First day that my people are free since 1973. No idea why it is sideways.
A few months back, I bought a US socket to replace the UK 240v twin socket that came with Frank, but did not get around to installing it. I just used UK-US adaptors.
This lets me run mains-power devices (kettle, power tools, heater, etc) on board when using shore power.
It has been cold, so I had the heater on, as I have done before. There was a strange smell which I eventually localized to the socket.
I have been using UK -> US adaptors to run 110v items. I pulled out one – no problem. Pulled out the left side one… and the GFPE tripped as the plug flashed. So that works!
The 13a fuse in the adaptor had failed to blow and the brass prong was taking some heat:
Fascinating. The live, or “hot” in the USA, is shown here after I disconnected from shore power, opened the socket and clipped the wire. I have a plug-in circuit tester to check if the sockets are really turned off.
I found a cool website, The Circuit Detective to help me translate between UK and USA terms (there is a lot of difference besides voltage) and get the new socket wired in correctly.
So I now have a UK-fitted GFPE on board, where the mains power comes in, and two US sockets fitted with GFCI. I wanted to keep a dual 240/110 system, for when Frank is in Caribbean and other Commonwealth marinas, but I think I will look at installing and running the shore power through a US Standard GFPE, and maybe run two systems later.
I no longer need big-assed UK plug-adaptors!
So I took the Redport Optimizer home, because I could not configure the now-installed Wifi extender on the boat. Once home, I watched the videos and checked manuals but could not access the settings needed. I could not even upload the latest software. Until, eventually, I read that there is a “superadmin” role. Never had to use that before.
Bingo! Uploaded the latest update, hoping that this, plus superadmin mode, would fix things. Went out to dinner after Christmas (lousy food, lovely company, if you must ask, at Roaring Fork, Stonelake, Austin) and returned to a happy dog and a chewed up Optimizer.
So, I bought a new one. It arrived this morning, from GMN – I spent the weekend on Frank, so too late for that trip. My next task is to get back to Frank, test it all out, get the Redport Extender configured (finally!) and get decent email on-board.
Feb 2, 2020 – Installed and it works! I can now see dozens of wifi networks, and get super-strong connections.
I’m not sure if this is a sailing video or a climbing video. But I enjoyed making it and I hope you enjoy watching it and sharing my journey.
8 days compressed into 18.5 minutes. https://youtu.be/4Z1phPBJyKY
Fingers crossed. Steve Appleton, Jupiter’s owner (2 berths down), will keep an eye on things. Frank’s lines are doubled up, and she is bows-in, so should be ok.
Well, I will be. Because I have retired the Plastimo Atlantic Oven and in its place is a brand new, stainless steel, super shiny Neptune 4500.
Made in England, it is from Bolton by Leisure Products, who made the Atlantic many years ago.
Swapping was quite straightforward, as the widths are the same, 470mm at the gimbals. The Atlantic is pretty grotty – it was rusty in 2013, and is now set to be recycled.
I have started to work on the video of Frank’s crossing from Camariñas to Corpus Christi. There are three legs to this part of the 4-leg trip, after crossing Biscay in November 2014: Camariñas – Porto Santo (Feb 4 – Feb 12 2015); Porto Santo – St Croix, USVI Feb 12 – March 8 2015); St Croix – Port Aransas, Texas (Dec 24 – Jan 16 2016).
I used an Inreach Satellite Tracker/Messager (since bought by Garmin), and this has a complete record of my route and sms/email messages. I cannot speak highly enough of this little marvel.
So here are the routes and some messages and notes that I made, between Northern Spain and St Croix. I will add more detail in subsequent postings as I work on the video, and then I will work on the final leg through the Caribbean, into the Gulf of Mexico and to Port Aransas, Texas.
UPDATE: The lovely Bethany at GMN has replaced the unit. I have tested it and it appears to work, so next opportunity I will install it.
Another bit of dodgy tech!
The satcom system worked fine for phones and emails at sea. Expensive airtime, mind you! And a pain to get a reasonable package. My Iridium Pilot came with an Optimizer which works to compress and reduce unnecessary files for email and web browsing at sea.
The marina wifi is pretty crap and Frank’s berth is quite a ways from the wifi hotspot. So I ordered a refurbished RedPort Wifi extender from GMN on rush delivery back last year. Of course, it did not work – it had not been checked or tested. So it went back on RMA and eventually came back, whereupon it went to the back of the line.
Finally, last weekend, it floated to the top of the “to-do” list.
The lights lit up, but the discovery bit, where the Extender appears on the Optimizer menu, did not work.
You can’t see it because it ain’t there.
Ticket Number: 2019073110000983
I think that Optimizer is an older version that has been end of lifed. Do you know what hardware model the Extender is? It will say on the back of the Extender. Either wXa-EXT or wXa-EXT V2
GMN Customer Care
Global Marine Networks, LLC
3224 Wrights Ferry Road
Louisville, TN 37777
07/31/2019 14:15 – Colin Bastable wrote:
I bought a Halo extender. It was defective and RMAd.
I have connected it to the Optimizer.
Plugged into LAN port. WLAN, LAN and Power blue lights on at Optimizer.
Two blue lights on, and flashing red, orange and two green lights on Extender.
No Extender option appeared in the menu.
I then updated the firmware from 1.3xxx to wXa-102 v1.63b8
Still no Extender option.
See attached screengrab.
Please can you advise me how to get the Extender option to display?
At this stage, I am beginning to suspect that what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate between the Optimizer and the Extender. We shall see.
When Frank was having her keel dropped, at Hooking Bull in Rockport back in 2016, because this necessitated having the mast down, I planned to install a SailTimer Wireless Wind Instrument which arrived long after the mast was back up and Frank was in her new berth in Corpus Christi Marina
This week, Matt Sebring of Coastal Bend Yacht Services has mounted it, along with a Windex (the one mounted when at Hooking Bull lasted a week, when a pterodactyl (I am no ornithologist, but they are big-assed ugly monsters that share the marina with the boats) decided that the Windex did not belong on the top of the mast.
It took so long for me to get around to installing the Sailtimer that they have redesigned it – I should have waited until now to buy it. But next time I am at the Marine I can see if it actually works, and also see if the Windex has survived..
Last August I repaired the port side forward port (the big one), rebedding the glass in marine silicon in the alloy frame and repairing the porthole in which it sits. That port was leaking water on the galley side. It seems to be dry now, so this last weekend I did the other side, which leaks water into the chart station, ruining anything not waterproof in the desk and so on.
Gaps filled and epoxied..
Gaps in port frame before thee repair.
The port before repair
For some silly reason I can’t find or did not take pics of the frame, nor of the finished job, but I will add them later. Neither repaired job is perfect – I need to clean up the silicon from the glass, but it will keep the water out. Four more to go, two each side (smaller).