Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Getting Things Fixed

Initial Installation
A while back I purchased a new Lowrance HDS 9 Gen 3 to sit on the dash of my Ranger, above the flush mount HDS12 Gen 3.  The idea was to use it as my main chart source with the appropriate maps and it would be easier to control my bow mount Motorguide from a single machine.  Luckily the units talk to each other so there are a lot of advantages to having a setup like this.  After selling my old HDS 7 to Bruce this left me without a unit for my Jon Boat so I decided to network another unit to my system, one that I could remove and mount on the other boat.  My original idea was to use a Johnny Ray mount however the first time I used it the HDS9 popped right out of the mount on the first big wave we hit.  Somewhat unnerving I decided to just remove it for the rest of the day until I could figure out something.  I did come up with a scheme using electrical ring terminals secured to the Johnny Ray then using long tie wraps, secure the top of the mount to the terminals.  This actually worked OK but seemed somewhat awkward, especially when I wanted to move it.  As stated last week, I had holes already drilled into the top of the dash so I wasn't too interested in making more so I started thinking about a better idea.  At first I bought a Stabil Mount, a customized aluminum electronics mount made for this type of equipment.  Unfortunately after receiving it, it dawned on me that their might be a much easier and cleaner way to do this.  Although the Stabil Mount was nice, it had some limitations. After staring at the situation for a few hours, I finally come to my senses and decided to
New installation
simply mount another gimbal mount, one which comes with the unit anyway, solidly to the dash via a custom cut plastic plate which I made, that would serve as an adaptor using the same holes as the Johnny Ray yet mount it solidly on the dash.  The good news it it worked very well as the HDS9 is now ready for any rough water situation.  It looks pretty good as well, something that was important to me.  It is still very easy to move the unit from one boat to the other by simply loosening the side gimbal bolts and removing the unit and I did not have to drill any additional holes in the dash.  I suspect that one could have simply got by with the single HDS 12 in the dash and use the split screen however admittedly the 2 units is awfully nice once you get used to them.  The other advantage is now I can buy lockable gimbal fasteners that protect the unit from easy theft, definitely an advantage, however my luck is that I would lose the key!  As long as I was drilling and screwing things together I decided to add 2 RAM rod holder bases to the back end of the boat.  I have 2 up in the bow and 2 at about the front row of seats in the console area, these are about 18" form the back of he boat and will work well for the guys sitting in those seats.  They will also work really well when I am trolling more than 3 lines as it will help to keep the rods better spaced out.  The boat has 2 built in rod holders on the back by the gunnel however they are the type where you simply insert the rod butt into the holes and it sticks straight up.  They are pretty good but don't work well if you are in the back and want better access to you rod tip action as you are always looking up.  Mounting these takes some patience because you need to drill screw holes into the inside gunnel of your boat.  These holes need to be countersunk otherwise the gel coat will crack when you start turning the mounting screws.  I use #14 stainless steel sheet metal screws which hold really well.

A Flock of Wild Turkeys by the Pole Shed
This weekend was a thought of going up to Mille Lacs and doing some deep water trolling in what we call "no man's land".  Sunday was the chosen day however my brother Steve called, mom had fallen down the steps, he had bought a used chair lift and it would be a good idea to get it in.  I headed to Eleva to help yet fortunately for me Steve had already installed both of them, had the top one working and had to deal with the something on the bottom one.  Although late for the heavy mechanical stuff, this is where my electronic background really did the heavy lifting!  Seems like the chair on the second one was stuck so we took apart the housing and got to the control circuit board.  The onboard fuse was blow, and indication that the main drive motor was jammed, which it was.  Using a socket we turned the drive motor enough to free the chair, it was obvious where it was jammed.  Put a new fuse in and voila, it worked just like new! Not a bad deal for $200 total.  Hopefully mom isn't too stubborn to use it but that's another story.  This weekend is Labor Day and the river is still high but is down about 1.5 feet. Unfortunately it has been raining like crazy up north and all that water has to go somewhere as I expect it to go up again.  I would like to try and do some of that deepwater trolling before walleye fishing season officially closes on Mille Lacs on Tuesday, September 6th. Besides that I am getting ready for our Lac Seul trip in a couple of weeks.  I'd like to make some salsa from my tomatoes, just to much to do, so little time!  I leave you with a picture of at least 2 broods of wild turkeys hanging around the property.  There must have been at least 20 of them in front of the pole barn on Sunday morning, they have been eating out of our ground based bird feeders so I don't feel too sorry for them!

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