Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014 - boat projects

Today I installed our AIS transponder,  Well, actually I started yesterday but I somehow didn't make the adapter cable correctly and it had very poor performance when broadcasting.  It did great receiving but not when transmitting.  So, I made another adapter cable (BNC to PL-258) today.  Now I have a VSWR of 1.5:1 instead of about 65:1.  1.0:1 is theoretically perfect, so 1.5:1 is outstanding.  Our AIS transponder is able to pick up signals from 65NM away.  In fact, it is receiving an A to N (Aid to Navigation) that is more than 90 miles away.  That's unreal!  But, I'm a marine electrician, and I've been meticulous in the installation of all my electronics.  Using only the best antennas, cables, and connectors.  It shows now though, seeing targets 90+ miles away when most people think anything beyond 50 miles is amazing performance.

The adapter cable I had to make to connect the AIS transponder to our AIS-tuned
antenna.  It is working great, with a VSWR of 1.5:1

AIS targets of 60+ nautical miles.  One Aid to Navigation (A to N) is more than
90NM away!!!!  From Astoria I am seeing more than 130 AIS targets.  Wow.

What is AIS?  Here's a good explanation:

Typical Astoria charter boat.  This one has a 300hp Yamaha, tiller steer!  He really
does have one arm, the other is an artificial limb.  300hp and tiller steer?  Yikes!

Today I also installed another Rigid Industries LED spotlight on our radar mast.  This one is brand new, with the newest LED technology.  It is REALLY bright.  With this new light, our previous Rigid light, and our GoLight HID remote control spotlight, I think we will be able to run at night now pretty easily without too much fear of running over crab/shrimp pot floats.

The Rigid LED lights.  Two 10" light bars.  One spot light, one combinations spot/flood.

The LED lights, as viewed from the side

What they can illuminate at night.
Some really bright lights

I've also been organizing the engine room (spare parts, tools, supplies), as well as the salon, master stateroom, and pilothouse.  I think by the time we return, I will have everything organized  :-)

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