By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Dremel

Graupner Glasgow

Conversion to electric from steam and other repairs

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Dave Milbourn18/01/2014 10:01:35
3998 forum posts
282 photos


No-one would advise fitting something which serves no purpose. That would be a waste of time and money and would weaken the advisor's credibility. While there are "experts" who in reality don't know what they are talking about I try to avoid them and not be cast as one myself!

I have seen first-hand the result of a badly-soldered suppressor capacitor falling off which sailing. The model became uncontrollable (ESC stuck at half-throttle and rudder servo twitching like a mad thing). Fortunately no damage was done. I have also suggested to many customers the fitting of capacitors which has then eliminated the problems they were having (strangely nearly all of them believed the problem to be with the speed controller).

Diodes will do the same job but if you want to fit one to a motor which runs in either direction then the diode has to be of the bi-directional polarity type. The diode is simply soldered across the motor brush terminals, as Tony says, at the same time as you fit the cables. This is one I have used successfully on very noisy 12v motors **LINK**

Dave M

Bob Abell18/01/2014 10:12:00
8899 forum posts
2781 photos

Many thanks Dave

You weren`t awarded the Bob Abell award for nothing!

I will send for some right away!

When we had the inaugural sail, a few months ago, we all suspected the ESC

Anyway..........Fingers crossed

Thanks, once again........Bob

Gareth Jones18/01/2014 15:17:33
791 forum posts
1067 photos


I have a story about suppression capacitors that might interest you. Remind me to tell you the next time we meet. Its an aviation theme not model boats and not really appropriate for this site.

However on the subject of MFA motors, my experience is that they all seem to be electrically very noisy. Both my TID tug and Mountfleet Osprey originally had MFA geared motors and even with capacitors they were somewhat erratic and when run in reverse, the rudder servo twitched as if it had a mind of its own.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 18/01/2014 15:18:14

Ian Gardner18/01/2014 18:18:20
563 forum posts
1 photos

I think I have mentioned before that the only way I could quieten the MFA geared motor in my Silver Mist was to wrap the motor in silver foil- this after fitting three capacitors. Luckily I only run the model at slow speeds, with short burst of higher speed, so overheating doesn't seem to be a problem. This was with a 2.4 radio as well.

Tony Hadley03/03/2014 21:25:41
897 forum posts
536 photos

Got around to almost finishing this conversion, the next stage was to change the radio gear to 2.4ghz. I was really undecided whether to keep the model on 40mhz but it's no good living in the past (with r/c etc) and best to move forward.

That is where the fun begins. Bob, when you were building your Glasgow you asked about my ballast, which was described as concrete. It was, and it had been poured in AFTER the radio gear had been installed. The aerial wire for the 40mhz was buried in the mix and had to be cut, which was easy enough, but I decided to change the rudder servo which was also set in the concrete and what a job to get out. I thought about changing the plug on the Sanwa servo, but decided against this. Welcome to the Model Boats forum department of Civil Engineering, Construction or Building Trade, whatever it is called. I never thought a DIY hammer drill and masonry drill bit would be required on a model boat! The removal and enlarging the cut-out in the concrete ballast to fit the new servo wasn't easy, but I finally got there and sealed the concrete afterwards.

The wooden servo tray was re-fitted after and the new Hi-tec rudder servo installed. The tray is just glued on, but where possible I like a mechanical fixing and decided to make a screw in aluminium angle bracket. The bracket's holes match up with the holes of the re-sited switch bracket on the other side of the bulkhead (which will be shown with the next stage).

Bob, again with second hand models you had problems with the Starlet, I had earlier problems with the Glynn Guest Phantom and with problems with this, it makes me wonder about some of the build qualities of some of the second hand models on the market.

glasgow de-steam (8).jpg

glasgow de-steam (9).jpg

glasgow de-steam (10).jpg

The above photographs show the ballast modifications and the rudder servo loosely in place.

glasgow de-steam (12a).jpg

glasgow de-steam (14).jpg

The above two photographs show the rudder servo fitted and the angle bracket.

Tony Hadley04/03/2014 07:45:42
897 forum posts
536 photos

Now for the rudder. Somehow the rudder always seems to get caught and the plastic arm has become loose on numerous occasions. Firstly, a rudder clamp was made for protection in the shed or house and during transport to the lake. Made from nothing more than two pieces of hardwood which act as a clamp, these can be simply removed when required.

As the plastic, kit supplied, rudder arm had become damaged where it was held tight by the lock washer, a new brass arm was made. The brass arm has an M3 thread and is held tight by the locking nut. The brass plate needed to be of an equivalent thickness to an M3 nut. The arms had to be filed thinner to suit the linkage connector.

glasgow de-steam (11).jpg

glasgow de-steam (12).jpgglasgow de-steam (19).jpg

Tony Hadley04/03/2014 07:57:14
897 forum posts
536 photos

Now ready for a trial at the lake as the model is too large for the bath. Armed with a selection of lead pieces to re-adjust the ballast, a trip is planned, just need a little bit warmer weather. Can't say I fancy the thought of standing at a lake in the cold and wet. I will post photographs of the first sailing trip.

Photos showing the finished radio compartment, the finished motor compartment and the finished model with the re-designed paddle boxes.

glasgow de-steam (16).jpgglasgow de-steam (17).jpg

glasgow de-steam (18).jpg

Tony Hadley04/03/2014 08:01:20
897 forum posts
536 photos

Meant to mention the steam paddle plant which came out of the model. Came across this in an old 1980's Model Boats magazine last week, a kit by Chart Models called Old Trafford. This is something along the lines of what is planned for the steam paddle plant to be installed in.

chart models - old trafford (3).jpg

Bob Abell04/03/2014 08:30:38
8899 forum posts
2781 photos

Hello Tony

I've enjoyed the way you've overcome the little snags during your conversion!

The concrete ballast must have been a shock? How much ballast will you be using now?

I overheard a group of modellers at Ellesmere talking about ballast and I was interested in their comments

Imagine a large model full of water filled milk bottles, standing upright.....Nice idea?

The bottles act as ballast right enough, but any water in the bottles, above the water line, upset the model's stability !

I didn't realise this!

Glasgow is quite shallow and any lead above the waterline will do the same

The paddles, shafts, gears and boxes are quite heavy and must be responsible for paddler instability too!

Worth some thought?

All my paddlers were totally unstable without the drop down keel and when I get back on my Glasgow, that is what I intend to fit

It's all crystal clear now!.....Bob

Tony Hadley04/03/2014 14:28:35
897 forum posts
536 photos


Thanks for the good feedback on my Glasgow restoration. Nice to know someone still reads my jottings, Larry is having health issues again, Ian seems to have disappeared and Dave can't tell me off as I've not used any choc bloc connectors.

As earlier in the thread I have further plans for the model, conversion to individual paddle drive, the paintwork and deck need a re-furb, addition of a crew and the replacement of those horrible stick-on names with raised lettering. For this coming 2014 sailing season, the plan is to sail the model and start this further work in the coming autumn/winter.

Almost every model side wheel paddler builder complains of stability (with the exception very large models), however this was never an issue with the steam plant, but what will happen with this electric set-up is anyone's guess. It will be interesting to see your further progress with you Glasgow, as I may need to copy your idea.

Time now to start to make some progress with the Guardsman thread.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Boats!

Support Our Partners
Premier March
Restorers Wanted
Tony Green Steam
Pendle Boilers
Shopping Partners
Social Media

'Like' us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Pin us on Pinterest

Member Contributions
Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readers

Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed

Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor