Instrument Panel Part 2

So testing my plan on recycling a plastic bottle for the lenses for my instrument panel, I retrieved one of the bottles from the camper that the handle had broken off. (Aside: We don’t usually buy bottled water but we did build the campervan unit to hold 4 of these bottles as our water storage. They’re readily available and not too greedy if when you’re “wild camping” to ask someone to fill it up for you.)

Back to the boat:

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Using the cracked lens as a template, a Sharpie and the curved “shoulders” of the bottle  to give it some shape I set about cutting out the new lenses. Use Her scissors if she’s not watching, quickly swap to Swiss Army pen knife if She turns up unexpectedly!

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Here it is in place: Hard to photograph..

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But compare it to before:

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The top right is the replaced lens just in case you need it pointing out!

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Currently the rims have been repainted Satin Black to try and freshen it up. Painting is traditionally my downfall. Historically, my impatience to put it all back together usually results in at least one finger print pressed into every project. (Campervan is a veritable CSI Field Trip for Finger Print collection!)

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Update: Rims and new/recycled plastic lenses:

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Next it’s back to building the box and trying to come up with a better way of weatherproofing the box. I can’t actually think of anything better than the previous owner’s solution:

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I’m tempted to just redo it with a clean bit of perspex, with the instruments closer to the perspex so that the key protrudes though the hole. A thin bit of flexible clear plastic, glued above the holes like a “rain curtain” might be an option to stop the scratches caused by turning the covers as they are currently. And with the key protruding, I won’t need the rusty pair of pliers to be able to turn it on.

Though if it sticks out too far it might prove a bit of a pain in the back for anyone sitting in the cockpit in front of it.

 

Re-glazing the instrument panel

You might remember from a previous post that I’m trying to improve the set up of the Beta Marine Control Panel.

3 of the gauges have cracked lenses.  The lenses are not user serviceable parts and so would require a new instrument. These are about £55 each from Beta Marine, with the whole panel being over £600.

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With nothing to lose, I set about seeing how hard it would be to prise the bezel off and see if I can affect some kind of repair.

Lots of gentle tweaking with a small screwdriver around the back side of the bezel eventually managed to coax it over the lip:

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The lip isn’t too mangled I hope and I don’t think it will be visible when it goes back together.

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There’s an inner lens which is nice and clean with a separating rubber from the external lens.

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And now to find a suitable material to replace the cracked lens.

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It would need to be resilient to UV, optically clear and cheaper than £55 a unit…

Maybe something like this will do?

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From That to This

Mainly a post to say that the upside down images when viewed on an iPhone have been fixed – and apologies to anyone who has contorted their necks in an effort to view them the right way up!

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Then

 

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Now
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Then

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Phew.