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Old 06-15-2021, 06:05 PM   #1
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New to this group and kind of excited. I used to fly years ago. Rc that is. Had a beaver which I built an extra 300. Numerous trainers. Anyway I sold out probably 17 yrs ago. Now my son is getting into it. We bought a foam electric beaver last summer which after many successful flights ended up in a tree. A guy I know sold me all his stuff last week. 8 built planes 4 not built boxes of stuff etc. In the lot is 4 seamasters. One of which is electric. I brought two of them out to where I am on an island and went to work to try to get them to fly. Long story short I got one in the air and lost control and now I’m down to one of those two. Lol. Fixable but will try another one first. I’m pretty sure that the receiver batteries are hooped. They’re airtronics radios and gear with 4.8 volt nicad batteries. Can I replace them with lithium ions and if so what does anyone recommend or should I just replace the same? Also where is a good place to buy/order through mail? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Seamaster.

Hey Miles,
Without knowing the Model of Airtronics Radios you have you would be safer to go with NiMh batteries as they are only 6v which your Airtronics should be able to handle.

Where about are you located? HobbyHobby is a store located in Streetsville ON but the owner Tom ships all over North America and has a well stocked Hobby Store that has been in business since 1984. His prices are fair and has a very knowledgeable staff who are all modelers save fore one clerical person.

If they don't have it in stock as long as their supplier has it and you place your order by Sunday he will usually have it the following Wed/Thur then will ship it to you via Canada Post.

Here is there website....
Jim Daly #IAmIMAC
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Your Friendly Neighborhood X-SE ZD, now DZD
MAAC #14323L IMAC #3678

Last edited by scaleguy; 06-15-2021 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: Seamaster.

As you can see from the pic know the Seamaster well. That one was built back in the mid 80's and is currently waiting completion of its third engine, (a Saito 56).

Although one of the best amphibs out there it does have one fault. The horizontal stab is far too flexible and can contribute to loss of control if honking hard on it. I braces the leading and trailing edges with thin C/F rods and problem solved.

Instead of NiCads or NiMH packs strongly recommend going more modern with a 2S LiFE my flight pack of choice for the last 6 years or more. In fact, also power all my transmitters with them as well.

A 2S pack nominally specs out at 6.6V, although that drops immediately to close to 6V under load. This is close to what you would see with a 5 cell NiCad or NiMH source, with the LiFE giving you considerably higher current output for the rated capacity. Even your older Airtronics gear should be fine running that voltage.

You did not specify, but were any of those planes sitting long term with the flight batteries plugged in? If so you can have what is called "Black Wire Disease", where the negative leads, connectors or switch can corrode. This looks like what you see on old batteries that have gone dead, with a white powdery build up on each end of the cell. Unfortunately with this app most or all will be hidden and not easy to spot. You may be able to charge up the packs enough to get the servos to move on the ground, but in flight the extra load and current requirement causes the pack output to fall below useful levels. From your perspective it may seem like loss of signal, but the end result where you have no control is the same.

For that reason I opt to trash any switch assemblies when this storage issue comes up. Servo extensions and any connectors get a close inspection for corrosion on the pins and ANY hint means any gear gets replaced. I can install new leads and connectors on servos to reuse them, but with the cost of good performing units really my own time to spend. Even economy servos from a good name brand far outperform what we had when I started with higher reliability and quite reasonable cost.

Not worth risking the aircraft and persons or property for old gear. At least pull some connections to see if any signs of corrosive build up or darkening of the pin material.
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Last edited by Cougar429; 06-16-2021 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Seamaster.

The older Airtronics radios will handle the 6 volts but the lithium-ion voltage (7.4v)will be on the high side , also we don’t know what is being used for servos and that can be the issue .
Have sent him a lengthy pm but no reply yet . I suggested that either 4.8 or 6v Eneloops will probably work well for his application with older setups .
Agree with Gary in that the older wiring should be replaced due to the copper wiring getting brittle and corroding a dark brown instead of a shiny bright colour. The other thing is the older Airtronics on 72 MHz using the slotted plugs which are almost impossible to get today.

Nice stable of aircraft , Gary .
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Seamaster.

Thanks. Sorry, I was going to recommend you for the pack choices, but guess coming home from a 12 hour midnight shift has me a bit wonky.
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