"Current Situation" DIY Efficient Solar/Electric Powered Newport 17 Project

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ElectroDanO, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 321
    Likes: 92, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    Relays? Why are there relays in a PWM controller - what do they do?
    and
    Fast model boats? so you are familiar with Li-ion and brushless.
     
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  2. ElectroDanO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 35
    Likes: 36, Points: 18
    Location: Smyrna TN

    ElectroDanO Current Situation

    The relays are for forward and reverse. Bench test looks good. If this doesn't work, I'll go back to a basic PWM with forward only and no relays.

    Yes, I've been playing with these crazy toy boats for about 12 years now. I usually shoot for top speed with a GPS. Makes my hands shake everytime!
     
  3. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 321
    Likes: 92, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    The relay thing seems strange. I built a brushless outboard and controller using a speed controller (ESC) from the model 'plane hobby, which doesn't have reverse, I reversed it by wiring two phases to a two pole changeover switch (turn throttle to zero first). Then I tried a relay with two changeover contacts operated by a waterproof switch. The relay failed so I have now gone back to the changeover switch! Reason for trying a relay was that it had a spare contact which could be used to operate a solenoid to lock the outboard leg down in reverse but I never got around to using that.
     
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  4. ElectroDanO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 35
    Likes: 36, Points: 18
    Location: Smyrna TN

    ElectroDanO Current Situation

    Interesting! I'll start looking into that idea! I'm not sure on the "relay thing" either but I'd guess that cost probably has something to do with it. I'd love to see more about your brushless setup! I tried searching but didn't find much... I definitely want to make a brushless motor(or two) for this thing eventually. What a fun project that will be!

    Well, the new beefy relays seem to help a little but not near what I had hoped. Relay still gets pretty hot. I ran it at 90-100% for over an hour straight and never let out any magic smoke so I can't complain too much. Maybe that's just the nature of the beast with using these $15 PWM controllers...o_O

    My son and I went on an overnighter and never left the boat other than to jump in and enjoy the water. We did some exploring and the wildlife was in full swing. We even got to see a bald eagle! That's beyond rare to see around here. Neither one of us were too sure about the sleeping arrangements in the little cabin but we both fit just fine. We're getting this stuff figured out!:cool:
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  5. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 321
    Likes: 92, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    DanO, it looks like you're having a fine time! I'm still reeling from some of last years failures - lead batteries failing, leaving me to row; a folding propeller for the outboard didn't work; a pedal powered fin device on the transom was an embarrassing failure. Also the solar roof I made is not really suitable for my little boat as it is narrow and the roof makes it unstable.
    I'm now assembling some li-ion batteries using new old stock robot lawnmower batteries.
    All you need for reversing is a two pole changeover switch or one relay with two changeover switch contacts. Unactivated (no power consumed) in forward, activate for reverse.
     
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  6. ElectroDanO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 35
    Likes: 36, Points: 18
    Location: Smyrna TN

    ElectroDanO Current Situation

    Alan, I got a laugh out of your failure comment. Sometimes things don't turn out like we had originally hoped for do they? I know that feeling ALL too well! I'm a master at failing.:rolleyes::D It can be frustrating but we have to keep going. Especially when it comes to getting on the water!

    Funny that you mentioned the lawnmower battery. I help out at my friends small engine shop a couple of days a week and I'm always bringing home some cool "scrap" to play with. Starting to see more electric equipment with brushless motors and lithium batteries now also. So exciting!

    Thanks for the info on the changeover switch. That looks like a far better way of doing things. I'll get one on the way!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
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  7. ElectroDanO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 35
    Likes: 36, Points: 18
    Location: Smyrna TN

    ElectroDanO Current Situation

    Well, she's officially taken apart for the year.:( Another fun and successful summer was had though!
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    I have a list of little projects to do over the winter. I've been dreaming of higher voltage and more power but I've just about talked myself into leaving the power system alone for a while and working on other stuff. That being said, I ran across some very affordable Haswing Protruar brushless motors that have my interest now. Their 12v model is rated at 65lb/600w and two 24v models at 85lb/960w and 110lb/1200w. Pretty decent numbers for a bolt on motor/controller that would hopefully be a little more efficient also. Something to think about!:)
     
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