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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

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
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  1. Yes, one pair usually at the Arena and one pair at the ICC, though right now there are five outside the Arena. I was searched going through the ICC this morning. Interesting that some are approaching people and saying hello, as you say, its all a bit surreal. Another possibility is that they are here to ensure no cheating in the BCN challenge. ...................Dave
  2. There is a huge presence of police, heavily armed police and security people in Birmingham and its interesting that there are usually two pairs of armed police along the canal, more than on New Street. Is the canal seen as a potential target t or is it just a nice place for the police to be on a hot day? I assume the police presence is mostly to reassure and deter so it probably doesn't matter that much where they are. If I was an armed copper, dressed in black, wearing a rucksack and carrying two guns I think I would head for the canal. ............Dave
  3. or you could even have breakfast on a boat (half way between the bar and old turn) but I think its not open till 9 which is a bit late for the BCN challenge start. You could always do a loop or two then have a quick breakfast stop. ...............Dave
  4. Birmingham has several proper pubs and eating places so there is no need to find a 'spoons. Sitting outside the Cafe Bar, right next to the bar, would be a rather nice place for breakfast. Anyway aren't you too young for the 'spoons, I thought you had to be a pensioner. ...............Dave
  5. I'm really busy at the moment doing some serious boating, but would love to start a new thread at some stage, maybe next winter, to talk about JD3 vs various vintage engines. The 2LW would actually be my most likely candidate for a JD3 replacement. The initial cost is certainly steep these days. Another concern, to quote the "mtb" criterion of exposed flywheel, is that the 2LW is really an elderly modern engine rather than a true vintage engine. If you want to poke fun at the JD3 as a tractor then the Gardners are essential a cut down bus engine. I am also not yet convinced that a Gardner is up to 1200 hours per year, plus a fair few hours running just to charge batteries, and I don't want a separate generator. Any vintage engine can have an issue with spares and as we are now both in our 60's if we loose 6 months cruising due to an engine failure that is a serious issue, though I accept that importing a new John Deere 3029 lump might take almost that long. If a 2LW came my way I would most likely not turn it down. I also like the fact that the 3029 is totally clean, there is almost 0% oil leakage, so the engine room is a part of our home rather than a cold dirty place. If I could make the JD3 sound as nice as a 2LW and get the tickover down below 450 then the JD3 would win hands down. ............Dave
  6. I would quite like a real vintage engine instead of our JD3, and with monotonous regularity I make a list of the likely candidates and the pros and cons of each. Always get the same result, the JD3 just about wins. Its far from perfect but it has a number of advantages, especially for a full time livaboard/roving trader. ..............Dave.
  7. Where did you read that it was regulations that caused Beta to withdraw the JD3? They can be smokey in a narrowboat but the DF150 version is an emissions compliant engine when sold by John Deere. I had suspected that it was because poor old Steve Hudson was by far their biggest customer and now that everybody wants an ultra modern fugly boat there is just no market for the JD3. I am not 100% clear about if an engine needs to be retested in its final marinised format. ...........Dave
  8. That is I believe why porter and other weak beers were invented, so that farm labourers etc could rehydrate themselves at lunch time without the risk of water poisoning. Your philosophy is correct but 100 years out of date, now that beer is so much stronger there is a real risk of beer poisoning, symptoms include a nasty headache and general inability to function. .............Dave
  9. Until very recently there was also a set of planks stored by many locks, and the different styles of storage rack was one of the silly little things that I found fascinating about the canals. In the last few years CaRT have started to store the planks centrally and bring them along when required, I think they have also done experiments with adjustable length aluminium planks. Organising the correct stop planks has sometimes been a source of delay for some repairs. I have seen possible evidence of bad boaters stealing the planks for firewood which is probably one reason why they are no longer stored at the canalside. On the Bridgewater canal (which is wide and quite deep) there are not only planks stored at each stop plank location, but also a crane to lift them into place. .............Dave
  10. Standard cheapo leisure batteries usually have a quoted spec of 300 cycles, that is if they have any spec at all. You have done shallow cycles so could maybe expect more than 300. I suspect 14.4volts might be a bit low but this will depend on how much you discharge them before your 5 hour cruise. A few longer cruises of maybe 8 hours might have helped. There are loads of threads here about battery types, charging voltage, charging regimes and equalisation, but unless this sort of stuff turns you on I would just buy some new batteries, you are doing ok. .............Dave
  11. Take the whole tank back to bare metal. Sounds like you will be doing some serious cutting and welding so needle gunning or even better shot blasting the tank would be appropriate. Then paint with epoxy, I suggest the stuff from Reactive Resins. Should last many many years. Integral tanks have so many advantages that I really don't understand why so many people want to get rid of them. Ensuring a good seal on the access hatch is the only complication. A huge water tank is a very good thing to have, especially if you are, or plan to be, a liveaboard. ............Dave
  12. We pay a little money to the place where we park the car and they drive it round their car park once every month or so. Previously years it has been left with friends who never quite got round to starting it and yes, there were many problems. It would need a new battery every year and one year the alternator rusted solid. We have given up on the air con, the pump fails if the car is not used regularly and is just too expensive to keep fixing. Tyres sometimes need a little air after 6 months but not always. If you do leave a car its often a good idea to park with the handbrake off. A bit of initial graunching is to be expected from rusted brake discs but quickly sorts itself out. Don't park in deep shade under trees, a bit of sunlight keeps the mould and damp away. We leave the car for the summer, I suspect leaving it over a winter would be less good. ...............Dave
  13. It is said that everything on a boat is a compromise and its very true. One of the big compromises is internal space, especially for a liveaboard, against good looks (fine lines) and handling. A longer front deck looks good and longer swims help a boat cut nicely through the water. Some boats maximise internal space by bringing the cabin right up to the front, even curving in at the front, pig ugly to my taste, but your boat, your decision. A trad stern and a tug deck puts these concepts into focus. ................Dave
  14. I am so excited, Mr Bizzard has slipped up on a technical matter and so I can correct him, and this is a very rare thing indeed. Alternator fans are centrifugal so all suck from the centre through the alternator and blow outwards, the blades are slightly shaped to optimise air flow but a fan running backwards will still suck in the same direction, but not quite as well. However I might just have fallen into some kind of humorous trap relating to joss sticks??? .............Dave
  15. I can give you a phone number next time we meet. Trouble is the bloke is about 70 and trying really hard to retire but has so many people requesting work that he just can't escape. He has a lovely alternator test machine that also looks to be about 70 years old. He recently pressed new bearings into one of my alternators and cleaned up the slip rings for £10 which is probably why he has too much work. You could take it to a garage and ask them to test it but they look at you sort of funny .............Dave