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Fault Tolerant ESP32 Boat Monitor

Resource id #11
My well tested ESP32 boat monitoring system ran up against the real world and the real world won. I think I am on version 50 of the software. This article goes over some of the issues I found and solved. Some would apply to anyone using an ESP32 over WiFi and some are more unique to my boat but have relevance to any system that takes real world data, makes decisions about it, and changes its behavior based on those decisions.
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DIY Boat Monitoring System

Resource id #11
Every morning when I get up there is an email ready for me from my boat. I can look at that and see that the main pump did not go on (good), that the small pump ran for it's usual 5 seconds (also good), that the battery is charged, the shore power is on, and the 12 volt vent fan is on. (all good) These all come to me from the marina WiFi and a module based on the amazing ESP-32. In these few pages I am going to tell you not only how I built it, but I am going to give you information you need to build one yourself.
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Sending Email using ESP32-SIM800

The email send function on the SIM800 appears to be broken. This article tells how to send emails anyway.
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Low Noise Voltage Measurements with ESP32

Voltage measurements with an ESP32 are very noisy. This article shows how to make them quiet.
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How to Point Higher

NOTE: This is an article I wrote a few years ago that I just updated. I post it here as it is always an important topic.

Resource id #11
I have been racing at SPYC for about 10 years and that represents almost all my racing experience. I am thankful to the club for this experience and it has helped me a great deal to become a better racer. I am also grateful to other skippers who are far better racers than I will ever be for sharing many insights and tips on sailing. While I do not consider myself an expert racer, I would like to continue the tradition of sharing what I have learned in hopes of making other boats faster as well. In my case, there are two things that help Papoose win races. One is having lots of wind when racing against much lighter boats. The other is pointing ability. It is my hope that this article might help other people discover new pointing ability in their boats.
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Black Diamond Bosun's Chair Review

NOTE: The link for this article was broken when first published. Here is the corrected version.

The Black Diamond Bosun's chair is a well made chair produced by a well known supplier of equipment for climbing. It has a padded seat, is comfortable and adjustable. There is only one problem with it. It is not a Bosun's chair. According to Black Diamond technical support this is not a life support chair. In other words, don't let your life depend on this chair. They purposely leave off any specifications on the strength of this chair because they don't want people using it for life support.
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Ultimate Unassisted Mast Climbing

I have tried dozens of way to climb my mast. In the process I have accumulated 7 ascenders, three rappel devices, a GriGir, and numerous carabiners. I think this climbing system is the best. It is simple to rig, quick going up, requires very little to transition from up to down, and very fast and controlled going down. I can get down in 2 1/2 minutes including rigging the rappel device.

This video goes pretty fast so follow the link where there is much more detail on how the system works.
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Soft Shackle Spinnaker Y-Sheet

My old friend the dual soft shackle version 1 has found a new use. It is common practice to use some kind of tail on an asymmetric spinnaker to keep the clew away from the rigging. One version is called a Y-Sheet. It connects to eye splices in the sheets and extends to some kind of connection to the clew either with a knot or a shackle. This article shows how to use a soft shackle type arrangement and not only avoid the strength loss that you would get with a knot, but basically doubles the strength of the line used for a penalty of a small increase in the length of the rope you need.
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No More StartLine on Google Play

The racing app StartLine was developed to be the best racing app available for Android. Users said it was the best thing short of Expedition. But most people found it too complicated and it never had a broad following. For those that did use it, they found success. The highest level success was a 3rd place in the Cowes race week J109 class. I personally use it along with the RaceBox in my club racing where this season I won all three series plus the TI race. Success is not just the app but the crew and the boat but I could not have done it without the app.

But the app is old and specifically it is targeted at a minimum Android SKD level of 11. This allows it to work on the older tablets I and users feel comfortable having in the marine environment. Now Google says any app that is not at SKD level 26 cannot post on the Google Play Store.
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Keeping this site working

A short article on keeping working
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My Youtube Channel

UPDATE: As of 12/2/2022 I have 3,880 subscribers and new ones every day. Thank you for subscribing. This video now has 387,000 views as well. You might enjoy it!

This link will take you to one of my videos called Nine Knots for Sailors. As of this date it has been viewed over 60,000 times. Take a look and then please click Follow. Google wants me to get over 1000 followers and I am almost at 900 so join in. I do instructional videos like the mast climbing ones as well as short recaps and highlights of my races.
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Controlling mold growth on your boat

I saw Dave reading the electrical meters yesterday and we got to talking. He told me that some boat owners are running space heaters 24/7 to control the mold in the cabin. A few years ago I ran a series of experiments to find a way to control the mold on Papoose, my 36 foot wood sloop. The mold was so bad it was literally eating the hats I hung up below. When I opened hatches, water would be dripping from the cover. The boat was wet. This is the shortened version of what I found
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Over 900 FREE Manuals

Another generous donation of 84 manuals from the J/109 Class Association brings the total number to over 900 for the L-36 manual collection. Check them out! Donations like this are very much appreciated and help keep going.
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Turn your boat Electronic projects into Professional PC Boards

It is so easy and inexpensive to turn your pet electronic project into a professional PC Board that nobody should hesitate either due to time or money. For me the issue was how to do it. After some false starts, I found that the combination of Eagle design software (free) and, was the answer. This detailed step by step overview will guide you through the process.
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