Friday, 24 February 2012

Shipside electronics have been moved to new PCBs

Due to their added weight and difficult wiring the protoboard versions of the ship-side mother boards have finally been drafted in Eagle and sent to Fusion PCB for fulfillment. Having several PCBs means fast repairs are possible on competition day without tedious creation of a replacement board, many grams of insulated wire have been removed from our heavy build and a digital copy makes tracking changes easier. Design continues to keep the motor and controller boards separate for modular development or repair and has also retained the preference for readily-replaceable daughter boards as modifications will continue to be made.

Several issues with the use of customized optical rotary encoders for our actuators have prompted a move to a magnetic design. Hall-effect sensors and neodymium magnets give us data at an acceptable rate and allow for better mounting. A similar hall-effect sensor was used for the wind sensor. PCBs for these components already been received and we are quite happy with the results.

Not ones to waste space and add weight some excess space on these boards was used to create Sailbot key fobs, the last few of which can be purchased to help pay for future PCB orders, so give us a shout us if you'd like one. As always, to anyone interested, feel free to use these files in your own builds or contact us at or via facebook for more information.

[Eagle files: ]

Thanks to everyone who worked on these designs!


Improvements to hatch design

The 2011 competition in Annapolis was a huge milestone for MUN Sailbot; it was also the first time when the boat received a live, all systems go, testing. Through this testing some design features where highlighted as areas that needed refinement. One such area was the deck hatches.

The deck hatches have undergone various prototypes and design modifications to arrive at the stage they are now. Currently we are glassing what we hope to be the final design for both the fore and main hatches. The hatches should be easily removable while at the same time maintaining a sleek, flush deck profile to keep the Misses looking sharp.

We have also redesigned the interior to accommodate fewer, smaller hatches. This further reduces the chances of water entering the boat and reduces time spent laying up custom sized hatches.

With these two modifications, we are confidant that our interior systems will remain protected from the elements; a major step forward when considering long distance, un-aided ocean transit.

[Content by Liam, photos by Ryan]

Hatch in development

View as will be seen from deck.