Servo-controlled Master Blaster in a duck, by Chris Rigglesford

This is my adaptation of the quacker unit (Master Blaster with MS45 sound card) to allow for radio control operation.

It is a quarter-inch piece of ply with a two-inch diameter hole for the Master Blaster and a hole for the standard servo (I could have used a mini servo, but had this one to hand).

I drilled a small hole in the on/off switch and screwed in a small self-tapping screw with thin cyno, and connected this to a length of brass wire looped over the self tapper, with a double kink to allow for adjustment.

A strip of electricians' tape around the unit gave a good fit with two double wedges for good measure. A further wedge between the servo and button keeps the volume full on.

The complete unit is then mounted in a plastic tray to keep any stray water away.

To operate the unit I use one half of a proportional channel on the transmitter, the other half being blanked off to prevent pushing the switch too far.

The quacker unit and radio gear, batteries, motor etc are mounted in a pod under the duck (I did not want to cut the back of the duck open, as most people tend to do). This is not completely finished yet, but I will send further pictures when all is complete. Hopefully not too long, but there always seem to be other jobs to do!

Well, it certainly wasn't long! A couple of weeks later, Chris sent us this:

As promised, pictures of the completed duck and its underwater pod.

It is powered by a 385 motor with a 40mm prop and is extremely manoeuvrable, forward and reverse. The sound exits from a number of holes through the bottom of its beak.

The real ducks on the pond are mildly curious, but passing adults and children love it, especially when it quacks.

Thanks for supplying a truly brilliant sound effect unit.

Many thanks, Chris! At Model Sounds, we often get asked whether it is possible to control the Master Blaster remotely. We think you'll agree that Chris's clear explanation and superb photos give us all food for thought.

Note: Chris used the larger Master Blaster with a diameter of 50mm and height of 60mm. If you have the smaller blue Super Improved model, no doubt you could do something similar, with dimensions adjusted accordingly.

See also:

Boat installation by Brian Rogers

Double servo control by Mick Jefcoate

James Day's remote switch