The initial purpose of this post was to raise awareness of a UK 13 Amp Mains Extension Cable Safety Issue. I came across it by chance when I landed on the PlugSafe site. I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing their information below and enhancing their picture. Full credit to PlugSafe for making us all aware.
This post describes how to make a condensation free bathroom mirror using an automatic mirror heater. See the one I made in 2007 here. Look carefully and you will notice the condensation around the edge but not in the central heated area.
Without a heater it would be impossible to use the mirror without first wiping it with a towel. Cold mirrors usually mist over again after wiping.
With an active mirror heater it’s possible to get straight out of a bath or shower and use the mirror immediately.
We are all trying to reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions by choosing modern alternatives to incandescent lamps. Here are some lighting charts to help you select the best lamp for your situation. Since the decline of incandescent lamps there have been many alternatives made available based on fluorescent tubes bent in many ways to condense a long tube into a confined space.
I had my first Philips SL prismatic Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) lamps soon after they came on the general market back in the 1980’s. I only recently sent my last one to recycling after deciding that even my shed could do better than have one of those long time warm-up devices.
In the early days of low energy lighting there was nothing better than the good old fluorescent tube, usually confined to kitchens and garages in the British house. I still had two twin fluorescents in my kitchen until 2015. If you want the room lit without shadows that’s the way to do it. After much searching in 2003 I found some streamlined fluorescents fit for the modern era to replace my old fluorescent ‘chunky boxes’. Unfortunately they went off the market and I struggled to find a decent looking replacement that didn’t cost a fortune. There were some problems with the ones I used. They had a self destruct mechanism built-in. The plastic fixings for holding the wires in place on the frame all deteriorated under the ultraviolet light given out by fluorescent tubes. I replaced them with zip ties but they suffered from the same problem.
To get back to the point of this article, which is to advise on the brightness of replacement lamps, I have chosen to publish a chart by which seems to relate to the UK/European market and another by which relates to the American market and appears to suggest their lamps emit more light than European lamps, e.g. UK/European 100W ≅ 1300 lumens, American 100W ≅ 1600 lumens (see A USA Lighting Chart). Continue reading “Lighting Charts – Which Lamp Do I Need?”
This article advises how I have replaced a Mira Shower thermal switch in a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower on several occasions.
Originally I installed a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower as part of a new bathroom and had it tested and certified by a qualified electrician on 1st May 2007. I was very pleased with it and it worked well for three years until June 2010 when it developed a fault.
I found that in the middle of taking a shower the water would go cold for a few seconds and then get warm again. On the first few occasions I wondered if cold water being drawn off by other taps and appliances was lowering the water pressure to the shower and so causing it to operate incorrectly (although the low pressure light was not illuminating). As the days went by the problem got worse and my wife ended up washing shampoo off with cold water. I knew then that I would be in bad books until it was fixed.
I had to determine if this fault could be fixed or if I would have to replace the entire shower unit. For this I needed to take a look inside the shower unit.
In the northern hemisphere solar panel orientation is unsuitable because they mainly point south. This enables them to generate the most electricity when the sun is highest in the sky and is shining straight down (or as near to that as possible) on the surface of tilted panels. This approach does allow the panels to generate the greatest possible amount of electricity, but not at the best time of day. This is because there are problems connecting intermittent sources of electricity to the grid. It seems midday electricity isn’t required so much as afternoon electricity. (I’m not sure what is required in the morning.)
More Info on Northern Hemisphere Solar Panel Orientation
Find out more detail about northern hemisphere solar panels pointing the wrong way in this article from The Telegraph.
This post is about the Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900 which is an excellent pump for inflating anything with a Schrader valve, (e.g. car tyres, bicycle tyres, etc.) or balls, airbeds, etc. (3 attachments are supplied). It has to be powered by a 12 volt (30 amp peak) supply such as a car battery (not provided). So to use it with a car the bonnet must be opened and the battery cover removed to expose the battery terminals for connection. I don’t think it would be safe to connect it to a cigar lighter socket. It does come with an inline 30 amp fuse.
A few weeks ago I passed a friend in the street who was inflating his car tyres on his driveway with a Ring Automotive Air Compressor RAC900. He was very eager to show me his new tyre pump which was powered from his car battery. He explained how it had the following advantages over other tyre pumps:
It inflated tyres very quickly.
It had a built-in pressure gauge.
It was very well-engineered.
It came with a long yellow curly plastic pipe to reach all tyres on a car.
It was very quiet compared to other 12 volt air compressors I have heard.
I bought this Casio Databank Watch (ABOVE or LEFT) in 1995 and although it has had several batteries and replacement straps it has lasted 18 years until this week when I noticed the digits had all gone off.
A week before I noticed it had reset to a date in 1990. I don’t know why. I altered the date and time to correct it then, but now when I take out the battery and put it back the illuminating light stays on and some peculiar digits display or I get no digits.
There is an AC (All Clear) button inside but operating it has little effect. This is something I have noticed before when I have changed the battery but I have usually got it to reset. This time it is proving really awkward and I feel it is time to change it for a new one.
This is the second model I had. The first had a real bulb in it to light it up. and was bought right back in the 1970’s and lasted until I got the second model. The second model had an electroluminescent back-light that glowed green.
When they first came out it was suggested they might not last for many years but in fact it has lasted all this time and outlasted the electronics of the watch.
I have now bought a replacement Casio Databank Watch (ABOVE or LEFT). This is available from: Timeshop4You.
These watches are available in slightly different models and from other shops. See Google’s list here.
So far I am happy with it although it has an amber coloured LED back-light. This emanates from the bottom left corner. It’s reminiscent of the old pea grain filament bulb that I had in my very first Databank watch.
The electroluminescent type in the second model gave a very even green glow which I preferred
Tin Whiskers are a crystalline growth made of the element tin.
Tin whiskers often form on lead free solder used to fix components to circuit boards since lead was banned.
They are in the form of a very thin straight hair with one end attached to the tin from which they are formed. In my case they have grown on a piece of tin plated steel used to screen electronic components which are part of a central heating wireless thermostat radio receiver. This receiver has developed an intermittent problem and doesn’t switch on my central heating when it should. I suspect there is an electrical fault which may be caused by a tin whisker growing inside the component screening box until it touched some electrical connection.
Since I have not completely dismantled the item to find out for sure I don’t know if that is correct but as you can see from the pictures the Tin Whiskers that I have found on the outside of the screening box (see featured image) are up to 2mm long. Although I already knew about Tin Whiskers these are the first I have seen in 50 years of handling electrical or electronic devices. I have used a USB connected microscope to photograph them but I have had a lot of difficulty. They are so thin they are hardly visible with a watchmakers eyeglass with 10x magnification. Continue reading “Tin Whiskers in a Wireless Thermostat Receiver”