Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Cuban Capacitor Bomb

Some weeks back I noticed that our reverse osmosis water maker pump was having some difficulty in starting up. As we're dependent on that machine for all our fresh water supply, this wasn't welcome news - a failure would limit our cruising on the Cuban coast.

After some testing and discussion with the manufacturer, we identified the starting capacitor as the likely culprit, though we weren't optimistic about finding one in Santiago De Cuba. It's an uncommonly large value capacitor - 600 micro farad, and physically quite small.

Then, after many fruitless hours searching stores and even second hand goods markets, our friend and driver Noel Sardina took us to another friend, which is of course the Cubano way of solving most problems. Everyone has many friends...

This friend repairs air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.  From him we purchased this typically Cuban problem solver - our Cuban Capacitor Bomb. A trio of well used but functional starting capacitors, all of lower values, but wired together in parallel to create the desired effect - and this assembly is now starting our pump perfectly. It ain't pretty, but it works. The Cuban way!

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