Saturday, 9 April 2011

Walls 1. Simon 1

As usual, there is no such thing as a straight forward job.  The good news is that I finally tracked down the shore connection.  Having been presented with the possibility of paying over 450 pounds for a cable tracing gadget I thought I would go the simple route.  So I connected a 9v battery to the cabinet ends of the cables and went hunting.  I tried every socket I could.  Nothing.  So I got into cable counting.  The cable trays in the middle of the ceilings are too densely populated to trace individual cables but you can see groups tied together.  So I counted the groups and traced them through.  Clearly it was not at the back of the ship.  I narrowed it down to the set going forward of the radio room and noted a damn big cable going through into the windlass room.  It suddenly occurred to me that the windlass was hydraulic and not electric.  So a quick trip to the windlass room and there was an isolation switch cabinet.  Only 1 cable going in!

A quick go with the screwdriver and on with the multimeter and hey presto 9v.  Brilliant.  Big smiles.

Re routed all the cable out of the ship and around the outside to the windlass room.  Connected it up and there we go.  The advantage now is that I can have internal power without the cables running through the external doors which are both trip hazards and prevent me from closing the doors.

I have ordered a great mains isolation transformer which will take about 10 or so days to arrive.  That will stop my ship becoming one half of a battery and me coating someone else's hull with my own over time.  That's the theory anyway.

I also managed to clear out all 12 radiators and boards and half a ton of rubbish from the deck accumulated over the time before I had a gangway.  That took about 10 trolley loads and nearly killed me.  All into the handy skip provided by the council.  Got there this morning and all the heaters I had put in had been taken out and gone.  I hope someone has a good use for them.  At 1000w each and with 12 on board I could not have run them with only 16amps.  They were old and rusting and ugly.  

Today's job was more manual.  Time to remove the wall next to the old cooker.  How hard could that be!  Well, thanks to our Irish colleagues it was 10 times harder than it should have been.  Removing the dozen or so bolts that held the wall was a pain but not too bad because they had painted every nut and every bolt head which had to be cleaned before I could get the wrench on.

The bolts removed I realised that the base of the wall would not move.  Expletives over I studied it closer to see where it was welded.  Luckily it was not. Unluckily they had put the wall in (bolted) and then skimmed the floor and tiled it leaving the floor in the concrete.  After about an hour of digging and chipping and swearing I realised the only way this wall was coming out was in two bits.  Out with the electric saw.  About 20 mins of sawing through 4 or 5mm steel sheet and I was almost through.  Then it hit me.  When I complete the cut I will have about 40kg of steel sheet falling.  So a few wedges banged into place Fred Dibnah style and go for it.  It did fall.  The bottom foot collapse under the weight and the top 5ft of steel fell straight down trapping the saw blade.  Sadly the sheet then fell towards me and I only just caught it to hold it from crushing me.  What fun we have on boats.

But the result was good.  It did what I hoped and opened up the area and lightened the corridor.



View from the corridor from the radio room now.  Much lighter.

The trench and damage to the tiles.  Damn shame :->  All the tiles will need to be pulled up anyway as they have all the charm of salvaged tiles from public toilets.

I have made a few decisions over the last few days.  I think with the modern MasterVolt power systems I can do most of the power things I need in 1/10th of the space and 100 times safer.  Most of the old power gear is not lightship specific nor old.  I have decided to remove all pseudo old stuff and just keep the really old switch gear.  So I can remove (and sell) the battery charger units and replace them.  They are not 'interesting' old.  They are just not modern.  They have no design pleasing qualities and most of it is not even nautical.  It can also be replaced by a single circuit board these days.  So all the gear in the wheel house can go including the wiring which will make it look a lot better.

I am also starting to chase down spares for the loudaphone intercom system.
An exact version of mine is here as seen on the Queen Mary.

My one in the engine room is missing a mouthpiece on the handset.  I also noted that the wire in it was really really old and was rubber which literally fell apart when touched just leaving bare wire.  So they will all need rewiring.  It would be good to find one somewhere to use for spares.  This is one of those things that would be great to get working.  If not keep the housing and put in modern version.

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