Sunday, June 18, 2017

Marine Tech Tango Take Two

Just another unrelated photo to remind us why we do this.
Monday morning at 0800: all punched in and facing the coax job from the ninth level of Hades. But weekend musings had pried open a small sliver of hope, in spite of Dante's warning. The coax cable found in the anchor locker was black. The coax connected to the back of the remote switch was a four foot piece of light gray, and already discovered was a a run of white coax connected to the gray with two end connectors and a union. Also discovered was that most of the coax run already uncovered was buried deep in a harness and tucked tightly away in conduit. The chances of the cable being damaged anywhere in those parts of the run were slight. The chance that the shield had spontaneously self destructed inside the conduit were nil. Clearly the chances were that the cable had been damaged where it ran unprotected. Those places were few; from behind the settee up through the DC / AC panel to the structure of the flying bridge, and along that structure to another piece of conduit that ran across the back of the flying bridge to the helm.

The coax run from the anchor locker, past the DC / AC panel, up into the flying bridge, and making the turn aft, was still black. Using a flashlight and a mirror while looking thought a hole left after removing a speaker showed that the coax coming out of that aft piece of conduit was white. Somewhere in the roughly four feet between the two runs of conduit had to be another union, and unions are good places to find failures.

The speaker hole wasn't big enough to work through, nor was it where I needed to be. But near the top of the stairway to the helm was an opening locker fit nearly in the middle of that four feet of structure. Sure, it was screwed in tight and sealed with copious amounts of goo but, back there, lay my little spark of hope. Screws out of the way, the goo was no match for a sharp edged putty knife driven by a small hammer. The locker box popped free leaving a cave-like opening leading to depths that have likely not seen the light of day for decades.

At the forward end of the hole, the conduit housing with the black coax dove down out of sight. At the back end of the hole, the wire bundle with the white coax climbed back up and disappeared into the next run of conduit that looped around the back of the flying bridge to the helm. Grabbing the wire bundle and lifting brought the whole thing up dripping in water and still zip tied to a block of wood that, once upon a long time ago, had been glued to the inside of the structure to support the conduit and its wire bundle. Said glue had given away to the passing years, dropping block, the open end of the conduit, and fat wire harness deep into a poorly drained well. And in the middle of that mess was a corroded mass that had once been two coax end connectors and a union.

Hope flared into triumph. Oh-nine-thirty Monday morning and the spot light problem was solved and easily repairable. Well, easily repairable as soon as the parts department came up with the proper union. That didn't happen until Tuesday. Still, by Tuesday afternoon I was out of that boat and on to the next task; reassembling a vacuum flush toilet assembly someone else had taken apart, getting it to run, and then starting to trace down a vacuum leak. All while tucked under the cabin floor and shoe-horned into what little space remained between the outboard side of the starboard engine and the hull.

The dance never ends...

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