You guys wanted updates on my various projects, so here you go! A look at my man cave garage, the rooftop solar project, and that motorized kayak (or KyHack) I mentioned in an earlier show.
Return of the DJI Phantom Quadcopter
The gimbal I hacked onto the DJI Phantom actually burnt out the brain of the copter, so be warned – that can happen. DJI graciously fixed it for me. I’ve also added guards for the rotors and set up a Pelican case for transporting it around.
The KyHack Project – Hacking a Motor Onto a Kayak
I told you on an earlier show about my project to make a powered kayak. Here’s a look at how I’m doing the hack and mounting an electric motor on a stock kayak from Costco.
Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor
It’s all about the motor, so that’s where we’ll begin. I’m using a Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Trolling Motor which mounts with a clamp.
Improvising a Mount
Since the kayak was never intending for a motor, I had to do some improvising. I mounted a couple of fishing pole holders (like this or this) and then fit them with PVC pipe from the hardware store and attached a 2 x 8 board.
Battery Power on the Water
I wanted a way to get electricity to the motor, but since we’re using this on water, I wanted to keep it safe. I used a deep cycle trolling motor battery housed in a battery box, and connected to a MinnKota MKR-18 12V plug & receptacle using 10-gauge silicone wire and insulated terminals. And you definitely want a circuit breaker to keep things safe. For tools, you’ll need a wire stripper, and I used a 1 ⅛ drill bit from this set for the hole for the plug and receptacle. Then I did some additions in the bow to hold the battery in place.
Finishing Off the Garage Interior
I’m going for a lot of shelving to organize all the tools in my garage. We’ve finished off the walls and ceilings to the quality you’d find in a house interior. And in one corner, there’s the work area, with my shop tools and welding gear. One unusual feature for a garage is the preparation for a flat screen TV and sound bar. A ton of lighting was a must so that I’d be able to work as easily in the night as the day. The attic also is a completely finished space, with shelving for storage. And of course the industrial-grade hatch that allows easy access to the solar array on the roof.
Rooftop Solar Array
One interesting point about the solar array is that it’s a ballasted system – it’s not bolted to the roof, it’s held on with weight. The total array is 39 panels that generate almost 10,000 watts of power. The whole array is on 3 big breaker boxes. The panels produce DC current and to get it to AC, we run it through a big inverter in the garage.