Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marathon - Genset problems, a front comes through

The problem fuse - note the small break right of center
Last night the genset, a Panda 4.2 kw version, decided to quit unexpectedly. It gave no warning, no over heat light, no low oil pressure light, it just quit. The control panel for the unit wouldn't even come on. Looking closer, the 12v power line to it was dead. I closed up shop last night and took the gauntlet up again this morning. Tracing the 12v supply line back to the genset itself in the starboard locker I found no 12v supply there either although there was 12v incoming from the starter battery. Hummm, something was interrupting the 12v supply line. Checking through the circuitry, there were two solenoids and one 25 amp fuse associated with the heating and oil monitors on the genset. Pulling the fuse and looking carefully at the connection, it was apparent that the fuse had opened due to mechanical vibration and not due to excess current as evidenced by a clean break with no burn marks (see photo). That was important since you don't want to just replace a blown fuse without knowing the cause. Apparently the fuse did double duty protecting the 12v supply to the control panel as well as the oil and overheat sensors. So I replaced the fuse from the spare parts kit supplied by Panda and the genset started right up (whew!)
Here comes the front!

We watched the radar as the front that caused so much trouble in Alabama and Georgia approached the keys and specially Marathon. It looked impressive with lots of orange and red in a line sweeping down from the north. There were high winds warnings but no prediction of tornadoes or even severe thunderstorms. As the front passed, we saw the winds gust up to 33 kts (38 mph) and white caps in the anchorage. We're supposed to get steady winds of 20 to 25 kts over the next five days at least which really puts a crimp in trying to get north since the direction of the predicted winds are out of the east, right where we want to go. Wind and the associated waves would be against us, not fun - and we're all for having fun! So we're going to wait it out and enjoy the warm weather.


Anonymous said...

Glad you diagnosed the gen set problem. I couldn't tell the break from your picture? Been editing our Fiji photos.