Low buck projects- Let's see 'em! - Page 55 - SailNet Community
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post #541 of 1407 Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

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Another cheap project I did last summer was my outboard engine hour counter.

I treated "Rockhopper" last summer to a new outboard. Like most of the smaller engines it does not come with an hour meter. So how would I know when to do the next service ?

I found a simple solution for just over £10 on fleebay: An hour meter that works via induction from the spark plug. No batteries, no complicated connections.



All I had to do was to wrap the induction wire around the wire that goes to the sparkplug inside the engine.



Then fixed the wire with twist ties and self amalgamating tape.



Finally stuck the meter with outdoor double sided tape inside the outboard.



Simple !
Simple and cool for sure.

I wish I could have found an inexpensive hour meter when I put my last outboard into service. Calculating (guessing) hours is ridiculous.

I don't know how that thing works. Does RPM (firing rate) make a difference? I couldn't of course - I wonder how it works.
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post #542 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

It works just by induction via the wire that is wrapped around the spark plug wire. Similar to charging an electric toothbrush, I guess. The latest version of this btw has an RPM counter as well, not that I see much need on that for my outboard ...
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post #543 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

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It works just by induction via the wire that is wrapped around the spark plug wire. Similar to charging an electric toothbrush, I guess. The latest version of this btw has an RPM counter as well, not that I see much need on that for my outboard ...
I was just wondering how it counted stuff since the sensor input would be pulses that vary with time.
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post #544 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

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I was just wondering how it counted stuff since the sensor input would be pulses that vary with time.
Just my educated guess ... the internal battery/accumulator of the hour meter gets maintained via induction. At the same time whenever the gadget senses current through the wire to the spark plug the counter starts counting, but when there is no further current for a defined time it stops counting.
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post #545 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

That's always been my understanding - it just clocks how long it's energized. It's a timer, not a counter.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #546 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

It would be easy enough to power the counter off of induced current. Then when the curent is gone, the counting stops and the device turns off.

I wonder if you get to see the elapsed hours when you are not running the engine. If you have to turn the engine on first, then it's a pretty simple design.

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post #547 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

Thanks all.
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post #548 of 1407 Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

We're just beginning forward movement on the Albin Ballad 30 refit. It's going to stretch over four years or so, and we can't be throwing money at it until the later stages. For now, it is structural stuff and planning the new cabin layout. Strange as it seems, the icebox is one of the first things you have to locate. Ours was a FG bin with 1/16" Ensolite wrapped around it. Swedish boat -- you probably put things in the icebox to keep them warm. Not going to cut ice (so to speak) in the tropics.

When you plan this exercise, it's unnerving how fast a little insulation reduces the volume of the box, or increases its outside dimensions. We sorta split the difference. One inch of blue foam inside, reducing volume from 1.5 cu.ft to about 1 cu.ft. Then 1.5" blue foam + 2" foil-faced polyiso on the outside, turning it into a fat little beastie. Its finished dimensions will dictate everything else in the galley. In fact, we had to notch the bridge deck underpanel & let the cooler intrude into the cockpit locker a couple inches.

icebox

Side toward hull is covered in foil-bubble wrap & the exposed faces have Formica epoxied to them: unclad polyiso will burn like a torch if a flame is held to it. It qualifies as low-buck cuz all the materials were already in the garage.

Here is the countertop it's going under:

backside

front

Red lammy on the underside, sort of a coral-water blue on top. (Both remnants from kitchen jobs.) Flap over the alcohol stove will have take-apart hinges & can be slung over the settee as extra counterspace while cooking. There's a deep bin behind that, which lid you can just see the edges of. Haven't cut the sink hole yet, cuz we want a deeper sink. Which is a hard thing to find.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
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Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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post #549 of 1407 Old 04-02-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

I wired my Furuno GPS/Radar/Chartplotter to my Icom VHF Radio. It was a pretty low bucks project because I used extra stuff I had around from other projects. It just took a bit of wire and some connector pins.



It all started when I turned on the Furuno RDP-149 NavNet VX2 chartplotter and Icom 504 VHF radio for the first time. I noticed the radio said ďNo Position No TimeĒ and it was right next to the chartplotter that gets its position and time from its GPS antenna. I want our location to be inputted in to VHF radio so if I need to press the distress button an automatic call can go out to the Coast Guard and our position will be automatically transmitted. Itís also nice that our position will be displayed on the radio so itís easy to tell buddy boats where we are, or for a less emergent situation like a Securite or Pan Pan call.






The whole story is on my blog:Adding NMEA GPS Location to a VHF Radio | Aboard Astraea

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post #550 of 1407 Old 04-02-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

Mine was way easier to plumb the GPS into the Radio. My dirty-low-ender (c. 1987 Duane Pilgrim) Uniden cheapie radio had a pair of wires among the harness just waiting to be provided with GPS goodness. One paired wire, 4 quick solders.

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