Thursday, 28 November 2019

Barbour Bede Wellington Boots - Review

Barbour Bede Wellington Boots - Review

This a a long term (10 year) review of Barbour Wellington Boots, of which I am now on my third pair. I purchased by first pair around 2010, and the latest pair arrived yesterday November 2019.

Here are my new Barbour Bede Wellington Boots. they are navy blue, and are just what I expected. I like Barbour Bede Wellington Boots, because they fit a wide foot well, do not have a very high heel like a lot of the fancier boots available, and they are very bendy. 

Here are there three pairs I have which are 10, 4 and Zero Years Old Respectively. The 10 year old boots I still wear although they are not water proof any more, as they are so comfy.

The inside lining is what lets these boots downs, as after a few years of daily use your heel will wear a hole in the lining at the back of the boot, resulting in you sock coming in to direct contact with high friction rubber. Much rubbing will ensue, and perhaps a blister. 

Looking at a 10 year old Barbour Bede Wellington Boots, with perhaps 5 years of regular use, we will see that the rubber is perished. And this one has a hole in it. 

The soles are very hard wearing. The grip on the front quite unidirectional, but its good. 

On two pairs I have had the in lining is the thing that wears through, and renders boot useless.  You can just see the cloth coming away in this picture. Its a shame because teh 4 year old boots are still perfect in all other respects.

 The 4 year old boots, I think are made from a less flexible rubber than the 10 year old and new boots. I would suggest the more flexible rubber is better and makes for a comfier foot.

An attempt in above picture to show difference in flexibility between 4 year old and new wellies. The Barbour Bede Wellington Boots with the more flexiable rubber are better. This is anot choice to make, I think they must have changed the rubber recipe a few years ago and then changed it back. 

A picture above showing perishing on 10 year old boots, not surprisingly really.  I muself am more "perished" than I was when I bought these boots!

To conclude: Best pair of boot you can get for under £60, although I got these for £48 posted. I have tried moire expensive boots from the likes of Le Chameau but these I prefer. They have lots of room for tucking trousers inside the leg, don't have a wedge heel and come in three different colours.

When this new pair wear out I will get another pair. That is an indication of my high regard for these Barbour Bede Wellington Boots.



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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ryde Andra 40 Rim - Review

Ryde Andra 40 Rim - Review

I have had trouble with spokes snapping repeatedly on the rear wheel of my bike. It was a persistent problem, as I had completely rebuilt the rear wheel with new spokes, suspecting spoke quality to be the issue. However, even rebuilt with plain gauge stainless J-teck spokes, I had another spoke snap. . . . . it was all the more confusing since I was using a heavy rim (Mavic EX325) which I have 4 of in total on other bikes, and have all been perfect. 

Braking Surface - Welcome Offering

Ryde Andra 40 Rim - Overview

When looking at the rim, it is a bit wider than most. This is the specific reason for my purchase. I like wide rims. You can buy this rim in a "30" version, which is narrow.

The rim is unusual in that it has a braking surface for rim brakes. This is a bonus as it improves  adaptability.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this rim is the cross sectional profile, that see the lack of eyelets, and the adoption of a ticker layer on alloy adjacent to spoke holes.

The spoke holes are drilled at an angle, which suite my 3 cross wheel build very well.

The construction is pinned, I would have preferred welded, but  I had a £25 budget and this was the best rim I could find.

Quite a "Tall" Rim when viewed from side. 
 Other things in this picture: Alfine 11 Hub Gear and Super Moto X Tyre

Ryde Andra 40 Rim - Building and Use

The wheel built up very nicely and the angled spoke hole were a nice touch, but are they angle for 2 or 3 cross hweel building? I am not sure, a note there would be useful. 

The lack of spoke eyelets means that you are trying to tighten spoke nipples on to a rough surface, and so tensioning spokes can be a bit jerky. Not too much a problem though. 

A minor problem was that the valve hole was in the wrong place, relevent to the angling and offset of the spoke holes. 

Mounting tires is easy, and you can get them one without leavers. A bonus I think. 

Ryde Andra 40 Rim - Conclusion

A very good rim for the money.

Is Green Guard Thorn Proof?

Is Green Guard Thorn Proof?

Schwalbe Tyres offer many of there tyre models equipped with Green Gaurd, a 3mm, partially recycle latex rubber shield, that is installed between the tyre carcass and the tread.

It does not prevent punctures from thorns. At least not completely.

Complete Guide to Puncture Prevention

The Thorns

Hawthorns and black thorns are a common species included with UK hedges. In the autumn and winter UK farmers are free to trim their hedges. The reason that the trimming is undertaken in the winter is that it does not interfere with nest birds.

The Bain of Sir Dunlop

Typically a mechanical flail hedge trimmer is used to trim the hedge, bit of hedge fly all over the place and inevitably 50% of it ends up on the road.

Not only are they sharp and spiky, they also land with three of 4 thorns set at angles around a twig, meaning they sit on road, perfectly angled to puncture a tire.

The Tire

I recently purchased some  Schwalbe Super Moto X Tires, as they have a green guard protection layer and I thought this might prevent thorn punctures.

No it doesn't. The thorns go straight through. This thorn went straight through the very central area of the tire, where the green guard layer is thickest.

Lesser Spotted Disaster


I would not buy green guard tires to protect against thorns specifically, you might choose nay other puncture protection system. They may help prevent lots of other punctures, and perhaps they might reduce the probability of thorn punctures, but they wont stop them. Ciao ciao

Complete Guide to Puncture Prevention

Non relevant links:

Are Zoom Bicycle Components any Good?

Are Zoom Bicycle Components any Good?

Yes Zoom components are good. Whilst there are not bicycle bling, they do offer high quality functional bicycle components that are superior in terms of quality to unbranded products.

Across my bike stable I have numerous "Zoom" branded components. These include stems (adjusting and non-adjusting) and seat posts, they also make:

  • Brakes
  • Thru Axles 
  • Handlebars 
  • Forks (Suspension)
  • Stem Adaptors
  • Bar ends 
Based on past zoom purchases I would not hesitate to recommend buying any zoom branded product, as it is a safer bet than an unbranded product. 

noise management plan

construction environmental management plan 


How to Use LastPass without Toolbar or Button

How to Use LastPass without Toolbar or Button

If like me you don't want tool bars installed in you browser then you might want to avoid the lastpass toolbar which is a "persistant" offering from lastpass.

It is quite hard to use last pass without installing the toolbar. I am not sure why but when I log in with 100% correct log in details on firefox, I get told to try again.

But I would like to Use LastPass without Toolbar or Button. I expect functionality will be reduced, but I do not intend to do use LastPass very often just for some shared project passwords. 

I tried the same manouver in an ancient version of internet explorer (iexplore), and can access web based password vault: 

If you copy and past this link: 

 . . .in to an old browser it should take you to  your password vault. 

The question: why does firefox not show the password vault? I have checked this with chrome, and also internet explorer (may echo with edge) and direct access is possible. 

So if you are experiencing problems access password vault with Firefox . . . try a different browser. 

Waste Transfer Station Permit

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Energy Strategy

Friday, 27 September 2019

Can't Turn Off Two Stage Authentication After IOS Upgrade

Quick Note: If you want to turn off Two Stage Authentication you have to act quickly, after two weeks, you will not be able to turn it off.

Quick Note 2: In numerous forum posts people have had success by ringing apple support (or look for a link in an email from apple inbox of your apple id email address).


I have just upgraded my iphone 5S from IOS 10 to IOS 14, and some where along the way apple turned on two factor authentication. This feature is terrible, especially when you share an apple account between more then one device (and who doesn't?). Every time you download an app, or scratch you nose you get the following:

When I looked up how to turn it off I was advised by apple website to go to security section of either iphone, or and simple turn off two stage authentication.  But in my case the option to switch off wasn't available.

Yes You Can Turn It Off

Apple - "If you don't see the option to turn off two-factor authentication on your Apple ID account page, that means you can't turn it off" - INCORRECT

YES YOU CAN - Either ring apple or look for the email link below.

Look for Email Link


The answer for me was a link in an email. Look for an email from apple (subject: Two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID) which give a link to "return to previous security settings".

The wording in this email is misleading. NO ONE has had access to my account. I received messages saying someone at the other side of country was accessing it, although this was at the same time my wife logging in with new password, and she was sitting next to me.

Why are Apple Pushing Two Stage Authentication?

In short this is a move by Apple to limit their risks at your expense. It is unnecessary security faff, which you don't need. But they do because it covers a legal loop hole for them no doubt. It is the same with banks, they keeping piling on security responsibility to the customer, it reduces their losses, at the expense of our time, and pretend they are looking after us.

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Thursday, 26 September 2019

Schwalbe Super Moto-X Tyre Review (26 x 2.40 559 62)

Schwalbe Super Moto-X Tyre Review

I love Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres, but come hedge trimming season, with thorns littering every country mile, I require a little more puncture protection. Otherwise the cycling makes way for more puncture maintenance which I don't like doing all of the time.

These super moto-x tyres are quite similar to Big Apple or Big Ben Tyres, but they have Green Guard Puncture Protection, and side wall protection. Some things to note:

  • These Schwalbe Super Moto-X Tyres 2.4" are narrower that 2.35" Big Apples
  • The Schwalbe Super Moto-X Tyrecross section shape is "taller" than Big Apples
  • The Schwalbe Super Moto-X Tyre rubber compound is superior to Big Apples in terms of grip.
Stand alone points ( that don't just compare these Super Moto-X tyres to others tyres would be that:

  • They are excellent quality
  • The roll very well
  • They provide excellent cushioning
  • The rubber compound is very grippy
  • They are high volume
I normally do a whole bunch of chapters now but instead I will just comment on photos.

So the above picture shows the Super Moto-X compared to the Big Apple Tire (About 5 years old). The Super Moto-X has more tread, and is slightly narrower despite being advertised as 2mm wider! Come on Germany. I do not doubt it is 2.4" tall from rim to road, but is a narrower tire than the 2.35" Big Apple, approximate real world width is around 55mm. 7mm narrower than advertised, even when mounted on a wide rim. 

 As with most Schwalbe Touring / Utility Tire the Super Moto-X has a reflective side wall. Seen here in camera flash looking pretty fierce.

 Mounted on my weird bike. I like a fat tire primarily for the look! What a fickle bloke I am.

 A image showing gap between the fork stanchion and the tire. The clearance is OK, and these are not high volume forks. I expect these tire will fit in any MTB frame no problem.

 Freshly mounted on EX325 Mavic rim. As mentioned in intro, the tires are oval in cross section. I think this might be due to the green guard, I have some other green guard tyres and they are tall, and less round than other schwalbe tires.

Close up of tread on Super Moto-. The tread although taller than the Big Apples is not squirmy on the road, I put this down to a softer compound that grips better. I have used some cruiser tyres that squirm very badly. 

A bit muddy after first ride. 80% on road (muddy, thorny, gravelly), and then about 20% on very muddy Stoney bridleway and tracks.

I used these with mudgaurds: P65s 

The tyres went on the rims well, although I did have to use tyre levears for the last bit. 

Another close up of tread not how the Super moto-x have a textured surface, which is unnecessary perhaps .

One last Super moto-x Tyre. In conclusion I am very happy with the tyres. They are of course heavy, because they are high volume and have very good puncture protection. But they roll very well, and I think schwalbe have done an excellent job with the rubber compound, which grips very well.

It is just a same no one a schwalbe can use a tape measure, 7mm narrower than advertised. . . .

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Property Investment Company London 

Monday, 16 September 2019

M-DIY-BL1200 Review and Install

M-DIY-BL1200 Review and Install

Please find below notes on M-DIY-BL1200. 

M-DIY-BL1200 - Intro

The M-DIY-BL1200 is a Bluetooth receiver module. It is quite an attractive offering as it have many additional features over rivals they include:

  • Audio Input (automatically switching when audio input lead is attached)
  • Audio Output (to amplifier)
  • 12v to 25v input voltage
  • 5V connector (not sure if output or input) maybe both!
  •  Various extra connetion points for volume, and track skip buttons etc.
Video overview (terrible sounds and video quality soz). This video was made before I fitted the module / board, so is a bit light on detail.

M-DIY-BL1200 - Install

One of the most attractive things about this module is that it come supplied with detachable wires, which make soldering it a cinch. It is ideal for TPA3116 as the 24v voltage matches upper voltage of TPA3116, so that is ideal. 

Things go down hill from here.

M-DIY-BL1200 - Noise (Ground Loop)

So when I first fired this thing up there was all kinds of noise coming out of the speaker, before I had even started so I googled and I found: 

What we have is a problem with sharing the same power supply as the amplifier, which cuases "ground loop" I had a few spare components  lying around so I experimented to see what would help.

  • I used a step down convertor to power the M-DIY-BL1200 at 12v. The main power supply is a 24v laptop brick (Minger). I guessed that the convertor may incorporate some sort of filter. I guessed wrong. Ground loop noise still present.
  • I ran the M-DIY-BL1200 from a separate battery. This wasn't a fix as such, but just to try and diagnose problem. The ground loop noise went away. BUT there was another noise. . . .  .

 M-DIY-BL1200 - Noise (Buzz)


The other noise sounds like a amplifier when you have a lead plugged in, but no input. It is a steady hum or buzz and is quite loud. It was enough for me to abandon the project, remove the M-DIY-BL1200 module and revert to using a wired connection.  

M-DIY-BL1200 - Powered by Step Down Convertor

M-DIY-BL1200 - Intro Jingle

Whilst I can forgive design flaws as above (after all the board still does what it is supposed to do . . . .  badly), there is one feature that is unforgivable, that is the jingle that plays when the bluetooth is connected. Bling, bling BLOoOoOM. It is SOOOOOO loud, it distorts the speakers, even when the volume is turned down.

In order to avoid this, I had to mute the amp, connect / pair bluetooth, and then un-mute. This is a terrible feature, and I would avoid this board on that basis.

M-DIY-BL1200 - Conclusions

A DIY friendly board rendered unpassable by connection jingles and mystery humming noises. 

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Environmental Consultants Bristol

Friday, 6 September 2019

Mix and Match Netgear Powerline Adaptors

A few notes on mixing and matching different models of netgear power line adaptors. These tests were run on a PC with a cable connect direct to the router.

Screen shots were pulled from netgear Genie.

Original Setup

From left to right media store, router (gateway) and house. Total distance about 100m. Rouiter is in shed at bottom of garden. and house access point (connected to XAV2001 by cable) is furthest point.

Test Set Up

Removal of XAV5201 and test of speeds between two XAV2001.

Newer Adaptor at Router End of Line

So by putting the XAV5201 does this make thing better. I should point out that the XAV5201 is a newer model than the XAV2001, and has higher bandwidth. 

Older Adaptor at Router End of Line

There has been an improvement! What does this mean, does the newer power line gear receive signal better than the older stuff? I am not sure, if that were the case then wouldn't we see better TX results by swapping the other way around.

AV500. . .AV 200

Does matching power networking standards help things, both below are AV500 compliant . .  no it doesn't.


I haven't a clue! How about you? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

KodakOne - Image Copyright - Post Licensing

KodakOne - Image Copyright - Post Licensing

I today received an official looking email from KodakOne, demanding 300 euros within 7 days for use of an obscure, low resolution image that has been included on a lesser used page of my web site, 92 views in one year.

I am looking in to whether this legal or not in the mean time if you have any relevant experience please leave a comment below.

I have made the following enquiries, either by web search or phone.  It quickly became clear that I was entirely in the wrong, but I continued my investigations to try and find out if the fee I was paying was fair.


Citizens Advice 

"A copyright owner or the exclusive licensee has the right to pursue you for compensation for copyright infringements. The letter should come either from them or from a solicitor acting on their behalf. You should check carefully that the letter is genuine"

The Intellectual Property Office 

Summary of  telephone conversation was that licensee has the right to pursue for compensation, but they could advise on how much compensation was appropriate.

Citizens Advice

Advised that it is of course legal to pursue for breach of copyright, and that the amount charged is entirely up to the copyright holder.

The 300 Euros

In this case having spoken to the photographer in question he assures me that he receives 60% of the fees charged with KodakOne taking the remaining 40%.

So this leaves the photographer taking £180 for the photograph (of a tractor). I can hire a commercial photographer in London to visit a site and take 20 photos for £100.

Legal Stuff

The Digital Economy Act 2010 has a maximum fime level of £50,000. So that is scary.

Mike Weatherley MP, IP adviser to the Prime Minister, who wrote recently: "There is currently a disparity in sentencing between online and offline crime that needs to be harmonised. This sends out all the wrong messages. Until this is changed, online crime will be seen as less significant than traditional theft."

The above linked guide states:

Although searches for official sentencing guidelines relating to copyright cases suggest that these are lacking in detail, it appears in practice that:

  • If the website is organised and making a significant amount of money (as was the case with SurfTheChannel and, it is possible to use anti-fraud legislation, and substantial (two+ years prison sentences) may result
  • When the operation is more amateur or “hobbyist” in nature, but still earns revenue, a guilty verdict and suspended sentence appears to be the norm (, Juries appear reluctant to convict on fraud charges in these cases
  • The less obviously business-orientated the website is, the harder prosecution becomes (as with Filesoup). No cases have so far been successful
  • Case law has also established that end users are not breaking the law by streaming illicit content via the web, as long as no copy is made (PRCA v NLA)

So it could be that if you are being pursued for copyright infringement on a site that does not make any money. i.e. a blog without advertising, then you would likely avoid prosecution. But of course you would have to pay solicitors to prove this, which would likley cost more than 300 euros.

What I did Get

I asked for 60 day payment terms (rather than 7) and this was accepted. So at least I have longer to pay.


Copyright Law is not something to messed with. Growing up through the era of Napster, and with most contemporary references to copyright being fairly light hearted it is easy to forget that it can bite you in the @$$.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Use of a Pre-Amp to Boost Amplifier Output

Use of a Pre-Amp to Boost Amplifier Output 

I have a couple of home made TPA3116 boom box (es). I was looking at ways to connect these two up to a single source, and after trying a splitter cable, decided to try pre-amplifier to boost input signal.

The result were that I destroyed my amplifier board and had to spend £7.50 on a new one. I would guess that these cheap amplifier boards are built to deal with a certain level of input power, and although the overall power was increased, and did not sound distorted, damage still occurred.

Burnt Out Inductors - Too Much Current through a thin wire?

The TPA 3116 board used  already has a pre-amplifier built in. 2 x NE5335 chips. I decided to try pre-amping gain using a Behringer HA400 Microamp, as stated above this did increase the volume considerably, but had I checked the temperature of components on the board I would have found that bad things were happening.

No doubt this post will annoy some people as I showed disrespect for the electrical engineer process, and ignorance of basic concepts, but I just like to try things out and see if it works.

Flood Risk Assessment London

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Windows - Clock is Showing the Wrong Time

Windows - Clock is Showing the Wrong Time

I have had a persistent problem where the clock on my Windows PC shows the wrong time, despite being corrected on a daily basis.

I have tried sooooooo many different methods to fix this none have worked. I have listed them here because one of them might work for you. There are people on forums who have spent many many hours trying to fix this. I can fix most stuff, but I couldn't fix this "properly". Please see green highlighted below for solution.

0 - Net Time (My "Solution")

After spending around 16 hours trying to fix this problem (please see below list) I came across a suggestion to use NetTime. It is a very small neat program that runs as a service, and instantly fixed the problem. If I had the same problem on another machine I would start here and spend the saved time cycling, walking or playing nerf with my son. - Link

Install this and all your troubles will be far away. I was so happy I donated some money to these chaps, but it is free software.

1 - Time Syncing 

Date and Time Settings > Internet Time > Change Settings

In this window you can selected automated syncing. Now I have had this enabled since I owned this PC (10 years) and never been a problem, but I disabled to see if it was the problem. It is not. But others have reported that is could be.

If you click the "update now" button this is the quickest way to put your date and time right, don't bother setting it manually!

2 - Windows Time Service

Type "Services" in the search box, open scroll down the list of services find "Windows Time". This service runs a sync between all computer on network. Somehow a master computer is chosen in the network, and perhaps you computer is syncing time with a computer with the wrong time.

Switch this serice to disabled. If it doesn't help, then you can always enable it in a few days time.

3 - Power Settings

This problem started after I switched from a power management plan which included hibernation / sleep, back to an always on power management plan.

I have read that hard disk turning off can cause a time problem, so choose advanced power settings and set "Turn Off Hard Disk" to "Never".

4 - CMOS Battery

There is a little battery inside you PC, Laptop somewhere that keeps the time keeping elements of you computer powered when it is not plugged in. If you computer keeps time whilst plugged in, but show a weird time and date when you plug in back in then perhaps it is a dead CMOS battery.

A time of 12:00 or 0:00 on start up is a sure sign of a dead CMOS battery.

5 - Screen Savers 

Some screen savers take a "picture" of the desktop and distort it to create screen saver effect. Clock will remain fixed time whilst screen saver is active.

6 - BIOS

When you switch on you PC you will often see a little message say "Press F10 to Enter Setup" select this option, to enter BIOS settings. Be careful not to change anything.

Navigate around using the arrow keys, looking for time and date settings, check they are correct.

7 - W32tm.exe

 "W32tm.exe is used to configure Windows Time service settings. It can also be used to diagnose problems with the time service. W32tm.exe is the preferred command line tool for configuring, monitoring, or troubleshooting the Windows Time service."

Perform the steps mentioned below and see if it helps.
a: Press Windows key + X. (or open command prompt)
b: Then click command prompt(admin)
c: Now type the following commands and hit enter:
net stop w32time
w32tm /unregister
w32tm /register
net start w32time
w32tm /resync
Restart the computer to test the issue again.

8 - Change Time Zones

Change to a different time zone, apply changes, and then change it back to your normal time zone again.  

9 - Scheduled Task to Update Internet Time (Hammer Time)

I created this Windows Internet Time Update Program, which you can download here. Save this some where, and then set up a scheduled task to run it every time you start you computer, or everyday at a certain time. If the problem is very bad you can scheduled the task to run every 30 minutes, effectively updating your time to a server of your choice, every 30 minutes or less, hammering the problem in to submission. Boom.

You can also use the

10 - File Transfer Time Pause

I have heard that windows pauses time during file transfers. Is it something to do with this mechanism.

11 - Corrupt File System

You could run file checker. (Built in to windows) you dont need to download anything:

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button and in the search bar, type cmd.
  2. Right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Click Yes on the User Account Control (UAC) prompt that appears, and once the blinking cursor appears, type SFC /scannow and press the Enter key.
  4. System File Checker starts and checks the integrity of system files.

Windows 8/8.1/10

  1. From the desktop, press the Win+X hotkey combination and from the menu select Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Click Yes on the User Account Control (UAC) prompt that appears, and once the blinking cursor appears, type SFC /scannow and press the Enter key.
  3. System File Checker starts and checks the integrity of system files.
If you find corrupt files, you might try to repair them.

12 - System Error 1290

When trying step 7 above I got the below message: 

C:\Windows\system32>net start w32time
System error 1290 has occurred.

The service start failed since one or more services in the same process have an
incompatible service SID type setting. A service with restricted service SID typ
e can only coexist in the same process with other services with a restricted SID
 type. If the service SID type for this service was just configured, the hosting
 process must be restarted in order to start this service.

This post suggests using the below added underlined command line prompt:

.\net stop w32time
.\w32tm /unregister
.\w32tm /register
.\sc config w32time type= own
.\net start w32time
.\w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:",,,",0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL /reliable:yes
.\w32tm /resync
You may then get It results  "Access is denied (0x80070005)"

 ..  . . the storey continues. 

SECR Carbon Reporting

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack Won't Charge Fully

Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack Won't Charge Fully

I have noticed that my Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack will only charge to about half way, with only two of the green indicator lights illuminating. This is rather vexing.

FIX: Use a charger rated at 2.4A. 

I have tried numerous leads and numerous wall powered chargers, and computer USB sockets, but I get the same result.

I began to think that the fix might be to use a more powerful (amps) charger. Most wall chargers are 1A (Amp) , with some around 1.5A. Most USB of laptops etc are also around this level.

The spec sheet for the Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack says that it requires  2.4A, but I would not have thought the Amperage of the charger would make a difference.  . . . .

The huge battery on my ebike, can be charged using a 2A charger or a 5 amp charger. Its just takes longer with a lower power charger. The voltage is important but that doesn't change.

The Belkin MIXIT 6600mah Battery Pack should take around 3 hours to charge from empty, if you are using a 2.4A charger. If a 1.0A charger is used then around 7 hours.

When I leave mine of charger for 48 hours it is still only half full.

Zero Carbon Consultants

Monday, 29 July 2019

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Intro

Looking for a super cheap Dynamo Headlight I came across the Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight on Amazon listed for £13. So what is it like?

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Size & Weight

The headlamp / headlight is small, and light. Part of this lightness is due to the all plastic construction, and and thin mounting bracket. Its all fit for purpose, but if you are famailr with Busch and Muller headlamps. . .well it is a lot light and plasticy. Not saying its bad or anything.

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Quality

Quality is perfectly adequate. And surprisingly the LED "bulb" / emitter used is labelled as Osram, which are a good make. The switch on the rear feels pretty good. The metal bracket is thinner than a busch and muller bracket, but about the same as an AXA bracket.

The lamp come wired with a relatively short cable, which may need extending. I had to but I was installing mine on handlebars so probably OK for fork crown install.

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Lighting

The light comes on at walking pace. It flickers a bit obviously they all do that, but I was quite impressed how slowly you can push the bike whilst still maintaining a good light out put.

The light is very fierce, certainly very very visable in the daytime, the beam pattern I am not sure of, because it is summer and I haven't ridden in the dark yet. I will update in the autumn.

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - Conclusions

A small, light, yet powerful dynamo headlight at an excellent price.  A stand light would be a nice addition but, no big deal for rural riding with not much stop start.

Update: 09/09/2019: This light is very flashy, and by that I mean blink blink blink, it could really use a standlight. You have to be going quite fast  to get rid of the blinking, probably 8 miles and hour or more. When pushing the bike this rapid flashing can be very annoying, and hard on the eyes.

The light is bright, and the LUX rating I think is accurate, it is comparable to a Busch and Muller Cyo 50 LUX light that I own (linked review is for 80 lux variant).

Fischer Tour 45 Dynamo Headlight Review  - More Pictures



Scientific Web Content
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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Intro

I was a little pissed at the thought of having to spend £7 on a piece of plastic, which is literally no bigger than the lid off an ice cream tub.

But here's the thing, why not buy a tub of ice cream, eat it,  and use the plastic there in to make a set of DIY mountain bike / MTB mudguards.

This design of front mudguard is a far sturdier mudguard than the zip tie offerings, and unlike the down tube style guards has the advantage of moving with the wheel when you turn around a corner.

The rear option sees you spending money on a rear luggage rack, which weighs next to nothing and using that as a mount point for salvaged plastic. A rear rack is so so handy. If you don't like handy and prefer trendy then you are reading the wrong blog.

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - Ingredients

It doesn't have to be ice cream, just keep an eye out for a any sort of suitable plastic, and lets face it we are drowning in the stuff, it needs to be quite thick and rigid. The sort of plastic you might get from a 25 litre container of something (cooking oil?), or the lid off a 10 litre paint tub that sort of thing. Nearly all of the below you could probably find lying around.

Hint: Before you throw stuff away start taking it apart and keeping the nuts, bolts and screws, as they come in handy.

  • Snips or Jig Saw
  • Strip of Steel
  • Drill Bits
  • Rivets or Small Nuts and Bolts
  • Plastic (HDPE Preferentially - Number 4 Plastic)
  • Star Nut Sized to Stem
  • Zip Ties
Now right about now, you might think that £7 doesn't sound so good, if you don't have this stuff already then, the outlay may not be worth it, although it will set you up for future projects. You could do this in a community work shop

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards / Fenders - DIY Front Mudguard

For the front mudguard will need a piece of plastic around 30cm long and  10cm wide. You cut this in the shape of a podgy wine bottle. You then place a 10cm length of strip steel, or hammered flat steel tube, over the thin under an rivet in to place. Finally you drill an 6mm hole in the end of the strip about 2cm from the outside end.

Hammer a stat nut in to lower end of your fork steerer tube. You then bolt the front mudguard to the underside of the steerer tube. Done.

DIY Mountain Bike / MTB Mudguards  / Fenders - DIY Rear Mudguard

At this point you might be thinking you don't want a rear luggage rack. . .  

But you soooo do want one: You can get a rear luggage rack on eBay for £10 with postage (which is less than some mudguards). This opens up all-sorts of options, for off-road touring etc. If you are thinking bike packing, well you can still strap trendy bags to it, that would otherwise be mounted further up under the saddle, where they will raise you centre of gravity. For practical types, you can add a pannier to store water, food, and clothing. I recently did a stretch of the south downs way (off-road) carrying 2 litres of water, lunch, clothing and tools, in a pannier it worked a charm, I can swap the same bag on to any of my other bikes, in 5 seconds. 

Any hoo. 

Simple cut a piece of plastic the same width as you rack's underside and secure with zip ties. I you had a long enough piece you could extend this down to the chain stays, but I have found the the piece jutting out at the back as shown in images is fine.