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Posts Tagged ‘house’

Andy’s got a new camera - A CANON PowerShot SX50 HS

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Yes, I’ve purchased a new camera, A CANON PowerShot SX50 HS, and yes, it’s a “Bridge Camera”. A halfway house between a compact and D-SLR. I already have a compact camera, and D-SLR, so needed something in the middle, and this boasts a 50x optical zoom lens, equivalent to a 1200mm conventional telephoto lens.

I’m very impressed with the first photographs….(click for full image, straight from camera, no image processing, 12Megapixel - JPEG).

In this first photograph, if you look carefully, you will see our, two Doves on the chimney pots…

0x (no zoom)

0x (no zoom)

in this photograph, at 50x (1200mm) zoom, handheld, no tripod, you can see the Dove, and also notice the lichens on the chimney pot!

50x Optical Zoom

50x Optical Zoom

I don’t know how this camera does it, holding a camera in my hand at 50x optical zoom, with Image Stablisation, and it’s able to give me good photograph, with my shaking hands! (I would recommend a tripod! but without, gives good results)

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Wireless (WiFi) Remote Control of X10 Modules using USB Remote Access

Sunday, December 20th, 2009
  1. The Active Home Pro software is installed on/in a virtual Windows XP Professional computer, I don’t like cluttering up my main production Workstation which happens to be Vista 64-bit Ultimate.
  2. The CM15PRO Programmable Computer Interface is connected by USB to this computer. The Active Home Pro software is the software that drives the computer interface, I’ve saved the “house file” house.ahx on my NAS (network attached storage) device, so it can be easily shared on my network.
  3. This is the clever Tech bit, USB over Network by Fabula Tech, I’ve been using this software in the virtual work I do for a few years, and it allows you to share a USB device over your network, e.g. you can plug in you USB device on one computer, and connect to it on another via your network. Very handy… USB remote access!
  4. The USB over Network by Fabula Tech is installed on the computer connected to the CM15PRO Programmable Computer Interface. We will call this the server.

USB over network

USB over network

The above snapshot, shows the USB over Network server software running, and the current USB devices attached to the server, which can then be shared, just like any resource, disk, printer etc.

USB over network device shared waiting for connection

USB over network device shared waiting for connection

The device is shared, and is waiting for a client computer to connect to it.

USB device properties

USB device properties

You can give the devices meaningful friendly names, that you’ll remember. On the client computer (remote computer), install another copy of Active Home Pro, making sure the drivers are installed for the CM15Pro. Run the USB over Network client software.

USB over Network client setup

USB over Network client setup

Select USB Device, Add, browser for the computer or enter IP address. You should see, a list of devices that can be connected to.

Client connecting...

Client connecting...

Right click the device, and click connect, if this is the first time you’ve connected to the device, you’ll get the usual, bing-bong tones, and plug N play will start and register the drives.

Now you can use your ActiveHome Pro software on another wireless (WiFi) computer, just open the *.AHX home file, from a shared location.

Client Connected to device

Client Connected to device

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Greenhouse is broke

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

My greenhouse is broke, it’s ripped across the top, so I’ve got a tarp, across the top at present to protect the contents from rain and any frost.

My broken greenhouseq

My broken greenhouse

old compost bags for christmas potatoes

old compost bags for christmas potatoes

Left over plastic compost bags, I’ve kept these for my christmas potatoes.

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Keep the vamps at bay

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

We’ve been tidying up the garden before the Autumn starts on Wednesday. Lindsey cut the front lawn, maybe for the last time, and I’ve been clearing up and emptying the potatoe bags and planting my garlic that my friend (thanks Paul) bought from the The Garlic Farm, on The Isle of Wight. (keeps away the vamps!). It’s probably a little early, but I wanted to get it in the ground while it was still warm, and the autumn starts on Wednesday, so it’s probably not that early. I’ve planted Iberian Wight - a soft-neck early white garlic and Elephant Garlic - these cloves are massive. I’ll be planting my potatoes shortly for Christmas, and keeping them in the greenhouse.

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New Aquarium

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Three months ago, I reported all change in the fish house and removed 9 unsed fish tanks from the fish house and tried to replace them with a spare 48×18x12 - plans didn’t work well!, well it’s taken me three months to get the faulty aquarium replaced, and I’ve spent many hours this weekend installing the tank on it’s shelf. I’d previously removed the 2 x 24×12x15 and 18×18x18 cube from this shelf. So I just needed to slot this tank in place and wire-up heaters and filters.

Algarde Digi-Therm external stat

Algarde Digi-Therm external stat

I’ve used an Algarde Digi-Therm digital external thermostat connected to two heaters (200 and 300 watt) - this is rather an old combination of using external thermostat connected to internal heaters, the norm these days is to use, combined heater thermostats, but I still prefer this older, safer combination. I’ve had many combined heater stats jam on and heat up and kill the fish in the tank.

Hagen Bio-Life 55 internal filter with trickle filter

Hagen Bio-Life 55 internal filter with trickle filter

Filtration is provided by a Hagen Bio-Life 55, internal Wet ‘n’  Dry internal filter, and excellent internal filter - I’ve had to start this filter from new, so it’s not mature yet, and will take several weeks to mature and

homebrew tank hangers for biolife 55

homebrew tank hangers for biolife 55

I had to make some homebrew clips to secure the fish tank to the side of the tank, as this tank is 18″ deep, I’ve lost the suckers or bracket to stick to tank wall , I was going to use a Dennerle C400 internal filter, but I prefer this filter because it has an internal trickle filter (they were all the rage, once upon a time). I’ve also installed an air-driven

Algarde Bio-foam 200 sponge filter

Algarde Bio-foam 200 sponge filter

Algarde Bio-Foam 200 internal foam filter using four foams, this was easy to mature, because I just stole a foam from other tanks in the fish house which are already mature, as most tanks in the fish house have air-driven Algarde Bio-Foam 200 internal foam filter using two foams - so I ust removed one foam and replaced with a new, and made sure the mature foam was pre-washed in old aquarium water. I’m hoping that this speeds up maturation of the aquarium. I’ve also installed a sand filter,

Lifegard FB300 Fluidized Sand Filter (fully Fluidized!)

Lifegard FB300 Fluidized Sand Filter (fully Fluidized!)

a Lifegard FB300 driven by a Maxijet PH600 powerhead. I don’t think you can ever “over-filter” a tank. I had a small issue with this filter, because after filling it with media (sand), the powerhead wouldn’t drive it correctly, even after testing it correcly before filling, so I had to empty the sand into a bucket, re-connect the filter, run the powerhead, and re-fill the filter with a 5ml spoon of sand at a time to prevent clogging, it took a while re-filling the filter with sand, a few spoonfuls!

top of tank showing water movement

top of tank showing water movement

Tank water looks a bit cloudy at present, but give it a week, and I’m sure this will clear, as the bacteria start to work their magic.

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All change!

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Two 48 inch replacement tanks for the fish house
Two 48 inch replacement tanks for the fish house

I’ve not blogged anything about the fish house in a while, because nothing really exciting has happend, and I didn’t think you be interested in feeding the fish, or bi-weekly partial water changes. To conserve electricity, I shut down six small fish tanks in December 2008 (18inch x 10inch x 10inch, and smaller), they were used as quarantine, and for smaller fish, but more recently I’d increased the fish house, by six tanks, so these weren’t really used a great deal. These four fish tanks, were the first four that started the fish house in 2004. Time for a change.

I’ve had three four foot fish tanks in storage since the fish house move of July 2006. One four foot tank would replace these four nicely!

I’ve cleaned, soak tested it for leaks, and painted the sides white with some spare matt emulsion. It’s not the tidest of fish tanks, but it holds water, ideal for the fish house.

Before - fish tanks that will be replaced
Before - fish tanks that will be replaced

These are the four dirty fish tanks in the fish hosue that will be replaced by one single 48×15x12 fish tank. I just noticed that one of the tanks, has a successfuly breeding colony of snails. Most of the time, I’m trying to get rid of these with Clown andCandy loaches, and have successfully removed all snails from the fish house. I’ll keep these in another small tank, so I can rear them for live food for the loaches. (I’ll regret it later, I’m sure).

After - removed!
After - removed! Fish tanks removed.

wires, and new polysterene required, and a bit of tidy up required before I site the replacement fish tank. That’s another day.

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Do you know where you nearest fire hydrant is?

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Excitement in the hamlet this evening, busy watching the world go by, out in the garden painting the newly repaired Bird Table (post coming soon!). Two John Dennis Fire Engines hurtled past towards the next village (this happened last year when someone’s grain dryer burnt down). Ten minutes later one of the engines returned to my hamlet because they couldn’t find the fire hydrant in the nearby village, and someone told them there was on in my hamlet, it’s just been painted by the Council bright yellow, and is just opposite my house. Do you know where you nearest fire hydrant is?

This is the first picture I snapped of the fire engine from my bedroom window.

I think they’ve spotted me there’ off

another one returns…

and then there was two, both came back to fill up.

As I type, one has just returned, that’s four trips….while the house or barn burns down! I can tell because the blue flashing lights are reflecting on my monitor.

I think they must have done, there’s no urgency anymore, and the fire officers are talking to the neighbours, while they look at me, typing!

Fire hydrant still in use, must get a photo!

Repoting to you as it happens…..

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Petrol Leak!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Lindsey noticed a strong smell of petrol today near the generator shed (generator is used to power the fish house, when there’s a power outage) which I ignored!, I’ve just investigated because it is rather strong and it would appear a pipe has split and petrol has been leaking from the petrol tank! I’ve left the generator shed door open for the fumes to escape overnight, and I moved the fire-extinguisher from the kitchen into the porch!

Top of the to-do list tomorrow morning in day light me thinks!

Note to self: Pay attention to what Lindsey tells me! It’s often correct!!

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Slugs the size of pigs!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

I suppose there a bit like Marmite, not that I ever eaten a slug! You either love them or hate them. These are the size of pigs, I found them hanging around my rootrainers , whilst I was sorting out my flowering plants for the borders. I grow most of my plants exclusively in rootrainers. This year I’ve had very poor germination from Nasturtium majus Milkmaid, the Nasturtium majus Black Velvet I’ve planted I’ve had 100% germinate, but the  Nasturtium majus Milkmaid have been very poor, I think I would be lucky if I’ve got 32 plants out  of 256 seeds planted. I thought it could be because I’ve switched from a peat based seed compost, to non-peat based, to save the peat bogs, but then the Nasturtium majus Black Velvet have been planted in the same conditions. So my mix of black and white plants my struggle again this year in the border, last year Nasturtium majus Milkmaid germinated but turned out to be red and orange Nasturtium majus. I may report the batch numbers to the commercial grower, just to check they’ve not had a major failure!

Tiger or Leopard spotted slugs (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slugs (Limax maximus)

 I did think it could be these slugs I found…Slugs the size of pigs!

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

but I found no seed stalks, where they’d been eaten, and I’ve just not seen any seeds germinate.

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

I quite enjoyed photographing and watching these slugs, that I didn’t have the heart to murder them! I’ll probably regret it, as they’ll be back eating me vegetables. So I left them out for the birds!

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Our House imported posts from legacy blog

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I’ve now imported all the posts from the old Our House blog. I’ve still got to convert the posts with photos and internet links in before they get published here. I think I’ve decided to take the plunge, and no longer update the old legacy blogs, and new posts will appear on this new blog, in the various categories, sections or topics. It will make things easier for posting, and make easier reading. To keep the timeline correct, they’ve all been tagged as category house, but I’ve also tagged them in other relevant categories. So over the coming weeks, you’ll see more of the older posts appearing, once they’ve been duly converted (provided WordPress and the hosting holds out!)

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