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Posts to this blog will happen infrequently, if at all. The blog will remain accessible for historical purposes.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
|Nice clean boards in the main salon|
|Main salon floor protected with cardboard|
Next StepsThe expected finish of the floors will involve
- the lamination of a finished hardwood 1/4-inch plywood panel (species undecided at the moment)
- cutout of under-floor access hatches/hardware installation
- final glue-in/fastening
On Finished Hardwood Plywood PanelsI like the traditional look of teak/holly strips (the admiral does not care for it). You can get this in a plywood sheet, though it is quite expensive.
One species under consideration is Bamboo.
More to come.
Monday, July 16, 2012
So it is time to replace the surface to gain back some accuracy and consistency in cuts. Of course the nice thing about mechanized processes like CNC, is you can "dogfood" new parts for the machine, with the machine itself! A new table surface is a good example. Here the machine is cutting the zones for the vacuum plenum of the new surface.
|Cutting the new vacuum plenum|
When the time comes to remove the old surface, the machine will also assist. I will force the machine to cut through the old surface, cutting into smaller pieces to make for easy removal. The machine helps to repair, as well as destroy itself!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I have had this space underneath the floor of the forward salon designated for pluming of the domestic water system. That includes: water tank feeds, pumps, filters, strainers, tubing, and distribution valves. The final distribution valves have been waiting on a special order from SeaTech, maker of these handy and inexpensive 'slip on' hose and fittings (no hose clamps or barbs!). One of the special order items was a custom built manifold to distribute three hot and three cold destinations. Now, their catalog does not give dimensions, so I guesstimated the size of this thing and carefully planned the placement and any extra parts I needed (tees, elbows, etc). Of course, when I had the manifold in hand, I discovered it to be too big.
|Top: manifold. Center background: tank valves. Bottom foreground: pump strainer.|
|Bottom left: one of the water filters (red button).|
|The whole enchilada|
Still to come: aft end fresh water distribution, and raw (sea) water distribution
Monday, July 09, 2012
A regular lead-acid wet cell battery can generate some gas during charging. Even under normal charging conditions (a good battery and proper operational charger) the batteries can give off a bit of hydrogen gas. If the batteries are in poor condition, or worse, the charger is malfunctioning and attempting to "overcharge", large amounts of hydrogen and oxygen gas can be released (electrolysis of the sulfuric acid electrolyte: why the addition of water to batteries is occasionally needed). A battery can also emit hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg smell) if overcharged.
In a well ventilated boat, such off-gassing is not a problem. Even volatile hydrogen, being much lighter than air, will dissipate quickly and is not likely a danger. But if the battery box is confined and sealed, the build-up of such gasses within the box can be a concern. Also, batteries tend to heat up when being charged. So, to keep things cool and to avoid any kind of Hindenburg-like event, forced air ventilation of the battery box is a good idea.
|Well sealed battery box lid|
This is the case with the Westsail: the battery box, located under the floor in the main salon, has a pretty tight fitting lid. Under normal conditions the box and lid will be bolted down snug to minimize shifting and movement with the boat. The box lid has two vent holes cut into the top. I want to add a draft assist fan to help draw air through the box. Ok, easy enough. But, the fan only needs to switch on during charging, and I don't want to have to remember to turn the fan on/off when the charger switches on.
|24volt 0.1amp ignition protected draft assist fan|
Here is where the Mastervolt distributed power system can help. Control of the draft assist fan (on/off), can be switched by the power system in response to certain events during the battery charge cycle. Chance of off-gassing and temperature increase is highest when the charger is in high voltage "bulk" or "absorption" modes. The ChargeMaster 24-30 battery charger, signals such events so the power system can be programmed to switch the draft assist fan in response. When the charger enters "float" mode (a maintenance mode that keeps the batteries topped up) the voltages are normal, there is no off-gassing so the fan can be switched off. The event programming goes something like:
|Programming the Battery box vent fan to respond to events from the battery charger.|
- charger is turned on
- charger enters "bulk" charge mode
- charger enters "absorption" charge mode
- charger enters "float" charge mode:
Turn Draft Assist Fan ON when:
- shunt detects 'charging'
- shunt detects 'battery full'
|Programming the Battery box vent fan to respond to events from the master shunt.|
As far as which configuration to use, the latter is best to accommodate all charging devices (alternator, solar, wind). But there is no reason we cannot have both, the system allows it.
And there you have it. A "smart controlled" battery box fan requiring no human intervention. Try that with your traditionally wired boat!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
In the engine room there are two switch boxes: one for 24VDC and one for 12VDC. Each box can switch up to ten devices. I wanted an easy access location for adding new device wiring or overriding fuses, yet out of the way for "normal" operation. The solution was, as with the remote battery switch, to "hang" them on a custom cut acrylic bracket bolted to the backside of the aluminum panel frame that spans the width of the engine room. This puts the switch boxes at your fingertips when sitting at the workbench, yet it is recessed out of the way such that wires or lines of any sort can't get caught on the unit. Wire from device loads, as they are added, will route behind this assembly, against the hull with the E-Board, then drop in from behind to terminate at the switch box. In the future there will be an easily removed protective front panel across the bottom that will help protect the devices.
|Switch boxes lower center and left. Battery switch lower right. User interface components center.|
|Mast step switch box.|
A few more switch boxes are planned throughout the boat. They will be added as devices continue to be installed.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Large-ish components, such as the battery charger and DC-DC converter, are mounted to an half inch acrylic panels. The panels are then mounted to aluminum rails that are attached to the bulkhead. The rails provide 1.5 inches of space for wiring. This means wiring can run behind, instead of around the large devices, which makes for easier and shorter wire runs.
|Battery Charger panel. Note the hinge at the bottom and cutout to route wiring.|
The acrylic panels are attached to the rails with bolts at four corners. The lower portion is split with a hinge enabling the upper bolts to be removed and the device to be "hinged down" for access to the back of the device and the wiring behind.
|Same panel, hinged in the down position., providing access to wiring and bulkhead.|