Introducing the Windsurfing MarkerBot

Hi Folks,

I’m busy making a skid steer buoy to be used as a Windsurfing Marker. I’ve been watching/following these 2 discussions and my buoy is based on things I have learnt in both of these:
Maker Boat Basic
RC BuoyBots

The idea is to have a self positioning marker that can deploy, stay on position for up to 4 hours and then RTH.

Here are a couple of pics of where I’m up to.

and the internals

Everything is going well and on water trials are very promising (apart from needing a much bigger battery)

I’m currently using QGroundControl and version 4.1.2

QQ for anybody in the know. The buoy is loitering quite well until I push it sideways which could happen if a windsurfer runs into it. Then she takes off in a 10m circle with only 1 thruster being powered and it takes ages to find it’s position again (but it does eventually).

If I leave it alone in strong wind or current then all is good.

She occasionally has this behaviour the first time I throw it into loiter mode as well. But if I ensure she is pointing into the wind and almost stationary before throwing the loiter switch then all is good and she holds position beautifully.

Loiter radius is set to 0.75


OK - so I just found this tutorial Tuning Steering so I’ll check all of that now as well.

Hi Neil. This is a really nice looking design. Do you have any videos of it running in the water? I’ve been using a boogie board setup for mapping but its not very stable in the waves. Could you give a little information regarding this build? Looks like PVC pipe of various angles and diameters?

First time in the water

This is a vid of the first time I threw it in the water. I 100% made the dimensions up as I went.
Yes, it’s all 110mm PVC piping, 2 90 degree corners and 4 * 45 degrees corners. I pushed the front up a bit as I went. I wanted it to be higher but the glue dried REALLY quickly :slight_smile:

It also leaked - even though I shoved glue everywhere. So added sealant all around and drilled some holes in it and filled it with expanding foam.

It’s about 800mm long and about 450 wide.

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