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Electronics mounting sheet material

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Beau, Dec 21, 2020.

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  1. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Hi Folks, Changing out some electronics on my helm. There is existing black sheet material, maybe 1/8 thick, with a sandwiched white center layer for cutting in labeling. It's screwed to the fiberglass at the edges. I've seen this material on many helms. Typically gauges are mounted on this material with thru holes. What is it called???
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  2. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    It's available as engraving stock:
    http://www.bfplasticsinc.com/engraving-products/engraving-plastics.asp
    If you plan to have any engraving done, it's best to find an engraver that has larger format equipment before buying stock. A lot of that gear has a limited swing, like drill presses have limits. Years ago, I restored (okay; modernized) a 68' Chris Roamer dash. I found a large placard engraver that was willing to work with me. The guy was bored with making business door plate signs, like (Accounting), e.g. Anyway, I learned that the equipment has some real limitations, like depth and font "boldness". It seems the tiny router bits break :(
    Working with a very agreeable engraver, I managed to laminate my own engraving stock onto red plexi so that the legends showed red at night.
    It took a lot of running around to find anyone helpful. Even the engraver I found started getting heat from the Boss for spending to much time on development.
    Trophy engravers were the most disagreeable.
    If you're not engraving, you might like matte black Formica. Just take a felt pen and touch up the cut edges. They're brownish, otherwise.. I like that it's thin, non-reflective, and doesn't buckle if it has sun on it and isn't perfectly glued down, in places.
  3. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thanks d-meister. I'm not too interested in the engraving aspect, rather the fact that it will give me a new surface to mount the more modern electronic and cover the cutouts of the existing units. I'm not interesting in glassing and re-gelcoating the helm. I'll let the next owner do that?
  4. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    I used aluminum and had it powder coated flat black. Not as flimsy as the plastic.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  6. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thank you for the help folks.
  7. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Attached Files:

  8. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    I recently went through a helm redo. I think we first went with 1/4” starboard but it would sag some. We then went with 3/8s and that is much better.
  9. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Yeah, starboard won't hold sealant and isn't structural. A little sun will soften it quickly. Powder coated aluminum or a piece of acrylic are the best products. But with aluminum, try to isolate your stainless fasteners from toughing the aluminum.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Still interested, out of curiosity, the name of that engravable material. I have to measure it next time I'm at the boat, but I think its less than 1/8" thick?? I would like to match that existing material if I can. The "black plate" as a veneer will have a lot of structural support behind it from the existing helm structure. Using the plate for surface cosmetics. I just need to resize/move the existing cutouts to accommodate the new equipment and cover portions of the existing openings that show.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  12. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    There doesn't seem to be a trade name that defines the product, like King's Starboard is the descriptor for all products like it, Xerox defines copying, Band-Aid is universal for self-adhesive bandages. The product name in the link in post #2 is Duets, but I don't think it has the name recognition of Plexiglass (acrylic sheet) or Lexan (polycarbonate sheet). They're maybe a little disappointed in that :(
    Anyway, I found it by searching for "engraving stock", and that appears to be what it's called in the trades. It's one of those products that's been around forever, everybody has seen it, but it doesn't have a name associated with it that "Pops", like Formica (laminate sheet).
  13. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Gotcha. I just did the same search and found it. Thanks to all. Tough to match off the computer screen. I'll try to find a local supplier?
  14. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    A very clean refit indeed, well done!
    But which engines does the boat have, if I may ask?
    The reason for my curiosity is that all the CRM engines boats that I've seen were originally fitted with the MMDS from new.
    I've only seen a few with the VDO gauges on the flybridge, but at least the main helm always came with the displays.

    OTOH, if you actually have mechanical engines, I would be interested to know how smooth the conversion was.
    When I investigated that for my boat (just out of curiosity, not because really interested), I was told that it's a helluva job, requiring the replacement of all sensors and re-cabling, not to mention the outrageous parts costs... o_O
  15. T.T.

    T.T. Senior Member

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    Excellent layout!!
  16. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Thank you for the kind words.
    The redo of the console was done as part of a refit and repower; D2842LYE v12-1000 engines were replaced with CRM V10-1100 units.

    With the mechanical engines, the MAN supplied VDO alarm system was not very good, it was replaced with an alarm and monitoring system from Flight Systems:
    https://www.flightsystems.com/engine-idling-management-controls/model-550/

    With Arneson Drives, we needed to have precise RPM data that the analog VDO gauges could not provide:
    https://www.aetnaengineering.com/model-8402-led-tachometer/

    We also wanted to precisely monitor EGT, the owner's pilot sent us in the right direction with aviation instrumentation:
    https://iflyei.com/product/e-2-egt-instrument/

    And, we also wanted to monitor turbo boost, and again aviation was the winner, but I just can't seem to find the source for those gauges.

    Of course, the new MMDS has screens for all of that data, but we chose to retain the turbo boost and EGT in the new console layout.
  17. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Ok, that explains both the previous and the new instrumentation nicely!
    And also the throttles replacement.

    I'm very surprised to hear that the boat has Arneson drives, though.
    I never came across such speed-dedicated powerplant in any boat with a classical interior like that.
    Is she some sort of E-class Mercedes-Benz of the 80s, with the 6 liters AMG engine, known as "the Hammer" and capable to compete with Ferraris and Lambos? :D

    Interesting also to hear that you adopted some aviation instruments.
    I am half thinking to do the same on my boat, with the same target of monitoring boost and EGT, neither of which are available as standard in my V8/800 - as well as they weren't in your previous V12/1000.

    The instrument I am considering is this one, which can handle practically everything (RPM, boost and EGT separately for both cylinder banks) in a single 3 1/8" display that could nicely replace the VDO analogue tachometers.

    If you (or your owner's pilot, or anyone else dealing with aviation stuff) know anything about the reliability of this "Michigan Avionics" and of their products, I am all ears!
  18. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Looks like a nice unit, what would you be using for the tachometer input?
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I only toyed with the idea so far, and didn't design yet a possible installation (also for the EGT and boost sensors, btw).
    But the instrument itself can handle just about anything, according to their online manual: existing rev counter wire, ignition coil in petrol engines, or dedicated pickups - magnetic, gear tooth, or optical.
    What did you use with your Aetna tachometer?

    Besides, why was an accurate RPM reading so essential with your previous mechanical engines, for better synchronization, or what?
  20. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    The Aetna tachometer came with a sender that installed inline with the tachometer cable from the mechanical output at the front of the engine, with a cable going to a VDO doubler that serviced the Glendinning synchronizer and the VDO original analog tachometers.

    Accurate RPM reading was essential because of the Arneson drives, the Glendinning synchronizer did the work of synchronization for us. With the ability to trim the drives up and down, also comes the danger of putting the engines in overload, moreso with a mechanical injection pump. We needed to know that we were able to achieve manufacturer recommended max RPM based on the height we set the drives at. Running the propellers more submerged than that drive height meant that we were operating in overload, not a desirable situation.