How this blog began: Boat, garden, party venue and writer's retreat.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

How I Get Music On My Boat (cont'd)

The Regulator irons out the peaks and troughs
As promised, here's more of the set-up used for providing a half-decent sounding hifi system on board the Boat For My Potplants.

Some of you avid sailers out there may baulk at my enthusiasm in this department and cry out "But why don't you take the bloody boat out on the river?". Well, it's a good point, well made, and I will answer my critics all in good time.

Meanwhile, back to the hifi...

The Leisure Battery stores the energy
After the solar panel has collected all that free energy from the sun, it has to transfer it to useable mains power. But as the day becomes night, and there are clouds blocking the sunlight, there are peaks and troughs of energy, so the power has to run through a REGULATOR to make the supply more constant, before it is put into the LEISURE BATTERY.

From the leisure battery, the cable sends the electricity into the cabin and into the INVERTER situated under one of the seats. The inverter turns the 12v supply into 220V, so as to give normal mains power, and any three-point mains plug can be connected, such as my old hifi amplifier.

The Inverter turns 12v into 220v mains power
My hifi amplifier is a 1970's Grundig - a relic from my distant past. But it works well, gives a great sound - and didn't cost anything. And what's brilliant about it is that it has connections and selector switches for TWO pairs of speakers. Oh, what joy.

My old Grundig hifi amp - still going strong since the '70's
So tomorrow, dear blog-readers, our lesson continues with details of the speakers AND the music sources.

Gosh, I've always wanted to be a teacher, and now I am one.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

How I Get Music For My Boat

Apologies, dear blog readers, for my recent absence from these 'ere world wide web pages.

I'm back after a lovely holiday - but then I had a bout of the Ryanair lurgie that put me right out of action. I was so incapacitated that it was several days before I could muster up the energy to take a wander down to the quay and check that the Boat For My Potplants was still there.

It was. As I climbed aboard and looked around, I had a quiet moment to myself reflecting on my good fortune to have such a lovely old thing. And I'm not talking about 'Erindoors, either.

I fought a tiny tear from forming in the corner of my eye, and quickly pulled myself together. Then I remembered one of the questions I am constantly asked...what set-up do I have for the boat's music system - and how does it work?

Well, I will share, so that other like-minded musos who have a boat, or a caravan or motorhome can follow suit. If you are like me, you can't be without your music for too long - and after all, my boat was always intended as a bit of a hifi getaway.

None of this 'turn it down' mullarkey for me! No sirree. More like 'turn it up' if you please. And I didn't want any tinney old sound. No - it had to be the best sound I could get - and afford.

So here it is...

It all starts with the solar panel on top of the deck. The rest will follow in tomorrow's blog.

Bet you can't wait, eh?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Little Peace And Quiet. Not Likely

The weather was unbelievable. I had finished a sweaty and hard day at the office (well, up the ladder), and the sun was still shining at six. There was probably another hour or so to catch some rays down on the back of the boat.

So off I trotted, with my book and a couple of cans of Guinness. I walked the plank, opened up the canopy, sat down and turned the pages. Aah, peace, quiet.

For about ten seconds.

Along the quay came our lovely friend Trish with her two delightful grandchildren, Lilly and Louis. Of course it would have been rude not to invite them aboard.

I closed my book up and said goodbye to the tranquility that had been eluding me all day.

The children loved jumping down the hatch, wearing and sharing my special Cap'n's Hat and Shark's Hat, running amok, and generally having a great time doing what children do


Did I mind having the interruption?

Not in the slightest. That's what having a Boat For My Potplants in Wivenhoe is all about.