Posts Tagged ‘DC 5000’

Beating Depression

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I was depressed some.  Maybe overly pessimistict would be a fine description too.  Years ago a peer in college gave Joe (another old friend from college) and I a cartoon. Two monks held tablets with descriptions. One description said  “The World is going to End Tomorrow”, the other “The World’s Never Going to End”.  At the bottom of the cartoon was the comment; “One’s an optimist and one’s a pessimist but I don’t know which is which”.  Guess I’m a little of both. Nothing beats being depressed like activity. By doing something one doesn’t have time to sit and think. So to that end I actively began the process of fixing the DC refrigeration.
First I had emailed the owner of Seafrost and he had replied to me the following day. As I could only get ideas from him I needed someone locally. Randy on Sea Otter had used a refrigeration guy in Trinidad and I picked up his contact info and the following day (Monday) call Keith  (pronounced Kiet – Islanders don’t seem to pronounce the H in words ie Math is Mats) . Fortunately Keith wasn’t immediately involved in a project and was able to come within the hour. He looked over the situation and I described to him what I had done, showed him the picture of the wires and the conclusion was we needed to remove the unit. Damn!  (Seems that word is becoming a permanent part of my cruising repertoire).

So we disconnected two water hoses, two refrigerant lines  (after removing the refrigerant), unbolted, and then off loaded the unit.  We looked inside the motor via the brush covers  to a cave covered with carbon and where the brushes were connected the wire insulation already beginning to melt! Keith suggested an electrical guy on the other side of the bay. One reason we’ve hired Keith is that he’ll know all the local contacts and save me a great deal of time and hopefully aggravation in trying to correctly source these individuals / companies.  The first stop was a bust. The shop basically did parts installs on motors. Oh, he could identify problems; but, then he would order the part and install it. Hell, mostly I could do that! He also said that he couldn’t even get to opening it up further till about Thursday or Friday 🙁 . We took the unit back and went to another source Keith knew. Into Diago Martin for a IMHO a real shop. Keith took me on a trip towards the Port O Spain where we turned off the highway towards the interior of Trinidad. There we wound through several streets and turned into an alley filled with various industrial shops. Finally, a shop I believed would be exactly what I needed. In there I saw that employees  were rewinding various sizes of motor  amateurs. They took a look at the motor. In it they identified that one of the brush holders was loose and most likely lost a rivet that helped hold it on, and in the bottom of the motor under the brushes there is what looked like  1/2 of a fan!  No way, no how could I have fixed that on the boat.  So there we left the motor and compressor with Keith’s phone number taped to it. I’m expecting to have it back in our hands later this week or early next week. If we’re lucky it will be installed sometime next week. Till then we’re running an ice chest (borrowed from Early Out) and lugging ice to the boat to keep things cool.

On to other projects, we had ordered some Lip Seals for the the water pump. I checked the tracking and they’re finally shown to be in Chag.  I went to Customs; and they can’t find the package.  I came back to the boat and checked the tracking data and found that it said they had delivered the package to the front desk of our marina!  I went there and luckily the package was there. On our list now is finishing up the generator (redoing the gasket on the coolant chamber, replacing the lip seal on the water pump, replacing the bolts on the pully-water pump with hex heads), replacing some wire on the DC refrigeration, sealing the brown boot strip on the hull, and several other small projects.

And of some of the finished projects, here too is a pic of our new “Crew” cushion covers.  Alpha Canvas did a fantastic job in making the new covers and putting in new foam.  We’re quite happy with them.

New Cushion Covers

New Cushion Covers

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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Bummed in Paradise

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I know. Sounds weird doesn’t it. Yesterday I was quite depressed. I figure that’s really normal. I subscribe to the concept that for every Great day I’m going to have a “S—-y” day. Yesterday took a couple of  S—–y days off my bill.

We tried running the DC 5000 in the am and it began to over heat.  Shut it down and hoped that maybe the issue was partially because the holding plates were so iced up. We stepped back, took a deep breath,  and defrosted the plates in the freezer and the refrigerator.  Once done we tried the 5000 again and the motor began to warm up  (170 degrees) and slow down.  I wasn’t happy.

We’d just finished installing the new VHF and the new Battery Charger. Both of us were planning on a low work day, Wendy playing the Train Domino game and I playing chess while doing nothing else the rest of the day. It just wasn’t to be.

I encouraged W/ to go play while I began to investigate – take apart the motor. Inside I found wires that were melting. Oh – Oh.  I began to replace them. I

Insulation Not Good

Insulation Not Good

checked the brushes, they seemed ok and put it all back together.  It worked!  Hooray! She then left to play while I started up the compressor and watched.  All worked well for an hour or so then the motor began to reheat again!  Need I tell you my thoughts?  Shut it down and investigate. I emailed Cleave at Seafrost (yeah I know it was Sunday). I pulled out the brushes and discovered that one brush seemed to be binding. Sand the edges and try again.  It works!  But only for about 15 minutes before it begins again to over heat. Depression.

I feel like the longer we stay at the dock the more things go awry. We’re trapped!  I understand how some boats and the people on them become permanent riff raff on docks. They’re scared to leave. I’m hoping that once all the planets become aligned and all the systems on our boat work again we’ll be able to make it to Cartegena, Columbia without any major difficulty.

Now too, remember; we have redundancy in our systems. We have a generator that has a refrigeration compressor on it.  Oops, Generator is down too. Waiting on one part (a Lip Seal) so the water pump won’t leak water anymore.  Since that too is down. We’re scraping the bottom by having to use ice to cool anything off. Of course that will I’m sure mean a few more meals out. Both a good and bad thing. Trinidad is quickly draining our resources. We need to go anchor with everything working!

On top of all this happening, W/’s  birthday is just around the corner. Remember; last year it took me a few hours to remember to wish her a happy birthday and I caught a close glimpse of Hades for such a thoughtless lapse in the chronological order. So this year I’m hoping we have nothing major occur (nothing more major then what’s been happening) and I wake up and remember.  I’m going to try to leave myself some notes the night before – or maybe two days before, and I’m hoping Facebook too reminds me.  We’ll see if I can survive the issues on the boat and the upcoming celebration of the day.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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