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A BUNCH Of Waterproof Sovereign Threads! From Custom Builds To Just Throwing It In A Waterproof Box & Some Nice Custom Mods On Other Machines For Ideas/Parts Sources
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: July 17, 2012 01:09PM
I just put together a huge list of waterproofing Sovereign threads, from simply "throw it in a box" jobs, to "throw it in a waterproof backpack type deals, to custom ones where the the control box is ditched and the electronics custom installed into a new waterproof box with external controls. I also included some links to custom jobs on other detectors that give some great ideas on how one might go about such a project as well as part sources for things like waterproof POT controls and such. You can make a project like this as cheap and simple as you want to or as complicated and high tech as you want, but still in the end probably save a bunch of money over buying a waterproof detector. You can also make this product so that your control box can be removed and placed back on your land rig in a matter of minutes. You can also go the elaborate way and use waterproof connectors for your headphones and coils connected to the box, or the cheap way and just use some heavy rubber cement such as Shoe Goo. The ideas and methods are endless...

Mel Parker



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Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2012 01:27PM by Critterhunter.

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Re: A BUNCH Of Waterproof Sovereign Threads! From Custom Builds To Just Throwing It In A Waterproof Box & Some Nice Custom Mods On Other Machines For Ideas/Parts Sources
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: July 29, 2012 01:22PM
This thread just popped up in the Sovereign forum about waterproofing a XS-2A Pro, but of course can be used for any Sovereign, and I don't know if I had linked to it before, so here it is anyway...

http://www.findmall.com/read.php?21,1564324,page=1

And here's a thread about a real nice custom job with a homemade PI unit and coil. Killer waterproofing info as well as making a homemade PI unit...

http://www.findmall.com/read.php?22,1745418



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2012 01:26PM by Critterhunter.

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Re: A BUNCH Of Waterproof Sovereign Threads! From Custom Builds To Just Throwing It In A Waterproof Box & Some Nice Custom Mods On Other Machines For Ideas/Parts Sources
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: August 25, 2012 01:52PM
A warning about water hunting with any land detector that has it's control box mounted on the shaft...

My water rig (stock shaft) I have two holes drilled front and back on the lower shaft right above the coil mount insert up inside the shaft to drain water. To do this I stuck a measuring tape down the shaft to see where the plastic coil insert ends, then measured outside the shaft and drilled the holes right above that, to insure maximum water drainage. I prefer one hole at the back side of the shaft so it drains naturally while in hunting position, and the one in the front is just there for extra insurance should one get plugged up. You don't want to make these holes too big or you might weaken the shaft maybe.

I was using my land rig in the water today so it didn't have these holes drilled in it, and my control box was on this land shaft instead of chest mounting the box when I use my water shaft. Every break we had left our detectors standing upright resting against something, but when we finally were getting ready to leave I was about to lay my detector flat on top of something. Just then I remembered about the water potential, and pulled the shaft apart to see what might come out of the lower shaft. TONS of water!

I've read many a guy over the years ruin a land machine by laying it down and having water run up the shaft and find it's way into the control box. There are several ways water can migrate out of the shaft (rivets, holes) and into the control box on the Sovereign, so if you water hunt with the machine mounted on the shaft (bad idea anyway when it's so easy to chest mount when you want to go water hunting) and don't have holes drilled in the lower shaft make sure you pull the upper/lower shaft apart and poor out any water in the lower shaft before laying the machine down.

Should it get wet, if it's fresh water you should be fine so long as you pull the battery and let the machine dry out good. If you get salt water inside your control box think about risking flushing it with fresh water or at least spraying it with electrical cleaner to flush that salt out of there. Left to sit, that salt will slowly eat your machine away. Even electronics that get dunked in the water with the battery energized *usually* will be fine once they dry out, but of course that should never happen in the first place. If you don't have access to electrical cleaner right away than you might want to risk flushing the box with fresh water to get the salt out of there, but even if it was only dunked in fresh water or rinsed with it I would highly recommend getting a electrical contact cleaner as soon as possible (once it dries out) to spray the electronics with, as they don't take kindly even to fresh water and will slowly rust away probably. A good electrical cleaner that features an anti-rust compound in it should probably be the ticket, but take any of my advice above at your own risk because there's always risk in life.



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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/25/2012 02:01PM by Critterhunter.

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Re: A BUNCH Of Waterproof Sovereign Threads! From Custom Builds To Just Throwing It In A Waterproof Box & Some Nice Custom Mods On Other Machines For Ideas/Parts Sources
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: August 29, 2012 07:53AM
I was thinking of a guy I saw a while back on the forums, who had an Ace 250 (great little performer for it's price), and he was water hunting by sticking his control box on the top of a straw hat sitting it down inside the "bowl" of the hat or something if I remember right.

Anyway, I was thinking about that idea for the Sovereign control box...Like maybe attaching a chin strap and side-of-head type of straps (like those stupid winter hats) to the Minelab hip/chest mount bag, so you could wear the control box on top of your head, get as deep as your shoulders, and not risk dunking the control box.

Then I thought, don't think I'd want to be the one walking around looking like a yokel with my control box strapped on top of a funny looking hat like that..But then, I was thinking...What about making up some kind of harness so that the Minelab hip/chest bag is strapped on top of your left shoulder, with the controls pointing forward so you could easily just reach up with your right hand and adjust something if you had to? That wouldn't look quite as dorkish I guess, and would allow you to wade as deep as say your upper chest area without risking a dunk. That would give me about another foot of extra depth I could wade.

Anybody think that's a dumb idea?



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Re: A BUNCH Of Waterproof Sovereign Threads! From Custom Builds To Just Throwing It In A Waterproof Box & Some Nice Custom Mods On Other Machines For Ideas/Parts Sources
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 02, 2012 01:18PM
Been thinking about building a waterproof box for the GT control box to go into, and then mounting that box on an extension above my shoulder on the shaft so the bulky thing isn't causing drag in the water. I think that might be a killer idea. And the control box could still come out in seconds for throwing back on my land rig. Since the 10" tornado stays on my water rig, I could commit it to the waterproof box via either sealing the coil cable hole with Shoe Goo or using waterproof cable connectors. Same deal with the headphones I would commit to the project.

Seems like the perfect solution for a low cost way to have an Excalibur. In fact, sometimes you see old Sovereign control boxes alone for sale for like $40 or $50. If you've already got say a 12x10 and so the 10" Tornado is never used, seems like a great way to build a very cheap water machine. Some day I'm going to get around to doing that. Chest mounting a waterproof housing for the GT control box would be bulky and try to float and drag, that's why I think sticking it high on the end of a long shaft or shaft extension would be the perfect solution.



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Anybody Seen A Sovereign Control Box Thrown Into A Waterproof Box Mounted High On A Back Shaft Extention So It Doesn't Drag/Float In Water? & Since It Never Should Touch The Water No Worries Of A Leak Either...
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 02, 2012 06:07PM
Re-post from me elsewhere...

Just curious, because if many Excal guys mount their POD high on a long shaft or a shaft extention to ride it high out of the water to lesson drag, seems like it would work for the Sovereign too thrown into a waterproof box to where you could get as deep as neck deep and still the box wouldn't be dragging/floating in the water. I'm really liking this idea and am just wondering if anybody has seen a thread on that as it seems like the perfect solution. And no worries of the waterproof box leaking either since it should never even touch the water. Of course we all know the coil cables are super long for any coil for the Sovereign/Excal, so no issues there with extending it. Get home and pop the box open, thrown the GT back onto your land shaft, and your good to land hunt in minutes too. This may be my winter project...



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Re: Anybody Seen A Sovereign Control Box Thrown Into A Waterproof Box Mounted High On A Back Shaft Extension So It Doesn't Drag/Float In Water? & Since It Never Should Touch The Water No Worries Of A Leak Either...
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 06, 2012 10:24AM
Video of nice (yet simple and cheap!) waterproof Sovereign setup and him hunting with it, which was originally posted in the first thread link below, where he just throws it into a clear waterproof box and has one waterproof connector for the coil cable. EDIT: Thought he was not using headphones and just using the built in GT speaker, but see now (second video below) that he's using in expensive wireless headphones that he says works well. Very cool idea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2eygsAQD7Uc

And here's his video on building it and about the wirless headphones.





Discussion and pics on various ways to mount the box on your body for water hunting, and also some talk of waterproofing the Sovereign, a few videos of making and hunting with an easy waterproofing job using a waterproof box to put the control box in, one waterproof cable connector for the coil cable, and $45 wireless headphones so there is no need for a waterproof connector for those. I originaly thought he was just using the GT's built in speaker until I saw the second video. Very slick idea. A simple and ingenues solution to avoid using another waterproof connector for less chance at leaks. Also some talk about mounting such a box on a shaft extension so it stays above your shoulder and out of the water for no float, drag, or potential leak issues.

http://www.findmall.com/read.php?21,1768366

More talk of mounting a waterproof box to house the control box on a long shaft or shaft extension to keep it out of the water even when wading neck deep, and also about various ways to tether or attach the waterproof box to your body instead, debating which setup might be more piratical.

http://www.findmall.com/read.php?21,1771179



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2012 10:40AM by Critterhunter.

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Re: Anybody Seen A Sovereign Control Box Thrown Into A Waterproof Box Mounted High On A Back Shaft Extension So It Doesn't Drag/Float In Water? & Since It Never Should Touch The Water No Worries Of A Leak Either...
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 06, 2012 11:26AM
Just watched that second video and he did a great job showing installing the waterproof cable clam and such. And finds some gold rings and a silver one on first hunt! Nice video.

The first thread link posted above also has him listing the part #s and cost for the box, clam, and wireless headphones in that thread. I think I'll go the same box/clams route as him, but I'll probably use regular headphones through the clam(s). I see he mentions in that thread that you don't need two waterproof clams for a coil cable and headphones and can get by with one for them by just drilling the holes off to the side I guess.



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$2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 07, 2012 09:39AM
$2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:

Here's my project today. Just waiting for my cordless drill to charge up to do it...

Parts:

A) 30 inches long (I measured and found this was the perfect length and will keep the control box well above water when I'm neck deep in normal hunting position) of 1/2" metal electrical conduit I had laying around.

B) Two headed span pin that most metal detectors use to adjust shaft height. Had a spare from a Unger Window cleaning extension pole that can be bought at home improvement stores. It's what holds the plastic tool holder on the top of the pole.

C) Or, a simple bolt and wing nut made from nylon, stainless steel, or galvanized will work just fine too.

D) 1 Ziplock bag

E) Two Velcro loops or a couple zip ties.

F) A roll of duck tape.

Build:

A) Take your stock GT shaft and stick the conduit down the back of the shaft. It'll only go about 3/4" and then stop when he hits the back arm cup mounting bolt.

B) Make sure you are not using two big of a drill bit for your snap pin or bolt, as a bigger hole than needed creates slop. Drill through the shaft (and thus the conduit at the same time) about halfway between the arm cup mounting bolt and the end of the stock shaft, to the load bearing is evenly spaced and it creates a tight lock with no wobble. Note, you'll be drilling through the arm cup mounting bracket as well, but if you don't want to do that then remove it before drilling. Just be sure to put the back arm cup mounting bolt back in so the back extension pole is lined up properly with the hole you are drilling through it and the shaft.

C) Put your control box in a ziplock bag face plate end first, so the open end of the bag ends up at the bottom of the control box where it can wrap around the coil cable. Your headphone cable should also route down the side of the control box and out the mouth of the bag right up against the coil cable so they are one with each other to make a better seal. Now seal the bag to the two cables via either two zip ties or two velcro loops spaced apart from each other along the cable a inch or two apart from each other or so. Using two loops of velcro or zip ties separate and apart from each other along the cables makes for double walled leak protection should the box take a dunk in the water by accident. Water might get past the first seal, but what's the odds it makes it past the second too? But then again that was the strategy with the Titanic and look how well that turned out. :biggrin:

D) Remove the back extension from the shaft and lay it on top of the control box so the front of the box is flush with the end of the shaft extension. Now tape duck tape around the box and shaft. You want it snug, but not so snug that you can't get the box in and out of the bag for future hunts when swapping the control box back and fourth between land or water hunting. This is why you first sealed the box in the bag, to make sure all the slack is proper on the bag to close and seal it once it's been taped to the shaft for future hunts. You shouldn't have to ever replace the bag unless it develops a rip in it, so you want to set up to use and over over without slack issues re-sealing the control box inside.

E) Install the two headed snap pin inside the extension, and re-install and lock onto the shaft. If you don't have a two headed snap pin, using a bolt and wing nut will make for easy break down of the extension when transporting the detector in your car.

F) Make sure your coil cable is secured to the extension right below the control box so it's flopping around and putting stress on it right below the coil connector, just like you would on your land shaft. If you have excess length coil cable rather than spiraling it around the shaft I'd just loop it several times to take up the slack and hang the loop on the shaft right below the coil connector via some velcro. That way it's a quick convert back to your land setup without spiraling the cable around the shaft every time.

GO OUT THERE AND WATER HUNT NECK DEEP WITH THE BIG BOYS! :thumbup: Just be sure that your arm cup's velcro strap is secured properly, because if that strap comes loose and you aren't holding your grip the box could fall into the water. Also a good idea to drill two small holes front and back on your lower shaft just above the coil mounting insert that goes up inside the shaft so that all water will drain out. Stick a measuring tape down the lower shaft to measure exactly where the coil mount insert ends and drill a hair above it. I prefer one hole at the back of the shaft and one at the front. That way in normal hunting position the back will drain every last bit of water, but should it get plugged up the front one will act as a backup.


Kbron2000 turned me on to this Plano waterproof box that seems perfect for the size of the GT control box, and the clam waterproof cable connector to use, that I plan to mount on my shaft extension down the road instead of using the bag. I figure to mount the Plano box a few conduit wall mounting brackets would be perfect. They are of course meant to go around conduit and I cold screw them right into the bottom of the Plano box. I'll use Shoe Goo on the threads to seal them into the box and then a healthy blob of it on the inside of the box over/around the screws to make double sure those screws don't leak.

The control box will then sit on a sponge padding material to both protect it from the screws and also to soak up any water should the box ever be dunked and it happens to leak. But the whole point of using this extension is to not have to worry about the box ever being in the water, and to also have no issues with the box dragging or trying to float in the water. Another perk to mounting it on a back shaft extension is it's not going to bump you around in the water if the waves are a bit bad. That's the main reason why I don't want the box just tethered to me and floating or strapping to my chest, besides having added insurance of no leaks since the box on a shaft extension should never be in the water anyway.

As a side note, there are little battery operated alarms at home improvement stores meant to sit on the floor by your water heater on under your sink, and will sound an alarm if moisture is present, but the beauty of this Plano box is it's also clear so you can look inside and monitor for leaks as you hunt should it get splashed by a wave or something.

Here's Kbron2000's parts list...

A) Plano and the part# 1460-00 $24

B) Cable clam made by blue sea model#1002 0.83" $19


He says you can get by with one cable clam for both the headphones and the coil cable if you drill the holes right, and you can read more about his mods as well as watch a video of him installing the cable connector on the box, and he used some nice $45 wireless headphones so he doesn



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Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2012 10:03AM by Critterhunter.

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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 07, 2012 10:24AM
Quote
Critterhunter
F) Make sure your coil cable is secured to the extension right below the control box so it's flopping around and putting stress on it right below the coil connector

Meant of course so it's NOT flopping around and putting stress on the cable right below the coil cable connector at the control box. The #1 place coil cables short is right below the coil connector due to movement which puts stress on the cable right there, as the plug of course can't flex to relieve it.



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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: nagov
Date: September 07, 2012 03:10PM
Interesting but I still think it will be a load to swing with the box 30" above/behind the elbow. How about some pictures of the box and plastic bag and if you can, find the balance point on the shaft with the box and 30" extension added. I'm really curious as to how this turns out for you and then how you like it in a water hunt.

Cliff

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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: joeb1999
Date: September 07, 2012 03:34PM
Critter...just give in. Buy an Excal II.

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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 07, 2012 04:13PM
Spending over 1K just to go an extra foot or so than I can already go with my GT chest mounted is just too steep for me. The GT is my primary land machine so makes perfect sense to be able to go a bit deeper than I already can in the water with it. Right now I can wade chest mounted to just over my belly button with the control box in the Minelab chest/hip mount bag slung around my neck and with my left arm through it to keep it on my upper left chest, and I've got the GT sealed inside a plastic bag before putting it in that so no worries of a rouge wave or taking a spill for a few seconds. Being able to wade just over my belly button is fine on most days, but I'd like to go that extra foot or so to where I'm shoulder/neck deep on some occasions.

If I bought an Excal that equals out to about $600 a half foot just to do that extra bit deeper than my GT can. Being that the GT is my primary land machine, I have a lightweight land shaft I built with the meter on it (dropped about a pound and a half off stock weight), but when I want to go water hunting I just chest mount the control box and use my water shaft, which is the stock GT shaft. Works like a charm. The stock 10" Tornado always stays on my water shaft, and my 12x10 always stays on my land rig, so the only thing to swap back and fourth is my control box which only takes a minute or two. Who could ask for anything more in an amphibious machine? :shrug:

Soon enough I might buy an AT Pro to use sometimes in the water too and as a backup land machine for my GT, as at the AT Pro's price it's worth the price to serve both purposes, but most days I'd still prefer to use my GT in the water or on land, as most of my beaches and land sites range in lower to higher minerals and we all know BBS is as good as it gets for minerals for land or water hunting while still running smooth as butter and getting very deep.

The BBS machines will bang super deep on the thinnest of gold rings due to them being an intact complete loop that presents a coin-like blunt object in the detection field, but in terms of fine gold like fine chains the BBS and FBS units are not good on that stuff, so it'd also be nice to be able to see some finer gold chains with the AT Pro while water hunting, and to use it on land as a backup for days I'm in the mood to swing faster while working heavy trash without the need to slow down as much as you need to with a Minelab. Also be handy for some fast clad hunting to rack up the clad totals, or for on days land hunting where it's raining out. The price is so low on those things for a dual land/water machine that it makes the double bang for the buck thing as a backup land/water machine to my GT even more of a great value to me.

Besides, even if I did spring for an Excal I'd have to ditch that S shaft and build or buy me a straight shaft for it and rig the thing up the way I wanted, which I'd probably go the route of Excal guys who mount the pod high on a long shaft out of the water anyway to lesson drag...Which is what I'm doing here with my GT in the first place. :biggrin:

The GT is the perfect amphibious machine to me. Minelab depth and performance on land with the ability to throw on the high resolution meter for VDI while on land, with the versatility of chest mounting to use that performance in the water as well. There is good reason why all the Minelab and aftermarket coils for the Sovereign have extra long cables, because it's meant just to do that. Throw in the ability to change coils or headphones, throw it in minutes back on my land rig with meter, the lighter weight of the control box, no worries with POT controls going bad, etc...And for me it's a no brainer. Some guys land hunt with their Excals. I'm just doing the reverse of that. :biggrin:



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Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2012 04:36PM by Critterhunter.

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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 07, 2012 04:19PM
Nagov, plan to post some pics when done here. I already had cut the 30" of conduit tubing I had laying around ealier today. I threw my cordless drill on the cheap charger it came with and just found the stupid charger wasn't even charging the thing. Sometimes it does that. I should have threw the battery right on my good aftermarket charger I use for my detector and RC plane batteries. Once the battery is charged up I can drill the hole and get the project done in probably no more than a half hour's time. When I do I'll post some pics.

I suspect the balance issue might not be a problem for two reasons- first, I'm running a 3 cell lipo in my GT alkaline holder which is much lighter than 8AAs or the stock rechargeable pack. Two- In the water the water around the coil and length of the shaft I would think would act as somewhat of a leverage on the shaft and not make it want to be trying to lift on you? After all, I see Excalibur guys with the pods mounted high on a long shaft to keep them out of the water to lesson drag, and we all know those Excalibur pods weight a lot more than a Sovereign control box. All I can do is give it a try and see what happens. If I get this project off the ground and done today I'll probably head for a water hunt in the morning and then will report back on how well it worked out. You never know until you try, do ya? So we'll see what happens...



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Re: $2 & 20 Minutes Of Your Time, & Now You're Waterproof & Hunting Neck Deep With The Excals! :cool:
Posted by: Critterhunter
Date: September 07, 2012 05:45PM
Just drilled the snap pin hole. Wasn't thinking when I wrote the steps before. The arm cup bracket of course shouldn't be removed because it has to be drilled through too so the bolt or snap pin you use can go all the way through. Just had to make sure the extension was snug against the back armp cup bolt so the extension is line up properly for the hole to be drilled threw.

Feels good so far in testing it, but the real test is when I put the box on. Don't have a big enough zip lock bag laying around for the control box, so it will have to wait until tomorrow to seal it in the bag and then duct tape the bag to the extension and see if the shaft is too hard to handle. I suspect it won't be but one never knows until they try.

As a after thought, people might want to mount the bag/box so that the controls are facing down the shaft towards you for easier adjustment. Using a clear bag it should be no issue to see and adjust the controls through the bag while hunting. I think I'm going to mount it though with the controls at the back as normally orientated on a shaft just to see how that works for now. If I find it too much of a hassle to worm my way up the shaft and adjust the controls then I'll flip it backwards for the next hunt. It's not like you need to keep messing with the controls anyway. Once I adjust sensitivity I'm pretty much done during a water hunt.

I'm surprised I've never seen this idea explored for the Sovereign in the past. Then again there may be a good reason for it that I don't know about yet in terms of the balance thing and the coil trying to lift. I just don't see how that could be a problem though since I've seen Excals with that heavy pod mounted on an extension or long shaft out of the water like that to lesson drag issues. If it works for them then why not the Sovereign? The added confidence of not having to worry about leaks is reason enough why I'd probably do it with an Excal even if I had one.

Pictures and a report on the balance thing probably tomorrow...



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2012 05:46PM by Critterhunter.

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