Thursday, 23 February 2012

What A Wonderful Day

Yesterday was spent completing the wiring to the control panel and I am quite pleased with the result.
The extra sleeving has helped keep things neat and tidy.
Today was another work party with GCS clearing ivy from the sides of lock 15. It had been left before because we had to wait until it had been established that there were no bat roosts concealed underneath. As usual we had plenty of laughs with lunch being a picnic in the sun listening to the sound of water cascading over the cill. What more could you want, people pay money for days like this
What more indeed.
Back home this evening carrying out a bench test on the control panel with the most sophisticated test equipment available to man. J
Everything tested out successfully and had the rudder indicator working. Fuel and water gauges also seem to be good.
Off for a quick boil in the bath – who knows what tomorrow may bring.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Spring Is Coming

Sadly with the weather improving I’m having to get on with other jobs besides the boaty bits.
The control panel is progressing but once all the bits were in place the thought occurred to me as to how do I wire the back without scratching the front.
The answer was this.
Knocked up out of scrap and roughly based on a chippies bench hook but with raised edges lined with carpet for the sides of the panel to rest on.
Now I am doing the wiring bit by bit in the evenings, belt and braces. The sets of cables are being run in an extra protective sheath to keep them together and act as additional protection against chafing. All gauges and switches have been labelled on the back to save having to work out which is which when working upside down.
All the cables are being run to multi-connectors to enable removal of the panel if necessary. Also as I am rewiring the boat bit by bit I can just wire to the connector without disturbing the loom on the back of the panel – Cunning eh?
Before it is connected to the snap connecter terminal each line is labelled to assist tracing and then a drop of solder is run into the crimped joint to make it permanent.
Another fun day out with the GCS and Waterways Recovery Group ( Bit In The Middle) last Sunday scrub clearing down at Manns bridge on the way to Cotgrave.
 Blooming good turn out and plenty got done with tea and cakes provided by WRG. People kept asking for firewood as they passed. They're welcome to it - it's willow and will spit like the devil.
On the home front the main plot has been given its first going over but the ground is still a bit sticky and I finished walking 6” taller.
Karen has already started planting in the kitchen garden and the herb garden has been cleared of the old woody stuff ready for some fresh plants this year.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


The main task this week seems to keep warm. The best day must surely have been last Sunday. Out with the GCS/WRG workparty cutting back the undergrowth in the channel between locks 9 and 10. It looked like the young trees had been cut back several years ago and had in effect coppiced them meaning that there were large roots but nothing substantial to fix the puller to.

A good chunk of the work had been done by the team on Saturday and we were just adding to it.

We were surrounded by robins presumably because the fires had melted the snow to allow them to find food. Must have been doing all right as they weren’t bothered about offered sandwich crusts. It was a glorious day out in the sunshine, even got a bit of a sweat on and ended up sliding down the embankment on my backside.
Sox went absolutely bananas on discovering the snow, it’s the first he has seen, running round, pouncing on it, ploughing it with his nose. Must be the husky part of him, even old Brock joined him for a romp.

As for boaty business.
The switch parts turned up from Vehicle wiring products as promised and a quick trip down to T-A to offer up the cut out panel and recover the switch for the bilge pump which is temporarily wired in through the trip panel. All looking good so reinforcing ribs and edging added

Once again parts just placed in and edges to trim up before more varnish being applied. Lead wires will have to be added before the fuel gauges are fitted as once in place the terminal screws cannot be accessed  and the gauges are stuck in rather than screwed in.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Wooden Cobwebs

Must be getting to be a wimp in my old age. Decided it was too cold to work on the boat this week with the heating removed.
To ease my conscience I have been working on the new control panel, considering the old one was a complete waste of space.
It sloped all the way down so you couldn’t place a map or cup on it and expect it to stay there, the panel was so far forward you couldn’t read the engine hours without a struggle.
The new panel is much smaller and far more busy, but of course that means more holes.
This is the MkII after not being happy with the original after cutting it out.
It will be sloped back at a greater angle and be backed by a substantial well shelf with storage under for all those bits you need to keep handy.

Bits have just been placed in to see if they fit, but bilge switch still to go in on top left and waiting on the delivery of some more switch parts from Vehicle Wiring Products to complete bottom left. Liked these because they have the appropriate symbol on each switch which lights up when on.
GCS work party with the Waterways Recovery Group on Sunday which should be interesting but rather glad I’m not doing the Saturday with this weather.