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IanD

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IanD last won the day on September 7 2016

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About IanD

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    London

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Engineer
  1. One For Machine Tool Fans

    Ah, not the one I was thinking of then...
  2. One For Machine Tool Fans

    And it's a terrible painting of the engine, technically speaking...
  3. Steam Engines

    Wow, Firefly as a first hire was a bit adventurous! Keith Jones was definitely a bit of a character (as was the boat), it's a great shame there's nothing similar available to hire nowadays... :-(
  4. London gets tough

    Speaking of Castrol GTX, does anybody remember the "liquid engineering" TV ad from the 70s? You might be interested to know that it was golden syrup, not oil. A friend of mine was a driver for a firm that delivered props for filming, and he turned up with a 50 gallon drum of the stuff, presumably because they thought it would take a lot of tries to get it right. When it all worked perfectly on the second take, Timbo asked them what they were going to do with the remaining 48 gallons of golden syrup, to which the reply was "Throw it out -- why, do you want it?" Thanks to another friend with an item in his bathroom made out of an old Belling tea urn and a lot of copper pipe, this explains why Timbo offered to bring some gin to a camping weekend down in Devon, and turned up with a gallon in a demijohn... ;-)
  5. Steam Engines

    We hired Firefly for a fortnight, just as you said but engine was maybe 4shp flat out which is 3kW. Lovely boat...
  6. Steam Engines

    Yes it did, under the back steps -- something like 3" bore and stroke giving about 3hp. Not efficient (no variable cutoff) but simple and relatively indestructible, I seem to remember the oscillating cylinders being held down with strong springs so if any water got into the cylinders they just lifted off the valve face instead of hydraulic locking and breaking something. Like the boiler and automatic feedwater system, the whole thing had to be pretty idiot-proof to be hired out. Great on a cold day steering from inside the closed doors with a 500000BTU boiler rumbling away next to your left leg...
  7. Steam Engines

    It was great fun though! From memory when we hired it (travelling most of each day) it used more than 70kg/day of propane from a bulk tank in the bows (85 gallons = 750kg?) and a couple of 50kg cylinders...
  8. Speed

    ACC is great for motorway roadworks and speed limits, in 50mph roadworks I set it to 55mph and relax in the knowledge that this will certainly not get a ticket, where setting 60mph might. On normal motorways I usually set it to to 80mph for the same reason -- again 85mph might be safe or might not depending on exact speedo over-reading and margin that the scameras allow. In both cases this puts my speed below that of the license-risking speeders and above the drivers who stick to the indicated limit on their speedo, and pretty much minimised aggro. ACC is brilliant for cases like this, it means you can spend time looking ahead to spot the pull-out-without-indicating brigade (and in the mirror for the flashing tailgaters) instead of worrying about the speedo all the time. Of course in both cases I always move to the left-hand lane(s) if the gap is big enough to not jump in and out every few seconds -- you know, like you're supposed to... ;-)
  9. Canalplan is indeed great for planning routes, I use it before every trip to plan stops. What it isn't so good at -- unless you print out a detailed itinerary (kill the trees!) or have online access (which needs a PC not a smartphone) and lots of time to replan -- is telling you where you could get to if plans go wrong or you get delayed, not exactly uncommon. Being able to see (in real time, based on current time and location) what time you should get to a given place on the canal (or not) on a smartphone would be extremely helpful, in the same way that Google Maps is brilliant as a satnav app -- you always know when you'll get there. Of course without Google-style location tracking and speed estimation from everybody else's smartphones it won't be quite as accurate, but it would be a big advance on anything else.
  10. Connecting to CanalPlan might be fun, somehow trying to tie together the location information (current position and destination) from OpenCanalMap/Google Maps to whatever format canalplan stores everything in -- I wish you the best of luck... ;-)
  11. Nothing is less useful than a map/guide with out-of-date information. If you're going to add more information to the maps (e.g. via clickable links) it would probably be far better to make this open up the Google Maps app with the same zoom area and location as the Android one and use this to get the information -- otherwise you'll end up on an endless treadmill of trying to keep all the info up to date. Then people can use the Android app (which doesn't consume a lot of data) for navigation and planning, and bring up the Google app only when needed to access information. Don't know if this is possible or you have any plan to do it, but a travel time/distance addition (from current location or a set point) would be *very* handy -- then you could look ahead along the map and see elapsed time (or even arrival time?) to a given place from where you currently are (e.g. you will arrive at Skipton at 6:35pm). There's need to be an assumption about travel speed and time through locks, but even a rough one (or one that can be changed, like canalplan) would be helpful.
  12. Maybe an obvious (and a fundamental difference) but the Android app only shows what has been entered (e.g. a pub) but unlike the Google Maps version there's no information behind this -- it's not a clickable link. Other things like some boatyards are also not in the Android app but are in the Google Maps one. So the Android one is useful for canal navigation (distances, lock, bridges etc) and doesn't need a lot of downloaded data, but not so useful for finding out what is near the canal and what facilities they have (pubs, shops, restaurants, boatyards, attractions etc.).
  13. Rochdale Canal

    White Cross seconded, lovely pub, friendly bar staff who know their beer. I'm pretty sure they had a big TV but it was either off when we were there or turned down so we didn't notice it. Moor above Lock 1 just round the bend, you can get right in to the (fairly knackered) bank here and it's nice and quiet.
  14. Canals and Real ale

    I prefer a good hoppy pale ale (served colder than usual) than bland sweet lager with a curry any day -- try a cold bottle of Dead Pony Club if you don't believe me... (only possible at home or a BYO restaurant, very few curry houses serve decent suitable beer)
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