ESPcat Money Money Money

3 of the 9 roof panels are now attached.  The other 6 are stacked up, waiting to be attached.   I am just about to write the purchase order for the 12 remaining wall panels to be CNC cut.  It is all happening.2016-10-07-10-47-59

I now must mention the sometimes distasteful subject of money.  I have been a long time Star Trek fan and one of the things I liked about the show was that, as far as I can remember, there was never even a discussion of money.  Unfortunately, back here on Earth, we still have to use the stuff.

Gallagher and I, set aside $36,000 for this project.  It was all we could afford.  According to my calculations, that $36,000 should nearly finish off the cabin, leaving nothing for the actual solar panels, batteries and electric motors.  For some strange reason, I never have worried much about where the rest of the money would come from.  I always assumed that somehow it would turn up through sponsorship, crowdfunding, investment, theft or some other means.

I have a few ideas about how to raise the money and am working slowly away on them.  Thanks to lots of helpful people, I am pretty sure I am going to get there.  Strangely enough, the project is well under budget.  My original budget was $150,000 but then I was talked into doing the work myself with a bit of help from my friends and that has saved me heaps.  I expect to finish well under budget, even with some of the fancy new ideas I have.

I have discovered that there is a whole family of instrumentation that has WiFi.  “So what?” you might ask.  Well, I figure if I am going to use the boat to teach about the marine environment, it would be nice if everyone on board could use their smart phone or tablet or laptop to view the various instruments.  Some of the instruments I am considering are shown in the list below.  The idea is that every bit of instrumentation on board ESPcat will be available to everyone on board, with their smart device.  How cool is that!!!

My experience with teaching at Manukau Tech. is that students learn better if they have their own instrumentation or perhaps share with one other person.  If you have a whole bunch of people crowding around one electronic display, half the people will just start talking among themselves and not much learning takes place.

Our floating laboratory won’t have test tubes and bunsen burners.  It will be a very different kind of laboratory.  Have a look below if you are interested.  There are under water cameras, water turbidity measurement, chart plotters, depth sounders and a system so your smart phone can display solar panel output, battery charge and electric outboard motor current and don’t forget wind speed and direction.  It will be the kind of laboratory that captures the imagination of the new generation.

Yes, I am reasonably confident that sponsorship will be forthcoming and that the money will appear when required.

Android/iPhone instrumentation:
Vexilar SP200T Smartphone Fish Finder

SonarCharg(tm) Live on Android (links to the Vexilar depth sounder above)

Hydrocolor Water Quality App (works by just photographing the water with your smart phone)

Vexilar FP100 Fish Phone Camera (honestly I have no financial interest in Vexilar)

Vijeo Design’Air Smart Phone App (this allows any smart phone to display the solar power electronics instrumentation)

Windy B Smartphone Arenometer



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