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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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Exterminating bugs

Robin of RES replaces the GPS1 aerial of the Furuno satellite compass
click to enlarge


Bugs – the bane of Play d’eau’s new Pilot House electronics. Can we really exterminate them?

I remember seeing mother-in-law size cockroaches in Delhi years ago in my flying days. There’d been a flying ant swarm and cockroaches, led by these five inch monsters with their armour plated backs, had come out with their armies to hoover a three Michelin star dinner.

In the airport terminal, some local lads were playing football with them but despite severe kicking and smacking against walls, these monster cockroaches just picked themselves up and carried on scurrying about searching for ants as though nothing had happened. They refused to be exterminated.

We now had a monster somewhere in the electrickery on Play d’eau.

Andy Craig of MEI

Andy Craig of MEI had come to Beaucette Marina on 1st May 2013 and resolved all our electronic woes – or so we all thought.

A few days later, a friend had come from the UK to see us, and in the middle of demonstrating (code for showing off!) our new pilot house equipment, the dreaded ‘Heading Data Missing’ alarm on the nn3d re-appeared with the associated ‘Steering Compass Missing’ warning on the Simrad autopilot, activating every possible audible alarm from the Chart Plotter, Radar, Instruments, and this time, from the Satellite Compass as well which also displayed an ‘Aborting’ message.

Arrrgh! An unknown mother-in-law cockroach had crawled out to mock us.

The GPS1 aerial works again, with the same HDOP as the other two aerials in the array
click to enlarge

After re-booting the satellite compass many times, I called Andy of MEI. Having listened to my woes, Andy’s gentle voice came back with, ‘You won’t believe this, Piers. We’ve just had a Tech Bulletin from Furuno advising us there’s a potential fault in the GPS aerials they use in their satellite compass. From what you’ve said, the GPS1 aerial has failed which could have been the source of all the original problems.’

Robin of RES (Guernsey)

In the moments that followed, Andy spoke with the warranty desk at Furuno which immediately accepted the warranty claim, arranged for a spare aerial to be despatched from Holland direct to RES (their authorised agent in Guernsey) and authorised them to effect the repair. How brilliant was that!

Yesterday, Robin of RES appeared on Play d’eau and checked the fault remained. It did. Climbing the radar arch and pony mast, Robin unscrewed the cover from the aerial array, removed and replaced the faulty aerial and appeared back in the Pilot House to check it was now working. It was. Brilliant, again.

One mother-in-law cockroach exterminated.

The dreaded Heading Data Missing alarm returns to the nn3d which will be hunted down and exterminated
click to enlarge

Any more bugs?

Yes. Two hours later, three more bugs dared to surface. The original ‘Heading Data Missing’ on the nn3d, and two relatively new ones showing as ‘Log’ and ‘EPFS’ in the Radar alarm log. Yet all with no indication of equipment failure.

To me, I don’t believe there’s anything more wrong with any of the equipment. Deduction tells me these bugs are more like mosquitoes hiding in the sentences being dropped onto the nn3d backbone or the speed at which they are talking. A mismatch or confusion somewhere. Time will tell.

So, having exterminated a cockroach we now have three mosquitoes.

Now where’s that DDT?

Piers
from the Nav Table of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

1 comment to Exterminating bugs

  • Hil

    Oh dear.It never stops,does it? However superb something is there will always be a potential problem.But,it is always sortable outable! It’s just the hassle…Hil x x

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