Building a cabinet for electronics

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Sammik, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Sammik
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Location: Toronto

    Sammik New Member

    I'm helping my friend build a boat. We have decided to sail the east coast once it's complete.

    We will have some electronics placed inside the small cabin, like music system, speakers and other instruments for navigation. We were planning to build cabinets inside for the power batteries and for electronic instruments. I thought of using aluminum cabinets. My neighbor works in a custom sheet metal fabrication company. He said, they can do that.

    My friend says wood is better than aluminum. I think aluminum lasts longer and will be light weight. I need advice.
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Either one will work. As far as weight is concerned, the material alone is not enough to form an opinion. Depending on the thicknesses and design one can be heavier than the other.
  3. Rusty Nuts
    Joined: Nov 2015
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    Rusty Nuts New Member

    unless your aluminium cabinet is well ventilated, (not sealed) it will condensate on the inside and eventually rot the internal contents. wood does not condensate in the same way, but either way any electrical device that generates heat needs good ventilation.
    Stereo amplifiers get hot in use and take a while to cool, overheat them and they fail, not to mention a potential fire risk....
    maybe some form of forced air cooling? like a bank of hard drive cooler fans to push and pull the airflow, in @ the bottom, out @ the top.....
    But beware some batteries, especially wet lead acid (car type) give off explosive gasses when being charged, these should never be charged in an enclosed area. as a guide, even if it says "sealed lead acid battery" it will still gass when charged.
    They can gass badly as they reach the end of their life or suffer internal failure or if being heavily cycled.
  4. Sammik
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Sammik New Member

    There will be ventilation for the heat to go. And

    what kind of batteries am I to use? The weight should be down to the minimum too.

  5. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    I would consider to buy from a lithium battery. It depends what your system is using at present. if 12-14 Volt Lithium is the lowest in weight and not too expensive. They sell thousands if not ten thousands of Lithium batteries and all kind of different voltages and currents. They have the advantage that if you are on a long trip and the battery is run down to maximum deep charged value, it will stay for a couple of years OK, before having to have them recharged. As long you buy a suitable charger from them also. I would not use any Slabs or Lead acid batteries. A couple of slip ups and you battery is gone bad. Nickel hydrate you could also use, as they have the advantage to deep charge without consequences. The same apply for the old fashioned Nickel Cadnium
    What is your expected power in watts, or Voltage and current requirements and time Bert
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