with my hand, I added air in to the cylinder.
With the front end cap in the water, I see lots of little air bubbles.
I rotated the cylinder and the air bubbles moved with the cylinder.
There where 3 or 4 places air was coming out.
Because I was at the other end of the cylinder, blowing in to the cylinder, I could not see the very end where the cap meets the cylinder.

What I could see was the air was not coming from the 2 boots or the Schreader valve tube.
Conclusion is the cap, o-ring and cylinder connection is not sealing.
Even the two layers of teflon tape was not working.

My thought after several attempts to fix this leak issue is I need to make another end cap and fix the o-ring groove depth.
Also, I think I want to relocate where the control rods go through the end cap. Currently, they are too close to the Schreader valve tube and it was difficult to put on and remove the valve cap.

I would also like the control rods low on the cap to be more in line with the bow planes horns.

So, my next project is to make a new front end cap.
It will be a day or two before I can do this.
I have another project on the drill press at the moment and I do not want to remove it because getting it positioned right again would be a lot of work.
So, I will finish it before making another cap.
After the end cap dries and I removed the electronics tray from the cap, I found a very small/thin crack between the o-ring groove and the front edge of the cal.
It was one of those things I could not see but dragging the point of a new Exacto blade hooked on it.
The air/water was going through the crack to the bottom of the o-ring groove and even under the teflon tape.
My thought is the cap crack when it feel from the bench to the floor.
This happened more than once during the build.
I just didn't see the crack.

So today I found the problem.
Now to make a new part and replace the problem part. 

December 20th =================================================

Quick note:
I was out in the shop getting a couple of tools needed in the tool shed for the project in the drill press.
As I was sorting through the tools to get the correct one, I remembered I had made end caps for the GW rebuild.
On the far end of the work bench I found 2 caps.
But these caps where not caps at all but ballast tank frames.
Put them back on the bench and moved some paper plans and found the 2 end caps.
They were turned to fit the cylinder and the o-ring groove is already in place.
Picked up the correct o-ring and lubed it up.
Put on the end cap.
Got my short test cylinder piece.
Put the end cap on which required working the o-ring to get it in the cylinder. (the other one on the Gato cap just slides in with out a lot of fuss)
With the o-ring in place, I look at the contact line.
Looks good.
Okay, this cap does not have the control rod holes.
The Schreader hole is the center hole that I put a 1/4" bolt through to turn the part.
Put my finger over this center hole and pressurize the short cylinder.
The end cap did not move, I hear no leaks and no loss of pressure.

Conclusion is, I do not need to make a new end cap. (later for the GW)
I just need to drill for the 2 control rods and install a Schreader valve tube.
Then there are the shallow holes for mounting the electronics tray and the 2 holes for the safety cable pins.

I may have this done by Wednesday.
My current drill press project should be finished tomorrow. 

January 22nd =================================================

Today, I work on the new end cap.

I needed to make a brass tubing reducer.
From 1/4" down to 1/8".
The 1/4" end is for the rubber boot.
The 1/8" is for the 3/32" tube to slide through.
The 3/32" tube has the 1/16" control rod end solder in to it.

So, I measured and drilled the end cap to get the control rod exits through the end cap in the correct place.
Also drilled for the Schreader valve going through the end cap.

Dug through my short brass tubing box and found all the pieced to make 2 through end cap bushings.
Cut them to the length I needed.
They all slip together tightly.

Put a piece of packing tape on the inside of the end cap.
This is to push the brass tubing up against and keep the glue from running out.
One by one, I put Gorilla glue on the brass tubes then slipped them together while twisting them to get the glue to go all the way through.
I made the tubes flush on the inside of the cap.
The outside can be cut if need be.
Once I had the tubes in the end cap, I had 2 more short pieces of tubing.
This goes on the out side of the tube going tightly through the end cap.
These pieces will have the rubber boots on them and they will fit tight.

Found an old wheel and tire out back and took the Schreader valve from it.
Chucked it up in the drill press and cut the rubber away.
Got the end nice and shiny.
Measured the length against the end cap thickness.
Cut about 1/4" off the back side of the valve.
This will fit nicely once the glue dries on the brass tubing and I can work the valve in to the cap.

I also made 2 new push rods for the bow planes.
I had 1/8" originally and these fit so very tight on the rubber boots, that I tested and found that 3/32" would do much better and not damage the rubber boots.

All the parts have been made and most have been installed in the end cap.
Brought the parts with glue on them inside the house to keep them warm.
Do not want to test glue that may freeze, out in the shop during the night.

Moving along, even at this snail pace is getting it done. 

January 23rd =================================================

Took the end cap out to the shop.
Cut off the excessive glue.
Gorilla glue expands as it cures filling all the little notches and grooves.
Sanded the end cap surfaces smooth removing the glossy glue surfaces on the end cap.

Drilled the hole for the Schreader valve a little bigger.
The pilot hole was a little small.
Also, I cut a small recess for the edge on the valve stem to be flush wit the end cap surface.

Applied the glue and brought back inside to cure.
I test fit the 2 control rods through the brass tubes in the end cap.
1 slides through just fine.
The other seems to have some glue about half way through.
Not a problem.
Will drill the glue out when the all the glue on the cap has cured.
Most likely will require just hand turning a drill bit through.

No work in the shop tomorrow.
Going to hospital to have a lot of stitches removed on my neck.

Not to worry, all is good so far. 

January 24th =================================================

Trimmed the glue from the end cap.
Installed the electronics tray with it's 2 servos.
Installed new push rods with nylon clevis.
 (New control rods because I decided to go with a smaller brass tube through the end cap. The rubber boots fit much better)

Old on the left, new on the right.

The glue is still soft so the end cap is back in the house to finish curing.

January 25th =================================================

I have been in town and doing other non boat stuff.

Now in the shop, I have put the 2 sockets in the end cap for the cable tensioning pins.
I drilled 2 holes for the sockets under the 2 control rod bushings.
These holes do not go all the way through the end cap.

These bushings are not straight with to the end cap.
But slightly angled towards the center of the end cap so when there is pressure on the pin from the safety cables, the pins will not pull out.

The photos is before the sockets where put in but shows the original end cap with the sockets.
Looks like once the glue cures on these 2 pin sockets, I can start reassembling the front electronics tray.
Put the front and rear trays in the cylinder.
Test on the bench while assembling.
Followed by water testing.

If no leaks are found, in to the hull it will go.
Could be a busy day on Monday. I want 2 days on the cure this time.
Oh, wait.
Not monday but Tuesday.
Another doctor visit on Monday.

I got good news yesterday while visiting the surgeon doctors.
The 3 biopsies from a couple of weeks ago came back saying no surgery needed.
Just an ointment be applied.

This sounds a lot like, I am done with getting cut on.
Very good news. 

January 28th =================================================

Finally back in the shop.

Assembled the equipment in to the cylinder.
Did not take long to see I had a problem.
The power wires through the ballast tank have plugs on each end.
The front compartment has plenty of room for all the wires and plugs.
The rear compartment did not.
The power plug wires from the Speed controllers place the plug where it was beside the ballast pump.
There was not room for both.
I can not move the pump, so I had to figure out how to move the plug.
That did not go well.
Solution end up being, removing the plug and soldering the wires (2 groups of 3) together and covering with shrink tubing.

Now there is room and the electronics tray slides in smoothly.

Cleaned up the o-rings.
Applied silicone grease.
Put he end caps in the cylinder.
Put the safety cables on.

Out to the test tank.
I held the cylinder down 8" in the tank and held it there for about 5 minutes.
I tried looking in the cylinder for water leaks.
Unfortunately, the sun is behind one of my building and the wind is making the water very choppy.
I could not see in the cylinder.

Took the cylinder out and then pitches the cylinder both ways while looking in the cylinder, the compartment I had water in last test was dry.
However, the rear compartment had a few drops of water in it.

Okay, in to the shop.
Remove the safety cables. (pull 2 pins)
Pull the end caps out past the o-rings and dumped a little water out.
Only in the rear compartment.

Okay, cylinder now in the house where it is warm and will not be exposed to the freezing during the night.

Tomorrow with the test tank in the full sun shine and most likely no wind before noon, I will water test it again and hope to find the leak.
I do not know if it is through the rear cap or through the ballast tank frame in the middle of the cylinder.
I will find it.

Before water testing, I check all controls with the Tx.
Everything is working just fine.
I even got the 2 bow servos on the correct channels, first time.

More tomorrow after tank testing. 

January 29th =================================================

This morning, testing the cylinder continued.
The cylinder was dry from yesterday's testing where a small leak was visually detected in the rear compartment.

Today, I reassembled the cylinder.
Got my trusty long fuel hose out.
I found a brass tube that would go in to the Schreader valve and seal with a little pressure by hand.
Put the fuel hose on the other end of the brass tube.
The hose is long enough that I can move to see both ends of the cylinder while it is submerged in the water tank.
Blowing it to the tube provides a little pressure in the cylinder.
With the cylinder under water, pressure introduced to the cylinder, I had bubbles on the far end of the cylinder.
Picked up the cylinder and turned it around putting the leaking end near me.
Back in to the water.
Put pressure in to the cylinder and the bubbles showed themselves again.
To my surprise, the bubbles where not coming from either of the rubber boot seals or the main propeller shaft seal.

The bubbles where coming from the rudder through cap tube.
It appears the air is getting between the cap material and the brass tube.

The fix is simple.
I will use Thin CA glue that will run between the brass tube and the cap material.

I will do this later because the water all needs to dry out in the cap.

I have a rubber hose that has an inside diameter of 3/8".
This will fit over the brass tube without touching.
I will hold the cap so the CA will run down the tube side.
I will put the CA on and then immediately put the hose over it and blow through it to put pressure on the CA to push it through the gap.
Hopefully this will seal the leak.
Then I can retest to see if there are other leaks.

January 30th =================================================

In the shop for a few minutes.
Trimmed the excess glue from the rear end cap.
Cleaned out the control rod through brass tube.
Reinstalled the control rod.

This is all the time I have in the shop today. (most likely)
Will be back at it tomorrow to re assemble the cylinder and do another in water leak test.
I have been thinking about the Fail Safe.
I use them on ballast tank systems.

The system I have in this boat if the boat ran below the surface would not work as the ballast pump would pump water an not air. No help.
Now I think I will put it in the boat front compartment and have it on the bow planes.

I thought maybe the rear planes but the front seems to make more sense to me.

The boat is below the surface.
I need it to come back to the surface to get air.
The rear planes could move to bring the boat up but this required the planes to push the stern down to get an up angle.
This would cause the stern to go deeper before the boat started rising.
Weed issues in the lake I run. Not very deep. Yes I have personal experience in the weeds.

Then I thought about putting the Fail Safe on the bow plane.
Same below the surface event.
Up input on the bow planes will cause the bow to rise and the stern with pitch control will try to follow.
The stern would not drop and the bow would immediately start rising.

When the stern drops the mast would also drop, getting them farther from the surface.
When the bow rises the masts get closer to the surface.

My choice is to have the bow planes on the Fail Safe so the bow and masts rise quicker towards the surface.
Of course my plan is to never need the Fail Safe to operate.

Besides, I have more free space in the front compartment than the rear compartment. 

January 31st =================================================

Made out to the shop this afternoon.
Reassembled the cylinder.
Included the Fail Safe.
Tested it and it work as it is suppose to.

Prepped the cylinder and out to the test water tank.
Pressurized the cylinder and saw 1 little leak.
Careful examination found the leak to be air from the ballast pump.
The pressure in the cylinder was squeezing the fuel tubing enough to get a few small bubbles.

After 10 minutes, lifted the cylinder out of the tank and held it up to look through the cylinder for water in the front and rear compartments.
None except for the moisture from me blowing in the cylinder to pressurize it.

In to the shop.
Dried everything off.
Installed the cylinder in the hull.
Check all controls.
Made sure to put the Schreader valve cap on. (yea, I have forgotten before)

Hooked up the fuel air hoses to the cylinder and the conning tower mast.
Out to the tank.

Put the boat in and I have a healing issue.
To be fixes as I go through trimming.

Dive the boat.
Boat slowly starts down.
The boat rolled up right as it went.
Boat got down to the top of the life lines and stop going down.
I keep the ballast pump running.
It was not long when I knew the ballast tank was full of water.
See, the system is setup so when the pump has removed all the air it pumps water.
Water sprays out the top of the antenna mast like a sprinkler.
Okay, down t the top of the life lines.
Not enough.
I want half the conning tower submerged.
Brought the boat to surface water line.
Dive the boat again with a ballast weight on the for deck.
Dive goes well.
But the dive stopped right at the top of the life lines again. ? ?:

Decided to take the boat out of the water and check a couple of things.

At this moment, I realized my problem.
Since I filled the water tank, the water level has gone down from wind and evaporation.
The boat has been diving and setting on the bottom of the tank.

Yea, there is no way to trim the boat sitting on the bottom down to the life lines.

Take the boat out of the water.
Dry the hull and in to the shop.
Open it up to turn of the power.
Remove the cylinder and dry it off.
Turn of Tx.

At this point I will put the weight I was testing the boat with in the hull.
The silicone needs to cure before I continue trimming.
Put the weight in.

Out the water tank and pulled the tape off that was sealing one of the 4 bottom bolt holes.
Drain the tank.
Why? Well the water has so much dust, bugs and rust in it, that once I stirred up the water, I could not see down 3" which is why I missed the boat sitting on the bottom.
Rinsed out the tank and refilled with clean water.

Tomorrow, I will continue water trimming the boat.
The boat is very close.
I just need to find submerged trim with about 1" of the conning tower above the surface.
Then I will worry about the surface trim.

I should be able to get this done over the weekend.
At least I am going to do my best.
I need a couple hours this coming week to work on my Akula II.
There is nothing wrong with the boat.
I want to try a little modification that might, should keep the boat turn a bit better.
On one of the other boards, I read about a lower modification that helped.
I can make this in about 20 minutes and I plan to make it detachable so I can remove it when the boat is on the bench at the lake and install it just as I place the boat in the water.
Once in the water no one will see it.

That's the plan, anyway.
Also need to charge up the Skipjack.

8 days from now is one of our groups scheduled gatherings at the lake.
I want to take 2 boats.
Skipjack and one of the others. 

February 1st =================================================

Time to do some more trimming.
Filled the tank with clean water.
Prepped the boat and out to the tank it goes.

Start by running the ballast pump to empty the water from the ballast tank to see what I have for surface trim.
It's okay but light in the bow.

Now, run the pump to fully flood the ballast tank.
When water squirts out the top of the mast I know the ballast tank if empty of air.

The boat sits too high at both the bow and stern.
I happen to have several different size weights in my pocket.

I started by placing a 1"x1.5"x 3/8" block just in from of the conning tower and touching the tower for a placement reference.
Bow goes down a stops before touching the bottom of the tank.
Stern is high.
I try a 200 gr weight at the muzzle of the 4" gun. (my gun is on the stern deck)
Stern drops.

The boat settles with the bow point right at the surface of the water and the stern down about 2" to 3".
Remove 200 gr weight.
Boat settle in as before with bow down and stern up.

Okay, I ow place a 125 gr weight after of the 4" gun touching the muzzle.
This is looking much better.

Stern is a little high but the bow is about where I would like to have it.

Took the boat out of the water to check for water in the cylinder.
Okay so far.

At this time I dried the inside of the hull where I wanted the large weight.
Having on the deck was causing the boat to roll about 15 degrees when surfaced.
Weights would slide off.

Put the cylinder back in and close up the hull.
Back out to the tank.

In the water, and fill ballast tank with air.
Waterline still is close.
Remove the air out of the tank.
Water squirts out the mast head.
Let the boat set in after shaking the bubble from under the deck.
This is very nice. but the stern is high.

I move the 125 gr weigh back away from the 4" gun about 1".
Let the boat settle.
Too much but it isn't a lot.
Moved the weight to 3/4" back of the 4" gun.

Now I have something to write about.

I wanted half the conning tower submerged when the ballast tank was completely flood.
The water squirting out the mast head tells me it is full.

Now to fine tune it.
At the bow and stern are flag staffs.
The are about 1.25" tall.
Just happens from one staff to the other's top is half away up the conning tower.
So I moved the small 125 gr weigh back and forth in 1/4" increments.
I got the 2 staffs to sit with a little less than 1/4" out of the water at both end of the boat.

There is a safety back up at this point.
In the conning tower, I place 2 small block of foam.
This will make getting the top of the tower to submerge a bit of work.
The boat is positively buoyant here.
The bottom of the foam blocks are just in the water with this trim setup.
I can easily push the boat under with my fingers.
So, I imagine that the bow planes should get the boat under with a little forward motion, thought I would like to not go more than periscope depth.

I am not going to mount the 125 gr weight. I will leave it loose so I can move it around at the lake when I get there.
Could be the boat doesn't needed it there.

I have now got a solution for trimming the boat.

Only issue is, after 45 minutes, I have abut 1/2 a tea spoon of water combined in the from and rear compartment.
So, I still need to work on find and repairing the cylinder leaks.
Then I can work on fixing my Surfaced center of gravity.

This may require more lead weigh and more foam.
But I can choose a weight then make a foam block that will zero the weight in the water so my current trim will be close.

Now I know why other builders add the brass bar under the keel.
I am thinking, it's not too late to do that.
Finding the brass bar would be the most difficult.
Thought I could get out in the tool shed and make a wood form and pour a lead long keel bar.
Actually, that sound the simplest to me.

Tomorrow's project.  Lead keel weight.

February 2nd =================================================

The photo below is from when the ballast tank spreader bars where made.
What I did this morning was move the brass washer and the tubing sleeve towards the end of the rod about 1/8".
This moves the frame piece and I left enough room for another piece of 1/16" sheet plastic.
The sheet plastic has been cemented to the outside of the frame.
   (in the vise while they cure)
There is just enough bolt sticking out to get the nuts started and then I can tighten them up squeezing the o-ring on the inside.

Why the sheet plastic?
To get move ballast tank volume, I remove most of the center of the frame.
Leaving ears for the 3 bolts and an ear for the brass through tube.
This got me another 3/4 ounce of water volume.

So all in all, I moved the frames a full 1/4" plus wider and got 3/4 ounce in the frame centers.

Oh, I found a leak.
It was one of the frame o-rings.
As I thought they were dry. (with no silicone grease applied)

The keel weights will happen tomorrow, maybe.

February 3rd =================================================

I have to go in to town this morning but I was able to get out to the shop to check the gluing of the end caps.
Removed them from the clamps.
Look good so far.
Trimmed the plastic sheet that was larger than the caps, with scissors.
Will grind the edges smooth later today.
Took the end caps in to the tool shed.
Drill the six 1/8" holes for the brass spreader bars.
Drill the two large holes for the brass through tubes.
Test fit the spreader bars. GOOD.
Test fit the brass through tube.
Well there's the issue I thought might come up.
The 12" long tube is short abut 3/8".
It fits in the end caps but does not go all the way through which is needed for good sealing.

Okay. Dig through the brass parts box.
Found a brass tube that slips very tightly over the through tube.
Plan..... I will cut 2 short pieces and slip one piece over each end to get the length I want.
Then I will solder them on.

That is what I got done in the 20 minutes I had before leaving.

Note: Walked past the test tank and noticed ice.
I broke the ice to find it is 1/4" plus thick.
Tonight is suppose to be colder, longer.
Sure hope it warms up tomorrow. 
More to report.

Cleaned up the two large holes for the brass through tube.
Turns out, I only needed to expend one end about 5/8" to make it work.
Soldered the piece on to the long tube.
Checked for air tightness. GOOD.

Started by cleaning all the spreader rod ends. (threads)
Cleaned the six small o-rings.
Applied silicone grease to o-rings and spreader end washers.
Put o-rings on.

Put the first end frame on then nuts.
Tightened snugly to compress o-rings slightly.

Put second frame on, then nuts.
Tightened snugly.

Made sure the frames and spreader rods where straight by slipping in to my test cylinder. (short at about 19".

Next I slipped the larger through tube through the frames. to get the length.
Cut, removed burs and soldered the two through tube pieces together.

Here is the ballast tank frames and spreader rods.
You can see the recesses on the inside of both frames.
This is the extra volume I wanted.
Plus the spreader rods also gave me 1/4" more distance between the frames.

Ready to put o-rings on and slide back in to the cylinder.
  (the frames with o-rings are very tight in the cylinder. Requires a lot of effort. They don't just slide in)

February 17th =================================================

I had a few minutes.
Out to the shop I went.
What to do.
Saw the plastic tree with the clear parts on it.

Okay, these parts are very small.
I started by putting the rear facing search light lens in.

On to the running lights.
Right and left side of conning tower.
A stern light
A light up on the front of the forward mast.
A light on the front flag staff.

I do not have enough lights.
Why is that?
It is because I drop 3 of these little (*&^$$) lens on the floor never to be seen again.
In fact for the mast light, I cut a piece from the plastic tree and made a light.

There are other smaller yet parts on the tree but I can not see where they go. Looked all over the instruction booklet.

So, I don't know where they go, I will not miss them.

I got my more than 10 minutes work in today.
A day I didn't think I would be able to get in to the shop.
A good day. 
This shows the 2 lights on the rear edge of the conning tower.
Should be green and red.

Not only did I clean the tank, I took a palm sander to it.
This made the cleanup go very quickly.

Why the sander.
I had planned to completely sand down the tank/safe after trimming this boat and repaint it back to looking new.
Even though I built it over 20 years ago.

This safe was built to fit in the back of my little truck to take customer ammunition to the various ranges on weekends.
It also fit in my Jeep Laredo.
I made it to carry ammunition but I had to get my competition guns in it when I travels to 3 and 4 day matches.
The safe ended up being 54" long so my 1874 Sharps with a 32" barrel.
Served me well for more than 20 years.
Then I realized, the Gato was too long for the bath tub but the safe would do nicely.

So this is where I am today, using it to trim my boat. 

February 19th =================================================

The water tank/safe was dry this morning.
I wipes the area around the 4 bolt holes and place tape over the holes.

Added water.

Prepared the cylinder for water testing.
Looked at the end caps to make sure the o-rings had their fine black line of contact all the way around.
Looked through the cylinder wall to check again the ballast tank frames o-ring contact. (still looks good)

Put together the fuel hose with a brass tubing tip that will be inserted in to the schreader valve so I can pressurize the cylinder once in the water.
All is ready.
Out to the water tank.

Placed the cylinder in the tank stern section first.
Watching for bubbles. None.
Pushed the rest of the cylinder under the surface watching for bubbles.

I hold the fuel hose in my mouth while doing this and I keep pressure on the brass tube stuck in the Schreader valve.

Okay, now it's time to blow lightly in to the fuel hose.
This puts positive pressure in the cylinder.
Still no bubbles.

I did this for bout five minutes.
So far everything is good.

Take the cylinder out of the water and wipe dry for now.

Got a few things to do this morning.
I think I will get to water testing the boat before long. (today)
This will be to trim the boat and get the ballast lead weights right.
Find the correct weight and location for each ballast block.

Two weeks ago, I had it so close.
But having the surface and submerged center of gravity (s) merge and roll the boat of 10 or so degrees was not acceptable.

More to come. 
Here is the more....

First test.
Boat in the water with ballast tank full of air.
Looking tells me the boat is too low in the water at the stern by 1" or so.
Down on the bow by 1/2" or so.

The fix is to remove some ballast weight at this point.

Before removing from the water and removing weight, I need to check the full dive trim.
Started up the ballast pump and watch the boat slowly dive.
Don't panics, I can reach the bottom of the tank!
Boat dropped down to the bottom.
So removing some weight will help this.

Removed the boat and opened it up.
Took 1 lead ballast block out and move another towards the center of the hull.

Back in the water.
It is getting closer but still too much ballast weight.
Opened the boat and took a middle weight out.
Off to the tool shed I went.
Put the block in the band saw and cut 1/4" off the block.
(note: I have been using lead bullets at 200 gr and 125 g.
This way I can fine turn the trim for weight and fore and aft pitch when submerged.

Put the boat back together with the cut ballast block and moved it forward this time.
Back in the water.
Still too low in the water.
Maybe cut a block in half this time.
Each cut is a different length so I can pick and choose various sizes during trimming.

Put the blocks in and back to the water.

Oh so very close.
Still too low at the stern but maybe a foam block will fix that.

But before I do that, the old problem with healing during the static dive and again during the surfacing.
The boat rolls over about 5 to 10 degrees.

I need to get the ballast weight lower.
Problem is, the blocks are at the bottom of the hull across the keel line.

I think I will have to consider finding a long brass square rod and mount it outside the hull on the keel.
Others did this and I did not see them having this issue.

Maybe, I can make a long square rod out of lead.
I will have to think about this.
Besides, there is nowhere close to go get this brass square rod.
I would have to order it.

I can make a mold on top of my steel work bench and pour my own.
That will probably be my next project.

The Gato will not run like it is even though I have it trimmed very close.
I thought I would show everyone how I did this ballast system.
I am using a roller pump which will pump water or air.
I am using it to pump air.
On the surface and to fill the ballast tank with air, the pump draws air through a mast on the conning tower.

Now to dive, the pump draws air from the top of the ballast tank and expels the air through that same mast on the conning tower.
When the ballast tank is empty of air, it will start pumping water.
The water will spray out the top of the mast giving me a visual that the ballast and is empty of air or full of water.
I wanted a way to know so the boat would not get negatively heavy.
I took a photo of the water starting to spray out the mast.
If I had waited a second or two more, it looks like a yard sprinkler.
The photo shows the boat is still a little deep in the water for this system.
I want about 1/2" of the conning tower above the surface.
With the boat submerges there is about 4" under the keel to the bottom of the tank/safe.

There will be no boat work tomorrow.
Maybe an hour or so Friday.
But I have made up my mine the boat will not be ready to go by this Saturday.
I will take other boats.
Also depends on what is done at the VA tomorrow and weather says it might rain that day.
Won't know until the day gets closer.
Another issue:
After more than an hour in the water I have a small water leak in the rear compartment.
There was about a tea spoon of water.
I will find it and get it fixed.

February 20th =================================================

Today went well at the hospital.

Got in to the shop to look and see if I could put some ballast weight under the keel.
Decided it was a no!

I then did a small test with a short piece of cylinder and a couple of small weights.
What I did was place 2 weights side by side touching in to the cylinder piece.
I rolled the cylinder over about 10 degrees and let it go.
I watched it right itself.

Then I moved the weights a part by 1/2".
taped them in place so they wouldn't slide.
Rolled the cylinder piece over 10 degrees and let it go.
Watched it right itself.

The second test showed the cylinder rights itself faster and stopped rocking quicker.
1 weight moves to the center line of the cylinder basically having no effect on the cylinder roll.
The other weight move higher up the side of the cylinder putting mover effort to pull the cylinder on that side down.

From this I went out to the tool shed and cut one of my extra ballast blocks in to 3 pieces.
I have a space near the center for the hull where I can place these 2 blocks with a 5/8" space between them making both go up the sides father.

I have also been talking with Tom about the mini air pumps.
I wanted to know if they pumped water as well as air.
He said they are bio directional but I do not need this for what I plan to do.
Air in with pump and air out with vent valve.
2 pumps are smaller and weigh less than the roller pump.
And even more important, I can get the pumps lower in the cylinder moving CG a little lower.

I have always thought at some point I would replace the roller pump.
To today I think I will make that change while I am still in the trimming process.
Why put the effort in to final trimming and then have to do it all over again later.

Going to do it now.
Will order the air pumps next week. 

February 21st =================================================

This afternoon, I was in the shop.
Cleaned up the cylinder.
Re assembled it checking all end cap through fittings.

Turned on Tx and then Rx.
Checked all controls.

Took only the cylinder out to the test tank.
Going to look for the small leak I had last time in the water.
Held the cylinder down to the bottom of the tank.
15" deep.

Blew in to the fuel hose to pressurize the cylinder compartments
BIG leak on the front end cap. I moves so I could see the front of the end cap.
Look at that.
I did not get the brass tube on the end of the fuel hose in to the Schreader valve, straight.
Wiggled the end of the hose and it slipped in a little farther.
Yep, you guessed it.
No bubbles.

Continued the pressure test.
I found no bubbles at either end of the cylinder.

Before testing I checked every through fitting and I turned every air hose and every control rod boot.
1 of the boots on the front end cap pushed on another 3/16".
I ran the test for 5 minutes or more.
No bubbles.

Well then, I put the cylinder in the hull.
Prepped it for the water. 
Turned on the system and made sure I put the Schreader valve cap on. (this is a must check, 3 or 4 times)
Closed up the hull.

Why am I testing if I plan to change out the pump.
Well, yesterday I added 3 ballast weights in various places to see if I could correct the rolling during diving and surfacing.
I cut a couple of small foam blocks in case I needed them.

First dive.
I filled the ballast tank completely.
Until I had water coming out the mast head.
Boat dropped to the bottom, bow firsts and quickly.
Surfaced the boat and added a foam block between the propeller shafts. on the outside of the hull.
Dived the boat.
Boat still went to the bottom but was move level on the dive.

I pumped a little air in to the ballast tank bring the boat up to top of conning tower.
Using 2 more small blocks of foam, under the hull between the bilge keels.
Dive the boat.
This time the boat stopped just above the bottom.
The top of the conning tower was above the surface.
A little stern heavy.

Need more foam but not much and I need to move the ballast weights .
I have 2 in the hull that are not fixed in place that can be moved.

Note: the boat did not roll during diving or surfacing.
I think I need just a little more weight at the keel and foam to get the water line.

Oh! The surfaced bow waterline was with the flood holes and those little hole at the torpedo above the water.
Looks so good.
The stern is now about 1/2" low.

But I still plan to make the pump change so I will not fix anything permanently at this point.

February 23rd =================================================

I am no longer putting off the changes in the ballast system.
I will order the 2 air pumps this coming week.
(most likely between the 2 hospital visits scheduled this week)

I need to make a modification to the fitting that sits on top of the cylinder that moves air in and out of the ballast tank.
Currently it is a single hole in and out because the roller pump turns in both directions.
The new air pumps will only pump in one direction. In.
I needed to come up wit a way to vent the tank without a pump.
So I am going to use the old tried and true method of a vent valve.
Open to let air out and closed to hold air in.

I made a pencil drawing that I think will work.
I am going to remove the original fitting that I have been using for the air in air out.
I am going to cut the top off of it.
I will make a new top that has a brass tube in and a check valve operated by a servo that will open the other end of the fitting to let air out.
Got my camera out to document this project.

First though, I need to look at the rear end cap to see where I can get another control rod to exit near the top center.
There might be room between the inlet/outlet air tubes.
I might not be able to use rubber boot to seal the control rod, but it is easy enough to make a 1/8" o-ring in a screw on cover.

But first I will make the fitting and then decide if the servo will be in the rear compartment or front compartment.
I have more free room in the front than the back but I do not know the size of the air pumps.

The roller pump takes up a lot of room and I have to remember there's a speed controller with it that will be removed.

Time to go build stuff. 
Original fitting.

I have cut several pieces of sheet plastic.
They have been cemented together and are currently in the vise.

Here are the raw plastic parts.
Top is the old part foot. contacts cylinder. (not going to use it)
Middle part is the new foot.  (needs a couple more layers of plastic so I can grind the cylinder diameter in to it.
Bottom is the valve distribution body.

Parts in progress.
Top is the part that will seal the unit after all the ports and tubes are in place.
The Distribution body.
  It has a groove so I can get the air input and the air venting in tot he cylinder.
  The foot has a hole in the middle to feed the distribution slot.
Bottom is the intake air tube.

Air intake tube bonded in place.

The foot has had 4 extra pieces of sheet plastic added.
Two pieces on each side. It is in the vise, again.

February 24th =================================================

These three parts make up the air intake and the vent distribution body.

Part on left was sanded to fit the cylinder curve.
Using 160 grit wet and dry sand paper, I moved the part back and forth on the sand paper which I had wrapped over the short cylinder piece I have.
I drilled the hole to fit the brass tubing piece. 
The inside diameter is 3/16".
It is flush on the top side and the brass tubing sticks down 3/32" which will drop in to the hole in the cylinder to hold the part in place.

The part in the middle is the distribution section.
The brass tube is the air inlet which will have the rubber fuel hose attached from the air pump.
The hole will become the vent valve with a cover that will be moved by a servo.

The part on the right is the plastic cover that goes over the distribution body.

Another view of the parts.

The parts assembled
After the cement cures I will clean up the sides of the part.

Next I will drill 2 small holes for the bolts that will hold the distribution valve on the cylinder.
Using the part, I then can drill the 2 holes in the cylinder and tap the holes with one of the bolts.

February 25th =================================================

The distribution valve body has been cleaned up.
The two holes for the mounting bolts have been drilled.
One mounting tab turned out to be too thin.
Made a plastic shim and it is currently in the vise while it cures.

To drill the 2 holes in the cylinder, I needed to remove all the electronics from the cylinder.
This included the ballast tank frames.

While the ballast tank frame is out of the cylinder, I decided to lengthen it another 1/4".
When trimming, I had the volume so close that there was no reserve buoyancy.
I would have to hit the surface waterline exactly and get the fore and aft pitch exactly.
Now I should have enough between surfaced and submerged trim to be able to move ballast weights fore and aft that I can get to trim a little faster without upsetting trim so much.

Now to order the air pumps.
Going to get pumps for the Gato and one for the George Washington refit.

February 26th =================================================

Distribution valve cured.
Sanded the bolt tab and drilled hole for mounting bolt.
Set the distribution valve body on the cylinder placing the the brass tube on the bottom in to the hole in the cylinder.

Drilled one side and installed bolt.
I used the bolt to cut the threads in the soft cylinder wall.
Just go slow when doing this.

Drilled second hole and threaded the hole.

Here the distribution valve body is installed.
The brass tube on the left (1/8" id) is the air inlet coming from the air pump.
The hole on the left will be the vent valve to release the air from the ballast tank.

I have some parts to make.
There will be a brass tube with a plastic end fitting that will have the rubber seal material that will cover the hole in the distribution valve body.
The brass tube will go to the back of the cylinder through guide to the end cap.
A servo will pull the valve seal away from the distribution valve body opening the hole to vent the ballast tank.
Servo to center and the valve will close from spring pressure.
Move the servo in the other direction, it will touch a micro switch turning on the air pump(s) filling the ballast tank with air.

I have not decided it I will use a fuel hose to vent the air in to the conning tower or let it vent under the deck.
I don't think it will matter other than more tubing above the waterline during surfacing will require more positive buoyancy.
Like I don't already have enough trimming issues.

 Note about photo.
Just right of the brass tube there are 2 black spots.
Those are water spots from washing the cylinder after drilling and threading.

The ballast tank frames and spreaders have been pushed in to the cylinder.
The distribution valve body is now installed on the cylinder.
I learned something I have not heard before.

I was testing cement, glue and CA on a piece of scrap Polycarbonate cylinder.
I was testing because I have a couple control rod guides I need to mount on the top of my cylinder and I don't want to use screws or bolts.

Here is what I learned.
The glue and cement did not hold up.
The CA melted in to the cylinder and left a noticeable reechoes.
I think if I was to put a drop or two more, it might eat all the way through the cylinder wall.
NOTE: do not use CA on Polycarbonate cylinders.

My conclusion will be to continue using silicone glue by taping the area I want the silicone to bond and sanding it with 200 grit wet dry paper.
Then applying silicone to the part and pressing on to the sanded cleaned area and clamp in place over night.
The CA testing was an accident.
I had used CA on a couple of parts and I laid them across the hull to cure.
I did not notice the CA dripping on the far side and on to my little test cylinder.
The test cylinder (2" long) is used to test fit end caps with o-rings when I make the end caps. 

February 29th =================================================

I was at the pond today.
There was Will and myself.
It was not a scheduled gathering but it was "I just wanted to get out of the house."
Same with Will.

I took only my Akula II so I could try various maneuvers to see how the new rudder extension performed.
Will Bought one of his tug boats to test the Z drive pods with a new Tx and see how the boat turned with the pods linked instead of individually.
His boat was turning in less than 2 boat lengths in forward and it sat in one place when turning in reverse.
Then a servo stopped working and the boat was hauled out.
Will had a second surface boat that always performed well.

Back to my Akula II.
Last time out, I had issues with the speed of the main motor.
It was too fast.
I could not move the throttle stick more than 3 notches and your would think I had water skiers behind.
At the end of the day, Will took the little gizmo I got from him to take home and see what was wrong with it.

This morning, He showed up with the little Gizmo and another bigger Gizmo.
By big, I mean 3/4" square.
These are pots to limit the amount of in put to the speed controller.
Will had set the pot at home on one of his boats.
He set the Gizmo to put out the lowest input to the speed controller.
Installed in to my Tx and tested it on the table.
It visibly ran the main motor slower.

Prepped the boat and in to the water.
Did the dive surface dive surface to get all the air out of the piston ballast tank.
Next I submerged the boat to near decks awash to get the upper rudder down in the water.
Will asked me to give the throttle, 1 notch and then push the slider up.
At about half way up on the slider the propeller started turning.
It was turning so slow, the boat did not move forward.
Will asked for 1 more notch on the throttle.
The boat started moving forward but very slowly.
The boat barely made a wake.
Now he wanted the throttle moved forward slowly until I got to full throttle.
This is something I could not do before.
Full throttle would make the boat fast and out of control.
I couldn't do this.
At full throttle, I was asked to bring the slider back to center.
The boat was not fast but fast enough to get out the way of others and be in full control.

Now cruising the pond, I had the full range of the stick and not just the first 2 notches.
And with the slider and 1 notch, the boat moved enough that I had rudder control.

Now about the rudder.
You remember I made an extension before last time out.
This one.

Okay now a report.
At minimum turns on the propeller, I could turn in both directions.
The turning radius at this speed was about 8'. EIGHT FEET!
This was not possibly . . .ever before the modified rudder.

Push the throttle up 2 notches more and the boat still turned in less than 10'.
In fact, I found that if I eased up on the rudder a little, the turn tightened up.
I could run about 6' out away from the concrete lake edging and I could turn in to the shore and finish the turn before the boat hit the concrete.

I have real maneuvering now.

With the fish tail rudder, there is water pressure on both sides all the time.
Any moving of the rudder gets immediate response in to a turn.

No more 40' to 50'.
I now have 8' and less turns.

And this was the same when the boat was surfaced with the top rudder out of the water.

I like it, I plan to keep it.
I will take the time to clean up the installation. 

March 1st =================================================

Everything in the cylinder has been disassembled.
Working on getting the needed two air pumps.
It looks like work will stop until I have the air pumps in hand.
I may need t make a new aluminum electronics tray for the rear compartment.
I need to get 2 air pumps and 1 more servo in there.

The roller pump/motor and it's speed controller might be bigger then the 2 air pumps and servo.
But I think I may move the main motor forward and install all 3 servos between the motor and the end cap.
I can gain up to 1/2" to 3/4" in the compartment.
If I can do that, that means I can move the ballast tank frames back that much moving the center of gravity of the ballast tank towards the stern.
Than also means moving lead ballast weights back as well.

But, I will not know for sure until I have the pumps in hand.
So, today, I drained the test tank/safe.

The next couple of days the weather is suppose to warm up.
I will sand the inside of the safe tomorrow and get it ready to paint.
Then Wednesday, I will get at least 2 coats of paint on the inside.

Wait a couple of days, and then do the outside.

This should keep the water clear.
Right now, I can not see the bottom at 14" due to the rust suspended in the water.

This does give the hull a natural weathered look.
I might even clear coat over that for the look it is getting. 

March 3rd =================================================

Last night I sent an e-mail to Nautilus Drydock with questions about the web site ordering procedure.
This morning I woke up to an e-mail from Bob Martin explaining how to deal with my concerns.
I read his ordering instructions and I wrote another e-mail telling Bob I was sending the order in.
Within minutes, I got a response from Bob.
He got the order and was in the process of boxing up the parts for shipment.

The problems I have with ordering is I do not have a street address for shipping.
It all goes to the post office in town.
Other countries do not/will not ship to a PO Box.
They do not get I am 14 miles from town and my POB.
We have no mail delivery out here.

Back to Bob.
He understands the issue and my parts will be shipped.
Thanks, Bob of Nautilus Drydock.

So, it looks like I will be back to working on the Gato in few days.

I best get busy on repainting the safe/test tank so it is ready when I get the new electronics tray built. 
I finished outside for the day.

A lot of sanding with a palm sander, and my fingers.
50 grit and 120 grit wet/dry sand paper.

Ran the palm sander in one hand and my 120 psi air hose in the other.
Rust dust every where.
Good day to do it.
The wind is at about 10 mph and in a direction not to cover my house or the guy next door down the road.

After a complete sanding (about 1.5 hours) I got out the paint thinker and a clean rag.
Wiped down the inside surfaces to get all the dust off.
It is war m to day and the thinker was drying almost as fast as I was wiping.

Let it dry for 30 minutes and then I got out the Gray primer/paint by Krylon.
I used 1 can to get a first coat down.
Waited 15 minutes and the put the second coat down.
As I painted, I turned the box so the side I was painting was the down side.
No up and down, just flat.

March 4th =================================================

In the photo in the previous post, you can see the inside lid is not painted.
Well, this morning, I have sanded and painted the inside lid.

Going let it dry for 30 minutes then I will close it up and start sanding the outside.

Got an early start.
I went out side to get a wrench from the shop and it wa warm enough to paint.
Never made it back to the house with the wrench.
That can be done later today . . .or tomorrow . . . or when ever I get back to it.

I am going to go put the green paint in the sun to warm it up.
The safe/tank is now sanded.
Started with a belt sander and finished with a palm sander.

Used the air hose to blow off most of the rust dust.
Got out my rag and paint thinner and wiped down all the out side surfaces.

Painted the bottom flat black.
I did this because I do not think I have enough green to do the box including the bottom.
Besides, I have lots of flat black in the shop.

Went on to paint the lld, two ends and one side, green.
Now to let this dry, before turning the box over to paint the one remaining side.

I will be back when the painting is done.
I will take a photo when finished.

I may put another coat on later.
But so far I have painted the first coat and then after 20 minutes, painted a second coat.

The paint I just took off by sanding was put on 1996.
So over 20 years.
This is the same pant but a new version.
It has primer in the paint so the job of priming first is gone.
The painting is complete.
For now, anyway.

Here is a photo of the top and two sides.

While I wait for the pumps to arrive, I think I will refinish the transportation box for the Akula II.
The edges are looking a bit worn.
The only paint on my transportation boxes is primer. No paint.
So I think I will sand the box down and try painting with a MAtt Finish Gray. 
I couldn't find Flat Gray other than primer.

This should good quickly.
A quick sanding to clean up the primer and scuffed areas then paint.
If this one looks good, I will go the others.

March 4th continued ================================

Turns out I got the real life stuff taken care of and I am back in the shop.
Might as well start on the Akula II transportation box.

Took the boat out of the box with it's masts.
Took the box and lid out to the outside work bench.
Got the palm sander out and I am ready to get after the box.

The box has 3 or 4 coats of gray primer on it.
This was the finish I wanted.
Old Military crate look.
But the primer is too soft and does not hold up to riding in the car.
Being slide on the park benches.
Bumped against, . . well any thing at all.
I just does not take much to scrap the primer off and expose the wood under neither.

So I am preparing to sanded and PAINT the transportation box, Matt Gray.

I am in here posting this as the sanding and wipe down are complete.
The paint has been applied to the top and 4 sides of the main box.
There is 1 side to go.
The side that is sitting on the barrel where I am painting the box.
I will give it 30 minutes or so to dry and then I will turn the box over and finish it.

I have painted the last side.
Here is a photo of the transportation box with it's new paint.

The Matt Gray paint looks like a match the primer gray color very close.
I am hoping the paint will take a little bumping with out exposing the wood.
Time will tell.

March 5th =================================================

Today, I am working on the Skipjack transportation box.
Tomorrow I will do the Gato box and George Washington..
That will leave the Alma box but right now I am using it as a stand so, it will have to wait.

Good news.
I was in town this morning and stopped at the post office.
In with my mail was a small box from Bob Martin. (Nautilus Drydock)
I order 3 air pumps first of the week and they are here.
I can now get back to rebuilding the aft electronics tray.
The size of these pumps is smaller than I thought they would be.
This means I will have more room in the cylinder and I can move the ballast tank back a little more.

Okay, I have to finish the transportation box repainting before I can get back to the Gato.
The boxes take up a lot of room on my work bench.
Well, they take up all the room on my work bench.

I need to get the boxes done so I can finish the Gato.
This the only way I will be able to clean my work bench and find all the little parts missing on the bench.

Some of these parts are not small.
I cleaned off all the rubber from a Schreader valve.
Bright and shiny brass part.
10 minutes later I went to install it in an end cap.
I could not find it.
I had to clean another Schreader valve to out in the end cap.
It's there some where.
I did not leave the shop when this happened.
The work bench is a mess.
The Gato has been on it for over a year now.
Not it's fault.
All the hospital stuff slowed this down severally.

Okay out to the shop.
No work getting done in here. 

March 5th ---- still

The emblem badge has been reinstalled on the Akula II transportation box.
Here is the original installation on primered box.

The Skipjack transportation box has been sanded and wiped down with paint thinner to remove dust.
Let it dry and applied the Matt Gray paint.
I got 2 coats on.
Will let sit over night and see if there needs to be a third coat.

The other transportation boxes are going to have to wait.
I want to get back to the Gato electronics tray.
Here is a link to how I make the Badges for the transportation boxes and the Tx suit cases.
They are some what 3D.

I noticed that the cases are incorrect in this photo.
The case on the left runs the AKula II and the Skipjack now.
Both boats have Engel's piston ballast systems in them.
The case on the right runs the George Washington and is also setup to run the Gato.
The correct badges are on the correct case now. 

March 6th =================================================

Painting complete.

Today is sunny with light clouds and NO wind.
55 degrees.

Out to the outside work bench.
Brought the Gato transportation box to the bench and then the palm sander went to work.
Sanded the box, blew the dust off.
Wiped down with rag and paint thinner.
Place the box on a barrel and the lid on another barrel.

It is now time to paint.
Painted 2 coats or more on all surfaces.
Finished the painting.
The clock says it's only 8:50 am.

The weather is still holding and now warmer.

Okay, get the George Washington Transportation box.
Remove the box badge.
Out to the outside work bench.
I had not yet put the palm sander away.
Attack the lid.
Attack the box.
THis took about 10 minutes.
The GW is a small boat.
It's 1/144 scale.
The box is so small the sander will not fit between the supports on the box both ways.
So, there was a little hand sanding with a wooden block.

The box is now Matt Gray.
Will let it dry for 30 minutes or so before moving it in to the shop for over night curing.

With the Skipjack, Akula II, Gato and now the GW boxes in the shop, there is no room to work.
This is okay because I have in town stuff to do to day and had only planned to do the Gato box.

Tomorrow, I should be able to start putting the boats back in their transportation boxes.
I think that will be a good time to take photos of each boat on top of it's box in the lid stand.

Currently I have to be very careful in my living room.
There are boats every where on the floor.
I did put them near the wall in an area where I do not walk.
Unless I sleep walk, they should be safe until tomorrow.
Photos tomorrow.
Boats and Boxes.
I thought I would get a group photo before moving all the boxes back in to the shop.
Boats are not in the boxes.
I want the paint to cure completely so there is no transfer of paint to the boat hulls.

From top down.
First is George Washington in 1/144 scale.
Second is Akula II in 1/125 scale.
Third is Skipjack in 1/72 scale.
Fourth is Gato in 1/72 scale.

The blocks on top of each box is a hinged stand to hold the boat for display and at the pond.

March 7th =================================================

Paint on the transportation boxes is dry enough to put the boats back in them.
But while I am doing this, I will take photos of the boats on the box lid stands.

Here is the 1/144 George Washington. Overall length of boat is 31.75".

Here is the 1/72 Skipjack. Overall length of boat is 42.25".

Here is the 1/125 Akula II. Overall length of boat is 34.50".

Here is the 1/72 Gato. Overall length of boat is 52".

The stands are screws to the box lids with a hinge so the stand prices will lay down towards the ends of the box.
When standing there is a cable between the stand pieces to keep the from falling over.
I use bungee cords at first but I had one stand end fall over as I was putting the boat on it.
The boat was safe because I had not let go yet.
The cable is 150 lb fishing leader cable.
I cut 2 1/2" wooded dowel pieces about 3/4" long.
Drilled a small hole through the wooden pieces.
Just large enough for the cable to go through and back again.
So tight, I could not pull the cable through once it was doubled.
Applied a little CA.
To measure the length between the stands, I first cut a slot in the center of the stand with a hacksaw blade.
The cable has to be forced down by moving the cable back and forth.
Slipped the second wooden piece on the end of the cable and folded it back through.
Pulled the cable tight against the stand end.
Just enough to have a slight pressure on the cable.
CA on the cable in the wooden piece.

Put one side in and then pull the other stand towards the middle and using the wooden dowel piece, I can put the dowel ad a slight angle and it will slide down in to the slot pushing the stand piece in towards the middle.

In the photos above, your can see the wooden dowel pieces and cable below the boat hull.
The cut slot is about 1" deep.
Enough room to get my fingers between the hull and the cable.

March 8th =================================================

Did some searching for aluminum sheet.
What I have been using for years is 1/8" thick none flexible. (good thing)
I wanted to find aluminum sheet that was thinner.
Turns out Lowes Hardware has 22 gauge in small pieces.
5" by 18" and it's 6063 T4.

Not that the transportation boxes have been repainted I can get back to the Gato rear electronics tray.
I will disassemble it tomorrow and see if I can rearrange everything to get 2 air pumps and 1 more servo on it.
It also looks like I may have to move some of the through end cap tubes to get 1 more through it.
Or make a new cap.

This morning I went to Lowes and picked up 1 of those aluminum sheets.
It seems a bit flexible but beings I bend the edges over to give my electronics trays strength, this may work.
22 gauge is roughly 1/32" thick.

I was thinking I might try to get the propeller motor farther forward so I can mount 2 servos behind the motor with the drive shaft going between.
The 3rd servo would be in front of the motor and the speed controllers in front of all this with the Rx.

My reasoning is during trimming, the stern was a bit heavier than I would like.
Took more foam back aft.

But I did get a perfect trim submerged and near perfect surfaces. (low stern)

I also picked up some straight inline wire plug connectors.
The plugs I have now are big.
I have to unsolder one end to remove the rear electronics tray.
The plug will not fit through the brass through tube in the ballast tank.
I think these inline plug connectors may go through the tube.
Sure hoping they will.

Of course if the equipment works as it is designed, I may never have to remove there rear electronics tray again.

So I have things to do this next week.
I will get as much done as I can.
The week after, all that hospital stuff starts up again.
This time they plan to work on my eye.
This all started last May and so far nothing has gotten done.
I would like to see with both eyes again.

Anyway, building will continue. 

March 9th =================================================

And now the modification begins.

Here is the rear electronics tray removed from the cylinder.
The roller pump (left side of photo) and it's speed controller will be remove and replaced.

Replacing the roller pump will be these 2 air pumps and a servo.
I have not yet decide if there will be a speed control or just a couple of switches to run the air pumps.
My plan is to make it a two stage unit.
Servo will move and contact first switch.
Move input on servo will then contact second switch.
Servo in other direction will open ballast tank vent valve. (to be worked out as I go)

Now the rear electronics tray has been stripped of all equipment.

I was shortening the main aluminum tray by 3/8" at the end cap.
I also needed to decide how to get the extra servo control rod through the end cap which did not have enough room to make another through hole.
So before I make a new end cap, I am going to modify this on.
I removed the 2 control rod through brass tubes.
I also removed the 2 water inlet/outlet brass tubes. Looks like I will be using a smaller diameter brass tube for the water inlet/outlets.
The air pumps have smaller inlet/outlet on them
My current fuel hose tubing slides on and they fit loose.

Back to the end cap.

The first thing I did was shorten the main propeller shaft bushing that was sticking 3/8" in to the cylinder side.
It is now it is only 1/32":.

This process to remove the tubes only requires taking another brass tube the same size and slowly tapping the tube to be removes with a small hammer.
1 or 2 taps and the glue that bonds the tube in the end cap releases.

Take a small round file and I filed the inside of the through holes to clean them out and make the surfaces rough for next bonding.
Took the end cap and a large half round file and cleaned up the outside on both side of the end cap.

Place tape over all 4 holes.
Dropped a small amount of baking soda down each hole.
Using a 1/16" brass rod, I dipped the rod in to the medium CA glue and dropped the glue to the bottom of each hole.
Let this set up. (does not take long.

Now I drop a little more CA in each hole and then drop a pinch of baking soda in to each hole.
I do this in several steps until the CA comes up to the top of each hole and then I add another drop to make the glue high and sprinkle a little more baking soda.

I will let this cure over night and then file it all smooth.

After this is done, I can locate and redrill the new holes for the 3 control rods and 2 air tubes.

March 11th =================================================

Sanded the CA glue down flush with the end cap.
Laid out the location of the new holes for the 3 control rods and 2 air tubes.
Got the air tubes in and got 2 of the control rod tubes in.
There was very little room for all of this.
I was going to use rubber boots for the control rods.

Well, the last hole did not go well.
After drilling the hole ad checking the size and depth, I slipped the brass tube in for fit.
Nice but then I see this bright shiny brass color down in the o-ring groove.

Yep, the hole cut in to the groove slight lightly.
Farther checking I see a second brass tube was barely peeking through the o-ring groove.

Thought about it for a couple of seconds.
New end cap has to be made.

Okay, I can do that.

So while I consider making a new end cap, I look over the gear box. (photo above)
It looks like I can sand the top edge (edge where the gear sticks out) down to within a 1/4" of the gear shaft and 2 mounting bolts.
This will give me 3/16" more room on each side of the end cap.

I also am going to not use the rubber boots and I will cut recesses for the o-rings in the end cap and use a compression plate to hold them in place and squeeze them slightly around the control rods.
After I make the new end cap, I will see if the rubber boots will fit or go with the compressed o-rings.
I can do either.

With the end cap unusable, I got the parts to make the third control rod.
But I did not assemble it.
I don't know how long it needs to be until I get the end cap made and the parts mounted on it.
I don't know where the servo will be located.
While doing this and other things, I was thinking about these small air pumps.
There is a way to make the boat a negative boat and have the means to bring it back up.
I have a third air pump which is for the Gw boat.
Not as I reassemble the Gato, if I have room, I can install the 3 pump so it draws air from inside the cylinder and pumps it in to a bag outside the cylinder maybe in the ballast tank.
There would need to be a servo, a micro off/on switch and a Schreader valve to release the air from the bag back in to the cylinder after the boat breaks the surface and the other pumps get outside air to fill the ballast tank.

It is just something I got to thinking about.

March 12th =================================================

This morning, I cut a new slab of gray PVC rod.
It will become the new end cap.

I need to add a bit of plastic on to the gear box.
When I removed material yesterday, I did not think it through.
I cut more than I should have.
It exposed the propeller shaft cup seal by 1/32".
I will build up the area on the gear box that will cover the seal and finish smooth.
The seal needs the compression from the gear box to make the seal do it's job.

This afternoon, I hope to get out to the tool shed and turn the end cap.
If not, I have all of tomorrow to work on it.
Turning end caps takes about 30 minutes.
I only have a drill press and hand made cutting tools.
This is how I have been doing it for many years.

Today is the first time in years that the weather prediction is right.
Weather said rain starting about 10:30 am.
It's 10:22 am and it has started raining.
Not hard but steady.

Got things in town at the post office I need to get.
Medical stuff.
Timing is good because I will run out Saturday.
Can't let that happen.
I see that doctor next Monday.
Hoping to get approved to return to the eye surgeon to get my eyes fixed.
I would like to see again.

If nothing else gets done today, I got my 10 minutes in for the day. 

Since 10:25 am it has been raining and the temperature has not gotten above 48F degrees.

I am not out in the shop. 

March 13th =================================================

Still cold (46F)
Still wet but not raining.
No wind at all.

I am ready for trip in to town.
I thought while I have my heavy coat and long sleeve shirt on, I would brave the outside and go out to the shop and see if there is some thing I can do before having to leave.

I picked up 3 pieces of scrap sheet plastic.
3/4" long by 1/4" wide and 1/16" thick.
I cut the largest pick for the backing support.
This piece will hold the 2 pieces flush on the gear box edge and it will go down in to the gear box about 1/8".
Squared up all the edges.
Put in the small table vise.
Using a round file, I put a notch in the center of the long edge that the gear hub will fit in.
The gear hub has single layer of blue masking tape to keep the plastic from touching when running.
Rounded the two top corners to make it look nice.

Cleaned up the inside edges on the gear box where this part goes.

Cut the other 2 pieces to length to match.

Applied the plastic cement bonder to the gear box and the part.
Set the part down on the gear hub/tape.
Held it in place for a few seconds while it got tacky.

Removed the gear shaft and the gear.
Held in place a few more seconds.
Then I put a large paper clamp on the part and gear box.

Set it aside and moved on to the 2 pieces of plastic that will sit on the gear box edge and against this new support piece.

I did this because I do not think 1/8" pieces butted up against each other will have enough strength top push down on the cup seal edge.

Applied cement blond to the 2 pieces and placed them in the table vise and clamped them together.

Later today, after they cure some, I will fit them together to make sure I get a good connect bond.
Then I will cement them together.

After they sit over night, I will sand the pieces flush with the rest of the gear box side.
And I will shape the 2 outside pieces to match the support piece.
Then it will be time to make the end cap.
Last night I had time to think about this and I made a change to where the 3 rod bushing and 2 air inlets will go in the end cap.

The new positions should give me more room between the tubes and more distance from the cap edges and o-ring grooves.
The new position will give me a better line up of the rudder and stern planes push rods.

Such little parts taking so much time to make and assemble. (bonding cure time) 

Here is the gear box and the small part needed to cover the shaft cup seal.

Here is the gear box with the small part cemented on.
Tomorrow, I will finish shaping it.

March 14th =================================================

I am in the shop preparing to make a new end cap.
But while doing this, I was thinking about how I was going to make this boat a negative boat using a third air pump.
The third pump would pump air from inside the cylinder in to a balloon inside the ballast tank to get the boat up to periscope depth to get air from the surface.
Then the other 2 air pumps would fill the ballast tank with outside air and the third air pump or balloon could be emptied back in to the cylinder for the next surfacing.

Required equipment.
Air pump, air ballast balloon, a Schreader valve or some other valve, a switch to turn the pump on and wire from rear compartment to the front compartment.
This all takes room.
Then while getting ready to turn the end cap, I had a thought.
On my office wall with other sub stuff, there is a hand drawing that could work if I can make the thing.
The drawing is of a snorkel system that will bring air from outside the cylinder or if the mast is submerged, it takes air from in side the cylinder.

It requires two units.
One in the boat and one on the intake mast.

I need to look and see if I can fit the mast float in the conning tower.
If so, then I will make the unit that goes inside the hull.

Thought about it last night and the inside unit will eliminate having to make 2 manifolds for air hoses.
The unit can be 1 of the manifolds.
To start I need several squares of plastic sheet.

I cut 10 which I will use 5 for each unit end cap.
There will be more to make the covers which will have brass tubes installed for air hoses.
I have applied cement and the 2 parts are in the vise and compressed to cure.
THe start of the needed squares.

Yes, I have my camera working on this as well.
On the right are the two blocks for the bases.

While the cement cures, I have started in on the new cylinder end cap.

The end cap has been OD turned and ID shoulder turned.
Now ready to cut the o-ring groove.
Just need to line it up and make the cut.

Cutting the groove.

After cutting the groove and sanding it smooth, I tested the o-ring fit.
Sorry about the blurry image.

Test fitting the cylinder on the end cap wit o-ring.

Next I need to fill the 1/4" spindle hole.
Clear packing tape on the outside of the end cap.
A couple of drops of CA glue.
Sprinkle a little baking soda in on the CA.
Another drop or two of CA.
Followed by a little baking soda.
Continue until the hole is filled.
Take a paper clip and straighten it out.
Use it to poke down in the hole to break up the air pockets created by the baking soda.
Fill with CA glue until I have a small bump on the end cap surface. that I will sand down after it cures.

When cured, I will start drill in all the needed holes for the shaft seal, 3 control rods and 2 air tubes.

The Shaft seal will take the most time.
I will drill a hole center of the end cap to accept the brass tubing that will be the shaft bearing.
It will not go all the way through.
It will be short on the outside by the thickness of the shaft bear.
The brass tube will be 1/8" ID.
I will glue this in place and let cure.
Once cure I will use the brass tube to put the shaft of my seal cutter in.
I will cut the end cap to accept the cup seal with the seal slight up out of the cap.
The gear box will tighten down on this edge of the seal compressing it slightly to effect the seal of the propeller shaft.

When I drill for the control rods and air tubes, I will put 2 guides on the drill press so tI can not drill holes in to the o-ring grooves.
Did not do that the other day and it cost me my end cap.

March 15th =================================================

The end cap hole filler has cured.
The hole has been drilled for the propeller shaft.
The brass tube bushing has been fitted allowing room to cut the recess for the cup seal.
Glue has been applied and the bushing has been set to the correct depth in the end cap.

Moving on.

I have an idea for the air pump manifold.
I have seen others make brass tube manifolds which require short fuel hoses to attach.
My idea is to make a plastic manifold that the air pumps mount to directly with no hoses.

This is the start.
Cutting plastic pieces which I will bond together and shape.
It will be made in 3 sections before assembling.
The center section will need 2 channels.
1 for inlet and 1 for outlet air.
The manifold will also be the mounting bracket for the 2 pumps.

Part 1 is made up of 3 plastic pieces.
Part 2 is made up of 3 plastic pieces.
Part 3 is a single plastic piece which will be the cover after all the channeling and inlet/outlet tubes are in place.

The parts that need to be bonder are and are in the vise to cure.


March 17th =================================================

I have drilled the holes and channels for the manifold.
2 Air Pumps, 2 temporary brass tube inlet and outlet, pump mounting bracket, air manifold body and the cover plate.

The manifold channels where drilled at the same time the 4 pump mounting holes and 2 inlet/outlet holes were drilled.
Using a flat steel bar on the drill press table as a guide, I pushed the plastic piece from lower hole to lower hole.
Then moved the guide and did the upper holes.
After that, I pushed the plastic piece to connect the inlet and outlet holes to the appropriate channel.

Test fit assembly.
The brass tubes will be longer to extend out to the motor ends for hose connections.

Pump and manifold test fit.

The mounting bracket and the manifold channel plate have been bonded together and are in the table vise for curing.

This assembly will leave enough room to put the vent valve servo over the assembly.
Still time to go find some thing else to do.

March 17th continued =============================================

I am taking off all the rubber from a Schreader tire valve.
It will become the ballast tank vent valve.

All of the rubber has been removed.

I also removed the threads.
I don't need them and it saves weight on top of the cylinder when installed.
The end that goes in to the plastic vent valve body has been shortened to 2 layers of plastic so it does not stick in to the air camber channel.

The Schreader valve body test fit in to the ballast tank vent valve body.
The top part.
I have applied glue to the part and it is clamped in place while it cures.
Brought the cylinder in the house.
Temperature outside dropped to mid 40s.
I though I heard rain starting which it is forecasted.
Stepped outside not to rain but hail.
I am done being outside today.

March 18th =================================================

A busy morning.

First thing I decided to test the ballast tank vent body.
Turned the cylinder upside down.
Plugged the 2 air vents on top of the cylinder. (photo above)
Filled the ballast tank with water through 1 of the flood holes.
Once it was full, I removed the plug on the new inlet.
Water began to drain out.
It appears to be slow.
I know air will escape faster but this is slow.

Plugged the inlet and unplugged the other inlet.
Just a little faster but slow.

Turned the cylinder over and drained the water through the flood holes.

Out to the shop.
I removed the vent valve body.
First thing I saw was the new inlet was partially covered with silicone glue.
Cleaned off all the silicone on the vent valve body and the 2 brass tubing.
I then blew through each tube using a fuel hose.
The air inlet tube was good but the new vent tube was restricted and too slow.

Solution is to remove the tube and go back to the original vent valve that I was going to make.
Reinstall the valve body without the new brass Schreader valve.
Get the manifold parts out of the vise.
Looks good.
Sand all the sides smooth.
3 where close from sanding before assembly.
Check the air channels and clean if needed.
Make the side cover that will be glued in place after the brass tubing lengths are determined.
This will happen when the air pumps are mounted to the rear electronics tray.
Set to the side for later.
Going back to the end cap.

Time to drill several holes in the end cap.

I started with mounting the gear box on the back of the end cap.
The gear box needed to be in place to locate where the control rod supports and bushing would be place.
I wanted 1/8" clearance from the brass tube to the gear box frame.

The shaft cup seal recess is cut in to the cap.
The depth of the cut keeps the cup seal above the end cap by about 1/32".
When the cup in the recess, the gear box will apply a little pressure on the cup edge squeezing the cup to completely fill the recess.

With that done, I setup the drill press using a couple of guides clamped to the table so I could not drill in to the o-ring groove. (again)
The end cap could be rotated and keep the same distance from the edge of the cap to the hole locations.
This important because I have to not drill in to the o-ring groove and the control rods have to have clearance away from the motor housing.
Motor is brushless and the outside case spin when running.

I beveled both side of each hole.
The drilled hole is also slightly over sized of the tubing.
This allows room for the glue to expand and produce a good seal a round the tubing.

There are 2 brass tubes missing.
The air inlet and outlet.
They will go between the 3 control rod guides.
There is enough room to put the rubber boots on the 3 control rods and the air hose on the 2 - 1/8" brass tubing.
The brass air tubes with go in to the cylinder and past the motor so the air hoses can not fall on to the motor case. 

Here the control rod tubes have the glue applied and will cure over night. 

I have cut some plastic pieces to make 2 or 3 vent control rod guide supports.
These will be mounted on top of the cylinder so the control rod can go from the rear of the end cap to the vent valve body at eh rear of the ballast tank.
The parts are in the vise to cure under pressure.

I should get those finished tomorrow.
Maybe even mounted on the cylinder.

Next project is to make the end that will go on the vent control rod.
It has to be removable and it will need to have a seal material on it that will stay on.
I am thinking a wheel collar with 3 small holes drilled in the side and one side tapered in to a slight cone.
Then make a form to pour silicone in and place the wheel collar on it.
The silicone will go in to the 3 holes and the form will make the silicone tapered.
Sort of like a carburetor needle valve.

March 18th =================================================

End Cap has been cleaned up after the glue cured.
The control rod through tubes have been cleaned out of glue that squeezes in under the tape.
Set aside.
The reason for setting the end cap aside is, I need 1 stainless bolt.
The hardware store where I get these very small stainless bolts is closed until further notice.
So no bolts for now.

Made 2 brackets to hold the push rod from the rear of the end cap to the vent valve body.
I have made it for 1/16" rod but left enough room for 3/32" tubing.
Not sure the 1/16" rod will not bend under operations.

Next is to make the safety tank.
The tank on the right of this drawing.
The tank has a float inside with a seal material to block water from exiting the top of the tank.
It has an outlet for air at the bottom.
Should water back in to the air hose while submerged, the float is to stop the water from getting in to the water tight cylinder.
I have seen only one in a boat and it seems to do the job it was designed for.

So I am going to give it a try.

The tank will be brass tube and the end caps will be plastic.
There is no real pressure on the tank so I think gluing the end caps on after I get the tubes and check valve installed in the caps will do it.

The end caps are in the vise after some shaping and drilling the hole in the middle.
There will be more shaping after the parts cure.

The float is a piece of foam with a seal material on the top end.
I have a couple of ideas to try before assembling the unit.
It all has to do with where in the boat I put it in relationship to the air pumps.
The tank will be made so the end caps can be removed for maintenance or repairs.

Here are the major parts of the unit.
There is no seal material on the float.
On the left side you can see the end of a 1/8" brass rod to give the float weight to pull away from the vent seal hole.
The length of the float has not been determined.
I can test this in a bowl of water once I make the end caps for the unit. 

The black rings are the sides of the end caps.
When I make the end covers they will be cemented to the rings.
One end cover will have a hole in the center for inlet/outlet of air in the cylinder.
The other end will have an inlet/outlet for air from the air pump.
Size reference.
The brass tubing is 1/2" diameter.


March 22nd ===============================================

Started by working on the end caps for the safety tank.
Did the shaping and I installed the 1/8" brass vent tube in the top cap.

The bottom cap will have a 1/8" brass tube going across the bottom of the tank.
This way, I have an inlet and outlet for the air.
This tube will pass through the bottom cap and will have a 3/32" hole drilled in it that will access the safety tank at the bottom.
The inside of the cap is beveled so the water if any will drain to the hole in the air tube and be sucked out during the ballast tank blowing operations.

Moved on to the Rear cylinder end cap.
Drilled the last 2 holes for the air inlet and outlets.

Got the length needed for the 5/32" brass tubes.
I wanted a little bit bigger than the 1/8" brass tube for a tighter fit of the fuel air hose.

The electronics tray has been shortened at the end cap end by 3/8".
The electronics tray has been narrowed by 1/8" on one side and by 1/16" on the other.
Basically I cut the rolled over edges that I used to stiffen the aluminum plate.
Turns out the aluminum plate is stiff enough on it's own.

It was flimsy before adding the motor bracket and the 2 servos.
They stiffened up the plate without the rolled edge.
I moved the servos in towards the center of the plate by about 1/16".
The servos are not touching by a thick piece of paper.
This allowed me to use straight control push rods in stead of having 2 bends in each rod.
A cleaner installation.

The 2 air tubes are now installed and it's that time where I have to let the glue cure before continuing.

Rear of end cap.

Front of end cap.

The 2 air tubes look like they are angled.
They are the same distance apart at the end cap and the end over the servos.

The length was determined by having room to access the servo screws without interference.

March 24th ===============================================

Looks like today is going to be laundry day.
The washer is out in the shop, so I may get some thing done today.
Will report any progress. 

Now a little progress.

Worked on the air pump and manifold assembly.
Added the 2 brass inlet and outlet tubes.

Here is the assembly from the top.

Assembly from the side. 
The inlet and outlet tubes are angled.
Next photo will explain why.

The tubes are angled to go over the rudder and stern plane servos and control rods.

Top view.
The vent servo will be to the right of the air pumps.
The control rod will go over the air pumps, servos and motor case.
In the photo the control rod goes between the air tubes.

I need to locate where the Rx and speed controller will go.
It looks like they will fit on the under side of the electronics tray if I make an tray extension with a drop in it.
Maybe not.

The issue to over come is the 8.5" maximum length from end cap to ballast tank frame.

March 25th ===============================================

Today started with cementing the air pump manifold cover on.
It is currently in the vise to put pressure on the plastic as it cures.

Now to test fit the equipment on to the electronics tray.
Setup the electronics tray on the work bench so it sits level and I can slide the cylinder over the tray as I place the equipment on the tray.
I have an 8.5" limit on the tray from the end cap to the ballast tank frame.

The plan was to put the air pumps on the top of the tray.
So I put the Rx on the under side under the air pumps.
Looks good but the cylinder will not slide in place.
The Rx fits but I will not be able to plug in any of the equipment plugs.
This will not do.

I have to keep in mind that I need to get 2 micro switch in there for the pump off/on behind the ballast vent servo.

Okay, will the Rx work on top of the tray?
Yes but can I get the air pumps under the tray?
Until the pump bracket cures, I can not test it.

It looks like it should.
The air hoses can go down from the inlet/outlet brass tubes down to the under side to the pumps inlet/outlet tubes by placing 1 hose down the outside right and then 1 hose down the outside left if I notch the tray.
Happens there are already holes that power wires entered through before that can be turned in to notches for the air hoses.

It looks like I might get it to work.

This will leave room for the ballast tank vent servo between the Rx and the 2 servos for the rudder and rear planes. 
There looks like there m ay even be room for the 2 micro off/on switches.

Better yet, by putting the Rx on top, I can move it forward a 1/2". 
There will be plenty of room to plug everything in and not have to smash the wires over to fit.

So, I am waiting for the plastic cement to cure.

I will have to make some plastic blocks to use as mounting blocks.
Or I can do as I have on other projects . . . silicone glue the equipment in place. 
Test fitting says, I can not get the Rx on the top of the tray.
And the Rx did not fit under the tray with out lifting it up.
A closer look showed me that the Pitch control which was mounted originally on the side of the Rx made the Rx and pitch controller too wide and did not fit down in the cylinder curve enough.
So I took the pitch controller off the Rx.
Now there is plenty of room. (hoping)

Above the cylinder is the servo that is needed to operate the ballast tank system.
Below the cylinder is the speed controller that will fit on the the underside of the tray behind the rudder and rear planes servos.

Before I install the Rx and speed controller, I need to make the bracket for the 2 micro switches that will operate the air pumps.
2 switches because I would like a two stage air pump system.
Mid servo I get 1 pump and full servo I get 2 pumps.
If there is not enough room, then 1 switch it will be.

This is a trial and error installation.

March 26th ===============================================

In the shop this morning.
It's cold and I fired up the heater.
I sat down on my wooden milk crate (no chairs in my shop) and started test fitting the equipment that needs to be put on the rear electronics tray.
Yesterday, I had a set back.
I just couldn't get the parts to fit but it was because they kept sliding off as I tried to put other parts on.

So today, I gathered up several small clamps and a roll of tape.
Nothing is going to slide this time.

My main issue is the Rx.
It is a Futaba 8 channel Rx and it is bigger than the other Rx I use.
I can put it almost any where but then I can not get to the servo plugs.

So clamp this there and that over there.
I am back to having the air pumps on top and the Rx underneath.
But there is just not enough room under the tray.
Yesterday, I took the Pitch Controller off the side of the Rx.
Today, the Rx fits under the tray and the tray is not being pushed up.

I was going to cut the tray 1/4" shorter when I realized I was going about this all wrong.
Instead of cutting the tray, I made a plastic tray extension of about 1.5".
This will sit under the original tray and bolt to it behind the air pumps.
This came about because to put the ballast tank vent valve servo in it needs to be lowered.
By putting the tray extension under the original tray, I get 1/16" more room.

With the Rx under the tray and this plastic extension, I can mount the ballast tank vent servo behind the air pumps with room for the 2 switches I want to control the 2 motors.
Also by using plastic for the extension, I can cut with plastic pieces to make the servo brackets and brackets for the 2 switches.

Then I can mount the air pump plastic manifold to the extension. (currently curing in the vise after applying cement bond)

I have room for the speed controller on the under side of the tray between the 2 servo bottoms and the Rx.
The issue I was having was the power to the motor wires.
They are thick and stiff.
And too long.
But I do not want to cut them because I do not have those kinds of connectors.
I moved the wires this way and that trying to find a way to get them in there.
Finally I found that if I turned the speed controller with the wires going towards the motor, I had enough wire to route them from the motor to the end cap, turn them and come back the other side.

It will take 2 tie wraps to hold them off the motor case but it will work and it looks good.

The 2 ballast tank air pump motors with be operated individually with each having its own switch.
I now have room to mount the switches side by side and the servo will have a wheel color activator on it.
The wheel collar will have brass flat stock that will slide over the switch arms.
The switches will be off set by 3/16".
This way 1 switch will activate before the other.
I get my 2 stage air pump system.
Nice easy blow or full on it's coming up.

Not a lot of time in the shop but I got a lot of problems solved.

Now its, "Just Build It!" 

March 28th ===============================================

A bunch of plastic sheet scraps.
Pair scissors.
Time to start making mounting brackets for 2 switches and the servo.

Made a guide for the long control rod from the end cap to the ballast tank servo.
Made an "A" frame for the 2 switches. (still needs to be sized after the cement cures)
Location for the servo has been established.

The switches are taped on to make sure I have the correct location.
The "A" frame is a little too tall but better tall than short.

The servo mounting brackets are in the vise curing.

I checked my Rx plug list to make sure I have enough plugs for every thing.
First look said I did not.
But a closer look shows channel 4 is empty so I can draw power from there for the air pumps.
Will have to do a current test before I do that.
May have to make a voltage regulator to go from 7.4v to 4.2 volts.

March 28th continued =====================================

Back in the shop. I started assembling plastic parts.
Got the ballast tank vent servo mounted.
Took the electronics tray and the Rx and slid it all in to the test cylinder.

Looks good then when I measured the overall length, the tray with equipment is 3/16" too long.

The only thing sticking past the maximum length is the Rx.
It will not slide under the servo/ pump tray.
Well that is not good.

Cut the servo brackets off the plastic tray extension.
Did more measuring.
I have to get the Rx to move 3/16" in to the plastic extension tray.

It does not work as is so, just take the Dremel cutting wheel to the aluminum tray and cut back to the air pump manifold and wide enough for the Rx to slide between the plastic edges.
Left edge of the green switch in the photo above.
Next cut the plastic tray to match.
Tray cut and only needs cleanup.



Test fit all fit in the cylinder.
Now it fits and I have about 3/16" clearance.

Now I have to figure out how to mount the servo.
It looks like it will work laying on it's side.

First I have to build up the extension tray to clear the Rx so I have something to mount the servo brackets to.
Those parts have been cut and are in the table vise while the cement cures.

I was making a bracket for the 2 switches but I stopped because the new lay out may or may not work.
I think it will but until the new tray extension arms are re shaped and the servo location finalized, I can not make the switch brackets.

So, I have things to do tomorrow.

Wiring comes next.
Should be straight forward.
Plug in 3 servos.
Power wires to speed controller.
Then test air pumps for draw and decide how to wire them.
Through a Rx plug or use a voltage regulator.
Or run the pumps in series and use only 1 switch.

So many options to figure out. 

March 29th ===============================================

I am in the shop working but it is going slow.
Cutting and cementing plastic sheet parts.

I have built the half box that goes over the Rx.
Test fit in to the cylinder shows it will work with room to spare.

Now the ballast tank servo and 2 switches has become another issue.
I have made 3 mock up brackets only to find there is not enough room.

I may have to cut the mounting brackets off the servo to make it fit.

I got the Tx out and setup the Rx and the ballast tank servo to find out which way the arm swings.
This determines which side the servo will go on.

Tested the switches to find out which 2 lugs will give me "on" when depressed.

Back to the shop to see if I can get this puzzle to work. 
I made 2 plastic blocks that raise the switches up to the control rod.
All the parts are sitting in place temporarily to test fit.

It looks like the plastic switch block for the top switch will also work as a mount for the servo.

There will be a wheel collar or 2 on the control rod to engage the switches.
This will give me the 1 or 2 switches activated individually.
Two stage air pumps.
The Rx fits under the tray with just the plug sockets exposed.

Tomorrow, I will be in town to pick up mail and the hardware store is just 3 doors away.
I will pickup the needed stainless screws that will hold the switched to the plastic blocks.
I need to screw the switched on the blocks before I can place the blocks on the tray and cement in place.
Got to stop parts from moving around.
The servo is not in the correct position.
The horn will be more inline with the control rod.
But when I put it in place, the servo falls off the tray.

My electronics tray is 8.25" long and I have 8.5" of room.
I will make a new bracket for the antenna.
This one was to keep the wire out of the way while working. 

March 30th ===============================================

Got a late start this afternoon.
I did get some things one.

I got the small mounting bolts in town this morning.
I measured one side for 1 air pump switch.
Made a couple of adjustments with the control rod in place including the wheel collars which will activate the switches.
Drilled the 2 holes in one of the plastic blocks.
Made a cut or two in the block to accept the servo end mounting tab.
Mounted the servo to make sure it was flat and above the tray.

With the control rod in place I cemented the plastic block with the servo and switch installed.
This let me see where the wheel collar met the switch activator arm.
The wheel collar has to past the switch without touching the activation arm until it get to the arms bump.
Held in place for 15 minutes while the cement set.

Let it set for 30 minutes before mounting the second switch block.
I had to file a notch in the block to allow it to go over the air pump manifold about 1/8".
This was to get the 2 activation arms on the switches to stagger.
By staggering the activation arms, the wheel collars will push 1 without pushing the other.
A little more input on the control rod causes both switches to be activated.

I got my two step switching devise.

Was thinking about the ballast tank vent valve.
It will be spring loaded closed.
The servo will pull it open.
What to use for a spring.
Took my favorite ball point pen a part to see if the spring would fit over the control rod.
Looked like that is what it was made for.
But this is my favorite ball point pen.
Went looking for an old pen.
Out in the tool shed I found on up on the screw driver board.
Took it apart and there was the best looking spring I have seen in a long time.
Looked at the printing on the side of the pen.
Turns out this pen is 42 years old. (no it doesn't write any more)
The spring will live on in my Gato, hopefully keeping it on the surface.

It amazes me how much time making small parts takes.
Especially when they have to be glued together and cured to move on.

Next, I think I will be making something to keep the Rx in place.
Whether it's a tie wrap or some sort of plastic or aluminum spring clip. 

March 31st ===============================================

I have been working on the control rod linkage.
I have gotten the length of the connection from the servo to the control rod, set.
There are 2 wheel collars in between the 2 switches.

The control on the Tx is set to center.
The vent valve is closed and the 2 switches are off.

The servo has been moved to full vent of the ballast tank.

The control rod has been moved to the first pump switch. (bottom switch is on)

The control rod has been moved to activate both switches. (both switches are on)
I have a two stage air pump system.

Looking from the right side.

All control rod movement was done with the Tx and Rx on. 

Checked the electric poles of the pump motors.
Checked the amps needed for each motor and in combination.
 (looks like I can use the Rx as the power source)

I have an empty Rx plug socket. Access to power)
Found a short servo wire that had been cut off a bad servo.
The plug is good and the wires are long enough.

Cut the white wire from the plug.
Only need the Red and Black wires.

Run the Red wire from the servo plug to the center lug of both switches.
Check switches to make sure which lugs are the normally off. (got it)
Run a Red wire from switch #2  to the air pump on the same side of the tray (top).
Run a Red wire from switch #1 to the air pump on the same side of the tray. (bottom)
The order of soldering was because the #2 switch was up when I went to solder.

The black wire on the servo plug was not cut so I could run the wire as a single piece.
Opened up the insulation in the middle of the wire at the motor connection.
Cut the wire to reach the other motor.
Soldered the center cut first then the end to the motor lugs.

Checked the wires for continuity with the multi meter.

April 1st ===============================================

I started today by looking for my bag of nylon clevis.
While looking through the parts box, I had to move the servo wires and other big packaged things.
I also had to move the bundle of Velcro strap.
Wait. . . . .!
In stead of trying to make some sort of bracket out of plastic or aluminum, why not use the Velcro?

Okay here is what I did.
The Velcro strap is 3/4" wide and I cut 2 pieces 1/4" of loops and hooks.
To make sure I could move the Rx to fit the space, I put 1 piece of Velcro on the electronics tray long wise.
The piece of Velcro on the Rx went side way on the top.
This will give me about 1/2" I can move the Rx forward and aft.
Will see how it fits in the cylinder after the silicone glue cures.

Back to the clevis.
I needed to shorten my original control rods 3/4".
This was due to the shortening of the electronics tray between the end cap and main motor.
I do need to make new small bends in the rods to make sure they do not touch the motor casing.

I did test the Rx, the rudder servo, rear planes servo and the ballast system servo.

Did a little adjusting on the ballast servo.
I wanted more neutral center than I had. (too close to pump switch)
I though about grinding the wheel collars a little thinner.
Then I though why not try adjusting the Tx percentages of throw.
  (my main Tx does not have computer adjustable controls so I was slow to think about this Tx which is fully computerized)

Centered the control knob.
Moved the wheel collars back away from the switch about 1/16".
Moved the control know to the full 2 switches on position.
The control was set at 60% so I added 10% which moved the wheel collars to center of the switch. 

Slowly moved the control knob to activate the ballast tank vent.
Spotted and adjusted the percentage down to 25%.
This was to keep the wheel collars from hitting the rod guide.
Move the control knob to full vent.
The wheel collars where short of hitting the guide.
Slowly adjusted the percentage until the wheel collar just touch the guide.

Time to test full control movement.

Center knob to the mark. 
  Clearance from switch is still 1/16".

Move knob to full vent.
  Wheel collar touches guide but there is no pressure on the guide.

Move the control knob to first pump switch.
  Turns on. . Good.

Move control knob to full for both pumps. 
  Second pump comes on and wheel collar is center of the switch. . . GOOD!

Rudder and rear planes servo work fine.
I still have the speed control to mount and the pitch controller.
I have places for them, the issue is routing the wires.
Then route all the servo wires and main power.

April 2nd ===============================================

Testing the Rx Velcro mount.
Placed the Rx in to the recess.
Pushed the Rx back against the tray.
Pushed the Rx down on to the Velcro.
Holding well.
Turned the tray over and started plugging in servos.

Okay, what's this.
The Rx moves up and down as I plug in the servos.
Turns out the Velcro is making a 3/32" gap from the Rx to the tray.
The 1/4" wide Velcro is letting the Rx rock from end to end.

This will not do.  ;^(

The Velcro pieces are removed with an Exacto knife.

Find the thin aluminum sheet I bought a couple of weeks ago.
Measured the Rx and the tray for an aluminum bracket.
Cut it. (this aluminum sheet is so thin, I cut it with heavy scissors)

Make some marks showing the Rx width.
Place in table vise and using a wooden block, I bent the aluminum strip in 2 places making a bracket that fits over the Rx and in to the tray recess.

This is what I got.

Cleaned up the aluminum to get the oil stuff off of it.
A couple of small drops of silicone glue and put the bracket in to the tray recess.

The pitch controller is sitting in place but not fixed there, yet.

Put the Rx in to the bracket and turned the tray over to look at it from the top.
This shows access to the Rx plugs.
Plenty of room.
I measured the overall length of the tray from the end cap to the end of the Rx.
I have a full 1/4" clearance to the ballast tank frame.

I had a few minutes.
When out in to the shop to check on the silicone curing.
Not 100% but every thing is solid.

Started running servo wires.
I checked each one with the Tx as I went to make sure I was connecting the correct servo to the correct channel.
It wasn't long before I had everything hooked up on the rear electronics tray and working.

    Rear Tray (complete)
1. Rudder
2. Rear Planes with Pitch Controller (adjusted)
3. Throttle
4. empty 
7. Ballast Vent & Air Pumps (adjusted)

    Front Tray (assembled but no wires to rear tray)
5. Bow Retract
6. Bow Planes
8. empty
    Power Switch

Assembling the equipment in the cylinder is next.
This is when I will connect the main power (soldered) and 2 servos from the front the front tray to the rear tray through the brass tube between the 2 ballast tank frames.

I made a special tool just for pulling the wires through this tube.
30" of piano wire with a squared off hook on the end to hold the servo plug. 

Almost time to plan water testing again.

April 3rd ===============================================

Making small parts is so time consuming.
Once made they need to be glued together which take a lot of waiting time.

Today's project is the ballast tank vent valve seal.
It has to be detachable from the end of the control rod.
It has to hold a 1/8" ID o-ring.
It has to not pull off when the control rod pulls away from the vent valve body.

Starting with a 1/16" brass long control rod.
Next a brass tube that slips over tight.
after that another brass tube to slight tight over that.

What I am making is a part that goes from 1/6" ID to 1/8" ID.
Took 3 parts.
Then I made 2 plastic parts to slip over the 1/8" tube that will be turned round at about 3/8"+.
This will be the set for the o-ring to be pushed against the valve body.

The end of the rod and 2 brass tubes will be tapered to a point then flatten off a little.
This will be a guide in to the valve body so the control rod with it's o-ring seal center in to the valve body vent hole.

The brass tubes slip over the 1/16" rod.
There is a wheel collar that slips over the 1/16" rod that has the brass tubes soldered to the wheel collar.
This allows me to remove the seal of the 1/16" rod.
This is required to remove the control rod from the 2 plastic guides on top of the cylinder.

Once I get all the parts made, I will take photos of them disassembled and then as I assemble the unit.

I think I need to make a brass ring from tubing that goes over the 1/8" tube that will hold the o-ring on. 

April 4th ===============================================

Turned the air manifold vent seal valve.

Here is the ballast tank vent valve system unit parts.

Parts assembled.

Assembly sitting on top of the cylinder.

When installed, the spring will have some compression to it.

While I am in the shop.
I thought I would put some colors on the boat.

Bow Jack.

Stern colors.

After the water completely dries, I will paint with clear.

April 5th ===============================================

Time to installing the electronics tray in to the cylinder.

#&%* That did not go well.
Made it past the ballast tank servo and hit the switch lugs.
I missed the measurements by 3/16".

Okay, I won't dwell on it.
How do I fix it?

Originally I was going to put the switch on an "A" to slant the switches.
But my A piece was not going very well.
So I made blocks of plastic to mount the switches on top.
Forgot about the clearance when I did that.
In the photo you can see the block under the switch.
This is where the error on my part happened.

I removed the switches and the control rod so I could get to the top of the plastic blocks.
Calmly and slowly, I took my Dremel with a thin grinding blade and I cut the top off the plastic blocks at an angle.
Carefully checking that the switch activator arm would connect with the control rod.
OOPS. One was cut too short and needed to have plastic pieces added back on.
3 layers. I just happen to have a 3 layer pieces sitting right here.
It was a cut off end of another piece I made.

The piece has been cemented on top the block and is curing.

So what next?
I will mount the ballast tank vent rod guides on top of the cylinder.
Measured the spring compression and the location of both guides.
I used blue tape to surround the guide base.
Sanded the area inside the tape.
Applied silicone and placed the two guides.
Put the control rod in the guides to line the vent valve seal over the vent manifold hole.
Used a flashlight to see and make sure I got it centered .
It has been set aside to cure. 
Reshaped the servo mounting blocks.
Installed servos.
Adjusted control rod so everything works as planned.

Test fit in to cylinder.

Like always. . . fix 1 problem only to find another.
The speed controller hits the cylinder with it's cooling fins.

The fix is to move it towards the center of the electronics tray.
To do this, I have to remove the pitch controller.
Sure glad I use silicone to mount parts.

Pitch controller removed.

Test fit the electronics tray in to the cylinder.
There is is in the cylinder.
But the pitch controller is not there.

Now I have to find a place to put the pitch controller.
A quick look say this is not going to be easy.

So, I think I am finished for today.
I have been thinking about the pitch controller and where to put it.
There just isn't any room with the way the parts are installed.

I will have to look closer but I was thinking if I put the switches on more of an angle, I might be able to get room on the right side. (bottom of above photo)

All I can do is make a couple of new parts and try it. 

April 7th ===============================================

Today so far has not produces much in the way of gains.

Started by clear coating the 2 flags.
That did not go well at all.

The front union jack is so fragile that applying paint caused the decal to disintegrate.

Tried to lightly spray the rear flag.
It was going good but then as the paint dried, the flag curled up and feel apart when I tried to straighten it.

My observations say that these decal flags might work for a display model but even if I could have clear coated the flags, in the water they would have been destroyed.
I moved on to finding a place for the pitch controller.
There are places that it will fit but would not allow for the length of the servo plugs.
I have trimmed the shrink tube on the end of the pitch controller board to make it 1/16” shorter.

I might be able to put it next to the ballast tank servo.
I will have to make a bracket so it can be removed to get to the servo horn screw and mounting screw.

I will make it fit.

I even looked at putting it between the rudder and rear planes control rods.
I have to make sure the ballast tank control rod that will go over the pitch controller does not touch.

It is only one possible placement.
Oh, I did a pressure test on the new ballast tank vent valve assembly.
I covered 2 of the ballast tank flood holes with tape
I put a finger over the air inlet on top of the tank.
I moved the spring loaded vent valve to let it seat on it's own.

I blew in to the open flood hole.
I blew hard enough to lift my finder off the air inlet tube.

This was amazing.
I have not yet applied silicone grease to the o-ring seal.

This was a success.
I needed it because all the other stuff has been come frustrating. 

April 9th ===============================================

No work was done on the 8th.
I was at the VA getting 3 more surgeries done on my face.
Nothing life threatening.
I did go through 2 virus checks and tests.
Right now I looked like I went through a glass window.

Today, I am in the shop.
After reshaping the switch mounting blocks, I have managed to get the room needed for the pitch controller.

The photo shows the switch mounting blocks before I angled them even more.
This gave me a place to put the pitch controller.

I am making a plastic clip that will hold the pitch controller with a small length of tape.
It will be below the servo horn and to the right of the lower switch.
It will be at about 45 degrees on the tray.
The pitch controller can be removed by taking the tape off.
This will give access to the servo horn screw and servo mounting screw.

I tested this by taping the pitch controller on the tray and sliding it all in to the cylinder.

Tom, I got the 10 pounds in to the 5 pound space.

I do need to test the pitch controller in place at the angle to make sure it responds correctly.
The instruction on the pitch controller says it can be mounted flat or on edge as long as it is facing front to back by the pins.

So why would it not work at an angle if facing the right direction?
I will know in a few minutes.
I can test it by itself not on the tray.
Just plug in the pitch controller to the Rx and a servo in to the pitch controller. 
Results of testing pitch controller. (good)

Seems the pitch controller does not care which way it sits as long as the fore and aft axis is right.

I put the pitch controller on the table flat, then on edge, then I slowly turned the pitch controller around it's fore and aft axis.
No matter how it was turned, it gave the same input to the servo.

I am good to go on the installation.
Once the plastic cement cures on 2 parts.

It has been raining for 5 days now.
Today yesterday it started getting cold.
I ran in to a little snow coming home yesterday from the hospital.
Today, even with the heater on, it is still cold in the shop.
After an hour, the temperature is only up to 50 degrees.

With my face all stitched up, I can not afford to catch a cold or worse.
So, I am going to leave the plastic parts in the vise over night and try to stay warm the rest of the day. 
Plastic bracket installed on tray.
Pitch controller shown below tray.

The pitch controller set in place but not taped.
There is a bracket behind the pitch controller to keep it away from the servo arm and linkage.
Cement has not cured.
There is room to plug in all the stuff in to the Rx without hitting the pitch controller and keeping the 8.5" over all length.

April 11th ===============================================

The river between the house and the shop caused by all this rain has kept me from the shop.
Was thinking about building a bigger boat!

I thought I would see about mounting the speed control for the main motor.
I did 2 test fits routing the wires differently to see which way would work the best.

Cleaned the electronics aluminum plate. (sanded to make sure all the old silicone glue was gone and any oil from handling.
Sanded the back of the speed controller again.
Wiped clean.
Apply a couple of small drops of silicone glue on the back of the speed controller.
Set it in place on the tray.
Clamped it with a small C clamp.
Of course it moved and had to be readjusted in to place.

I found that the 2 air inlets with the hose on, touched the cylinder wall and change the angle of the tray.
Took the pump section off the tray so I could get to the tubes to bend them down and inward.
This moved the hosed away from the cylinder wall.
In the process, I dislodges 1 of the air pumps.
Cleaned them of all glue and reglued in place.
(this may later require a stronger glue but for now, I am using silicone glue so I can remove them from the manifold if necessary)

So the speed controller is curing.
The air pump is curing.
And another piece of plastic to hold the pitch controller has been added and is curing.

This should be the end of building stuff on the rear tray.
Reassemble in the cylinder will be next. 

April 12th ===============================================

I will be staying home today.
Might as well go out to the shop.

I think I will dig through my 2 or 3 parts boxes and see if I can find 2 small power plugs.
Both ends.
Was thinking about assembling the cylinder and remembering I have to solder the power wires at both end after going through the brass tube through the ballast tank.
Why not put plugs on each end so I can disconnect the front and rear tray without having to get out the soldering iron?
Such a simple concept.
I am finished changing the ballast tank length so why not leave the power wire in the brass tube.

I don't know. . . Why not?

The sun is coming up.
Should warm up in the shop in a couple of hours. 

After digging through 2 boxes of parts, I found a bag of power plugs.
Soldered plugs to main power wires.'
Soldered other ends to main speed controller and to the switch at the front to turn main power on and off.

Now I can test the everything on the bench out of the cylinder.
The plug on the rear tray will plug in to the plug at the front tray where the batteries are.

Testing is on boat batteries and not the temporary battery.

Mounted the propeller gear box on to the rear end cap.
I did remember to grease the cup seal before mounting the gear box.
The seal is between the gear box and end cap.

I did have to re adjust the motor bracket.
This was modified during this project.
Motor was laboring to turn.
I loosened some mounting screws and tightened them trying to keep the motor turning freely.
Took a while, there are 6 screws and bolts that hold and can be adjusted.
It is not perfect yet but the motor turns without binding now.

Plugged in the rudder servo. Test good.
Plugged in the rear planes servo in to the pitch controller and then the pitch controller in to the Rx. Test good.
Plugged in the ballast tank vent/air pump servo. Servo test good.
Plugged in the air pump power wires to Rx. Test good.
I did re adjust the wheel collars to get the neutral position to have more neutral area.

That is every thing in the on the rear electronics tray.

Next will be putting the electronics trays in to the cylinder.
An issue may come up.
I have very little silicone grease left.
I don't understand, I bought this 2 oz jar in 1973 for an underwater camera case I was using at the time.

I did some looking and the hardware stores have a 2 oz tube of silicone grease.
Reading the spec, it sounds like the same stuff I have been using.
May get some tomorrow.
I will check it out and if it is the same, then I will squeeze it in to my little jar.

I think I may be done for today.
While soldering this morning, the smoke from the flux seem to bother me.
Might be all the drugs I am taking from this last weeks surgeries. (3 on face)

Not to worry, all is good. 

April 13th ===============================================

Not much time in the shop.
What to build?

I need a fitting that will mount on the ballast tank vent control rod that will activate the vent open.
The same rod activates the 2 switches for the air pumps.

The control rod comes out of the cylinder near the top of the end cap.
The vent valve control rod comes back to the end cap at about 3/8" above the cylinder.

Not a problem.
I will make a plastic part that will fit on to the control rod coming through the end cap and will slide on the vent valve control rod.

When the the servo moved to pump air, the plastic part will slide forward not moving the vent control rod.
I may add an stop and a spring that will allow this part to put more pressure on the vent valve seal during air pumping.
When in neutral, the spring may have a little pressure on the seal.

When the servo is moved to open the vent valve, the vent valve control rod will move back away from the valve manifold and put pressure on the spring as the vent seal moved away from the manifold.

This will be much easier to explain once I make the parts and install them.
It is a rather simple system.

The plastic parts are cemented together and clamped in the vise.
Again, I wait for the parts to cure. 

April 14th ================================================

More work on the vent valve connection arm.
This is slow.
It is made up of 
6 pieces of sheet plastic 1/16" thick.
1 - 1/8" wheel collar.
5 small slivers of sheet plastic to go around one half of the wheel collar.
Each piece requires plastic cement and cure time before I can go to the next piece.
Getting close to shaping the part. 

So while it cures, I moved on to the Rx antenna.
It has been in the way every time I work on the electronics tray.
It is worse than all the servo wires hanging loose.
So it is time to make the brackets to hold the antenna in the cylinder and out of the way.

Small pieces of sheet plastic have been made and assembled.
A single servo mounting screw to attach the end cap bracket.
The other bracket is cemented to the air manifold.
Mounted the brackets.
Strung the antenna wire making sure it does not touch anything.

Here is the antenna on the rear electronics tray.
A single small drop of CA glue at the end of the antenna on to the plastic Rx bracket holds it in place.
  (far right is the end of the antenna)

  (all my boats have internal antennas)


April 15th ================================================

Installing the rear electronics tray in to the cylinder.

I bundled the servo wires and power wires.
Measured the tray overall length and the length in the cylinder to the ballast tank frame.
1/16" is not going to be enough.
A quick look at the ballast tank frames showed me I could move the ballast tank frames forward about 1/4" before hitting the bolts holding the vent valve manifold on the cylinder.
Place the cylinder on end on the floor.
Using a lone half round file (what was handy) I put the end of the file on the ballast tank frame.
A slight tap and both frames moved forward.
Looked at how much the frames slid.
Did another tap and the frames move again.
Not quite touching the 2 manifold bolts.
Measured the gain and found I got a full 3/8".

The problem is the 2 servo wires and the power wires coming from the bow to the rear though the brass tube are right in line with the Rx.
Now there is room for the wires will bend and miss the Rx.

Slid the rear electronics tray in to the cylinder.
Was good until it got to the speed controller.
Looking I can not see the problem.
Maybe the power wires may be binding the speed controller to the cylinder wall.

Easy enough to know exactly.
Pull the speed controller off the tray.
The tray slid in past the speed controller location but then stopped near the switched.
Again looking for what ever is binding.
Found it.
Sort of silly.
The 2 wheel collars used to active the switches are binding because the set screws are sticking out of the wheel collars and hitting the cylinder wall.
Pull the tray out and turn the wheel collars so the set screw are pointing down between the switches.

Slid the tray in to the cylinder.
It drops in all the way to the end cap with no binding and no pushing.
Dropped in on its own weight.

Now I need to figure out how to get the speed controller in so it does not hit the cylinder.
It was the cooling fins that hit.

Now that the tray is in the cylinder, I can measure and mark the vent valve actuator arm.
I did measure the through cap tube for the control rod and cut the excess control rod length.
With the boot seal on the control rod and using the Tx and Rx, I got the full movement of the control rod.

Back to the shop to figure out the speed controller clearance issue. 

Working on the vent/blow system.

The plastic piece on the control rod has a wheel collar buried in the bottom of it so a set screw can be tightened to hold the piece in place.
In the photo the control rod is in the center position.
Vent is closed and air pumps are off.

In this photo the control rod has been moved to the vent position.
The o-ring seal has been moved away from the air manifold about 1/4".

In this photo the control rod has been moved to the air pump on position.
The o-ring seal is in contact with the vent manifold.
(there will be a small spring between the plastic piece and the left wheel collar that will put a little pressure on the vent valve in the closed position)

I still have to get the speed controller in there without binding.

April 16th ================================================

Using my short test cylinder, I have been trying to get the speed controller in to the cylinder.
It actually fits while loose.
Observed where the speed controller centered itself, I am going to mount it using that position.

Something I noticed is the plug I am using is too big.
It happens to sit where there is not enough room for the plug.
This causes the cylinder not to go over the plug and Rx box.

I looked for smaller plugs and found some that might work.
However it turns out I only have the female side.

Next option it to solder the power wires to the speed controller directly.
This is how I had it originally but got tired of unsoldering and Resoldered the connections.

When things open up, I will look for the other side of the plug.

With the wires soldered and no plug and shrink wrapped, there is room for the wires to go under the Rx.
So I have put the couple of drops of silicone glue on the bottom of the speed controller and put it on the electronics tray. . .again!

A thought.
Once the speed controller glue cures and I have test fit the tray in to the cylinder, I think I will silicone the power wires to the bottom of the Rx box so they stay put.
This will put the wires right at the through the ballast tank tube.

This adventure has me thinking I do not want to build any more small diameter boats.
The Gato is long but is so small in diameter.
2.5" cylinder is not for me.

Of course I have the George Washington to rebuild and its 2/5" cylinder.
But it only needs 2 servos and it uses a very small geared main motor that uses a very small speed controller.
I think the GW has all it's equipment in a 2" cylinder and I am going to 2.5". 

April 17th ================================================

Early this morning, I did the weekly to town for mail and groceries.
Got it done early because weather said it was going to rain about noon on.

Noon came and went.
No rain but lots of clouds.

I decided to do a little weed cutting.
I have a back yard that is about 100’ by 100’.
There is lots of stuff just sitting around that has not made it to the dump or out back where it should be.

Today is the second attacking the weeds with the weed eater.
I am getting old and all the hospital stuff this past year has taken my strength but I have to do this.
So when I started this a few days ago, I thought I would do sections and about 30 minutes at a time.

I swear the weeds are growing a foot a day.
When I stopped for today, I see I have cut maybe 1/3 of the area.
So, a few more days and I will have it.

The ugly part is there is more outside the fenced yard.
Don't know how much because I will only do that that is around my out building and metal piles.
Say, 300’ by 400’.
But then I might just cut near my backyard fence and let the rest die off when the heat gets here in a few weeks.

This may sound like a lot but consider I have 10 acres and I have no intention of cutting it all.
I tried to keep what I use under 2 acres.

Because there is so much stuff (junk) on the property, I can not use a tractor.

I tried spraying one year.
Worked great.
BUT, I had to move out for a week.
Not doing that again.

I plan to work on the boat some tomorrow. 

April 18th ================================================

A late start but I made it out to the shop.

I removed the clamp and rubber band that were holding the speed controller in place while the silicone glue cured.
2 days should do it.

I moved all the wires around so I could slide the electronics tray in to the cylinder.
Lined it up and it all slid right in all the way to the end cap.

Nothing is binding.
Everything is clear of the cylinder wall.

Time to work on routing the wires so it looks good and keeps the wires in place .
I have room on both sides of the speed controller to run wires.
Now it is just matter of seeing which side is best for the wires.
Maybe I will use both sides.
There is a lot of excess wire.
Rudder and planes servos are only 1½” away from the Rx plugs.
The ballast tank vent servo is right above the Rx so maybe ½”.
That leaves a lot of wire to bundle and keep in place. 
I have two options I can use. 
Tie wraps or like in the past, I use large shrink wrap tubes but do not shrink it.
I stuff the wires thorough the tube and if I have to I can stretch it a little and let it rebound back capturing the wires.

A note: I tested all the servos, speed controller and pitch controller on the rear electronics tray. (all good)

I do have to look at the propeller gear box.
It is binding a little.
I may have gotten 1 or more of the 3 gears too tight to the mount.
It might just need a little grease.
It should not be a big deal. 
It was working last week just fine. 

April 19th ================================================

Installing the electronics in to the cylinder.

I got all the electronics in to the cylinder.
It all more or less dropped in as I went.

Time to power everything up and test it again.
Stern planes.
Pitch controller.
Air pumps both stages.
Bow plane retracts.
Bow planes pitch.
Lost signal rise on the bow planes.

Main motor. 
Main motor not good.
It will run but it will not run at slow speed.
The motor bogs down and stops. 
Pulled the electronics tray out of the cylinder.
Motor runs good even at very slow speeds.

Okay, now to look for the cause of the binding.
If I stress the aluminum tray, the motor will bind.
So, the tray must be bending in the cylinder.
I used a straight edge ruler (6” long) and checked the aluminum tray.
The tray is straight to the ruler.

Slide the tray back in to the cylinder.
Rotate the cylinder to see the edge of the aluminum tray.
Put the ruler against the cylinder and check.
Over the length of 7” the tray has a 1/16” bow.

Pulled the end cap out enough to expose the o-ring but still have the end cap in the cylinder.
The end cap dropped not quite 1/16” off the o-ring.
The motor runs good again.

I need a 1/16” drop in the tray between the servos and the air pumps.
Not enough room to do that to the tray by bending the tray.

Disconnect all wires.
Out to the tool shed.
Cut the tray on the bans saw close to the servo mounting screws.
Using a file I made all edges smooth. (hate sharp edges)

Slide the rear part of the tray in to the cylinder. 
The part of the tray mounted on the end cap with the motor.
The tray is now straight.

Now to figure out how to connect the two halves of the tray back together with no binding.

The part of the tray removed is where the motor speed controller was mounted.
When I rebuild the tray section, I think I can raise that section up about 3/32” giving more room for the speed controller so it does not touch the cylinder at the bottom.

Another plus is I think I can make this section out of plastic which is a lot easier to shape. 

April 20th ================================================

Had lots to do in town.
Getting a late start in the shop.

Yesterday's Exacto knife incident looked worse than it has become.
It may have been 1/4" deep and on the surface there is a 1/4" slice but it only hurts when I touch it.

I know, "Don't Touch it!"

I have made 2 more pieces for the plastic frame that will attach tot eh aluminum tray.
Currently in the table vise.

Thought I would see what I culled do about the 2 flags decals that fell apart .
I have a plan.

I thought I would scan the decals at 1200 dpi.
Clean my printer because it stopped printing red some time ago.
Got the printer working and I did a little editing of the decal flags.
I moved one side towards the center removing the center gap
The gap was there to wrap around the staff.

I am going to print the flags and fold them at the center line.
Careful cut them out before folding.

I will apply water proof glue to the back side of each flag and fold them over.
Line them up.
After the glue cures, I will use a water proof clear tape and tape over one side.
Then wrap the tape around the flag staff and on to the other side of the flag.
The tape will be bigger than the flags so I can trim the tape leaving about 1/16" to 1/8" of tape out past the edge of the paper flag.
I will paint this with clear paint after I shape the flags so they are not pancake flat.

The paper flags should be completely enclosed by the tape and the tape will go completely around the staff.

I think it will do nicely, "IF" the ink does not run when glued.
Care will be taken.
(Going to do a test on a scrap flag)
I was going to put numbers on the conning tower but the decal sheet only has enough numbers to do one side.

But thinking that I am not modeling any particular boat, I could put one set of numbers on one side and a different set on the other.
This would not bother me at all.
I just want something to break up the very plain looking profile.

I thought about weathering but I can not paint a straight line with tape.

This is going to have to be tomorrow's projects.
I am so sore from weed cutting yesterday afternoon.
I did not get my day in between recovery.
Two days in a row is not good. 

April 21st ================================================

Working on the plastic tray for the speed controller.
This is on the underside of the electronics tray.

Side view showing the 3/16" recess of the tray. 

Speed controller set in place.

This should solve my problem of the speed controller hitting the cylinder wall.

Once this cement bond cures, I will drill the two arms to the right to connect to the aluminum tray.
The arms go beside the 2 servos.

I printed out the two flags for the bow and stern staffs.
I used 2 different glues to seal the paper flags.
1 failed by causing the colors to run and blot out the white areas.
Turned out Thin CA used on the back of the paper and then folded over and lined up work the best.
There is a little dulling of the white but I can live with it.
After the CA dried for about 40 minutes, I used clear packing tape to cover one side with enough extending out to cover the other side after wrapping it around the staff.
Pressed it to make sure the tape bonded to itself all the way around the flag and on the staff.
I trimmed the tape down leaving a little out past the paper.
In the shop I can not see the tape very well.
In the photo I can see how ragged it is.
Flag size reference. Not quite 1/2" tall.

Bow flag.

Stern flag.

April 22nd ================================================

I had about 20 minutes in the shop.
I was distracted.
I had to remove a power steering pump from my Toyota truck.
Did this after making the aluminum bracket to hold the speed controller to the underside of the electronics tray.
The aluminum is very thin.
I cut it with scissors.
Filed and sanded the edges smooth.
Did some measuring and bent the aluminum strip.
Drilled 2 holes in the plastic tray and 2 holes in the aluminum strip.
Found a couple of very small bolts.
Cut them shorter because they were 3/4" long and I needed 1/4".
Used the bolts to tap the plastic threads.
Below is what I ended up with.

I placed the rest of the tray in to position.

All of this is 8.5" long from the end cap cylinder edge stop to the end of the Rx.
I ended up with 9" of length to put all this in.
Now I have to rewire the main power and plug servos in.

But this will happen tomorrow or Friday.
I still have to go get a steering pump and reinstall it before I forget where the bolts go.

April 23rd ================================================

I test fit the tray in to the cylinder.
I can see the tray sits at a slight angle.
First thought was the capacitor was touching the cylinder wall.
That is not it.
Shining flash light down cylinder I can see the new speed controller bracket is touching.
Easy enough to change.
Make a new bracket.
This time, instead of making square corners, I bolted one end to the tray and I shaped the strap by bending it around the speed controller.
No square corners now.

Test fit the tray in the cylinder.
The tray now sits level in the cylinder.

Next, I have to figure out how to connect the two trays.
The motor tray is center of the cylinder and the air pump tray sits lower.
I could make spacers until I get the correct gap.
I slit the tray because the ar pump side was bending the motor section and binding the motor.

This is my thought.
If I can connect the 2 trays but have them move independently, they will find their own center.

Going to try making the connection using 4 pins. 2 on each side of the 2 servos.
The pins will allow the trays to float on the pins.
The reason I even need the connection is so both trays will slide in and out of the cylinder together for installation and removable for maintenance.

I think I will install 4 brass pins in the plastic tray and drill small but oversized holes in the aluminum tray.

I had to repair one of the bolt threaded holes so the tray is currently in the table vise curing.
Moved all the parts from the truck in to the tool shed.
Going to be at least a week before the new parts show up.
It is going to start getting hot here.
In the 90s in a day or so.
Time to prepare the swamp cooler for the summer.
I do the same when I turn it off for the winter so it is mostly cleaning out the dust and dirt and making sure the water pump runs.
This takes about 30 to 40 minutes.
On to the ugly stuff.
Running the weed eater.
I have done about 50 square this morning.
Going to see if I can do another 50.
And then go back over some of what has been done the past week and get the up shoots.
If all goes well, I should be done for today by 1 pm.
My arms and shoulders are telling me to be careful.
That I will.

Looks like I have completed 3/4 of the fenced yard.
Not thinking about outside the fence. ;^( 

April 25th ================================================

On Thursday, I over did the weed cutting.
Nothing got done yesterday.
Today, I did a little on the two trays to make them fit together and not bind the motor.
A lot of test fitting to get the two trays to meet level.
I need some very small bolts which I have bolts but need nuts.
Trip to hardware on Monday.

So I think not much will get done tomorrow and I will work at recovering from the weed cutting machine.
Sorry to say, I am not done with that either.

The heat has arrived.
So all work needs to be done early in the morning. 

April 28th ================================================

After a couple of days off, I got in to the shop.
I did get the needed small bolts, yesterday.
I did the drilling and aligning to attach the motor tray and Rx tray together.

I did several in to cylinder tests.
Got the 2 trays to where they drop in to the cylinder and the main motor does not bind.

Got the Tx out and turned on the system to get the servo control horns back in to their correct positions.
Put the antenna bracket on the rear end cap.
Restrung the antenna wire.

Next, I will work at running all the servo wires and power wires so they are not just loose and a mess.

Progress is being made.
Maybe slow but just where am I going to go right now.

I still have more weeds to cut.
I am still waiting for the Toyota power steering unit to arrive. (they say Friday) 

April 29th ================================================

The servo wires and power wires are in place.
The power wires are still not finished.
I do not have a small plug to use and the ones I do have are too big to fit in the space available.

I will be at the auto parts store on Friday to pick up the new power steering box.
I will look there for small electrical plugs

I may be back to soldering them direct again.
I really would like to be able to unplug the system in stead of unsoldering the wires.

Again a little progress on the boat. 

April 30th ================================================

I end up having to go to town this morning.
While there, I stopped by the auto parts store to check on my power steering pump for my truck.
It was there and now sits out in the tool shed awaiting me to start the install.
Yea, tomorrow morning when it's a bit cooler and the wind is not blowing 25 mph.

I looked over the electrical plug parts.
They has something that looked like it would do.
Much like the photo Scott posted above.
Got the package to the counter and was told $8.49.
Yea for 5 pair.
I need 2.
Yea I did not buy them. (I am thrifty = cheap)

On the way home, I had an idea that I could make out of scrapes at the end of the bench.
I will give my idea a shot and let you know how it came out.
I think I can use brass tubing, 2 sizes and wire cutters to do a little dimple on the larger tube.
Then shrink wrap it all and tape it to the bottom of the Rx.

This will make the connection no bigger than the wire insulation in size.
So if the wire can pass then this idea should as well.

I think it will turn in to a big project.
Might take me 5 minutes of so to complete.
Maybe 7 minutes for both wires. ;^) 
Here is my 7 minute project.

Sorry, it took 8 minutes.

Brass tubing from the scrap box.
The largest pieces are 1/8".
The others are the next size down that slips in to the 1/8".

Cut the needed pieces to length.

Test fit and then soldered to make plugs.

After soldering and filing the parts clean of excess solder, I slipped them together for another test fit.

Parts slipped all the way together.

The wires will fit in to the ends of the 1/8" tubing to be soldered. (the wires are for show and tell only)
The shrink tubing will cover the exposed brass when connected. 
There will be a cut at the joining of the two ends.

I did the testing to find out how much I can put a dimple in the outside tube that will bind the inside tube but still let me pull the plugs apart for service.
1 dimple abut center of the inside tube on the outside tube will do.
This will bind the inside tubing with the most contact between the tubes.

Also during the test, I punched the outside tube a little too much and could not get the inside tube all the way in.
Took a under sized drill bit and ran it through the bigger tube.
A couple of passes fixed the over punch.
So I will need to be careful when I punch the final tubes.
But if it goes wrong, that to can be fixed.

May 1st ================================================

I worked on the power wire connectors.
My thought was to make the pieces slip together and held in place with a little dimple.
But then I though if I split the larger tube and then squeezed the edges in a little, I would have a compression fit full length of the smaller tube.

I put the large receiving tube in the table vise.
Using my razor saw, I cut about 1/3 of the way through the 1/8" brass tube after measing how long the small tube would go inside the large tube.
After making the cut across the tube, I used the thinnest Dremel cutting wheel I have and cut from the end of the tube to the cross cut..
Not all the way.
I used the Exacto knife to cut the remain little bit..
I did not want any over cut.

Filed the inside of the 1/8" tube and then filed the outside to make it smooth.
Using pliers, I put a little crimp in the cut edges to bend them inward.
Did a little adjusting on the bend until I could push the small tube into the larger tube.
The fit is very tight.
I have to use pliers on both pieces to pull them a part.

Here are the connectors with the recieving end split.

I had a photo of the pieces togethrer but the photo when enlarged was too blurry to use.

Next is to solder the wires in to the ends of the connectors.

Another issue has come up.
I do not have the correct size shrink tube to over these parts.
I have smaller and bigger (way bigger)

May 2nd ================================================

The brass tube connectors have been soldered to the wires.
The plugs are about half way in.

I went to town and got shrink tubing. (the correct size)

Here the tubing has been installed and trimmed at the joint ends.
Again about half way in.

Here the plugs have been pushed all the way in.
The wires will now sit under the Rx and in the curve of the cylinder without touching.
I will siicone a larger shrink tube ring on to the Rx bracket to hold the wires in place closer to the center line.

No more soldering and unsoldering wires to do maintenance.

The black piece above the Rx is large shrink tube that I can push the excess servo wires through to clean up the look and keep the wires from moving around.

May 3nd ================================================

Today, I planned to install the power steering unit in my little truck.
Got out there at 9:00 am.
The wind had already started up.
Dirt and dust was blowing about.
Not a good time to be installing a hydraulic pump.
So I did not start on it.

Went in to the shop to work on the Gato.
Opened the door and what did I see, dust swirling about.
So much dust that the deck board slots where almost covered over.
Not a good time to be messing with small parts.

So, today was a total "can not" get anything done day.
Maybe tomorrow. 

May 4th ================================================

No wind this morning. (yet)
Installed steering pump and hooked everything up.
Truck is now ready for test drive.
I just happen to need to go to town for propane.
That's what I wwas going to do when the truck steering gave up.
I am on back up propane at the moment.

I might even get in to the shop this afternoon if the wind stays down. 

May 5th ================================================

Well the test drive yesterday went well.
This morning however brought to light that there is another issue.
The steering pump fluid tank was empty.

This means I am going to have to look father in to the steering problem.
I put fluid in the pump tank and move the truck back to the tool shed and put the front up on stands.
I got a 3 gallon bucket and boiled some water.
Added laundry soap and poured the water in.
Out to the truck.
I have a pressure washer wand that I can plug in to my air hose.
It has a long clean rubber hose I can put in the bucket for it to suck water and soap.
Started by getting on the ground and spraying all the steering parts and other under engine parts.
Even did the front axel parts.
Got out from under the truck and sprayed down from above.

Finished with the soapy water and then use clear fresh water.

I will let it sit until tomorrow of the next day to dry.
Next I will fill the pump tank and get under the truck with my flashlight and look for oil leaks.

There are two hoses from pump to steering box.
So, there are 4 fittings that can leak and the box itself with its many seals.
I have checked on availability of a rebuilt box.
There are two in town.

Watch a video on removing the box.
Not much different than all the fords and chevys I have done over the years.
2 splines and 3 bolts.

Only thing is, I do not have a pitman arm puller. (yet)'
Should not be to difficult to make one.
\Boat progress.
I did before I worked on the truck, make and mount a shrink tube part to hold servo wires.
I located where to put it and glued it in place. (silicone for easy removal later)

The tube is currently rubber banded to hold in place while it cures.
Return to water trails may happen this week. 

May 6th ================================================

Last start today.
Got outside and it was too warm to crawl under the truck to look for the fluid leak.
So, in to the shop I went.
Got the rear electronics tray in tot he cylinder.
I did prep it will grease on the o-ring as if this was a final assembly.

Moved on to teh front electronics tray.
As I hooked up the 2 battery leads, the 2 servos and Fail Safe.
There is also a plug to the power switch.

That is a lot of plugs.
And there are two big yellow plugs.
As I was bunching up the wires to put them in the cylinder, it became appearant to me that I could remove 1 of those big yellow plugs.
There was no reason to have 2 plugs to do the job that 1 could.

So I plugged in the soldering iron.
While waiting for it to heat up, I cut the shrink tube of the previus connections and the switch.
Un soldered the switch plug and the main power plug.
This removed 4" of 2 wires and 1 male and 1 female yellow plug.

Connected all plugs.
Turned on the txx and then the Rx.
Slowly checked the control operations.
Everything works and works in the correct direction.
The Fail Safe works at 6 seconds.
The Pitch Controller works in the correct direction.
I have greased up the o-ring and everything is now ready to close up.

As I was stuffing all the wires and batteries in to the front of the cylinder, it became very apparent that once the boat was trimmed, I may not be able to get all this stuff back in the cylinder in the same order.
This would upset the trim and I would have to move ballast weights each time.

Going to fit this.

I started by making an aluminum tray for the batteries.
It is mounted to the servo tray.

I will get a photo when the tray comes out of clamps and vice.
This will keep them in the same place all the time.
Even when the tray is removed for charging.

I have to move the power plug, again.
But I think I can mount it permanently under the batteries on the tray.
Then I only have to deal with the servo wires and main power wires.

May 7th ================================================

I have not had time today to work in the shop.
Truck and other things have to be done.

But as promised, I did get in the shop for some tools so I took photos of the new battery tray.

New battery tray installed on front electronics tray. (bow planes retract and pitch servos)
The batteries I am using are 850 mah each.

Batteries set in to tray.
All wiring is under the tray
That big yellow plug is going to be replaces with something smaller.
It has been the problem all along. 

Side view showing there is room under the tray to run 2 servo wires and the power wires.
I looks like I can shorten the battery tray.
The battery tray is siliconed to the servo tray at this time.
It is very strong but I think next trip to hardware store I will get 4 very small bolts to secure it all together.

May 8th ================================================

I have trimmed the battery tray to length.
Decide to make a back strap for the battery tray.
I bent aluminum piece to fit the back of the tray.
With the battery in place, I held the back strap in place and then pulled the battery out.
This caused the back strap to move about 1/8" out to allow the battery to tip slightly and come up and out.
Filed all the sharp edges round.
Applied a bit of silicone glue to the outside edges of the tray where the strap will be.

Got 2 small clamps ready to hold on the strap.
Put the the batteries in place.
Put the strap in over the silicone glue.
Carefully removed the batteries moving the strap to the propper location.
Clamped the strap in place making sure that the strap did not move.

Before putting the clamps on, I placed black tape on the tray at the edges of the strap so I would know exactly where the strap should end up.
Work as planned.

Later today, I hope to do the new plugs for the power wires.
I got to get to town.
I have things to do there.
Delivery driver just left.
Replacement office chair is here.
I'll assemble when I getback from town. 

May 9th ================================================

The new battery tray.
The wires will exit the tray towards the servos.
The end of the tray is open so all the wires will go through.

Two 850 mah batteries. (these things are small)

Next is to make new power plugs because the yellow plug is too big. (one half at bottom of photo)

Here I have made new plugs using brass tubing.
I will place electrical tape on the bottom of the tray so the plug joints can not short to the tray.
Though the tray is not electrically connected.

New plugs half way together.

Plugs all the way together,
I see I need to work on the fit on the lower plug.
The solder maybe high there and a little filing will fix it.

Same photo as above with the yellow plug I removed.
It would not fit between the electrical tray and the cylinder wall.

Now I have a flat surface on the side of the tray to mount the pitch controller.
Had not planned it that way so it is a pleasant surprise.

August 14th ================================================

I got up and went out to the shop.
I was going to make plastic parts for the GW ballast system.
After about an hour, I was ready to start assembling some of the plastic pieces.

Arranged them on the work bench and got the plastic cement out.
I sanded the surfaces to be joined.
I lined them up on the work bench in the order of assembly.
I got 3 parts put together then it happened.
I had gotten so hot in the shop, the brush as sticking to the part as I tried to put cement on it.
2 attempts and I knew the morning was over.

Put things away for the day.

I went to town for mail and gas.
At the post office, I got a go to window pick up notice.
There I received a small box.
From Shanghai. 

Got home and opened the box.
My last order has arrived.
The parts for the Gato are here. 

But with the GW all over the bench, the Gato will have to wait a few days.

June 2, I place order.
July 21 on it’s way to USA.
August 2 it arrived USA. (customs hold)
August 11 or 12 it was released for delivery to local post office.
August 14 it arrived at my post office for pick up.

All the parts I ordered are now in hand. (servos and Rxs)
I can now get back to work.

September 13th ================================================

Didn't know what to do today.
Scheduled for eye surgery on Tuesday, I can not grind, cut, sand or spray paint until after the surgery.
So what to do.
I know.
I will install the new servo on the Gato electronics tray. (the white servo)

The new servo is the same size as the one that failed.
Only differences I can see from the spec are these.
The new one has metal gears. (the original one kept stripping gears)
The new one has a little more torque.

Installing was a matter of 2 screws holding the servo.
I connected it to the Rx and did the test before connecting the servo to the control rod.
Needed to center the control horn for the proper throw.

Connected the control rod.
Turned on everything and tested.
Okay there is a problem.
The control rod is hard to move.
I removed the boot seal on the control rod so it would move freely.
That was not the case.

Disconnected the control rod from the servo and hand moved the control rod.
There is a problem.
It is very hard to move.

Removed the control rod from the end cap bushing.
Cleaned it up with 400 grit sand paper.
I pushed the control rod through the bushing from the back of the end cap.
A little more cleaning.
Now it moves freely.
But there is another issue.
I pushed the control rod all the way through to the guide at the servo end.
Well, that is not right.
The end of the rod hits 1/16" off center of the guide hole. (it's and over sized hole)

Removed the control rod and took my small round file to the guide hole.
I needed to make it larger to the right.
I know this will make an oval hole but I can fix that later with a brass tube piece as a bushing and make it oversize by 1 size.
Now I have moved the control rod and it moves freely.
Well that did not work out well.
The control rod not hits the edge of the #2 pump switch.
I have to move the control rod back to it's original position.

It is a long control rod so I put a slight bend in the middle of the rod between the end cap and the guide at the servo end.

This seems to have made the control rod move easily.

Why not?
Next problem.
The control rod end at the servo end is not lined up with the servo control horn.
I used a 1/16" a brass rod to connect the 2.

But the rod twists and does not move the control rod fully.
I used the Tx to move it back and forth and the rod finally disengaged and fell loose.

I think I will make a plastic clevis gizmo.
It will replace the 1/16" rod connector.
It will have plastic down both sides of the servo horn so the connector can not twist.
It will also go down both sides of the control rod connection point.

These parts I can make cut using scissor to cut the pieces.

They are glued and in the vise.
This should resolve all the issues I found.
The plastic connector between the control rod and servo is in place.
I need to trim the 1/16" brass rod once I figure out how to keep it in place.
Right now there is a lot of friction holding it but as it wears in, I need something more positive.
Tested it with Tx and cycled it several times.
No twist at all and it is smooth again.