Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So Very Very Close

Rockland Harbor, N 44 06.664 W 69 05.823

Everything works -- Almost. The new Furuno radar works, and the screen is much better and echoes easier to read than on the old radar. The new Raymarine wind meter works, and it too is much easier to read than the old one. The GPS to PC interface works. The ICOM 710 SSB works, I am able to send and receive email via sailmail. That's how I'm posting this blog.

We even relocated the GPS and the radar. Before they were mounted on the top of the wet locker. The disadvantage to that is that the screens were too far away to read easily and that all operations and button pushing had to be done down below. The helmsman would have to leave his/her station to operate the GPS or the radar. That's not the best practice. Our cure is to mount the GPS and the radar on a swinging arm. Now we can swing them out to the companionway door entrance and view them and operate them from the helmsman's station. We can swing the arm the other way to see them and view them inside when sitting at the navigator's table. It's a definite operational improvement.

The only thing that doesn't work (apparently) is the SSB tuner. The tuner matches impedances between the SSB and the antenna for maximum power transfer. It does this frequency sensitive adjustment on command from the SSB. It doesn't appear to be working because when I transmit, the radio consumes only 6-10 amps of 12 volt power. The minimum is 20 amps and before the lightning strike our old radio used 25 amps. The net effect is that the radio works but only at low power. I can send emails via a station in Nova Scotia less than 100 miles from here, but I can't contact really distant stations. Long distance communications is the whole point of SSB radio so we can't accept it in this state.

The Ocean Pursuits technician was out here 4-5 times today with different ideas for diagnostic tests suggested by the manufacturer ICOM. None of them worked. We'll have to continue tomorrow.

From Libby: I had a great time at the Farnsworth Art Museum, There were some Winslow Homer paintings, along with paintings by N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and James Wyeth with a tour given by Andrew Wyeth's granddaughter. It is a great collection for such a small town.

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