Welcome to the blog of the sailing yacht Sea Bunny.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Another B.O.A.T* experience

Under test at Jasons
The Inmarsat C transceiver, which provides an important safety link when we are offshore went on the blink.
The first symptom was a triple beep, sounding repeatedly some time after switching on the unit & not cancellable - very irritating! Further investigation revealed that the unit would play hide & seek with the satellite signal.
Thinking that this might be a cabling issue several days were spent remaking antenna connections (soldering is not our strongest skill) between the chart table & the gantry but to no avail.
Perhaps there was a hardware fault?
We knew of a Mr Ho at Jason Marine Services Singapore - he had condemned the sat phone antenna which was sent from Thailand last year!  Mr Ho's office conveniently has a window facing west, towards the Indian Ocean Inmarsat satellite, that he opens so that the antenna can pick up the signal. He thoroughly checked out both the antenna & electronic unit.
The automatic gain control on the antennae had died, well it was 13 years old.
The shock - we baulked at the replacement cost over SGD 3000, not much less than a new, up to date unit from the US. After discussion a refurbished antenna was found for SGD 1700, plus a service charge.
Over the next 24 hours we visited  ATM's to get the cash together, collected and installed the equipment before leaving Singapore.  It works! 
Jason's service was excellent.

*B.O.A.T = "Bring Out Another Thousand"