New Product: The Thruster Commander!

We’re excited to announce a new product today: the Thruster Commander! The Thruster Commander is a small control unit and accessories to make it as easy as possible to start using our thrusters. It’s the perfect test tool in the shop to get them up and running but it also has the capability to control multiple thrusters on a kayak, standup paddleboard, or just about any project you might have in mind!

Check out the new product video for a detailed explanation and to see it in action!

In addition to the control unit, the Thruster Commander includes two potentiometers and knobs that are used for input. There are two output channels and they can be controlled independently or they can be mixed together to provide smooth speed and steering control. Check out the new product video below for more information!

That’s all for today. Be sure to visit our stands at Underwater Intervention in New Orleans from February 6-8 and at Oceanology International 2018 in London on March 13-15!

Notable Replies

  1. Here are some pictures of the setup we used for the SUP in the demo:

    Inside of case, top:

    Inside of case, bottom:

    Outside of case:

    Hand controller:

    The wiring for the Thruster Commander board is set up the same way as shown in the documentation, just with the steering pot and a deadman switch mounted on the hand controller.

    The deadman switch is one of our switches which has been modified to be a momentary switch, disabling the motors when released. The potentiometer is just one of the 10 kohm center-detent pots that come with the Thruster Commander. We found these pots to work sufficiently well for a short period of time after being submersed in saltwater, so we didn’t bother waterproofing it for the demo.

  2. Received my Thruster Commander yesterday.

    I am very happy with this unit. It works perfectly and I can’t wait to get it finished up so I can do some testing on the water.

    Here is a quick video I threw together of my initial bench testing of Thruster Commander. The video is pretty crude but it hopefully conveys what I did.

  3. Output waveforms for Mixed Input. Same as above minus the smoke :wink:

    I am trying to figure out a way to plot this all on “paper”.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    The maximum forward and reverse thrust performance numbers for the T200 are different. "At 12VDC the maximum forward thrust = 7.8 lbf and the maximum reverse thrust = 6.6 lbf.”

    I am guessing the Thrust Commander has an algorithm that takes this difference into account so when the speed control is set to center zero and the steering control is operated, the thruster performance is matched and will be held to a maximum of the reverse thrust performance. I think this is what I am seeing on the scope. This would make sense to me if keeping one’s craft in place while turning is a desired outcome.

    Turning/spinning in place - This is an old video I made a while back. The Thruster Commander was not available. I was controlling the thrusters with a Pololu Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller and a couple of linear potentiometers. Basically the same mode as the Thruster Commander’s Dual Input mode.


  4. Hey Rusty,
    I finally got my Thruster Commander system completed and tested on the water. It works great!

    Many Thanks to the BlueRobotics team for developing this very easy to use thruster controller.

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