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Collared dove from above

July 7th, 2015

This is a picture of one of our tame Collared doves in the garden!

Collared Dove on bee hive

Collared Dove on bee hive

Not quite feeding out of my hand, but I’m sure it will soon. This was without zoom, I was that close, when I took the picture.

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Andy’s new gadget for testing car batteries! - A Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries

July 1st, 2015

Yes, I have been experiencing car troubles again, well to be honest, the issue has never really gone away, and I’ve done nothing about it, other than keep charging my car battery!

The Problem

The issue has been, if I do not use my car for 24 hours, when starting the car, it does not turn over. So I have to ensure, I start and run my car 7 days a week. Lately, however this period of time, has been decreasing to less than 10 hours, so if I park up overnight, the car will not start the next morning.

The Temporary Solution

If I connect the battery to a battery charger, and charge for less than 5 minutes, it allows me to start the car. This is odd, because the battery is not going to charge much in 5 minutes.

This temporary solution to the issue, was becoming problematic, and delaying me getting off to work in the morning, unrolling the 50m extension lead, plugging in the battery charger, charging the battery, driving to work, and the car was always able to start after parking up in the car park, until Tuesday, when it refused to start, requiring me to get a jump start, with my special jump leads from my Boss! (I think Lindsey was probably getting p***** off as well, because my car is parked behind hers, on the drive!)

Discuss with “The Specialist”

I spoke to Paul from JLB Electronics, pop by their website, and purchase some electronics bits and bobs… about the issue with my car, I took some voltage readings with a voltmeter, before and after charging, and current draw from the battery at idle. The voltage of the battery was 12.4/12.5 volts, and current draw was 0.77A at idle (which could be high!), but not really enough to flatten a car battery overnight.

The Fix

So I decided to purchase a Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries from Amazon.co.uk, this is not just a voltmeter, which can test starting minimum and maximum voltages, battery under load, battery at idle, to check your alternator is working correctly, but also checks the car battery conductance, and compares with the stated value on the battery e.g. the CCA (cold cranking amperes - this is the current which can be delivered for 30 seconds), the value is stamped on the battery!

Amazon parcel

Amazon parcel

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

As I had suspected the battery was at fault, I also purchased a new battery from Halfords - a Yuasa YBX5096, this brand in the UK, commonly associated with batteries in alarms, but very common in Japan and Japanese cars!

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

After connecting the tester, the CCA value tested is 300, the battery has a stated CCA of 680, so therefore it’s a fail, you cannot make out the numbers on the LED, but the fail light is lit! So it was nice to technically know, after testing the battery is duff!

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

Checking the new Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - it passes with a CCA value of 900, and 860. So good to know, my new battery is perfect!

So, before I removed the old battery, I tested, starting minimum and maximum voltages, and charging at idle and load and both these tests pass, so clearly it points to a duff battery, so it was quickly removed and changed.

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New battery installed and connected…..sorry about the fuzzy photograph, excited!!!)

New battery installed....

New battery installed....

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Andy’s Honey Stall

June 22nd, 2015

Last Saturday, I did my first honey stall, at a Local Produce Market at the local village hall, to support the local community. Lets just say it was a great success, and I will be ordering my new honey extractor in due course, with the proceeds! I also sold eggs, and plants from the Allotments.

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

Honey Stall at Yapham Village Hall

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Andy’s Spring 2015 Honey Harvest

June 8th, 2015

Despite the slow start to spring, and the cold high winds we have experienced this spring, and lack of bees flying, I was surprised by the number of honey boxes or ‘honey supers’, I collected at the weekend for extraction. I’ve still go to go back to remove 4 honey supers, that the bees are not wanting to give up easily!!!

here’s a 1 minute video, of the extracted filtered honey, flowing into rectangular honey buckets to settle, before processing (creaming!) or jarring. None of the pollen is removed from my honey, only the wax bits, and bee parts. The water content of the honey in the comb and extracted was 16.5%, tested with my calibrated refractometer.

Selling Honey in the UK, is subject to the The Honey (England) Regulations 2003, an easier version is here  The British Beekeepers Association Selling Honey Complying with the Law. Yes there is a Honey Law, and monitored by the Honey Police!

and it states “The water content of the honey must be not more than 20%.The higher the water content the more likely the honey is to ferment.”

So that’s what work goes into a jar of local honey from a British Beekeeper, spare a thought for that  the next time, you pick-up a jar of “honey-syrup” from a supermarket! If you have never tasted honey from a local British Beekeeper, I’m afraid you have never tasted real honey.

The analogy I like to use is the difference, between a 21 years old single Scottish malt whiskey and a blended whiskey! The malt whiskey is the local honey, and the blended whiskey is the honey syrup from the supermarket, in this comparison.

So support British Beekeepers, and purchase a jar from your local Beek today!

6 'honey-supers' on my bee barrow!

6 'honey-supers' on my bee barrow!

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

Andy's Hives

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World Exclusive Meltonby Honey Sold Here!

May 24th, 2015

Now that I have my new Catering Certificate, see this blog post, I’m scaling up the Honey Selling activities…first I purchased a ‘A Pavement board”, to replace my smaller Local Honey sign, and Lindsey kindly did the artwork. The artwork is Copyright (c) Andysworld! (well Lindseyworld!) 2015. So be warned anyone that downloads it, and uses it!

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Meltonby Honey Sold Here

Online Ordering coming soon….to a website near you!

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Cluster of 3D Printers - Ultimaker 2, now networked…

May 20th, 2015

I’ve been trying to get this blogged for a while, so here goes…

Here are the Cluster of 3D Printers - Ultimaker 2, now networked…, and they’ve been breeding…

Cluster of 3D Printers - Ultimaker 2

Cluster of 3D Printers - Ultimaker 2

There was a Health and Safety issues, with the use of PLA (Polylactic acid), which is the filament we use in these printers, which I believe is derived from corn starch. The health and saftey issue, is possibly due to ultra fine particles in the air, and it suggests using 3D printers with PLA, be used in a room with high ventilation, so the printers were banned, from being used in individual offices, and all moved to a print room, with a high air change rate, e.g. extractor fan in the window, changing the air in the room.

So now the 3D Printers, we in another room, we needed to find a method to print remotely via the network, and also check the print job!

Enter OctoPrint, this is a networked web interface for a 3D Printer, print anything from anywhere, and also has the ability for us to view the print job in process via a webcam (all from a Raspberry Pi).

aaa

OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2, Priting a single Apidea Queen Excluder.

OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2

OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2, Priting Apidea 15 Queen Excluders

Photograph of the 15 Apidea Queen Excluders printing in progress

Photograph of the 15 Apidea Queen Excluders printing in progress

OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2

OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2, Priting a Number 3

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OctoPrint connected to Ultimaker 2, Priting a Number 2

So this is how we now print, unattended with a 3D printer, we are now working on the robot, which needs to remove the printed object, and walks down to my office to deliver it!

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Andy is Certified! - Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

May 17th, 2015

I spent three hours this weekend, obtaining a new Certificate.

I now have a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling.

This is my certificate

 Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering - Safe Food Handling

This maybe a requirement in the future, for the preparation and selling jars of honey, but also now beneficial to have if you deal with food preparation and supply, as a food handler for human consumption.

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Andy’s AmazonLocker Experience

May 1st, 2015

I noticed several weeks ago, AmazonLockers were being installed on Campus.

AmazonLocker on Campus

AmazonLocker on Campus

So I’ve been waiting for an excuse to order a gadget from Amazon.co.uk, to try out this new AmazonLocker Experience.

My Dad has been reviewing and raving about these new bluetooth headphones he purchased from Amazon.co.uk, for £15.

They are called Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green). I’ll get him to review them, or I’ll quickly do a blog on them later.

I was discussing with my colleague this morning, about what time would my Amazon Delivery arrive, and I received a SMS Text message from Amazon with a code for the locker.

2015-05-01-103457

I quickly legged it over to the Student Union on Campus, to retrieve my parcel.

Entered the code into the keypad

Entered the code into the keypad

As if by magic, a locker door springs open, revealing my parcel..

Locker door opens

Locker door opens

I quickly grabbed the parcel, closed the door, and returned to my office.

My Amazon Parcel

My Amazon Parcel

and it’s contents…

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

You can grab a pair here from Amazon.co.ukSoundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green), and they’ve just now been reduced to £14.99, I paid £15.23 (30/04/15)

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Andy’s bought a greenhouse!

April 7th, 2015

I’ve spent the last two days, taking down a second hand greenhouse…this is a photograph I took, to remind me of how it looked…

Greenhouse with all glass removed

Greenhouse with all glass removed

so I can re-assemble the hundreds of bits I have…later in my garden!

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Adam’s Homebrew 3D Printed Quadcopter Flight No.2 and Crash - oh dear!

March 24th, 2015

This quadcopter chassis was printed, on a 3D printer, an Ultimaker II, in our office, and electronics and motors were added, and this is Adam flying it, on it’s second flight! I’m running around, trying not to get hit, whilst I film it, for checking later.

This is the fun stuff, we get up to!

oh yes, it crashed, but no problems, we will just print new parts to fix it, and it will be back up and running!

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