Saturday, February 6, 2010

Evil Troy Lock

You may remember that the evil Troy Lock stripped the instrumentation of the top of the mast. Over the past few months (yes, it has been months!) I have been slowly getting the parts and getting the top of the mast repaired. Today I finally finished the project. The WQindex (with night light), the new Garmin wind instrument, and the repaired anchor light are all installed and working.

I love Garmin! When I was a young man (back before electricity was invented) I owned a BMW 2002. It had been, in the parlance of the day "breathed upon." Very "breathed upon." It was my pride and joy. One day the turn signal flasher burned out. I went to Gert (my German mechanic, of course) to purchase a new flasher module. It was $35 - in the seventies. I said, I can purchase a bimetallic flasher for my Chevy for $1.98. Why so expensive? Gert said, "Mr. Jones, that flasher isn't precise, why, the flashes will not be the same length. Your flasher contains a chip that will make sure every flash is the same duration, as is the time between the flashes." What could I do, I paid the money. So how does this relate to Garmin?

The last part of my install was to put in a new Garmin GWS 10 Marine Wind Sensor. After getting it mounted on top of the mast and running the wires I plugged it into my NMEA 2000 network. Not only did I get wind speed and direction, I now have air temperature and atmospheric pressure. But the cool thing was how Garmin realized that I had to thread the wire down the mast. So of course one end had no connector. But it was pre-cut with the tinned wires the exact length to fit in the field installable connector necessary to complete the connection. Nice job Garmin.

I should say that between Reboot, Gypsysails, and a couple of friends that I have spent so much time on the top of masts that I have become immune. I realized yesterday that I go up in 20 to 25 knot winds and just work on stuff. Weird, as its a long way down (60 feet in the case of Reboot.) When I realized that I now use both hands to work, rather than hold on with one and work with the other it was pretty weird.

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