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Blog Description:

News and current affairs without bias. Sourcing material from all over the web. Covering news stories MSM avoid. Video's contain a mature content.
Blog Added: October 22, 2015 03:02:57 PM
Audience Rating: Mature Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-Kingdom   United-Kingdom
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Total Visits: 935
Blog Rating: 2.99
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Amazon tried to charge me postage on a free postage item

I’m hoping it’s an isolated incident, but I’m writing a blog about it anyway. Amazon tried to charge me postage on a free postage item So, I’ve been a member of Amazon since 2007. Over 11 years on the current email address. I’m used to the way they do business, as I also work as […] The post Amazon tried to charge me postage on a free postage item appeared first on Michael...

I’m hoping it’s an isolated incident, but I’m writing a blog about it anyway.

Amazon tried to charge me postage on a free postage item

So, I’ve been a member of Amazon since 2007. Over 11 years on the current email address.

I’m used to the way they do business, as I also work as a ‘Flex’ driver.

I know that you don’t get anything for not calling these people out. That’s what I’m doing.

Buying a postage free item

It may only be in a small way. It may only be an isolated incident, but yesterday, Amazon tried to charge me postage on a ‘postage free’ item.

£1.99 postage to be exact.

Here’s the item.

Item clearly says Free delivery in the UK.

When I get to check-out. I can see that they’re trying to add the postage, so I go back and check the ‘Delivery Details’, or terms and conditions.

 

Any item with “FREE Delivery” messaging on the product detail page that is dispatched by Amazon is eligible and contributes to your free delivery order minimum. Items sold and fulfilled by Marketplace Sellers do not contribute to your free delivery order minimum.Delivery Details

Despite this having ‘Free delivery’ messaging on the product, it is not eligible according to Amazon’s own rules.

Rang support agent

I rang them and told them that they had displayed the item wrongly. From the conversation I had with the support agent, I got the impression that this wasn’t a big thing to them.

Amazon counts on people’s ignorance and laziness to make tax free profits.

Heads up if you get this. Take a screenshot. Ring them up and tell them the item has been mis-labelled. They are obliged to give you the postage back as they are mis-labelling and mis-selling the product.

 

The post Amazon tried to charge me postage on a free postage item appeared first on Michael Tyler..



Adding to narrowboat battery bank

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve been planning to upgrade the electrics of Bonnie Lady narrowboat. One of the first jobs has been to add to the battery bank Battery Bank Is a collection of batteries which feed the boat and all the appliances on it. Currently, we have 2 AGM 120ah […] The post Adding to narrowboat battery bank appeared first on Michael...

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve been planning to upgrade the electrics of Bonnie Lady narrowboat.

One of the first jobs has been to add to the battery bank

Battery Bank

Is a collection of batteries which feed the boat and all the appliances on it.

Currently, we have 2 AGM 120ah leisure batteries in the bank. (There’s a starter battery, since none of the appliances run off this, I’ve not included it. It starts the engine. End of).

agm-leisure-battery-lp120
Due to the ‘live-on’ nature of the boat, this really isn’t enough:-

  • If you want to watch telly
  • If you want to be able to charge your computer, run printers, charge hoovers etc.
  • If you’re planning on having solar panels fitted

Solar panels will charge 4 leisure batteries during the course of a sunny day and less on more covered, cloudy conditions. The more batteries in the bank, the more cushion you have to soak up and store excess energy when it’s available. This may be through running the engine, or through the solar panels. When it’s raining, and you end up sitting around the boat all day with the lights on using the internet, you’ll really appreciate the difference!

Adding batteries to the battery bank

Major considerations are:-

  • Batteries need to be of the same type: You can’t mix AGM with lead batteries, or Gel with Lithium Ion. Better to stick to the same type.
  • Batteries need to be of the same Amp Hour: If you’ve got different AH thresholds, the different batteries are going to charge and discharge at different rates, not good for the lifespans of the batteries. Spread the load. Get all the same AH.
  • Batteries should be of the same age: If you’ve got some three year old AGM’s, and you’re putting in two new Gel batteries, this will place an additional stress on the new batteries. As they compensate for the wear and tear of the older batteries, they will wear out much more quickly until they become as aged as the originalvbatteries, but in half the time!
  • Loom arrangement: As the alternator charges them, and the boat wears them down, you need to get the correct battery bank wiring arrangement to ensure even charge and discharge across all the cells.

Upgrading the alternator

Modern batteries have modern requirements…… Old boats have old equipment, which may not be up to modern standards for charging modern cells.

bmc 1800 alternator
bmc 1800 alternator

The BMC 1,800 marine engine has an old Lucas alternator, which can put out as little as 10 amps.

The lower the ampage, the more like a ‘bench charge’ or ‘surface charge’ it is. It will charge your batteries short-term, over the longer term, it’s recommended that you put a greater, ‘deep’er charge onto the batteries.

If you’re using your batteries day, day out, you want to be putting through the maximum ampage possible, within limits.

I’m currently thinking an old alternator isn’t up to the job of charging the modern sealed cell batteries.

I’m going to get rid of it and replace it with this 55amp alternator from ebay.

Connecting new batteries in the battery bank

Which is the best way to connect new batteries in your battery bank?

Well, I came across this article in Smartgauge, it talks about all the battery arrangements, and which might be the best for your particular requirements.

Seeing as we’ve got two older batteries, the best arrangement would be

Arranging narrowboat batteries in series

The main feeds to the rest of the installation are now taken from diagonally opposite posts.

It is simple to achieve but the difference in the results are truly astounding for such a simple modification.

The connecting leads, in fact, everything else in the installation remains identical.

Also, it doesn’t matter which lead (positive or negative) is moved, Whichever is easiest is the correct one to move.

The results of this modification, when compared to the original diagram are shown below. Only that one single connection has been moved.

After this simple modification, with the same 100 amp load….

The bottom battery provides 26.7 amps of this.
The next battery up provides 23.2 amps.
The next battery up provides 23.2 amps.
The top battery provides 26.7 amps.

This is quite clearly a massive improvement over the first method. The batteries are much closer to being correctly balanced. However they are still not perfectly balanced.

How far is it necessary to go to get the matching equal?

Well, the better the quality of the batteries, the more important it becomes. The lower the internal resistance of the batteries, the more important it is to get them properly balanced.

So that now leaves the question of whether or not there is a wiring method to perfectly balance the batteries.

Before getting to that, it should be pointed out that doing the calculation is not actually required in order to arrive at the ultimate interconnection method. I simply did them to show the magnitude of the problem.

In order to get a better balancing it is simply necessary to get the number of interconnecting links as close as equal between each battery and the final loads.

In the first example the power from the bottom battery passed through no interconnecting links. The top battery passed through 6 links.

In the 2nd example (the much improved one), the power from the top and bottom battery both passed through a total of 3 links. That from the middle 2 batteries also both passed through 3 links which begs the question “why were they not therefore perfectly balanced?”. The answer is that some of the links have to pass more total current and this therefore increases the voltage drop along their length.

And now we get to the correctly wired version where all the batteries are perfectly balanced.

I’ll let you know how I get on once I’m able to take pictures again.

Here’s a short video of the harness.

Now 4 batteries in series

4 x 120ah AGM’s in series.

Should work out better for watching telly over the winter months.

Took it into Whilton Marina to get the batteries charged up ready for a 3 month winter stint.

Narrowboat battery bank Narrowboat battery bank

That’s the job done as far as I’m concerned.

Well, not quite. New BUSBARs!

Following the decision to fit solar panels which will provide charge at a rate of roughly 200w during the summer, I’ve decided that I’m not terribly happy about the current ABCD DCBA wiring arrangement of the current battery bank.

I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s efficient. I don’t think it’s self regulating.

It may be recommended by Smartgauge.

I believe BUSBARS are a better option.

This is a BUSBAR.

It’s essentials a row of FOUR contact terminal posts which may be either positive or negative.

170A Busbar
170A Busbar

Connecting the Busbars

As you can see, all you need to do to connect your busbar circuit is to connect the terminals to the terminal posts.

The wonder of ELECTRICITY will do the REST!

Also, unlike the complex reverse wiring in the diagram above, it leaves me plenty of time to attach the new solar panels which will charge evenly across the battery bank.

Here’s a picture of the BUSBARS connected.

Busbars connecting battery bank
Busbars connecting 480AH battery bank
Busbars connecting battery bank
Busbars connecting 480AH battery bank

Luckily, Ken Bonikowski, the Polish boat builder had the foresight to weld utility rails to the side of the hull.

I drilled these out, tapped them and screwed the busbars on.

That’s the update

The post Adding to narrowboat battery bank appeared first on Michael Tyler..



Weedon -> Dodford

Or thereabouts… This is my new home. It’s perhaps 800m from the car. A little way. Flore Bypass There is a meadow opposite and some constructions where they are building the new road connecting the A45 to the M1, bypassing Flore, which it currently runs right through… The A45 is a noisy, busy road. They […] The post Weedon -> Dodford appeared first on Michael...

Or thereabouts…

Dodford - Grand Union
Spot Bonnie

This is my new home. It’s perhaps 800m from the car. A little way.

Flore Bypass

There is a meadow opposite and some constructions where they are building the new road connecting the A45 to the M1, bypassing Flore, which it currently runs right through…

The A45 is a noisy, busy road. They are building some new houses in Flore, so I guess it’s going to alleviate residents concerns by removing a lot of the ‘through’ traffic.

It’s very peaceful and there is a meadow opposite, meaning you get a few butterflies coming over.

Pretty uncommon in modern day Britain. I’d seen moths, but these were my first butterflies this year.

They weren’t Red Admirals or anything, Purple Hairstreak according to this website.

Here’s a picture of where I’m located now.

 

Dodford/Canna Mead Wharf

Is about a 12 minute walk from the village and Tesco. Dodford village itself is about 5-10 minute walk away.

Canna Mead Wharf is directly opposite.

Looks to be a family run affair. They’ve got a little crane for lifting things out of the water. Very low key.

Dodford - Grand Union
Dodford – Grand Union

Opposite the boat is a meadow.

This is a picture of a cottage on the route I currently walk down.

Rose Cottage nr. Dodford
Rose Cottage nr. Dodford

Dredging

They are dredging the stretch from Weedon to Whilton. About 3 miles.

Also, I bought one of these retractable hoses.

I had to return the hose. It doesn’t work well for a boater.
This video talks about my experience said hose and also, I take a look at the local boaters commune, including suicide kit, and pontoons for the dredging work crews plus strange signs left by the boaters!

It’s quite entertaining. Take a look.

Big fish, little fish

Well, actually, just a lot of little fish.

So many, I found it remarkable. Remarkable enough to make a short video.

That’s enough videos for today.

Until next time.

The post Weedon -> Dodford appeared first on Michael Tyler..



Painting the water tank (cover)

Not actually climbing into the water-tank this time. Just on the outside, painting the lid. It’s been one of those jobs waiting to be done but never got round to it. The weather has cleared up for the past few days, so I removed it and got some paint on it. This is when I […] The post Painting the water tank (cover) appeared first on Michael...

Not actually climbing into the water-tank this time. Just on the outside, painting the lid.

It’s been one of those jobs waiting to be done but never got round to it.

The weather has cleared up for the past few days, so I removed it and got some paint on it.

This is when I was painting and sanding it.

Eventually took the orbital out. Sanding by hand just takes too long.

Stickers

It was looking a bit bland, so I decided to get some stickers for it while I was getting the ones for the boat registration number.

It turned out Ok.

The registration number less so.

Painted the little spot on the top too.

This had been welded and never repainted.

Today, after weeks of sanding, priming and undercoating, I put some Craftmaster – Oxford Blue on it.

The paints I used on the boat were:

Craftmaster – Chalky White
Craftmaster – Oxford Blue
Rylards – Montego Blue

Walk around Flore

And to the pub eventually.

What a treat.

Took these rather attractive pictures at Flores All Saints Chapel on the eve of their annual flower festival.

All Saints Chapel - Flore
All Saints Chapel – Flore

Very fetching.

All Saints Chapel - Flore
All Saints Chapel – Flore

Lonely Duck

Spotted this solo duckling with mother.

Usually, you’re getting a brood of 5-8 ducks.

This one there was only one.

Felt a bit sorry for mommy duck, just with one hatchling.

Lone Duck
Little duck with mom

The post Painting the water tank (cover) appeared first on Michael Tyler..



Stowehill -> Weedon

Now just on the outskirts of Weedon. Weedon Bec I think they call this place. It’s all very peaceful apart from some horrible yapping dogs which belong to the permanent moorers pictured on the left and side of this photograph. They’re on the other side of the canal, or I might be tempted to give […] The post Stowehill -> Weedon appeared first on Michael...

Now just on the outskirts of Weedon. Weedon Bec I think they call this place. It’s all very peaceful apart from some horrible yapping dogs which belong to the permanent moorers pictured on the left and side of this photograph.

They’re on the other side of the canal, or I might be tempted to give one of the little shits a swift boot in the head as I walk past.

Annoying little rats.

Nene Valley Way

Here’s some pictures from Stowehill, Nene Valley Way, which runs right along beside the canal and then down to the Narrowboat Inn on the A5.

Whilst I was moored over there, I took a walk down the Nene Way on a number of occasions.

It runs along the river at some points.

I cycled down the Nene Valley Way through Northampton and down to Cogenhoe and had lunch in a pub.

It becomes a little wider after you reach Hunsbury fields, turns into a cycle path until you get to the other side of Northampton, at which point it reverts to a path.

 

Nene Valley Way

Nene Valley Way

Just a couple of views across the valley as I go for my walk.

Boat

The boat has moved along a little way.

I’m painting my water-tank cover. It’s been off for the last 4 or 5 days. Painting and sanding it down.

Here’s a picture of what it looks like now.

Water tank lid

This is just before the final coat which I’ll put on later today. I’ve got to get rid of the bits of dust off it, but that shouldn’t take long.

As with the rest of the boat, it’s been a long and arduous process for something so small in size.

Here’s some pictures of the canal near Weedon.

Pollen Bomb

Sun was shining yesterday, but my hay fever is really bad. Can’t say it’s ever been this severe. My nose is streaming.

The Sun tells us this is due to the delayed and condensed spring, which has led to the plants and trees playing ‘catch up’ and dramatically increasing their pollen production.

Apparently, one in four adults are affected by tree pollen which is more than the grasses and flowers.

I am one of these people.

The post Stowehill -> Weedon appeared first on Michael Tyler..



Nether Heyford -> Stowehill

Pig’s hill. Don’t see many pigs around, certainly not seen any on the towpath…. Stowehill Has a nice view down to Flore, the opposing village, separated by the River Nene, just in it’s infancy here. Took some images out across the valley. I scouted the area, as I always scout the area before a move. […] The post Nether Heyford -> Stowehill appeared first on Michael...

Pig’s hill. Don’t see many pigs around, certainly not seen any on the towpath….

Stowehill

Has a nice view down to Flore, the opposing village, separated by the River Nene, just in it’s infancy here.

Took some images out across the valley.

Nene Valley looking East from Stowehill
Nene Valley looking East from Stowehill
Stowehill Grand Union
Stowehill Grand Union
Nene Valley looking West from Stowehill
Nene Valley looking West

I scouted the area, as I always scout the area before a move.

The two important things to consider are

  1. Access:- You could be in the prettiest spot in the world. Fine until you need to use the car and it’s a 2 mile walk to the nearest parking spot.
  2. Internet Access:- I’m on 3 which has fairly good coverage all over. However, if you want to be using your phone on the boat, which I often do, you need to be getting a good, strong signal.
    Use this to check your signal.

Local amenities – Marinas and Firewood

Yesterday I had to go and have a pump out, the first one I’ve paid for since February, usually they’re free because I do them myself.

A pump out is £15. And depending on how much you use the toilet, you have to do one every two weeks.

Got some fuel as well from Rugby boats which worked out about 1/3 cheaper than filling up at Whilton Marina which is about 4 miles up the road.

Rugby boats is right outside the Navigation Inn and right next to the A5.

There is also a Christian farm that sells natural firewood. This is a good place to drop in if you are in the area. It’s at New Creation Farm. It’s Nene Valley firewood, or Northampton Firewood.

If you speak to them nicely, they will do you a really good deal on Firewood.

There are a surprising amount of people that work here. It’s a proper little industry.

Bank Holiday

Crick boat show is on. That’s probably about 2 hours away on the boat, maybe 3.

Apart from that, doing as little as possible today.

Given up drinking for 6 weeks now.

Not really missing it TBH. When I see beer, I want to drink it, but I don’t often see it.

Out of sight out of mind.

Life goes on….

The post Nether Heyford -> Stowehill appeared first on Michael Tyler..



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