R/C Tank Combat

Tank #T017


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Type: PzKpfw V Panther Armament: 75mm
Built: May 2003 Armor: 110mm
Builder: Will Montgomery Rating: 40/4
Status: Operational Battles: 18
Owner: Will Montgomery Points Earned: 22,167
Call Sign: Blitz-2 Points Given: 25,000
  • Re-build of T002
  • First Roller Chain Track System
  • Modular Drive Box
  • Tri-Pact Track Controller

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    Panther T017 was built by Will Montgomery as a replacement for Panther T002 in order to make use of a collection of better systems developed in the two years since T002 was built. The most important improvement was the use of heavy duty roller chain to make the tracks.

    See Track Systems for more details about how to build various track systems.

    A complete track and drive system was built for the T017 before any part of the hull was built. This allowed for the position of various components to be adjusted easily and reduced the overall amount of rework required. This is very important when building any tank to save time and money.

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    A one-piece hull was built to allow it to be easily removed in the workshop and on the battlefield for emergency repairs. It is shown here with it's initial base coat of paint and the beginnings of a barrel.

    The true value of the roller chain track system comes in the form of a heavy duty drive cog that will never throw a track. This drive cog is driven by a 5/8" keyed shaft for maximum strength and reliability.

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    The turret is rotated using a small geared motor and rubber wheel that rides around the inner diameter of the turret cavity. This is a variation of the turret drive system developed by Steve Tyng in T005.

    A flat paintball magazine is made from a surplus airline snack tray that just happens to hold 40 paintballs. A hole in one corner of the tray feeds directly into the paintball gun below and a piece of plastic is gooped to the top of the tray to keep the balls from falling out. Despite its looks, this magazine works well and feeds reliably.

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    The heart of T017 is a strong, modular drive box that holds the motors, drive pulleys and belts, and the drive axles in perfect alignment. Construction of the drive box should be the first step in building any tank. Once it is constructed, the under-carriage and track system can be built in a straight-forward manner.

    Shown here is a prototype speed control that uses a simple diode circuit to provide joystick mixing and inexpensive automotive relays to drive the motors. This circuit will be replaced by a Tri-Pact Speed Control as soon as they become available.

    See Speed Controls for more details about building various types of speed controls.


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    A simple pair of eye-bolts are used to adjust the tension and alignment of the rear axle. Roller chain tracks don't need as much tension as friction drive track systems (like bicycle chains or the Tyng Track System), but you need to be able to de-tension them sufficiently to remove the tracks for maintenance work, so plenty of motion is a good thing.

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