Friday, July 13, 2012

Tahanea - South anchorage bliss

July 13, 2012
Anchorage Position: 16°57.22'S 144°34.80'W
Tahanea atoll Tuamotu, French Polynesia, South Pacific Ocean

LightSpeed swings at her anchor in 2.5 meters of crystal clear water over a bright white sand with only a ripple of wavelets despite strong winds whipping overhead. A palm studded motu provides a wind break and a tropical verdant green backdrop to the emerald waters. The base air temperature is a little cooler courtesy a huge 1036mb High pressure system to the South that might deliver 30-35 knots of wind tomorrow.

We took advantage of the cooler temperatures yesterday to tackle a backlog of boat projects. I worked on fine tuning the SSB radio install. I've been experimenting with a home built counterpoise consisting of custom lengths of wire (radials) corresponding to frequently used SSB frequencies. For example to calculate an ideal radial length for 8A (8.294Mhz) here's the formula (300/8.294*0.25)= 9.05 meters. So cut the radial to this length. I've been using 22ga wire for the radials and it seems to work great. Cut a radial for each frequencies you wish optimize. However, I've found that the radio performs very well on a range of frequencies between those with optimal radials. I am still struggling with RF interference with my autopilot and I think I'll ultimately need to relocate the SSB tuner to solve the problem.

That's it for now.

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