Build log 2014-05-12 : Detail work and wiring

I spent a few days at the shipyard my parents' to work on the Odin.

Now that most assemblies are "complete" a lot of time is spent on detail work.

Overall view

Overall view

Mock installation of all assemblies. And Captain Peter inspecting.



With RHIB on its mount and life raft on launcher

RHIB mount

RHIB mount

Steel rods from coat hanger and brass stanchions

Life raft launcher

Life raft launcher

Steel rods from coat hanger and brass stanchions

Mast with railing

Mast with railing

Brass railings and other details

Water inlet

Water inlet

Drilled hull. Inlet came with o-ring and nut

Water pump

Water pump

Installed as low as possible

Water pump

Water pump

Installed on rubber dampeners to reduce vibrations/noise

JST-XH 6S Balancing cable

JST-XH 6S Balancing cable

A bit overkill but comes with connectors

JST-XH 6S Parallel Y cable

JST-XH 6S Parallel Y cable

One branch for mast/funnel; one for engine room/superstructure

FiFi, water pump

Fire monitor was assembled and painted. It was tested outside of the boat, pumping water from a plastic bucket. The filter (originally an RC car fuel filter) allows enough flow.

With the monitor at approximately 45° range is around 3.5 meters (12ft) which is probably slightly too much for a 1:25 scale model. I'll be able to get spectators and possibly ducks wet.

A small aluminium water inlet was installed in the hull. Water inlet came with an O-ring and nut and is hence removable. Were it not watertight I would just have to glue it to the hull with Stabilit-Express glue.

Water pump is a gear pump and is quite noisy. As the pump is not self-priming it has to be installed as low as possible. A small piece of wood was glued to the keel, drilled with two holes. In order to reduce the amount of vibration and noise pump is installed onto the wood piece with rubber bushings.

Railing and metal work

I subcontracted all the railings to a contractor, my father. That's how shipyards work, right ? :)

All railings (lower deck, upper deck, FiFi platform) are ready for installation. Railings were not soldered but just glued. Soldering railings can be challenging when installed in plastic parts which are quick to melt. Cyanoacrylate glue seems to offer decent strength. If it were to fail we would probably try and solder the railings.

The RHIB mount (or "basket") and the life raft launcher were made from bits from a coat hanger and brass stanchions that came with the kit.

Some deburring/sanding is still required but these can be considered done.


The wheelhouse I printed looks pretty decent but of course the base is off by approximately 5 millimeters ...

With my laptop running SketchUp and a pair of calipers I was able to create a precise model of the upper deck so that I'd be able to work on an updated wheelhouse which would fit perfectly.

I've already started working on the new design which will be a little less "boxy".

I also have to think about the interior: controls, radar screens, ... I got some instrument panel decals from CAP Maquette in my last order (which was mostly for the Sequana).

Probably going to print stuff based on pictures (I have yet to find ...).


Lights are split in six independent circuits:

Total number of LEDs: 21.

Lights are located either on the mast and funnel or on the engine room/superstructure.

As with other devices on board, LEDs will get power from the main 12V lead-acid battery.

Each LED has it's own resistor (either 560 ohms for white LEDs or 470 ohms for red/green/yellow LEDs.

An RCD3003 remote multi-switch will allow remote switching with some flexibility.

These can be had for around $12-$20 on eBay (search: RCD3003 or "multi remote switch") or HobbyKing.

Board has a single 5-16V input and seven outputs (each max 500mA, combined is 3500mA). A servo lead connects the unit to the receiver.

On the TX end a momentary switch is suggested although using a stick could work too. Only short "bursts" will have the unit switch (hence the momentary switch).

7 relays/outputs and only a single control channel, you may ask ? The board has 9 switching "modes". Actually 5 "momentary" cycles (power is on for 0.5sec) and 4 "constant-on" cycles.

Lights will run on one of the "constant-on" mode. Namely "Mode 6". Each press of the switch will turn on one relay. Once all relays are on, subsequent presses will turn one relay off.

That's obviously not as flexible as pure independent control but you can arrange something half decent.

We get the following sequence:

One thing that won't be possible with that "cycle" is turning the deck lights off while keeping the navigation lights on.

If you look closely at the user manual (link above) you'll notice that some of the "modes" are actually the same (ie: power on relays one by one, power off one by one starting with the first one) but with different pin order. Which is quite stupid: you could achieve the same result by pluging the wires the way needed. Some of the modes could provide more complex patterns: turn 1, 2, 3 on, turn off 2, turn 4 on, turn 5 on, turn 1 off ...

Anyway at $15 you cannot complain too hard. I might look into an Arduino-based custom board some day.

The switching unit will be connected to the Y/parallel connector shown above. One end will go up to the funnel/mast. The other will power lights on the engine room (namely: deck lights, search light, navigation sidelights, stern lights).

Mast / Funnel

LEDs were tested once more and soldered together (if applicable) on the small bread board at the base of the mast.

There's a flood light on the funnel (lighting up the towing hook and winch) which will connect to the same bread board.

Mast/funnel assembly is bolted onto the superstructure and is hence removable. I decided to use Lipo 6-cell balancing connectors (JST-XH). Wires are a bit thick (meant probably for 5 amps while LEDs burn just a few milliamps ...) but there's enough room to fit them in the funnel and they are really cheap ($0.50 per cable). I'll be able to easily unplug the mast/funnel lights.

A toolbox (vacuum-formed pard) was acetone-welded to the portside of the funnel.

An antenna was made from leftover small parts and brass wire. The upper backplates of the mast were glued with CA. Lower backplate will require fitting before it is glued in place. And we still need access to the breadboar to connect the last LED.

Next step is glueing mast onto the funnel with Stabilit Express and sanding it flush/smooth.

Then we'll solder the rear floodlight (funnel) to the breadboard at the base of the mast. Mast can then be closed down (with the last/lower backplate)

Engine room / Lower deck

Fake doors and steps were glued onto the engine room. Still some handles to build from brass wire.

Extra compartment at the front of the engine room was acetone-welded.

Gangway lights are all complete. Made from some ABS profile with LEDs. Some of the LEDs broke as pins were bent at a 90° angle. LEDs were tested at each step to make sure they were still working. Wouldn't want to glue a broken LED in place ...

LEDs are pretty bright. Most plastic parts had to be painted black (two to three coats) to make them opaque. Final color will be applied on top of those coats of black.

Wooden beams were glued to the underside of the engine room to hold the smoke generator. Beams were set with a slight downward angle towards the bow so that the smoke fluid would gently flow towards the heating element (wire coiled around a piece of rope that sucks up the fluid).

Next up ...

New wheelhouse design. Final print in ABS.

All main units are almost complete. Now it's mostly fitting, detailing, sanding, prep work before painting.

It is now becoming "critical" to think and plan a bit ahead, especially when it comes to painting.

Bulwark still has to be glued onto deck. Not sure exactly how. Stabilit Express has great bonding characteristics but is a pain to work with (working time : less than 10 minutes). Epoxy would be nice (anywhere from 5 min to 2 hours pot life !) but it just doesn't stick well on ABS. CA tends to be too brittle and sets in way too fast.

Next time we'll probably put the hull in the bath to find out how much ballast is needed. Plan calls for two 12 6Ah lead acid batteries. And two auxiliary batteries (1 for RX/servos, 1 for lights and other functions). I'll run it with a single 12V 10Ah battery. Just like on the Sequana I think I'll use hook & look (Velcro) tape to hold small lead ingots.