MBMS Science Olympiad Hovercraft Event 2016 – 2017


We’ve been fighting the issue of our hovercraft wiring harness overheating and burning up. Many solutions were tried but did not solve the problem. The electrical flow going through the harness was about 18 amps… that far exceeded the capabilities of most potentiometers. The load on the motor could’ve been reduced by using a smaller diameter propeller, but that would result in having to rebuild the close tolerance housing around the propeller and would reduce the downward/backwards thrust as well. So… after chatting with a gentleman down at Discount Hobby Warehouse, he suggested that I use a brass strip as a resistor to reduce the amperage going to the motor, thereby keeping the wires from heating up or burning. Below is the brass resistor I created using 2 brass strips.


I took two brass strips (1/4 inch wide by 12 inches long, 0.100 thick) and placed a spacer between the two… taping them together at the spacers. I then soldered a short piece of 22 gauge wire at the end to connect them.


I soldered the incoming power wire to the bottom of one brass strip that I had bent outward.


The outbound power wire was attached to the other brass strip and leads to the motor.


The brass resistor strip was then taped to the flag mast, again at the spacers to keep from bending the strips towards each other and negating the overall resistance.


This is another angle of the craft. A simple on/off switch is all that is needed to complete the circuit.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me should you have any concerns or questions.


A special thanks to Mr. Babu Saladi and also to Discount Hobby Warehouse at 7644 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

About patrick

Master CNC machinist, entrepreneur, novice writer, and Mensan. San Diego Mensa Scholarship Chair 2015-2017 San Diego Mensa Development Officer 2015-2018 San Diego Mensa Vice-President 2018
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