"It Ain't Half Hot Mum" or better said "baby it's cold outside"

One thing we always need to watch is the temperature inside the engine room. Now we can be easy and just turn on a fan, and turn it of once we are done cruising. But why not make it automatic. We have arduino’s we have temperature probes….so lets do it, lets make it.
The other advantage of this method is, if the temperature rises even more we can automatically turn on a 2nd fan, to blow even more ‘colder’ air into the engine room.
This cruising year I’ll just watch how much the temperature handles and will decide then if I want the extra power blower option. But with the horrid warm temperatures like in the high high 30’s (C) we might need it.

Real simple to use are the DS18B20 waterproof temperature probes. They cost about $3-$5/ piece, are waterproof and are 3 wire. +5V GND and signal. The big advantage of these are that you can hook up a number of them on the same Arduino port ( -55C to +125C, with a 0.5C accuracy) . You can even get them with a BSP 1/2 Thread, like for your engine cooling circuit.

So I got a few of these on Ebay, connected them to the Arduino, used a 5K pull up resistor connected to the signal wire and +5V and first ran a program to get the Hex addresses, so I knew exactly which one was which one. (YES I copied and pasted it from the web !)
Voila the code…

Now that I knew the addresses, I could slap a program together which has an outside temp probe (AOT, actual outside temperature) and a engine room probe (AIT actual inside temperature).
All the speeches and articles I have soaked in about engine room cooling they keep talking about a DELTA of 25 F ( 13.8 C so 14C).
So the fan should come on if the AIT > AOT+14 . We do not want the fan to turn off at the same temperature point so, we turn the fan off if AIT < AOT+5, the last one is just a personal choice. To control the fan I added a relay board on it , connected the control wire to digital 7 and the relay works like a charm.

The relay is a 10 amp 250V relay. 1 channel relay board for Arduino, around $5- $6 on Ebay.

So the code is working, I will get a 4 line LCD screen so I can view the temperatures from the wheel and get a breadboard to solder the components on. More to come.

For those grumpy old man who remember the TV show “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum” it was a fun one!

A better Oasis

when we bought Jan-Kees we were told it had a 640 Liter water tank, the first work visit I installed a water sensor, since it was just voodoo guessing how full the tank was. The next improvement was installing a 24V pump with e remote switch. The only way the pump could be stopped was by pulling the fuse, but that could only be done by removing wooden panel between the living area and the front storage area!

The next improvement was connecting it to the Venus, so we could read out the level anywhere on the barge. BUT since the fill opening was just a hole on the top of the tank, it has happened a few times that the tank overfilled, because the person filling it was distracted. Now to defend that person (me), he is suffering from squirrel syndrome.

Because we never used the generator, and we have 1040 watt solar panels (4 of 260) . decided to remove it and use that space, so we could have 2 water tanks. Based on the space available, putting a tank on each side of the barge, and leaving a space for a bow thruster, I found 500 Liter tanks at Postma tanks which would fit. Talking to the previous owner I found out he put the old tank in place by opening the large hatch, and removing the front living area wall to the front storage area. Since Lars was going to remove the small broken hatch and make it a larger one I told him a size which would accommodate putting the tanks in that way, saving the hassle of pretty much breaking down the whole living area.

Making the front hatch.

cutting out the old hatch
Nearly finished

Once back in Zaandam I cleaned out the front hold and started

The tanks arrived, and after clearing the front area I started maneuvering that tanks in place to go ‘down the hatch’ . but…no luck…..the tanks could not get in…….the hatch, made by Lars was too small. Wait too small? mmm yes and no. The total opening size was perfect, BUT they added a U frame to divert any water, making the opening about 10 cm smaller !!!

Since Remy was coming to help me the next day and had some limited time, I decided to remove all the clothing storage, the bookshelves etc, all this on one of the hottest days in the summer. (This is also the day that I developed my hernia, leading to a ‘semi emergency liposuction, but that is for another entry)

removed the interior wall
making a floor for the tanks to rest on

The flange we got from pvc24.nl had a 25 mm diameter. When I ordered them I was not aware that that size is NOT a standard size you can get at Hornbach. So after ta trip to Hornbach we found a nearly fitting pipe, filled up the void with the white teflon tape, and wrapped the vulcanizing tape on the outside. Unfortunately, the pipe dropped quite quickly, and the only way to get fresh water was to drop a piece of tyleen directly connected to the pump in the tank. After calling the pvc24.nl I ordered 2 pieces of pipe the correct diameter. Unfortunately the vulcanizing tape was swimming in the tank, which later was sucked up by the pipe, stopping the flow, so after emptying the tank we were able to get it out.

I did added 2 floats in each tank, one to warn the tank is nearly full and the other 1 inch higher as a final warning ( which can also be used later to close the electric valves, which I am installing later)

Because of the hernia, I did not do much more work on the system, but in 2020 I will get the 2nd tank ready, connect both tanks with an electric shut off valve, so that the pump can pump from both, or by closing one valve we can also level the barge a bit.

back deck

The original “roef” was just not working out for us, it was awkward to get to the back, making it higher as a 2nd bedroom would have been a ton of work, plus trying to keep the diesel smell out of it, and keeping the steering cable and inverters easy accessible, so we decided to remove and lower it, make a walkout back and a seating.

Nearly Finished

A new shower

The original shower was made out of wood, which was functional, but it had its limitations….sloped floor, drain with limited capacity, so it had to change.

For evacuation of the water I ended up with a Whale IC.

shower base . vandammekunstof . sides schulte douchemeister

Plastic Surgery

As of April 29 Jan-kees is at the surgeon (Welder), where the original roof is being removed and a walk out deck with cover and seating is being created.
Lars who also welded the gas tank, is taking charge

Today he did the incisions…the big hold up will be finding somebody who can manufacture a correct door.

Covering the electrical equipment
The first cuts around the outside and along the width

Port and Starboard cuts

Ready with cutting……….. attached to the crane and then …….there is the sun in the back

Here is a drawing made by daniel

The back dek moving along

One of the hinges for the hatch. With this kind of hinge the floor will stay even

And it is getting close
Door opening is 80 cm . which allows a door of 67 + the frame on both sides

Closed hatch, smooth surface

Open Hatch, just have to order the Gas Springs, and perhaps later an electric actuator.

Turn the Heat on ….

Well it really means, we just landed in Schiphol ( Amsterdam Airport), get your smartphone out, log into vrm.victronenergy.com, go to jan-kees, go to the console, and press the start button , so it wil be warm when we arrive at the barge.

What really happened is with the help of the VRM website I was able to log into the Victron Venus, and turn on the relais ( which could also be used to start a generator automatically). The Venus has 2 programmable relais. 6A 250V/30V DC.
But just for safety we will use the Venus relais to use another 24 VDC relais to turn the Kabola on.
Just in the event there is no connection I also installed an over ride switch, and put it in a separate fuse box.

In the fuse box we will have the main heating fuse, the relais, over ride switch and selector switch selecting the Kabola or the Vetus ( see electric schema below)

—electric schema —

–picture box–

Just a reminder…software is more powerful than a real switch or…..why not get frustrated with replacement Victron multi’s

So I started getting alerts from my Victron Multiplus….AC overloads. Well wat the Frell!
So you go to the boat. open the hatch and you see flashing light,  turn off the multi , wait a bit and turn it back on and all seems to be working fine and you go home. Later you get again a overload warning, so you use the VRM website to get into the Venus control unit remotely, and set the inverter to charge only. Drive back to the boat and recheck it…and the same problem …it ain’t working….so you call your dealer where you bought it, and hear……  “Most likely the AC board I have seen this before ” and he provides and RMA and yes he sends at the same time a replacement unit, since it is still under the 5 year warranty !!
The new unit arrives. Plop it in its place and reconnect all wires, turn it on …and magically…the light work …..So you plug the table into the Venus and poof all goes dark. Ok …must have put it in the wrong input. ve.net, ve.can .ve.direct…..but NO it happens a few second after you plop the network cable in. This happened a year ago also , and then it was a software update on the Venus which did this. A call to Daniel…and I was gently reminded that the moment the Venus detects the multi it will set it in the function set in the Venus, which was not the same as the switch on the machine……so I get into the Venus control , set the Multi to normal and voila….as the professor in the movie  the 5th element shouts…”Aziz .  LIGHTS”.

So before thinking it was Victrons error…we just have to check the Venus settings.

Shower …..upgrade …..

The current shower is built from wood, with thick layers of Poly-Urethane over it.  The floor is sloping draining the shower water in a trough which directs the water to a tank with a pump, then toward the kitchen area where it goes overboard.
The tank in the middle of the floor is only 11 cm high, so any other commercially available tank is too high for that space.  At the same time ti is more logic to evacuate the water on the shower side, than to direct all the way to the other side.  So this is going to happen.   I got a Whale shower pump, with the 2 point collection sump, this sump can collect the shower and the sink in the head. and because the sump has the sensor, the pump can be mounted high and dry away.  At first we explored the possibility of making a glass fiber shower base, with a decent edge, so the floor could be fairly level.  Now the wood floor has a decent grade.  And we would keep the wood side. So many hours of google was spend abusing our eyes and asking others how to best solve this.   Marc cam up with a tub drain, since they flow out immediately with a 90 degree angle, keeping the floor as low as possible.  We looked to tiling the sides….too much work.

Then we found  douchemeister and found a few fun options ( barging should be fun) and finally decided why not do both sides.  So here are our 3 options.

Then for a shower base we found dammekunstoffen.nl

Why Jan-Kees

Well it was just using Dutch tradition……wordplay…..giving it meaning…..and trying to show what we are.

So Jan-Kees is a very common Dutch name.   But as you know the Dutch founded New Amsterdam, which the Brits renamed to New York, after they had an arm wrestle with Peter Stuyvesant in 1664.  The Dutch got even with the Brits by sucessfuly invading England in 1688, after Michiel de Ruyter kicked the British navy around a bit in 1667.  A good movie actually.

Many American words, are left over of the West India Company settlement of New Amsterdam/York.  Like cookie instead of the English Biscuit, Harlem of the Dutch City Haarlem.  You will find many Dutch town in NY state.  The same is said for the term Yankee.(wikipedia)  Pronounce Jan-Kees as an Native American speaker and you will hear “Yankee” .

So Jan-Kees embraces both Dutch and American.  Now to further seal the duality, the port of registration is Amsterdam, Texas ( since Deb is from Texas)

 

 

Kever haven – > Zaandam

August 27

We did had quite a lot of very hard wind and some rain during the night. There was an whole army of meerkoeten just in front of the boat having breakfast.

IMG_3718.JPG

We set of around 9 with quite a bit of wind and very choppy water. After the Kager plassen we turned onto the Haarlemmer Meer Ringvaart , and around 09:30 the engine started sputtering, and died. Restarting only gave it life for a few seconds.  I steered it to the shore with the road, Deb jumped off and attached a mooring line to a traffic sign.  I jumped off and hammered a stake in ground to secure the 2nd line.   Next was going in the engine room and checking the fuel lines. I got to a point where there was diesel coming out of the fuel filter, but the engine still only kept running a short period.  Daniel gave advice how more to check the lines, which I dutyfully did. Yet still no running engine.  I called the harbor master of Kever Haven and she gave us a number of a local shop.  Unfortunately they were closed till 10,  But the harbor master had a private number of the owner, called him and secured us a mechanic at 10:30.   Deb and I just settled won sipping coffee.   I tried to start the engine one more time and it ran a little bit, but died again…so we waited.      Sharp at 10:30 Hugo came.  I explained the situation and we started the engine…….and it kept running…and running.   Hugo started following the fuel lines, and remarked that one fitting was kinda ‘loose’. Because these are copper lines, he asked if there were inserts in, to prevent it from being tightened so much that it totally closed the lines.  I had NO clue, so I put Daniel on the phone.
We ran the engine for about 20 minutes and then attached a second rope and ran the engine on full speed with engaged propeller for 10 minutes.  it seems the air in the line was gone, by the wait period. so we went on.

The leimuiderbrug which had us waiting on the way to Delft opened up within minutes of requesting.  Actually all bridges opened very quickly, especially in Amsterdam.

Once out of Amsterdam we had a quite rough Noordzee Kanaal towards Zaandam, where we filled up 100 L Diesel at the bunker station, so that we have enough for heating this winter.  All and all a very fun and enjoyable 6 day trip!

 

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