Graphics LCD library for JOS

Have been too busy to play around with my Arduino stuff lately, but my visit to Kesseltronics in Canada inspired me to spent an evening with the graphic LCD board I bought earlier and write some code for it to be included in JOS



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First layer of paint

Finally, after many hours of grinding and filling and grinding and .. , I got to do some painting. The first layer of color made me happy and unhappy at the same time. The color is good!! … but looking closer this first layer isn’t smooth at all. So more grinding ahead…

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Saildrive with electric motor

Just a few pics of the saildrive and motor.

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New solar cells

I ordered a second batch of solar cells. Along with more poly crystalline cells for creating additional small panels, I got some mono crystalline ones also. These are quite a bit thinner than the poly crystalline ones though surprisingly not more fragile. I found them easier to solder as well! So I recommend these if you want to do DIY solar.

I intend to put a strip of 24 cells on each side of the boat along the side just under the gunwale, which I hope will protect them. When it looks like they might get damaged, I’ll laminate a thin layer of glass fiber on top like I did with the panels. I am very curious how they will perform. Obviously they will be useless in the harbor, but out on the water I hope that with  the reflection of light from the water, they will perform reasonably well.

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Ramp up the voltage

I’ve chosen to run the electric system on board “Wahine” at 36V rather than 24V. Mainly, so I can get sufficient revs. from the electric engine. In order to charge the batteries at this voltage, you need something like 41V. It’s a little impractical to have this as the output voltage of the solar panels on board and also the little wind turbine I bought (Rutland 504) outputs between 5 and 20V or so. So I set out to find a DC step up converter. After some looking and asking around and considering building one myself, I ended up on e-bay and bought this

It’s based on an LM2577, which I had already looked at, but it does a really poor job at large voltage steps (like say from 12V to 41V!). I’m not really sure why, but looking at the LM2577 spec sheet, it makes some sense. I am not enough of an electronics guy to judge.

So looking further on e-bay, I found these:

which were advertised especially for large voltage steps and they are excellent and churn out more than 1A at 41V at 85+% efficiency.

The output voltage is controlled by a manual pot meter. I would like to replace it with a digitally controllable one, so I can use an Arduino to do MPP for the solar cells and wind turbine, but those are just thoughts for now 🙂

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No valley too deep, no mountain too high.

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”.  Well, my sister did just that. She turned a perceived weakness of physical performance into an ability to be proud of. Anything is possible now. It may even be that pigs will fly or that everybody will live happily ever after. Respect from your brother!


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Three names

Removing old layers of paint is like traveling through time. First, I’ve discovered the yard number of my Waarschip 730 is 61 and later that she was once called “Quator Spinae”, which I cannot figure out the meaning of, despite the couple of years of latin in school. As far as I can tell, it means something like four thorns or four difficulties. If the former owner ever reads this, please enlighten me!

When I bought her, she was called “Mujer” (woman in Spanish) and I renamed her “Wahine” (woman in Maori/Hawaiian/Polynesian)

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Some images in April

Here are some images of the jobs done on the boat in April.

Some of the jobs done are:

  • Completing triplex deck
  • Keel fairing repair
  • Sanding the teak in the cockpit and impregnating with teak oil
  • Creating saildrive mount
  • Planing and sanding the chines, drilling away the filler from the screws and epoxying everything
  • Epoxying the bow
  • Sanding down most of the old anti fouling
  • … and more
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Drilling through the hull to mount the saildrive

Somewhat of a ‘here we go!’ moment to put the drill to the bottom and go straight through! Reminds me of the joke: “What does a belgian (fill in your neighbouring countryman here) do when his boat has a hole and water is pouring in? .. he drills another hole, so the water can flow back out.” Ghe.

Anyway, my father brought his milling machine to mill a circle out of the bottom plate and the saildrive fits superbly.

Next up: mounting the motor to the saildrive.

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Blackbird nesting on the pulpit

A (couple of) blackbird(s) decided to build a nest on the pulpit of the boat. Two out of four chicks are still alive and well. I’ve tried to do as little work as possible on the forward part of the boat and the birds seem to have gotten used to me, so I hope they make it.

Here are some pictures

Edit 25-4: The little birds seem to have left the nest. I hope they are well! I’ve removed the nest, just in case the mother decides to have another go..

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