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Alert Class Tug by fnkershner - 3D printed - 1:35 scale

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Ok time for an update on the barge. They are bringing a van on Tuesday to take it to Astoria so I better finish all of this.


The first picture is an aerial view rendering. Thanks to Per. The rest are pictures as she stands now. All of the lights on the port, stern, & bow are installed and working. So I glued all the fixtures in place. I still need to fix a loose connection on the Starboard side light.


So tomorrow I will finish the lighting and then install the rest of the deck furniture.






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Ok, if you have made it this far in the log then you know the story of christening the Barge with the name of Alan Cote. While Mike was taking pictures I was applying decals. But I had clear decals that did not work on a Black hull. So I tried to use a backing. This is what you see in these pictures. But we found that the backing didn't stick very well. So I started over with opaque white Decals, and this worked. For the eagle eyed you will see that one of the work lights has wires hanging out. This is the 10th LED and I spent all night trying to get it to work. I will have to drive to Astoria to continue my work. Also you see a picture of the control box. This is not working yet. but I expect to resolve the remaining issues tomorrow. 


So a bit of an explanation of the control box - The box is 8" X 10". It has a 5 volt cell phone battery inside. It has an on/off switch, charging port, & signal cable to connect to the model. On the face plate you will see a schematic representation of the barge model with indicator lights at the relative position on the model. And finally there is a ring of 60 LED around all of the above. This ring will light up to represent the dispersion angle of the lights. You will also see 5 switches. If the user depresses the switch for the Side lights. The result will be that the red & green light on the model & the control box will light up. Also the portion of the ring that represents to dispersion angle will also light up in the proper color. So you will get red for an angle of 112 1/2 degrees and green the same. There are still some pictures in post processing. I will add them when available.


The Lights are a very important part of this project. Since the models will be used in the Seamanship classroom. the instructor expects to turn on a set of lights and ask the student to tell him what he sees. Or he will tell the student a situation and ask him/her to set the appropriate lights. This is part of the final exam and they will not get their Coast Guard Certification if they do not pass. For the barge it was the lights to consumed the most time and effort.

Port side deck aft 4968.jpg

Running Lights - pair.jpg

Saying Good-bye to barge 5000.jpg

Stern to bow full length view 4991.jpg

View aft to pump house 4954.jpg

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Well Done Floyd - BRAVO ZULU!

Photo's look great and I doubt there's another school out there that have a demonstrative tug and barge - gives Mike some real bragging rights 😃 


It's hard to really get a feel for the true size of the barge - you have to see it in person - it is truly LARGE. 

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Just a further update. As mentioned above there are 4 major parts to this project they are as follows:


1. Build a model of a Alert Class tug using 3D printing technology. As documented in this log this is completed and delivered to the customer.

2. Build a Model of a fueling Barge. This model was built of wood with 3D printed parts on the deck. This was delivered to the customer last week.

3. Build 1:35 scale oil containment booms. Each would be a scale 100 feet long. 9 of these were created complete with functional Z connectors. these were also delivered last week. I will get pictures to post the next time I go to the school.

4. Using the Coast Guard regulations light both models with LEDs to represent proper lighting on ocean going vessels. This included building from scratch Control boxes that could be used a teaching tools. These control boxes will have a schematic of the vessel etched into the face plate. There will be indicator LEDs located in the faceplate showing the approximate location of the light in question. There are push button switches for each set of lights. In addition to the indicator Lights there is also a ring of 60 Neopixel lights surrounding the schematic. This ring will indicate the angle of dispersion for each set of lights when the proper button is pushed. For example if the button is selected for the red/green side lights. According to the Colregs,  the dispersion angle is 112 1/2 degrees. This means that both the red & green side lights will be visible from dead ahead to a point 22 1/2 degrees adaft of beam. The total angle would be 225 degrees. So on the model the ring will light the appropriate indicator in the correct color and the ring for the proper angle with the proper color for 10 seconds. The reason for the 10 second limit is too allow multiple switches to be depressed. The indicators will stay on as long as the box has power. The on/off will serve as a reset.


To accomplish deliverable #4 here are the steps taken. (completed pictures will follow in a couple days).


Using a 40 watt CO2 laser we cut the control box and etched the face plate. The total size is 8 X 10 X 2 inches. In one side of the control box 3 holes were cut. One for the on/off switch, one for the signal cable to connect to the model, and lastly one for the battery charging cable. Next we designed a custom PC board that had the circuitry necessary for both models. The barge has 5 switches & 10 lights, the Tug has 14 switches & 19 lights. On the back side of the PC board an Arduino Nano was mounted and programmed. The ring was mounted to the face plate and the PC board was mounted to the faceplate using the switches. What you see below is the Schematic for the PC board. My next post will show the parts and completed box.

Tug Barge Display Rev A.pdf

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Ok as promised here are some pictures of the control boxes.

The first picture shows the inside of the box. We used an external Cell phone battery. This battery has 3 ports. 1 is a micro port for charging, and the other 2 are standard USB for output. We chose the one with the highest amperage.

Next you see both the front and back of the PC board.

The next is the faceplate for the tug with the Neopixel ring mounted.






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Control boxes continued -


The first picture show the PC board with the switches, indicator LEDs, & capacitors installed.

The next picture shows the face plate for the tug.


Since the rings are 6" in diameter we are a bit limited to what we can place inside the ring. The size of the ring also dictated the size of the box and the PC board.


Now I will assemble everything for the barge.



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