AIS installation, Navtex aerial and PA Foghorn

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Wed 3 Mar 2010 17:40
Well that's the list for today. Not quite true as I fitted the AIS last night. I see the layout of the blog is no better so I will try a different experiment with this one.
Not a good picture but Minka is the tiny circle in the middle of the bottom of the screen. The tight group of ships to the left and a little above are the vessels in Gijon harbour. If you click on a ship it tells you all about it. The vessel to the right is doing 10kts on a course of 100 degrees going to Bilbao. The GPS feed for this is mounted inside the cupboard above behind the plotter. This is cheating but it seems to be doing the job and as you will see later I am running out of room for more mushroom aerials on the solar panel frame. The next photo gives an idea of the chart table layout.
From the right at the bottom is the Furuno Navtex, then A Furuno GP 32 GPS which feeds the Raymarine RL70C chartplotter, next is the Simrad AIS and then my laptop which is linked to the Iridium phone for emails. The large display in the middle is the chartplotter and above that another Furuno GP32 GPS which feeds the Yeoman chart plotter, the Standard Horizon DSC VHF transceiver and the B&G instruments including the Autohelm. The Turkish carpet is on the chart table to protect it whilst I was doing the fitting work to save the varnish getting damaged.
The Furuno Navtex aerial got decapitated by the wind generator in Biscay and today I fitted the new aerial. The Navtex picks up weather forecasts from preset stations. It also has loads of other stuff about gunnery exercises and tells me the French have been setting off torpedos today.
In the centre of the photo you can see three mushrooms. They are now out of reach of the wind generator. The large one is the new Navtex aerial and the other two are for the Furuno GPS receivers. Below the big mushroom is the PA/Foghorn/Loudhailer. The VHF transceiver has the capacity for linking to a loudhailer. This means I can shout at people using the radio mike. It can also be used as an automatic foghorn putting out the appropriate pattern of sounds depending on what we are doing. There is also a siren function so you can pretend to be a police boat. I have had wonderful fun testing this out in the marina. Slightly embarrassing to start with as I read the instructions on how to start it but couldn't figure out how to turn it off.
That's it for today except I found another photo from the top of the mast from yesterday.
The weather has broken a little and we have had gentle showers today. Thanks to my new wind instrument I can say the wind hasn't exceeded 8kts. I probably have another two or three days of jobs to do before I leave here. So subject to the weather I shall leave on Sunday. Not thought where I am going yet but probably Cudillero which is a nice day sail west towards Coruna.