Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Tixall Wide to Great Haywood

Beautiful overnight stay at the Wide. Then we gently cruised back to the marina, got cleaned up and came back to Bransgore.

1 mile, 0 locks, 1 engine hour

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Great Haywood to Tixall Wide

Needed to get a pump-out, so went over to the wharf about 2 p.m., though we had to wait for Shropshire Blue. Then decided to cruise down to Tixall Wide for the afternoon, and ended up staying the night since the weather is great – a good way to check that the electrical systems are functioning well in the wild.

Halsall came round the corner as we emerged from the marina, so we bought another bag of SuperTherm @ £9.25 for 20Kg.

2 miles, 0 locks, 1.5 engine hours

Monday, 8 May 2017

Great Haywood

Speedy reply from Prestolite confirmed the alternator has 12 poles. While fiddling with the iPhone tachometer app I realised I'd miscalculated the ratio of the pulleys. For some reason I'd been working all along with 1.33, but the crankshaft pulley is 5 inches and the alternator pulley 3 inches. So the calculation is 5/3*12/2 = 10 pulses per revolution. I'd used 8 first time around. Once that was in place I got an idling speed of about 800 rpm. That's a bit higher than the speed registered by the old tacho, of about 600, but it should be accurate, if my pulley measurement was correct.

At this point another problem arose. With the constant moving of the control panel, a lead had come adrift – a female spade connector on the red core of a thick 2-core cable running down into the engine compartment, and not part of the wiring loom as such. It was not obvious where it should be connected. The engine started, but now would not stop with the stop switch, so I had to locate the emergency stop lever on the engine itself. The warning buzzer was not coming on.

The cable was labelled in orange marker pen "supply to Q2". Q2 is shown on the Aqualine wiring diagram as a master RCB switch controlling the supply to the horn and headlight, and is located in the electrical cupboard. Its powered end is shown as connected to the "engine ignition switch". It transpired the other (blue) core was attached to the red one at the bottom terminal of Q2, so returning 12 volts back up to the control panel area. It is connected to two white leads which feed (a) the stop switch, and (b) the domestic alternator warning light. That explained why the stop switch did not work.

The engine manual shows which connectors on the ignition switch are active under which conditions, and from that it became clear that the lead should probably be attached to pin 54 (live under Run, Heat and Start). 58 (live under Run)was also a possibility, but seemed less likely, especially as it offers only 4 amps. Making that connection restored all functionality.

I used self-amalgamating tape to tidy up the wires on the tachometer adapter harness, and re-seated the tachometer with silicone grease. The rubber sealing ring doesn't fit very well, and we shall have to see whether the combination stops water ingress. I used the Sikaflex substitute from Kings Lock to seat and seal the panel back in place on the column.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Great Haywood

Wildwood church in the morning, and Robin and Helen invited us to lunch – a very good time.

Back at Erin Mae I soldered the new, crimped extension piece, covered it with self-amalgamating tape, fitted a new ring connector and attached it to the alternator. This time I got a reading on the tachometer, but it was showing 1000 rpm at tickover, which I didn't think could be right.

The calculation depends on the pulley diameters and the number of poles in the alternator. I put up a post on CanalWorld forums asking about the poles, and got a suggestion about an app that would turn a phone into a strobe tacho. Then it occurred to me to email Prestolite and ask them. In the meantime found an iPhone app that would run on the iPhone 4, but by now it was too late to test it.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Great Haywood

Completed the construction of the switch device for configuring the tacho. The procedure went well.
However, when I started the engine the reading stayed at 0 rpm. Traced the problem to a broken wire at the alternator W lug. Got down to Maplin in Stafford to get some stuff for repairing the link. That included a 40W soldering iron set.

The wire was difficult to work on because the engine coolant hoses were in the way, stopping me getting easy access with the crimper. Eventually I stripped down a connecter to its metal core, and was able to crimp it with the small electrical pliers. That enabled me to extend the wire with a short length of the red core from 18 amp ring mains cable.

Back was killing me by the time that was done!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Great Haywood

Arrived about 6 p.m. In the evening I fitted the audio isolator transformer between the AudioCast and the Lepy amp. This resolved the noise issue, so clearly had been an earth loop problem.