Monday, 4 April 2011

Let there be light

The day began nice an easy.  Off the electrical suppliers.  There were two almost next door to each other.  I wanted a cable tracer to try and see if I could trace the shore power line.  If that were not available then I would need a cable to fit in its place.  A quick read online and I had figured a 6mm or 10mm would do for a potential 32 amps (future proofing).  The first guy was very unhelpful and despite me asking several times what cable I could use he suggested I buy either the 10 mm armored or PVC.  He had none in stock but said I could drive to this place in kent which would only take an hour and a half and pick it up.  The cost.  4.69 or 5.23 per meter!  Holy c**p!  I asked if there was a cheaper alternative that would cope with 16 amp and he was not helpful.

Off to supplier 2 just a few doors down.  He suggested that I use 24 amp (4mm) pvc 3 core cable.  He had 65m in stock for 48 pounds!  Brilliant.  Sold.

Then off to the boat.  To prepare for the big switch on I combed the entire boat for switches and fuse boxes.  I removed every fuse, insulated every lose wire and ensure every switch was in the off position.
Then I threaded the 65 meters of cable around the boat.  Then a simple swap of the wires to the new cable.  Fitted an industrial plug on the other end and ready to go.

First step, plug in the power end.  No fires, no bangs.  Thank god.  Then test the power control cabinet end.  245V!  Cool.  Switch the switch from generator to shore power.  No bangs, no fires!  Yes!  A quick referral to the drawings and picked the fuse box that had lighting power.  Then switched power on that fuse box from the control panel.  The on light came on.  Even the volt meter on the panel was showing correctly.

Next stop fuse boxes.  Fuse box 10 is the one that had the lighting fuses in.  I took two 10amp fuses and fitted them into the first lighting set.  Switched the isolator on and nothing.  No lights, no switches worked.  Nothing.  Hmm.  Another quick look at the drawings only to find that the entire fuse box is feed from another.  Replaced that 32 amp fuse to power the lighting fuse box and started again.  First fuse in and hey presto.

Let there be light!

I only tested a few lights before shutting it all down and heading home.

Shopping list for next trip is to include some eco bulbs to try and reduce the power consumption of the lighting.  Each lighting circuit has 10amp fuse.  There are 4 lighting circuits and that is ignoring the engine room.  Given there is only 16amp of shore power I will need to find ways of reducing the load.

With power restored I will then need to start to test the bilge pumps.  That would be the quickest way to get rid of the fresh water out of the tanks.

The other good news is that the hull survey was done today.  The thickest part of the hull is 21mm and the thinest is just under 16mm.  They estimate that you will lose 0.1mm of steel per year in rust.  So I should be good for longer than I will be alive for!

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