Captain’s Log 06/14 – 06/19

June 14, 2021 – Still alive after more than two weeks!

Yesterday LoCARB was left off and charging for the full day and it actually got to above 16v! Ill let it charge a bit more today then reset everything and turn the motors back on. Looking at satellite imagery, these past few days have been really overcast so that may explain the terrible charging conditions. I am still uncertain if that is the only reason for the bad charging rate but here’s to hoping!

1:58 pm: This boat never ceases to surprise me. The motor and the power system seems to be functioning! Now, lets see for how much longer.

June 16, 2021

11:57 am: LoCARB has made it into Mexico! A huge milestone! Battery health seems better than before which is strange. Voltage drop overnight is less despite the motor RPM being equal. It may be that after the last full complete battery drain, the cells have recharged more or less equally and are balanced better than before. Either way this boat really never ceases to surprise me. Humidity is still slowly increasing…I wonder how high it will get before the power system fails completely.

Will update waypoint within the next few days to head due west towards hawaii.

June 17, 2021

3:57 pm: The boat is about 400 miles offshore from Ensenada Mexico! Southern winds are pretty strong today, so the boat isn’t making as much progress heading West. I’ve sent a new waypoint to the boat to go further west if possible.

Motor/battery pod humidity at 67%

Impressively, the primary RC motor that’s been submerged and in constant contact with ocean water is still functioning. I haven’t noticed any real issues with the RPM or increased power draw either and for $40, I’m absolutely impressed!

7:46 pm: Just when I write that everything is going well with the motor, I notice that the RPM is above normal even though auto-throttle is enabled. Under load conditions with throttle of 1, RPM should be about 1030 RPM. Its well above that at 1200 RPM so either the RPM sensor is misreading (unlikely), or the motor is in free running condition without meeting any resistance. Motor temperature has consistently been at least 3 degrees higher than the motor pod temperature, but lately (since the lack of strong westward movement previously observed), it has only been 1 degree higher (working less), I also noticed the current consumption is 0. The boat had recently encountered rough conditions with 10 motion events. My thought is that the propeller is destroyed.

Sending a command to switch to the second motor. It is much less efficient so will need to see how it works with the battery capacity.

June 18, 2021

1:57 pm: Backup thruster is working, so that’s good news. Let’s see how long it lasts, probably longer than the power system!

Removed the selectable ocean currents layer from the tracker map, as it will save 6mb of data from being transferred. I also like the embedded windy app better.

June 19, 2021

Pretty slow charging today. Turned off the motor at 3:27 pm, too bad because the boat was making decent progress westward.