Note that nominal operation at 12-16 V is recommended for the best balance of thrust and efficiency, though operation at up to 20 V is allowable. Exceeding 20 V is not within the rating and not recommended, please see here for more information.
For more detailed performance specifications, including thrust, RPM, power, and efficiency at various throttle levels and supply voltages from 10-20 V, please see the performance charts below.
Click on the legend to hide or show the data set for each voltage. All the raw data and notes on the testing procedure used to generate these charts can be downloaded here:
1. Connect thruster wires to ESC motor phase wires.
2. Connect the ESC to a power source.
3. Connect the ESC signal wire to a signal source.
4. Send a signal and the thruster will start spinning. That’s it.
Always practice caution when you’re working with electricity in water.
Keep body parts away from the thruster inlet and outlet to avoid injury. Always practice caution with the spinning blades of the propeller.
Do not operate the thruster for more than 10 seconds outside of water (while dry). The bearings require water for lubrication and may be damaged if the thruster is operated for an extended period of time while dry.
Avoid sucking seaweed or other objects into the thruster to avoid damage.
Most threadlockers are not chemically compatible with polycarbonate and will damage the thrusters if used on any of the screws. Only use a threadlocker that is chemically compatible with polycarbonate on the mounting screws if necessary.
A clicking sound or noisy thruster is normal, especially when operated while dry. Most noise and vibration go away once the thruster is operated in water.
We do not have an official depth rating for our thrusters, as we haven’t found a limit yet. Due to the unique fully flooded design where water freely moves throughout the thruster internals, pressure isn’t much of a concern. There are no air cavities to compress, or seals of any kind. Our thrusters will function well to at least 500m or so.
Not at all! The Thruster Commander is just one possible solution for simple manual controls. Depending on your project, a different control system could be much more appropriate. Please visit the "Learn" section of this product page for more examples of the types of devices that can be used.
It’s perfectly normal to have a loud thruster! Our thrusters use solid plastic bushings (we also refer to these as bearings), which due to the tolerances of the bearings and the metal rotor shafts, can allow the shaft to move slightly in the bearing causing variation in how different thrusters sound. Rest assured, each one of our thrusters is tested multiple times during production to ensure proper operation.
The thrusters may be especially loud when they are run dry (in air). Any noise is significantly reduced or eliminated when operated in water. Water serves as a lubricant and coolant for the bearings, allowing smooth operation. Also, be sure not to run the thrusters in air for more than a few seconds as this can permanently damage the thruster by overheating the bearings.
Yes! You absolutely need an ESC. At the core of a thruster is a brushless DC (BLDC) motor. Like any other BLDC motor, a brushless ESC is required to energize the motor phases in the correct timing to drive the motor. If you try to use a thruster like a regular brushed motor, you’ll just end up with a broken thruster. You can read more about the differences between brushed and brushless DC motors here.
No, one ESC is needed for each thruster. In order to properly drive the motor, the ESC needs to accurately sense the position of the rotor as it is spinning, this is not possible with more than one motor.
The short answer is no, 20V is the maximum recommended operating voltage for the T200 thruster. Operating at a higher voltage will increase wear and decrease thruster lifespan beyond the level we can officially support, therefore voiding any warranty. You can read the longer, more detailed answer about the effects of using higher voltages here.
It depends! Because our customers operate in varying conditions across a wide range of use cases, there is no one expected total lifespan that would apply to all situations. Factors such as water quality, sediment density, particle size and composition, throttle level, operating voltage, etc., all play a large role in affecting thruster longevity.
Likewise, these same factors affect how long a thruster can operate in non-stop, continuous use. Anywhere from a few days to several months of continuous usable life are realistic to expect depending on the exact operating conditions.
Thrusters do require routine maintenance, and this also affects how long parts will last. If components are well taken care of, they can last for many years. If they are abused and used in harsh environments, parts may wear down faster and will need to be replaced more frequently. For example, iron particles may be pulled from the water and collect inside the rotor on the magnets. This iron should be cleared out regularly to prevent corrosion and allow for proper operation.
We have recommended thruster maintenance guidelines in our Thruster Usage Guide to help get the most life out of your thrusters. In case anything does eventually need replacing, replacement thruster components are available here.
We do not have the tools to measure this empirically, but with some estimates and a little math we can provide a reasonable theoretical value for the flow rate under ideal conditions:
The T200 propeller has a 76.2 mm outer diameter, and a 40 mm diameter central hub. It also has a pitch of 22.5° at 75% of its radius, and spins at about 3075 RPM full throttle 12 V, and 3600 RPM 16 V. Using the pitch and and RPM approximation, this results in a theoretical maximum flow speed of 4.45 m/s at 16 V, and 3.80 m/s at 12 V. The propeller has an area of about 0.00330373 m2. Multiplying these area by the flow speed results in a volume of about 0.014702 m3/s (or 14.7 liters/s or 3.88 gallons/s) at 16 V, and 0.012554 m3/s (or 12.5 liters/s or 3.32 gallons/s) at 12 V.
Bear in mind these speeds and flow rates are rough estimates based on some math and not true measurements, you should expect the real number to be lower. However, they should be reasonably accurate for estimation purposes.