Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Visitors, a query and a problem

But first Jan woke me with the exclamation “It’s snowing and you need to take some photos before its gone!”  I duly dragged myself from beneath the warm duvet cover, dressed and headed outside to find snowflakes drifting down. Aussie readers eat your hearts out!

OK… done that… back into the warmth of Waiouru!

Just after noon Becky arrived with Tilly.  We had an interesting chat whilst Jan had her “grandmother fix”.  Tilly gurgled and smiled until hunger pains started to put in an appearance.  After Becky and Tilly headed off to do more important things I decided to resolve the power supply wiring for the sat-dome and media tank. 

Just as I’d managed to make a mess we received our second pair of visitors when James and Doug from nb Chance called in to say hello.  Chance is moored a short distance away in Frouds Bridge Marina.  It was interesting to hear about their recent holiday in Iceland and apparently they are off on another overseas holiday in the near future.  Somehow we got onto the subject of Hurricane heaters and James mentioned there had been a recent problem/defect with them which resulted in the heater being quite noisy.  Ours has been noisy (from outside the boat) since it was first installed.  Actually from outside Waiouru it sounds like a small jet engine.  James informed us that once fixed they are very quiet. So I’m now wondering whether our heater has a problem.  As I understand it there is an issue with the silencer rather than the actual burner unit.  I might have to email a query to the UK agents.

After Doug & James had escaped I went back to my wiring.  It’s a problem which I’ve been unable to fix (yet!).  There are two 12v power cables running from the midships node to the media cabinet.  They each terminate in a 12v cigarette lighter socket.  Testing with a multimeter shows there is 12v at each socket.  There is a short supply cable from each socket to either the sat-dome or the media tank.  However only the cigarette lighter socket to the media tank works.  I can swap the two leads over which results in either the sat-dome or media tank working on the media tank cigarette lighter socket.  Neither of them will work when their lead is plugged into the cigarette light socket for the sat-dome.  But I’ve already tested that socket and get a 12v reading from it?????????    There has to be a reason (and a fix).  I just have to find and rectify the problem!

Oh…. it’s back to raining again!


Peter Lee said...

Interesting electrical problem! Have you tried measuring the voltage with a load connected to the socket? It sounds like you may have a high resistance joint or connector somewhere which can supply the few microamps necessary to operate the voltmeter but which drops all the voltage when a proper load is applied. Another possibility is that the Empirbus node is faulty and is shutting down when any significant current is drawn. Food for thought! I look forward to hearing what the actual problem was - when you find it.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Peter,
Yes.... I've been thinking the same thing. Tomorrow I'll redo all the terminal connections and also check the voltage with the sat-dome connected to the cigarette lighter socket.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the polarity is reversed on the faulty socket?

Tom and Jan said...

Good thought. But no..... I've checked that!

Paul - from Waterway Routes Maps and DVDs said...

Some interesting heat loss patterns in the snow.

How quickly does the snow melt on your boat compared to other inhabited boats?

clint said...

Tom, enjoy the snow, it's a glorious Hawke's Bay summer here. 42 degrees C recorded at Ongaonga last week. Pretty uncomfortable and getting *very* dry.
Keep warm,

Tom and Jan said...

We have friends in Oz who tell us your temperatures sound positively cool :-) I'm enjoying the cold!

Tom and Jan said...

Hello Paul,

Yes, melted snow around the portholes, side hatches and Houdini's. There aren't any live-aboard boats near us to do a comparison. Next time I'll toughen-up and walk to view their covering instead of whimpering out and scurrying back into the warmth of Waiouru :-)