Friday, 3 July 2015

Radar Gun pt1

Progress has been halted lately as a result of another hobby; I've broken another hand mountain biking. Hopefully a quicker recovery this time but who knows.  This staying healthy lark is unhealthy!

Before trying to rip my thumb apart, I made a start on the radar.  Jackie at Model Slipway very kindly sent me the resin radar they now send with the kit instead of the vac form that came with mine.  It's a big improvement...

The problem for me though is motorising the radar arm.  I want the motor to be in the radar housing itself so the mast can fold.  I considered drilling out the resin but it would have been really tricky and my motor is I think fractionally too big.  So, back to the drawing board.  I've come up with a two part box with a removable top just in case.  At the moment, it's just the basic box former; the plan is to add shape with 0.5mm styrene panels or filler or a combination of both.

That the progress so far, more when I'm fixed!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Mast(erblaster) Part 3

I'm still working on the mast!  The lower mast is now complete, save for the radar platform, and having to remove on of the upper mast supports in order to fit the platform.  So that means I've added the U section base parts; drilled for the hinge and hydraulic rams and brackets for the aerials.  The latter were really fiddly as I decided to make slots in which to solder them but ended up breaking several drill bits trying to chain drill slots!

The upper mast is also done and with working LEDs for the nav lights and blue and orange flashing lights.  The two nav lights are wired in parallel, so only one pair of wires to feed through the mast.  The blue and orange lights have separate +ve wires for separate switching but a common -ve.  The platforms were made by sandwiching 0.75 styrene sheet with channels cut for the wiring between two pieces of 0.25mm styrene.

Finally, for now, the port and starboard nav light boxes have been folded up, having been drilled for the LED wiring.  The plugs on the bottom are aluminium tube and are a little over scale but necessary to take the LEDs given the size of LEDs and the boxes.  I first soldered the boxes to the mast frames but having looked at reference photos saw that they are on brackets.  Far too fiddly for me to make from brass and solder so I settled on 0.75mm styrene and superglue.  Not ideal but relatively solid.

The next jobs are to fit the mast platform, add the small brackets (cable ties on the full size boat) to attach the wiring conduits and then to add the bracket for the attachment point to the side rails on the flying bridge.  Then it's the 'H' aerial on the mast top.  Oh, and I need to make the CCTV camera that's underneath the mast platform.  Hopefully, it's then time to paint.  The finish line is in sight for the mast, even if I've no idea how long it'll take to finish the boat!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Mast(erblaster) Part 2

Work on the mast has continued.  The braces are all on as is the bracket for the upper mast.  That was the trickiest part; in fact the two pieces forming the top 'V' took me all day to get right!  Still all's well that ends well.  All parts are 3.2mm brass tube save for the sleeve for the upper mast which is 4mm brass tube.

Here's a few photos of work so far;

I need to re-align the base tube for the upper as it's very slightly off the vertical.  I also need to remove on of the support pieces in order to fit the platform for the radar as it should be one piece from to back.  I'm not sure yet whether to make it from 0.5mm styrene or 0.5mm brass.

Just the bottom pieces to go and then attention turns to the top mast, mast platforms, radar, lights and wiring...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Mast(erblaster) part 1

So, onto (save for the Y-boat) the last major component build on the boat; the mast.  Looking at the full size boat and the plans, the 2 'arch' pieces are canted forward but with all the braces and radar platform being horizonal.  My initial plan was to canabalise the cast metal mast bases in the kit by cutting out the brace and replacing with a brass brace.  However, when I looked at the pivot point and attaching dummy hydraulic rams and the lifting mechanism, I decided the base pieces needed to be U channel and not cast solid.

So that meant ditching the cast bases, drawing a plan for the mast and machining a square brass tube to a U channel.  So here's a picture of the drawing and some but not all of the mast pieces.

I also noticed from photos of the full size boat that the arches and one pair of braces were a larger diameter that the rest of the mast.  So I used the kit arch pieces, made one pair of cross braces from 4.0mm brass tube with all other pieces from 3.2mm brass tube.  I decided that I would drill and pin the cross braces as well as soldering them, so I used tube of the next size down as pins.

It was a real struggle to get everything at the correct angle even with my drawing, I must have soldered the thing together and pulled at apart at least 3 or 4 times!  The other mistake I made was to use superglue to tack the radar platform to the arch pieces.  As soon as I tried to solder the joints, the glue melted, therefore stank, and contaminated the solder flow.  So lesson learnt.

Still, it's heading in the right direction now…

Even though, that's less than half the total pieces needed!