LED Flasher Circuit
- Here is a one of the drawings I've worked up for the electrics for
my boat but it can be modified to suit other voltages. My boat has
12 volts for the main power source. I found a great source for circuits
for nifty things, like flashing lights, horns, dual tone siren or
horn. There are a couple of books by Forrest Mims, one called "Getting
Started in Electronics" and another called "Engineers Mini-Notebook".
If your restricted to the use of two or three channels. It's a great
way to expand the capabilities of their usage. I found some ultra
tiny switches in an old VCR that had given up the ghost and also in
an old answering machine of the cassette type. They're nice when you're
restricted to space in the hull, and can be worked off a cam on one
of the servos.
- This circuit and the one for the flashing LED's can both be put
on the same board, as the circuits are small. The board I found useful
is one put out in a twin pack by Radio Shack (#276-148) and ends up
being 2" square, great for small places. It's an experimenter's
board, so no printed circuit, but there are soldering spots on the
backside for running wires. I used one when I worked up my forward/
reverse relay for my boat.
- Radar Scanner
- Bass wood carving of antenna.
- Brass tubing slightly larger than pulley on motor.
- Flat plastic disc to cover existing holes in top of motor (can
be made from plastic material from margarine tub lid).
- Motor and pulley from answering machine (3v).
- Basswood disc for mounting purposes.
- Dowel for standoff.
- Basswood disc for standoff flange.
Use contact cement for mounting upper plastic disc and lower basswood
disc to motor
Use epoxy cement for mounting dowel, flange to lower disc, also for
brass tubing to antenna.
Use epoxy cement to secure top of pulley to bottom of antenna.
Note: voltage reduction is required for scale like rotational speed.
This could be done with the right resistor or possibly a pulse generator.
- Lifeboatman Figure
- To make a lifejacket, use an epoxy type marine putty, which can
be picked up at your local hardware store or Walmart store. Start
with the front areas on both sides of chest, then the back and around
the belt area. Work with some speed, as the putty takes about 20 minutes
to cure. Smooth out the joins at belt and shoulders with a toothpick
or exacto knife. The Seaman's cap is made from the same material.
The brims of the caps are nothing more than card stock, pushed into
the putty and let cure. The cap in the top photo opposite is an Officer's.
The cap shown in the other photo is very much like a baseball cap,
except the brim is shorter. My reference for 'work uniforms' was found
on the Internet under U.S.C.G. uniforms, as to color and style of
caps and uniform color. I used flat paint for all the items, which
is an enamel paint.
- Raised Cabin Floor
- This is the raised anti skid area of the cabin, which is
made from plastic cross stitch fabric form a local arts and crafts
store. The frame is basswood strips glued to the deck to form a grid
work for the anti skid panel. This should be painted, except for the
top surface, where the panel goes. The panel should be spray painted
on one side only, leaving the opposite side for gluing. I used a spray
type waterproof adhesive, which was like a watery contact cement.
Then I placed the panel and weighted it down on the grid work. After
drying, I painted the edges of the panel. This counter cross stitch
fabric can be bought in various grid sizes, with scale in mind.
- Rope Ladder
- This rope ladder was some junk jewellery I scabbed the links from
and with the aid of some braided fishing line, constructed the ladder.
After knotting the links in place, I super glued the knots.
|Mast and Lights
- Brass tubing (size to suit).
- Brass tubing to suit.
- LED's (3) size to suit.
- Brass tubing to suit.
- Brass tubing to suit.
- Solder lead wire to base of mast. Also solder the negative leads
on the LED's to a running wire. Both leads run through a small hole
in the cabin roof.
For best results, use the bright type LED's in white. It's more visible
at night. All joints should be low temp resin core solder found in places
such as Radio Shack. I painted the mast and LED's as shown after all
assembly was done.
Port and Starboard Lights
- This is a small piece of flat basswood material, cut to fit the
inside of item #3. Drill 2 small holes for the led leads to pass through.
- This also is basswood, cut to the size of the open side of #3.
- This part is a little unusual, in that it is the clear plastic blister
found as part of the packing for over the counter pharmaceuticals,
such as tylanol or anti-diarheals. Cut away from cardboard backing
- Using epoxy cement, glue item 1 and 2 together.
- These are LED's in the appropriate colors and sized for scale,
to some extent. Cut the leads on the led to about 1/8" or shorter,
push through item #1 and solder on some fine wire leads. For ease
of replacement of an LED, you could cement the base to #1 using rubber
cement. Also use this type of adhesive to affix #3 to #2.
- After everything is dry and ready to install on your boat, paint
assembly, as shown, leaving the area at the led unpainted. You might
also use rubber cement to secure assembly to the boat, for easy LED
The photo opposite shows the handrail on the front of the doghouse.
I saw it on another boat on this website and decided to add it. It's
made from a piece of coat hanger wire, 2 short pieces of brass tubing
and 2 small brass hollow rivets, all soldered together.
| Fire Extinguisher
- Using a hardwood dowel and depending on size, turn up as shown.
I used an electric drill and small wood file or rasp. Drill a hole
in the "valve" end, depth is not important.
- Make a small hardwood block and drill 2 small holes through the
- Using dowel rod, cut to length proportional to what a real extinguisher
would have for a gage.
- Cut very thin brass shim stock to configuration shown, so that cross
arms will wrap completely around dowel with extra for the area that
would have the release for the extinguisher. Bend the bottom forward
90 degrees for a rest area.
- Using a paper clip or similar soft wire, bend the "hose"
as shown. One leg of this will go into one of the holes in #2.
- Using the same type of soft wire, bend the handle. Then using a
soldering iron and solder, fashion a trigger onto the handle.
- Using a small hardwood dowel, turn the nozzle, much like a pencil
point, but leave an area large enough to drill a small hole for the
hose, then cut to length. Epoxy all parts together, then paint to
Fairlead and Bow Mast
- To make the fairlead, I used 3/8" soft copper tubing and a
flaring tool from the hardware store. I do a lot of of my own plumbing,
so I had one.Cut to length after flaring and drill cross hole for
- A piece of brass flat stock, about 1/64" thick. Solder to fairlead
- A white LED, with the leads shortened. Using low temp solder, attach
small gage insulated wires.
- Soft plastic tubing, around base of LED and down mast. If carefully
done, heat shrink tubing could be used.
- Brass tubing of proper length, soldered into fairlead top. Wires
can be fished out the rear of the fairlead, and run, one on each side
along the deck edge trim and into the cabin.
Vent and Fill Tubes
- Plastic flex type drinking straw.
- Hardwood dowel.
- Part of plastic straw mentioned above.
- Small disk of thin plastic flat stock, 2 required.
- Epoxy marine putty, the same as used in another of my tips.
Bend flex straw #1 back on itself so as not to kink it. Cut to the
approximate length you need, but leaving room for error. Using 5 to
10 minute epoxy cement, push as much as you can into the bent area and
try to keep the bend area as shown until cement inside has cured. Then,
using marine putty, mould around the 'flex' area to make it look like
a pipe connection. Let cure (about 20 minutes).
Using a small ball of epoxy putty, push partially into #3. Mould it
to look like a pipe cap. Let cure.
Epoxy vent tube and fill tube onto the #4 disks, to look like a pipe
flange. Let cure. After cure, paint both the fill and the vent the appropriate
shade of orange. I used Dean
Nimax' actual lifeboat photos to get what I needed as far as color.
I've put two options as far as vents, as I've seen them in both configurations
- Cut two lengths of tubing about 1" or more in length, making
sure there are no burrs inside either end. The inside diameter should
fit closely on the prop shaft.
- Cut the centre piece to the length needed, minus about 1/2".
Temporarily push one of the #1 pieces into #2, leaving about 1/4"
sticking out. About 1/8" beyond the end of #1, drill a small
cross hole, about 1mm in diameter. Then using #1 push it carefully
beyond cross hole to deburr cross hole. Remove and clean out the inside
of #2. Then insert both #1 pieces, leaving about 1/4" protruding
from each end, and sweat solder the 3 pieces together.
- Purchase a small plastic syringe, either from a medical supply house,
hardware store in the lube area, or a hobby store. Size the #3 tube
inside diameter to the syringe. Many times the syringe is tapered
on the end (all the better). Then cut about 1/2" of this tubing
and solder carefully for a 'no leak' condition at joint. If you find
that your prop shaft is a little snug after soldering, apply a small
amount of polishing compound to it and run it in the stuffing box,
with an electric drill or Dremel tool until it's free. Then rinse
off all the compound with paint thinner or kerosene from the tube
i.d. and shaft o.d. Use a good grade of lithium grease or axle grease
for the lube. After the first run with the boat, there may be a black
secretion out the ends of the stuffing box. Wipe off, relube with
the syringe, until there is no more black secretion. This black gunk
was just the metal from the initial run in period and should not be
a problem with frequent lubing, maybe every 2 or 3 times out running
the boat. This is a great thing for lower RPM electrics (about 1500
to 3000 RPM).
The coxswain's chair in the cabin was kind of a stickler, as to how
to approach it. Once I got my thoughts together, it wasn't too bad.
Parts 1, 2, and 6 are made of .010 inch brass shim stock. Parts 3 and
4 are made from hard balsa. Mine were made from some trailing edge stock
from my days in model airplanes. The forward part of the seat cushion
ends up about 3/16" thick, as does the top of the back cushion.
Part 5 is a common washer, with clearance for a 3/8 screw, in this case
a 3/8 post. Dean Nimax' photos
again proved to be a valuable asset. Everything was done proportionately
to his model pictures. When you have part 1 and (2) part 2's cut out,
deburr all edges and round off the corners, then make the bends at 90
degrees. Part 7 is the oddest of all, in that it is a lady's dress snap.
This will be the swivel on the bottom of the chair seat. The snap is
a 2 piece assembly, the flattest of which will be epoxied to the chair
seat underside when ready place the whole assembly on the post. Part
6 is the same thickness of brass shim stock and about 1/8 across and
the length to suit. Part 6 will take some playing with to get it correct,
what with the compound angles involved, so that the bottom of the seat
is parallel to the washer, when soldered in place. I did it on the 3rd
try. Solder the arm rests onto the chair frame (1 and 2). Then solder
6 to bottom of seat, then to the washer. A small amount of bending and
tweaking will help get what you want. When you get ready to glue the
snap to the post, you may have to grind or drill an indentation for
the snap to sit flat. For this, use epoxy. Then put some epoxy on the
seat bottom for the other snap half, place the snap segment, lower partial
assembly onto post and align and let cure. Use a fairly fast curing
epoxy for this, as holding in place is tiresome. When this is cured,
epoxy the seat cushions in place. Paint to suit. This seat, when done
correctly, will snap in place and swivel as shown in the photo.