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Author Topic: Monsoon 900 build  (Read 49139 times)

tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2009, 02:18:26 AM »

Just as a slight re-cap
Here is a picture of the shrouds connecting to the deck. The top shrouds connect to the forward of the two deck rings. The mid and bottom shrouds connect to the other deck ring, sharing the same snap link.
These are adjusted by bowsies
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2009, 02:20:46 AM »

The next two steps in the instructions are to fit the main sail and then attach the main boom. This is the order I did it in. Doing things the other way round may be better.

Fitting the main sail
Inserting the sail is easy. There is a bolt rope attached to the front of the sail, this slides down into the round groove in the rear of the groovy mast.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2009, 02:23:53 AM »

Next attach the main boom to the mast with the bolt.

Then attach the kick strap. This is non adjustable and looks ok. It will add some tension to the system and strengthen the whole boom attachment. So it will do.

The boom was very resistant to swing, as I had slightly over tightened the nut. I slackened it off and the boom swings better now, however I am worried that the nut will come undone and that the bolt will fall out. I must get some ThreadLoc on it.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2009, 02:36:53 AM »

After this you can fix the sail to the mast at bottom and top.

At the foot of the sail is a downhaul (maybe the wrong term). I could not see any deck ring or any other place to attach this to pull down. So I simply ran it round the connector for the kick strap then back up to the cleat.

I hate cleats on a model; they always make adjusting hard, as they can be a pig to tighten. But it will do.

At the top of the sail the mainsail up haul was threaded through the mast head and then tied around the cleat. You will notice I have not used a ‘figure of eight‘ around the cleat. I just use CA knots. Not correct form, but it will do.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2009, 02:45:42 AM »

The mainsail outhaul
In the instruction manual it appears to show the outhaul sheet (rope) being looped around the finger like end of the boom and then returning to the cleat on the boom, sorry about the out of focus picture. But it’ll do .

I didn’t like this. It would make adjusting the camber of the sail difficult, like I said I hate cleats for adjusting. So I decided to replace this set up.
I cut of the line connected to end of the sail and replaced it with 25kg Dacron. The original line tends to come apart another bad pic sorry. And would be no good for threading through bowsies.

Then the outhaul was threaded through the hole in the end of the boom ‘finger’, I hope it is strong enough. Then through a bowsie and on to a snap link attached to the boom at the ring about ¼ length from the aft end of the boom. I also get to lose a cleat and one of the ferrous screws  O0.

A tip
Sorry if I am teaching my granny how to suck eggs. When threading rigging (for those who do not already know it), is to run a drop of very thin CA glue (superglue) onto the cord, allow it to dry hard and then slash cut the end into a point. This makes threading very easy.

N.B.
Sail camber, is when the foot of the sail is allowed slack so that is can become rounded/bellied when it fills with wind. High winds means small camber, light winds and you want a belly in the sail.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2009, 02:54:14 AM »

Attaching the jib sail.
The jib sail comes already fitted to the jib boom, and there is a snap link and swivel attached to the boom.

First connect the snap link to the deck ring on the foredeck. This snap link is not strong, the ones that I will be adding later are much stronger.  But they will do.

The head of the sail comes fully rigged with a loop and an adjustment bowsie. I ran these through the ring at the front of the mast and then to the cleat. This may be wrong. I think I should have run it from this ring up to the hole in the mast head before returning to the cleat.

I the future I will run it up to the masthead and replace the cleat with an eye. I will then have a bowsie between the mast head and this new eye to make adjustment easy.
I need to buy more bowsies first.

The original bowsies on this are poorly made and one broke because the material used seems brittle you will also note that the holes are very sharp edged and feeding line through them difficult. This makes adjustment of the lines and sheets very difficult.  They won’t quiet do.

At his point I also attached the antenna wire (very thick) to the mast using black electrical tape.

Addendum
The battens fell off the jib very easily. Although stuck on with double sided tape. I guess the sail was not cleaned prior to the battens being stuck on. One batten was lost.
For replacement batten I like to use the clear harder (but still flexible) plastic 'blister pack', that a lot of tools or electrical product comes in. You know the stuff where you have to open it with a pair of scissors. Strips of this stuck on with double sided sticky tape are good as battens.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2009, 03:03:13 AM »

Attaching the jib sheet (rope controlling the jib)

There are no clear instructions in the instruction book on where to connect the jib sheet. In an earlier post I mentioned reports of the jib boom twisting inside out (so to speak), getting caught in the mock handrails and almost dragging the boat under. I believe this to be caused by incorrect rigging on the part of the builder, aided by the poor instruction manual.

The jib sheet should be run through the small plastic ring at the end of the jib boom and then run down to the ring about half way along the boom. Not the other way around. Or else the jib boom will turn out too far and cause problems.

The kit supplied only has the jib sheet, which can be tied off to the boom.
It’ll do for some but not for me. I also added a bowsie to allow for adjustment.

The jib and main sheets are made of a very low quality and rather thick line. I will replace them with Dacron line one day. But for now, they will do.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2009, 03:25:29 AM »

On the jib outhaul there is no adjustment.  It is merely tied off to the end of the boom. But it will do.
Well it might do for some, but not for me. Even my humble little Thunder Tiger Victoria has adjustment here.

I cut of the old jib outhaul and replaced it with 25kg Dacron. Then ran it through the eye at the end of the boom, before running to the eye halfway down the jib boom.

Then at the end I attached a bowsie and snap link. The bowsie will allow me to adjust the sail camber easily.

The snap link was used because the ring is almost filled by the jib sheet. In reality I should have put the snap link on the end of the jib sheet.
I will do this when I replace the running rigging (the rigging that runs to control the sails) at a later date.
But for now it will do.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2009, 03:31:47 AM »

Attaching the main sheet (rope controlling the main sail)

The main boom comes with a snap link and swivel attached to a ring about ¼ the way from the aft end. The main sheet attaches here.

I like a bit of adjustment so also added a bowsie here. It is tricky as this is such a short length. But I don’t like it when the only control I have of where the boom stops is the trim on my radio. Otherwise if it over pulls it can rip the radio tray out, or the shrouds or even punch the mast through the deck.

You will also see in the pic I have not trimmed off any line yet. I have found that most knots come undone or shift at the first few outings. By leaving a bit of spare length I can easily undo and redo knots. Once it is all sorted I use CA knots.


Bowsies shown from sailsetc. No connection, just a happy customer. Must buy some more as I have run out now and all the bowsies need replacing really. But for now they will do.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2009, 03:40:39 AM »

Electronics
All the electrics come supplied and fitted. And this is where the real value of a boat like this should really come to the fore. Both in terms of ‘bang for your buck’ and in simplicity of getting on the water.

It has a sail winch servo, rudder servo (connected to push rod), receiver (Rx) and battery box already installed.

The Radio transmitter/reciever (Tx/Rx)
The radio is a three channel 27Mhz radio, with crystals (Xtals) that can be changed.
Two channels are proportional (they have a stick, the more you move it the more the servo moves in the boat – in proportion).
The third on/off function channel which could be used for lights or auxiliary motor (on off only); if it was a 3 channel Rx, but it isn’t.

The Rx shows slots for 3 channels, but channel 3 is where the battery is connected.

First job is to install the Tx antenna. After several attempts I could not find where to locate the antenna in the Tx to screw the base home. So off came the back of the Tx.
Once I knew where to guide it, I fitted the antenna.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2009, 03:44:42 AM »

Next I installed the batteries in both the Tx and the boat.

Then switched on the Tx:     Nada, nicks, nowt, not even a glimmer of a red LED.

I don’t for a moment believe it was anything to do with me taking off the back of the set.  And if it were that fragile it would soon let me down at the lakeside.
I contacted my friend whom I bought the boat with as part of a job lot to see if anybody else had a similar problem and if there was a fix. He said yes, and it was a poor wire connection to the battery pack. My mate also said he had binned his radio
I checked my battery pack, perfect. I also looked at other wires I could see immediately, all look OK.

Of the seven people I know who have had a Monsoon 900, at least three have had radio failure. I do not want this at lakeside, even if I could get mine to work.

The Tx is now in my ‘Projects’ bin.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2009, 03:49:05 AM »

In the boat.

One of the things I forgot to mention earlier was the radio tray (the box that all the radio bits fit on/into).

One of the first things to check is that it is secure. I put my hand in and gave it a good twist and tug. It is in solid. Other owners have reported loose radio trays, and poured in extra epoxy resin to secure the tray. But mine seems OK.

I will say that the radio tray is very flimsy and it does flex when the servos are in operation. But it will do.

Another odd thing is that there is no on/off switch, even though the radio tray has a slot for it.
The picture clearly shows the slot for the switch. This leads me to speculate that either the radio tray is cloned, or there were cut backs on cost grounds.

So the on/off is by disconnecting the battery pack. A bit of a pain but it will do.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2009, 03:52:13 AM »

So radio tray sound and secure.
Check.

Batteries fitted.
Check.

Xtals installed into my trusty and cheap, and old, Futaba 2ER Tx.
Check.

Tx on. Check.

Rx switched on, well connect batteries at least.
Check.

We have ......

 ...a glitch.

In fact the rudder is glitching (twitching) badly. Although, the sail winch is fine.


At this stage I am considering binning the Rx as well.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2009, 03:59:02 AM »

I then test the system with my spare Futaba Rx.
Look at the picture and compare the Futaba Rx with the one supplied. I know size isn’t everything, however...

And when changing over the Rx I notice the rudder servo leads. This would explain the glitches. The sail servo in contrast looks to be of better quality. I think they are from different manufactureres because the leads are colored differently.

On examining the servo plug I decide I don’t have the tools to fix it at home. I may not even have the tools in the other place.
Standard servos are not expensive, and so in goes a spare Futaba standard servo, in the place of the old servo.

The supplied servo in now in the projects bin.

And on further consideration
The supplied Rx is in the projects bin too.

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2009, 04:05:59 AM »

When replacing the servo I also replaced the servo arm/star (see NB below).
To do this I had to remove the rod end of the rudder actuator arm.
This is made of a plastic that is perhaps too soft for the job. Removing it was easily achieved by removing the screw.

However, when replacing the screw the jaws just wanted to open and the screw not to take, there is a risk of splitting.

But I managed to get the screw back through the rod end, and so it will do.

NB
Something I learned a while back is that the servo arms/stars are not interchangeable between servos. Not only is it possible for the splines to be different, but there is also the possibility of materials incompatibility. I found this one when I replaced a Futaba standard servo with a Futaba sail arm servo. The star from the standard servo was a perfect fit, but it stripped under the extra load, but not completely, so diagnosing the problem was, well, a problem.


Addendum
Be careful that you have not crossed the main sheet when you reattach the rod end to the servo. If the main sheet crosses the rod, then when sailing the sheet will pull against the rod forcing the rudder in one direction. You will be unable to turn effectively.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2009, 04:23:22 AM »

So now I have fitted in my boat:-
- Futaba Rx
- Futaba servo
And so I might as well replace the battery pack and add the on/off switch.

I also decided to use the Futaba Xtals. I read somewhere that cheap xtals are unpredicatable.

The supplied Xtals are now in the parts bin.

In my radio tray
The Rx fits nicely next to the sail servo, and partly covered by the batteries.
Although not fixed down they are secure enough, and even in a complete inversion, where the battery pack may fall, it is all still going to be connected.
I have never inverted a sail boat, I don’t think it is even possible.

NB
All the replacement electrical items I used were spares I had in the parts bin.
They were surplus after I destroyed a TX in a tropical storm in Shanghai’s Century Park with two friends Chuck(Herrmill) and Guido. I tried to clean the Tx with gin and dry it out but it never recovered.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2009, 04:33:29 AM »

Final touches.

The ships wheels may or may not have fouled the main sheet. On one of my other boats I removed the wheels due to fouling.
Should they stay or should they go?
But then the decision was made for me. One of the wheels broke. Almost bizarrely the wheels are not moulded in one piece. But the spokes rim and hub are all separate pieces glued together.

Then this leaves two holes in the deck where the wheel base would have slotted in.
I could have filled these with epoxy, but I decided to use electrical tape.

Because, in keeping with the spirit of things, it’ll do.


The deck hatch is made of a different type of plastic.
There is a hook and rubber bands to hold the hatch down, which is a standard OK practice.
However the foam used to seal around the hatch is open cell foam.

I don't have any closed cell foam draft excluder.
So I decided to remove the elastics and I will fit the hatch down with white electrical insulating tape when at the pond side.
The elastics could quite easily go back in as well.


Addendum
On trying to stick down the hatch cover with electrical tape I found it does not sit very well and is not easy to tape.
I ripped off all the open cell foam and it sat much better in the hatch.

I noticed that the hatch cover is made from two pieces, an upper and lower. The upper piece was badly trimmed, and it was an irregular shape. I was able to trim between 1mm and 3mm off the sides, following the lines of the lower piece. I also found the lower piece was not well fixed to the upper all the way round, so a touch of glue was required.

Now it is trimmed and free of foam the hatch cover now sits very nicely in the hatch well. A very easy job to seal it with tape now.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2009, 04:48:20 AM »

Well here it is the finished (will it ever be finished) article.


I am not sure if I will stick the sticker onto the sail.


Unfortunately I cannot get her bottom wet at the moment as the canals are frozen. Hopefully we will get enough weather above zero for me to have a play.
And then I will have to learn to sail again as in the past I have only had boats with sail arm servos. I have only played with winches twice, and not done well.
Sail winches and sail arms do behave very differently.


A picture of mine (top) and a picture from the manufacturer.
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2009, 05:15:08 AM »

My personal judgements on the boat

It looks good.
Sure it looks good, but looks are not everything.

What about build quality?
The hull seems good. But I am no expert.

Small Chinese manufacturers are too cost focused. The rationale seems to be how much can we reduce cost and 'Will it do?’
But generally they ‘spoil the ship for a hape’th of tar’. This is the case here.
If the manufacturer of this boat spent a bit more money on decent screws, nuts, rigging line, sheets, and bowsies it would be a lot better boat. Probably only $2 extra is required.
For another $10 he could probably procure decent radio gear and servos.
This might add $20 to the price, but then the product would be more ‘fit for purpose’.

Is it RTR?
No.

Is it ARTR?
No. Well mine wasn't.

Am I the only person who has had problems with this boat? 
No. I know at least 3 other people who have had problems.
Not bad considering I only know of 7 people with a Monsoon, and I am one of them. I have read on another site of lots of small irritating faults.
But at $200+ this should not happen this often.

Is it worth $200-250?
If the radio gear had worked then probably yes. It is a nice hull and the rig can be changed, although it will not be competitive and probably the boat will not be classable for competition anyway.

But I got mine cheap in a job lot, and so IT'LL DO

THE BIG QUESTION
Would I recommend you buy one?


No. Especially not as a first boat. Which is where the market for this boat will probably be, I say this because it is marketed as a budget RTR.

No. Not even as a base for some quality rigging. Good rigging is expensive and should be put on competitive, classable hulls. Other wise it may be a bit of a waste of money.

No. Not when for the same money you can buy a boat of known parentage.

Yes. if you only pay $100, and you are not worried about performance.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2009, 01:58:35 PM »

Note
I have made an addendum to posts/replies #30, 39, and 41.

I have also had a general tidy up and removed a lot of typographical errors.
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2009, 09:21:00 AM »

Maiden Voyage.

The ice cleared up a bit today and I still hit some ice flows  :embarrassed: (last pic)
There is still a lot of ice, you can see it in the background in the first pic.
Darned cold too. I wish I had packed Margret's Magic Mitt.

I cannot tell yet if she has weather helm or lea helm as the wind was very changeable in the patch of clear water I found.
She did seem very twitchy at first and tends to oversteer. The connection of the push rod to the servo arm needs to be adjusted to reduce the amount of throw.
She sailed nicely in what were light airs. I am glad I made the sail camber easily adjustable.

It is taking a wee while, but I getting the hang of using a sail winch (as opposed to a sail arm servo).
I think I am going to enjoy sailing this boat.
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Glen Howard

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2009, 11:36:42 PM »

I've been thinking about getting myself one of these Monsoons, so I'm following this build with great interest. And very easy and enjoyable to read it is too.
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Glen Howard

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2009, 01:22:53 AM »

(I realised after I posted the above that I had only read one of the two pages of this build. Now I feel stoopid).  :embarrassed:

I should have said, having now read the whole thing, that I have read this build with great interest. I should also add that I developed some reservations about buying the Monsoon, when I read about all the little odds and ends in the kit that were a bit 'rough-and-ready'. Then again, under Mark's guidance it sounds as though you could turn out a reasonable yacht with only a few minor tweaks, and with minimal extra cost.

And it does look like fun!
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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2009, 04:22:49 AM »

Thanks for the excellent build review.  :-))  I'd not visited for some time & passed by thinking it was the older post.

A couple suggestions: 

* I'd suggest following the earlier recommendations towards replacing the hatch with some styrene along with waterproof double face tape from B&Q.  I haven't seen water in my boat since doing this after trying to modify the old hatch as well as trying the CD case mod.

* Regarding the foredeck rails, I'd still leave them off since we've experienced problems on boats that were rigged per the instructions.  Granted, its only happened a few times while running downwind but after watching several out-of-control boats sail away towards the marsh on Maojiabu, the rails came off.  Same with the wheels on the rear to prevent the main getting snagged.

Chuck
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George Steele

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Re: Monsoon 900 build
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2009, 08:54:52 PM »

This is a good thread. I am trying to determine what features affect stability of modells and how users rate the stability of their model. Subjectively I have 3 stability classifications, Excellent, adequate and poor stability. So the next question is: how do you rate the stability of this boat? The next questions are: 2) what is the length of the fin? 3)what is the weight of the ballast bulb? 4) What is the total weight of the model ready to sail? and finally 5) What is the total area of the sails?
    Thanks
                       George Steele
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