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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter-time upgrades

 Mechanical Projects

It's winter here it Georgia.  Chemistry such as paints and glues
just don't work now.  So it's small jobs in the shop and interior tasks which I outline below.  Here, you see a simple but effective solution for motoring.  The stick steer for the motor leaves the motor free to rotate for maximal control.  My job was to lock the motor for tiller controlled motoring "at speed."
You may remember I indicated that with the motor aft of the rudder, steerage from the rudder becomes almost completely ineffective below about 3 knots.  That is why I installed stick steering to make motor steering from the cockpit happen for maneuvering.

This slotted hinged box swings forward to simply lock the stick "amidships."

Composting toilet:



I checked out the details regarding use of the composting head.  Turns out I didn't have a handle to run the stirring rotor.  I sent away to the makers of Airhead and got what was supposed to fit the adapter.  No go.  Wrong handle.  They are sending me a current handle as this head turns out to be their latest. The pinned adapter was for using a common ratchet.  Who knew.

What we are to use in the head is two of these bricks soaked in 2 quarts of water overnight.  This gets changed is infrequently as once a month depending on demand.  Note that no urine can be introduced as it will mess up the chemistry.  The divert-er baffle sends urine to a separate container. I found a case of 24 of these bricks on Amazon for $65. That's enough to last a year under normal circumstances. The containers can be stored to "finish" the composting.  In our case we will dispose of in a dumpster or overboard if we are off-shore.

Fuse Panel 


The breaker panel on the left is new. I had to replace the fuse panel (4 circuit)  in place previously due to a broken rocker switch. The six switch breaker had a full set of buss bars so no forest of jumpers.  just two main connections, ground and 12 volt positive to their respective bus bars and individual circuit wires. 

12 volt and data wiring


 I'm starting the wiring for the GPS mapping unit and autopilot.  This includes the NMEA (0183), Seatalk bus connections.  It all starts with 12 volt power distribution.  I chose to use the MFJ version of a Powerpole RigRuner (a ham radio product).  Each circuit is unplug able and fuse protected.
NMEA and Seatalk circuit breakout is here.  The pennant autopilot steering wireless link is SeaTalk connected here.  The two GPS talker/listener circuits breakout here as well. The Raymarine remote link is an S-100.  I have the pennant mounted by the companionway for easy access. I know, what a strange place to join data circuits.  well it just happens to be directly below the items in question.  I will cover the breakout with a box before I am done.  It just works out with the minimum of redundant wiring.


I changed the high intensity lights out for LED lights mounted in a circuit box.  This provides lighting to the book case area.

Data and 12 Volt Instrument wiring  


The wire exits up to the autopilot connector carrying SeaTalk, NMEA and 12 volts. SeaTalk provides wireless autopilot control from the pennant I wear around my neck.  NMEA signals provide correction signals for route following.  The Raymarine S-100 unit was rescued from another boat.
Sometime this winter the GPS unit will be bought.  I will install this near the cockpit.  The  through hull transducer will provide sonography, water speed and temperature.

The GPS Mapping Unit 


 I will soon purchase the Garmin Echomap 70S.  This unit represents my best compromise between price and functionality.  The transducer is separate. It is the Garmin B744V through hull with depth speed and temperature sensor elements.  The best prices I have found are at the GPS Store online. The unit comes with a fairing which can be shaped to match hull tilt so as to aim the transducer strait down. The unit has a temperature sensor and a paddle wheel for water speed.  This can greatly help with current vector (drift and set) solutions.

Budget and Planing


Do I have a budget and a specific set of plans for upgrades on Shallow Minded?  Yes, As a matter of fact Karen helped me build a spread sheet to track our current goals and also any unexpected new expenses. Here is  a screen shot of the Excel sheet as of right now.

The table is set to show over budget items that are added or that cost more than the estimate.
These items do not include previously purchased items such as the motor and all the modifications to make controls fully remote.  I will add those later so we can get an idea what the total cost is.  Currently, we are using this to keep us focused and help us track our progress.

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