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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012
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No obvious way to mount wind transducer

I'm trying to install a wind transducer on my masthead, and it's really not at all obvious to me how I should proceed. It's a Raymarine ST60+ transducer, so it has a roughly 2x3" ovular footprint. They require it be level, and suggest using a fairing block if it's not.

Well, I don't have anything remotely large enough that's flat on my masthead, level or not. The top of the masthead doesn't have a surface, as its open at the top; it's just the edges of the two side plates. There are very small, curvy flats at the sides, but they're not nearly big enough.

So what I've been thinking about is trying to put the mount on some sort of teak plank, and attach the teak plank in some sort of way. My first thought was with hose clamps around the elevated anchor light post, perhaps to L brackets on the plank. Another thought is to put the plank on top, and clamp it somehow. But all of these ideas seem fairly goofy.

What is the right way to do this, without destroying the masthead, or doing something that I think will be a major mistake later?

I've attached a very rough cross-section sketch of my masthead.
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No obvious way to mount wind transducer-masthead.gif  
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Old 08-09-2012
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Re: No obvious way to mount wind transducer

I would look at using a small piece of aluminum angle. Teak and hose clamps do not belong at a masthead.

I would cut the angle and install it so one leg is horizontal and provides the absolute minimum area needed to mount the transducer and the other leg is vertical and can be bolted directly to the mast or masthead fitting.

If you don't think you can do this out of an aluminum angle, its pretty easy to do this in fiberglass by building a male mold and simply making a fiberglass mounting bracket.

I had to do this to mount my rudder angle indicator transducer and for my spreader lights. The easy way to get the shape of the mast is to tape a piece of wax paper to your mast. Then fiberglass over the wax paper to get the mast shape right. That will give you the mold to make the vertical face of the mold for the actual bracket. You can make the rest of the mold out of thin plywood using the mast shape as the vertical.

I know this sounds way harder than it is. It should take you a couple hours total over a weekend to fabricate a suitable bracket. I actually made one to extend my windex into clear air above my tricolor/anchor light using epoxy and glass, and the carbon fiber tubes that the kite industry uses. I think the whole process took about an hour. make sure you paint the bracket since fiberglass UV degrades. The good news is that the paint job is way in the air so it does not need to be perfect.

Jeff
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2012
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Re: No obvious way to mount wind transducer

Thanks for the advice. I got a 2" aluminum angle bar, and I'm going to give a shot making a simple bracket. I'm not totally sure what material the masthead is, so I'm going to put a coat of silicone in between the aluminum and the masthead.
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Old 08-10-2012
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Re: No obvious way to mount wind transducer

Just an additional thought. There are two arm lengths for Raymarine tranducers and you need to be sure yours is long enough to stay out of the way of any spill from your foresail. The positioning of the bracket could be equally important. If the head of your foresail is further down the mast than it is not an issue.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: No obvious way to mount wind transducer

I spent half of today making an aluminum bracket. If I was better used to doing this sort of thing, it probably could have gone much faster.

The final product came out great, except I made a fairly massive error, which I did not notice until almost the final step: I drilled the holes for the transducer base backwards, so the transducer would point aft, rather than forward, which doesn't work at all. It was a seriously depressing blow to find this out, and to this moment, I still don't know how I messed that up.

So my girlfriend and I are regrouping, and we're going to try to fix it this week, probably by making a duplicate with the holes in the correct orientation. I'll update on the final piece, with pictures, when it's done.

Also, I managed to destroy the windex. When you're drilling holes in the block of metal from which you're suspended above probable death, rocking in the wind, the priority of hanging on for dear life can sometimes momentarily supersede not accidentally banging your elbow into that spindley thing.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: No obvious way to mount wind transducer

No one will ever know, unless you post it on the internet.

Hoping there is room to redrill. I'm sure you won't see it from the deck.
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