Kismet refit – Update 2

Dear friends,

time flies, but not fast enough apparently! We miss Kismet a lot and we are looking very much forward to the day she will splash again. On the positive side, her refit is proceeding at full speed. At this point all the major decisions have been taken (ok, a couple maybe are still pending) and as the new parts and some “toys” start to come in, the money starts to flow out! Here a long deserved update on the status of the various restorations and improvements. What would you like first? The bad or the good news? Ok, ok… in no particular order…

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Power inverter: how large is large enough?

Today I had the chance to answer a question on an Italian sailing forum from someone who was asking whether a power inverter he wanted to buy for his boat was “large enough” and how long would his batteries last if he would power this and that appliance. He was pleased with the answer and I thought this would make a nice blog article (yet another technical one!) so here it is.

UPDATE: online tool to size your power inverter available here.

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Are your batteries properly wired? Ours were not!

Some time ago, while searching the internet for information on how to properly wire together 12V batteries in multiple banks, I stumbled upon this quite unique article by SmartGauge Electronics: How to correctly interconnect multiple batteries to form one larger bank.

The bottom line of that article is that there are commonly used ways to wire together multiple batteries in parallel, which would result in a current imbalance between them. In particular some of the batteries in a wrongly wired bank will end up providing more current to the load than the others and therefore will discharge faster. Also while being charged, some of the batteries will receive more current (and thus charge “more”) then the others, resulting in an unevenly charged bank. This imbalance between the batteries may lead to faster ageing and eventually a failure of the whole battery bank.

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E-Mail at sea with SSB, Pactor and your Mac

Even in the era of high-speed internet and satellite phones, a Single Side Band (SSB) radio with a Pactor modem is still one of the most affordable ways to exchange emails while at sea. If you have an HAM radio license and can therefore use the WinLink network, after the initial investment for the equipment the running costs are really close to zero.

On the flip side, you have to acquire some familiarity with the world of radios and its jargon. Plus, if you use a Mac as your on-board computer, you will have to face the fact that most of the softwares (like AirMail or RMS Express) are Windows based. Luckily enough there is way to make everything work on a Mac without too much hacking. Here is Kismet Adventures’ step-by-step guide to  do e-mails at sea with your Mac, a Pactor modem and an SSB radio.

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Sailing movies: How we do it – Part 1

From time to time I get questions about how we make our YouTube sailing movies, like which camera and software we use, which editing workflow we go through, and so on. I thought to share it all here, with one disclaimer. We do not pretend to be professional film makers and we definitely still have a lot to learn and improve, so take the following just for what it is, a summary of our own experience up this point and some mistakes we have learned to avoid along the way.

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