Friday, 2 October 2020

Autumn Maintenance in Gosport #1

Hi everyone,

Since returning from our cruise of the SW coast we've been tackling various maintenance tasks.  Here's what we've been up to...

Position and Track information in Grafana

Fridge Repairs

During the cruise our fridge became unreliable and then stopped working.  After 5+ years of 24/7 operation without servicing we weren't surprised.  We got by without the fridge for several weeks.

Back in Gosport we contacted RJ Wells and Rob visited the following day.  Rob regassed the system and we swapped out the failed Coastal Climate temperature controller for the original Frigoboat thermostat controller which we'd had kept as a spare.  That got the system running very nicely.

Rob also supplied a spare compressor controller - a new, lower-power version.  Once I was confident the system was working well I swapped out the compressor controller, keeping the original as a spare.

Compressor with thermostat controller mounted nearby!

New fridge temperature sensor

Weather Station Mount

Ever since first mounting our Airmar 220WX weather station we've known it really ought to be elevated out of turbulence.  It's now clear of the goal post and is giving much more accurate wind data.

Elevated 220WX

Cockpit Instrument Reorganisation

For some time we've been using our old cockpit mounted Garmin GPSmap451 to display data only.  We rarely use its charts.  Earlier this year we fitted iPad mounts in the cockpit.  And recently we added the SignalK-based realtime data app WilhelmSK to the chartplotter app iNavX.  The next step was to remove the chartplotter and rearrange the cockpit instruments.

The new arrangement mounts the primary autopilot controller, the VHF handset, the VHF speaker and a USB power outlet.  It's neat and tidy.  Having the VHF on deck will be much more convenient, and also quieter for the off-watch below.

New arrangement

Rear View

Rear Panel Cover

Autopilot Improvement

With the 220WX giving us good wind data we could feed the data to the two autopilots.  This will allow them to 'steer to wind'.  The work involved setting up the SignalK system to output NMEA0183 data for  connection to the Raymarine SPX5 course controllers.  While playing with the autopilots we also re-aligned their compasses.

SignalK System Improvement

We've been slowly improving our new SignalK system.  We're learning about Node-Red, InfluxDB and Grafana so we can record and display exactly what we want.  We use Node-Red to calculate Set, Drift and to reformat position from degrees to degrees and minutes.

Near-realtime data in Grafana

We normally display Grafana dashboards on our Macbook in the navstation.  We can also display them on the HDMI monitor in the saloon and our iPadas...

Grafana display on our HDMI display in the saloon

Here's our new electronics system diagram...


Trust all's well where you are!


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