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Nigel Bridgman-Elliot

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Everything posted by Nigel Bridgman-Elliot

  1. I'm a big fan of tunnels, is Fetlar going to get one too.
  2. > is there an increased risk of fire? Some types of batteries are more risky to use than others. I hear Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO 4) batteries are one of the safer ones, as such I'm looking to install them in my own trike to upgrade the current Sealed Lead Acid batteries. The bit that caught my attention was: > reduce energy costs by 60% or more Now if the ferry company also owned some electricity producing infrastructure, there wouldn't be any fuel costs. > to carry the electricians I hear there is a shortage of such trained people up here. (When I first arrived, someone asked me if I was one, as they was going to have to wait a week for someone to come up to the island to fix things..) Not something I hear is going to be helped if they close the Lerwick power station..
  3. > (old system, electric boiler) Was that using off peak electricity ? Water fed radiators ? > Nov 2017 average daily - old system - 49 units I notice our storage heaters used around 30 units. (Was 40 units before extra insulation efforts was put in place, estimate another 10% improvement when all of those are finished.)
  4. > IRESA day rate 11.25 pence per unit. Do you happen to have the Night enengy unit rate, and the Off-peak energy unit rates ? > I found a heat pump approximately halved the bills. On 24/7. What was the bills beforehand ? Other than twice the amount. I'd be most interested in the cold months levels to get a better idea of costings.
  5. Is yours set to use off peak electricity ? If so, what are the prices per unit ? Ours is: Day energy unit rate 20.50p per kWh Night energy unit rate 10.99p per kWh Off-peak energy unit rate 10.11p per kWh How many units of electricity did it use in each month of the year ? What kind of home construction do you have, wood, stone, concrete ? And flooring type, suspended wood, stone, concrete ? Is your outside unit in an exposed location, or a sheltered spot ?
  6. > heard ground source is better, but I believe more costly. Yes I have heard that too. It would be interesting to hear some example prices mentioned if anyone has any. I remember a neighbour getting an air source one installed the other day, in the process power to not just their house was cut off ! Lucky I was around to wander over and ask if they could turn the power to my house back on when they had a moment. Also be handy to hear of any running costs examples of folk up here. I hear one of the issues with air source is they stop working if it gets really cold, is that so ? Related link: https://www.carboncommentary.com/blog/2012/02/08/air-source-heat-pumps-more-evidence-of-problems-in-cold-weather
  7. A quick google brings up: > free Sophos Home Free (for Mac) I remember the Sophos folk had some nice software, I could just never afford it at the time. And now its free, blimey ! I've heard good things about those folk, so that could be worth a try, and its free.
  8. Your welcome. Up here I notice we tend to have very little upload capacity, it can get swamped easily, so if you have something uploading all the time, that could cause issues like apparent dropped connections. (I notice for example that crypto-currency miners tend to be quite bandwidth hungry.) Someone I know had such an issue with their phone backing up their photo collection via their Wifi to router link and swamping their very limited broadband connection, causing it to drop all the time, as it was it would have taken weeks to upload all their pictures at the slow speed they had available. If you have other internet enabled devices, they too can cause this kind of issue, such as TV, internet TV set top boxes. For example, if mum wants to watch something on BBC Catchup, I have to make sure I'm not using the internet, or there isn't enough bandwidth to go around ! Yep, proper socket here too, the nice BT man put one in a couple of years ago. If more than one computer in a household, ideally you want to run a different antivirus on each one, or at least two different types, so if one misses a virus, the other might spot it. I remember ClamXAV on server PC's, it didn't active scan web access or files, you had to tell it when to scan. If that is the case with the Mac version, I'd highly recommend an active scanner that keeps an eye on your browser, and email, as those tend to be easy ways in for things. That and USB port devices.. I don't have anything in particular to recommend for Mac's, or know how many free antivirus examples exist out there to try. (I know on PC, it can be quite difficult to find a well behaved antivirus package, Norton for example, is very troublesome to get working nicely..) Even routers these days can catch a virus ! Or TV's.. Mobile phones are another possible risk area as well, recommend antivirus scan/install on those too. When your connection next goes down, if you can log into your router and see if your connection really is down, or get some idea of what traffic might be going or coming. If mine goes down, I like to check with a neigbour too, to get some idea of where the issue may be. (Another way to get to know your neighbour !) Problem solving these kind of issues can be quite a lengthy issue.. And you don't always find anything you can do to make things better, but sometimes you do. I tend to be a problem solver. Other issues effecting broadband can be a particular landline phone also connected, (Sometimes you exceed the REN number with too many phones, as such I find you can have 3 maybe 4 ringing, and everything can still work ok, even if you have half a dozen phones plugged in.) or a neighbour pigging backing on your wifi connection for free. If you are have BT internet, there is an option to share your router wifi for this purpose to other BT customers, as such you may want to turn that off, if folk are using it and using up half your bandwidth ! I think the older routes this was on by default, and newer ones its off by default.. (If its on, you can use other BT wifi hotspots, if off, you can't from what I recall.) I've limited experience of Mac's myself.
  9. It's a pity 17070 doesn't tell us users our line length anymore, as that was a useful tool. When your internet goes down, does it also for your nearest neighbours ? If not, it might be a cable fault someplace. (Though it could still be a cable fault, but further up the line!) I find it works best if inside at least, your router is plumbed into your master phone socket, rather than via an extension socket. Is your telephone line underground, or overhead ? I remember someone I knew had trouble with their overhead line having a crack in it, and when it was windy or raining, their line would go all crackly. (The first time BT came out to check, they didn't check the actual physical overhead cable and declared it fine! be warned, they can charge you £180 if they find no fault!) (Second time, they came when it was raining, and could hear the crackle, then they checked the actual physical line, and lo and behold, a fault!) I remember one time my own line had three separate different faults on it ! (Fingers crossed, been ok so far where I am, underground lines by the looks of it.) I wonder how much it would cost to have BT extend to another exchange nearer to you.. (Possibility exists to bandy together with neighbours and run your own fibre cable, or maybe setup a wireless link.) (I'd be thinking, can I run a cable across that field to the nearest person I know with decent speeds..) There are also other issues that can cause problems with your internet connection, such as Windows sucking up all available bandwidth for updates.. (There are tools now to turn that off, though most of the time you can turn that off in Windows itself, someplace..) Or possibly a virus infection. (Got antivirus ?)
  10. GTX 750Ti here, looking to upgrade to a GTX 1060 in the future, maybe if funds permit, a 1080Ti, have to upgrade the PSU first. I tend to be a typer, as I find voice not very reliable, and voice commands don't work as well in practice as everyone else says they do ! (If everyone has an accent you don't understand, you spend half your time saying "what ?") Plus, I'd much rather use a keyboard in games, than a HOTAS, as that takes a serious amount of practice to be any good with it ! (I reckon it might easily take me 1 to 2 years just to become proficient with it..) Plus, text is low bandwidth, an important consideration when you live on a small island at the end of the digital line. Though I think you have better speeds over on your little island than mine ? (7Mbit ADSL here. (Was one reason why I wanted this spot, as its not far from the exchange, meanwhile on the edge of the island, we was getting a ping of 1,200ms and a download speed slower than a 56k modem..)) Plus I want to use VR for applications, like say, forums.. My computer case already looks like something out of the sixties. http://www.solarvelomobile.com/desk.jpg Note the back of the desk has removable panels with air vents on, so you have full access to all the cabling, and room for two full tower PC's at the bottom, which keeps them quiet and well away from spilt drinks !
  11. Further to that, as I notice up here, our meter only gets read once a year, the rest of the time they rely on estimated readings, which are way out of wack ! I see they now allow you to send in your own readings online, which should help to get more accurate bills. As such you may find you are either paying more than you should, or less, or even trying to catch up if you moved in at the wrong time of the year ! I check the meters (We have three.) over a 24 hour period to find out what my actual usage is, and that helps to gauge what kind of costs to expect. (And to check if something is running away with the electricity, like the hot water heater..) We are on the Combined Heat and Power tariff, which I hear is a legacy tariff and isn't excepting new customers, so you can only inherit it if you buy a house with it already existing, and that has the lowest electricity heating costs of any tariff, so if you are tempted to change, be aware of that ! (Eg. you can't go back!) I hear there are only 2,500 homes in the whole of Scotland with that tariff. (I'm assuming those must be based in Shetland ?) We also cook with electric too. (I hear gas is cheaper for that, so you might save some money changing your cooking system to bottled gas.) When we first moved in, I went around and sellotaped over all the air vents we wasn't using, both inside and out, as we had two kitchen extractor units, and two in the utility room, one of which was just a great big hole in the wall ! Those let in huge draughts ! (Also bunged in some bubble wrap as a temporary measure until I get around to either removing them, or putting better venting solutions that actually keep out the wind when not in use..) As such, do you have any holes like that yourself causing cold air to rush in and heat out ? The loft hatch can also be another source of leaks, if its not a good fit, latched in place, and insulated itself. Oh and holes in the ceiling too, such as around light fittings !
  12. We also have storage heaters here, but the running costs are quite reasonable. (In line with gas prices.) But then we do also have a well insulated concrete house. Still working on improving the insulation mind you. I would hazard a guess that changing your heating system isn't going to save you any money, but improving your insulation situation is most likely to help. As such some questions: Do you close your window air vents in the winter ? (I tend to leave one open at the top of the house to allow airflow, and one open at the bottom, whilst in summer, open them all!) Do all your doors and windows fit well with no draughts ? (Our front door needed quite a lot of work to make it fit, as the frame wasn't installed level and we had a huge gap at the top !) (I'm also working my way around the house filling in and painting all the gaps around the window frames.) Thick lined curtains help. (I hear almost as good as double glazing.) (Still got to fit one on the front door.) Thick carpets and underlay can help. (Recently put carpet tiles down in several rooms such as the kitchen to help there.) (Got the cooker extractor to work on, fitting a one way valve to stop the wind whistling in!) As such in the last year of improvements, heating costs have dropped some 25%. (I reckon there is perhaps another 10%+ improvements possible here.) Outside, if possible wind brakes to stop the heat being taken away from the building, ideally trees/bushes, but stone walls/big stones at bottom of house, earth banks can help too. Our house also has outside insulation, which is better than inside, as then the thermal mass of the building can act like a giant storage heater itself and help maintain a steady temperature more easily. (I'd be wary of cavity wall insulation, as that can cause damp issues.) One could make further improvements such as a heat exchanger for incoming/outgoing air, but whether that would be cost effective or not, I don't know. (I plan on that for my next home though, as I'd like a air heating system, but that would require duct work, and not necessarily be cheap to run, so would only go for that once I've my own generation solutions in hand, eg. solar/wind.) If you don't mind me asking, do you keep a log of your electricity consumption ? (Ideally heating usage marked separate.) If so, can you share any figures on your usage. It might be useful to check your Immersion/hot water heater settings, how many hours a day does that come on, and what temperature setting is it at ? Enough insulation around the cylinder ? I found with ours it was difficult to find any instructions for the controller and took quite a while to figure out how to set it correctly to only come on 3 hours a day. (2 of which during cheap electricity rates.) And the temperature setting was a bit too high, so when it was on, it was on and almost boiling away ! Storage heaters might be a bit blocked with dust. Ours also came with a fan assistance temperature controller on the wall (No one seemed to know what it was!), but I find that isn't really necessary here, so that's turned off. I usually have our old storage heaters set at 50% heat output on average, turning the biggest heaters up to around 80% when it gets really cold, and off totally in the warmer months. (We have two large, and 3 small, but generally don't need the 2 small ones on.) Do you live in a wooden structure ? (Harder to keep warm, if you could increase the thermal mass in the property, that can help.) Hopefully some of that is useful to you.
  13. Do you have the CV1 model ? I'll need to upgrade my PC a bit before I can upgrade to the CV1 model, and that is penciled into my todo list sometime in 2020, assuming it can work with my aging Q9550 CPU. I wonder how long before resolution really hits the spot. Be nice as well to have in VR, keyboards ! As its no fun flying around in space not being able to type anything.. Related link: https://www.roadtovr.com/logitech-bridge-development-kit-vr-keyboard-typing/ I wonder if there are any drone VR options out there ?
  14. I wonder how things are progressing with Geomagmatic geothermal power solutions ? Related links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSi9M_US-sk > Geomagmatic Technology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ke5GbYNdDM > MIchael Knight Christine Kubat and > Doyle Brewington On The Power Tube
  15. I hear currency operates in waves. Related link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_wave_principle
  16. Are there any examples of ground source heat pumps up here, as I hear they can be superior to air source versions ?
  17. Some folk set up I notice setup things themselves, though I hear BT look like they are going to upgrade things around here in the next couple of years. Related links, last one is useful for checking specific telephone exchange information: https://b4rn.org.uk https://availability.samknows.com/broadband
  18. I've myself an Oculus Rift DK2 unit, the Nature Treks VR is nice as my mum and I can experience what it is like to wander among the trees again, which are in such short supply here ! I'm very slowly learning to use it in Elite Dangerous with a HOTAS setup, and looking forward to programming with it, as I've an interest in games, applications and telepresence development, so perhaps one day I can mow our lawn without needing to venture into hostile midge territory.
  19. > Did the article you read elaborate? Not that I recall no. Related link provides some information, in particular in the comments section: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/06/self-employment-uk-job-figures-analysis I imagine the way it works is > The average income of the self-employed on less than £100,000 a year has fallen from > £15K to just over £10K between 2000 and 2011. http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2013/12/03/the-fast-disappearing-income-of-the-uks-self-employed/ So, if a sole trader is earning £10,000 a year and working lets say, 100 hours a week, that is around £2 an hour ? At least being self employed your future is something you have more control over, so it might get better, or it might get worse.. Considering work that used to pay above minimumn wage a few years ago can be outsourced to China for less than 10 Pence an hour, I see a constant pulling down of incomes, and the offical minimumn wage helps those with jobs, at the expense of those without. One way around the barrier is to become self employed and then you can pay yourself peanuts. Now, something like Negative Income Tax, or as its fondly started to be known today as Basic Income, might help address this issue with less cost, less paperwork, and enable those willing to work for peanuts, to do so, without making it more difficult for people to crawl up the ladder than it is already. Often the more regulations try to help, the more they hinder things that would have been benefiical if left alone. I'm reminded of a friend of mine in China, on a very low paid job, but he has a job, a house, a car, and money in his pocket, whilst we in this country are sending our work to his country because our regulations make it difficult for people here to benefit from working quite so easily. It would be nice to see a pilot study done in the UK to see how effective something like Negative Income tax could be..
  20. I wonder if something like this would help encourage those out of work to get some work, as it could help avoid the benefit trap where working can leave you worse off finanically. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax On the issue of minimumn wage I read recently that a large drop in unemployment figures was due to a lot of people becoming self employed as a way to pay themselves less than the minimumn wage and have a job, rather than no job at all.
  21. Still perhaps a window of oppertunity to go geothermal for the new power station ? Related link on closed loop geothermal technology: https://vimeo.com/21470296 I read someplace that a UK university is researching on the same kind of technology they used in their PowerTube design, and it was only a few years ago the UK Government was giving away a grant of £5 million for folk to build geothermal plants in the UK. So maybe a little bit of arm bending might get the government to help out a smidge again.. Related links: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110508074721/http:/www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/explained/geothermal/challenge_fund/dgcf_round1/dgcf_round1.aspx http://www.geomagmatica.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezpXmMuK758
  22. I was just looking at my own profile and noticed that I can't say where I'm living because its got a banned word in it! I thought this issue was solved years ago! > S{by the way, do you realise I tried to swear here?}horpe UK Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S{by the way, do you realise I tried to swear here?}horpe_problem Which will probably also get censored, so in that case, a short URL version: http://goo.gl/pDRo
  23. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2690094/We-lift-Britain-blast-space-UK-spaceport-outside-America-reveal-proposed-sites-six-eight-Scotland-vote-coming.html Could the Shetland Islands be a viable location for a spaceport, and if not, why not ?
  24. I would employ a local team to fix the traffic lights, and if parts are no longer available (Even on Ebay..) then make the parts up, after all, traffic lights are not rocket science.. Maybe we could even start an open source traffic light project staffed by mainly volunteers..
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