We are still trouble shooting the SSB trying to get better reception. Some days I hear about half of the boats checking in and net control. Other days I don't hear anything. Lots of cruisers have been trying to help with suggestions. Checking the connections and grounding was suggested by several people. Of course, but that is easier said than done. Checking the connection at the backstay antenna was easy as it's in the cockpit. "Yes, looks good." Checking the connection at the AT130 tuner is a totally different story. It's located in the far stern of our boat on the starboard side. The only access is through a very small hatch in the back of the aft cabin - the spare cabin. For fellow cruisers, you know what this means. For those that are not liveaboards, it's the storage area of the boat. We call it the garage on s/v Honey Ryder. Imagine you main breaker box being located in the very far corner of your garage or basement behind all the stuff you store in there. Now imagine it isn't just on a wall but in a secret compartment through a small opening. I honestly don't know how they got it in there originally. I suspect it was added as the boat was being built. Seriously, because the copper grounding strips are attached to the hull and partially painted along with the fiberglass.
|Tom on a previous project - access hatch in the background|
Anyway, in the battle to master the SSB, we needed to check that connection so last night after a fortifying dinner, we started the process. First we moved all the stuff out of our garage into the salon. Then Tom removed the panel. He could sort of feel the connection but he couldn't reach it to work. The hatch opening was too small. I was able to partially climb in through the hatch by putting one shoulder in at a time. It really would have been better to have a 10 year old at this point in the project. Where is the "Rent a Kid for Small Places" number when you need it! I keep misplacing that number.
|This hatch was our only way to access the AT 130 SSB tuner|
|It's the 3 tiered circle thing - it's actually cone shaped|
|Cooper ground connection|
|Connection at the top of the tuner|