Today was day one of the trials. Motor only, just to get familiar with the new prop setup, and see what we could break.
Nothing really broke, other than the forward bilge pump switch stuck "on" and the aft bilge pump switch wouldn't turn on, and some anomalies in the instruments (no speed on either unit, flaky until it settled down on the new depth gauge), there seems to be a bit of harmonic vibration in the shaft (putting my hand on it feels a bump on the opposite sides, and depending on the speed, it's different points on the clock) and the dripless packing
system isn't, yet.
However the point of this was to report on the wifi setup's first real challenge. I got the bridge up on the mast (the end of the Dec06 gallery in the refit section for any who are interested -
The signal is so strong up there that it latches on to a pay site, something I was afraid would happen (the bridge, in open mode, vs a stated target
SSID, goes to the strongest site). No amount of fiddling in the way I'd become accustomed, which is to just type the URL of the bridge in my browser, bringing up the setup pages, would do anything other than bring a signup page to the pay site. I grumbled but the other sites we had been using were a bit less than stellar, so we gave it a 30 day trial, by which time we fervently hope to be gone.
Initially it was great. Good download and upload, no problem logging in, great VoIP, and so on. However, lately, I've not been able to address it through the access point and router which were in between my wifi laptop, and the bridge.
Happily, however, before that failure, which happened as I went from inverter power on return to the dock, to shore power (where it had been
functioning for the last many months), while we were anchored, and rocking and rolling in the swells, a few miles out in Tampa Bay, I picked up the phone and called Lydia's Mom in England and my Dad in New Hampshire, both over the Vonage system which is connected to the bridge (seeing its data stream as an IP feed).
So, assuming I can figure out what's going on with a system which previously, for months, worked very effortlessly, but now is a real pain, and actually currently won't work at all other than as a wired-to-my-computer bridge, internet only for me, no phone, no other computers on wifi (because it somehow won't pass data through either of
them), it has proven my expectation:
I expect that I'll be able to see many stations from which to choose as we cruise, as many as 3-4 miles from shore. If those stations are broadband as I've been led to believe is usually the case, we'll have internet and my home number in most ports and anchorages in populated areas.
Now if I can only sort out what's going on to make it not as simple (and for that matter, not functional in other than a very simple way) as it's been for the last many months.
We'll probably put up some sails tomorrow; if I can get this working before then, that will be another test. That is, as one respondent on one list pointed out, a high gain antenna gets its strength by flattening the donut of the radiated signal. Our rocking and rolling wasn't enough to be trouble today; that far out, the donut disk gets pretty broad, I imagine - but I don't know about when we're heeled a bit...
Stay tuned (so to speak)...
Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig KI4MPC See our galleries at