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Geoff S

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Everything posted by Geoff S

  1. Rolls-Royce is still British. I think BMW has the rights to use the name for cars but the British company is the ultimate owner of it. I think there was some sort of deal when RR took over BMW's gas turbine operation. I used to interview potential under-graduate and graduate trainees on the so-called milk round (so long ago I've almost forgotten I did!) but we used to mark them down if they mentioned cars as part of the business
  2. Semiconductors, especially silicon are incredibly reliable and rugged - including integrated circuits. Many years ago I was involved in the design of short range radio telemetry used to measure temperature (via thermocouples) and vibration (via strain gauges) in gas turbines. They were installed in the engine in an annular carrier and subject to at least 125 deg C and 20,000 g acceleration (plus vibration) and really the only failures were connecting wires to the transducers coming adrift during running. The circuits were embedded in epoxy and the transmitters I designed were simply a pair of silicon transistors - very crude but the range was measured in millimetres (just as well because I was using Band 1 TV frequencies -40 to 80 Mhz ) Resistors are reliable but capacitors less so, particularly aluminium electrolytics. We used a lot of solid tantalum electrolytics which are very good. As Nigel says the main source of electrical problems are connectors, including ones like brushes or pots - ie, anything that moves or is moveable.
  3. Not as Ezee Pezee as you thought then Mine also needs some repair after a too low approach, longer than I expected grass caught the undercarriage and tipped it in. Nothing like as bad as yours though.
  4. As a child in the 1940s I was fed a desert spoonful of cod liver oil and malt daily. It was thick and brown and I loved it I occasionally used to add a drop Castrol 'R' to the petrol tank of my 1932 Scott TT Replica just for the lovely smell - the shallowness of youth!
  5. I don't know about Ohio but Kitty Hawk is on the northern part of the Outer Banks of N Carolina.
  6. We visited Kitty Hawk about 20 years ago and the museum is well worth a visit. I was expecting a MAGA hype attitude but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was more like Shuttleworth collection with a load of enthusiastic volunteers only too pleased to help with any queries. Kill Devil Hill, where a lot of the hang glider experiments were carried out, is a huge sand dune which once was prone to natural movement because of the effects of wind but has been stabilised and there's a monument to the Wrights on the top. We cycled up the track on a borrowed tandem just for the hell of it - I wonder if we're the only ones? No-one said anything about it. The route of that famous photographed first flight is marked, of course, and takes very little time to walk. Apparently, the Wrights set up the camera and an assistant operated the shutter. It was the first (and only?) photograph he ever took. There must be millions of copies reproduced in magazines etc. In fact I bought a copy there and it's on my workshop wall now.
  7. The new number stars with GBR followed by numerous (13?) alphanumeric characters and I think (hope) doesn't change. I'm pretty sure I paid mine when I renewed my BMFA membership and then received my new, permanent number. It isn't exactly clear and the whole thing is a mess but I think is now more settled.
  8. Quite a fan of DeHaviland aircraft; it probably started when I used regularly to cycle past the factory on the old A1 at Hatfield on the way to tech college in the late 50s or as a customer at Roy Claridge's motorcycle shop opposite.
  9. Couldn't free plans be available as pdfs? They're easy to print out at home, either complete or as small parts which can be stuck on the wood as patterns to make cutting out easier.
  10. Despite having been involved on and off with computers since 1961 and with electronics in general even longer (since birth as we lived at the family radio/electrical/jewellers/clock repair/ photographic shop - my dad and grandfather had lots of interests ) I still like paper publications. We still have a daily newspaper (though I do read a lot on-line, too) and I subscribe to the paper RCME and I'd miss them both. I'm also a great fan of paper maps. Even when we use a GPS Satnav in the car, my wife always has the map book open and I'm a huge fan of OS maps because they tell you so much more than a tiny screen ever can. I think it would diminish life if they ever disappeared and those who've never used them would really miss out without realising it. A well-balanced combination of both digital and paper media is the key. I used to write a fair bit of software when I worked and I always did a print out of the code for debugging because it was so much easier to scribble corrections in pencil whilst flicking from page to page. In fact I think I have the listing for a floating point maths routine I wrote in assembler somewhere - sad isn't it? As my interests have changed over my relatively long life so have the magazines I've bought. At one time I've subscribed to Motor Cycling and Motor Cycle Sport (I have over 3 decades worth stashed in the loft), Wireless World, Yachts and Yachting, various cycling magazines and now RCME amongst others. I've enjoyed them all. I even edited a 2000 issue bi-monthly national cycle club magazine for a few years. Does anyone remember all the Practical XXXX magazines mostly edited by FJ Camm - I noticed one title in Morrisons yesterday with a Practical XXX heading and I don't think it was from the same stable.
  11. Yet in Norway there are wooden churches over 1000 years old and magnificent structures. I remember wondering when we saw them in 1966 why they didn't rot.
  12. I'm not sure if the tyres are reinforced, just that the manual quotes that the tyre pressure should be 50psi, which, incidentally, is the same as for our old Ford LWB Transit based campervan. I usually set my bike tyre pressures at 90 psi.
  13. It certainly has been exceptionally hot. Summer 1995 (the year I retired) was very warm and dry but nothing like this. I had a new frame built in Reynolds 653 and never bothered fitting mudguards until the autumn and rode 1000s of miles - some of them the 20 miles each way for model flying lessons Brendon O'Neil is an idiot. I'm old enough to remember the summer of 1976 very well. One weekend in June a cricket match in Buxton was cancelled because of snow and the following weekend the drought began. It wasn't the temperature that was the big talking point; it was the lack of rain. We had 2 sailing holidays that year. The first (in August) was the national championships for our dinghy class (Graduate) in Saundersfoot. It was certainly warm but we still wore wet suits. The sand above the tide line was too warm to walk on in bare feet and it was impossible to walk on the prom without stamping on some of the 1000s of ladybirds crawling around - never seen so many before or since. It was a championship for the light airs specialists as the wind was very light. The second was on the Clyde in September. My wife and I with another couple chartered a 27' Sabre yacht based in the Gare Loch and cruised the northern part of the Clyde (we weren't permitted to go south of the northern tip of Arran). Unfortunately we had to use the auxiliary engine quite a lot because of the lack of wind. The main features were 13/14' long basking sharks which you could sail alongside and giant jellyfish that looked like floating Victorian lampshades. The temperature wasn't really a problem and was much lower than 30 deg. btw the tyre pressure monitor this am read 49 psi.
  14. Being a very new caravan user (we replaced our ageing campervan with a 2 berth Swift Basecamp 2) I was a bit concerned about caravan punctures and not being aware of them until a flailing tyre had wrought untold damage to the van. I bought a tyre pressure monitor from Banggood. It's intended for cars but it works perfectly using just 2 monitors and the RF connection has no problem with the display on the car's dashboard. We returned from a short break yesterday when the ambient temperature was about 36 deg. The van's tyre pressures increased from 50 psi to 58 and triggered the over pressure alarm I'd set to what I thought adequately high. Not a serious problem but I assume the car tyre pressures were equally affected. There's built-in tyre pressure monitoring for the car but I'm not sure if it triggers for over pressure. I was surprised the pressure increase due to temperature was getting on for 20%.
  15. I was spectating at Buckminster on Saturday when the news filtered through. I was totally shocked because if anyone epitomised 'being alive' it was Alex. He always seemed to be enjoying himself. He was a regular visitor to our scale day at Ashbourne. He will be greatly missed both personally and for his articles and photographs. Condolences to his friends and family,
  16. If spectators are allowed I'll probably be wearing a Derby Mercury cycle club top. We'll be on the Wymondham Caravan Club site about 3 miles away from Thursday. I won't be flying. I know my place
  17. It looks like the protection works well. It's just that the packing material it arrived wrapped round was probably quite expensive
  18. After some shenanigans I've managed to log into publisher's website (Mortons?). Like John my direct debit is via my debit rather than credit card, so I assume I need to do nothing. My most recent payment was a couple of days ago and shows on my bank account. Geoff
  19. It was a truly beautiful bike to look at but ... A motorcycle club member bought a new Honda 450 twin (I think the first 'big' bike Honda imported) about the same time and I wish I'd had one of them rather than the BSA. In the late 60s I went for an interview for a job at BSA development dept in Umberslade Hall. (I rode there on my MSS Velocette) I got the job but very shortly afterwards they wrote and said they'd decided not to appoint anyone and the whole thing collapsed. One of the things I noticed was that no-one who interviewed me actually rode any of the bikes they were involved in so it was hardly surprising they didn't appreciate the shortcomings. Thus the whole British motorcycle industry collapsed. A friend of mine had a 500cc Cheney Triumph which had been ridden by Malcolm Rathmel in the International 6 days trial. You could replace many components without tools (riders were required to maintain their own machines for the 6 days, within the time limits) - there were duplicate cables in place and a single built in tommy bar released the wheels for puncture repair etc. He lent it to me to ride the Exeter Trial (200 miles over night in January!). It was incredibly smooth and coped well with the icy roads and I got a First Class award. I think it's in the National Motorcycle Museum now (WGC 103H if anyone sees it ) No oil leaks and well silenced, so it was possible to put a brilliant Triumph together. I can think what it's worth now - IIRC Roger gave £200 for it!
  20. Hmm, not only cars. Here's a letter I sent to BSA about my 1965 BSA Lightning. At 80mph (legal then) on the motorway the vibration was so bad I couldn't easily read the signposts! Dear Sir A65L frame number A50B -9085 Engine number A650-5309 The above motor cycle was bought from HE Buttlers, Long Eaton in July 1965. It has since suffered three major engine failures and many other comparatively minor faults during the moderate mileage of approx 25,000 1 Electrical faults 1 Headlamp reflector (corroded) (18,000) 2 Ammeter (replacement is now useless) under guarantee (3,000) 3 A/C generator stator (18,000) 4 Rectifier (replacement proved to have unsoldered joints) (12,000) 5 Battery (12,000) 6 Contact breaker sets (weak spring limited rpm to 5,000) (13,000) I realise that all the above items are not made by BSA. However you should bear some responsibility for your choice of suppliers. 2 Cycle part failures 1 Front mudguard stays - 3 (7 - 9,000) 2 replaced under guarantee. However the stay attachment at the fork leg has come away completely from the 'guard 2 Front wheel spokes - 2 (6,000 and 20,000) 3 Rear wheel bearings (7,000) These had never been properly greased at the factory and two other people with A65L have suffered similar trouble. 4 Severe and premature corrosion of chrome parts 5 Silencer (7,500 and 17,000) These both failed similarly due to parts falling off inside and excessive 'blueing' around the attachment point. 6 Tacho cable - 2 (10,000 and 18,500) Also the present one failed at 24,000. 3 Engine failures 1 Piston collapsed (9,300) This failure caused the barrel to be broken. The engine was returned to the works where a very prompt repair was done under guarantee (I was lucky there, as it happened a week outside the 6 month guarantee - I did a lot of miles in those days) 2 Cylinder head broke (17,000) One of the support brackets for the exhaust rocker spindle broke across an oilway drilling. A replacement was provided by the works at a cost to me of £4, a deal with which I was very satisfied. (I was easily satisfied in those days Smiley) 3 Piston collapsed (25,000) I have now, at last, lost faith completely in your product. This third engine catastrophe has necessitated the replacement of both pistons cylinder barrel (again) and a connecting rod. This machine replaced a six year old car which I had bought only 9 months previously, and which, since it was of only moderate power, was driven very hard indeed. The difference in reliability is very marked. Indeed I have recently 'married' a 1965 BMC Mini which my wife bought new, and which is also driven very hard with virtually no trouble. I would like to take this opportunity of stressing the help and consideration I have received from Buttlers. Your firm would certainly benefit from more dealers of their calibre. I am bitterly disappointed that even an outlay of over £340 (!!!!) will not provide me with reliable two-wheeled transport. I hope you will let me have your comments on these points. yours faithfully The Lightning replaced a 1959 Austin A40 Farina that had already had a new engine fitted and the sills were rotten. Of course the Mini wasn't perfect either - I replaced the exhaust several times amongst other things. We sold it in 1969 and replaced it with an Austin Healey Sprite Mk 4 in which we did over 100k miles - but with a fair bit of personal spanner work. It was huge fun to own, though and got us on some great trips in Europe and the UK. I'd just met my future wife in 1965 and her Mini was brand new. She still hadn't passed her test and after knowing me for about a month lent me her car
  21. We’ve booked a week at the Caravan Club site at Wymondham windmill just a very few miles away so I'll probably have a ride over to see what's happening and, as I'll be pedalling rather than driving, try a pint ? I may take a couple of models to fly in the next week if it's possible. Now we have a small caravan rather than the campervan it's easier to carry a model or two in the car. There seems to be little information about the event or if non-flying BMFA members are welcome or if there's a charge to do so.
  22. I think colour contrast is important, too - preferably in simple straight edged patterns or stripes. A white wing with darker tips or diagonal stripes. Our cycle club jerseys were simple lightish blue with a single broad stripe across the chest and it's surprising how they stand out at a distance against more elaborate designs. The DB Gypsy Moth in my icon is quite easy to see in yellow and black (one of the reasons I chose to model that particular example).
  23. I think if you include the cost of the jig you would also need to include the cost of all the tools used! I have an identical fuselage jig. It's beginning to look a bit tatty but I've had it for 20+ years and I wouldn't be without it. I even built a boat hull on it!
  24. of course it all depend on what you get with the Speedair. Some ARTFs intended for glow power are just a bare airframe and you need all the radio gear (inc servos etc) as well as an engine and possibly a fuel tank and tubing. Whereas electric foamies like (say) a Riot include everything except the radio receiver - mine was about £120 IIRC. The last ARTF I bought is a wooden Wot4 which came with nothing but the airframe and cost £110 plus p&p. I had to fit a motor (which I already had) and servos. I guess the cost 'in the air' was getting on for £250 if I'd had to buy the motor and esc. The Das Liddle Stik I built from a free plan back in 2020 probably didn't cost all that much but again I used a lot of stuff from stock so it's difficult to judge. It's only about 1 metre ws and I used covering I had in stock (that would be expensive now that HK film seems not to be easily available).
  25. I used to build/assemble my own pedal cycles - singles, tandems and trikes. I usually built my own wheels too. What I never did was count the cost because it was something I wanted to do. Now, similarly to model aircraft, the range of 'ready to ride' pedal cycles is vast - there's something to suit everyone but back in the 1970s if you wanted a decent bike you had a frame built and either paid the supplier to assemble it or did it yourself. My 'racing bike' was an old Mercian frame, stripped down with a pair of sprint wheels I built. I wasn't very fast but I sometimes wonder how much quicker I'd have been with a modern time trial bike costing many, many times what my old s/h Mercian did. ? I take the same attitude when building models. If I can afford it I buy the necessary wood/electronics/ power source etc as and when I need them but I never work out the totals and never will. However, I'm glad someone else is taking the trouble and I'll watch with interest.
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