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CHILDLIKE, WITH MY EYES AND MIND WIDE OPEN

July 29th, 2015

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I returned to my childhood whilst watching the Punakha Tsechu. Watching stories unfold before my eyes, I started to believe in magic again, in demons and monsters, in angels and saints, casting away my cynical view on life. Bhutan is like that … it opens up the mind and soul!

by Lindsey

(PS Help Lindsey win her Holiday to Jordon, click here to vote: - http://www.onthegotours.com/feelgood/entry/Childlike-with-my-eyes-and-mind-wide-op)

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Out with the Dyson, and in with the Gtech AirRAM K9 and Gtech Multi

July 21st, 2015

Over five years ago, I purchased my first Dyson, and blogged here - I Thought My Carpets Were Clean Until I purchased a Dyson.

The big problem with the Dyson DC20, cylinder vacuum cleaner, it has a cord, and it’s very heavy, awkward to clean stairs, and very heavy to carry upstairs to clean the bedrooms, and landing….nothing wrong with it, and it’s just gone out of guarantee.

Honey sales have been good, so time for a new gadget, to help me (my new contract is to do the vacuum-ing around the house!).

After watching the TV Adverts, and reading all the reviews, I’ve decided to purchase a Gtech AirRAM K9 and Gtech Multi.

Gtech AirRAM K9 Cordless vacuum cleaner and Gtech Multi handheld

Gtech AirRAM K9 Cordless vacuum cleaner and Gtech Multi handheld

Gtech AirRAM K9 Cordless vacuum cleaner and Gtech Multi handheld

Gtech AirRAM K9 Cordless vacuum cleaner and Gtech Multi handheld

I placed the order with Gtech’s website on Sunday 19th July, and I was surprised it was not as automated as some websites, what I mean is, the email confirming your order, I never got one, one was never sent…and the Order Online, when I track it, is still sitting in Processing…..my other niggle, Gtech charge Credit Card holders 2% - this is a bit old fashioned! but they do not charge anything for Paypal, after a recent discussion by Martin Lewis about Paypal, Credit Cards and Losing your Section 75 Rights - this here Warning! Don’t use PayPal to pay on a credit card - I thought stuff Paypal on this one! But hey come on Gtech 2%, are you not making enough cash, to re-negotiate with the credit card companies!

yesterday, I was surprised to get an email from Interlink (sister company of DPD - I didn’t know this until today!) advising me I would get a delivery today from Gtech, and early this morning, as was advised Interlink would deliver between 13:57 - 14:57, and at 14:05 I was the proud owner of a Gtech AirRAM K9 and Gtech Multi.

So logistics and 2% CC charge aside -

WOW - these are fantastic - cordless, light, powerful, Dyson move over, there is a New Hoover King - Gtech! I’ve been vacuuming everywhere, until the charge they come with ran out, so both are on charge for four hours!

and they’ve got a fantastic new advert featuring music by Queen. (Freddie Mercury).

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Andy’s Chillis

July 10th, 2015

Here are some before and after pictures of my chili plants in the porch, where temperatures in the sun, get up to 58 degrees C!

June 14th

June 14th

July 9th - Almost 4 weeks later

July 9th - Almost 4 weeks later

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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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