Octave Follow Up

Octave follow up


Just thought we should follow up on the problems mentioned in the last post.

The portable generator problem turned out to be a design feature, it wasn’t broken at all. It is designed to save itself from damage if the oil level gets too low by shutting itself down. A wee bit of oil had escaped through the crankcase vent as I wrestled it out of storage to use it but I had checked the oil level afterward and it found it very nearly full. It had initially run fine but along the way must have decided that the oil level was lower than it liked and so disabled the ignition and refused to run til I did something about it. I did check the oil level once more when trying to restart it but, again, found it almost completely full. Eventually, after working through all of the other possibilities I could come up with, I added more oil until this time it was trying to overflow out of the filler neck. This was apparently just what the machine was waiting for because it then started and ran just fine. Go Figure! So, here’s the learned lesson; If you have a Honda 2000 generator the oil level monitor is a picky rascal and will not be happy with anything less than full to the point of running out of the filler neck. Not close to full but full, full.

The instrumentation issue turned out to be a little more challenging. After a day and half of trouble shooting I finally found the bigger of the two problems. I determined that one of the connecting wire assemblies between the system’s CPU and the cockpit instruments had become shorted out, probably pinched somewhere along the way. I have run a temporary bypass wire and most everything is working again like it should. At least, the most important things. Still unsolved is why the device that converts NMEA 0183 signals to the NMEA 2000 protocol is not doing its job. The only stuff really missing without it is some system redundancy (#2 GPS antenna, for instance) but this is going to take more time and probably some outside help to figure out.

That’s it. The storm has passed and left beautiful weather in its wake – mostly light winds and mostly clear skies. Today and tomorrow is supposed to be a little blowy again so we will probably wait until Saturday to move on. Today we will do laundry again and top off the fuel tanks and otherwise make ready. We are more than ready for more remote anchorages and their clean, clear waters.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Octave Follow Up

  1. Gary

    I kicked my Honda lawnmower to the curb last year when, for the fourth time at $125 each, it gagged on a drop of water. Stavil, Seafoam, nothing would prevent it and I was unable to repair it the first 3 times (didn’t even try the fourth time). Loved the mower – hated the engine. Corded electric mower now. It just runs, as long as I don’t run over the cord! 😀

    Did you have any lightning overhead or nearby during the deluge? You may have had enough induced current to make the NMEA converter barf, or maybe it got barfed when the short occurred. Or if the lightning was close enough, it would have induced enough current to breach the insulation. Possibilities are numerous, but fixing it is the thing now. Pretty much all I can do from here is cheer you on. 😦

    • A very high percentage of cruisers have these same generators and they are generally bulletproof. In the past (Sacramento River Delta days) ours saw plenty of use but it has not been out of the locker now for almost two years.

      The bullets were flying on Monday as I tried to bring it to the party – nearly biblical rainfall and 20 to 25 knot winds but shame on me anyway. While I DID check the oil level (not especially easy under those conditions) I was willing to settle for “purtnear full”. I now know that close is not quite good enough for the oil monitor. Don’t stop Maynard til she’s pouring out the overflow!!

    • Oh, I almost forgot your lightning question, Gary. None observed or reported anywhere around us. I, too, suspect that system voltage may have become unacceptable to the converter when the other line shorted. My Raymarine guru in SF is doing some research for me today on the subject but chances are that it will remain dead until I replace it. I’ve already put it on the shopping list for our next visit North.

  2. Gary

    Figured you prolly had one on your shopping list. Do I need to round-up a bunch more of those clamp-on ferrite beads for you?

  3. Angelika Starnitzky

    Hi Michael, this may not be the appropriate route/ way to say ‘thank you’, but just want to let you know that I have ordered the UHT milk on Amazon to be delivered to the marina in SD, have communicated with Eco Baja Tours in La Paz and have the flight out of SJD. Awesome, it all worked out and I can’t thank you enough. Hope to see you both for Turkey Day!! Angelika S.

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