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post #1 of 11 Old 10-31-2009 Thread Starter
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Nav Station Blank Plate

We're looking to convert a portion of our nav station to support additional instrumentation. I'd like to put a face plate on the area so we can create a clean look, with all of the instruments (VHF, SSB, ST70 and NASA Barograph) mounted into it. I'm assuming the black plates I see on new boats are black anodized aluminum? Does anyone know anything about them, and where I can buy blanks? We can mill it to the appropriate size, which will be 11 x 17.75, but I need to find a piece to start with. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Chris

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-01-2009
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FRP is a lot easier for most to work with...
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Just a suggestion.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-01-2009
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When I redid my electrical panel it was black powder coated aluminum. Anodizing can scratch very easily and if you rub another bare metal against a mark will be left. I like aluminum because I can, if need be, put threads in it to mount stuff. If you are going to pursue this course, get the aluminum, mill it to size, then bring it to a custom bike or car shop. They should be able to powder coat it for you.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-01-2009
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Over the years I've made quite a few control panels, and Ihad stuff poweder coated and black anodized. I think its more of a choice of what look you want, they'll both hold up pretty well. However despite the fact I can do this myself I don't think I would. If you look in the experimenter electonics magazines (Circuit Cellar Ink comes to mind) you'll find advertisements for companies that produce one off face plates. They can not only cut and finish, but silkscreen legends on them too.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-02-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks... I was hoping there might be sources of the panels, blank, out there. I need to get this project started and finished this week

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-02-2009
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The panel our boat came with is black starboard or equivalent. Looks good, easy to work with.

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post #7 of 11 Old 11-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
We're looking to convert a portion of our nav station to support additional instrumentation. I'd like to put a face plate on the area so we can create a clean look, with all of the instruments (VHF, SSB, ST70 and NASA Barograph) mounted into it. I'm assuming the black plates I see on new boats are black anodized aluminum? Does anyone know anything about them, and where I can buy blanks? We can mill it to the appropriate size, which will be 11 x 17.75, but I need to find a piece to start with. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Chris
Chris,

How are you guys? We need to catch up and speak and see about meeting down south!

Anyways, I just redid all of my panels/electronics. We used 3/4 inch plywood (of your choice) covered in a sheet of black melamine. It is VERY easy to do and very inexpensive. It looks goot too. I will show pics when I bring the camera back (it is a tthe boat now). You can buy all the stuff at Home Depot.

Talk soon,

Brian
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-02-2009
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Frontpanelxpress.com

Note I agree re anodizing, its scratches very easily, and can discolour with age( mine did where sunlight fell on it). poweder coat is much stronger.

The plywood melamine isnt bad either, it can be a bit of a nuisence to mount switches and stuff that cant handle think panels.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-02-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks all... I think for the moment (since we're looking to get SOMETHING done quickly) we're going to (don't laugh) go with 0.25" aluminum that's spray painted flat black. The aluminum is only $15 and the rigidity is good for the mounting of the VHF and SSB. Ultimately, I think we'll be looking to powder coat aluminum. CD - we thought about melamine but wanted flat as opposed to glossy, plus there are some limitations with regards to thickness on the instruments. We can't find a source of black starboard that's cost effective and available. So... for now, aluminum and spray paint . I'm going to check out frontpanelexpress though...

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-02-2009
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Both Arborite and Formica panels are available in both glossy and flat finishes.
!/4" or 3/8" plus the laminate is plenty strong enough.
Brian
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