Day 453 Valves! slide-latches minor wiring
Guess why I am showing a new photo of the water system pressure tank hub? Notice anything different?
The diaphragm style solenoid valves are gone. Why? Because, upon putting some test water in the tanks, and trying it all out, the plastic pieces of sh** went up in smoke 10 seconds after the breaker was thrown. Smoke came billowing out from the engine room, and I asked Gena "were you burning something down there?". Thank you Rona or Home depot. Thank you whoever manufactures these for labeling with  such explicit voltage ratings and other pertinent info for anyone that might be using these for anything other than your particular lawn sprinkler system, which is probably 6 volts. 

Guess we should have done more than tested them briefly with the water hose last summer. Off to the irrigation supply place again! The other valves, the ones in the picture, now 4, work properly, and don't heat up even after 10 seconds.  Problem is they are expensive. If we'd have bought them to start, we wouldn't have bought all the other types we tried which probably ended up adding up to the same amount. The original system is on day 311 , if you want to see the valves that smoked.  These ones hit the garbage so quickly, I didn't have a chance to photograph them!

***August 2008 Update:
 Once we started using the water system, we noticed that we couldn't pump from the starboard fill tank into the port tank! We thought we had things working but apparently not. It turned out the intake valves were on the wrong way! It matters which side they are on, even in "suck" mode. What was happening was the air from the empty tank was sucking up into the pump, then the whole thing just air-locked.
     That was in July. In August, we came back from being away for a week, and the port side wasn't working at all. I thought "oh no! Now what!" but after closer inspection, the plug on the solenoid had become unplugged, somehow. Probably while we were moving all the stuff around under there. Gena glued all of the plugs on with silicone. It's worked ever since!

This I did photograph though. For ages, ever since I made these sliding doors in the pilothouse, I have been trying to figure out how to latch them. I wanted them to be easy to use, yet hold the doors closed properly.

There might be quite a bit of stuff back there, and the doors will take the abuse being aluminum backed, but that won't be any good if the latches aren't locked, or fail.

I bought some sash locks thinking they could be mounted on the ends vertically, but that still left the center door to worry about. I became so frustrated that I planned to just use ugly hooks to hold them.


Suddenly the idea to make one door connect to the next came to mind. Both doors on either side latch to the center door so either outer door can be opened independently, and if the center door needs to be opened, just grab one latch and slide it either way and slide the other door off it.

Hmmm. Ok that sounds complicated! It really isn't at all. Maybe I should make a video...

There, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The handle rocks on the grommet side, and a tapped/ threaded stub of brass rod is screwed onto the other screw with it's head cut off. A spring keeps tension on it. The hole was routed in to 5/8" depth or so. The striking plates are aluminum edging for carpet to floor joins ( same stuff I used around the stove hood ) with the ends bent in. This is so the pin will ride up it when the door is slammed shut. I tested it over and over a thousand ( well maybe a hundred!) times and they work perfectly. And to think I didn't even feel like doing any work on the boat when I got up this morning.


  Once Gena went to town, came back from town with the valves, and installed them, she had perhaps 4 more hours to get finished what she had wanted to do today.

  One thing was the ham radio in her desk.  She had stuffed it in the all-too-small hole I had cut out, and in trying to fit it all in, didn't use any brackets or Velcro. There was no room.  Then the antenna tuner ended up pushed in, and everything jammed.

  I wasn't watching, but I heard lots as she fought with it. When I made the sliding shelf for the radio, it was for just that. The radio. I didn't know she was going to add all the other stuff. So I cut the hole bigger and the desk started to become "hole".  I'm a little touchy about it because I heard my name muttered a few times as well. I won't continue down that avenue...
(shut up sandy!)

It all came out for the better in the end.

Makeup light switches & valve control in head
Even after my thoughtless design screwup with Gena's desk, she was kind enough to mount the switches for the makeup mirror lights I have just mounted. Also, the electric bath tub valve was installed.

Last night I built a valve controller for an electric door lock motor to open and close the bath tub drain. Gena wanted a door cut out of  the tambour fascia along the bath tub so the valve could be manually opened and closed. I didn't.

 The controller had to be a programmed microcontroller or one would need to stand holding the button while the tub drains. It works great! I did the whole thing in one night honest! There is/will be a link to that on promain.htm project page if you want to read the technical stuff, download the software, or start a manufacturing company with me. Ha ha.

The little picture above right is the make up lights almost in place. I want to test them for a while before I glue the pipes down solid. There's a better picture below.

This picture was taken during the day, but at night they are extremely bright. All of those tiny SMT LEDs together work well. Now I'm wondering if a light really needed to be added into the ceiling.

For all intent and purposes, we can say the head is complete!

After the wiring, Gena went out and got some fresh air mounting the smaller winches for the main sheet. We're not totally sure if the winches are angled properly, but a nylon shim was made to get them up to where we "think" they should be.

To be honest, our experience with winches is very limited. You wouldn't know it the way Gena seems to have that winches dissection in hand hehe!

I continued my afternoon with (finally!) getting the tangle of wiring behind my radio / studio panel started.

Here's the before picture ...

...and now the after picture! Aaaaaah!!

I have no real schematic of this complicated tangle yet, just a drawing on a napkin I did last winter sometime. Once there is a formal drawing, I'll post it here.

Scary thing is, it's still not finished yet. More must be crammed in there. In "other projects" on promain.htm there are parts of this.

Here's a basic run down of every thing. The way it is and the way it will be:

The antenna switchbox switches the mast top custom VHF antenna to either/and/or the VHF 2M ham radio, the WEFAXsat unit, the scanner, and the TV.
The Audio Switchbox switches audio to the PC audio mixbox from either the keyboards, the ham radio & scanner, the WEFAXsat, or from EXT plugs on the box. It's radio input switch connects to the TNC and the PC AC97 audio for SSTV.
The secondary Antenna Tuner is inline between the ham radio (HF side) and the auto-tuner aft above the berth which runs to an aft backstay.
The USB Hub  from the PC (not in yet!) branches out to a secondary hub, the midi contoller, and two sockets on the panel,  The secondary hub goes to the USB-quad RS-232 interface, and the wireless mouse. (See? One socket left lol!)
The Edirol audio mixbox connects to the Audio box, the keyboard midi/sweet16 midi and a firewire ext. for the videocam etc.
The Quad USB-RS232 ports connect to the TNC, the SSTV interface, the electronics testbench, and to an external for PIC programming or the scope etc.

 The rest isn't interconnected. The inverter, the switches for lights, audio amps, and PC case fan are all next on the hookup list. The side panel has some stuff on it as well, but I'll leave that for another day!

Day 453:
10 hours++ ; made valve controller for tub, mounted switches, wired my desk, wired and installed Genas radio stuff, fixed water pressure system, made cool sliding door latches.

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