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Thread: Radar Reflector

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    369

    Default

    Hi Thom -

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    Re: nav lights...again, LED lights use SO MUCH LESS POWER than incandescent that the 85 amphr stuff is OUTDATED.
    You're absolutely right - LED lights use far less power than incandescent. Keep in mind that the minimum equipment rules are *minimum* equipment - not necessarily best or sufficient. If you want to allow a battery that is less than 85AH capacity, then you would also need to write into the rules that the boat must have LED nav lights (working on the assumption that the purpose of the battery and charging circuit is to keep nav lights running). LED lighting is more efficient than regular bulbs - but are they so much better that they are now a requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    geez, do you read what you write?
    Yes I do, multiple times, and rework the words until I believe they convey what I want to communicate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    Re: other masthead power users...VHF radio antenae, SSB radio Antenae, Stobe light (for gossake)...
    VHF antenna is a masthead requirement, for reasons that have been discussed at length.
    SSB antenna is not a masthead requirement.
    The strobe light, well, that's an area of contention; either you're a strobe light person or you're not. I am a strobe light person - it's can be handy at times to be wildly visible from the horizon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    When you write about kerosene running lights...honestly...are you trying for the title of "ancient mariner"?
    Nope - that was to make the point that technology can march on, and can be improvement over old technology without a decrease in reliability, and therefore new technology is welcomed into a minimum equipment requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    it would be "nice" to hear of an occasional acknowledgment that maybe you don't know it all
    Of course I do not know all; what I tend to do is research a subject to death in order to learn what I can before forming an opinion. And then I like to test theory/opinion to discover whether or not reality conforms to theory. So assume that I know little about most things, and assume that I will do a fair bit of digging around in the literature to learn from other's experiences.

    - rob

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default You do have a choice - go play elsewhere

    The RRC (again) is behind the times. You can't have it both ways, in my opinion. Either the insistence on 85 amphour batteries and associated masthead power users is outdated OR the insistence on passive radar reflectors is outdated.
    No these ARE the times, you just don't like the rules. What times are we behind? The SSS rules are quite minimum if you ask me.... I also think we should be required an emergency rudder for one thing. Who has more progressive rules? It's sure not the OYRA that thinks a Farallones race is Cat 2.

    Passive radar is just that, passive and requires NO power to run.... very fundamental if your single, point of failure, battery, dies. Do you have a wind vane on your multihull? If not, then you will be using an electric autopilot and an 85AH battery (I go further than Rob and say you have 50% useable capacity) to run your pilot, LED, VHF, AND autopilot, etc.... is very minimum.

    Maybe YOUR the one that is behind the times because I have a 90AH battery (72AH useable @ it's rated 80% Depth of Discharge) that comes in @ 29lbs! I know it's weight that your unhappy about so call me up and spend the $$$ to get some modern technology on your boat - get with the ‘times’ would ya. That sure kills your weight issue.

    Re: nav lights...again, LED lights use SO MUCH LESS POWER than incandescent that the 85 amphr stuff is OUTDATED.
    The running lights are only one thing you run with those amps..... again, how do you steer your boat when you are asleep? How do you make a radio call?

    Again...OLD technology

    Sure you can stick some clunky mainsail cutting octagon device up your mast...but you can also just put up what is essentially a whip antennae (another one) which is a radar target enhancer. It retransmits the radar sweep it receives at a cost of 350 mA. Only works in X band and some ships still have radar in S band...but still, you will get seen better by most. Sea-Me?
    Well the Pacific Cup, Coastal Cup, Spinnaker Cup (I’m running out of cups!), the Transpac, Singlehanded Transpac, Cabo, PV, Bermuda 1-2, Bermuda, etc. ALL require a passive radar reflector. The Sea-Me is a nice device (even though by your own statement it does NOT cover all bands used) but if there is an electrical or battery failure it is USELESS.

    Yeah, you have a target on your back every time you "impose" your rules on someone...I appreciate that. BUT, realize that you have accepted the mantle of "Knowing best" in the face of others' experiences and it would be "nice" to hear of an occasional acknowledgment that maybe you don't know it all (after all, I'm the only one who does )
    Wow, now the SSS is IMPOSING rules on you? No they are not - you have to 'meet' the rules of an event that the SSS runs that YOU want to participate in.... if you don't want to play by the rules go play elsewhere or start up your own event.

    I bet I speak for all of the people who have sat on rules, safety boards for the SSS that we don't think we "know best"... we base our decisions on experience, an open dialog, and common sense. Everyone that has been asked over the years to sit on these boards and committees have one thing in common – they are LongPac and SHTP veterans – Hmmmm…. I wonder why you have not been asked to sit on one?

    OK, I'll bite, what rule has been mandated that is "in the face of other's experiences"? Who’s experiences? Your experiences? How many SHTPs and LongPacs have you done? Out of curiousity how many other long distance or trans-ocean races have you done?

    Now about those Minis........!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,976

    Default Electron storage and usage

    This has become pretty negative so let's try to morph it into something more useful.

    One thing that Thom's boat, Greg's boat and my boat have in common is that they are weight-sensitive. Other than perhaps the engine on my boat, the batteries are the heaviest items on board. Since Thom's and Greg's boats use outboards, batteries probably even exceed their engine's weight.

    Due to poor maintenance/charging habits and a flukey battery monitor, one of my Group 27 AGM's is showing signs of needing to be replaced. Both batteries are mounted as close to the centerline as possible but that puts them behind the engine - a total of 130 pounds helping to make the stern squat.

    I would like to replace the AGM's with something lighter and I know Greg has a possible alternative. What are the dimensions and cost for say, 200-210 Ah of batteries?

    I would like to move them forward, like one under the forward end of each settee, but there's only 8" of height under there.

    This also makes me wonder how long battery cables can be. I see "battery relocation kits" online but these are designed for car racing.

    As skippers start looking at that second battery requirement for the SHTP, what are the current options?
    Last edited by BobJ; 07-19-2009 at 10:26 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    60

    Default Electrical System Improvement (or option)

    One option that works well on my boat...but I only have two "hotel" loads; nav lights and autohelm. Since keeping a cable system (and associated line losses) as well as maintaining the cable connectors, switches, distribution panel, etc. working in a salt water environment, I eliminated all of that from the boat and have instead purchased batteries of the appropriate AH size for each hotel load. I have spares so after 24 hours of use the spare could be put into use while the other is charged. All have the same connectors so they become interchangeable. The same solar panel(s) charge any of them.

    YMMV and your boat probably has a lot more hotel loads than mine (wired VHF, strobe light, SSB, instruments, refrigerator, air conditioner...???). It might be impractical for you to have little batteries scattered all over the boat and might be best to keep the one large bank of batteries that most boats have. But this system works for me with a lot less maintenance than the previous "traditional" system.
    ^=.=/\..=^
    ||==||==|| Thom Davis
    ||==||==|| SeaRail 19, SriRacha
    ||==||==|| # SR19
    ||==||==||
    v.....\/.... v


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    60

    Default You are right, I don't have to play

    You are absolutely correct. I don't have to live by the SSS' inflexibility and choose not to do so. While it may have been "nice" to go to HI in a "group parade", sticking to SSS' rules have the potential to make it more unlikely for me to arrive safely. I'm no fool, it's safer to go alone (or not at all). Currently it is the "not at all" because I haven't found a good autohelm that I feel safe driving downwind with.
    ^=.=/\..=^
    ||==||==|| Thom Davis
    ||==||==|| SeaRail 19, SriRacha
    ||==||==|| # SR19
    ||==||==||
    v.....\/.... v


  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    Currently it is the "not at all" because I haven't found a good autohelm that I feel safe driving downwind with.
    Have you checked out the pilots that NKE has? They certainly have a solid reputation in the small fast boat crowd (mini Transat comes mind) - perhaps such a pilot would do well on a multihull.

    - rob

  7. #27
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    Sep 2007
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    You are absolutely correct. I don't have to live by the SSS' inflexibility and choose not to do so. While it may have been "nice" to go to HI in a "group parade", sticking to SSS' rules have the potential to make it more unlikely for me to arrive safely. I'm no fool, it's safer to go alone (or not at all). Currently it is the "not at all" because I haven't found a good autohelm that I feel safe driving downwind with.
    Hmm. I have to ask... if you perceive that the SSS is inflexible and out of touch, and if you feel that at least the Hawaii race, and probably the LongPac, if not ALL the SSS races are "group parades" and inherently unsafe, then..

    ... why do you post here?

    I mean, not that you CAN'T, I'm just not sure why you'd want to.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    60

    Post Voice of Reason

    A couple reasons I post here.

    First is that I am donating 2 years of effort as a SSS officer-anytime I am part of an organization I seek to make it better. I'm sure you feel the same way about things you devote your time and effort to.

    Second is that during the first year as an officer, I noted a distinct pattern of inflexibility. Very few question why we are doing things or requiring things nor seeking a more modern alternative. While traditions are nice, I don't ever expect to have to navigate celestially with a sextant ever again (where would I get the pubs, let alone store them?), nor add oil to my running lights so they keep burning, nor make rope from oakum, nor pull into an island so I can make "beer" so I can return to sea with fewer worries about scurvy, splice a mast with a local tree trunk....

    While we represent current style "adventurers", we never will have to undergo the hardships of the folks from previous centuries. But the key word is "adventure"-if that's not one of the things this club is about, maybe I misunderstood our mission statement. One of the key characteristics of an adventurer is a willingness to accept risk--but that spirit seems to be diminishing. My posts are driven toward advocating a return to reasonable risk taking instead of rote tradition. Perhaps I'm just impatient...
    ^=.=/\..=^
    ||==||==|| Thom Davis
    ||==||==|| SeaRail 19, SriRacha
    ||==||==|| # SR19
    ||==||==||
    v.....\/.... v


  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,976

    Default

    Thom, would you be more specific? Sextants, oil-fired running lights, oakum and tree trunks are not required for our races.

    In another post you generally questioned the battery requirements. I've done an energy budget for "Ragtime!" and had the opportunity to test and update it over several weeks in the ocean. Even though my boat lacks many of the amenities of larger boats in our fleet, has all-LED lighting and is easy on autopilot loads*, the SSS's battery requirements are barely sufficient in my experience. (*Except when I'm having spinnaker issues!)

    On one hand you want "more modern alternatives" and on the other you want a "return to more reasonable risk-taking." Specifically, how do reconcile those two desires if you are a race committee chair updating a set of race rules?

    I'm not trying to call you out but I'm having a tough time understanding what's eating you - maybe we need to get a beer and talk about it.

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