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        Discussion Sea Monkey

#1 Conehead Dec 13, 2012 04:24 PM

Sea Monkey
I went to the JR Indoor event in November and while there, we fly float planes indoors. Lots of different float planes. We build a lake inside, out of PVC pipe leveled out and visquine so the sponsors banners can be viewed when fill with water. Also there are rope lights on each side, aka like runway lights at a full scale airport, so when they turn out the lights, you can land and takeoff the Spectrum Lake as it is called. When the event ends, we knock out one corrner, out runs the water onto the carpet/ floor, and drains away within just a few minutes. Under the carpet is just dirt, so there is no harm at all.

While at the JR Indoor, I saw Thayer once editor of Fly RC magazine, had a float plane he loved. I watched him fly it, then he said, here, fly it. It is a three channel plane, slow flier and all foam. Thayer had some kits with him and I bought one.

Now I met Thayer at the first E-Fest, There he advised me on a plane I still fly, have had lots of fun with and Thayer say, buy this plane, it is a great deal, so I bought a Bug. I still have two of them and a couple kits to build of the Bug.

So I got a Sea Monkey from Thayer, was not expensive, I got the basic kit, motor, esc that he had.

So I am in the process of putting this kit together. I am adding some LED lights to it, some blue on the inside, I also plan to add some red and green on the top of the wings to help protect them from the water, since these are the non-waterproof LED's. So I will glue them with the lights to the foam, so that the foam glows somewhat. I am going to paint the tail in a checkerboard scheme, I am thinking about also doing the wing tips in the appropate color, red for left, green for right also with checkerboards. I think I will do a strip or just solid color on the underside of each wing.

This is a shoulder wing plane with a pylon tractor motor mount. It is supposed to use between an 800 Mah and 1000 Mah lipo 2 cell battery, so it will be a light, slow flier, not for flying in a lot of wind.

So I will post photos of the parts later, also what I have together and then tell you all what I think about the airframe.

I don't have a nice heated shop to work in up here in Northern Michigan and with 3 Labradors and 4 cats in a small house, 3 of the cats are young and are the biggest trouble here. So I have to build late in the evening when most are asleep and quiet reigens in the house.

I hope to get this done in about the next week or so. I need to solder wires on the lights and the connectors on the esc.

Please be patient with me, I am not speedy, I build slow for many reasons, ability, understanding directions, word problems, since I am dyslic and that causes me lots of problems.

The Sea Monkey is from A Zippykits, www.Zippkits.com

Photos a bit later, have to download them from the camera.

Thanks for looking,
Orrin Eldred

#2 Conehead Dec 13, 2012 04:25 PM

Sea Monkey
10 Attachment(s)
Photos of fuse, elevator, rudder, wing.

No wing tip floats yet, had a problem with the CA I had. I thought it was foam safe, of course it was not. A call to ask for replacement tip floats was place, they are on the way with NO CHARGE for my stupidity. I am very appreciative of that. Very good customer service.

I had to take this outside to take photos of it. In the house I would have at least one dog and probably 3 very inquisitive cats trying to sniff it and the next thing I know, small parts would be moving around with the help of little cat paws.

Orrin Eldred

I hope to put the wing together tonight. I have found some CA, I am testing it to make sure it is foam safe. One mistake is all I can handle on one model.

#3 Conehead Dec 13, 2012 04:25 PM

Sea Monkey
9 Attachment(s)
For more photos later
I got the wing together last night, one half of it anyway, I will take photos later when I can get outside and get them, also the bottom is on the fuse. Now today I have to solder the lights, use my airbrush, which will be a real learning experience, since I have never used one and mostly when I paint anything other than a house, the job looks like I used a dead cat for a brush. I am going to use some water based paint that is used for lexan car bodies. It is pretty easy to use, at least with a brush, I can thin it down as I need to for the airbrush and clean-up should be easy. I will get all the photos here and then add more later in another post.

Here are the photos I took today with the Sea Monkey partially assembled. I took it outside, set the elevator on the fuse, the wind took it off. Finally I brought it inside and took a couple of photos. I have now put the tape on the rudder and elevator and am waiting for the glue to dry on the control horns.

#4 CapMike Dec 13, 2012 09:44 PM

Sea Monkey
This is a nice little plane. I was able to fly it as well. When Thayer and I went to the lake to do a round of testing on the Anderson he brought the monkey. He handed me the transmitter and I did a round of flying. It was rather windy that day and I didn't want to risk a water landing but enjoyed how well it did handle the wind. Not really for use in the winds we were flying in, but was pretty fun doing the water take-off with it.
You will have some fun with it

#5 Conehead Dec 13, 2012 10:50 PM

I got it for those nights when the lake I live on is like a sheet of glass. I will be able to fly short circles in front of my little old ramshakle log cabin. When I put the lights on it, I will be able to fly late into the evening, even into the night without much worry. The directions say not to fly in the wind, so I will wait for really calm nights. When the lake freezes, I will be able to go out on it and fly off the snow when there is no wind. That will be fun I am sure.
Orrin Eldred

#6 Dennis Sumner Dec 14, 2012 05:46 AM


Kinda strange to see your outdoor pix without snow this time of year!

Looks like a neat design, I spotted your thread when looking at the Kingfisher thread.


#7 Conehead Dec 14, 2012 07:31 AM

Denny, 4 years ago, I went for a motorcycle ride on the 5 of January, it was 55 degrees that day. Wonderful day to ride. No traffic, no sand on the road, we had had no snow at all, maybe a few flakes but no need for sand or salt.

We got about 2 to 4 inches about a week or so ago, we have had a warm up and the snow is now all gone here at the lake. Farther inland where we got more snow, maybe 4-6 inches, it is still on the ground, but melting fast.

Last year I was float flying off the lake with about 5 inches of ice and a couple inches of snow on top of the ice. We had ice fishermen on the lake drilling holes and fishing. This year, we got open water, ducks, swans, geese and Eagles hunting fish. Have not seen a loon for more than a week.

I think we are in for some more snow later this week or early next week. It is 34 degrees outside right now, warming to maybe 45 or there about today. I am sure it won't last long.

Last few years, we have had lots of ups and downs, so to speak, with the weather, yet after talking to the long time residents, they say, this happens about every 10 years or so, of course I am not complaining one bit.

#8 Dennis Sumner Dec 14, 2012 09:02 AM

It's been unseasonably warm here in the Ann Arbor area but I'm sure it will change soon. But still nice to see the sun and grass this time of year.....


#9 Conehead Dec 23, 2012 05:52 PM

8 Attachment(s)
I got the airbrush working today. This has been a learning experience. First thing I learned was that I thinned the paint too much. I am using Faskolor, water based paint for Lexan car bodies. I have used it on my Seawind and my Trojan.

Once I got the paint coming out, I sprayed the elevator. I had to add more paint and that is why the left side is better than the right side. After I learned this, I did the reverse side of the rudder. That worked much better, although the photos don't show it all that great. I used gimp, but still that too is a learning process.

So here are my results, not great, but I can live with them for now. Next time I think I will use a different design.

Orrin Eldred

I forgot to rotate the rudder, sorry about that everyone, next photos will be right.

I plan to do the tips of the wings, same design, but now I know how not to do it.

#10 Conehead Dec 25, 2012 12:24 AM

Today after I repaired my neighbors tractor so that his wife could blow snow if we got any more, the belts came off the drive pulley and so they had to be put back on. He fell off a ladder before Thanksgiving and destroyed his right leg, from the knee to the ankle. He has a rod, bone graft, lots of screws and such, so he is unable to do it. The project should have taken 30 minutes, but instead took almost 5 hours. Nuts were missing from two bolts that held the bearing on the shaft that drives the snowblower, so I had to make a trip to the hardware store to get fine thread nuts, since that was what they used when they built the tractor. After that was done, I came home, decided to paint the left wing tip of the Sea Monkey. That is now done, tomorrow I will paint the right wing tip and then slide the wing into the fuse. I will take some photos of what it looks like, then get ready to put the lights on and in the Sea Monkey. I hope this works.

In the fuse I plan to use blue lights on the bottom of the fuse, then a strip of red lights facing the foam so it glows on the left wing, green lights on the right wing and then a couple of white lights on the rudder, at least I hope that will work. Then I will be ready to install the servos, push rods, motor and the hatch and see what it looks like finished. I don't have any idea what it will look like, since I can't visualize it finished. I can see the parts, but the whole airframe finished is beyond me. Somehow my mind doesn't work that way.

Since I don't have any family close, I won't get interupted much, so I should be able to get more done. I must say, after I paint a couple hundred more pieces of foam, I may have this airbrushing down to a bit more of a science than the "dead cat" type of painting I am doing now. This has been one learning experience. Yet at least I am learning something.

Tomorrow, more photos, I will post them at the start in the one post so that I have some room.
Orrin Eldred

Still got open water on our lake, but we are getting some snow, which when the Sea Monkey is done, will fly quite well off of the snow.

#11 Conehead Dec 29, 2012 11:05 PM

I got the elevator and rudder glued together and glued on the Fuse last night. I also got the bottom of the Sea Monkey up front glued on. Now I have to decide if I am going to paint the bottom of the wing tip floats. I will think about it a bit more. Now I have to wire up the LED lights and get them installed. Also I need to solder the leads on the speed control and the lead to the speed control and the motor leads.

I hope to be done by the end of the week. Depends on what I have to do tomorrow.

Got a lot done today, now I have to take some more photos. It is dark out now, but tomorrow I will post a few more.

Orrin Eldred

#12 pohlmeyr Jan 01, 2013 08:26 PM

I bought 3 of these kits from Thayer and we have flown them many time since the JR fest. I also filled the fuse with white LEDs and the leading edge with red ones. I am using a 450mah lipo 2s and the lights just are not as bright as with 3s lipos. I am hoping the wind dies down around here tomorrow so I can see how they fly off the snow. Great little plane

#13 Conehead Jan 04, 2013 07:34 PM

Sea Monkey is now done,.
19 Attachment(s)
Well last night and today I finished up the Sea Monkey. The hardest part was the front hatch. I had no idea how to do it. I finally figured out I could put some magnets in the foam to hold it on the fuse. So I found some magnets from an airframe that had gone to Airplane Heaven. It took what seemed like forever to get done. Cutting foam and getting it out of the little hole to put the magnet in was very time consuming. My dremil tool died, so I had to use an exacto knife and slowly remove the foam.

I got the push rods done, Servos installed, all the wires run, reciever bound and all the soldering done and everything works. No shorts, all is A-OK.

Some photos to look at.

At times it turned out better than I expected, since I couldn't visualize the finished product. I had an idea, but that didn't help me see the end result.

Lights by Lazertoyz, Thanks to Diane and Dan Greathouse.
They were a great help in what not to do. Many emails and a couple phone calls.

Too much wind to do any maiden right now. Maybe next weekend.

Thanks for looking,

Orrin Eldred

#14 Thayer Jan 05, 2013 09:16 PM

Looking good Orrin! I can't wait to hear how it flies. The lights are definitely brighter on 3S. The good news is that the Sea Monkey can easily handle carrying a second small battery to power the lights. I would check the draw before you buy any new packs and then get the smallest that will give the duration you typically will want. I would think a half hour would be pretty easy to manage.

#15 Conehead Jan 05, 2013 10:02 PM

Thank you Thayer.

I think if I did this again, I would wire the blue lights to a different connector and use 3 cells. I would also take the strip of blue and run it on the bottom, then up to the top piece of the fuse, making it twice as long and it would be much brighter. The red and green are bright enough on 2 cells.

It did turn out pretty good, having never done any painting with an airbrush and checkerboards are not easy. I can get confused easily.

Orrin Eldred

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