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Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:29 pm
by CaptDave
Today Was Launch Day! WooHoo!!
Successful Launch

See my Launching Ramp post here viewtopic.php?f=37&t=31656

After my initial solo test we all went for a 45 minute cruise up and down the reservoir. A good test for the amp eater with full load - probably close to 800 lbs (must be lead bricks in the cooler)
Ready to board

Here is a speed vs amps report (speed as reported by Garmin GPS)
10A 3.2 mph
20A 4.2 mph
30A 4.7 mph
40A 5.0 mph
50A 5.2 mph
70A 5.3 mph
90A 5.7 mph

30A 5.3 mph
40A 5.5 mph
50A 5.6 mph
70A 5.9 mph

It is easy to see what hull speed is....
My motor is rated at 100 amps but I don't want to run it at high amps for any length of time for 1/2 mph more

I will be happy cruising at 5 mph - it seems faster when you are in the boat on the water.
I will get some solo speed tests later
Enjoying a nice ride on the lake

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:45 pm
by BayouBengal
Great job, Dave! Looks like a wonderful day on the water with your family.

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:50 am
by Bill Edmundson

Really makes me happy see these new boats going into the water! :D


Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:04 am
by JimmY
Congratulations on the successful launch and tests.

Good data on the power needed to increase the speed. I've read here about ICE power needing to double the hp to get another 5mph, and your data shows it too.

What is your calculated cruise time, and how much will the solar panels extend it?


Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:38 am
by rleete
Looking good.

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:39 pm
by CaptDave
Solar Panel Expextations
I expect that I will be able to cruse at about 5 mph (30 amps) for 6 hours. I expect to draw about 5 amps from the solar panels in good light which will add another hour. Also the solar panels will charge completely dead batteries in 4-or 5 days or top off partially expended batteries in 2-3 days.

The Amp Eater will manage about 2.5 mph on the 5 amps from the Solar Panels alone.

These young men really come in handy when you need to sound the horn...
Grandma, Grandpa and Grandboys

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:22 am
by hoodman
Congratulations, Dave! That must be quite a sensation quietly cruising through the water like that. The boys were quite concerned about making sure the horn worked!

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:15 am
by CaptDave
Yes the boys loved toot the horn. I don't know how I missed getting video of that. We will definitely get video on that this weekend. We have quite a group going camping with us at Bledsoe State Park on Old Hickory Lake near Nashville in Tennessee this weekend. Old Hickory is a TVA lake on the Cumberland River where we will be on the path of totality for the Eclipse Monday. I hope we have clear weather. We will give the kids plenty of opportunity to blow the horn while the big boy is still on the boat. By the time of the gathering there will be a more modest horn in its place.
I hope to give the boat a proper work out. Last Saturday we only used about 10% of the battery capacity.

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:04 pm
by CaptDave

You discussed in another post I read about keeping your plane sharp. I am not getting a razor sharp edge as I would like. How do you sharpen your plane? When I get back next week I have some planing to do and I want to be able to take off nice thin strips instead of chunking off short pieces and having a lot of sanding to do afterwards

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:13 am
by JimmY
For what its worth, I have water stones to 8000 grit and a $10 jig from the woodworking store. I've seen good results with just a block of granite and wet dry sand paper (Scary sharp method).

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:22 am
by hoodman
Dave, I have two methods that I use. One, I have a piece of 1/4" plate glass that's about 12" x 18". I use 3m spray adhesive to attach automotive we dry sandpaper to it 400 grit, 1000 grit and 4000 grit. I don't use a honing guide I just carefully maintain the angle of the bevel with both hands on the plane iron moving it back and forth across the paper. Also, I am using a spray bottle to wet the paper and "float" the metal particles. It actually creates a little bit of a slurry that supposedly helps the sharpening process at the very least it keeps the paper from clogging up with metal.

The other method is really the same method but just using a water stone instead of the paper and I actually like it much better not having to deal with gluing the sandpaper down. I have a water stone that has 1000 grit on one side and 6000 on the other. If I have a really dull blade or a nick or something to take out I use a coarser stone that I got from Harbor Freight to start off with.

After sharpening the bevel at each grit level I lay the plane iron down on flat it's back side and take one swipe on the stone or paper. If the backside of your plane iron is not polished out you can actually go through the grits with the backside first and get it polished and then do the bevel. You wont need to do much to the backside of the iron after that.

I don't use a honing guide but there's nothing wrong with using one if you feel like you need to.

Some people use a bench grinder to sharpen but you have to be really careful not to overheat the blade and screw up the temper of the metal.

Paul Sellers on YouTube has several great videos on sharpening planes and chisels:

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:47 am
by rleete
Diamond plates are worth their weight in gold for sharpening. You don't need the expensive stuff; ebay or Horrible Fright stuff ( ... 36799.html ) works just fine. However, if you buy from ebay, be careful you don't get the tiny sets (1" x 3"), as they are too small to be really useful. The 2" x 6" ones work well.

A honing guide is not required, but it helps to have one to get the sharpest edge without rocking the blade as you sharpen. Again, the cheap ones work pretty well (~$5).

The biggest hint is to take your time and do it right the first time. After that, it is a quick job to touch up the edge when it gets dull. Sharp tools make the job easier, so spending the time to sharpen pays off in time and frustration saved when doing the actual work.

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:08 am
by hoodman
Great tip on the harbor freight diamond plates. I did not know they carried those!

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:25 pm
by irie E
Bravo on your maiden voyage Capt. Dave! That must be such a great feeling to splash your boat! How do you like your motor and controller? Did everything stay cool while operating? Congratulations on your successful launch!

Re: Solar powered Amp Eater

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:28 pm
by CaptDave
Matt and rleete,
Thanks for the input. I tried the bench grinder method but was not happy with the results. The bench grinder works wonders on a mower blade but I couldn't get a sharp enough edge on the plane to do well on oak. I may drop by Harbor Freight on the way home. Although I seldom walk out of there with only the one thing I went in for (darn coupons).
I never have polished the back side but I guess that would get rid of any warp or burs there might be an allow for a smoother cut.

Yes it felt great. Everything ran great. The motor was fairly warm to the touch but not hot enough to burn after 1 hour of running. I am guessing about 105 degrees. The controller was cool but it has an internal cooling fan. I would guess the average amps on the test run to be 40 amps or just about 1000 watts.