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Tank steering

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Joe Beckett14/01/2021 10:02:26
27 forum posts
24 photos

Hi All,

Notposted for a while, been busy building. I am building a twin screw Fairey Huntsman. Everything installed and working. I have;

Flysky FSi6 Tx

Flysky FSiA6 Rx

2x Surpass Hobby d4250 800kv outrunners

2x Flycolor 90A escs (one red wire disconnected and both programmed for forward/reverse)

2x Turnigy 5.0 3 cell Li-pos

I have the radio set up for twin motor, i.e. 2x centre sprung sticks (one for each motor!) and steering on r/h stick. Set to Mode 2.


How do i set up the radio for tank steering? Please could someone give me a real simple button by button guide to set up the radio? At the moment, the escs are not recognising the centre point and power up forwards from the sticks down position with no reverse?

I have found lots on the internet about robots and actual tanks but very little on boats.

To make things easier, I'm not interested in other setups or adding anything else electronic.


Colin Bishop14/01/2021 10:26:19
4961 forum posts
6110 photos
411 articles

Sounds like the radio is set up OK, it is the ESCs that need programming. Lots of info online but much easier if you have a programming card.

As an aside, tank steering on a performance boat could be tricky.


Joe Beckett14/01/2021 10:36:15
27 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Colin, Thanks for the reply. I should have mentioned that I have a Flycolor program card and have used that for setting up the escs.

I guess the real question is how to I get the radio (or escs) to recognise the 'neutral' position of the throttle sticks (Fwd/N/Rev - as on the real thing)



Colin Bishop14/01/2021 10:56:49
4961 forum posts
6110 photos
411 articles


I can't help with the programming of the ESCs although somebody else might .(I use a different ESC). However I think you can check whether the TX is working OK by connecting each ESC channel to a spare servo or even the rudder to see if it responds normally with the servo centre position matching the stick centre position. If that is OK then the problem would seem to be with the ESC programming. There seem to be some videos online although I've not looked at them.


Joe Beckett14/01/2021 11:25:37
27 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Colin, Simple thinking, I like it! It worked too. Both sticks are operating correctly when attached to the rudder servo, both return to the 'neutral' posn. That would point to escs but the programming on those with the card is really simple but I guess I'll have to investigate further down that route. Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.


Chris Fellows14/01/2021 11:57:29
999 forum posts
648 photos

Hi Joe

With those motors it sounds like a 46.5" Huntsman!

Why do you think it needs tank steering? It is normally used on slower, displacement type boats and ships. As Colin says it will be tricky with a performance boat especially with twin sticks and almost impossible to apply the right amount of throttle to each motor at higher speeds especially when applying rudder as well!

I think the more usual arrangement is to have one stick and the rudder position determines the power split to each motor by use of a mixing board.

If it was me I'd try it on the water first without tank steering.


Edited By Chris Fellows on 14/01/2021 12:00:10

Joe Beckett14/01/2021 12:10:21
27 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Chris,

I guess you didn't see the bit about other setups or adding anything but thanks for the response anyway! This boat won't be a performance boat running at higher speeds as my club lake is quite small and I am more interested in scale and accuracy. Having owned a real twin motor boat, I was interested to see if I can replicate the real thing.

I think I have solved the issue by reading the esc instructions properly!embarrassed It says to set the throttle position before you first try to program the escs. I'm just recharging my batteries (literally!) and I'll give that a go.

Thanks again.


Dave Cooper 614/01/2021 19:27:22
309 forum posts
32 photos
Posted by Joe Beckett on 14/01/2021 12:10:21:

This boat won't be a performance boat running at higher speeds as my club lake is quite small and I am more interested in scale and accuracy. Having owned a real twin motor boat, I was interested to see if I can replicate the real thing.

Hi Joe

I'm just wondering if you could get 'differential' throttle by using both sticks with a ratchet - in the 'fore-and-aft' plane so to speak.

The Rx would then have a dedicated channel to each ESC and could be programmed as desired.

I don't know if FlySky is similar to FrSky but, if so, "Open Tx" can be used for additional programming if required. Maybe to fine tune straight running perhaps ?

Good luck with your project,

Dave C

Joe Beckett14/01/2021 19:58:50
27 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Dave,. Thanks for the response. I will investigate differential throttle but, alas, I tried the setting of the throttle position mentioned earlier and the escs are still not recognising the throttle position, so with or without ratchet, there is no reverse as both throttles start at zero and go to max full ahead at the top. I have each ESC on a different channel and both do the same thing. I appear to be doing everything that the ESC manual says but ending with a different response. The beeps I get do not correspond to the info in the manual. Even both motors on one channel won't solve the throttle position issue. Not sure what to try next? Perhaps try contacting the Chinese manufacturer. Thanks. Joe

Dave Cooper 614/01/2021 21:15:16
309 forum posts
32 photos

Those pesky bleeps Joe ! Check that they're on the right version of the firmware and /or you have the matching documentation...


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