After a couple of weeks of frantic coding Pinta is looking just about ready to go. Everything seems to work! We have sorted out an Iridium short burst data subscription and have got it sending back telemetry messages. The control system appears sensible but i’ve only tested it by moving Pinta about on a trolley outside. I’ve just tested some code which saves the current target waypoint details so that should the main control system stop running it can be restarted and won’t try to go back to the first waypoint. It would be really annoying if it tried to sail back to Ireland when it was nearly to the Caribbean.
I’ve got to go away to a conference tomorrow and only have one more day in Aberystwyth until we leave for Ireland so its not going to get tested on the water until we get there. There’s also still a few minor mechanical tweaks to do. The sail needs to be better secured onto the boom, the boom needs a better attachment to the mast, a few potential snag hazards for the main sheet need sorting out, the tiller needs to be secured a bit more.
I’ve included a picture of the electronics box in its new setup. You can now see the new control board on the right.
We’ve got a new sail made by a local sail maker for Pinta and its bright fluorescent green! This will make it so much easier to see than the old white sail. They’ve even reattached the Welsh flag which we’d sewn onto the old sail.