Sunday, December 18, 2011

Clean Power

I installed a nice flat panel TV on the boat and was bummed to find that there was a terrible/obnoxious hum in the audio when powered on the Xantrex inverter.   I tracked this down to the modified sine wave inverter.  This didn't say much for the input filtering on the TV but I wasn't about to un-install the thing.  After all, I had just drilled 4 holes in the boat to mount it.

I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a pure sine wave inverter onboard for the AV stuff and for computers.    I added a 400 watt unit and it solved the TV hum problem.  While I was at it I wired in a power strip that can be used by other "sensitive" electronics.

Here is what nice clean utility power looks like on the oscilloscope. Isn't it pretty.

Here is what ugly AC power looks like from the Xantrax (modified sine wave) inverter
Here is what the signal looks like from a pure sine wave inverter.

Monday, December 12, 2011

GoPro Time Lapse

Having fun with the GoPro camera this weekend.  Here is a time lapse of my trip across the bay to Alameda.  The boat is at Hansen's Rigging getting a makeover.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

High Temp Engine Alarm

Sealed this up after many hours of tracking down an electrical problem that was caused by corroded leads on fresh water high temp switch.
Alarm was sounding on the open circuit created by the corrosion.  Fixed the coolant leak (cause of the problem) at the same time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bad Boy WiFi

Based on a recommendation found in Practical Sailor I purchased and installed the Bitstorm WiFi extender.
There are two parts to the setup.  The Bad Boy Xtreme  (great product names!) is at the top of the mast and the Unleashed repeater is down below.  This system has been installed on the boat for over a year and it really works well.  Everything is configurable from a we browser and the I can pull in WiFi signals from a good distance.  Many times I have found that my Shindig WiFi connectivity is better than I get from AT&T DSL at home.

Before I made the purchase I called Bitstorm to clarify a few things and get some advice on rail mounting or masthead mounting.  They were very knowledgeable and friendly to work with.  I have no regrets on this Shindig upgrade.

On  a recent trip to Drakes Bay we had no cellular service but I was able to poach a WiFi signal from somewhere on the hill.   Nice!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have to say that I love what these guys at Sailrocket are doing..  They are on their second generation boat and attempting to beat the on the water speed record.  Paul Larsens passion for this project is obvious.  I'm cheering for him and his team.  It wouldn't surprise me if they do it in the next month or so as they continue to tweak the boat and seek ideal conditions in Walvis Bay, Namibia. (Africa)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo from the top floor.  65 feet off the water...
This trip up the mast was in preparation for the BadBoy WiFi installation.  More on that later.