In May-June 1903, on the armored cruiser Asama, docked at the naval arsenal in Kura, the power plant was repaired and worn out units and mechanisms were replaced. However, on the subsequent sea trials, a number of new malfunctions of the mechanisms of the main power plant appeared. In the early autumn of the same year, the cruiser was again sent for overhaul in Kure, during which, in addition to repair and adjustment of machines with the replacement of grease and babbitt, all air ducts, refractory bricks of furnaces, water pipes, as well as bearings on the lines of the main shafts were replaced …
In the second half of September 1903, "Asama", having a displacement of 9 855 tons, during sea trials developed with natural thrust and power of mechanisms 14 021 liters. with. course 19, 5 knots.
In January 1904, as part of the preparation of the cruiser for hostilities, a number of activities were carried out on the ship. Additional protection for the crew members, elements of the spardek, the navigating bridge and the command post of the senior artillery officer, as well as medium-caliber deck artillery and mine-action artillery, were called upon to provide shields woven from steel cables of various diameters. Also, work was carried out on the installation of thermal insulation of all lifting mechanisms, pipelines and steam lines located above the lower deck, as well as pumps, fans and electric motors. At the same time, deviation was eliminated, rangefinders and optical sights were verified, and the wireless telegraph station was adjusted. After the outbreak of the war with Russia, combat training in all its aspects was intensified on the ship.
On the eve of the battle on July 28, 1904, the cruiser had no regular steam boats, rowing longboat, lifeboats and a gig. Steam boats were routinely used to lay mines in the Port Arthur area, usually three boats and a dummy (designed to mislead enemy patrols). The longboat and rowing boat were left at the base, the whaleboat and gig, along with davits, were stored in Kure. Two steam and two rowboats were wrapped in tarpaulins and tied with cables. Also, three flat-bottomed boats remained on the cruiser, two of which were hung on the quarterdecks, abeam the stern barbet.
Inside the battery, under the deck, were folded machine-gun guards and gun carriages, four sections of anti-torpedo nets, as well as several covers. In the commander's cabin, everything remained in its place - tables with side tables, sideboards, stoves, sofas, mirrors and other furnishings.
In the officers' cabins, wardroom and bedrooms, all furniture and household items remained in place. "The impression was such," wrote the English observer Captain J. de M. Hutchison in his report, "as if the people in charge believed that they were just going to practice shooting."
The forward conning tower was partially covered by additional protection of a 12-foot roll-up tarpaulin, secured to the rails with a two-inch cable. At the same time, the entire wheelhouse was covered with ordinary painted awnings. These measures could not but worsen the view from the wheelhouse, which, however, given the intention of the ship's commander, Captain 1st Rank Yashiro Rokuro, to command the cruiser and control the firing from the combat marsh, was of no fundamental importance.
Mars was fitted with a Barr and Stroud rangefinder, a horn and a distance indicator set at 500 yards.
Around the two rapid-firing twelve-pounder guns located at the conning tower, as well as around the two on the aft superstructure, rope fences were installed, reinforced by sailor bunks hung on them and a double layer of hammocks.
In the midships, the deck 6 "guns, in addition to rope fences, received additional protection from rolled hammocks and tarpaulins.
In order to minimize the likelihood of detonation of the cellars, the casemate guns had fifty shells and the corresponding number of charges. The number of high-explosive and armor-piercing shells ranged from 38 to 40 and from 12 to 10, respectively.
The following measures have been developed to control medium artillery and ship movement. Directions for the course would have to be transmitted to the wheelhouse from the Mars, the direction of fire and the target would have to be transmitted in the form of instructions written on the boards. If firing conditions permit, two specially appointed officers, who are in the audible zone, transmit command orders with the help of horns.
The officer in the bow is assigned to five 6 "guns - four forward casemates 6" and a single casemate, located on the port side. The second officer, located in the stern, also has five 6 "guns - four rear casemates 6" and a single casemate, located on the starboard side. The four deck 6 "guns were supplied with built-in fire hoses laid along the fences. The upper and lower guns of the casemates have a direct connection. The messenger located on the upper deck in the midship area should serve as a link between the battle marsh and the casemates.