A blog about SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) boats. Covering the build, sailing the boat and the scamp community that has formed around this little portly boat.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Canoe paddle house sign

At some point in the last couple years, my dad gave me a canoe paddle he had since I was a little kid sailing in his snipe. The paddle is probably even older than me. Around christmas time 2016, I epoxied and varnished it and applied some house numbers and set it in our front yard to be a house number sign.

Unfortunately, I didn't sand it well enough and the epoxy didn't stick well to the varnish on the paddle and started to flake off.

I decided to re-do the paddle.

I sanded it down to the wood and made sure I got all the finish off.

Then I epoxied it and used spar varnish to protect it from UV sunlight.
I'll put the numbers back on it and use for our house sign.

fourth coat of marine spar varnish

The blade center and handle is red oak. The black spots are the screws for the house numbers.


It's finished, I just have to mount it on the pole now.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Battery meter installation followup

I finished the installation of the battery meter. This post is for pictures of the install and notes if anyone else wants to do the same thing.

I was able to borrow a phone end crimper from a friend. Ten RJ12 ends were $1.29 from Fry's. I tested the cable to make sure I knew how to wire it before clipping off the end and running it through he bulkheads.

A few wire ties and it's all done.

Meter installed

Shunt mounted on the starboard side. Main switch (red) on port side.

In this photo you can see the blocks I put in to hold the battery in place

A better shot of the shunt
The Victron BMV-700 is a small meter. Requires a 52-53mm hole. I used an adjustable hole drill bit. I tested for measurement on a scrap piece of MDF until I got the right size.
When drilling a hole with the adjustable hole saw bit, I found it easier to cut the hole about 1/2 way through the plywood, then put a sharp jigsaw blade in a vice-grip and cut the circle piece out manually.

The build quality of the BMV-700 is ok. I worry about it in the marine environment but it should be ok.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Battery meter installation

I always worried about my battery failing if I depleted it fully. I know it is a 79Ah battery, but I never was able to figure out the amperage load when running the motor. I did install a voltage meter in the cigarette lighter/auxiliary port, but a voltage meter is a poor battery gauge.

I know about battery state of charge meters from some of the investigation I had done into building an electric car. A state of charge meter monitors all power coming out and going into the battery. Since it knows the capacity of the battery, it can monitor and alarm when the battery is at 50%, the rough safe zone for battery usage.
After some investigation, I decided on Victron BMV-700.

Since I had designed the circuit and done all the electrical work, I knew how to wire in the SoC meter. It's a simple shunt that goes inline on the ground side of the battery and a long cable with RJ12 telephone jacks that goes to the meter which should be mounted someplace visible.

I've now over drilled all the mounting holes and drilled the through holes for the RJ12 control cable.

After the epoxy cures, I'll mount all the equipment and test everything.

The meter will be on starboard side of B3. The hole is above the hatch.

The shunt (black lead) and the meter just outside the battery well. You can also see the grey control cable in the back.

I'd like to cut that control cable but I don't have an RJ12 crimper. Anyone have one I can borrow?