Radio Controlled mini submarine review: T2M B2 Sub Explorer II.
Submarines have been around a long while, however it was during the First World War that they reached their fuller potential. A menace to merchant shipping as well as enemy naval units, it was tragedies such as the sinking of the liner RMS Lusitania, that would have far reaching consequences and highlight the potent and real threat that they posed. By the Second World War technology and strategies had developed so much that submarines would nearly decide the outcome of a war, with German u-boots coming close to bringing the British Isles to their knees.
However, in the postwar years submarines have come to represent more peaceful associations, such as research vessels, deep-sea rescue vessels, exploration vessels, and even leisure craft. Let us not forget too, perhaps the most famous of such, Jules Verne's fictional Nautilus.
T2M B2 Sub Explorer II
The B2 Sub Explorer II, from T2M Racing Products, is a fully functioning mini radio-controlled submarine. It is presented in an explorer yellow with bright red conning tower, whose portholes light up green when powered up. At the front there is a also a centrally positioned red LED "spot-light" for direction. The sub is powered by a single propeller with an additional hidden propeller for steering.
Unlike other mini-rc subs, whose vertical direction is controlled by propellers, which push water up or down through the submarine to make it dive or surface, the B2 features a small ballast tank. This has several advantages, not to mention reflects the working of a real submarine. For one you do not need to press the dive button continuously if you want the sub to stay under water. It also lets you keep the sub at a certain depth, either static or moving.
B2 Sub Explorer II keel
B2 Sub Explorer II with radio controller
At just over 14cm long and 4cm tall, weighing 80g, the B2 has a range of 5m and can dive up to depths of 60cm. As is the growing trend with mini rc models it is also charged from the controller.
Attractively priced, yet slightly higher than other similar rc mini-subs, it is made from a solid plastic, which has a good weight and feel. While not military, the livery is attractive and this model certainly looks better in the flesh than in images. The three channel radio transmitter controller also looks good, although my example doesn't appear as solid as the submarine itself.
As far as navigating is concerned, the B2 "swims" well and is relatively quiet. Its turning circle is not bad, especially if you are limited to a small pool or bath with which to re-enact Das Boot. Diving works best when the sub is static, as a water "bubble" sometimes forms around the top of the conning tower. Reversing while diving can break this bubble and allow the sub to dive. Perhaps launching the sub as stated in the manual may help prevent this.
At "full ahead both" the B2 sticks its nose slightly upwards, which when submerged in shallower water may cause it to break surface, unless you play around with the dive and surface controls. I have also found that releasing the power lets the sub gently sink to its original depth. Which goes to show me that the B2 is quite a responsive bit of kit and needs some practise to control flawlessly. Practise, which will no doubt provide hours of enjoyment.
T2M B2 Sub Explorer II packaging
This is the second rc submarine I have owned and I therefore carefully considered the other mini rc sub options before settling on the B2 Sub Explorer II. The other options may be cheaper but at the end of the day, they do not seem to be "real" subs. First impressions of the B2 are very promising indeed and worthy of paying the little extra in price. Young or old it is great fun!"
Dorrell, November 2016.
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