Davis 7346.174 – Pro2 Upgraded Digital Temperature Humidity Sensor

I decided to give the weather station a revamp, the two mini projects are the replacement of the Fan used to asperate the temperture/humidity sensor and the replacement of the original Davis temp/hum sensor with the more accurate chipset SHT15.









I bought the Davis 7346-174 upgrade from Scaled Instruments in Florida for $67.50 delivered (£51.94), the unit arrived very quickly as expected as I have used Scaled Instruments before and the service is exceptional.

Disassembly was quite straightforward after putting the station in install mode, what I was suprised by was the amount of dirt that had been drawn into to the fan guard and other parts of the Stevensons Sheild which all need a good wash with soapy water:












The original sensor is secured with two machine screws and the cable by a ‘P’ clip:












The replacement sensor was a direct fit as you wpould expects apart from the fact that instead of a ‘P’ clip, the environmental coating was used to form a cable clip, thit need a stand-off and additional machine screw to enable the sensor wire to be secured.













Once the housing was reassembled, sensor plugged up, fan reconnected and the station taken out of install mode everything worked just fine.

I’m awaiting the new fan to be deivered, so the second part of this will be blogged soon.

Cat5e Network Port Quick Finder

I was perusing the internet and came across a niffty idea to quickly identify which Cat5 outlet was connected to which port on a patch panel, so, as I had the parts, I thought I’d have a go.

The principle is very easy, in the patch panel,  RG45 plugs are inserted into each port, within the RG45 plug is an LED connected to pins 3 &6.

At the remote faceplate, a RG45 is plugged in which has power to pins 3 & 6 via a battery battery, the LED in the patch panel will now light, quickly identifing what is connected to what.

led plate
Test faceplate with pins 3 & 6 bridged across each outlet












The parts were from ebay:

  • LEDS – 100 for £2.32
  • RG45 connectors – 100 for £2.95
  • Battery Holder – £0.99

To make the LED plug, I first marked the Cathode of the LED so I got the polarity correct when inserted into the plug.

The next step was to flatten the LED capsule so that it fits within the cable entry of the connector.

The LED is now pushed into the connector and crimped, hot glue is then used to seal the LED in place.

The battery pack is powered by 2 x AA batteries, with a current limiting resistor terminated in the plug.













I made 24 of the LED plugs as that was the number of ports on my patch panel.

Finished LED connectors and battery pack

PLC Simulator

After playing with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to operate my radio mast, I decided to build a simulator in order to better understand the capabilities of the EASY PR-18DC-DA-R.

I wanted the simulator to have 16 inputs, either momentary or switched and the ability to import signals including an embedded 4 – 20mA current.

I had a sloped project enclosure already, so I made a dimensioned drilling template.

Drilling Template

Once the template was stuck down, the pilot holes were drilled, template removed and holes opened to the right sizes.

Drilled Case

The template was created in Visio and I used layers, one of the layers was for switch position drilling and alignment cross-hairs, turning that layer off (missed one in I8!), allowed me to print on  self-adhesive sticky Matte White Vinyl.

Blank template

Using a sharp knife, I cut though the Vinyl and started fitting the switches, buttons, Output indication LEDs and 4 – 20mA injector.

Terminals to go in

Terminal posts next.

Switches going in

Front panel populated.


Wiring started.


After a couple of changes, the internal wiring is completed and loomed in.


The simulator uses 24v DC, I used a small 1.5A output switched mode PSU for this, fed via a chassis fuse holder with the supply from an IEC male socket, the output from the PSU is fused separately.

PSU 24v

PLC simulator all powered up, the program in the PLC was legacy from my mast control project, this will be overwritten by downloading revised programs from xLogicsoft software.

Finished PLC

To complement the PLC simulator I bought a4-20mA Current Signal Generator 0-10V Voltage Generator Transducer Simulator for £19.00.


Injector resolution precision:

  • Current 0-20mA 0.001 0.1mA
  • Voltage 0-10V 0.001 0.1V
Boxed injector









Completed test setup.


Boltek LD-250 Relay Interface






The LD-250 Lighting Detector from Boltek has an internal output for a relay interface, the manufactures units are quite expensive, so I decided to make my own.

RLO-10 Boltek Relay Interface

Inside the LD-250 is a 14 way header which connects via ribbon cable to the RLO-10, off eBay I bought the 14 way ribbon cable and IDC cable mount socket for £5.00.

Opening the LD-250 the header JP1 is immediately obvious:














Using my multimeter, the header output pins linked to the front panel LED’s and the operating voltage was quickly found.


Using a spare strip of veroboard I mounted a magnetically shielded reed relay 5v, with flywheel diode across the coil, and the switched Normally Open reed output to a 2.54mm x 2 pitch connector, I also put veropins in the board so I can select which function I want the relay to operate on, should it be needed in the future.

The reed switch is used to switch 24v DC to an indicating LED and a a PLC input, the total load was measured at 21.49mA, well within the 500mA rating of the reed switch.

The module was placed in a small enclosure:enclosure








The ribbon cable was then plugged into JP1 inside the LD-250:













Switching on the Boltek performs a self test of the front LED’s and internal buzzer, as I have used the output from the ‘Close’ LED, the reed relay operated and the mast which was raised, automatically retracted.

All in all the project performs as expected and cost me £7 (enclosure was £2) saving me £58.95 on a factory unit.

Virgin Media FTTH coming to Chatteris

Virgin Media FTTH – Chatteris

Updated 9 Dec 17 – To map of Virgin Media Street Cabinets

virginAs part of Connecting Cambridgeshire Virgin Media and BT are rolling out super fast broadband.compareI 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).

Diagram showing how FTTH is just that.

I was delighted when I saw that the Virgin Media cable enabling works was scheduled for installation  via Roadworks.org, bringing upto 300Mb speeds to Chatteris, so I thought I’d start this blog.


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.

Timeline of my installation:
  • June 17,  Virgin Media (VM) started FTTH works in Chatteris.
  • 23 October 17, VM started trenching in Farriers Gate outside Glebelands school.
  • 24 October 17Letter pushed through the door from VM
  • 25 October 17, Trenching and Toby installed.
  • 26 October 17, Trench tarmaced and construction barriers removed.
  • 5 November 17, I buried 20mm conduit from Toby to house wall and included a draw cord.

The infrastructure work 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

Timelapse video of Virgin Media installing FTTH infrastructure.

The latest update on advance planning is: FEN 1-15 Dec

Details on how the Virgin Media infrastructure is installed (for developers but a great resource) is HERE (large file).

The system we are getting from Virgin uses RF over Glass, with the infrastructure being installed by John Henry Group. This comprises of a fibre optic cable laid in a trench which is blown through a microduct tube from the nearest cabinet to the home after your order is placed.

Microbore duct and coupler compared to a 5p coin




The image shows the two sort of microduct which are being installed, It looks like the plain green microduct is used from the street cabinet to each properties termination points in the pavement,  with the striped microduct being used to carry fibre from L3 cabinet to L4 cabinet or VHUB data to L3/L4 cabinets.

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.

Larger size microduct and coupling, (possibly for a multicore fibre, rather than a single fibre?).

Standards for reinstatement can be found HERE.

VM Marker tape
Marker tape

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.

VM L4 Cabinet
VMSD1i – 535 W x 985 H x 330 D Distribution Cabinet 1 per 48 Homes (when used as L4)1 per 512 Homes (When used as L3) – Cabinet found locked in the open position 5/11/17

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
Newly installed VMVH1 – 1800 W x 1700 H x 650 D Nodal Cabinet (Virtual Hub)1 per 3000 Homes Approx.

Inside VMVH1 supply pillar:-

VM Feeder Pillar
Permission asked of roadworkers to take pictures, cabinet unlocked and open 18 Nov 17

Within the distribution board above is a smart RCD from tii-technologies 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.

End of Line Termination Boxes

TOBY for use on footpaths, contains one microduct.

Highway installed termination box (contains more than one microduct).

Highway installed termination box (contains one microduct).

Highway installed termination box (contains one microduct).

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

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.

25m cassette of single mode fibre, pre-terminated, up to 500m in increments of 25m can be used.

This configuration will give data transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps, a basic outline of how it connects together is below –

VM Layout

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:
Project Lightning Chatteris Roll Out Map:      

The Pin map shows the position of street cabinets:

  • RED pins are Street Cabinets;
  • PURPLE pins are Main Node locations;
  • WHITE pins are work in progress.

Clicking on the pins will show the latest images I have.

Marion Way To Photograph 52.44532573448797,0.04649211186915636

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

Marian Way

Eastwood To Photograph 52.44674614533316,0.04998045042157173

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet


Eastwood To Photograph 52.44824921842216,0.05029016174376011

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet


New Road To Photograph 52.45731413104696,0.06130327004939318

VM Cabinet

New Road

New Road To Photograph 52.45742573048203,0.06275036372244358

VM Cabinet

New Road

Cricketers Way Cabinet 52.44875722580955,0.05703282658942044

VM Cabinet

Cricketers Way

Cricketers Way Cabinet 52.44843979371819,0.05873972782865167

VM Cabinet

Cricketers Way

Eastbourne Road Cabinet 52.44584375064751,0.04618296632543206

VM Cabinet

Eastbourne Road

Whitemill Road Cabinet 52.447006333601905,0.046714735217392445

VM Cabinet

Whitemill Road

Fairway To Photograph 52.44943883820207,0.042991829104721546

VM Cabinet


Westbourne Road Cabinet 52.45006387762218,0.041541403625160456

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

Westbourne Road

Westbourne Road Cabinet 52.44986065330227,0.04327309434302151

VM Cabinet

Westbourne Road

Haigh's Close Cabinet 52.4535684907657,0.042545890901237726

VM Cabinet

Haigh's Close

London Road Cabinet 52.45021753721562,0.04770914325490594

London Road

Eden Crecent Cabinet 52.45171801438014,0.04737057723104954

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

Eden Crescent

The Elms Cabinet 52.45336662346431,0.05824083695188165

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

The Elms

The Elms Cabinet 52.45384623557197,0.0606475118547678

The Elms

AF0304 Slade Way Cabinet 52.45833235687413,0.047755432315170765

VM Cabinet

Slade Way

AF0302 & AF0303 Slade Way Cabinet 52.4582424662961,0.04716802854090929

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

Slade Way

Southampton Place Cabinet 52.4482370855346,0.0455003441311419

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet

Southampton Place

Southampton Place Cabinet 52.44897189826159,0.045289790723472834

Southampton Place

Wood Street Cabinet 52.44892040455444,0.04923666128888726


Wood Street

Wenny Road Cabinet 52.449197489030865,0.054739213082939386

Wenny Road

Farriers Gate Cabinet 52.454876110793315,0.06032089004293084

Farriers Gate

St Peters Drive Cabinet 52.45625338600299, 0.053717982955276966

St Peters Drive

AF03 High Street Cabinet 52.45652937728379,0.04874849924817681

VM Cabinet


VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet AF03

High Street

Wesley Drive Cabinet 52.45801015448342,0.05575979361310601

Wesley Drive

Highway termination box

Eastwood Cabinet 52.44861879734661,0.050019866321235895


AF0305 Lindsells Walk Cabinet 52.4572340448707,0.049254787154495716

VM Cabinet

VM Cabinet AF0305

Lindsells Walk

Wenny Estate Cabinet 52.447770362742745,0.055896586272865534

Wenny Estate

Clare Street Cabinet 52.45310018990083,0.04034245619550347

Clare Street

Green Park Cabinet 52.45603028306109,0.06079901475459337

Green Park

New Road Cabinet 52.456626626320876,0.051002895925194025


New Road

AF0301 Ravencroft Cabinet 52.45917055214363,0.046117252204567194


New Road Cabinet 52.45672877843942,0.05324254045262933

New Road

Bridle Close Cabinet 52.45577262533811,0.058989173267036676

Bridle Close

Park Street To Photograph 52.45388010116374,0.049190414138138294

Park Street

The Hawthorns Cabinet 52.45679765437155,0.047277999110519886

The Hawthorns

Green Park Cabinet 52.456531241566196,0.06180484313517809

Green Park

Bridle Close Cabinet 52.45572649964174,0.05767252296209335

Work commenced 26 Oct 17 completed 3 Nov 17

Bridle Close

Newlands Road Cabinet 52.45853910450727,0.062362742610275745

Newlands Road

Wenny Road Cabinet 52.451324427259976,0.05182970780879259

Wenny Road

Linden Drive Cabinet 52.45215644739025,0.044802320189774036

Linden Drive

AF0307 Curlew Avenue Cabinet 52.458205335304854,0.05174257792532444

Curlew Avenue

Augustus Way Cabinet 52.458938883645615,0.054393208120018244

Augustus Way

Wenny Road Cabinet 52.451867121936964,0.05137105006724596

Wenny Road

Saddlers Way Cabinet 52.45471765332056,0.057400959776714444

Saddlers Way

York Road Cabinet 52.45081441893827,0.04429270047694445

York Road

New Road Cabinet 52.45654776472326,0.04891881952062249

New Road

Juniper Drive Cabinet 52.4532697758677,0.05541110644116998

Juniper Drive

AF0101 & AF0102 Doddington Road Cabinet 52.46805554397529,0.03911750391125679

Doddington Road

AF0103 Doddington Road Cabinet 52.465405812381725,0.04259088076651096

Doddington Road

AF0308 Mallard Close Cabinet 52.4582530897376,0.05069245118647814

Mallard Close


The Orchards Cabinet 52.457115549750924,0.057328236289322376

The Orchards

AF0110 Latham Way Cabinet 52.457632839896824,0.043042791076004505

Latham Way

Marritt Close Cabinet 52.45874631083253, 0.04325070418417454

Marritt Close

AF0111 Quaker Way Cabinet 52.45782779255462,0.04492976702749729

Quaker Way

AF0112 Ash Grove Cabinet 52.4576325845221,0.0467403419315815

Ash Grove

Horsegate Gardens Cabinet 52.455337829300376,0.044648218899965286

Horsegate Gardens

Horsegate Gardens Cabinet 52.45536398103069,0.04503445699810982

Horsegate Gardens

Tithe Road Cabinet 52.443571448810765,0.048371292650699615

Tithe Road

Tithe Road Cabinet 52.444176160818074,0.04846768453717232

Tithe Road

Tithe Road Cabinet 52.44340029275607,0.04709162749350071

Tithe Road

Treeway Cabinet 52.45411051930238,0.042314864695072174


Station Street Cabinet 52.45433935279353,0.047861672937870026

Station Street

Green Park Cabinet 52.45596454715728,0.06386079825460911

Green Park

Huntingdon Road Cabinet 52.4520640412153,0.04118833690881729

Huntingdon Road

Huntingdon Road Cabinet 52.4522078862328,0.04434261471033096

Huntingdon Road

Horsegate Gardens Cabinet 52.455552661218405,0.047440314665436745

Horsegate Gardens

AF020 Gull Way Cabinet 52.46061546495731,0.048162080347537994

Gull Way


Station Street Cabinet 52.453881684622154,0.04417095333337784

Station Street

AF0209 Drake Avenue Cabinet 52.460298922714486,0.0496611837297678

Drake Avenue

AF0104 Bridge Street Cabinet 52.461956071200554,0.04530527628958225

Bridge Street

AF0203 Lode Way Cabinet 52.4618248723383,0.04829992074519396

Lode Way

AF02 Lode Way Cabinet 52.46154868443245,0.04892755765467882

Lode Way

AF0204 Kingfisher Close Cabinet 52.46205739383792,0.05023517645895481

Kingfisher Close

AF0205 Lode Way Cabinet 52.461073573853504,0.049655819311738014

Lode Way

AF01 Angoods Lane Cabinet 52.46030219131336,0.04400172270834446

Angoods Lane

AF0208 Tern Gardens Cabinet 52.459815167410554,0.04806795157492161

Tern Gardens


AF0108 Angoods Lane Cabinet 52.45954014157026,0.04322249908000231

Angoods Lane

AF0106 Angoods Lane Cabinet 52.460512555781456, 0.04489619750529528

Angoods Lane

AF0107 Angoods Lane Cabinet 52.460576752749645,0.04488685168325901

Angoods lane

AF0202 Dock Road Cabinet 52.4618248723383,0.045861792750656605

Dock Road

AF0201 Bridge Street Cabinet 52.46119078155108,0.045134914107620716

Bridge Street

AF0207 Black Horse Lane Cabinet 52.46029356016901,0.045218062587082386


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

St Stephens Drive To Photograph 52.45916914763152,0.05403582472354174

St Stephen's Drive

AF0210 Gull Way Cabinet 52.45994218433571,0.04969332832843065

Gull Way

AF0211 Furrowfields Road Cabinet 52.4591189426775,0.04989990033209324

Furrowfields Road

AF0113 High Street Cabinet 52.45769979910717,0.04722867161035538

High Street

AF06 & AF0604 Station Street Cabinet 52.454221667146655,0.046456195414066315

Station Street







East Park Street Cabinet 52.45278326160457,0.05068335682153702

East Park Street

VMVH1 Nodal Cabinet Eastwood Main Cabinet 52.44843322921627,0.049964357167482376

VMVH1 – 1800 W x 1700 H x 650 D Nodal Cabinet (Virtual Hub)1 per 3000 homes.

I asked permission of the road workers before I took the picture, the cabinet was unlocked and open.

Cabinet in the locked open position 18 Nov 17


VMVH1 Nodal Cabinet Furrowfields Road Main Cabinet 52.45850483958044, 0.04997299511160236

Work Commenced 14 May 17

Smaller cabinet is for electrical metering.

Furrowfields Road

St Pauls Drive Cabinet 52.45786374914649,0.05437650717794895

Work commenced 28 Aug 17

St Pauls Drive

AF0313 St Pauls Drive Cabinet 52.45696809438717,0.054993415251374245

Work commenced 28 Aug 17

St Pauls Drive

Icons made by Smashicons from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY


Miles Laid34.254960
RoadStart DateFinish Date
Albert Way24 Jul 17
Angoods Lane05-Jun-1730-Jun-17
Anvil Close24-Aug-1707-Sep-17
Ash Grove9 Jun 17
29 Jul 17
Augustus Way04-Sep-1712-Sep-17
12 Oct 1726 Oct 17
Beckett Way1 Sept 17
8 Sept 17
Birch Avenue24-Oct-1713-Nov-17
Birch Close03-Nov-1716-Nov-17
Black Horse Lane08-Aug-1721-Aug-17
Blackmill Road26-Oct-1708-Nov-17
Blackthorn Close21-Nov-1729-Nov-17
Boadicea Court08-Aug-1716-Aug-17
Bridge Street28-Jun-1701-Aug-17
Briar Close09-Nov-1715-Nov-17
Bridle Close01-Sep-1714-Sep-17
Burnsfield Estate10-Oct-1716-Oct-17
Burnsfield Street02-Oct-1713-Oct-17
Chantry Close08-Sep-1715-Sep-17
Chapel Lane10-Jul-1721-Jul-17
Church Lane30-Oct-1713-Nov-17
Church Walk02-Oct-1710-Oct-17
Clare Street09-Oct-1723-Oct-17
Coxs Lane08-Jul-1712-Jul-17
Cricketers Way23-Oct-1706-Nov-17
Curlew Avenue07-Jul-1718-Jul-17
Cygnet Drive24-Jul-1704-Aug-17
Dock Road24-Jul-1725-Aug-17
Doddington Road31-Aug-1714-Sep-17
Drake Avenue30-Jun-1713-Jul-17
East Park Street14-Aug-1722-Aug-17
Eastbourne Close18-Oct-1724-Oct-17
East bourne Road10-Nov-1730-Nov-17
Eden Crescent09-Oct-1717-Oct-17
Elder Place17-Nov-1723-Nov-17
Farriers Gate04-Aug-1714-Aug-17
Fairview Avenue13-Dec-1729-Dec-17
Fairview Crecent28-Nov-1704-Dec-17
Fairview Drive27-Nov-1722-Dec-17
Fairview Gardens22-Nov-1728-Nov-17
Fairbairn Way10-Nov-1721-Nov-17
Fen View10-Nov-1716-Nov-17
Fenland Way24-Jul-1711-Aug-17
Furrowfields Road27-Jul-1710-Aug-17
Gibside Avenue17-Nov-1727-Nov-17
Gipson Close26-Jun-1730-Jun-17
Glebe Close23-Oct-1730-Oct-17
Green Park31-Aug-1713-Sep-17
Gull Way07-Jun-1704-Jul-17
Harold Heading Close13-Nov-1721-Nov-17
Haighs Close12-Oct-1726-Oct-17
Hazel Close13-Nov-1717-Nov-17
High Street21-Jul-1731-Jul-17
Hilda Clarke Close23-Oct-1727-Oct-17
Horsegate Gardens15-Sep-1705-Oct-17
Hunters Close11-Sep-1719-Sep-17
Huntingdon Road04-Sep-1706-Oct-17
James Gage Close14-Nov-1722-Nov-17
Juniper Drive31-Aug-1713-Sep-17
King Edward Road03-Aug-1709-Aug-17
Kingfisher Close30-Jun-1713-Jul-17
Larham Way22-Jun-1705-Jul-17
Linden Drive02-Oct-1720-Oct-17
Lindsells Walk07-Sep-1720-Sep-17
Lode Way06-Jul-1709-Aug-17
London Road05-Oct-1701-Nov-17
Mallard Close02-Oct-1716-Oct-17
Marian Way20-Nov-1708-Dec-17
Mayfly Close13-Nov-1724-Nov-17
Market Hill28-Jul-1707-Aug-17
Meadow Close01-Nov-1709-Nov-17
Millfield Close06-Nov-1714-Nov-17
New Road14-Jul-1710-Aug-17
Newlands Road25-Aug-1715-Sep-17
Old Auction Yard15-Aug-1721-Aug-17
Park Street03-Oct-1710-Oct-17
Plover Close03-Jul-1714-Jul-17
Pound Road12-Jul-1725-Jul-17
Quaker Way03-Jul-1714-Jul-17
Railway Lane24-Aug-1707-Sep-17
Reed Close28-Nov-1721-Nov-17
Saddlers Way29-Aug-1704-Sep-17
Slade Way28-Aug-1704-Sep-17
South Park Street26-Aug-1708-Sep-17
St Francis Drive11-Sep-1726-Sep-17
St James Close21-Aug-1730-Aug-17
St Martins Close13-Dec-1729-Dec-17
St Martins Road08-Sep-1712-Oct-17
St Pauls Drive18-Aug-1707-Sep-17
St Peters Drive28-Aug-1725-Sep-17
St Stephens Drive18-Aug-1701-Sep-17
Station Road11-Oct-1725-Oct-17
Station Street15-Aug-1705-Sep-17
Southampton Place13-Nov-1701-Dec-17
Teal Close17-Jul-1728-Jul-17
Tern Gardens
The Elms10-Nov-1714-Dec-17
The Hawthorns06-Sep-1719-Sep-17
The Shrubbery02-Nov-1715-Nov-17
The Orchards06-Sep-1726-Sep-17
Tithe Road08-Sep-1712-Oct-17
Tribune Close20-Oct-1702-Nov-17
Victoria Street18-Aug-1708-Sep-17
Wenny Road31-Aug-1725-Oct-17
Wesley Drive28-Aug-1711-Sep-17
West End Close24-Nov-1730-Nov-17
West Street20-Nov-1722-Dec-17
West Park Street29-Sep-1717-Oct-17
Westbourne Close07-Nov-1713-Nov-17
Westbourne Road10-Nov-1707-Dec-17
Whitemill Road07-Nov-1704-Dec-17
Willow Tree Close02-Oct-1706-Oct-17
Wimpole Street16-Oct-1730-Oct-17
Winsor Close20-Oct-1703-Nov-17
Wood Street01-Aug-1721-Aug-17
York Road03-Oct-1723-Oct-17

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Voltage Control Relay

Link back to Radio Mast Automation – HERE where the EASY RL-V23 unit can just be seen attached to the lid of the mast controller.

Voltage Unit
EASY Voltage Unit

The above module was from eBay and advertised as a ’12V Voltage Control /Delay Switch /OverVoltage /Under Voltage Protection Module’ for £4.92.

This unit is incredibly versatile, and I’ve included the operating instructions in the blog.

I have used this module to monitor the charging voltage of a battery, once the voltage has reached a pre-set value, an output will trigger to stop the charger.

voltage relay


Operating modes:
P-1: Timer ( 1-999 S / 1-999 Min)
P-2: Delay timer ( 1-999 S / 1-999 Min)
P-3: Voltage control relay ( control the load on/off)
P-4: Voltage control Timer- A (release first)
P-5: Voltage control Timer- B (close first)
P-6: Voltage range control relay
P-7: Voltage range control Timer
P-8: Set display off
Timing Range: 0-999 seconds or 0-999 minutes (0.1s-999s optional)
Voltmeter display range: DC 0-99.9 V
Voltage detection error: ± 0.1V
Operating Power: DC10~16V (5V,24V optional)
Relay parameters:
Coil Voltage: DC 12V (5V,24V optional)
A set of conversion (normally open and normally closed)
Contact load: 10A/277V AC or 10A/30V DC
Contact resistance: ≤ 100mΩ (1A 6VDC)
Mechanical durability: 10 millions
Electricity durability: > 100,000 (10A-250VAC)
Operating Temperature: -40 ~ 85℃
External signal input: (5~ 12V) or passive switch (9 levels delay time can be set)
Timer mode can set the relay contact close and release time, the implementation of a single timing loop
In voltage control mode, can preset upper and lower voltage values limits
Set display shut, the minimum current values are 6mA/12V (delay released)
The pre-set parameters can be saved after power off.
2 Operating modes:

Connect to power, LED digital tube displays words “E-A-Z-Y-t” in turn, system enter into the selection state, the initial mode selection is displayed as “P-0”, press the “SET” button to select “P-1~P-8” mode, press “ENTER” to enter the corresponding mode.while any mode running, press the “ENTER” button for 3 seconds, system will return to the mode selection state.

Press the “SET” and “ENTER” button to connect the power, the controller will be restored to factory settings.

2.1 Timer mode (P-1)

Press the “SET” button to select “P-1”, controller system will enter into the timer mode.

“P-1”/ “P-2”: 1-999 seconds /minute can be set.

Cyclic run:

In the timer mode, the user can set the relay’s close time T1 and the release time T2,such as setting T1 for 3 seconds, T2 for 7 seconds, the relay will be closed for three seconds then release for 7 seconds, cyclic run.

User also can set cyclic times.

When you have set the values of the T1 and T2 , the system saved the settings, the next time system will be loaded automatically T1 time to wait running.


If you set T1 with a specified time, set T2 (release time) with 0, the relay will stop after the timer run T1 time, no longer running, it can be used as a timer, with running time end, the normally open contact of relay release, then press the “ENTER” button, the system re-start the timer for T1 time.

In timer state, you can use external switch or pulse signal input Interface on controller to start the timer (trigger).

Timer setting steps:
1) For the first time of set , select “P-1” time relay mode, LED digital tube display” 000 “;

2) Press the “SET” button, system will enter into the T1 time values settings first, the digital LED that wait for set flashing with 1Hz frequency, press “ENTER” to select the number of values, press the “SET” button for three times to enter the T2 time values settings, and cyclic times, press the “SET” button to exit the set state, the system waits to press “ENTER” button to start running.
3) In the time setting state ,time values’ unit can be switched to minutes unit or second unit, press the “SET” button to enter the time set by state (set LED digital tube flashing) ,at this time Press the “SET” button for 3 seconds to release ,the LED digital tube will light the right decimal points, it means that timing values with minutes unit, if the decimal point dose not light, it means that timing values with seconds unit.
4) After setting is completed, press the “SET” button to exit the setting state, press “ENTER” to start timing, if timing values is set with second unit, seconds values will display with countdown form. If timing values is set with minute unit, the right decimal point flashing with 1Hz frequency, means the countdown is running. While timer is running, the normally open contact of relay connected, the normally closed contact of relay disconnect, press the “ENTER” to halt run, press the “ENTER” for three seconds to return mode selection state “P-0”.
2.2 Delay timer (P-2)

The Setting method of “P- 2” is the same as “P- 1”, in the mode of “P-2”, the relay will first execute release of T1 time then closed with T2 time.

2.3 Voltage control relay mode (P-3)

In mode selection state(“P-0”), press the “SET” button to select “P-3”, then press the “ENTER” to enter the voltage comparison control mode, the controller will detect voltage from “VOL” Interface and display values (DC 0-99.9V),it also can be used as a DC voltmeter ,the default initial run state relay contact is closed (normally closed contact is disconnected, normally open switch on), press the “SET “button to set the three bit values, the LED digital tube is set to flashing with1Hz frequency, first to be set upper limit voltage values , press the “SET” button three times, lower limit values of voltage to be set,press the “ENTER” button to increase the number of values, the lower limit voltage can not exceeds the upper limit, press the “SET” button to make digital tube is no longer flashing, this time system enter into voltage control mode , the controller detects DC voltage from external input Interface , when voltage detection exceed the upper limit of the pre-set, the relay close (normally open contact connect ,normally closed disconnect), until the voltage drops below the lower limit pre-set, the relay will release (normally closed contact connect , normally open contact disconnect).

In voltage control condition, press the “SET” button for three seconds then release the button, the contact of relay state will be reversed. such as: the relay close when detect voltage below the lower limit voltage.

If the pre-set voltage upper and lower limits set to the same, such as 12.0V, when controller detect volts at 12.0 fluctuations may cause the relay contact frequent action, we recommend to set the voltage to maintain the difference between the upper and lower limits.

Note: The detection voltage terminal must connected reliable, have not loose wiring around the circuit board insulation ,may lead to the induced voltage detection values is not accurate.

2.4 Voltage control Timer mode (P-4 / P-5)

“P-4” or “P-5” mode is composed of “P-1” and “P-3” or “P-2” and “P-3”.When the system switched to “P-4” from “P-1”or“P-2”,it will enter the voltage control timer mode, the controller will detect voltage from “VOL” Interface ,when detect voltage exceed the upper limit of the pre-set voltage, the timer will start , until the volts drops below the lower limit pre-set , the timer stop.

If you set time in “P-1” mode previous, then enter the “P-4” mode , the relay will close with timer first ,then release, If you set time in “P-2” mode previous, then enter the “P-4” mode ,the relay release with timing then closed.

The difference between “P-4” and “P-5” is the relay’s Initial state, “P-4” mode relay release first, but “P-5” mode relay close first.

Press the button of “SET” last for 3 seconds, the timer will start in the case of the voltage is below the lower limit. the setting method of limit pre-set voltage, please refer to section 2.3.

For example:

(1) In P-2 mode , set T1 005, T2 000, then enter P-4 mode , voltage detection exceed the upper limit of the pre-set the relay will close after 5 seconds, voltage drops below the lower limit pre-set the relay release Immediately.
(2) In P-1 mode , set T1 005, T2 000, then enter P-5 mode, voltage below the lower limit pre-set the relay close immediately, voltage detection exceed the upper limit of the pre-set the relay will release after delay 5 seconds.
Voltage control logic can be reversed with press SET key for 3 seconds.

2.5 Voltage range control relay (P-6)

If the voltage controller detects exceed the upper limit of the pre-set voltage, or the voltage drops below the lower limit pre-set voltage, the relay will close, otherwise the relay release between upper limit and lower limit range. Press the button of “SET” last for 3 seconds, the relay reversed. The relay will close between upper limit and lower limit.

2.6 Voltage range control Timer (P-7)

If the voltage controller detects exceed the upper limit of the pre-set voltage, or the voltage drops below the lower limit pre-set voltage, the relay will run follow time relay mode that has been set in P-1 or P-1 mode previous.

When voltage values between the upper limit and lower limit range, press SET key for 3 seconds, relay reversed between close and release (ON/OFF).

For example:

In P-1 mode, set T1 005, T2 000, then enter P-7 mode, set relay close between upper limit and lower limit range. When voltage below lower limit or exceed upper limit, the relay will release after 5 seconds.

2.7 Set display shut (P-8)
The display shows “d-0” means keep bright, you can press the button of “SET” set 0-9 minutes for display shut.

graphGraph showing operation of raise and lower including the automatic charging cycle.

Mast and Wire Rope protection & lubrication system

Mast and Wire Rope protection & lubrication system

I wanted a quick and easy way of applying protective lubricant to the wire rope which raises and lowers my mast, my first effort involved a paint brush and a tin of grease and I thought then that their must be a better method, both in terms of speed and effective application.

The option I chose was to use a spray wire rope and chain lube in conjuction with a home brew applicator.


The FORCE spray lube costs £6.25 for 400ml from eBay, the details of product are:

  • A long lasting highly tenacious spray grease which reduces wear and increases chain life.
  • High grip, anti fling properties provide long lasting, high depth lubrication and protection.
  • Penetrates inner rollers and resists the highest shock loads.
  • Ideal for chains, cables, wire ropes, fork lift chains, open gears and tail lift assemblies.
  • Reistant to weather and salt, provides high resistance to wash off.
  • ‘O’ Ring Safe unlike other greases!


  1. 1 off 10mm copper pipe 150mm in length
  2. 1 off 15mm copper pipe 135mm in length
  3. 1 off 4mm copper pipe 60mm in length
  4. 1 off 12mm panel grommet


The 10mm pipe had a 5mm slot cut down the complete length to allow the pipe to fit over the wire rope, at the base of the 10mm pipe I ‘flared’ this to 14mm.

The 15mm pipe was cut at one end with a roller type pipe cutter (pipe slice) and this formed a nice curved lip, at the other end I used a hacksaw, this pipe also had a 5mm slot cut down its length, for the cutting of the slots I used a dremel with a mini abrasive disc.

As the spray gease doesn’t come with extension tubes, I decided to use 4mm copper pipe (the 2mm inside pipe bore is perfect to slide over the spray cap nozzle), this was soldered half way up the 15mm pipe, this pipe enters directly opposite the cut slot. To act as a ‘key-way’ it protudes into the pipe by 1mm.

A 12mm panel grommet is cut to fit inside the 10mm pipe.


The 10mm pipe is slid over the cable with the flared section at the bottom:

10mm pipe

The grommet is installed at the top:

cut grommet ready to fit in pipe

grommet in 10mm pipe

The 15mm pipe is now slid over the cable above the 10mm pipe and rotated so the grease inlet is inline with the slot in the 10mm pipe:

4mm inletNoting the alignment, the 10mm pipe is pushed inside the 15mm pipe, the 4mm pipe protuding inside the 15mm pipe ensures the 10mm pipe can only fully slide in if the slot aligns, The lip on the 15mm pipe holds the grommet in place:

grommetThe finished product works quite well and gives an even coating to the wire rope, the length of the 4mm pipe was to allow the spray can to rest on a bracket, so I simply raise the mast and hold the spray button down 🙂


Mast Lubrication

For the mast lubrication I use Lithium Grease, this is easy to apply from the spray can and is designed for metal to metal contact, a typical lubrication application for my mast with a rising section of 5.4m is 200ml.

The Hazard Data sheet for WD40LG White Lithium Grease.

Radio Mast Automation – Part 5: Control Modification

Since my last blog on Mast Automation when I thought I’d finished the project, I have made some changes to my weather station which means I no longer have an output to the mast controller, this output used to trigger the mast to lower when the wind speed hits 30 mph.

I decided to update the discontinued version of my Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) with a Rievtech PR-18DC-DA-R from Audon Ltd, this unit is a direct replacement for my old PLC and has 12 Inputs and 6 relay Outputs.

Rievtech PLC

The PLC accepts a number of input types, in my application I’m simply switching a voltage state with the exception of one of the inputs which is configured as an Analogue input, to which I have connected my mast mounted Anemometer as a means to trigger mast lowering during unsafe wind conditions.


Adafruit 1733



  • Height (base to center): 105mm / 4.1″
  • Center out to Cup: 102mm / 4″
  • Arm Length: 70mm / 2.8″
  • Weight: 111.8g

Wire Dimensions:

  • Wire Length: 99cm / 39″
  • Plug Length: 30mm / 1.2″
  • Diameter (thickness): 4.8mm / 0.2″


  • Output: 0.4V to 2V
  • Testing Range: 0.5m/s to 50m/s (111.8 mph)
  • Start wind speed: 0.2 m/s
  • Resolution: 0.1m/s
  • Accuracy: Worst case 1 meter/s
  • Max Wind Speed: 70m/s (156.5 mph)
  • Connector details: Pin 1 – Power (brown wire), Pin 2 – Ground (black wire), Pin 3 – Signal (blue wire), Pin 4 not connected

I tested the output  with help from my better half by driving at steady speed and monitoring the output from the anemometer:

  • 0 mph = 0.40  mV
  • 25 mph = 0.75 – 79 mV
  • 30 mph = 80 mV
  • 31 mph = 81 – 88 mV
Anemometer mounted on 2m/70cm H/V relay switch box

I mounted the anemometer to the top of my mast to get a representative wind speed, the next job was to strip out the old PLC from the control cabinet.

Starting mods, (hand held winch controller on top of cabinet)

I needed to make several changes from the original design in order to free up one of the PLC’s inputs, also out of the 16 Inputs only the first 6 allow analogue inputs, so some moving of inputs was needed along with some minor works to the LED voltages and override/luffing switch.

Completed Cabinet

All went back together quite nicely but an intermittent problem remained after the PLC replacement in that when the mast completed the mast raise cycle, the motor would immediately reverse and the mast would lower.

Hooking up the laptop to to the PLC, I selected ‘live monitoring’, this displayed the input and output condition, this showed that after operating the ‘raise’ toggle switch (centre bias On – Off – On centre off), the ‘lower’ switch input also went and remained high. This output to the PLC caused the motor to immediately  change direction and lower the moment the mast raised sensor was triggered.

To reduce the chance of a repeat problem occurring, I modified the replacement DPDT switch wiring so that both poles need to switch in order for a signal to pass.

switch wiring

Prior to starting the upgrade works I had the programmed PLC on the bench and I thoroughly tested all control permutations by simulation using the software from Audon Ltd to ensure correct operation.

PLC Modified block diagram (Program File for use with xLogicsoft)

As you can see, the logic has grown with the project, I’m sure this could be significantly simplified, however, it works for me.

Mast Control Logic

Pressing the Emergency Stop button will inhibit any operation and reset any timers which are running.

Raising the Mast

Conditions –

  • E Stop not pressed. (Input 1004)
  • Top Securing mast pin IN. (Input 1008)
  • Mast in the lowered position. (Input 1006)

Trigger –          Switch input momentary high. (Input 1003)

Action –

  • Lower switch inhibited.
  • Switch input via wiping relay with a 1 second ON timer to ensure momentary trigger to the next stage.
  • 36 second up timer start to operate Up relay (fail mechanism in case the ‘raised’ sensor fails).
  • Up relay closes to energize motor drive. (Q002)
  • After expiry of Up timer or on activation of the Up sensor, Up relay opens.
  • Mast raised output relay energizes. (Q003)

Lowering the Mast

Conditions –

  • E Stop not pressed. (Input 1004)
  • Top Securing mast pin IN. (Input 1008)
  • Mast in the raised position. (Input 100C)

Trigger –          Switch input momentary high. (Input 1005)

Action –

  • Raise switch inhibited.
  •  Switch input via wiping relay with a 1 second ON timer to ensure.momentary trigger to the next stage.
  • 39 second down timer starts to operate Down relay (fail mechanism in case the ‘lowered’ sensor fails).
  • Down relay closes to energize motor drive. (Q001)
  • After expiry of Down timer or on activation of the Down sensor, run on timer operates for 0.15 seconds to take slack off winch cable.
  •  After expiry of run-on timer, Down relay opens.
  • Mast lowered output relay energizes. (Q004)

Wind Speed Triggered Auto Lower

Conditions –

  • E Stop not pressed. (Input 1004)
  • Top Securing mast pin IN. (Input 1008)
  • Mast in the raised position. (Input 100C)

Trigger –           Wind measured via Anemometer at 28 mph for 15 seconds. (Input A1001)

Action –

  • 0.4 – 2v Anemometer to Analogue Threshold Trigger output set go high at 80 mV and off at 76mV, these values equate to ~28 mph and ~24 mph respectively.
  •  ‘On Delay’ timer from analogue threshold trigger set for a sustained output of 15 seconds duration before the next stage is enabled in order to reject gusts.
  •  ‘Off Delay’ timer set to 10 minutes, if no input from the ‘On Delay’,  ‘Off Delay’ resets.
  • Whilst the ‘Off Delay’ timer is running, the WX Amber LED is lit. (Q005)
  • Output from ‘Off Delay’ to wiping relay timer set to 1 second to ensure a momentary output to the next stage.
  • 39 second down timer starts to operate Down relay (fail mechanism in case ‘lowered’ sensor fails).
  • Down relay closes to energize motor drive. (Q001)
  • After expiry of Down timer or on activation of the Down sensor, run on timer operates for 0.15 seconds to take slack off winch cable.
  •  After expiry of run-on timer, Down relay opens.
  • Mast lowered output relay energizes. (Q004)

Battery Charging Process

The winch has 3000lb capacity from Winch-It and is powered by a 12v car battery with a capacity of 45Ah – 360cca.

Normal Operation –    4.5w solar panel connected to the battery via CMP Solar Charge Controller.

Automatic Operation –

Trigger –       After 4 operations of the motors (raise & lower twice) or Weekly – Sunday 01.00

Action –

  • Multi-pole relay energizes after a 2 second delay via Q006, this:
  • Disconnects the solar panel.
  • Applies mains to a 4A output battery charger (charger sized for Ah of battery).
  • Connects the battery charger output to the battery.

Charging ceases when:

  • Battery terminal voltage reaches 14.14v (Over-voltage detection module to Input 100A).
  • 8-hour battery run timer expires.

Manual Operation –

Charging Start – Push button in control cabinet (Input 100B)

Charging Stop – Cursor key on PLC (C3)

Note –

If the battery charging cycle has started and the motor (either up or down) is operated, charging will cease and resume after a delay of 2 seconds after the motor has stopped.

Luffing the Mast

Conditions –

  • E Stop not pressed. (Input 1004)
  • Top Securing mast pin Out. (Input 1008)
  • Bottom Securing mast pin In (Input 1002)
  • Mast in the lowered position. (Input 1006)
  • Luffing switch set to On (Input 1007)

Trigger –           Momentary switch (raise or lower) (Inputs 1003 or 1005)

Action –            Operating the Luffing switch supplies power to the wireless receiver and manual switch which came with the Winch-It kit via a relay , the supply for this is taken from the Luffing/Override indicator LED, (the Luffing switch is a Double Pole Double Throw On – Off – On, the LED is fed from one side of the switch).

A further change to the control is to from latching to momentary switch operation allowing the motor to be ‘inched’ via the wireless handset or panel switches in the control cabinet.

Using the handset allows the mast to be walked down whilst lowering or the reverse when reinstating the mast to the vertical.


Operating the Override switch bypass all limit switches and enables momentary manual control.

Amber LED indicating high wind has triggered lowering the mast and inhibiting it from raising whilst lit.

UK Weather Network & Meteobridge Pro

Chatteris Weather has been publishing weather data to UK Weather Network (UKWX) for a number of years when Martin from UKWX Admin mailed to let me know my data was no longer being shown.

Originaly Weather Display was configured to send data to UKWX and during the changeover to Meteobridge Pro this got missed, fortunatly in Martins mail alerting me to the problem was a link on how to configure Meteobridge.

MB instructions

I followed the above steps but couln’t get it to work, Martin kindly gave me the details of Bob Montgomery owner of Bishop Sutton Weather Station who also uses a Meteobridge, and he was very willing to offer advice in order to help me get the data created in a format which UKWX can injest.

This is what I learned with help from Bob:

  1. Open MB_stickertags-template.txt
  2. Copy the contents of the text file and past it into Notepad (I use Notepad ++)
  3. Save this file as MB_stickertags-template.txt
  4. Upload this file to your server, for ease I placed it in the root directory
  5. Set the file permission to 666
  6. In Notepad create a blank file and save it as MB_stickertags.txt
  7. Upload this file to your server, for ease I placed it in the root directory
  8. Set the file permission to 604
  9. Open Meteobridge Pro and select the Services tab
  10. Create an FTP and select periodical upload
  11. Enter your site details and update frequency as per the example below  (don’t forget to use yoursite) and press SAVE
  12. .Press TEST
  13. Using your browser enter www.yoursite/MB_stickertags.txt and you should be able to see your data
  14. Using the UKWX Contact Form, let admin know of your details
Example MB
Example MB Pro Services Setup




All done and time for a coffee!

Weather Station for WordPress added

Weather Station LogoAdded Weather Station for WordPress to my blog pages, the application needs the following to work:

  • PHP 5.4 or greater;
  • cURL extension;
  • JSON extension;
  • Internationalization support.

My native setup 4.6 provided by GoDaddy had 3 out of the 4, with Internationalization support missing, and thefore the app would not run.

Talking to GoDaddy techincial support, this was resolved very easily.

  1. Use cPanel to access your site.
  2. Click on ‘Select PHP version’.PHP page
  3. Click on the ‘PHP Version’ drop down box and select 5.6 and click ‘Set as current’, by default ‘inil’ is checked.
  4. Click ‘Save’ and all is done.

php version


General information and status updates.

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