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Keeping Up

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Everything posted by Keeping Up

  1. Keeping Up

    Plug in Galvanic Isolator.. which one

    I would disagree with this, as I think the explanations that were given are based on false assumptions about the diodes in the GI. I don't disagree in any with the comments about prospective fault currents. However I did discuss thus with Safesure and other suppliers some years ago, the point was that in for example a so-called 70 amp isolator the diodes are rated at 70 amps; this is in fact their manufacturer's CONTINUOUS rating when connected to a perfect heatsink. Of course such a heatsink doesn't exist, but it means that at their rated 50 amp current the diodes will be perfectly happy until they warm up to an excessive temperature. On a typical GI unit the heat sink will be good enough to ensure that this will take several seconds (up to a minute on the better ones) which is plenty more than enough to ensure that the breaker will have tripped. The peak current rating if the diodes is typically up to 50-100 times greater, but then begins the debate on how long is a Peak? I was told, but I have seen no evidence, that the peak rating/duration relationship has been compared against the operating current / trip time characteristics of a breaker to ensure that there is always a good margin so that the breaker will always trip before the diodes can be damaged. This may or may not be true, as I say I have seen no evidence, but I do feel that it is an over-simplification to say that all such GIs are unfit for purpose.
  2. Keeping Up

    Europe’s Most Important River Is Running Dry

    Hasn't it always been the case that for part of the year both the Rhine and Danube have been too low for navigation by large or heavily-loaded ships, while for other parts of the year they've been too high? One problem must be that they build ships to the maximum size that can navigate under ideal conditions, but then the conditions change with the seasons; the lower Rhine has no locks, just a long steady fall along it's length, so the upper end of that is critically dependent on the right amount of water being supplied. Several friends of ours have over many years suffered from Rhine cruises being curtailed by the wrong water levels both high and low. We were extremely lucky last year to hit the critical balance where all the levels were right, to take a cruise from Amsterdam to the Black Sea (you can see my account here)
  3. Keeping Up

    My Poverty is Going to be Alleviated!

    Yes it does, thanks
  4. Keeping Up

    Our 2018 journeys

    I’ve written up the tale of our 2018 canal journeys, with once again plenty of photos. This year we travelled down to Gloucester, then up to Llangollen, and by a long route via Wolverhampton to avoid the embankment breach at Middlewich we went back up to Macclesfield before heading south again to spend a month on the River Thames. I do hope you enjoy reading about it all. I also hope you enjoyed reading the tale of our earlier 2018 epic cruise across Europe; thank you to all those people who replied back to me with such positive comments. Some people reported difficulty in viewing the videos that I’d included on those pages (particularly the amazing video of the automatic violin player) when using tablets or mobile phones, following a software update within YouTube. I have re-written those pages now so that the videos will play properly, so please take another look if you had any difficulties before. Older pages with videos will also be re-written over the next few days.
  5. Keeping Up

    Our 2018 journeys

    If we do ... we don't know about them either!
  6. Keeping Up

    My Poverty is Going to be Alleviated!

    Thanks - I'd not tried that
  7. Keeping Up

    My Poverty is Going to be Alleviated!

    That doesn't work with a touch screen. Is there a way to verify links without touching them?
  8. Keeping Up

    Mooring halfway between York & Bristol

    I haven't tried in that area, like others I generally use the taxi to get to the station then I catch the train home to fetch the car.
  9. Keeping Up

    Mooring halfway between York & Bristol

    We stopped briefly in King's Bromley - then booked ourselves a mooring for the winter - then did it again the next year. We're moving to somewhere else for next winter just for a change but we've found them to be excellent in all respects. We're not residential but do like to spend a few days on the boat from time to time. They are dog-friendly, and they do all they can to help -for example (at no extra cost) when we're not on board they monitor our electricity meter every week and automatically top it up when necessary (we leave a couple of heaters with frost-stats switched on). They are quite handy for car transport, or just a short cab ride from Lichfield Trent Valley station. Their price is quite reasonable for a busy marina.
  10. Do the batteries share a common isolator switch in the negative feed (quite common on older boats)? If so, and it is faulty, it might give these symptoms.
  11. Keeping Up

    Inverter earth

    But certainly there are some inverters which will simply explode if you connect neutral to earth so you do need to check first.
  12. Keeping Up

    Cav/Delphi 296

    Indeed. It is entirely inside the tank, so it emerges from the bottom after it has risen up and come down again. There is of course a tap at that point, which I turn off during the servicing, maybe next time I need to see what happens if I turn it back on without the filter element in place - apart from diesel probably spraying all over me that is. One problem is that all the pipe unions were sealed with a sealant/adhesive a few years ago so I can't loosen them.
  13. Keeping Up

    Cav/Delphi 296

    No, the filter is before the pump; opening the bleed nipple has no effect (after half an hour it is still dry) but starting the engine or hand-priming would simply draw in air through the bleed hole. Loosening the outlet union would have the same effect.
  14. Keeping Up

    Cav/Delphi 296

    Does anybody know how easily the fuel flows through the 296 filter? The lift pump of the engine sucks it through with no problems, but gravity alone doesn't seem to be enough because after I've changed the filter during a service I can't get the fuel to flow and fill the filter except by starting the engine. This of course makes it impossible to bleed the air out which makes it hard to get the engine running properly again. Is this normal or should I be looking for a blockage? Once it's all clear of air I have no problems. The surface of the fuel will typically be 1ft to 2ft above the filter.
  15. Keeping Up

    A few hints for a future voyage?

    IMHO the lockie was talking rubbish, it is a wonderful trip through London on a narrowboat, and coming out of Limehouse is easy you just go straight ahead and the river turns you round to point in the right direction. I wonder if he was the same lockie who a few years ago sent us out at Brentford on what turned out to be a falling tide in the middle of the afternoon, so that we grounded in the channel below the lock just before reaching the river and had to sit on the mud there until we floated again in the middle of the night. When we asked him afterwards why he had done that he said "I never did understand about tides but I sent you out then because I wanted to get away and have a tea-break" Having said that I agree, go downstream and come in at Brentford.
  16. Keeping Up

    Hand held radio

    Thanks for the clarification, guys. My radio has GMDSS but as I don't have a GPS attached to it, it probably wouldn't be much use. However as I don't go to sea, that isn't really an issue at the moment. My aerial is an Amateur 144 Mhz mobile antenna with a couple of inches trimmed off the end. It seems to work even better than the usual "White Stick" aerials that most people use, and has the advantage of being flexible so it doesn't break if I forget to lower it under a bridge.
  17. Keeping Up

    Hand held radio

    I'm a bit puzzled, nothing in the text, mentions the non-use of channel 16 by the coastguard (except the paragraph giving a couple if examples which is, I assume, your text). Is it still (in theory at least) an emergency channel?
  18. Keeping Up

    Open fire, smokeless zone, options?

    I expect you're right, my brain doesn't work properly that late at night especially after the pub.
  19. Keeping Up

    Open fire, smokeless zone, options?

    Is the mooring officially classified as residential? If not you may continue to burn ordinary house coal even if it is within a smokeless zone.
  20. Keeping Up

    80's harborough marine narrowboats

    The earliest ones certainly had plywood tops, but that was in the 1960's. Ours (built 1969 to 1970) was one of the earliest GRP-topped versions. Certainly some were built with wooden tops after that, however not by Harborough themselves but; by home-builders who could order either the hull alone or the complete kit with GRP top parts. I don't know when the first steel tops (as original rather than replacement) were fitted. The base plate of ours was 6mm but I don't know how thick the sides were.
  21. Keeping Up

    Copper piping turned silver

    I recently had the problem of the LPG alarm going off, not the CO alarm, whenever the batteries were connected to the charger for a couple of days in the marina. It was just possible to detect the smell of H2S. I'm not 100% certain yet, still checking, but it seems that the problem was caused by the Numax charger which has two outputs one for the domestics and one for the starter. The problem seems to be that when either of the batteries is detected as being less than fully charged, the full charging voltage is applied to both outputs, so whenever any current is taken from the domestic batteries for a while the full 14.8 volts is then also applied to the (already well charged) starter battery. That's ok for a while but eventually the starter battery gets fed up and starts gassing. I've just put a diode in the feed to the starter battery to drop the voltage slightly, we'll soon see if it helps.
  22. Keeping Up

    Lock Maintenance, pound closed?

    Also I wonder, did the person on the phone really know what they were talking about or were they just looking at the same website notice as you, but then saying the same thing but using different words so it sounded as if their info was genuine. In my experience this latter is usually the case.
  23. Keeping Up

    Lock Maintenance, pound closed?

    And anyway the pound above Keepers Lock is still the one below Junction Lock so you'd expect the junction to be unaffected. Interestingly they say the junction can be used as the nearest winding point above the stoppage; if you can't reach it, it's a long way to reverse back to Handsacre (unless you wind in King's Bromley marina entrance)
  24. Keeping Up

    Route suggestions from Tattenhall Marina to Calcutt Boats

    The CRT stoppages page still shows it as starting on 3rd January but the title only refers to Keepers Lock whereas the text includes from Shadehouse lock to the junction (which also conflicts with their text that the nearest upstream winding point is at the junction).
  25. Earlier this year we decided to continue with our "Eastern European Ring". We started this ring in 2011 with a cruise from the Baltic to the Black Sea via the River Volga. This year we extended it by taking a cruise from the North Sea to the Black Sea by way of the River Rhine, the River Main, the Main-Danube Canal, and the River Danube. Passing through 8 countries in 3 weeks, it was an amazing trip; I've finally sorted through all of the photos and posted a report of this epic voyage on our website. I hope you enjoy reading it - and do have a look at the fascinating movie clips of the mechanical instruments and the Hungarian Horsemen. Now we just need to complete the ring, by cruising across the Baltic ...

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