Friday, July 5, 2013

Outracing technology.

It's not uncommon prior to the annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix offshore boat races that I get some chores to do, and this year was no exception. I can't give you any details about the boat, But I can show you the tasks. Speed is important, and the boat in this particular class has a "not to exceed speed." You exceed the magic MPH, and you automatically go to the end of the line. This Livorsi GPS speedometer is GPS driven, and the battery inside the GPS has died, hence it is now non compos mentis. There are three options available. Remove the GPS, send it out, and have a new battery installed. Buy the new GPS engine that no longer needs a battery. Or do the not well advertised interfacing the NMEA output from a chart plotter to the instrument.

Comm wiring awry

The navigation gear works well, but it's old enough to have been purchased from Ye Olde Marine Electronics Chandlery, and the NMEA interfacing to the new laptop has taken forever. Six weeks alone on and off mucking around with the Actisense/PC interface, only to discover that Window's automatic updates were changing the USB driver when I wasn't looking. It was like gremlins were sneaking in at night, killing the good elves, stealing the shoes they made, and doing their software evil.