Radar; Doug’s gone

This weekend was spent entirely on a task — installing the radar — which really should have taken a couple hours but ended up gobbling up four days.  (That seems to be the storyline behind most of the things I’ve been working on lately.)

Partly the job was complicated by the fact that we were installing the radar in place — so I was dangling from the mast, flying around in the waves, trying to hold various parts steady and keep everything well aligned while riveting and bolting it all together.  Partly it was complicated by my lack of riveting experience.  I learned that my mast is pretty heavy duty (~1cm thick aluminum); the rivets that shipped with the ScanStrut SC20 mount were somewhat too small.  I spent the better part of two days struggling with a hand riveter trying to attach the feet to the mast; on the second day I picked up some pipes to add leverage to the riveter handles, but it didn’t help too much.  I pulled a muscle or two by straining too hard.

And then I went and picked up some slightly larger rivets, and everything was suddenly easy-peasy, and Sunday I drilled out and replaced all the too-small rivets I’d managed to pop and everything went into place with remarkable speed.

To make a long story short, here are some photos.

Me hanging out on a spreader while digging around for some tool or other in my handy bucket:

The feet of the SC20 mount, mostly attached, and the radar power/data cable, which we ran through a newly cut 5/8″ hole with no problems:

Skipping (way) ahead, the newly mounted radar, with everything in place:

The feet of the SC20 mount, which gave me so much trouble, nicely riveted in place.  I sat on the mount before installing the radar; it’s pretty solid.

A view of the data/power cable snaking into the mast from the back of the radar.  I still need to pick up a grommet to protect the cable from the edges of the hole.  I filed them pretty thoroughly but it’s still metal, and a grommet will help.  I also still need to install a clam vent to cover the hole; waiting to find a grommet first.

A view from below of the mounted radar:

It’s hard to see in any of the photos but my alignment wasn’t really all that great, and the radar is actually pointed several degrees to port of center.  It’s mildly goofy looking but probably nobody will ever notice, and it doesn’t affect the performance of the radar at all.

While I was up the mast mounting everything Doug was down below connecting everything to the interface box and chartplotter.  Magically, it all just worked.  Here’s One 15 Marina from Oia‘s berth, rendered by the radar:

All that’s really left is the grommet/clamshell vent, and some cleanup of the wiring down below.

Also, last night I went with Doug over to the airport and saw him off (to NYC, via Shanghai).  Somehow his month-or-two visit extended into a little over six months.  I’ll definitely miss having him around; he’s been a great help with all kinds of stuff, and it’s fun to have someone around to bounce a lot of technical ideas off of.

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