Originally Posted by bljones
In this forum, we've seen big projects on small boats and small projects on big boats- let's see the cheap projects! Show us what you have done on your boat on a budget.
Here's the rules:
1) Gotta be under $100 US, or equivalent currency.
2) You must have done it yourself. Although, if you found someone to work on your boat for less than $100, feel free to post contact info.
3) bonus points will be given for elegance and ingenuity.
Here's hoping I get some of those bonus points, maybe I can exchange them for valuable prizes somewhere.
I bought 5 LED strip lights, the kind that are about 18 inches long and have double sided tape on the back. I used one of them under the lip above where the nav station panel closes. Cost for one was about $7. You can see it installed here:
If you look closely, you can see that I bent a couple pieces of wire to have a circle (to fit around a wood screw) and a little tab (to hold the end of the LED strip. The glue on the double sided tape didn't work so well on the end of the LED strip. That and the double sided tape didn't go all the way out to the end of the strip, because of the end cap on the strip. Cost for 2 small pieces of wire was $0. I had it around anyway.
Edit: Adding this picture -- Brad
I led the wire through a small notch in the wood that I carefully made with a chisel. (The notch and wire are on the far end end f the LED strip, out of sight.) Then I connected the light to a switch on the side of the nav station. I rarely used that switch; it was for a small light near the floor. (It was the "mystery switch" that I posted about a while back.) Here is the LED strip with the light on.
Here you can see how well it lights up the nav station panel. What you can't see in the picture is how well it lights up the nav station tabletop. (I have a single LED not shown that can act as a spot light onto the table top if needed. It plugs into the nearby 12v plug.) Anyway, there's plenty of light there. The copy of Eldridge is actually in the shadow at the back of the nav station.
And then when I open the panel, the same strip light fully illuminates the wiring harness and the strip blocks for the wiring.
The transition is amazing, probably worth posting a video so you can see the effect when opening the panel. Maybe when there's more time.
Total cost about $7.
P.S. Yes, that's my on-board, 12v WiFi WAP (Wireless Access Point) that connects to my Bullet2HP long range WiFi at the top of the mast. Note the very simple POE injector in the picture. I'm not quite done with that project yet -- waiting for delivery of a reliable, very long CAT5 cable. (I'm buying Belkin only from now on. The blue wire in the picture turned out to not work. I don't need those headaches.) I installed the WAP this past weekend. The setup works really well. Once I get it completely done, maybe I'll post about it.