A Winter's Day

A conversation among Whalers
jimh
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A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:57 pm

I am really enjoying a beautiful Winter's Day--except it is still officially Fall. We had about four-inches of snow fall last night. The temperature has cooled since the snow and is now about 20-degrees-F. When I got home from work late last night--around midnight--the snow had just stopped falling. I shovelled out the driveway in the dark and quiet. Just beautiful silence, fresh snow.

I got up this morning and shovelled out the front walk so the mail-lady would have a clear path. It was beautifully sunny, but the wind was blowing about 20-knots from the West. My new SOREL boots kept my feet warm. Wind-chill was around 4-degrees.

I whipped up some lunch, put it in the oven, and I am waiting for it to finish heating. Nothing fancy, just some tuna, cheese, tomatoes, on thick slabs of sourdough bread.

Right now I am awaiting the live streaming broadcast from French Guiana of the launch of Arianne VA240, a mission to put four Galileo GNSS satellites into orbit. I am looking at a beautiful shot of the launch vehicle on the pad down in South America, and the broadcasters are filling with some great 5.1-surround-sound encoded music.

It is a great Winter's Day so far, even if it is not officially winter for another ten days.

I am going to warm up in the big easy chair, enjoy that sandwich from the oven, and watch the rocket launch.

Then, when that's over, I have to fix the right rear brake lamp on the truck--it stopped working last night, probably a bad contact from the cold weather. No boating here, but having a nice day off after three long days in a row at work.

It's not too late to catch the launch, if you are reading this before about 1:40 p.m. EST. The link is given in my thread in the GNSS forum:

http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2930

jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:03 pm

The VA-240 Ariane ES 5 heavy lift launch went perfectly, and I enjoyed the fine narration by presenter Katy Haswell. She does a great job translating the live commentary from Arianespace's French announcer into English.

The four satellites are still aboard their dispenser, and are in the ballistic phase of the flight--no rocket power--for about three hours. The trajectory is normal, and it looks like a successful launch and flight.

OK--now out into the cold to fix that tail lamp. Brrr.

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Dutchman
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby Dutchman » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:55 pm

Saw your post too late for the launch but that was probably because we have a lot more snow here on the West side of the state with the Lake (Michigan) effect snow coming down, keeping me busy. The wind is the great though but my trusty old Craftsman snow thrower started right up and took care of the 6+ inches and when I get home from work I can take care of more as they expect another 5 or so besides what I'm moving around here at work.
Yes it is winter, changed out the All Season wheel/tires with the snow/winter wheels/tires on both cars at the shop this AM so the drive home will be OK.
Gloves, hats, boots and winter coats came out and the Whaler is all snuggled in in the shed, so we are ready for winter and it looks like we will have a white Christmas.
Live is good in Michigan but it could be better. (warmer)
EJO
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

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jimp
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimp » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:03 pm

jimh -

Enjoy it while you can!

We had almost 3-feet of beautiful powder in November. Temperatures between 5F and 25F. Easy shoveling, easy bike rides to work, just wonderful.

Then came December with record high temperatures, got to 58F at the house last week, records all over Juneau, 4-days of temperatures in the 50s. Rain. Including 1.6" of rain this past Fri/Sat and 2.3" at the house Sun/Mon. All the snow is gone.

jimp
Juneau, Alaska
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jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:28 pm

The air temperature went down to 18-degrees-F. It might have been a degree or two warmer in the garage, but not after I opened the garage door. I was able to unmount the substantial tail lamp assembly from the truck body, and also avoided dropping either of the mounting screws down into the truck body where they can never be retrieved. I was aware of this tendency and used precaution because I remembered the last time I changed a tail lamp on this truck; the screw fell into the truck body, and there was no way to recover it. This time I was prepared. I had a forceps ready to grab the screw head and make the final turn to loosen it and extract it.

Getting the large plastic tail lamp lens assembly off the body took a bit of persuasion, probably due to the cold air temperature. Disconnecting the Amp Seal-tite five-pole electrical connector also took some care at these temperatures; the 22-year-old connector retained enough pliability that I could lift up the latch with a screwdriver without breaking anything. Once I had the tail lamp assembly off the truck, it was into the house for further investigation on the bench and in much warmer air.

The lamp sockets are mounted on a subassembly. Two more self-tapping screws hold the socket subassembly to the lens assembly. Finally I had the lightbulbs in view. There are three lightbulbs: tail light (top), tail light and brake light (middle), and back-up light (bottom). I went back to the truck to get the wire color codes off the connector coming out of the body: black, brown, dark green, light green. I figured that they represented:

Black = negative circuit turn
Brown = running light or tail light
Dark Green = Right turn light
Light Green = back-up light

That intuition was based on prior experience with tail lamp wiring. See my earlier article about GM tail lamp wiring at

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/7poleTrailerWiring.html

Knowing the color code allowed me to figure out which pole of the connector was the negative common. There are only four pins in the five pole connector, so the other three must be the three lamp circuits.

The first thing I wanted to test was the continuity of the three lamps. This would allow me to know if the problem was really a burned out lamp or not. Using my trusted FLUKE DMM, I soon found that of the three lamp circuits, two had continuity and one did not. The Dark Green circuit (right turn signal) was the circuit missing continuity, and that matched the problem: no right turn signal. That meant the problem was going to be in this lamp socket assembly and the lamps, not a chassis wiring harness problem in the truck. That was a good sign.

I extracted the minature lightbulb for the turn signal (middle socket) and gave it a close visual inspection. With a magnifying glass, I could see that the larger filament, the brighter one for the turn signal, had a very small break. Also the glass of the bulb was slightly blackened. This was a very good indication the incandescent light bulb had just burned out, and the socket, the printed circuit card it mounts on, and the connector were all fine. Off to the local auto parts store, about a mile away--hey, it's the Detroit area and we have auto parts stores all over the place. I needed a T3057 lightbulb. Of course, I had to buy two in a bubble pack for $7. The salesman also wanted to sell me dielectric grease. I declined, for two reasons: I already have some dielectric grease, and you really do not need a super-duper grease here because the voltage is only 12-Volts. The car makers use a tan grease, and it was hardened after 22-years.

There were a few more stops on the errand-run:

--go to mail box to mail a letter
--go to boutique grocery to get green beans and red skin potatoes for dinner
--go to hardware store to see how much their snow shovels are and if they're any good; need a second one for back-up as the present shovel has lost a bit of its metal lip on the plastic shovel part; also buy a couple extra screws, just in case;
--go to gasoline retail pump to top off car's fuel tank; have to keep full tanks in winter

Finally got home after about a 30-minute errand-run. Next step, install the new bulb--with some grease to help seal it into the socket and conduct away some heat. Then check continuity at the connector: all circuits good now. Then re-assemble the lamp socket sub-assembly onto the lens assembly. And then back outside to reinstall the taillamp assembly onto the truck body.

Before re-connecting the Amp Seal-tite connectors, I carefully inspected their contacts. Even after 22 years on the road, the Amp Seal-tite contacts are perfectly clean, bright, and show no sign of any corrosion. No need for any dielectric grease here. I check the pliability of the rubber ribbed seals: they are still flexible. I decline to grease them, as they should fit just fine. I do give them a mist of WD40 just to give a bit of lubrication to the refit; the mostly-kerosine spray will evaporate in time. Once the connector is re-mated, I check the lamp's functions. Running lights are good, turn signals are good. The back-up light wasn't checked; I did not want to start the engine just to shift into reverse; it is too cold today to run the engine for a few seconds just to check this circuit.

Final step: get the tail lamp back into position on the truck body, and tight in place with the two screws. I used some very sticky cloth duct tape to hold the screws onto the end of the Phillips-head screwdriver to avoid losing them into the truck body. All done now. The right rear tail light lamps are all working.

Now I am relaxing inside, warming up, and having a Bell's TWO-HEARTED ALE. There are only 35-minutes or so before the commentary on the Ariane VA240 mission resumes. I really feel great about the day so far:

--two rounds of shovelling show
--ran all kinds of errands
--got the problem with the tail lamp fixed, and did it myself
--watched a very interesting four-at-once satellite launch

It is always satisfying to be able to fix a little problem yourself. I will celebrate with a nice craft-brewed beer.

ConB
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby ConB » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:31 pm

All I did was go Whaler shopping at Marinemax in Pensacola. And bought some shrimp.

I really do like the 2018 Montauk 170.

I've heard there is substantial snow in my driveway. Oh well.

Con
!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:05 pm

Completely by coincidence, the timer for the dinner in the oven went off at 6:40 p.m, which was exactly when the live streaming broadcast from French Guiana ended. As presenter Katy Haswell succinctly summed up: "Mission accomplished."

I really enjoyed watching the several hours of the live stream broadcast. It was quite interesting to see rockets, satellites, space, and GNSS from a European perspective.

It's been a very nice winter's day.

Don SSDD
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby Don SSDD » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:04 am

Jim, there is a project underway here in Nova Scotia to set up a new rocket launching pad. It will be neat to go watch a launch if the projects is built.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scot ... -1.4431692

The developers of Canada's only commercial spaceport are shooting for as many as a dozen rockets to blast off per year from a proposed site near Canso, a small community on Nova Scotia's eastern shore.

Proponents gathered in a Halifax boardroom on Monday to plan the next steps of the project, which will rely first on the province approving an environmental assessment plan early next year.

Stephen Matier, president of Maritime Launch Services Ltd., was in an upbeat mood following the meeting, saying the group is expecting to be building in May 2018.


It is about 50-degrees-F here this morning and pouring rain. No snow here yet this year but supposed to get colder in the next few days-- part of your cold system is coming this way.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
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jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:02 am

Canso, Nova Scotia, has a fundamental disadvantage for launching spacecraft into equatorial plane orbit: its high latitude.

Cf.: http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/project ... uator.html

However, it may be a good spot for launching into polar orbits. Here is more about the suitability of that location:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/canso.html

The proposed location does look like a rather empty spot on a little peninsula. We visited Nova Scotia in 1997, but missed Canso on our ten-day road trip around the island. But--hey--it would be easier to visit to see a launch there than to go down to Kourou, French Guiana. If they built it, I will go there to see a launch!

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Dutchman
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby Dutchman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:56 pm

jimh wrote: If they built it, I will go there to see a launch!


Jim--you should have gone to Cape Canaveral for the SpaceX launch this morning; better weather than here in Michigan, or Nova Scotia, too.
EJO
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jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Going to a Space-X launch might be more exciting; they have a bit of history for failures.
See https://www.recode.net/2017/5/28/15695080/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-successful

Dutch--I would have liked to have gone to Florida, but I am too tired from shoveling snow to even drag myself to the airport.

jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:03 pm

Re SPACE-X: I see that the U.S. Air Force plans to launch a GPS BLOCK IIIA satellite using a FALCON 9 FULL THRUST booster. That very expensive payload is scheduled for launch sometime in 2019.

Don SSDD
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby Don SSDD » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:29 am

Canso is about halfway between the equator and the pole, so would lose about 500 MPH Jim. It would take more fuel to get the thrust needed.

I think the advantage to this location is it is remote, little population in the area to complain NIMBY wise, so easier to get permits and cheaper to buy the land than a location near the equator. While remote, it is not far from services to build infrastructure and for supplying an ongoing facility.

I would guess it would be difficult to get permits to build another launch site anywhere on the coast of the US nearer the equator.
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jimp
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimp » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:30 pm

And then there is the Kodiak Launch Complex on Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island, Alaska at 57-26N
http://akaerospace.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Spaceport_Complex_%E2%80%93_Alaska

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Dutchman
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby Dutchman » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:53 am

jimh wrote:Dutch--I would have liked to have gone to Florida, but I am too tired from shoveling snow to even drag myself to the airport.


Yea Jim I know what you are saying it gets tiresome, but with the above freezing weather here this week all the snow is gone until next week's cold spell and it will start all over again. Don't we love Michigan.
EJO
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jimh
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Re: A Winter's Day

Postby jimh » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:17 am

CON--you can monitor the snow conditions back home with this link:

LINK to graph of snow depth history

I have the data set for Northport. Looks like we are getting some melting up there, and the 8-inches of snow has melted and compacted to about 5-inches.

Here is a mapping of snow depth on the peninsula:

LINK to mapping of snow depth