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Messages - Kevin Wood

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General Discussion Area / Re: Internet bulb failure
« on: 27 February 2007, 22:15:39 »
Weird goings on indeed!

Was it a low energy bulb? Guess they have the potential to cause interference, especially in some weird failure mode but other than that I struggle to see how they could be connected.

If the phone line is still bad try looking for the master socket (phone socket with a horizontal split across the middle). Undo the two screws and remove the lower half of the socket and move it to one side being careful not to dislodge the wires connected to it. You will see another phone socket recessed into which the bottom half normally plugs. Plug your PC / phone into here and see if it's still noisy.

What you have just tried is to disconnect all the extension wiring in your house and connect directly to the incoming line. If that improves matters you have a problem somewhere in the building. Could be dodgy wiring or a duff phone connected to an extension somewhere.

Are you on broadband or dial-up?


General Discussion Area / Re: Dodgy petrol?
« on: 02 March 2007, 19:22:17 »
It's still hard to believe that something that simply causes the Lambda sensor to misread is causing cars to run so badly.

In my case it did what I would expect - trouble codes on the Lambda sensors but carried on running OK. Why are so many people having running problems though?

Unless the normal symptoms of running in limp home mode are being hyped up beyond belief.


General Discussion Area / Re: Dodgy petrol?
« on: 02 March 2007, 17:29:18 »
Turns out my parents were picking up a new Corsa today from a small family run VX dealer, Spratleys in Mortimer near Aldermaston. They mentioned my fault and the advice was to fill with decent fuel, give it a bit of a spanking to clear the Lambda sensors as long as it's not running poorly and then get the codes reset. Popped round there this afternoon and 20.45 inc. VAT for a Tech 2 session to clear the codes.

Hopefully that's the end of it. They did say if it returns it's probably failure of the Lambda sensors. They certainly weren't as eager to dish out huge bills as the large main dealer I went to yesterday.


General Discussion Area / Re: Dodgy petrol?
« on: 02 March 2007, 09:51:32 »
I understood that the problem with silicone sealant was not the stuff itself but the gases given off during curing (Acetic acid IIRC?). It's supposed to be pretty inert once cured but if said gases get into the induction system they allegedly cause problems with Lambda sensors.

My other thought is, I wonder what creative excuse they are going to come up with as acceptance of liability is not going to happen!

Interestingly Tesco have put a statement on their web site:
We appreciate the inconvenience this is causing some customers and can assure them that if a problem with our fuel is confirmed we will do the right thing and act quickly to put it right.

Put their fuel right or their customers' cars right? I wonder...

Nothing on Morrisons site (where my fuel came from) but I got some satisfaction in watching their share price lose a few points yesterday.

They need to make up a story pretty damn quick. They must have an analysis of what was in that fuel by now. They could have run it up on a couple of test engines in a dyno cell and logged exactly what the failure mode was.

I guess they know full well and have done for some time (maybe even since before the hysteria picked up) but the lawyers are now debating over what they can admit to.


General Discussion Area / Re: Dodgy petrol?
« on: 01 March 2007, 23:28:38 »
Sounds a good diagnosis Mark, what I'm wondering about is how many "dodgy" garages are going to capitalise on this situation and fit parts that are not required in an effort to bump up the repair bill


And I've seen reports now that fuel filters should be changed in addition to O2's, draining fuel tanks, etc.
Popped into a main dealer today to get a key cut and there was much fleecing going on!


General Discussion Area / Re: Dodgy petrol?
« on: 01 March 2007, 16:07:48 »
I think you're right on both counts.

Surely there aren't cars that have such wide authority on the EGO correction that it would cause them to stop running before giving up and going into limp home? There are reports of cars cutting out in the fast lane to protect their engines. Surely that's a bit of a drastic strategy to program into a management system?

I suspect that any emissions related event results in automatic changes of the O2 sensor at main dealers for risk of someone suddenly discovering a load of EU 3/4 compliant cars in the field that don't meet the required emissions standards.

Still, someone's going to make a killing supplying all the new Lambda sensors. Cue the conspiracy theorists. Already seen one newspaper article blaming terrorists!


General Discussion Area / Re: Must Have's from ALDI
« on: 26 February 2007, 21:16:29 »
Can't argue with the physics. Something doesn't add up. 1.5kw will be the motor input power as well, so it will have under 2HP output due to inefficiencies in the motor.


As others have said, I'd suspect an old fuse that was a bit weak anyway. Fuses will normally tolerate a massive overload for a short period of time as the fuse wire has to get hot enough to burn out before the current is interrupted. A big motor will take a large amount of current (way more than the 13 amp plug rating) for a very short period of time during startup.

It's usually circuit breakers that trip on high inrush currents as they are quicker acting in general.

Freezers and the like will only take a few hundred watts whilst running so the loading from these is not significant, but again they take large surges when first starting. On the whole you'd be unlucky if the freezer chose to start at exactly the same time as the compressor so I don't see sharing the circuit with a few freezers as being a problem.

It's got to be worth re-wiring the fuse and trying again. Try not to clamp the fuse wire too tightly in the holder as this could weaken it around the screws.

I wouldn't upgrade the fuse rating. It will be a 15 amp for a reason, probably to protect the cable between house and garage so unless you can confirm this is rated for more, leave the fuse as is.

You can get slow acting circuit breakers which are designed to withstand high inrush currents and you should be able to get one that plugs into your consumer unit in place of the fuse. I'd expect a fuse in good condition to cope, however.

If you still have problems, try running the compressor through a long extension lead (unwind it from the reel if it gets hot in use). This will give a little resistance and may reduce the inrush current sufficiently.


General Discussion Area / Re: I want a cheap laptop
« on: 28 February 2007, 15:28:27 »
Out of interest, what appear to be the minimum CPU requirements for a Cheapo Tech2?


General Discussion Area / Re: Everyones nightmare....
« on: 28 February 2007, 14:16:47 »
Last time I bought Waxoyl you could get either the thin clear stuff for interior areas and the black thicker stuff for underneath.


General Discussion Area / Re: Everyones nightmare....
« on: 28 February 2007, 11:36:48 »
A colleague of mine used to have a Fiat Strada 130TC. Every time it had been a hot day you'd see 4 big puddles of waxoyl under it in the car park where it had dripped out of the sill drain holes. Don't blame him, I suppose.

I have the waxoyl pump / sprayer complete with pipe with nail in if anyone fancies a go. Best to wait until summer IMO.


General Discussion Area / Re: A tale of caution in the digital age
« on: 27 February 2007, 22:22:52 »
An ex-colleague of mine used to live directly under the Hannington TV transmitter. About 6 months after he moved in he decided to find out why his video hadn't worked since. He found neither the TV nor the video had been connected to an aerial or each other. The tv was working quite happily with no aerial whatsoever.

I'm not sure if he successfully procreated after living in that sort of field strength but it puts the hysteria about mobile phone masts into perspective!


General Discussion Area / Re: A tale of caution in the digital age
« on: 27 February 2007, 20:57:36 »
An Engineer is someone who takes the wild flights of fancy of the theoretical research scientist, and then actually makes it work, and , with any luck, do something useful.

Couldn't agree more. More and more stuff that was done by electron herding is going into software now too, and the principles are largely the same. Subsitiute breadboard for keyboard.

It does get on my goat when people phone "engineers" to fix their washing machine though.


General Discussion Area / Re: A tale of caution in the digital age
« on: 27 February 2007, 16:07:42 »
You mean a TV repair man/technician..

At least they could fault find down to component level. Valves were expensive enough that you didn't just replace all the electronics in the box and hope for the best.

Same with cars. How many "mechanics" know how to change the seals on a brake caliper these days?

I need time and a lot of brain power to digest this!

I think he's saying that, despite what the muppet said, you've got bags of signal and don't need too high a gain antenna for want of overloading the input on your box!

I'd say still get something with plenty of gain but make it a Group A. With gain comes directivity, meaning it'll be less sensitive to reflections and signals arriving from other transmitters. As he says you can always add attenuation if you need to bring the level down.


General Discussion Area / Re: A tale of caution in the digital age
« on: 27 February 2007, 10:31:01 »
These companies don't employ proper professionals anymore, just a spotty youth

Don't get me started..

You need a "digital aerial, mate". What utter cobblers they come out with!

Bit like main dealers, really. Pay the earth to get the job done by a complete gibbon. At least the "advice" was free in this case.


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