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  • Capt. Eric


One thing leads to another.

A minor fault in a sensor meant I needed to empty the huge void we call "the basement" in Di's cabin to access it for cleaning.

Nothing difficult, but since we store most our large voluminous items in the basement, it is a game of reverse 3D Tetris. And then all that mess is now piled up on Di's berth while I clean the sensor of course.

The Gremlins lay their trap:

Once in the basement, sensor now cleaned and working, I noticed there is a light in there. Switching it on, nothing happened. So I can repair it now, or leave it for a later time when I'll have to empty the basement again to get to it. Now it is then.

Surely it'll be a simple matter of replacing the bulb? Contort myself to unscrew the tiny little screws holding the glass cover. One hand holds the screw driver, the second makes sure the screws don't fall all the way into the void of the basement, where they'll disappear forever. The third hand holds the glass to make sure it doesn't fall and break. So far, normal boat tinkering.

I pull the old bulb out. It doesn't look burnt, maybe it still is and I can't see it? A quick check with my multimeter reveals that the bulb is fine.

Is there power on this light? The multimeter once again says yes, the 12V circuit is live.

Is there power at the bulb holder? Yes there is.

The Gremlins are clearly having fun with me now. There is 12V everywhere, all the way down to the bulb holder, and a brand new bulb still won't light up!

I continue my fault finding, trying not to lose my calm and conclude that the bulb holder is somehow not making good contact with the bulb... Wiggle, wiggle. Yes! That's the answer.

Not this time Gremlins!

Proud of my finding, and my foresight, I extricate myself from the deep basement, pull out the salon settee's cushions and start digging in our spares. I know I have spare bulb holders from the time I had to redo all the engine room's lights and bought a few extra spares.

Beaming with pride, I go back with a new bulb holder in hand down into the basement, with a box of special Ancor connectors and the correct crimping tool. That's what being prepared looks like!

Cut, cut. Crimp crimp. One hand, two hands, three. Eventually I've got a new bulb holder in place, new LED bulb in and the light shines brightly. Yeah!

I just need to switch it off, get myself out of the basement, and repack everything back in there. Gather the tools and parts, and I'll be done. Easy.

Click. Click. Clickety click. The Gremlins are now laughing their heads off: The light doesn't switch Off!

Multimeter out and the conclusion is obvious: The switch is dead and permanently On.

Back to the parts drawer. I have spare switches also. This time, a lot less proud than the first, I get back into the basement, banging my elbow and shoulder a few more times before cutting the bulb holder back out to get to the switch.

I pull the old switch out, and get the new one ready by preparing the wires before diving in the basement. All good, crimp one side, and down I go.

I'm sure the Gremlins are now crying their eyes out: The new switch's wires are just slightly shorter than the old ones and will not fit in the lamp's housing. I can hear a Gremlin almost suffocate from laughter.

I won't give up. I'm stubborn like that. I cut the new switch out and swap the wires for correct length ones. I have spare wires of course, but my pride has long disappeared.

Back in I go, crimp in the new switch with its new wires. All goes well. The LED shines brightly, I'm finally done.

The Gremlins are now having laugh induced heart attacks: The switch doesn't work.... The light stays On all the time. Somehow, you've guessed it, I've managed to put the old switch back in by accident.

Back to square one. At least I know the drill by now!

I triple check everything before assembly. Correct switch? Correct wire length? Brain in gear?

Eventually I get it all assembled, and we now have a beautiful LED light inside the basement so we can see when we store things in there. It's very niceand very Nordhavn. My pride is back.

3D Tetris session to transfer everything back into the basement. We have so many large objects (a couple of cabin suitcases and such) that by the time I'm done storing everything the basement is full to the brim.

Which means the light is completely obscured by all the stuff we have, and On or Off makes no difference. The light cannot shine through suitcases.

The Gremlins died of laughter.

Chasing Gremlins in the "basement"

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