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Author Topic: Clark TK20-T55  (Read 3754 times)

Offline B_Man

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Clark TK20-T55
« on: December 10, 2012, 08:58:41 PM »
Iíve been following the development of the Clark boards with a lot of interest over the past few months and decided to bite the bullet and order one to replace the original Hooben electronics in my T55. The old Hooben gear is basically a re badged SLU system and while it does the job well and has some features the Clark board doesnít, it takes up a lot of room in the cramped T55 hull which causes a few issues. The SLU also has a separate ESC which adds quite a few extra cables further reducing the space in the hull. Many of the connections on the board use headers that come unplugged very easily which is a constant pain in the arse and there is no room for a decent speaker. No matter how I arranged things and routed the cables I was never really happy with it.

Delivery from Clark took about 8 days and I managed to hide in the garage for a few hours over the weekend and start installing it. When I opened the envelope I was surprised at just how small the board is.

I connected up the battery, speaker and receiver and tested it out. After swapping a few channels over to get the stick configuration how I wanted it everything seemed to be good to go. I was pretty impressed by the sounds except the auto loader which is a nice sound effect but Iím pretty sure they doesnít exist in a standard T55. I mentioned it to Clark when I put in my order and apparently Hooben requested it so Iím not sure where they get their info from but everything I have read suggests the auto loader wasnít introduced until the T64. Still, for $60 the sound quality is better than I expected and I can live with an auto loader. I also tried to install a Pothead from RC Tanks Australia but couldnít get the volume level to change. Iím not sure if itís a compatibility issue between the boards but Iíll let Kevin know and report back.

Next up I connected the motors and took it for a test run up the driveway and across the front yard. It runs well over both concrete and grass and climbs up inclines easily. The tracks give a very slight jerk when the main gun is fired (nothing savage like the HL kick back) which I think looks good and adds a bit to the effect. Obviously there is no momentum on these boards so I plan to install a Turnigy chip soon and see if I can add some.
My only other gripe at this stage is the tank can drive before the engine is started. Itís not really a big deal but it just seems weird to me. I emailed Clark to see if there was a setting I could change but unfortunately itís part of the design. Other than that Iím pretty happy with the board at the moment.

Next up I need to connect up the recoil, gun elevation and headlights which will hopefully happen one night this week. More to come.

adamc

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 08:26:02 PM »
I tried 2 Clark boards and could not get either to work. I could get movement but no sound or gun firing. Can you explain your installation and what transmitter and receiver you are using. I tried both a hobby king and a turnigy transmitter with no luck. I also tried swapping leads around etc. appreciate your advice.

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 10:40:18 AM »
I tried 2 Clark boards and could not get either to work. I could get movement but no sound or gun firing. Can you explain your installation and what transmitter and receiver you are using. I tried both a hobby king and a turnigy transmitter with no luck. I also tried swapping leads around etc. appreciate your advice.

I'm using a Turnigy 9x transmitter and receiver and just followed the instructions on the Clark website, it all just worked. If you're not getting sound have a look at your speaker and volume connections and try another speaker and volume pot if you have spares handy. Also check that your transmitter and receiver are bound. If you can post a picture of your set up I'll have a look at it and see if anything looks out of place.

I managed to get a bit of time to wire up the turret traverse, gun elevation and recoil during the week. All went well and the proportional turret traverse was is a particularly nice feature. The only issue I ran into was the recoil. The gun fires and flashes then the recoil kicks in and it just looks wrong. The Hooben recoil unit is a cheap knock off of the Tamiya Pershing and to say it's a piece of crap would be talking it up. It has a tendency to stick and I've spent enough frustrating hours trying to get it right that I have decided to bin it and use the Real Recoil function. I've never used a servo before but how hard can it be?  ;)

adamc

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 09:15:29 AM »
I tried both a Hobby King and Turnigy 9x transmitter.  I followed the Clark instructions to the letter.  The volume and speaker worked fine with the RX18 prior to installing the TK20.  I tried a different speaker. I tried swapping leads around etc as suggested by Clark.  In the end I gave up out of frustration and anger and I sent both boards back to Ozarmour.  I had been really looking forward to the Clark boards but was very disappointed.

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 02:10:33 PM »
I tried both a Hobby King and Turnigy 9x transmitter.  I followed the Clark instructions to the letter.  The volume and speaker worked fine with the RX18 prior to installing the TK20.  I tried a different speaker. I tried swapping leads around etc as suggested by Clark.  In the end I gave up out of frustration and anger and I sent both boards back to Ozarmour.  I had been really looking forward to the Clark boards but was very disappointed.

It sounds like a bad board but it would be pretty unlucky to get two in a row. It doesn't sound like anything obvious and I couldn't really offer much more help without having a look at it. My installation was very straight forward and I didn't have any major issues. For the price it's a great bit of gear.

The only problem I have run into so far is with the Real Recoil feature. I picked up a cheap servo from Toyworld and and connected it up. The servo kicks into position when the tank is powered up but it fails to move when the gun is fired. I connected it to another channel and it works fine so after some emails to Clark it appears the servo has a compatibility issue. I have posted the board and servo back to Clark for him to get it working (and hopefully change the reloading sound effect) so that part of work on the T55 has been put on hold over the Christmas break. It's frustrating but Clark's customer service has been top notch.

adamc

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 10:15:29 AM »
I have no idea either - very frustrating. I follwed the instructions and nothing, both times. I was really looking forward to the Clark boards but really can't be bothered trying a third time. I might wait and see how the TK boards develop and try agin in 12 months.

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 09:44:23 PM »
As I mentioned over on the Clark thread in the General Discussion area, I had some compatibility issues between the cheap micro servo I picked up from Toyworld and the recoil function on the TK20. After a few emails with Clark I sent board and servo back to him so he could work out the issue. When it became apparent there wasn't a quick fix Clark offered to send back my board with another servo which turned up late last week. He also changed the reload sound for me and swapped the auto loader for a manual reload effect.

After some thinking I removed the motor and gears from the Hooben recoil unit and attached the servo to the back. I connected the barrel to the servo with a piece of wire and was good to go. The recoil now works a treat.   :D

As it was getting late, by this stage a smart man would have probably called it a night. But being super keen to get things done (and not smart), I fired up the soldering iron to finish wiring up the headlights and coax machine gun. Somewhere between my rubbish soldering skills and general tiredness I managed to short out the turret traverse which produced an impressive flash accompanied by a loud popping noise and plume of smoke.  >:(
After much swearing I assessed the damage and found the mosfet that runs the turret is now toast. Thankfully the rest of the board appears to be fine. After some more emails with Clark I've decided to have a crack at replacing the mosfet myself. No one in Australia seems to stock compatible mosfets so I just need to get a replacement part from eBay, a better soldering iron and a some courage.

Online Leo 2A6

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 08:09:02 AM »
Bummer about the turret mate, at least you can still get around the Tank Walk  ;)

Cheers Leo 2A6

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 10:18:16 PM »
Bummer about the turret mate, at least you can still get around the Tank Walk  ;)

Cheers Leo 2A6

It sucks balls but I'm trying to stay positive and look at it as a learning experience.  ::)
Replacing fets is apparently a common upgrade in the mini-z rc car world so there are some good guides on the net and it gives me an excuse to buy a decent soldering iron so it's not all bad.

Offline Monsteroz

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 11:46:21 AM »
Hi Guys,

I have just ordered a clark board to try too.. It will probably go in my ferdinand.. I will post results

I can try with a turnigy 9x or a futaba and spare of both

Cheers

Sean
www.vicarmour.com

More tanks the better

Offline YHR

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 11:57:41 PM »
Next up I connected the motors and took it for a test run up the driveway and across the front yard. It runs well over both concrete and grass and climbs up inclines easily. The tracks give a very slight jerk when the main gun is fired (nothing savage like the HL kick back) which I think looks good and adds a bit to the effect. Obviously there is no momentum on these boards so I plan to install a Turnigy chip soon and see if I can add some.
My only other gripe at this stage is the tank can drive before the engine is started. Itís not really a big deal but it just seems weird to me. I emailed Clark to see if there was a setting I could change but unfortunately itís part of the design. Other than that Iím pretty happy with the board at the moment.

Next up I need to connect up the recoil, gun elevation and headlights which will hopefully happen one night this week. More to come.

This was unusual to me as well, but this fact is why a Benedini sound card can be used with this Clark Board.  Because the tank is mobile as soon as the board is powered up, the Benedini module can inserted to supply custom engine sounds.  As long as you never start the Clark engine sounds, the Benedini will supply the sound for the engine

reyemmanuel

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 12:02:55 AM »
Next up I connected the motors and took it for a test run up the driveway and across the front yard. It runs well over both concrete and grass and climbs up inclines easily. The tracks give a very slight jerk when the main gun is fired (nothing savage like the HL kick back) which I think looks good and adds a bit to the effect. Obviously there is no momentum on these boards so I plan to install a Turnigy chip soon and see if I can add some.
My only other gripe at this stage is the tank can drive before the engine is started. Itís not really a big deal but it just seems weird to me. I emailed Clark to see if there was a setting I could change but unfortunately itís part of the design. Other than that Iím pretty happy with the board at the moment.

Next up I need to connect up the recoil, gun elevation and headlights which will hopefully happen one night this week. More to come.

This was unusual to me as well, but this fact is why a Benedini sound card can be used with this Clark Board.  Because the tank is mobile as soon as the board is powered up, the Benedini module can inserted to supply custom engine sounds.  As long as you never start the Clark engine sounds, the Benedini will supply the sound for the engine

B Man,
this is the reason I got the Benedini...get one for yours. I got mine off Dan. His work with interfacing both DBC and Clark is admirable. See my prelim results for my Leo 1.

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 08:15:02 PM »
The replacements FETS arrived last week and after some practice on some old boards I think I should be able to swap them out without too much trouble.  I managed to remove the blown FETS without damaging the pads on saturday afternoon but had to take one of the kids to swimming lessons so didn't get time to add the new parts. Hopefully this weekend I'll get time to finish it off.

The Benedini engine sounds are very impressive. I might add that to the list of future upgrades once I get the board sorted. Welcome to the HH forum too Dan. I always enjoy your posts over at RCU and have learned a lot from you over the past few years.

Offline B_Man

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Re: Clark TK20-T55
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 11:44:28 AM »
So I had a crack at FET replacement during the week. For a bloke who has pretty limited skills and knowledge in this area I thought it went pretty well. The new FETs went on with limited fuss and looked nice and neat. There was no visible damage to any other components on the board and I had high hopes of a working tank. I connected everything back on, flicked the power switch and....... nothing. No sound, no movement, board is not happy.  >:(

After checking everything a few times I have no idea what went wrong but suspect my hamfisted attempts might have damaged one of the tiny resistors. I don't have the knowledge, skills or patience to find or fix the problem so I have decided to cut my losses and replace the board. I have ordered a TK22 from Clark because I like the look of the momentum feature and it's cheaper than buying an additional Turnigy speed controller. Fingers crossed I don't stuff this one up.  ::)