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How To Add Radio Control To A Mercer Engine

Courtesy of Eian Massey.

Click here to watch video.

I have included the general arrangement showing the electrical connection to the ‘in water tank’ servo which runs up one of the support sleeves at the front of the canopy. Here I used brass tube over the top of the canopy supports. The size I needed to use in order to accommodate the cable diameter does not seem too oversize to look conspicuous.

The steering chain is attached to the servo horns via brass ‘bottle screws’ (7&12), usually used in model ship rigging to tension the support wires to a mast or funnel. Here they serve well to adjust the tension to the steering chains and are attached to the chains using 12BA cut down bolts (8). Most model boat part suppliers stock bottle screws in various sizes, the make is Aeronaut. Eyes made by Aeronaut are also used to attach the chain to the front axle (8&9). As in 10, the receiver and receiver battery are inconspicuous up in the canopy and attached using self-adhesive Velcro.

The servo is a Hitec HS-65HB at 12mm x 24mm x 24mm see www.servoshop.co.uk at a cost of £12.99 and is quite sufficient to move the steering even if used when the engine is at rest. Turning circle at full lock is around 1m.

The under boiler water tank I made using 3mm red cedar sheet, but could be easily made from plywood or brass if desired. It has 2 x 8BA bolts on the rear face which go through matching holes in the boiler throat plate for attachment to the engine.

Eian Massey
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