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dmr

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dmr last won the day on May 25 2013

dmr had the most liked content!

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About dmr

  • Birthday 16/01/57

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Narrowboats
    Life on the cut
    Engineering (Engines, Electronics and Software)
    Walking the dog
    Drinking Beer

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Engineer
  • Boat Name
    Vox Stellarum
  • Boat Location
    Winter on the K&A, Summer on the cut

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  • Website URL
    http://

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. I approach this a bit differently and use a cheap router (TP Link) that takes an external USB dongle rather than an internal SIM. I then use an external arial (antennae) plugged into the dongle so that the dongle can usually stay safely inside the boat. The big advantage of this scheme is that if the signal is very weak I can put the dongle outside raised up on a stick using a long USB extension lead. This finds a bit of signal almost everywhere. A good quality USB lead is required. My testing suggests that the antenna does not boost the signal but actually reduces it a tiny bit as the signal strength can be improved slightly by putting the dongle outside (but not raised). I believe the cable loss more than offsets any antennae gain. This is another reason for not using a router with internal sim. ...............Dave
  2. Long ago I only had a black and white TV and discovered that my daughter, who was maybe 5 or 6 at the time, like watching the snooker. Amazingly she could tell the colours of the balls. I guess she he matched the shades of grey to the colours in commentary. ............Dave
  3. Im not really a cricket fan but listening to cricket is surprisingly pleasant and even better if done at a live performance. Find a village cricket match on a sunny day, have a couple of beers and lie down on the grass a little way away with your eyes closed. ............Dave
  4. I can't give you a greenie, is that because your a mod? ..............Dave
  5. Why do people like smoothrite? my experiences of it with old vehicles were generally negative, its very brittle and the does not stop the rust. I have also heard that its changed of late and is even worse. Ultimate approach is to go back to bare metal then use a good primer but if the rust is deep this is not really viable unless you want to spend many hours with a needle gun. Best option is to spend as much time as you can removing all loose rust. A wire cup brush in a drill could be used for the worse bits. Then paint with RED Owatrol primer. This does better than the venerable Bondaprimer if there is significant residual rust. It takes a fair time to dry. Then a coat or two of Danboline, I prefer the grey one. I did this on the very back bilge which is often wet and after 8 years its still reasonably good. ................Dave
  6. The Cunning Man is not my favourite pub, its a sort of mass production eatery, but its generally regarded as the first ok place to stop above Reading. There is a big bad housing estate not too far from Fobney lock and so stopping anywhere before the Cunning Man carries a small risk of trouble. No visitor moorings at the Cunning Man so it means mooring on pins on the flowing river but its moderately deep and not difficult. There are also visitor moorings just above Theale Swing bridge (Sheffield Lock) but I have never investigated the pub there which might be a bit of a walk. Another other option is to push on and get to Aldermaston but the Kennet locks can be evil so best not to be doing them in a rush at the end of a long day. ................Dave
  7. Don't be tempted to build your own shell unless either: You have made two shells before and perfected your technique. or You are very confident in your metalwork skill and have a good eye for what makes a pleasing boat. I have seen quite a few owner fabricated shells and most are pretty naff where the builder has taken the easy option in forming shapes, rather than the harder option that looks good. I saw one last week that was seriously wobbly. I have also seen a couple of good ones, and have probably seen others that were so good I did not realise they were home made. On a general note, boatbuilding is a cottage industry where all boats are hand made and there has been no serious attempt to go down the automotive route of reducing production costs by adopting "bendy plastic engineering" etc. So, boats are one of the few machines where quality has actually increased over the years; a mid range boat built now will actually be better quality than a mid range boat built twenty years ago, though in some cases might be a less interesting shape. ..............Dave
  8. Unless the tank has rusted through I suggest its much better to get the tank repaired. Integral tanks have gone out of fashion of late with stainless now much more popular for some reason, but integral tanks have many advantages. If you use a bladder then you should remove any rough rust that might puncture the bladder, and ideally de-rust and paint the entire tank to protect it from any condensation that will form behind the bladder. Much better to take the integral tank back to bare metal and paint it in epoxy and forget the bladder. ...........Dave
  9. On the Thames you pay at the first manned lock that you encounter, if you don't ever meet a lock keeper then you don't pay. I am aware that a few "crusty" boats only travel at night to do the Thames transit free of charge, we have seen a few going past in the dead of night. I believe that a couple of years ago at least two attempted it in bad conditions and needed rescuing. ............Dave
  10. An old workmate had the little Honda sports car (quite rare, looked a tiny bit like an mgb) but engine was dead and expensive to rebuild so he found that a Morris Minor A series would mate with the gearbox without too much effort. Net result was 4 gears going backwards and only one going forwards. ...he then realised he could flip the crown wheel in the diff to make it go forwards again so major embarrassment avoided. ...................Dave
  11. When the boat is low in the water for whatever reason you will increase the exhaust back pressure, though a few "inches of water" is probably no big deal. You need to be sure that turbulent lock filling etc really cant send a gulp of water into the engine. Might be other issues too, but can't think of them just now. ............Dave
  12. There are a lot of fairly cheap but functional pure sine inverters about lately. If you want to work them hard then I suggest you get one rated at twice the power that you intend to continuously draw, they should only be used at full power for a very short time if at all. An angle grinder can be one of the most hard working of any power tool. A bit of polishing or gentle wire brushing is one thing, metal cutting or serious grinding is something else. ..............Dave
  13. Insurers don't like vans and don't like boaters so its not going to be easy. Adrian Flux have always specialised in the non standard stuff, they started off doing custom and modified cars but do everything now. However we just had to make a claim and I was not totally impressed with the service that we got as we were passed on to an un co-operative sub contracted claims company, but maybe this is how its done now. ..............Dave
  14. There is a theory that because antifreeze and water have different densities that if added separately there can be a sort of stratification effect and they never mix. I suspect this might just happen in some heating systems where the flow is quite gentle, but I reckon in an engine it would soon get mixed. .............Dave
  15. and last night the wonderful British Lion in Devizes had a barrel of it.