Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Imperfect Navigation Console

Bill's Log

Today I’ve been working on the console* for the ship’s laptop computer which has a brilliant navigation program.+

The main purpose of the console is to protect the laptop from the elements. Water must not get in, but warm air generated by the computer must escape to prevent overheating and condensation. This will be achieved by using the principle of convection. Warm air will rise and escape through ventilators near the top of the console, and cool air will be drawn through a vent near the base.

In order to have a good view of the laptop’s screen I’ve made a clear Perspex window at the front of the console. It’s a bit like a cat-flap providing immediate and easy access to the computer.

Although I’ve taken great care to make a symmetrical console, it has a slight misalignment on one side which has caused me to re-position a hinge so that the window fits exactly. This minor imperfection is unlikely to be noticed by a casual observer, although I shall always be aware of it. I would have preferred perfection, but I will have to accept this miniscule flaw. In no way will it affect the integrity of the console.

I believe in the principle of working to a high standard, because flaws inevitably creep in, but if care is taken from the beginning, the end product will be good, or at least satisfactory. A slovenly, laid back attitude will only bring about an unsatisfactory result.

* See 19th February for a description.

+ Garmin’s MapSource Version 6.2 –

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