Category Archives: Pilothouse

Starlink Final Phase

With enough testing under the belt I figured it was time to make the installation more permanent. I measured the outside of the KVH dome and the diagonal length of the Starlink dish and base. The only question was how thick the dome was to determine if the Starlink dish would fit inside the KVH dome. Time to do some climbing.

The first thing to do was climb the mast remove the screws and take the dome cover off the KVH base. As it turned out the dome is super lightweight and only about 5-6mm thick. This is the first time I have removed the dome myself and was a little unsure how it would work. Very easy is my answer.

Fortunately there are only four bolts to remove the old hardware. Access required turning the old dish to remove. Once the dish was unbolted I removed the rescue tape from the coax connections and unplugged the communication/power cable.

The base of the old KVH dome had a slight taper and some ridges. I cut about 10mm off each leg of the Starlink dish support and wrapped with rescue tape to make the legs a little grippy. I reinstalled the four bolts that held the KVH dish and used them to zip tie the legs of the Starlink stand. This may be unnecessary but we have been in some rough water and more support is better than less.

When I removed the old cables I pulled some cordage through the pipe and left one extra just in case. I connected the cable back to Starlink and tested to make sure all was well. Then it was time to clean up the old dome and put in place.

I was paying $145 per month for Direct TV in standard definition via the KVH TracVision dome on the starboard side of the mast. Now I have full internet, wifi calling and streaming via Chromecast plus Google TV for $135 per month. Seems like a great deal to me.

I have heard that a Starlink dish inside a dome may create excess heat and send a warning. I have the snow melt heaters disabled and will check when the weather gets hot. It will be easy to install vents if necessary. At anchor if Starlink loses connection as we pivot I may need to disable the motors so that the dish looks straight up. Because Roxia doesn’t “sail” too much at anchor this may not be necessary. Both of these issues are easy to correct if they become a problem. For now I will test in the current configuration. In the dome with Starlink looking North in the direction of my mast Starlink shows no obstructions. So far so good!

Anyone need an old KVH Mini V-Sat system? Have I got a deal for you…

Fall Update

Fall Update for Roxia

It has been a busy fall of learning for this Roxia Cap. I attended Bob Senter’s Captain’s and Hands On classes for Northern Lights Generators and Lugger engines in Seattle, WA. I also attended the ABT/TRAC hydraulics class in Rohnert Park, CA. The classes were well attended by Nordhavn owners which was fun. Bob Senter said only one thing can stop a Nordhavn from cruising and that is a grandchild. Well, guess what? We are having our first! A granddaughter due in March.

Our new cruising plans will take us on shorter trips and probably only as far north as Southeast Alaska. Any “not to be missed” locations you can recommend will be great to know. The rest of the time will involve getting around to a few upgrades I have been wanting to do and replacing hoses before they need it. I will build some tool storage units for the engine room to finally clean the area up. I have never liked using the engine room to pile up storage and spares so I have been organizing slowly but now I will finish up.

Emmy has been getting decorations completed (are they ever really?) and Roxia feels like an old friend now. We have enjoyed having friends take short trips with us now that we are based in Sidney BC which is closer to our home near Seattle.

One project I finally finished is the pilot seat post extension. As a vertically challenged individual I had to remove the Compass in front of the helm seat in order to see the deck. I had some old weathered teak after one of our customer’s backed his swim platform into something so that’s what I used. I love to repurpose old wood and benefit from it’s experience.

You can never have enough clamps.

You can never have enough clamps.

Bolted through to the bottom plate.

Bolted through to the bottom plate.

I shorted the “wedge” holding the compass by about half an inch and removed the half inch shim between the wood and compass. I think it was there so the compass did not hit the original MFD’s. The compass is back in place about an inch lower. I love my new view.

As low as I could make the compass.

As low as I could make the compass.

I also decided to return all the staterooms to 120 volt outlets from the 240 volt Australian outlets. It was pretty straightforward and allowed me to return the electric panel and patch panel back to original. I kept the 240 volt GFI breakers and outlets in case I want to change back. I left the salon with Australian voltage because the previous owners had replaced the TV, Receiver and BluRay in Australia. The TV allows dual voltage but the receiver and BluRay do not. The BluRay player also has Australia geographic zone and will not play most US disks. The zone can be changed on the BluRay but my next project is to build a new equipment storage that matches the Nordhavn interior woodworking.That’s enough for now. Cheers and happy Cruising.

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