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joshl last won the day on August 28 2019

joshl had the most liked content!

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About joshl

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    2011 Malibu Wakesetter VL


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  1. This project is to install GatorStep on a 2011 Wakesetter. GatorStep's website attempts to make the conversion easy, but there are some potential issues to be aware of if you do this. The first, is pay double attention to the template. I don't know if they send a template for all boats, however for the 2011 Wakesetter, they send a set of paper templates to verify the dimensions, sizing, and position of any holes. If you mess up this step, its going to be a bad day. The GatorStep process is to send an initial template, you send back corrections, then they send an updated template. Once the templates are verified, you give a final approval of colored, textured, design rendering pdf. As you can see in the photos, I had to augment the provided template and change the sizes somewhat. Pay close attention during the template phase, as it will determine what you get in the end. Prior to install, clean the surface throughly. Also remove the snaps if you had snap in carpet. Before I stuck any pieces down, I put them all out to verify spacing and get a good feel for where each piece should go. I started the install with the middle, large piece, then the upper large piece, and then the sides. This method helps you keep the important lines and spacings looking good. The pieces have a 3M adhesive backing, so having a second pair of hands is invaluable, as you need to pull the backing and then handle a large, sticky piece precisely. If you initially put it down lightly it can be easily pulled back up to be repositioned. Did the front and side pieces first. Then did the floor. Also, pay close attention to the spacing around fixtures in the boat. It was dark by the time we finished, so the photos are a bit grainy. But it turned out fantastic. Its a big improvement on old carpet. and it feels great on the feet.
  2. I don't have a parts list gathered together yet. The current design is sort of a rats nest of wires and parts. I plan to build a proper circuit board when I get time, if there is interest I may make it available at some point.
  3. I decided it was time to change the oil on the boat after putting close to 100 hours on it so far this season. I don't have a fake-a-lake, and It was too late to go to the boat store, so I figured it would be pretty easy to rig one up. I was already at Walmart, so I grabbed a few things that I needed there. I got the cheapest toilet plunger, a metal quick connect, and a hose end cap. Total bill was about $10. The build is pretty fast, first drill out the hose end cap. Then cut away the inside layer of the plunger if the one you got has one. Next, cut a hole in the side of the plunger to fit the male end of the hose quick connect. Leave it a bit tight. Screw the hose cap on the other side. Thats it. Works like a champ.
  4. You are spot on, the esp32 is like a fancy Arduino, but a lighter Raspberry PI. It falls in a similar category to both of those, but would be considered to be more similar to the Arduino class device. One thing that is a bit odd on the e-ink screen is that the parts of the display that are not changing slowly fade to a lighter shade of grey. They are still easily readable in the bright sunlight, but its the kind of thing that can trigger an OCD episode.
  5. This is similar to a lot of the DIY surf gate installs. In particular Marks CorianGate install gave me the confidence to start drilling. And it inspired my gate material selection. I used some left over Corian countertop material from my parents home built in the 80's. So, theres one point for being a hoarder. I upgraded this year from an older, IO boat to a used 2011 Wakesetter VLX. I was able to surf on it, but it got old quick switching ballast around to change sides. I determined that some mods were required to get the most from this boat. So, with inspiration from everyone else here who has made a DIY surf gate, I decided to make my own. I started by making a plywood version of what I thought the gates should be. I made mine about 12x18, worried that bigger gates would put more force on the hull that it was not designed for. They seem to work pretty well, so I'm not sure how much the size and shape of the gates affect the resultant wave. I first assembled the hinges, and test gates into a test fixture that I could use to test the controller software. This also let me do a test install with crap hardware to see how the gates hinge, and how much of a bevel was needed on the hinge side of the gates. I wanted my gate to be as automated as possible, with GPS control and all of the bells and whistles, so it had to have an electronic controller. I have a lot of esp32 controllers laying around that I wanted to use. They are pretty advanced with WiFi and Bluetooth which I figure could be handy for firmware updates and for potential control from a smartwatch. I'm not sure how well that would work, but why not put the capability there? The controller is not as full featured as I want it to be yet, but so far it has GPS, multiple gate control levels, wifi control, wifi firmware updating, and a nifty e-ink screen. I just used some 20A relays that I found on Amazon. There's also a 12V to 3.3V converter in there to power the esp32 and a few other things. Its not pretty, but I coated it all with some silicone conformal coating and threw it in a box. The screen, buttons, and GPS are all mounted on an aluminum piece that will mount under the dash. They got a double coat of the conformal coating. The buttons match the factory power and horn buttons on a 2011 Wakesetter. Originally, I used a color OLED display but I found it to be very difficult to read in the sunlight. I swapped it out for a nifty e-ink screen that is very readable. I'm super happy with the results and it lets me show some information which was helpful in debugging the gate software control. EDIT: I updated with a better photo of the control panel as installed. It didn't turn out as clean as I'd like, but I rushed to get it installed before a trip to Powell. You can see the original holes where my original OLED screen would have went before I had decided to go with the e-ink screen. On the control side a single button push on the side of the surfer will "ARM" the system. It uses the GPS to deploy the gates at 8.5 mph, and retract them at 13.5 mph. A button push on the other side will transfer the wave, and a button push on the arm'd side with disarm the system. When the gates are active the light ring will illuminate. I wanted to be able to experiment with different angles, so a long push on the buttons will cycle the gate through 1-5 extension levels. I found that about halfway extended was the sweet spot. I'm using lenco actuators, so the settings are just fractions of the full extension time. For the install, I used my plywood gates as a template and cut the corian pieces to match. Corian is pretty easy to work. I just cut and sanded everything. I ended up using bigger hinges that I used on my test rig, they are beefy and probably overkill, but I'm happy with how solid they feel. I used some aluminum plate and stainless steel washers on the inside to make sure the load was evenly distributed. Everything sealed with 3M 4200. The first water tests blew my 10A fuse and I had to go back to dock with a fully extended tab. After replacing it with a 15A, I was good to go. Also, the GPS receivers on water require much better antennas. I don't have photos, but my GPS module came with a small antenna that worked fine on land, but would not lock on the lake. After I upgraded to an active antenna it worked perfectly. Overall, I've very pleased with the results, the wave is much longer, and much easier to transfer and setup. I do feel like it lost a little bit of push, but I now have a much longer surfable area. I went from full ballast on the surf side and center tanks, 88% wedge surfing at 10.0, to full left, right and center and full wede surfing at 10.6. Let me know if you want any additional details. Next up, I need to upgrade the ballast system.
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