Thursday, April 21, 2011

Light Blogging For A While.....

GROAN.......Just not used to getting up at O-Dark-Thirty, running around all day between two ships, climbing 157 (yes, I counted them!) steps on one of the ships to get all the way to the Comm Shack on the top under the main mast, and climbing ladders into and out of the SatCom dome on the other one.
At least our tests are running well, and I've lost track of how many times I've had people tell me how nice it is to have me back!
After we get the SatCom RF tests finished, I get to power up and check out the weather radar system. We're the ONLY ship in the world that has a C-Band Doppler radar for weather use, and I'm one of maybe 5 people that know (and *understand*!) how it works. I've already been told the controller is timing out on servo errors, so I suppose I'll be spending a lot of time up in the dome showing the youngsters how to swap out a servo, test it, and then calibrate the whole antenna controller servo system. Last time I showed them how to level the antenna I don't think they "got it", and it's possible that the person who was doing the "preventive" maintenance went in to the configuration section of the controller program and dinked with it.
And I suppose I'll have to teach them about Magnetic North vs True North, local deviation , and how they relate to the calibration procedure, all over again.
And probably another lesson on how using a hand-held magnetic compass on a STEEL ship can give you false information.
And we still have to bring the INU's back online, and probably send out the sensors for calibration.
EVERYTHING is at least 12 months out of the calibration cycle! Since we have a lot of redundant instruments, I'm trying to convince the management to send half out now, and the other half out in 90 days. That way we'll never have all the instruments come due at the same time, which could shut us down.
That happened during my first "tour of duty" at this site, and it took much wailing and gnashing of teeth (along with lots of phone calls to the manufacturers) to convince Management that we could put a 30-day waiver on some of the instruments, and get them calibrated after we finished the current deployment.
Everyday my job jar gets fuller and fuller!


  1. Do what you have to do. We will be here when you get back!

  2. Look on the bright side, you WILL be in shape by the time you're done :-) And split cal dates only makes sense...

  3. Yeah, it's worth coming home beat seeing as it saves having a gym club membership!
    The cal dates *were* split before, but now *everything* is out-of-cycle, so I'll also push it as a money savings thing.
    At least they won't have to pay for everything all at once!

  4. I am blessed that *most* of my career was dealing with technical things and having fun at work. Be glad for the busy time.

    By the way, if you want to visit Point Reyes Lighthouse in Northern California, you have to negotiate 308 steps down and then up. Now THAT's an aerobic experience.

  5. Yep, it's definitely fun being back with competent, friendly people I enjoy working with!
    I just forgot how much "running around", climbing on things, crawling under things, and other physical activity I did there before.
    I was in/under/around several large equipment racks today trying to figure out why one of the video matrix switches wasn't working.
    Turns out it was unplugged, and it was hard to see because some dummy ran the power cord over into the rack next to it!
    Had to hand-over-hand the power cable from one rack to the next, only to see a loose plug dangling around when I tugged on the cable!
    I told my coworker buddy about it, and he just said "Oh, yeah....the people who shut it all down after we left didn't really know what they were doing".
    The bad thing was that because they didn't execute an orderly shutdown on it, it spilled its little brain all over the floor, and now we have to go back into it, and reconfigure it by hand. MAJOR PITA, and it could have been avoided by saving the current config on the built-in compact flash card before they 'pulled the plug' on it!


Keep it civil, please....

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