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Old 07-11-2009, 09:33 PM
mjmsprt40 mjmsprt40 is offline
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Nitro-to-electric conversions

I have a question concerning a nitro-to-electric conversion. I have a Crackerbox, built up from plans, about 39 inches long. The original setup called for a K&B Sport Marine .40 engine. I have the boat almost finished except for installing the fuel system and final painting and sealing,but---- in the last few months, my living arrangement changed. I can't store fuel as easily (or at all) as I once did. I live in an apartment with no access to garage space so no fuel can be stored here.

So, can I convert the Crackerbox to electric power? What kind of difficulties am I looking at here? Tearing the old (never run) engine out and fitting an electric plant might be the least of it, but-- can it be done?
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:57 PM
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Oh sure Have a look a Castle creations, they make systems for all applications.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:32 PM
mjmsprt40 mjmsprt40 is offline
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I had a look, Castle makes speed controllers apparently. How about some of the rest of the system? Just a wild hunch here, but I'm guessing I might need two motors to replace the old K&B .40 engine, and gearing to couple the motors to the shaft. I have a 3/16" flex drive cable in there, will that have to be replaced or can it still be used? It goes without saying that motors and batteries will be heavier than the nitro powerplant would be, does anybody here think the weight penalty can be overcome reasonably?
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:54 PM
mjmsprt40 mjmsprt40 is offline
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I've been doing some research. Yes, it is possible, the expense varies with the powerplant and the level of performance you expect (so what else is new?). The boat I have is about as big as you can hope to get away with this on apparently, so I expect to spend some money before this is over.

The original article the plans came from was the June 1996 RCM, so you can see I've been at this a while. A little more time won't make an appreciable difference now. I am not able to show photos. Yes, it's as ugly as homemade sin, but in my defence it is my first attempt at building from plans. Getting the boat to keep water on the right side of the hull sheeting is considered a major victory on a first effort.

Note: For some reason, I was not able to attach photos. Maybe later.

The boat is about 39 inches long and comes in at just under six pounds in its present configuration, for those who are wondering.

Last edited by mjmsprt40; 08-09-2009 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:28 PM
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Electric conversions are quite easy.

39" isnt a problem in terms of power or the weight you mention. You will use the steering servo/radio box/rails and no much else from your current setup.

By far the motor common and unpredictable damage is due to moisture. You must make sure the hull is easy to seal against water entry.

With electrics the cost structure is different you are buying all your fuel and pump up front - however the per run cost will be better for electric and maintenance less.

Some people go cheap - especially motors and packs - IMO this is a false economy usually the best motors are about $100 more BUT ditto for the packs - and in terms of the overall cost you pay about 15% more and get at least that back in performance.

With motors every run the runtime is longer every run the speed is higher
With batteries cheap atteries cannot perform like a good battery - they never have and never will - god batteries also have good warranties.

The extra enjoyment = a sense of extra value. The relaibility makes sure you keep having fun again and again. The most expensive element of electrics is purchasing a poor system and having to replace a part of the system.

Also as in all things experts know how to get more using less. Its a bit like a computer if you know the equipment you can choose something to compliment and enhance its performance or for the smae money somethign which slows everything down

I sell electric marine systems and can help you out - email me at
andrew@fastelectrics.com
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