Thursday, 31 October 2013

We Dont really know who the bad guys are anymore

Google has expressed outrage following a report that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has hacked its data links.

An executive at Google said it was not aware of the alleged activity, adding there was an "urgent need for reform".

That's is for me. I have no sympathy for them and the next time someone hacks a government agency, well they deserved it because obviously they pushed over the first domino.

You pay your money, you take your choices.

Mark my words, its all done for commercial interest and political control, not our safety

If the NSA were really trying to keep people safe, the priority would be keeping people safe, not diplomats, businesses and terrorists.

NSA monitor all e-mail, and phone lines yet they haven't nailed any paedophiles sharing images of children.

how come?

60 million e-mails in Spain - millions of records gleaned daily may be 'Inappropriate and unacceptable' but at least they could use that information to protect our children and families.

Surveillance of millions of telephone calls in every country and they don't come across a single piece of hard evidence - billions of pieces of data and they cant find a criminal.

they would be able to find them if they were looking for them. NSA could stop them before there were any more victims. Innocent children violated

What if a world leader was about to go into a major summit, how useful would it be to know in advance what other countries' real positions were on this, what their bottom line. It doesn't really make for fair debate at even the highest level.

You cant trust any negotiations as the good guys are now the bad guys because they have rigged the game and given us a hand of jokers.

Its all about money and there is no money in catching paedophiles.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Does the CFL in your pendant fitting flicker

Flashing like this is often associated with load issues. Also, deep dimming in particular can affect the operation of a lamp.

CFLs present a load that is not identical to an incandescent load.

it could be related to
the number of lamps on a circuit, when two-way switches are used or pilot lights are involved.

Using a CFL may have exposed an underlying issue with the wiring, the luminaire itself or the supply.

The acceptable voltage range for Most CFL range is typically 198 to 254V.

If the sine wave is clipped, then this could be contributing to the issue.

now its down to a source a lamp / dimmer / transformer and test the combination that is compatible.

Stuck between a Rock and a Hard Place

Housing tenants who are affected by the Bedroom Tax are still facing an impossible choice, according to a report released by Grand Union Housing Group.

The report which looks at the impact on tenants of the Group's subsidiaries Aragon Housing Association and South Northants Homes, reveals there is a desperate shortage of two bedroom homes, those most in demand by customers.

It also reveals that arrears among those affected have gone up by over 20% as tenants face increased hardship and struggle to find the shortfall.

The report suggests that the savings on the Housing Benefit bill may not be what the Government had anticipated and that the letting of three bedroom properties in some areas may now be becoming problematic.

It follows on from Aragon's '100 days' report earlier this year.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

What is your life worth??? 77p

77p for a life, sounds cheap doesn't it.

but the fact is there were 21 fires attended last year by JUST ONE fire brigade where the batteries were missing or smoke alarms not working

would you die for 77p?

cost of buying this battery on-line.
think about it.

Self cleaning solar panels - Nanoporous

I suppose you heard Ikea's plans to sell solar panels in the UK, in addition to their famous flat-packed furniture.

A key part of solar cells efficiency is the anti-reflection coating, which ensures that as much sunlight as possible is captured.

Nanoporous thin films have ideal optical properties for such coatings, but they are not robust in outdoor conditions and quickly become contaminated.

Now researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Stanford have designed an antireflection coating that can keep itself clean. It is made of a porous network of silica and contains titanium dioxide nanocrystals, which are the cleaners. The nanocrystals are chemically reactive when activated by sunlight and decompose organic contaminants.

Although the nanocrystals would normally cause high reflections, they are completely hidden within the silica network so they do not interfere with the panels' optical properties. In a first test of the technology, researchers have shown that fingerprints left on silicon coated with the new material are completely removed after two hours under a solar lamp.

The coating is scratch-resistant and could be of particular interest for solar panels covering large areas.

Literally brilliant...

Energy price rises - are we being ripped off?

So far, four of the big companies have announced increases that average 9.1%.

Ofgem data suggests that wholesale electricity and gas together have risen by just 1.7% over the last year.

It estimates the net effect of wholesale prices on a household bill should be just £10 extra on a bill of £600.
The energy firms are expected to insist that the rises were largely due to increasing wholesale prices, which was have just pointed out is not correct as wholesale prices have risen by less than the rate of inflation.

somehow I think the suppliers believe we will take the traditional winter price hike on the chin without questioning it. maybe they are just jumping the gun ahead of the Milliband price freeze combined with some clever accounting to hide some profit in the holding groups.

Are you feeling ripped off.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Drayson Racing are breaking records again

In June, the team led by former British science minister Lord Drayson set a land speed record for lightweight electric cars; reaching 204.2 mph at the Elvington airfield in Yorkshire, England.
Recently, Drayson returned to Elvington, breaking his original record and setting three more.

Driving the same Lola B12 69/EV he used in his previous attempts, Lord Drayson achieved 205.13 mph over a flying mile, and set a one-kilometer record of 333.271 kph. Both records are awaiting approval by the FIA.

Drayson says the top speed achieved by the Lola makes it the fastest vehicle in Britain driven by its wheels. That excludes vehicles powered by thrust, like the jet- and rocket-powered Bloodhound SSC that is being prepared for a 1,000 mph record run over a South African desert.

Drayson also set a record for an electric car in the standing quarter mile, with a time of 9.74 seconds at 92.38 mph. This record is also awaiting FIA approval.

According to a team statement, during the last record run the car was still accelerating hard when it reached the end of the speed zone, prompting Drayson to try again.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Saving power with the RIGHT Lights

The Buzz Word is LED, LED, LED

Most of us have changed from traditional light bulbs to energy saving ones. But there is now a range of lower energy bulbs that you can install to save you more money.

Even halogen spot lights can be replaced - the new LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are bright enough to do the job.

They are priced between £4 and £20 and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. If your supermarket doesn't stock them, most DIY stores do.

The Energy Saving Trust recommended logo can give an indication of light quality and durability.
For the average household, changing all bulbs would cost around £125. The low energy versions would last longer and save around £60 a year.

need advice?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Save Electricity in the kitchen

You can save about £40 a year with careful use of kitchen appliances.

Set your washing machine to wash at 30C. Only use your tumble dryer when you can't dry clothes outside.

Don't fill your kettle to the top, just boil the amount of water you need.

It's estimated three-quarters of British households overfill their kettles, wasting £68m a year in energy costs.

Have a great weekend - Saving Electricity

Google follow up

Google was named thanks to the misspelling of the word googol, which means a one followed by one-hundred zeros.

Friday Fact

Google was originally known as BackRub

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Turn it off

The average family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by remembering to turn appliances off ( if they aren't doing it already).

If you turn a light off for even a few seconds, you'll save more energy than it takes to switch on again. That applies to all light bulb types.

Nearly all electrical appliances can be turned-off at the plug without upsetting their systems.

Mobile, tablet and lap top chargers us power even when they are NOT charging anything so turn them off at the socket on the wall

The only exceptions are satellite and digital TV recorders. They should be left plugged-in for recording programmes.

Check the instructions on any appliances you're not sure about.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Is it time you thought about a switch to a different energy provider (UK)

1. Check your paperwork
Compare prices, gather some recent bills together to get some information about your energy use.

You'll need details such as the name of your supplier, the type of tariff you're on and the amount of gas or electricity you consume.

Alternatively, you could download the energy bills table from the Rip Off Britain Guide to Getting a Good Deal.

If you can work out how much you spend a year, you'll have a more accurate picture than by just looking at a single month.

The best deal is likely to depend on how much energy you use. Most deals charge more for energy used up to a given low amount and then a cheaper rate for additional usage.

2. Find the best deal

Research the tariffs offered by individual companies yourself or you can use a website to help find the best deal.

There are a number of price comparison sites on the internet such as uSwitch or UKPower.

Ofgem has a list of accredited sites. Try out more than one to see what they can offer.

3. Choosing the best tariff

Check you won't have to pay a penalty for cancelling your current contract

Cost isn't the only factor to consider, It's worth looking into customer service too - do they run 24 hour emergency cover?

Find out whether the company offer any incentives or discounts if you switch to them

Prepayment meters can help with budgeting but are often a more expensive option

If you move to a new supplier you have a 14 day cooling off period after the switch when you can change your mind

If you're behind with payments, contact your fuel supplier straight away. They must offer you an arrangement to pay off the arrears at a rate you can afford

You can choose a fixed tariff which means the cost of your fuel will stay the same for the duration of your deal, even if the company puts its prices up. (going up as I type.)

It makes it easier to manage your money. However, you won't benefit if prices go down.

You also need to check whether you'll have to pay a penalty if you want to end the tariff before the end of the contract.

A variable tariff means that the cost of every unit of energy can go up or down.

4. Dual-fuel deals

If you have gas and electricity, you can choose to buy both from the same supplier.
It means you're only dealing with one company which makes it easier to complain if you have any problems.

Some companies will offer a discount if you do this - but be careful because these tariffs don't always give you a better price.

5. Switching

Once you decide you want to change supplier, you'll need to contact both of the companies involved.
If you switch via a comparison site, they'll contact the new supplier for you.

You'll need to provide a meter reading to your new supplier on the day of the switch. They'll pass it on to the other company so you can be billed for the correct sum.

6. Easy ways to save more

You might be able to save significantly simply by paying by monthly direct debit.

Your annual usage will be estimated and your payments will be averaged out over the year.

Over-payments will be refunded - but it's a good idea to keep an eye on your meter to check your estimated bills aren't much too high or low.

Usually you will also receive a discount if you choose paperless billing. This means you access your bills online.

7. Do you qualify for help?

There are government schemes which can help older people or those on low incomes with energy payments or to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

These include the Warm Home discount scheme, the Winter Fuel payment and the Cold Weather payment.

if you qualify - take any help you are entitled to...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Will the lights go out if Labour get their promised price freeze?

in a word - 'No'

don't worry

Some of the energy companies, and those who represent them, argue that the lights could go out if prices cannot be changed for nearly two years.

In reality, we will not be plunged into darkness. What they mean is that the decommissioning of coal - and ultimately nuclear - power plants, is going to create a shortfall in energy production in the UK.

If they are going to build new power production plants, such as wind farms or power stations, huge amounts of investment are needed. in effect the suppliers are going to use your money (not company profits) so they can build more generating capacity in order that they can charge you more for electricity. we take the pain and the company gets the gain.

An inability to set prices would affect this long-term strategy.

We think that there may be some credence in Mr Miliband claim that firms have been "overcharging" customers for many years. Consumer groups say a price freeze would be popular, but there would be hurdles in making such a policy work.

Monday, 21 October 2013

With the Major electricty suppliers upping thier prices

We thought it would be handy to spend a bit of time on review and advice.

How much do we pay?

The average annual dual-fuel bill - covering gas and electricity - is £1,315 per household. This figure, published by regulator Ofgem in mid-September, is based on the latest assumption of the amount of energy a typical household uses.

Bear in mind, this is an average. The amount you pay depends on your energy consumption and the method of payment.

It is one of the largest regular bills that a household has to pay, behind mortgage or rent, and council tax. Prices have risen in recent years, and analysts predict another increase in the coming weeks.

How much of my bill ends up as the energy firms' profits?
The argument over whether the major energy suppliers' profits are "excessive" is central to this debate.

The regulator has been collecting data on these firms' profit margins for the past three years.
The latest statistics, from mid-September, show that the average profit margin made on the £1,315 bill is £65. This was £30 higher than September 2011 and September 2012.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a snapshot and the figure has been volatile. In some months, the profit margin has risen above £100, whereas in others the margin has been negative.
Ofgem says that seasonal factors are key to this volatility.

Where does the rest of the money go?
By far the biggest chunk of your bill goes on the cost of buying gas and electricity on the wholesale market, or directly from an electricity generator or gas supplier.

This, in addition to the costs of running a retail business with billing and sales, accounts for 67% of a gas bill and 58% of an electricity bill, according to Ofgem.

But this is where the figures get really complicated. Wholesale gas and electricity is not a single product but a whole series of contracts. Each company's team of traders will be buying energy at different prices, depending on whether this is delivered tomorrow, next month, or even in five years' time.
They spread out the purchases of energy to mitigate the risk of volatility when, for example, there is unrest in an oil-producing region.

What else does my bill cover?
About 16% of it goes on distribution charges - the cost of the gas pipes and electricity wires that get the energy into your home.

The cost of high pressure gas and high voltage transmission networks account for 2% of a gas bill and 4% of an electricity bill. VAT accounts for 5% of each.

A bit goes on costs of metering and storing gas. Then, 6% of a gas bill and 11% of an electricity bill go to government schemes aimed at saving energy, reducing emissions and tackling climate change.
It is these "green" fees that the energy suppliers say have pushed up the cost of a typical bill in recent years.

did that help???

Thouroughly deserved - Peter Higgs awarded the Nobel prize in physics

Two scientists have won the Nobel prize in physics for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson.

Peter Higgs, from the UK, and Francois Englert from Belgium, share the prize.
In the 1960s, they were among several physicists who proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.
The mechanism predicts a particle - the Higgs boson - which was finally discovered in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, in Switzerland.
Continue reading the main story “Start Quote"I am overwhelmed to receive this award... I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle”
End Quote Peter Higgs Emeritus professor of theoretical physics, University of Edinburgh Profile: Peter Higgs
"This year's prize is about something small that makes all the difference," said Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Friday Fact

The Sun is one among the 200 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

climate model to better understand electricity

Electrical currents born from thunderstorms are able to flow through the atmosphere and around the globe, causing a detectable electrification of the air even in places with no thunderstorm activity.

But until recently, scientists have not had a good understanding of how conductivity varies throughout the atmosphere and how that may affect the path of the electrical currents. Now, a research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a global electric circuit model by adding an additional layer to a climate model created by colleagues at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder.

The results, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, show that the atmosphere is generally less conductive over the equator and above Southeast Asia and more conductive closer to the poles, though the atmosphere’s conductivity changes seasonally and with the weather.

Research into atmospheric electrification stretches back to the 1750s, when researchers, including Benjamin Franklin, were trying to better understand the nature of lightning. In the 1800s, scientists measured changes in the atmosphere’s electric field from the Kew Observatory near London, and in the 1900s, the Carnegie, an all-wooden ship built without any magnetic materials, crisscrossed the ocean while taking atmospheric electricity measurements that are still referenced today.

But obtaining a global picture of atmospheric conductivity has been difficult, in part because the atmosphere’s ability to channel electricity is not static. Ions, which allow current to move through the air, are added to the upper atmosphere by a continuous bombardment of galactic cosmic rays and to the lower atmosphere through radioactive decay. But those ions can be removed from the atmosphere in a variety of ways.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Blaze badly damages £1.2m house after electrical fault

Six fire crews battled the flames at £1.2 million Aspen House, at Beech Hill, for several hours, but large parts of the home were destroyed.

​The fire was accidental, with the cause believed to be an electrical fault with a bathroom light fitting.
Crews estimated that 70 per cent of the roof, half of the second floor and 25 per cent of the first floor had been affected by the fire.

According to neighbours the owner of the house lives in the Stonegate area, and in a cruel twist of fate a new tenant was due to move into the house on Tuesday.

Rupert North and his family have had to temporarily move out of their home, which connects to Aspen House, after it suffered water and smoke damage.

Need a Home MOT????

Monday, 14 October 2013

“like running up a down escalator”

Today has been really busy, I can only liken it to  “like running up a down escalator” you know what I mean?

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Govt dropping EV incentives and Jezza Clarkson

DO YOU think the era of electric cars is nigh, or are you in the other camp who firmly believe that that era is still decades in the future.

To be honest, it is hard to say who is right

The GOVT incentive’s of £5k –, it appears that that figure is not nearly enough to encourage driver to make the leap from Petrol / Diesel.

The continued poor sales seem top agree with this. This is probably because it looks like the manufacturers have actually inflated the price.

Looks like the incentives are going to disappear, so if the price goes up by that amount, that idea becomes baseless, but if it stays the same, buyers will suddenly see that they were more or less ripped off. In any case, electric and plug-in cars will receive a big blow.

To be honest, the industry has been woeful at advertising itself - poor information is standard

Most know very little about this type of car because there is close to no advertising done.

Tie that in with Top Gear, likes to point out the weaknesses of these cars and sending the message that they are not yet ready for the main stage.

What do you think

Time to check your trip

Its time to check the Earth Trip - Go on, Push that little yellow button NOW!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Safety Saturday - get up off your bum!!! NOW

This is not a national event, its a Woolgar Electrical special

right - you are sitting at your computer, or on the sofa with your phone or generic tablet device.

just how safe are the rest of the people in your home with you? do you know.

time for some exercise.

get up and find your fuse box (its generally a metre or two from you electric meter) and look at it?

does it have rewirable fuses? if it does read this MOT Your Home

if it has a modern board with MCB's and an RCD (Earth Trip) - do you really know it works? when was the last time it tripped out? when was the last time you pressed that little yellow button.

forget the fact you have to reset a few clocks, don't let that deter you. go on be brave.

hang on a minute, put a note in your phone for Monday... if you cant reset the RCD (Earth trip) now, the only way you will get a sparky is on an Emergency Call Out.

Please don't let life or inconvenience get in the way of your family's safety.

I will try to remind you on Monday

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Pilots get Pads

American airline Delta is to equip 11,000 of its pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets, in a bid to eliminate paper resources.

The recently launched Surface 2, which runs the Windows RT 8.1 platform, will provide crews with key charts and navigation tools via a customised app.

The tablets will replace the 17kg (2st 10lb) flight bags currently carried by pilots, reducing fuel consumption.

The company expects all its cockpits to be paperless by the end of 2014.

Delta had previously tested Apple iPads as potential Electronic Flight Bags (EFB), but has recently embraced Microsoft devices.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

You dont need to wee on your phone anymore, go out in a storm...

Scientists use lightning bolt to charge mobile phone

2 centuries years after Mary Shelley used lightning to breathe life into Frankenstein's monster, scientists have copied her idea to power a phone.

The proof-of-concept experiment was conducted at the University of Southampton in collaboration with Nokia.

The mobile firm warned users "not to try this at home".

Harnessing nature in this way could provide power sources where electricity is in short supply, said experts.

Using a transformer, the team recreated a lightning bolt in the lab by passing 200,000 volts across a 30cm (12in) air gap.

"We were amazed to see that the Nokia circuitry somehow stabilised the noisy signal, allowing the battery to be charged," said Neil Palmer, from the University of Southampton's high voltage laboratory.

clever eh!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nuclear fusion getting closer

Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

To be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive, and ultimately pointless

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.

NIF, based at Livermore in California, uses 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser to heat and compress a small pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place.

The BBC understands that during an experiment in late September, the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.

This is a step short of the lab's stated goal of "ignition", where nuclear fusion generates as much energy as the lasers supply. This is because known "inefficiencies" in different parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel.

X-rays strip material from the outer shell of the fuel pellet, heating it up to millions of degrees
If the compression of the fuel is high enough and uniform enough, nuclear fusion can result
But the latest achievement has been described as the single most meaningful step for fusion in recent years, and demonstrates NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion.


store electrical energy as heat

An idealized model for a system that would store large amounts of electrical energy by heating a tank of fluid has been developed by a physicist in Germany. The model is based on the concept of pumped heat electricity storage (PHES), which is a family of energy-storage technologies being developed worldwide to store electricity generated by intermittent sources such as wind turbines or solar panels. This latest research could help boost both the energy and cost efficiencies of these storage systems.
Large-scale stores

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not produce energy at a constant rate and as a result engineers are developing large-scale energy-storage methods that can hold excess energy for use when the wind is not blowing or when the Sun is not shining. However, creating efficient storage systems is proving difficult as André Thess of the Ilmenau University of Technology points out in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters. Today, two techniques are used: pumped hydro storage (PHS) and compressed-air energy storage (CAES). Both, however, can be very difficult to implement. PHS needs kilometre-sized, elevated water reservoirs containing nearly 10 million cubic metres of water, while the CAES method involves finding or creating huge underground caverns.

PHES, on the other hand, is much simpler – electricity from a source such as a solar or wind farm is used to run a heat pump. The pump heats water stored in a large tank (normally about 100,000 cubic metres in volume) and then, when needed, the heated water is sent to a heat engine and electricity is produced. A heat pump, rather than an electric heater, is used to heat the water because it makes the whole process much more efficient. Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy in the direction opposite to that of spontaneous heat flow and so use much less energy than would be needed to generate the heat with an electrical heater.

Monday, 7 October 2013

An interesting shower pull switch

Every so often we follow up on a cowboy and today we found this in LINSLADE. Bedfordshire

our engineer was not impressed to see the least.

Elecrical Safety Video

Survey reveals concerns over safety of electrical installations

Research conducted by BEAMA has revealed the serious concerns among electrical contractors over the safety of domestic electrical installations. Feedback from hundreds of contractors has added to calls from the CLG Select Committee for regular electrical safety inspections in rented properties.

 But, following the survey there was good news for David Bailey of David Bailey Electrical Services, a sole trader from Oxfordshire registered on the Electrical Safety Register. BEAMA was delighted to present David with a £200 gift certificate after his name was drawn at random from more than 550 contractors, who provided valuable and greatly appreciated feedback.

 The survey findings highlighted a need for action:
Around 30% of Electrical Installation Condition Reports identify ‘Danger Present’ in rented properties.
• 25% to 75% of homes have wiring installations more than 20 years out of date (pre-16th edition BS 7671).
• Landlords are unlikely to instigate a rewire compared to homeowners, despite a growing private rented sector and with rented homes making up 50% of the total stock in some regions of the UK.

 Typical quotes from more than 200 written comments included:
• “It’s startling how many people think that because their electrics are working, they believe them to be working safely.”
• “With the properties we inspect it is rare to find no problems.”
• “I see many cases of people purchasing properties who are unaware that the wiring is in a poor state.”

BEAMA encourages Government, landlords and consumers to listen to these concerns.
 Contractors have overwhelmingly told BEAMA they encounter unsafe installations on a regular basis and support action to resolve this. BEAMA also supports the use of registered electricians and products compliant with all relevant standards, which is equally important in allowing tenants and homeowners to be confident that their electrics are safe.

 With increasing calls to ensure homes have safe electrical installations, BEAMA hopes that, in time, the safety of domestic electrical installations will be tested as a matter of course, as is rightly the case with gas safety. BEAMA will engage with all relevant organisations to support the adoption of periodic inspection and testing to ensure the safety of consumers.

Found on Voltim

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Domestic hazards

There are numerous potential electrical hazards in your home. We have listed some of them along with some simple suggestions to keep your home a safer place.

Flexible leads – what condition are they in? Damaged insulation increases the risk of the cable overheating and catching fire. It also increases the risk of electric shock. If the cable is damaged, replace it.

Hanging pictures on walls or partitions – without hitting pipes or cables. Hitting a live cable with a drill or nail is dangerous and could cause an electric shock, a fire or burns.

Do not drill holes or fix nails in walls or partitions where you are unsure what is behind the plaster. A cable and pipe detector can help you identify where cables and metal pipes lie in the wall.

Making electrical equipment safe – always unplug for peace of mind. Simple maintenance, like changing a belt on the vacuum cleaner, should only be attempted when it’s unplugged. This prevents the risk of injury from electric shock, hot or rotating parts. If parts have become hot while running, let them cool before you touch them.

Just use your common sense and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Electric shavers plugged into shaver sockets, which comply with the relevant British Standards, may be used safely. But don’t do it while you are taking a bath, as water and electricity don’t mix, and you might end up with a closer shave than you’d like.

Make sure the adaptor is in good condition, doesn’t get hot and has no burn marks on it. If it is damaged, replace it with a new one.

Having a separate socket for each item you want to plug in is always the safest bet.
Always use a registered electrician.

Light fittings – overheating can be dangerous. Using a bulb with a higher wattage than its light fitting can lead to overheating e.g. 100 Watt bulb in 60 Watt lighting fitting. This may result in a scorched shade, the lampholder crumbling when touched, or even fire.

Install the correctly-rated bulb and you won’t risk it overheating. You could save on electricity too. Even better, fit a low-energy bulb, which lasts around eight times longer than a normal tungsten bulb.
Always use a registered electrician to replace any damaged parts.

Damaged sockets, switches, or anything electrical – beware. These can create electric shocks, burns or worse, fire. Always check burn marks, sounds of buzzing or crackling, fuses blowing, circuit breakers tripping or excessive heat. Have a registered electrician fix it before it breaks – or worse.

Ventilation holes in electrical equipment – they are there to stop over-heating. If these slots get covered up, the equipment may catch fire. Never dry clothes by placing them over the ventilation slots of an electric heater. Wet clothes dripping onto any live electrical parts can create electric shocks and fire hazards. Always keep water away from electricity.

Never cover the back of a computer monitor. Likewise electric convector heaters when covered may overheat and cause fire. It’s simple. Keep ventilation slots open.

Pulling the plug out of a socket – there’s a right way and a wrong way. Pull the plug not the cable. That way you won’t damage or strain the wires. A loose wire may cause overheating, whereas a loose green and yellow earth wire could cause you to be electrocuted. Prevention is always better than cure. So press the socket’s switch 'off' (where there is one) grip the plug and pull it out being careful not to touch the plug's pins.

Friday, 4 October 2013

It's amazing how things change

We have a customer in Leighton Buzzard, Her halogen ceramic hob has gone wrong.

When we started to search for a replacement product we found that halogen hobs disappeared like the dinosaurs everything Belling now do is all induction.

How things have changed

We can't even get the parts to service it

Now I have to go back to the customer tell her she might have to buy all new pots and pans... :(

Deep sigh 

Friday Fact

The strongest muscle in the body is the TONGUE.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The world's most powerful electric car

Meet Venturi VBB-3 - the world's most powerful electric car, currently waiting on the runway in the deserts of Utah, USA for the weather to be nicer. The engineering team that built VBB-3 over the past two years is all geared up to break the land speed record of 495 km/h, which the Venturi motors itself holds since 2010. The French company is a well known name in the high performance electric vehicles sector. The Venturi VBB-3 was officially unveiled by the Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene in Utah on September 18.

The company had earlier collaborated with Ohio State University to develop the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 that set the earlier land speed record for electric vehicles. The engineering team behind VBB-3 says that it's the most powerful electric vehicle in existence in the world today. The car itself took about $6 million to build. The aim is to reach to cross the speed of 440 mph or 708 km/h with VBB-3; which would break the current FIA (Federation Of International Automobiles) record. The team hoped to touch 600 km/h this year; but the weather in Utah isn't suitable for the attempt. The current plan has been rescheduled and the next trial is expected to be conducted in July 2014.

The vehicle itself is very reminiscent of the Bloodhound SSC.

VBB-3 is needle shaped to minimise the air resistance. Measuring about 11.35 meters in length and about 1.06 meters in width, the overall weight of the car is about 3.2 tonnes. As expected, half of the weight of the car comes from the powerful 1.6 ton batteries. The Lithium Iron Phosphate aka LiFePO4 batteries have about 2000 pouch type cells and are capable of powering 2x1500 HP electric motors, producing a total of 3000 hp (2200 kW). The engine produces a super impressive torque of 2800 Nm. While the earlier models of VBB were 2-wheel drives; VBB-4 ensures that the engine engates all four wheels.

Fluke Multifunction Installation Testers

We are updating our portfolio of testers to Fluke 1654B Multifunction Installation Tester

Due the sheer number of tests we do every day we have tried other manufacturers but their longevity and accuracy have been sadly lacking

Hence - now we are trying Fluke

Every van has a Multifunction Installation Tester on it that is checked monthly for calibration.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

I need these - specs that can translate

As a Brit, I am naturally quite lazy and as a treckie I always liked the idea of the universal translator.

Although the universal translator is not here yet, I was very happy to see - translating glasses...

the Glasses that can translate text were unveiled at Ceatec 2013

An NTT Docomo engineer uses a head-mounted display to open a virtual window on a blank paper notepad

Glasses that can translate a menu have been demonstrated by a major Japanese mobile operator.

NTT Docomo's wearable Intelligent Glasses can project an image of translated text over unfamiliar characters, the company said.

The spectacles also allow the wearer to view and manipulate virtual images.

Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents

love it, I want some

The glasses, which are still at a research stage, can show translated text in a user's first language, according to the company.

The head-mounted display can translate Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean languages.

The technology can also turn flat surfaces into pseudo-touchscreens, NTT Docomo said.

Wearable technologies have to be the next frontier

bring it on!!!

New cyber defence force

The UK is to create a new cyber unit to help defend national security, the defence secretary has announced.

The Ministry of Defence is set to recruit hundreds of reservists as computer experts to work alongside regular forces in the creation of the new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit.

The new unit will also, if necessary, launch strikes in cyber space, Philip Hammond said.
Recruiting for reservists to join the unit will start next month.

The role of the unit is to protect computer networks and safeguard vital data.

"Last year, our cyber defences blocked around 400,000 advanced, malicious cyber threats to the government secure intranet alone," he said.

Aragon Garden competition 2013

We are happy to be attending Langford Garden Centre for the prize giving this afternoon.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Ac vs DC / Tesla vs Edison - mix and match with Inverters

The rail industry plans to roll out "high-speed mobile broadband"

This sounds quite good, especially as we are on the Thames link commuter belt

then I read further and its not till 2019.

sounds like spiel or a bit of a con!!! by then surely we will be on 5G or 6G, we wont need it! will we?

By 2019, 70% of train passengers should have access to the faster technology, the Department for Transport added.

Passengers may be able to watch streamed videos on their mobiles, for example, if the plan to raise data capacity per train 25-fold succeeds.

The programme will be industry funded.

"Today's announcement marks the beginning of the end of poor coverage on our railways," Mr McLoughlin said.

A Network Rail spokesman added: "As an industry, we recognise that the limited availability of mobile communications on Britain's rail network is not good enough.