I have two BRK 86RAC Ionisation type smoke detector, one in the Hall and the other on the upstairs Landing, these were installed by the builder and in 2008 I added a heat detector (690MBX) in the garage, all three devices are mains powered with battery backup and are interlinked so that they all alert to a detection.
Checking the batteries in the smoke detector I noticed the unit has a life of 10 years from date of manufacture which was 21 June 2002, as the date of noticing this was 4 March 2018, they are well overdue for replacement!
The BRK 86RAC is no longer produced and has been replaced by the BRK 670MBX.
Checking my local Screwfix had BRK ionisation smoke dectors (part number 81969) for £12.99 and the surface mounting kit (part number 30152) for £2.99, I thought I would add two more to my system, so bought four of everything.
On opening the boxes, I didn’t realise that the detectors came with 9v PP3 type batteries, so wasted £6.00 buying them, and the other thing was that they are not a direct replacement, the 86RAC base is a smaller size and the plugin connector is a different style.
First job was to isolate the mains supply to the existing detectors which are on their own dedicated circuit, once this was done I twisted the detectors from the base to allow me to take photographs of the wiring.
The existing wiring was Black to Neutral, Brown to Live and Orange striped is the interconnect wire, 670MBX uses Blue for Neutral, Brown to Live and Grey for the interlink, the existing detector had a ferrite bobbin through which all the detector wires passed, whereas the new model doesn’t, I decided to reuse these on the replacement units.
Once the cable colours were recorded, the detector was unpluged and the base completely disconnected to allow the replacement of the new base, once this was screwed into place, the connections were remade.
The wiring in the base looks more complicated than it should due to the change of cable colours, the existing 1mm CSA 3 core and earth used the pre EU harmonisation wire colour convention of Red, Yellow and Blue, the cable to the new additional detectors which I have installed are in the office and IT cupboard, uses harmonised colours of Brown, Black and Grey, as the installation has mixed wire colouring, a warning notice to this effect is fixed to the consumer unit.
While the new detector was on the desk, the battery was dated and connected, without a battery installed the detector will not engage in the base, this is a safety feature.
After making the connections, the detector base was fixed to the surface fitting by two supplied screws, the cardboard sealing gasket was then pressed into place covering the detector base fixing holes, the next step was to plug the lead into the base of the detector and lastly twist the detector into the base.
Within the baseplate of the detector is a small plastic extrusion which can be removed, this is used once the detector is installed as a locking clip preventing the detector being removed from the base with the clip in place.
With all detectors connected and new ones installed, mains power was turned back on, and each detector was then checked that it showed a continuous green LED for power healthy and a flashing red LED every 60 seconds to show the detector is functioning.
The center test button on each detector was pressed and held, this caused the local unit to sound, followed a moment later by all the other interconnected heads.
I had already sealed the cables passing through the ceiling, the final job was to seal the base to the ceiling and paint the exposed part of the ceiling as a result of the base being smaller than the original one.
A point to note was that I was going to use flushed in circular dry lining boxes to make the connections in and hold the base, this would have made the smoke detector sit closer to the ceiling but would of meant a large hole being made, so I decided against it.
Job was very straightforward, adding new detectors was easy as I looped off the landing detector to the other units which were only a few meters away.
I have been after getting a Smart Meter installed for the past few years so I could monitor my energy usage in near real time, my original supplier (EON) said that as my gas was supplied via IGT infrastructure, they could not install Smart Metering, speaking to British Gas (BG) and my IGT they said this wasn’t a problem, so I switched supplier.
Surprise, surprise, when I came to register for a Smart Meter to be installed British Gas, they said it was not possible for the same reason that EON gave.
I took the case to OFGEM, but my case was undermined as the telephone conversation recording with the BG operative and myself could not be found, however, due to an extensive e-mail trail, OFGEM ruled that BG were to give me a written apology.
Winding forward to the 24 August 2017, I upgraded my British Gas mobile app and ‘Book a Smart Meter’ button appeared, with a wry smile I pressed the button and hey presto it accepted my booking, whereas previously this has been declined, and an appointment was set for 3 August 2017 between 13:00 and 17:00.
The BG guy rang before he arrived, he introduced himself as Ashley and was really friendly, taking him to the external meter cupboards I had my fingers crossed that nothing would get in the way to causing a cancellation, as it was, no problems were presented so the installation of gas and electricity smart meters could go ahead.
The picture above shows my old meter with an OWL energy monitor transmitter with a clamp on Current Transformer attached to the incoming phase wire, Ashley started on the electricity meter swap out first after checking the nearest socket with a plug in tester for confirmation of correct polarity and earth continuity, he turned off the consumer units main isolator and central heating boiler before pulling the main service fuse.
Due to the larger size of the smart meter, he had to shorten the tails from the cut-out, apart from that, the exchange took about 40 minutes in total and the OWL monitor is now redundant!
The replacement of the gas smart meter was a bit more challenging as the new meter would not fit without meter exit pipework modifications.
Ashley isolated the gas supply and stripped out the old meter, regulator and anaconda pipe, replacing the regulator and pipe with new, he offered the meter up and noted where the meter outlet pipe needed modifying.
He cut out the existing pipe and soldered in a prefabricated swept connector and it was a perfect fit.
He tightened all connectors after replacing all ‘O’ rings with new ones and gave his works a pressure and leak test, once finished he sealed the outlet hole from the meter cupboard with flue cement.
He then ran through the display and went on his way, overall it took about 2 hours to fit the two meters and one major positive was that he found a loose connection on the neutral from electricity isolator switch to my consumer unit, so well pleased that he did a quality job.
I opted for 1/2 hour reading to be captured throughout the day, the combined log is automatically uploaded daily to a remote server via the mobile network, logging into My Energy Portal will allow you to see you consumption breakdown over time:
So, all done, its taken a few years to get and at one point I thought I would have to wait until 2020, fortunately I was wrong.
11 August 17, my mobile and online British Gas app no longer show half-hourly usage, instead they show seasonal overall consumption, I have raised a service ticket to see if this can be returned to as it was, the old IGT card was mentioned during my converstaion with the service desk and I said I have a screen grab posted to the internet, so I know it was working!!
16 August 17, Yeah!! My Energy portal is back working showing 1/2 hourly usage figures.
4 September 17, noticed that the gas reading was not being updated on the remote display after 30 minutes of use, it to update with all the reading the next day and then at random times the gas icon would light, BG coming out on 2 Nov 17 to replace the display.
3 November 17, indoor display changed by BG but he could not wait the 30 minutes to see if gas registered on the display, unfortunately it still doesn’t update.
14 November 17, spoke to BG Smartmeter department on 0333 2029821 and there is nothing that can be done to get my display to show gas readings every 30 mins, they are working on the issue, but as yet there is no fix. Meter consumption readings are updating via the Vodaphone network ok.
I’m disappointed as the display does not give the functionality as advertised, but it is free so I’ve nowhere to go with this.
16 December 17, not sure if its a fluke or not, plugged the display in upstairs and after a week or so of not showing gas being used, it suddenly started working.
My home office is also my shack and like most things, the infrastructure grew rather than was managed, so I knew the electrical power was not ideal and the network patch panel was full. The thing that brought it to a head was the need for a new floor covering, and so it began.
First job was to put in a new final circuit ring main to the office dado trunking and add a couple of additional power points for the UPS and mobile air conditioning unit.
As the cables are ran in the loft, I decided to install a decent fold down loft hatch and sliding ladder for ease of access, the loft lighting was also improved by installing 4 x 4′ fluorescent operated by a pull switch fed from its own dedicated circuit, this lighting made a huge difference.
To move everything out of the office to get access to the floor meant it needed to go somewhere, and the obvious choice was the loft, so off to Homebase for loft flooring and loft legs and of course it was boarded during the hottest days of July.
Once everything was out, I could start tearing down to rebuild:
The existing home network hub needed to come out:
No going back now!
New cable drops for additional tap points near the TV and existing TalkTalk router are shown, I did move/rationalise other tap points around the house and in the garage. In the lounge I drilled through to the external wall and installed conduit in preparation for when Virgin Media install fibre to the home.
The network cables were in and tested using a cheap and cheerful wire mapper and did find a faulty tap point, so well worth £2.59.
Once the power was sorted out, it was time to start on the cabinet, this is a 12U wall mounted jobbie and cost £48.49 from eBay, the power distribution unit is fed via an 800VA MGE Pulsar Evolution UPS as is the red sockets.
Cables identified and marked up, rather than numbering the tap points, I opted to use a convention which accommodated change easily:
OFnn =Office, tap point nn
BD2/nn = Bedroom 2, tap point nn
BD3/nn = Bedroom 3, tap point nn
LOnn = Loft, tap point nn
Lnn = Lounge, tap point nn
Gnn = Garage, tap point nn
Hnn = Hall, tap point nn
I, well me and my XYL took the opportunity to start to spruce the place up with a coat of paint as well. This shows the wall ready for the roller.
Wall cabinet finished, I added a small temperature controller which switches on the cabinet fan and the ceiling mounted fan within the cupboard where the cabinet is fitted.
Working top down:
2U blank plate
Telephone line IN, OUT via ADSL filtered ports
24 port patch panel wired in Cat5e, two ports spare
Brush strip to hide surplus cable or manage surplus cable if your a purist
Cabinet closed and locked after making sure it didn’t hit the ceiling light.
Room with everything put back in and tidied up.
To make life easier for working on the radio equipment cables and connections, I didn’t push the desk right back to the wall and also no radio related equipment is on the floor (PSU), apart from the foot operated PTT.
Radio wise I didn’t do much, I added a separate 12v PSU for auxiliary equipment, such as the led signage, VSWR panel lights and SG autotuner to name a few, I also added a common RF earth board for the shack equipment to connect to.
Radio all put back together and cables tidied up, not sure how long the office will stay this neat 🙂
The cheap and cheerful cable tester unfortunately didn’t last the test of time and started giving some strange mapping indications, returning to eBay, I found a SC8108 Network Cable Tester for £17.98, this is superb value, and hopefully it will last longer than the last cable tester.
The SC8108 is very easy to use and has a number of useful, menu driven features, but for my small home network, wire mapping is the primary focus.
4 Feb 18, Ordered VIVID 200 package for installation on Friday 23 Feb 18 between 13:00 – 16:00. Went through to the Virgin Media shop in Peterborough looking for some form of promotion or deal to reduce costs, this didn’t happen, in fact they suggested I could save money ordering in shop as they would waive the installation and F-Secure costs, this was incorrect as the online booking information has these as free, also they wanted £25 up front, £20 activation fee and £5 which would be returned once the service was active, online it is £20 only activation, so I booked online, as an aside, if I had ordered in the shop my statutory rights to cancel is reduced from 14 to 10 days protection which you get when booking online.
11 Feb 18, received two e-mails, the first containing e-sign contract, the other was what to expect on the day of installation.
16 Feb 18, received mobile call from Callum of the Virgin Media installation team wanting to come and install a microduct from the Toby to my house, fit the Omnibox and blow the fibre from the street cabinet to the Omnibox, this is done a week in advance of the engineers on the 23 Feb, I arranged for the following day to meet them as I was 180 miles away! (this part of the process was not known to me and came out of the blue, I assumed it would be a ‘one hit’ visit).
17 Feb 18, James from the installation team rang to cancel as Callums son had a fall and was needed at home, as the install is a two man job I returned his call and rearranged for Monday 19 Feb after 16:00.
19 Feb 18, James & Callum turned up at the appointed time to install the microduct, fibre and Omnibox.
The guys first photographed a laminated sheet showing my address, date and their names next to my open Toby, once this was done they threaded a black microduct pipe from the pavement Toby through the conduit I had previously laid to the house, the brown Omnibox was fixed to the wall with 4 screws and the microduct pipe clipped into place in the Omnibox, at the Toby a coupling was installed transitioning from the green microduct to the black microduct.
The distance was measured using a measuring wheel from my Toby to the street cabinet (72.5 m), while the measuring was going on, compressed air was blown down the microduct from the house, this caused the yellow protective cap to be blown off the end of the green microduct in the cabinet, identifying which tube out of many, as coming from my house.
In the cabinet a ‘fibre catcher’ was fitted, at the house end the fibre cassette containing 100m of was fixed on a device which enabled the fibre to be blown into the duct until it was caught by the cabinet catcher.
At the cabinet, the fibre catcher was removed and a protective sleeve was fitted over the fibre and terminated in a connection, this connection was then plugged into a breakout panel in the cabinet.
At the house end, the surplus fibre from the cassette was wrapped within the Omnibox, the house end is pre terminated, once this was done, a reading was taken of light losses (-0.13db) to check they were in an acceptable range, the reading was photographed with the laminated sheet used earlier as proof of service in advance of the technical install scheduled on Friday 23 Feb 18.
23 Feb 18, Go Live Day – Engineer Sam arrived between the allotted time of 13:00 to 18:00 to start the installation.
He was quite happy that the hole through the wall into the lounge was already in, as was the dry lining that he could hang the Isolated Power Injector on.
First job was to push a peice of HFC cable though the wall from the Omnibox and put a connector on the end, this was connected to the Isolated Power Injector (IPI) Teleste IP1-G1)), which is mounted within an enclosure on the lounge wall (the screw holes of the enclosure and backplate fit a standard dry lining box), a short length of HFC cable from this goes to a 12v plug in PSU in order to back feed the external optical media converter with power.
The bottom IPI output is connected to a 2 way splitter (Technetix ESX-02), one leg goes to the router (a 3db attenuator was installed to balance the system), the other leg to the TV box.
As the TV box, Router and Optical media converter require power, three 240v sockets are required.
In the Omnibox, the HFC cable was terminated, and plugged into a DC passing port of the 4 way splitter (Amphenol Model ABS104TP), from the splitter this is plugged into the Vector Boostral 610 optical media converters output.
Once the external works was completed, the router and TV box were powered up and an Ethernet cable from the router to TV box was plugged in. The hardware went through three re-boots and software updates and I was good to go.
24 Feb 18, Netflix is suffering lip sync issues when viewed through the VM TV Box, also download speeds vary from 210Mb to 38Mb (wireless tests), it’s early days, so I hopefully this will stabilize soon.
25 Feb 18, Speed test using direct cabled connection to Virgin Media router (200Mb service ordered) :
25 Feb 18 @ 14.11
2 Mar 18, TalkTalk, my existing provider reduced my package ‘Fibre Large’ which is Fibre To The Cabinet’ (FTTC) by £26:25, on knowing I was thinking about leaving for Virgin Media, they did this by moving me to the ‘Faster Fibre Plan’.
I get the same package as before (TV, broadband and phone landline including line rental) for £31.75 per month, the download and upload speeds I’m getting are more than enough for my needs even when all the kids are home battering the broadband, also I keep my landline, Virgin Media have not yet enabled VOIP on the router which was another factor for me.
I called Virgin Media to cancel my arrangement (within the 14 day ‘cooling off’ period), they obviously asked why and I mentioned the main reason was cost and as an aside, that my wireless speeds were faster with TalkTalk rather than Virgin Media.
Perplexed by this, he transfered me to technical in a foreign land and they remotely checked the line and rebooted the router, then asked me to perform a router reset using a paperclip, which I did whilst they were on the phone. They assured me everything was working properly and I did a wireless speedtest and managed 136Mb download.
Checking later I took the following images of speed:
The above results used OOKLA Speedtest on an iPhone 6, as the SSID on the Virgin Media router is the same for 2.4GHz and 5GHz I didn’t know which Wi-Fi band I was measuring, I was however, the only device was connected to it.
For balance I ran another TalkTalk test at 2.4GHz, and the readings came out at Download 41.7Mb, Upload 16.8Mb which wasn’t too shabby, especially as 7 wireless devices were connected.
I also ran a directly ethernet connected Virgin Media router test later with a laptop at 20:00hrs 2 March 18, and managed a download speed of 76.17Mb and upload of 10.3Mb, not brilliant for an upto 200Mb service which I was assured was working as it should.
The upshot is that I staying with TalkTalk meaning that I reluctantly terminated my arrangment with Virgin Media effective from 3 March 18.
8 Mar 18, Disconnected my Virgin Media as per the instructions which came in my returns packaging and boxed up the following way as requested:
Two power supplies;
Leads for the above PSU’s;
Splitter and three CATV cables.
This was then taken to my local ‘Click & Collect’ store and it was winging it way back to Virgin Media at nill cost to me.
14 Mar 18, Text from VM to say the kit has been received and any charge for kit that might have been applied to my account will be credited, also received an e-mail:
21 Mar 18, Received my first and last Virgin Media bill, this covers the week I had the service and the activation charge, total payable – £36.67.
Phased civils started in June 2017 and by 4 January 2018 first subscriber activated.
I currently use TalkTalk Fibre to the Cabinet, this the same as BT Infinity, SKY, Plusnet etc, this means a fibre optic cable is brought from the local exchange to a street cabinet, from this the existing telephone copper cable is used for broadband and phone, depending how close you are to the cabinet will determine how fast your broadband is, in may case, I get a maximum speed of 62.79Mbps download, 17.34Mbps Upload and a Ping time of 17.34ms which is probably the best I can get (using Speedtest 15/11/17 @ 18:00).
I was delighted when I saw that the Virgin Media cable enabling works was scheduled for installation via Roadworks.org, bringing up to 300Mb speeds to Chatteris, this will give people an option, rather than be tied to telephone line provided services, so I thought I’d start this blog.
This speed test was done on the 25 Feb 18 @ 14.14 by directly connecting a cable to the TalkTalk router to compare FTTC with Virgin Media FTTH:
The infrastructure in my area was due to start on 4 August 17, expecting to last until the 14 August and I registered my interest in advance using Cable My Street.
My roads infrastructure work started on the 23 October 18 and was carried out very swiftly and with minimal mess considering the civil work required, the works was undertaken during school holidays to minimise any disruption, the crew were respectful of any request to get on and off the drive, also in my case I wanted the ‘Toby’ to be in a particular position, this wasn’t a problem and on the pictures below you can see the original point marking has been crossed out, and the new position marked as a red box.
VM installing my Toby
Time lapse video of Virgin Media installing FTTH infrastructure.
Details on how the Virgin Media infrastructure is installed (for developers but a great resource) is HERE (large file) and a general guide used for another town scheme is HERE.
The wrapped Red and Green double tube is installed from the VMVH1 hub cabinets to the Level 3 (L3) street cabinets via solid ducts. Each tube has an Outside Diameter (OD) is 12mm one tube is used to transport 24 core fibre optic cable, the other bore is spare.
2. The single Red and Green has an OD of 8mm and carries 12 core fibre optic cable from the L3 cabinet to the Level 4 (L4) distribution board. The L3 cabinets are identified by having only two letter and two numbers stenciled on them.
3. The Green microbore is 8mm OD and is ran from the L4 cabinet to each ‘Toby’ outside the property.
4. Black microbore is the same dimensions as the Greem microbore and is used from the Toby at the pavement to the house Omnibox.
5. 1.1mm diameter single mode fibre optical cable containing two fibres, I stripped the fibre back in the above picture, from the factory the fibre is pre-terminated.
The image below shows the microduct couplings in use within a pavement trench. Top picture taken at the junction of Dock Road and Bridges Street, bottom picture taken by the library shows a larger 12mm OD striped microduct.
Larger size microduct and coupling, (possibly for a multicore fibre, rather than a single fibre?).
The marker tape which is put over the buried Virgin Media infrastructure and serves two purposes, the first is to allow detection using a Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT), the marker tape has two metal wires bonded to it, so the route of the tape can be found and traced from the surface without excavation, the second purpose is to warn that you are about to unearth or hit cables should you be digging.
VMSDI Level 4 Open Cabinet Picture – undergoing second-fix.
Click Map Pin on the corner of Ash Grove and High Street for more images of cabinet AF0113.
One of the towns two VMVH1 Nodal Cabinets
Inside VMVH1 supply pillar:-
Within the distribution board above is a smart RCD from Tii-Tech which is rather clever as it performs regular operational self tests to avoid the need for a person to visit the cabinet to do them. This write up from Gewiss explains how they work.
End of Line Termination Boxes
From the street termination box, a microduct coupling is used to extend the duct from the street cabinet to your outside wall, the fibre once blown through is connected to a media converter within the externally mounted Omnibox
Showing the three different clours of Onmibox used in Chatteris, the last one is mine.
The media converter changes the fibres optical pulses of light into electrical data which a coaxial cable then takes to the Super Hub 3 Router and connectivity to the internet.
This configuration will give data transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps, a basic outline of how it connects together is below, the VM Datacentre is in Wisbech and Chatteris is fed by a direct fibre from their:
In advance of Virgin installing the infrastructure in the street I have put a conduit through the wall into a dry lining box with a blank please and installed a length of 20mm flexible conduit from the pavement Toby to the house wall, bit premature, but hey ho :-)
Links to latest and archived Planning Permissions containing Virgin Media works:
The Pin map shows the position of street cabinets, hovering over each pin will show its location and cabinet number, the see images of the cabinet, click the green circular cross below the map:
GREEN pins are completed VMSD1i Street Cabinets (identifier stenciled on cabinet);
RED pins are installed Street Cabinets;
PURPLE pins are Main Node locations (VMVH1);
BLUE pins are VMDD3I Double Cabinet;
RED CROSS pins denote photographs need updating.
AG0509 - Fairview Drive
L4 - Fairview Drive
AG0406 - Whitemill Road
L4 - Whitemill Road
AG0508 - West Street
L4 - West Street
AG0404 - Meadow Close
L4 - Meadow Close
AG0507 - Fairway
L4 - Fairway
AG0510 - Fairway
L4 - Fairway
AG05 - Gibside Avenue
L3 - Gibside Avenue
I think is miss badged as AG0510 which is a duplicate of a cabinet on Fairway.
AG0506 - Harold Heading Close
L4 - Harold Heading Close
AF0511 - Boadicea Court
L4 - Boadicea Court
AG0306 - Woodside
L4 - Woodside
AG0410 - Fairbairn Way
L4 - Fairbairn Way
AG0411 - Fairbairn Way
L4 - Fairbairn Way
AF0508 - High Street
L4 - High Street
AG04 - London Road
L3 - Cabinet - London Road
AG0412 - London Road
L4 - London Road
AF0510 - High Street
L4 - High Street
AG0204 - St Martins Close
L4 - St Martins Close
AF0509 - High Street
L4 - High Street
AG0105 - West Park Street
26 Jan 18 fibre being blown to AG0108
L4 - West Park Street
AG0104 - Wimpole Street
AG0112 & AG0113 - Burnsfield Street
L4 - Burnsfield Street
AG0402 - Reed Close
L4 - Reed Close
AG0403 - Blackthorn Close
L4 - Blackthorn Close
AG0405 - Mayfly Close
L4 - Mayfly Close
AG0206 - The Shrubbery
L4 - The Shrubbery
AG02 - St Martins Road
L3 - St Martins Road
AG0203 & AG0213 - Birch Close
L4 - Victoria Street
AF0502 - St Francis Drive
L4 - St Francis Drive
AG0409 - Blackmill Road
L4 - Blackmill Road
AG0207 - Church Walk
L4 - Church Walk
AG0101 - Station Street
AG0304 - South Park Street
L4 - South Park Street
AF0403 - Queensway
L4 - Queensway
AG0408 - Marion Way
L4 - Marian Way
AG0309 - Eastwood
L4 - Eastwood
AG0308 - Eastwood
L4 - Eastwood
AF0401 - New Road - Middle
L4 - New Road
AF04 - New Road - Top
L3 - New Road
AG0407 - Eastbourne Road
L4 - Eastbourne Road
AG0401 - Whitemill Road
L4 - Whitemill Road
L4 - Fairway
AG0502 - Westbourne Road
L4 - Westbourne Road
AG0501 - Westbourne Road
L4 - Westbourne Road
AG0102 - Haigh's Close
L4 - Haigh's Close
AG0113 - Eden Crecent
L4 - Eden Crescent
AG0202 - The Elms
AG0201 - The Elms
AF0304 Slade Way
AF0302 & AF0303 Slade Way
AG0505 - Southampton Place
L4 - Southampton Place
AG0504 - Southampton Place
AG0307 - Wood Street
L4 - Wood Street
AG0209 - Wenny Road
L4 - Wenny Road
AF0505 - Farriers Gate
L4 Farriers Gate
AF0501 - St Peters Drive
St Peters Drive
AF03 High Street
L3 - High Street
AF0311 Wesley Drive
Highway termination box
AG03 - Eastwood
L3 - Eastwood
AF0305 Lindsells Walk
AG0212 - Wenny Estate
L4 - Wenny Estate
AG0103 - Clare Street
L4 - Clare Street
AF0406 - Green Park
L4 - Green Park
AF0507 - New Road
AF05 - New Road
AF0504 - Bridle Close
L4 - Bridle Close
AG0106 - Park Street
L4 - Park Street
AF0614 - The Hawthorns
L4 - The Hawthorns
AF0407 - Green Park
L4 - Green Park
AF0503 - Bridle Close
L4 - Bridle Close
Work commenced 26 Oct 17 completed 3 Nov 17.
Stencilled 23 Jan 18.
Made live 26 Jan 18.
AF0404 - Newlands Road
L4 - Newlands Road
AG01 & AG0112 - Linden Drive
L3 & L4 - Linden Drive
AF0307 Curlew Avenue
AF0310 Augustus Way
AG0303 - Wenny Road
L4 - Wenny Road
AF0506 - Saddlers Way
L4 - Saddlers Way
AG0111 - York Road
L4 - York Road
AG0205 - Juniper Drive
AF0101 & AF0102 Doddington Road
AF0103 Doddington Road
AF0308 Mallard Close
AF0402 - The Orchards
L4 - The Orchards
AF0110 Latham Way
AF0109 Marritt Close
AF0111 Quaker Way
AF0112 Ash Grove
AF0602 Horsegate Gardens
L4 Horsegate Gardens
AF0603 Horsegate Gardens
AG0311 - Tithe Road
L4 - Tithe Road
AG0310 - Tithe Road
L4 - Tithe Road
AG0312 - Tithe Road
L4 - Tithe Road
AF0608 - Treeway
L4 - Treeway
AF0605 Station Street
AF0408 - Green Park
L4 - Green Park
AG0109 - Huntingdon Road
L4 - Huntingdon Road
AG0108 - Huntingdon Road
L4 - Huntingdon Road
AF0601 Horsegate Gardens
AF0206 - Gull Way
AF0607 Station Street
AF0209 Drake Avenue
AF0104 Bridge Street
AF0203 Lode Way
AF02 Lode Way
L3 - Lode Way
AF0204 Kingfisher Close
AF0205 Lode Way
AF01 Angoods Lane
L3 - Angoods Lane
AF0208 Tern Gardens
AF0108 Angoods Lane
AF0106 Angoods Lane
AF0107 Angoods Lane
AF0202 Dock Road
AF0201 Bridge Street
AF0207 Black Horse Lane
The cabinet backs onto a Grade 2 listed house and a black one was requested as it matches the surrounds a lot better than a grey one. A point to note is that the ground level in the house is lower than the pavement. The contractors started digging up in front of one of the windows put a grey cabinet and it was a foot above the bottom of the window and as the house is lower inside when you looked out the top of the cabinet was eye height. The owners asked if they could move it down the street more which they did but then backfield the hole they dug with hardcore they took out and left it. With have requested several times for last 2/3 months if it can be re-tarmac to stop water running into the house which is going to collect there.
12 Nov 17, ground under window not restored.
Black Horse Lane
AF0309 St Stephens Drive
St Stephens Drive
AF0210 Gull Way
AF0211 Furrowfields Road
AF0113 High Street
AF06 & AF0604 Station Street
L3 & L4 - Station Street
East Park Street
East Park Street
Area AG - VMVH1 Nodal Cabinet Eastwood
VMVH1 Nodal Cabinet
VMVH1 – 1800 W x 1700 H x 650 D Nodal Cabinet (Virtual Hub)1 per 3000 homes.
The Nodal cabinets are connected to L3 street cabinets.
I asked permission of the road workers before I took the picture, the cabinet was unlocked and open.
My main domain name is Chatteris. biz, Chatteris Weather and M0HTA.uk are linked to this domain name.
In order to give users confidence that the site they are linking to is secure, I have upgraded to SSL.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
During the transition it was found that some of the existing information displayed broke the security integrity of SSL, and therefore, I have either changed the menu to the remote link directly or removed the link completely, this has been unavoidable.
I have had an MGE Pulsar Evolution 800 Uninteruptable power Supply for about 8 years through which my computer and other sensitive kit is fed and I serviced it with new batteries in January 17.
This UPS delivers 800VA or 520 Watts (Calculator for Watts/VA HERE.) and is at 67% loading when in use, giving a back up time of 9m 35s, which is more than adequate for my needs.
In early February the UPS stopped working completely, no output or indication of power in, the one I have cost £10 second hand off eBay so I couldn’t complain when it stopped working.
Before looking for another replacement, I opened it up the check for the obvious, such as internal fuses blown or PCB track damage, looking near the power regulator stage I noticed a bulging capacitor which is a sure sign that it has failed.
Everything else passed a visual inspection, so I bought a pack of 5x 10uF 450v 105c capacitors from eBay for £1.59.
After changing the capacitors, I measured the old capacitors and they had both failed as the meter should be displaying 9.5uF to 10.5uF.
Once reassembled, I powering up the UPS after inserting the batteries, the UPS kicked in to self-test mode and was working 🙂
Everything is back in place working and I have software monitoring its performance and everything is looking good so far.
A copy of the Pulsar Evolution 800 manual is HERE.
Solution Pac software for the UPS can be downloaded from HERE.
When we first moved into the house I installed an external bibcock tap which I fed by ‘teeing’ into the cold water feed line in the garage which is used for the combination boilers filling loop.
In the previous house I had hot and cold available outside to wash the car, so the project was to do the same here. The two problems were the lack of available hot water pipes in the garage and no more wall space to add another external bibcock dedicated to hot water.
First things first, locate a source for the hot water, fortunately on the other side of the garage wall is a small utility room with a sink and plumbing for a dishwasher and washing machine.
Isolating the cold water fill to at the tank, I drained the hot water down into the utility sink and emptied the dead leg of the washer fill line using the tap at the bottom of the pipe, once this was done, I put the plug in the sink and removed the sinks waste pipe for ease of access to where I would be cutting and soldering.
Drilling a 15mm hole through into the garage from the house was easy as the internal double skin walls are built using low density thermalite block.
Putting some tape over the open end of pipe, I pushed it through the hole into the garage where I soldered an end fed elbow with stub to a compression fitting isolation valve. From the isolation valve a stub with a tee and drain cock were soldered. A stub pipe from the tee had a plastic stop end fitted, the pipe was then pushed back into securing clips fixed to the garage wall.
Using the pipe slicer tool shown in the first picture, I cut out a small section out of the hot pipe and put on a 15mm copper tee, using a half crossover to bridge the cold pipe, I then used a short piece of pipe to connect an elbow to the pipe to the garage.
Once the dry fit went ok, I dissembled it all to clean and flux the pipe and fittings before soldering, all the fitting were end fed here.
Once all the joints were soldered and making sure all the valves are closed, I cracked open the hot water tank fill valve and went to check for leaks after venting air from the system and running water through the garage drain valve to flush out any debris.
The garage has been converted into a workshop and I didn’t want to damage any exposed pipe when I throw stuff for storage, so the best option was to use plastic pipe and fish it behind the false wall as their was just enough room.
Drilling 110mm holes, allowed me plenty of room to push trunking lids taped together for the 4.5m run, string was attached to the end of the lid and pushed in place.
At the other end it was a pain to fish for the string using a torch, mirror and bent hook, however, once grabbed, I tied on stronger blue rope to the string and pulled this back to secure on the pipe as shown, (the last thing I wanted to repeat fishing!).
At the utility isolation valve end, I clipped the John Guest Layflat Speedfit pipe to the wall and used a cold form bend to hold its radius and take strain off the ‘plastic to copper’ coupling.
The design to allow me to use one external bibcock tap was to use a three port valve, this suggestion came from DIYNOT plumbing forum.
The pressure reducing valve, 3 port valve, double checkvalves and themostatically controlled valve were from eBay, all other parts from Screwfix.
How it works
The cold water has a local isolation valve for ease of maintenance, a double check valve stops contaminants getting back into the upstream water system, a ‘tee’ allows the pressure reducing valve to be bypassed, and if the 3 port valve is in the right position, allows full mains pressure at the outside tap for use with the hose.
The pressure reducing valve is set for 3.5bar which is the same water pressure as my unvented hot water tank, therefore the water pressure for both feeds to the thermostatically controlled valve (TCV) is the same.
The hot water also has a local isolation valve and double check valve before it feeds the TCV, the temperature of the blended water leaving the TCV is 42C.
As the cold water was available, I connected this first to the valve and allowed pressure testing, the biggest problem I had was sealing the 1/2″ BSP threads on the 3 port valve.
I tried using fibre washers, PTFE tape and jointing paste but a couple of joints would still weep very slowly over time. I searched the problem in the DIYNOT forum and the advice from experienced plumbers was to use Locktite 55 , following the instructional video on the locktite site, I applied the sealing material onto the prepared threads and it worked, no more leaks.
At the end near the bibcock tap, I used another ‘plastic to copper’ coupling and piped up and over to the hot water isolation valve.
A hot water drain cock was installed where the pipe emerged from behind the false wall so I can drain down if needed.
This shows the hot water pipe coupling about to be soldered, hence the heat resisting mat, on the right of the picture is the cold water valve which is open and testing for leaks.
In the garage is another isolation valve directly behind the bibcock, this stops unauthorised use of the external tap.
The final job was to flush the system thoroughly and check that the water coming out of the bibcock tap is at the correct temperature, once proven, all exposed pipes were insulated and where the risk of damage was high, boxed in.
The most expensive part of the job was the plastic pipe as this comes in a minimum of a 25m roll and I only needed 4.5m. The option of pulling in straight lengths with a connecting coupling behind the false wall was discounted as I didn’t want any inaccessible joints, so I had no choice but to pay for more than I needed.
Apart from hassle of sealing the weeping threads, the job went well and I’m happy with the result.
For a few years now we have had bat which regularly flies round the garden, Googling about bats I came across a bat detector circuit from Tony Messina.
Tony’s site is packed with interesting information and a link to the UK where you can buy the printed Circuit Board if you didn’t want to use veroboard.
The PCB is from Lee Rogers (mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) in the UK for £5 including p&p, the majority of the parts are available from Rapid Electronics , things out of stock at Rapid can easily be found on eBay or Maplin.