Mat's BX Blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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electrokid
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by electrokid » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:25 am

Fortunately I managed to get a circuit diagram and find what the fault was...bits were under £30 delivered and should be here early next week.
Well done =D>

When mine went intermittant then packed up altogether I found it was mainly poor build standard that was to blame / poor joints / duff caps etc and one area on the PCB that wasn't designed well and would overheat. Googling the model (Glowworm Micron FF) found a large number of disgruntled owners and 6 completely different PCB designs that were attempts to fix the problems. Eventually I bought a reconditioned PCB and haven't had any trouble since. The PCBs are too damned expensive - I bought mine about half the usual price from a place in Wembley - they've move to somewhere else in North London - I can probably find their details if you should need.
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Thread Bear » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:08 am

MULLEY wrote:TBH, a dog chasing me on my mountain bike is a tad annoying even if it means me no harm, how the hell am i supposed to know it's friendly when its chasing. I had some stupid owner shouting after his dog & i nearly came off. He kindly informed that it doesn't bite, i told him in no uncertain terms that he didn't have control of his dog & that i'd nearly crashed as a consequence. I was totally fuxxed off with his never mind attitude, so i can empathise with anyone who's had a dog or 2 running either alongside or chasing me, i don't know what they are planning on doing as i don't know the animal. A mate was cycling in front of me & a dog ran alongside him, looked like it was just having some fun, but it decided to jump up & nipped my mate on the arm, nice :( This is coming from someone who owns a dog. After that any dog that got in my way got run over or booted if the owner didn't have control. Rant over.
All 'chasing' is done under rules. Not allowed if they are kids, period, or the rider clearly declines to participate by body language or talking. I normally will say that the dogs might follow them, so inviting dialogue. In fact its not a chase so much as keeping abreast of the bike. They will normally desist of told to go away by the rider. Its the guys who do not want to communicate and send out vibes which attract the dogs to investigate, interestingly. Dogs are very good interpreters of human character.
The problem issue is if there is food in the offing and you just have to be aware as an owner if there is likely to be a situation. It is no longer OK to inflict your dogs on people thanks to pit bulls etc. I wish some parents were of the same mindset! This is why I rarely take them to car do's, like Stratty, as they would be a pain during the extended barbecue, for instance. No no for pubs. I never trust them anywhere near sheep. The things are bred to bring out the worrying element in a dog. Having two, even putting a hare up is a problem at times, as they are fast enough to catch them. Fortunately, so far these are virgin hunters, so no great taste for it.

Heating system PCB boards. Don't get me started. Its a con/rip off. Still there do seem to be naughty little fellows now making up there own boards/recon boards which work better.

Perhaps the Welsh Police were following you from Fareham by camera! Living in the middle of nowhere can have its advantages.
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:09 pm

Thread Bear wrote:I normally will say that the dogs might follow them, so inviting dialogue.
Ah, that sounds like a bit of fun. Ours loves to run with us on the bikes, always wanting to get her nose in front. And when we're lagging behind she's come back for us as if to rub it in that we're slower. Always a worry she'll see something else more interesting when she's off the lead, but so far she's always come back - although sometimes only on the second shout.[/quote]

It was the burner igniter module which had failed, so quite an easy drop-in fix. The boiler was bought in 2005 as never used, but had been stored for 10 years or so. Some of the date codes in it are back to 1992! Up to now all it's needed have been a set of bearings for the blower motor, which may well have dried out in storage as they failed aftre not much more than a year. Only ~£3 though :)

I like the way that it's made from mainly standard components, rather than properiatory parts which may be difficult to get hold of in time. Even the main PCB is little more than a relay holder, so once I'd got an internal wiring diagram it was easy to fault find.
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:53 pm

My old cat (sadly deceased) loved his walks, 2 or 3 miles. Only chased pheasants and rabbits... :lol:

He was a wise animal and could tell the nature of a dog pretty quickly. A quick check, is it on a lead?
Is it a yapper ie Yorkie or similar which he did not particularly like. Most Labs, retrievers and similar were fine with him and he had a quiet way of disappearing into the heath, emerging if the dog was friendly and used to cats. The only real nasty was a lurcher (not on lead), and even at over 30 meters he took off up a tree, wisely as it tore after him at full speed. Yes, he knew not to move as the dog would hunt him and he faced off a fair few. They did not like his hissing and sharp claws... Good animal who loved a drop of Vintage Port and enjoyed a few drops of Champagne on millenium eve.

Glad your getting the boiler sorted, at least unlike last year it has been reasonable temperature. I've managed to get enough firewood in just in time. Lots of Douglas fir and laurel that has been cut a year plus at least it is all seasoned if a trace wet. Had an exhaust bolt shear on the Husky (350) level with the block but fortunately the remaining stud came out. £3.98 for a poxy long M4 bolt was a bit steep, pity it is not a standard 8.8 bolt.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Thread Bear » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:41 pm

That sounds like a reasonable set up for a PCB.
Potterton, taken over for the name, went to 'secret' valued board components. Worse the solder was hard and the board placed where it got hot. The solder thus work hardened and failed. So times you could get it going by checking the soldering for failures and make a repair. Once a component went down you were stuffed unless you had diagnostic kit and some knowledge. Whole pages of internet on such issues.
Aga and thermocouples. Another con. Its cheaper to buy and convert to a generic central heating one and keep a spare in stock as they do not last as long. But £5 and two R clips beats £65 for an expected 5/7 year life, and a call out if your not aware of the nature of the fault.
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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electrokid
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by electrokid » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:01 pm

naughty little fellows now making up there own boards/recon boards which work better.
They were so naughty undercutting the 'official' suppliers and getting hassled as a result - which is why they had to shut down the Wembley operation and move elsewhere :lol:
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:30 pm

Tinkley wrote:Glad your getting the boiler sorted, at least unlike last year it has been reasonable temperature. I've managed to get enough firewood in just in time.
No issues with firewood stocks, although we have been burning every evening since September. The boiler is really only used for hot water, and an hour in the mornings and evenings, before we get back.

Need to rebrick the wood burner though, as the insides have started to crumble. £55 later for a full set of bricks, which are now on their way...should last a good few years though.

What with Christmas and heating expenses, I haven't been able to buy a new hard drive for my laptop, so still having to use my phone. Hoping Lana will upgrade hers so I can pinch her old one...
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:34 am

Not had any of the bricks go yet. I've put in two of these

http://www.leedsstovecentre.co.uk/gfx/p ... 0-main.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and an Owl freestanding beast. Both replaced open fires. The latter we had the glass front break last year and getting the screws out was a pain so the replacement screws were stainless. I definitely recommend changing any screws or bolts that are exposed to the inner firebox being in S/S. Some manufacturers already do that but not all.

To access the flue liner when sweeping the ones in the pic, I have to remove the side fire bricks to then remove baffle plate and all the gunge then collects at the bottom AFTER the vents have been shut tight!.
Tend to use a soft nosed palette knife tool or similar to lift the bricks over the retaining flange. They are a bit fragile as so brittle.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by electrokid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:24 am

I'd like to build a gassification woodburner boiler - it's on the to-do list... I'd probably get more heat by burning the to-do list though.
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:03 am

:lol: I know the feeling! Although am making more progress with the Stellar project at the moment. Turns out my divide by two circuit for the rev counter was actually holding the coil trigger to ground, which wasn't helping sparks to occur...

So on to plan B for getting the rev counter to read accurately. It turns out that the design of the instruments was licensed from Lucas, so a bit of research gave me the circuit diagram for the rev counter from a TR7 website. All I needed to do was add a few resistors to make up a value of 48k ohm across a couple of terminals, and it worked!

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Back to stoves - ours is a Clearview 650, which I rebricked shortly after moving in back in 2005. It's the back which has suffered, mainly from mechanical damage when loading with logs. And I don't hold out much hope of the other bricks coming out in one piece! It's at least 30 years old, so is lasting well.
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:05 pm

Electokid, check out things like the Rika EvoAqua pellet boiler - 94% efficient. There are quite a few good efficient pellet boilers out there if you have a chimney or flue. Not exactly cheap to buy but the price per Kw is around 5p or just over. Processed Biomass (NOT Bio fuel) is a good green option. Stoves combind with boilers are nowhere near as good as the dedicated units.

Oh! and Surrey is the most wooded county in England..... :D

Good luck Mat, the stoves I put in are celebrating their 10th birthday this year and have been worth every penny along with the safety of not having a spitting open fire. I'll trade 73/75% efficiency over 10/15% anyday and some of the Jotul ones get around 90% with gassification.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by electrokid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:07 pm

Turns out my divide by two circuit for the rev counter was actually holding the coil trigger to ground, which wasn't helping sparks to occur...
12v to the coil (very quickly) builds up magnetic flux in the core of the coil. When the contacts open this energy want to go somewhere and it takes the easiest route - if there's nothing else connected then voltage on all the windings rapidly builds up until something breaks down and the stored magnetic power dissipates through the first thing to 'give'. That's usually the spark across the spark plug of course but if something else - such as a divide by 2 without sufficient protection against breakdown :shock: If you want to continue looking at the divide by 2 circuit then I suggest you put protection diodes on the input to prevent the input voltage going either positive of +12v or negative of ground and put in anything to reduce any input current - high value resistor and a series diode perhaps. CMOS is easily destroyed by overvoltage on the inputs. Some ccts use a high voltage low value cap in series with the input as well - but then as long as you have it sorted there's no real need.
Electokid, check out things like the Rika EvoAqua pellet boiler - 94% efficient.


Thanks for the suggestions - it's more the cost rather than the efficiency that's important for me. Yes, Surrey is supposed to be the most wooded county: Basingstoke is quite impressive in that regard too: the last time I stayed with friends in Yorkshire it was noticeably less wooded - I missed it !
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Dollywobbler » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:32 pm

The base in our wood burner consists of the bricks you find in storage heaters. They've lasted two seasons so far. They were free from the local hotel. Along with the wood burner as it happened! We're also burning fairly consistently, but I think we lasted until October before burning every night. Have still got some wood from your stash Mat! Must cut it into useful chunks... (most has gone now)

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:45 am

electrokid wrote:the stored magnetic power dissipates through the first thing to 'give'. That's usually the spark across the spark plug of course but if something else - such as a divide by 2 without sufficient protection against breakdown :shock:
Yeah, I think something failed (although not visible as before) in the circuit as when I was first trying to start the engine I definitely had a spark - but no fuel. By the time I'd primed the fuel system to get the pump working, the spark must have stopped which threw me for a while until I re-checked it was sparking (or not). As soon as I disconnected the rev counter lead from the coil it started sparking again!

No need to investigate the circuit, apart from learning, as just adjusting the rev counter internally is probably neater. Next task is getting the oil pressure gauge to work...the 10-180 ohm sender is of little use with an (American spec.) 240-33 ohm gauge! Easier to just source a new sender though rather than trying to compensate electronically.
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electrokid
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by electrokid » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:16 am

It doesn't matter which 'end' of the rev counter circuit is adjusted - changing the number of pulses at the front end or changing the current to the meter will both correct for the different number of cylinders - no probs. And yes - the latter is probably neater as well.

Perhaps I should add something about protecting inputs to
http://www.briandenmee.com/BX/ElectronicsSupply.html

Although the actual circuit to protect the input to a rev counter would be different, there are some protection examples (which also include switch de-bounce and operational delays) in the design at
http://www.briandenmee.com/Granada/DLweb.htm
at the inputs marked PL1.2, PL1.3 and PL1.4

While I was looking for those pages I came across what was to be the second design for BX headlamps...
http://www.briandenmee.com/BX/BXHeadlamps.html

which is a 'first sketch' only. The only interesting thing on that page is the configuration of the 555 timer - my own design :shock: and I've not seen it used elsewhere - very much superior to anything in the datasheets because if you make R5 variable along with the R4 / VR1 combination the mark : space ratio can be continuously variable from 1:99 through to 99:1. That's something that the config in the datasheets just can't do - in fact it has problems achieving 50:50 (or 1:1 if you prefer) and one of the equations in that section simply doesn't work.

I looked at pressure gauge senders and found that some ebay sellers are actually on the ball and know what their products do ! Worth finding out what resistance you need for what pressure then asking a few sellers if they have the right product.
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