Friday, 2 October 2009

The Faraday Cage Problem....

Sounds like a Sherlock Holmes story doesn't it?

Actually, the difficulties of trying to use the internet with a mobile phone system will be familiar to boaters. For the landlocked, then, an explanation:

Boats like ours are made of steel.

Incidentally, Watson, a boat not made of steel is not technically a boat at all, unless it is made of wood, which is God's other boatbuilding material of preference. (See "Ark, Noah, flood defence, for the use of"), or concrete. (See Smiling Footprints blog: Andy and Rhian's trans-oceanic yacht "Zephyrus" is made of this). Anything else which floats is actually just a lot of over-elaborate plastic wrapping around a drinks cabinet.....


But I digress.

Steel, while a glorious material for the building of boats, is very good at blocking mobile phone signals. This is a bit of a bummer when you rely on one for your internet access.

Thus we present, for your delectation and delight, "The 'Pippin' Solution":-

Our wind turbine mast.

Close up of same: note carefully modified Vitamin C tablet container taped to the mast. It provides a water-proof container for the dongle attachment. This connects to The Ship's Computer via the grey wire.

This shows the grey dongle extension wire entering the boat through the mushroom vent at the base of the mast, (as do the feed wires from the wind turbine).

Not very tidy....

Jackie drops the ceiling panel and conceals the wire..

Extension wire attached to window frame with cable clips after drilling a small hole in the wooden cable-conduit cover.

So we now have a dongle outside of the Faraday cage which is Pippin. Our internet reception is much better as a result!

Give it a try if your boat-borne internet is not as reliable and easy as it should be.....!

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