Bright Spark.

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Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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Bright Spark.

Right then you guys with the electronic brains.

The Ancient and Vulnerable St Deny's Sailing and Rowing Club are in the process of sorting the Sailfish we bought last year.

We've bought a new Mariner 4hp with a power take off. We've also bought a depth sounder, as a boat with a wind-up dagger board isn't a good thing in shallow waters.

I want a simple wiring diagram to include, battery, alt charger, Solar panel,  switch panel, nav lights and two or three aux power supplies for, sounder, VHF, GPS etc.

I'd also like to include a battery charge indicator of some sort.

If anyone can help that'd be great.

Graham
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Bright Spark.

This post was updated on .
Perfect timing Graham - although I have a late 50s analog brain.

I was going to start a "How to electrify your boat" thread at the weekend when I start preparing MilliBee for the Raid.

Wiring diagrams? Is that what Scotty had on Star Trek? How about some pictures of the ingrediants instead:



Sealed gel batteries are great, di-lithium crystals are better but hard to get hold of. As I have demonstrated you can turn them upside down and the acid doesn't leak out:



A Goldilocks solar panel (not too big, not too small), this one does 6 Watts in good sun. Place it horizontal to pick up diffuse light for when there is no direct sun.



Next a solar controller which will charge the battery and keep it in good condition. £12 on ebay, wire the solar panel to left pair of connectors, battery to the middle pair. Its 5in wide. The battery light is green if ok, amber if low and red if too low. Simples!



Lastly a switch/fuse panel. This was £25 from the local chandlers, chosen because of the press-to-reset circuit breakers - no fiddling with spare fuses which are guarenteed to get lost, broken or stepped on.




The switch panel will have red and black input wires - ideally connect to the right hand lamp connections on the controller. The controller will automatically disconnect the lamp output if the battery voltage drops too low to prevent the battery running flat, which could damage it.

But you could wire direct to the battery and run the nav lights from the lamp output via a switch - the solar panel detects night/day turning on the lamp output at night for automatic nav lights either dawn to dusk or a programmed number of hours.

Copper cable is not cheap, use scrap house cable 2.5mm (twin and earth) or ideally 4mm/6mm. Check local sparkies who are modernising properties because since 2006 EU harmonised colours must be brown/blue, so the UK red/black cables might be ripped out. You may have to haggle, scrap copper is about £4 a kilo. Sparky at work gave me 2 reels of red and black because he can't legally use them.


How is that for a start Graham?

More later,
cheers,
-Paul
alopenboat alopenboat
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Re: Bright Spark.

Hi Graham,

On LJ I wired in LED cabin lights. A pain to run the wires neatly to
where the lights were to go. If I were doing it again the cabin
lights would be stand-alone LED lights running off AA batteries. (in
packs of 3 in my local pound shop)


--
Hoping for calm nights

Alastair Law,      
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>          

Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Paul (admin)
Excellent start,
Where would the power output from the outboard go?

Then you can tell me where all the string goes.
Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by alopenboat
Thanks Al,
But how would I power the Disco Ball?
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm
Graham,

You might not need the power output from the outboard - if the solar panel is exposed 24/7 it might provide enough power. It all depends how much the equipment is used and the amount of daylight (it will still charge in a bright but cloudy sky).

You first need to measure the alternator output. Some have no regulation at all and can easily damage a battery by overcharging:
http://sailingit.com/blog/boat-projects/outboard-voltage-regulator
Stick a voltmeter on the output and measure the voltage at low/high revs, on both AC and DC ranges.

Here endith the first lesson.

-Paul
alopenboat alopenboat
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm
On 18 Apr 2012 at 14:00, Port-Na-Storm [via UK HBBR Forum] wrote:

>
>
> Thanks Al,
> But how would I power the Disco Ball?
>

Jeremy's little geared motor would be just the job. He will have no
use for it after he has won the ccc.

 --
Hoping for calm nights

Alastair Law,      
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>          

alopenboat alopenboat
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Paul (admin)
On 18 Apr 2012 at 14:30, adminHBBR [via UK HBBR Forum] wrote:

>
>
> Graham,
>
> You might not need the power output from the outboard - if the solar
> panel is exposed 24/7 it might provide enough power. It all depends
> how much the equipment is used and the amount of daylight (it will
> still charge in a bright but cloudy sky).
>

On LJ, before I had the electric outboard, I ran everything (nav
lights, cabin lights, echo sounder, gps, vhf, phone charger, bilge
pumps etc.) from a 12V wet NiCad pack (about the size of a motor
cycle battery) which was retired from industry 30 years ago. I used
to charge it up in the spring and then charge it up again next
spring.

A small solar panel would have removed the necessity of that chore.--

Hoping for calm nights

Alastair Law,      
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>          

GregHBBR GregHBBR
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Re: Bright Spark.

This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Paul (admin)
Hi Paul,

On 18 Apr 12 20:52 "adminHBBR [via UK HBBR Forum]"
<ml-node+s967333n3921155h87@n3.nabble.com> said:
> Copper cable is not cheap, use scrap house cable 2.5mm (twin and
> earth) or ideally 4mm/6mm.

Not if you want to impress where the BSS applies. That includes the
Thames, Canals and Broads!

--------------
Best practice
We highly recommend that new electrical installations be made with
multi-stranded conductors as single solid-wire cables are vulnerable
to breakage where there is high vibration or repeated flexing.
--------------

Download the guide book here:
http://www.boatsafetyscheme.com/site/GettheGuide_7.asp

Now I'm going to wait for Jeremy to complain about another nonsense
set of safety rules... <evil grin!>

And note how nowhere on the BSS site do they make any claims about how
much safer the waterways are since the scheme was introduced. Wouldn't
you shout it if you could prove what you were doing actually saved
more lives/injuries than letting nature take its course?

I really think this is a case for an FOI request and get this lot of
time wasters wound up!

Further rant and description of much the same electrics plus more about
BSS requirements at:
http://www.seahawk17.plus.com/boatshed/bss.htm
Greg Chapman
GregAfloat - My Boating Biography
Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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RE: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Paul (admin)

Paul,

It might not be necessary to use the outboard power supply, but seeing as we have it, I’d feel really stupid with a flat battery and no connection to the O/B.

 

Graham

 

From: adminHBBR [via UK HBBR Forum] [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 18 April 2012 22:30
To: Port-Na-Storm
Subject: Re: Bright Spark.

 

Graham,

You might not need the power output from the outboard - if the solar panel is exposed 24/7 it might provide enough power. It all depends how much the equipment is used and the amount of daylight (it will still charge in a bright but cloudy sky).

You first need to measure the alternator output. Some have no regulation at all and can easily damage a battery by overcharging:
http://sailingit.com/blog/boat-projects/outboard-voltage-regulator
Stick a voltmeter on the output and measure the voltage at low/high revs, on both AC and DC ranges.

Here endith the first lesson.

-Paul

 


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:

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NAML

Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Paul (admin)
Any cable or component will fatigue or self destruct if allowed to vibrate. In my aviation apprenticeship we were taught to continuously lace wires to reduce any vibration caused by takeoff, flight or landing.

A good example of lacing is the Mars lander below, which has to survive the violent vibration of a rocket takeoff and an unknown bumpy landing:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/MER-2_On_Lander_Prelaunch_PIA04849.jpg
If you look not a single inch of wire is free to vibrate on its own - that's the idea.

So on a boat you have to assess the risks, clearly wires from the outboard need to be flexible, protected and of the LSHF type (Low Smoke and Halogen Free). Unlike PVC the LSHF cable produces minimal smoke and toxic chemicals when exposed to a flame, but don't get confused with LSF.
A cigarette lighter is a good test!:
http://youtu.be/q_PhBp10PdI

High temperature cable is also available.

-Paul




Port-Na-Storm Port-Na-Storm
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RE: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm
So getting back to basics.

Someone over on the Sailfish Forum sent me this handy circuit diagram, which is the kind if thing I almost understand.



The area inside the dotted line pretty much replicates the switch panel on Paul's post.

For the record the output from the outboard is 4ha and is rectified, so that should be OK, but how do I stop it overcharging the battery?

What I'd like to do is have the option to use a solar panel to charge the battery, just to keep it topped up, does that need the separate control panel Paul described and where would it fit into the diagram? I'd also like to have a battery charge indicator of some sort. Presumably that would just go across the battery terminals?

You'd think someone would have devised a ready-assembled control panel/distribution board with all the gizmos built in so that all the small boats out there with really dodgy wiring could be easily converted.  

 
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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RE: Bright Spark.

This post was updated on .
Graham,

That diagram is fine for a small boat - obviously you will add or remove equipment as required.

To prevent overcharging the battery by the outboard you need a battery charger, or something that limits the voltage to 13.7V which is known as the "float voltage"* - the voltage you can safely charge a battery for ever.

The outboard battery charger will be unusual in that it takes a DC voltage in the range 10V to 15V (the output of the outboard) and converts that to a suitable charging voltage for the battery. Such devices are called DC-DC chargers or battery to battery chargers. These will be true chargers in that they will measure the battery voltage and adjust the charge voltage and current in 3 or 4 stages - they tend to be rare.

If you don't mind a bit of soldering a cheap and reliable solution is to build a voltage regulator using one of these:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LM350-LM350T-Adjustable-Voltage-Regulator-1-2-33V-3A-/270514166777?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item3efbe69bf9

With 2 capacitors and one potentiometer you can limit the output of the outboard to a precise voltage. You would twiddle the potentiometer until the output is 13.7V*. Young Liza has offered to solder it together for you as she likes that sort of thing (although exams are round the corner) - here is a typical circuit:



Even if the battery were removed, the regulator would produce a steady 13.7V* to power the equipment.

The solar charger should be ok permanently connected to the battery in parallel with the voltage regulator - best to do some tests. If not a simple changeover switch labelled "Solar Charge - Output Charge" will sort it.

cheers
Paul

*The ideal float voltage varies with battery type and temperature 13.1V to 13.8V is typical
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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RE: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm
Graham,

For battery charge there are gadgets like this:



http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Battery-indicator-meter-gauge-tri-colors-forklift-/110668788555?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item19c45fb34b

It measures the battery voltage and lights up the LEDs like a fuel guage. However the battery voltage can be misleading; after a charge the battery chemistry stays at a high voltage, with a load connected the battery voltage can drop - so you have to take the voltage readings with a pinch of salt.

There are also digital displays of voltage like this:



http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3wire-DC0-100V-DC0-99-9V-Red-LED-digital-display-Voltage-Panel-Meter-Voltmeter-/150798391488?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231c48d8c0

but that might get too technical for some people. However it tells a better story, when the outboard is running you should expect 13.7V (regulated), battery alone 12.4V is healthy, anything below 11V the battery needs a charge.

-Paul
Schierenbeck Schierenbeck
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Re: Bright Spark.

In reply to this post by Port-Na-Storm