Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 548 & today

The transceiver under the nav station.  This is the guts of the entire assemble.  Prior units had everything in one big box that had to be mounted on the nav station or a place you could get to for broadcasting.  Now it comes in three pieces.  One(the transceiver) can be hidden and the controller unit that has the microphone and the speaker.  Now why the speaker isn't built into the controller is anyones guess.  Anyway, we mounted the transceiver under the nav station and the controller and speaker next to the VHF radio above the nav station(seen below). 

We started in threading the rest of the wire behind cabinets toward the nav stations cutting holes where necessary  The end fittings on the coax are about an inch across so a decent hole is needed.  Everything had to come out of the workbench cabinets and the chest drawers that are beside them.  On it went until we finally got to under the nav station.  We had lots of wire left so I had to pull it back to the stern bunk area and tuck it in the storage compartment under the bunk.  I'll deal with it later.  We expect to see a "professional" once we make it to San Diego and have him come by to make sure all is well with our installation.  We want to make sure we get the most from the unit(even though we have no clue as to everything we can do with it other than talk to other people).

I ran the electrical wires through more panels to the battery and made the hookup there rather than to the circuit panel.  According to the "professional", that is the way it is supposed to be wired so that you have the strongest power possible at the radio.  Since we run on 6 volt batteries instead of 12 volts, it took me a while to figure out what two posts on the batteries converted the 6 volts to 12.  Once I figured that out with my volt meter, I crimped on the rings and fastened it in with nuts and lock washers.  Next, we had to run the wires through more panels up to circuit panel and through the bottom of it to the area we were going to install the controller unit.  The drill got a good workout.

I hooked up the wires even before I screwed in the unit and pushed the "power" button.  It came on!!  It was on a "distress" channel for sending out an SOS.  Oh great--what did the radio know that I didn't!  I spun the dial and it went to other channels just fine.  We heard lots of static.  OK, no humans but at least static--I'll take static.

We screwed in the brackets and got her all mounted.  Now to clean up the mess we had made in the boat.  Wires got pulled back and stowed and "stuff" got put away.  Lots of "stuff".  We are such pack rats!!!  Once the boat was made "ship shape" again, I could sit down and play with our new toy.  I spun the dials not having a clue as to what was out there.  I finally heard some truck drivers checking on weather some where out there.  Yeah!!  A human voice and not just static.  It works!!!  We can finally throw away the boxes and make more room for more stuff.  I picked up a "time" channel that just broadcasts the time(sounds exciting doesn't it?).  

As we had friends coming over to visit later, the rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning and I even took a shower.  My first in several days.  Yes, that's right--days!!  I know, it's free here but it just never seemed to get into the schedule for the day.  It's not like I am going anywhere to work.  We just work at the boat and as cruisers, we have a certain way we are expected to look.  A days growth(or more) of beard.  A slightly dirty shirt(mine was filthy) and pants and messy hair.  I have one shirt that is worn only when I have jobs to do.  No reason to get other shirts dirty.  This time, it was absolutely filthy as I had worn it during the multiple oil changes(and leaks) at Catalina Island.  By dinner time, I was clean and smelled of a japanese garden(lotion).  I felt almost civilized.

George and Celeste came over for a few hours during the evening and we swapped stores of what all of us have been up to over the past few days.  They have been out looking at museums and movies while we have been working on Zephyr.  That's the difference between buying a new boat and an older boat.  Plus, we have more toys(all necessary of course;-)) onboard than they do.  A pleasant way to spent the evening.

Today was a few more projects and some company.  I lined the floor of  the engine compartment with more absorber pads to collect any stray fluids that the engine or God forbid the transmission might throw off.  We want to keep all the ikky  stuff out of the bilge.  Then into a swimsuit and down the stern ladder to install the flapper that covers the exhaust pipe.  Our last one suddenly developed a bend to it so it wouldn't close all the way.  I found a new one at West Marine.  The water wasn't that bad(temperature wise) but I wouldn't want to swim in it(dirty).

About 1030, Jeff and Gail Casher stopped by for a visit.  I first "met"Jeff two years ago on the internet at the Yahoo sight for the Liberty sail boats.  They have been living on board theirs for years and have logged over 90,000 miles on her.  That's a lot of water under the keel.  They had told us all about the sordid history of our boat being the illegitimate child of the Liberty clan.  They have been back in the US for the past few years getting their cruising kitty restocked so they can continue their journey.  They have already circumnavigated the world.  We showed them around discussing the subtle changes between their boat and ours.  As the years of production went by, many changes were made.  We discussed things that he felt were important to have(vacuum gauge on the fuel lines, bilge counter-counts the number of times your emergency bilge pumps comes on).  We talked for well over three hours.  We fired up the new SSB and he played with the dials and made a radio check with some guys that were talking on one of the channels.  They heard us just fine so we are up and running.   It was great to get info from a couple that have been out there.  With luck, we will see them again.

We had planned to go look at some scuba equipment that a man has for sale but he wants us to wait till tomorrow.   So on to more projects.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Do the Casher's havea blog of thir travels? it would be very interesting to follow them as well.