R/C Steam Rover
6 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering.... Steam Powered

Engine / Boiler: Cheddar Puffin
Chassis: Two Tamiya TLT-1
Fuel: Butane/Propane mix
Running Time: 25-35 Min
Operating Pressure: 3-4 BAR


I started with this Cheddar Puffin steam engine from ebay.
it was in rough shape, and took a lot of time and effort to
get it back to running condition.  I had to replace the sight
glass, and lots of o-rings, and repair the engine. The cylinders
had slipped out of its holding pins, and almost the whole
engine had to be taken apart to fix the problem.
But at least everything was fixable, and once I got it going,
it provided nice power.      

The chassis is made from 2 Tamiya
 TLT-1's (radio control 4x4 chassis)
mounted together  end to end (minus 1
set of wheels) Each chassis had a center,
front, and rear differential. Instead of the
motor, I mounted the two pinion gears to
a shaft, and mounted some support for it
to extend the entire length of the chassis. A
sprocket was attached to one end for the
steam engine to power it.

Cheddar Puffin weighs 5 lb. ( just the boiler and engine, no
 water, gas tank, condenser etc.) and the Tamiya TLT was
made for supporting a light body. First problem was shocks
not stiff enough to support the extra top heavy weight. Even
stiffening up the shocks, it swayed as it turned. In the end I
used some silicone tubing to help support the weight.
A disposable gas tank was used first to test this puppy out
without having to refuel for each run. Tamiya TLT kit also
allows front and rear steering. I had first set up all of the wheels
for steering independently, 3 channel for the wheels, and one
for the engine. However, without complex r/c gear, it got way
too confusing to drive, trying to control each set of wheels.
I ended up with a simple 2 channel system - middle wheels
locked, and the front and rear work together in unison,
making it very easy and fun to control

The Finished Rover



Steam Walker and Rover at RoboGames 2006

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