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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Hard Can It Be?

DIY Cable Master Shore Power Cord Management

A company called Glendinning Products makes this thing called a Cable Master. Targeted and the marine and RV market, it provides a handy way to deploy and stow your shore power cable. I don't know about most boaters, but when we prepare to leave the dock for an extended cruise,  the question of "do we take the shore power cable with us?" eventually comes up. If we decide not to take it, then there will be some later event, at a transient moorage, when batteries are down, when we say "we should have brought the power cable". If we take it with us, we have to find a place for it on the boat, probably buried under a bunch of other stuff deemed more important for the trip. Whereupon, at said transient moorage, one will ask "do I really want to dig up the shore power cable"? Something like a Cable Master would simplify if not eliminate these decisions.

I am sure  this qualifies as a "luxury" item, but it has occurred to me that I could very well build one of these. And there exists an ideal spot to install one of these on the Westsail. It could end up being better and cost much less than the original (retails for about $900). I already have most of the necessary parts/tools/materials. We'll see how it goes. If anything, it will be fun doing the designing/building/testing.

I mean... how hard can it be?

Hawse pipe special ordered.

Experimenting with the microcontroller, stepper motor and pulley

Modeling one half of the deployment drum, to be cut by the machine.
CAD layout of the mechanism frame.

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