Sunday, 18 September 2011

switch panel

I'm going to have a go at making my own switch panel up for Phoenix.

There's nothing really too wrong with the current one, but as with most boats of her age, it's had switches added, labels changed, the addition of a few dymo labels, and various bit and other pieces that make it look tatty.

I just happen to have a sheet of 2mm aluminium in the garage left over from a kit car project many years ago, and so, have ordered a pile of toggle switches and some leds for indicator lights.

My plan is to cut the panel to shape and make the holes for the switches and lights, and then take it to a local trophy engraver to get the correct 'labels' added by engraving. I'm wondering how to make the text stand out, so may well paint the panel in a jet black once cut to shape, so that the engraving stands out in a nice shiny aluminium.... if its not clear enough, I could then work some white paint into the recessed text.

While i'm at it, I may well relocate the 3 gauges that currently exist on board... 1 voltage gauge, and two current gauges... these would add a nce professional touch to the panel.

There's a fair bit of cable behind the panel, as there will be 20 switches on it, so also need to put some though into making this neat and reliable.

Will let you know how I get on, with hopefully some pictures!


  1. I did this for Ty Dewi's chart table, made a teak faced panel for instruments and radios and a switch panel from 2mm black plastic plus 8 rocker switches, LED's and a fuse box behind (didn't spend the cash for breakers)

    Can get you photos and other info if you like. Don't forget the resistors in line with LED's to bring 12v down to 3v, unless you spend for 12v leds.

  2. hang on, now I remember - the switches I bought had LED's in them already - much easier. Also have a friend who made his LEDs current sensing not voltage so it didn't just tell you if the circuit was on but whether it was drawing current - excellent for nav lights etc cos it tells you if you've blown a bulb out there.

  3. Ah, but i got the bits cheap through work... Did look at switches with built in leds, but this way could have switches rated for 25A without mucking about with relays for less than £2 each.... I'll have a look at current sensing... A good idea!

  4. Oh, and because of that, ive been able to spec for 25 switches, so can cover absolutely everything!