Captain Christine Returns! Möbius Update 12-25 Sept. 2022

Thanks to Christine and some tech support people at our web host provider, we now have all those technical problems worked out and I am able to post updates again.  Yaaayyyyy!!! 

My apologies for any annoyances you may have experienced with the test post and notification Email that went up here on the site instead of posting as a hidden draft only.   I appreciate your patience and happy to be able to post this quick update on what’s been going on aboard the Good Ship Möbius the past two weeks.

Best thing that happened for me last week was that my Captain returned! 

As you may recall, back on the 1st of the month, Christine flew over to Miami for some much needed Gramma time with our Grandson Liam, some visits with her family and friends and to look after a few medical appointments. 

IMG_1517She had lots of fun outings with Liam, seen here goofing it up with a selfie of him and his Dad, Christine’s son, Tim.
Liam 1st day 1st GradeAnd timing was perfect for Liam’s first day in First Grade.  Yayyyy Liam!

Brynn   Blair 1st Day School Sept 2022Meanwhile, over on the opposite coast near Los Angeles, our two Granddaughters Brynn (left) and Blair were also starting their first days of the new school year as well so school year 2022 is off and running!

IMG_1671Christine landed back here in Kalymnos on this ferry from Kos to Kalymnos on Monday (19th) evening after a two day marathon of travel.  Being on this tiny Greek island adds several legs to the journey with three flights to get from Miami to Dulles to Athens to the neighboring island of Kos and then the ferry from Kos to Kalymnos. 
CK bags return to KalymnosOh, and did I mention that she was schlepping over 55 Kilos/120 Lbs of new bits and bobs for the boat and ourselves?!  However, very happy to report that all went amazingly smoothly, checked bags went all the way from Miami to Kos without any intervention or loss, but it still requires lots of energy and time with not much sleep in between.  She has slept VERY well the first two nights without any real sense of jet lag and we are both very happy to be back together and home.

Super Hawg

PXL_20220920_083527654One of the many bits of kit for the boat Christine lugged back with her, and one of the heaviest, was this Super Hole Hawg as Milwaukee calls their monster HD right angle 18V drill.  Weighs in at 8 Kg/17.6 Lbs, has two reversable speeds and over 1000 FtLbs of torque.
PXL_20220920_083754316.MPIt is quite the beast and I was able to get a very good deal buying it through Home Depot with three of these super sized High Output 6Amp 18V lithium batteries which enables long continuous use between charges. 

This is part of our style of doing prototypes of systems on Möbius that allow us to try out different ways of doing things and allow us to find out what is the Goldilocks just right way for us.
PXL_20220920_083539547 In this case we are trying out this way of converting several of our manual winches to electric.  I ordered this SS adaptor that fits into all our winches.
PXL_20220920_083255443Almost all winches no matter the brand, use this same star pattern for their manual winch handles so this adaptor enables us to try out this powered winch handle on any winch we have so we can see which ones would make sense to convert to full built in electric systems.
PXL_20220920_083457996As an added benefit, this power winch handle will also give us an emergency back up for any failure of our already 24V powered electric winches such as this hefty Lewmar 65 on the Aft Deck.
PXL_20220920_083155882.MPTwo of the currently manual winches we are most interested in trying this out on are these horizontally mounted winches on the Tender Davit which we use to raise/lower the Tender in the Davit Arch.  Up to now we have been using the manual winch handles for this job which works well but we like to bring the Tender onboard every evening so this makes it much more convenient and faster.  I will let you know how it all works out once we have tried it out a few times.

Rats!

3621E3C5-FC9D-4897-AC82-00AF8AD4E1CEMuch lighter and put to immediate use unfortunately, were six of these classic Victor rat traps which I was able to get delivered to Christine hours before she flew out of Florida.  A few days earlier I discovered that I had a new and uninvited guest aboard and these traps are the best way I know of to get them to leave.  Ruby and Barney donated a piece of their kibble for bait which I upgraded with a bit of peanut butter and had had several set out a few hours after we were back onboard Monday night.  A few hours later we heard the distinctive and loud SNAP! of the trap under the sink and I escorted dead Rat #1 off the boat.  Turned out he had two other buddies which were shown the same exit the next night and the traps have all remained undisturbed ever since.  Whew!

Super Synthetics on Sale

For most of the lines we have onboard we use synthetic braided line such as Amsteel or Dyneema as they have SO many advantages such as higher strength that same size SS wire rope, very light weight, easy to handle and they float.  As you might know or guess they are also quite expensive, especially when you buy them from Marine suppliers.  But a tip I can share with you is that the same synthetic line is also now being used extensively in applications such as power winches for off road vehicles, emergency response teams and the like and buying these lines through those outlets is a fraction of the inflated marine cost. 

PXL_20220920_095905604So these two 30 meter/100ft lengths of 13mm/ 1/2” Dyneema also found their way into Christine’s checked luggage.
PXL_20220920_095925807These two are made for electric winches on the fronts of 4×4 and Overland vehicles so they come with a SS thimble on one end and a crimped on fitting for the end that bolts to the winch drum but it is easy to cut these off so I can tie my own eyes, loops or whatever ends I need.  These two are going to be used for some of the rigging on our Paravanes which I now have everything I need and we can start testing out when we get underway again.

Weighty Windings

PXL_20220924_101757840One of the other heavier items Christine brought back with her was this new stator coil for one of our 24V @ 250Ah Electrodyne alternators.
PXL_20220924_101231779Due to a manufacturing error, there was a short in the external rectifier and as you can see every third one of the copper coils was burned out.  There are two of these coils in each alternator which produce the high AC current which then runs through the thick cables out of the Engine Room over to the external rectifier where it is converted into 24V DC current.
PXL_20220924_100213110Electrodyne quickly sent a new replacement coil several months ago and this was our first chance to get it brought over to Möbius.  Fairly straightforward process to remove the old coil by first removing the aluminium Rotor that holds the permanent magnets for the alternator at this end.  The holes in this Rotor provide good air flow to keep the alternator cool.  These Electrodyne units actually have two individual alternators, one at each end of the Red housing but only the one on this end needed replacing.
PXL_20220924_105125920Once the old Stator windings are removed the trickiest part is fishing these three large gauge solid copper wires through the hole in the body of the alternator but just takes some time and holding your tongue just the right way.

Then I could bolt the new Stator windings onto the body.
PXL_20220924_115830765Rotor is bolted back on next and then all the wires inside the junction box up top can be attached to their respective studs.


PXL_20210127_153451189.MP

This upper alternator is driven by a cogged belt system I installed, driven by the crankshaft and also powering the bronze sea water pump you see on the far Left.
PXL_20210830_112742770Further down, the second alternator is driven directly by the PTO shaft from the front Left of the engine.


Each of our Electrodyne alternators can provide up to 6kW of power and so with the pair mounted on Mr. Gee we effectively have a 12kW generator whenever he is running.  Each external rectifier is connected to a WakeSpeed 500 Smart Regulator which automatically look after balancing the two alternators and keeping the 1800 Ah House Bank fully charged. 

Speaking of Mr. Gee, I am eXtremely pleased to let you know that I am flying up to the Gardner works on Tuesday to be there when the new engine is put through its paces on the dynamometer for the initial breaking in and to create a full data sheet and graphs of torque, horsepower, fuel consumption, etc.  I will be sure to take lots of photos while I’m there and be able to share those with you in next week’s update. 

The new engine is due to start its return voyage back to us here in Kalymnos next Friday and hopefully will take “only” 3 weeks or so to get here.  Given that the shipping up to Gardner took over six weeks, that will actually be quite fast!  Everything is relative right?  Once the new Mr. Gee arrives here I will be able to provide you with more details of the installation and most excitingly the results of the initial sea trials so do stay tuned for that.

Thanks for all your patience with the change of pace the past few months and please do keep your questions and comments coming in the Join the Discussion box below.

Thanks!

Wayne

 






 

Wind Beats Solar? XPM78-01 Möbius Update Aug 29-Sept 11, 2022

Wind Beats Solar? XPM78-01 Möbius Update Aug 29-Sept 11, 2022

NOTE: Still have frustrating technical issues preventing me from posting this latest update as I usually do. We have been creating these posts for five years with nary a problem but suddenly it isn’t working so I’ve created this update manually direct online to just get it out while we resolve the technical issues. I’m sure you can all relate from having similar challenges with technology and appreciate your understanding and patience.

As you can see the photos are much larger and don’t expand when you click on them so I will put the relevant text below each photo. But, should give you a good overview of what’s been going on the past two weeks and hopefully the next update will be back to normal format.

Möbius is still safely docked in this beautiful harbour on the South end of the Greek island of Kalymnos and other than some very gusty Meltemi winds the last two weeks have been unusually quiet aboard with the absence of Captain Christine.  So we are down to just the three pupsketeers of Ruby, Barney and I aboard. 


Christine has been enjoying some much needed Gramma time with our Grandson Liam and spending time with her family and friends.  Liam has always been enthralled with tornados and loves making his own in bottles like this one while his Dad, Christine’s son Tim, enjoys the glee.


They have been enjoying outings like this one to a great hands on science museum in Ft. Lauderdale to Liam’s obvious delight.


Christine has been able to squeeze in time for a new hairdo and glasses and a visit with her very dear and longtime friends Kathleen and Steve.

She will be flying back here next Monday and the pups and I will be VERY glad to have her back.

Meanwhile back on Möbius I’ve been busy with several projects and ordering boat bits we can’t get over here that Sherpa Christine can bring back with her. 

I am also regularly in touch with the good people at Gardner Marine Diesel GMD as they complete the building of Mr. Gee version 2.0.  That has been going very well along with the forensic analysis of Mr. Gee 1.0 and they have been taking photos along the way and I should have more details and photos of that in the next blog post. 

It took over six weeks for the engine to get from Kalymnos to the Gardner factory in Canterbury in the UK due to the huge crush of tourists in the EU this summer that took up all the spaces on the three ferries it takes to get there.  Most companies in Europe also shut down for holidays in the month of August so that delayed things further but he finally made it.  GMD have been removing all the parts that will be swapped over to the new engine.  If all continues to goes well, the new engine should be fully completed and run in on the dyno in about two more weeks and start his hopefully much faster return trip!

Monster Meltemi

This part of Greece we are in has always had very strong summer winds out of the North called “Meltemi” winds which are the result of a high-pressure system over the Balkans area and a relatively low-pressure system over Turkey.  Most of the time they are good news to us as they provide a natural form of air conditioning to keep you cool day and night.  Typically these gust up to 25 knots or so but in the wee hours on Monday they gusted up to over 50 knots! (57 MPH/92KPH) 

Which leads me to the title of this week’s post…….

Things were howling pretty good all night but about 3AM there were several huge crashing sounds up on deck above where I was sleeping in the Master Cabin so I scrambled out of bed and up on deck to see what was going on.


In the early morning darkness it took me awhile to figure out what had happened but became pretty clear when I got up on the forward deck, turned around and looked back over the hinged solar panel array in front of the SkyBridge.


As you may recall, this set of three 300W solar panels are mounted in an aluminium frame that is hinged on the aft end so that it can be lifted up like this when we are at anchor or on a dock.  This has double benefits of getting the solar panels horizontal which is often a better sun angle and then creates this huge wind funnel that takes the breezes over the bow back to a mist eliminating grill set in the far back wall. 


Which then flows into the middle of the SuperSalon through the White air diffusers in the ceiling.  The Black ones further forward get their air from another vent tucked under the overhang of the roof above the front window.  Helps keep good airflows.


When we are underway, the panels simply fold down like this so they are flush with the angled roof section of the SuperSalon.

I’ll bet you can’t guess which position they were in on Monday night/Tuesday morning??!!


Took me awhile to put it all together as I tried to figure out what had punched that gaping hole in the middle panel? 


At first I thought perhaps the strong winds had carried some hard heavy something crashing down onto the panel and there was a good culprit staring right at me from the bow of the oil tanker that overlaps our bow on the dock we are tied up to.

Made sense, but then I looked up…………….


I’d estimate it takes me about 20Kg/44lbs to lift the front of this panel up when I want to put it in the UP position so you would think that it would be pretty stable.  But you’d be wrong!

These panels have been in the horizontal UP position for the past two months with nary a problem but what had happened was that Meltemi winds had shifted on Monday night so that they were coming more directly over the bow rather than over the Port/Left side they usually blow over, and one of those big gusts had lifted up the whole rack, slammed it against the front of the roof over the SkyBridge and the video camera had punched itself right through the solar panel.


Fortunately I have several new solar panels onboard for spares and so it only took me a few hours to unbolt the broken PV panel and bolt in a new one.  These panels use these handy MC4 connectors with a built in fuse so all I had to do was unsnap the old ones and click the new ones in place and we were back to full solar capacity with all 14 panels now working.


Christine had a new and improved video cam that she had put on my ToDo list to replace the original one.  How convenient!

Easy enough to unbolt what was left of the base of the old camera and bolt the new one in place.   This new camera uses PoE or Power over Ethernet so only requires a single Ethernet RJ45 (waterproof) connector and it was good to test out.


Fired up the main boat computer in the SuperSalon and a few clicks later had the new camera streaking this video over the bow.


Right now we have four cameras onboard with a rear facing one off the transom which is great for docking and then two in the currently very empty engine room to keep an eye on Mr. Gee once he gets back in there.


Lots of other smaller jobs and time online sorting things out for the new engine and boat bits but nothing too entertaining to show so I’ll close out for this post and will be back when I have enough interesting content to share with you in the next week or two.


I will leave you with Gramma’s bed buddy and fellow geek.

Thanks for your patience in dealing with this delayed and different looking update. Hopefully we will get the technical posting problems sorted out and be back to the usual format in the next week or two.

Please put any questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

Thanks,

-Wayne

Sorry, no new Möbius.World post today due to tech difficulties with Blog

Greetings everyone, just a quick note to let you know that I have the new blog post Update all ready to go but am having technical difficulties with our WordPress site or perhaps the web host and not able to get it posted right now.

Sorry there won’t be a new post today and just wanted to let you know that all is well here and I’ll do my best to get the post to publish tomorrow if I can sort out the problem.

Christine has been back in Florida the past two weeks and is enjoying some much needed Gramma time with our Grandson Liam and seeing her family and friends. She will be flying back here on the 19th and is doing her best to help sort out these tech problems from over there.

Thanks for your patience and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

-Wayne