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Member postings for SillyOldDuffer

Here is a list of all the postings SillyOldDuffer has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Aircraft radio scanner
16/07/2019 10:29:52
Posted by RMA on 16/07/2019 09:46:03:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 15/07/2019 01:28:48:

I got a USB (Universal Serial Bus) SDR (software defined radio) for my laptop PC (personal computer).

... this is a really cheap and easy way to experiment.



However, why is this post on a model engineering forum? I have an aircraft scanner but not that interested in how it works, but I saw the title and clicked on it. Surely there's a more appropriate forum.

The wide range of interests and expertise on all matters technical is what makes this forum special. It attracts people who like to make things and understand how they work. Hammer to Atomic Clock via Bee Keeping and Astronomical Frame Stacking is fine by me. I'm interested in what other people are doing and have learned a lot.  I like experimenting with different things and I'm not alone.

Bob probably knew from other posts that the forum has the expertise needed to answer his question; not least because we have Radio Amateurs and Aircraft enthusiasts on tap. I don't know of any other forum that can wheel out expertise in 3-phase, radio, electronics, machine tools, microcontrollers, chemistry, microscopy, astronomy, CAD/CAM, 3D-printing and bow making as well as quality comment on making steam locos, traction engines and setting up a workshop. Lot's of practical help on offer, and - usually - good-humoured.

Model Engineering has always been much more than Model Making. It's all good to me - more the merrier! And, I wouldn't want new friends to be intimidated by fear of asking daft questions in the wrong place, or having their spelling criticised. Some fora are dominated by self-appointed policemen officiously explaining what's amiss with questions, rather than answering them. I think they are worse than this one by far.

But RMA is not wrong - the penalty for open discourse is a regrettable tendency for threads to wander off topic. The forum is more like engineers chatting informally in a bar than engineers organising for work, and that can be irritating.


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/07/2019 10:32:25

Thread: Learning CAD with Alibre Atom3D
15/07/2019 16:57:46
Posted by Ivan Winters on 15/07/2019 15:27:41:


The item which has been catching my eye is that we are encouraged by the program to save parts etc in a file format ending **.FCStd . What on earth is this format ? Alibre opens the files again quite happily but it doesn't change the fact that I have never before seen this file format.

Anyone shed any light on this weirdity ??

Just a guess but is it possible that you've used Alibre to open a project created earlier with FreeCAD? It's quite common for software to work, more or less successfully, with other file formats. When given an alien file, the software might just carry on in alien mode rather than convert it. The other possibility is that Alibre has accidentally been told to default to FCStd in it's Properties or Setup section.

It is odd though!


Thread: Another scam
15/07/2019 16:33:36
Posted by Samsaranda on 15/07/2019 16:03:56:

I keep getting calls on my mobile that start with 0843, the phone only rings three times then the call disconnects, never enough time to answer it. I always put the number on my blocked callers list then a few days later the same happens again, always an 0843 number but different every time, again I always add to the blocked calls list and then a few days later the same again. Always different numbers after the 0843 prefix, they must soon run out of numbers hopefully, I can see no purpose to these calls as I never answer them and they just stop ringing after 3 rings, does anyone else get these calls or know what purpose they are serving?

Dave W

0843 numbers are for charged services. A legitimate example might be a farmer prepared to pay for a high-end weather forecast.

Your calls are almost certainly a con. It works like this. An autodialer rings people at random and doesn't allow enough time for a human to answer. Ideally you come rushing down from the shower, in your curlers, stark naked, and covered in foam. Flustered, perhaps expecting a genuine call, you look at last caller id, and ring them back. This costs you 7p immediately and then up to 65p a minute while they keep you listening to an automatic pre-amble, selecting options, waiting in a queue, or having a long rant at the person who will do his best to keep you talking...

The other reason for dropped calls is again an autodialler. It might be working from a list, or be generating numbers randomly. The autodialler rings out continually and if anyone answers it transfers the call to a human, who should go into his spiel. But, if the operators are all busy, or away from their desk, the autodialler hangs up on you and rings someone else. The humans involved don't waste time their time calling particular numbers, they wait for a hit and then follow the script. As the process is impersonal why should they worry about wasting our time. B*st%rds!


Edit: I'm embarrassed!  I've written War and Peace and all the other answers are delightfully succinct.


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 15/07/2019 16:36:13

Thread: Recent threads
15/07/2019 11:28:56
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 15/07/2019 10:25:29:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 15/07/2019 09:39:04:
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 14/07/2019 21:07:46:

It's quite easy Dave. Look at what's been said or written and consider if it was sent in a manner designed to cause offence. It's usually very easy to tell.


I'm not upset about not being able to say what I like. Generally I don't try to deliberately offend people any more than I deliberately go out of my way to make sure I don't use words that could be used in an offensive context. I can tell the difference between an acronym and an insult. If someone took issue with my use of the acronym, I would simply say that I'm sorry that you're upset.

I believe you Pete! My point is just that the views of the recipient matter too, and it's unwise to risk words or abbreviations like 'SPIC' that can be very offensive indeed.

Imagine the railway took on a young man who happens to be half-Spanish and is sensitive about his heritage, perhaps teased at school. He reports to you and is told he's a "SPIC". One thing leads to another and he takes your employer to a Employment Tribunal and claims he has a 'protected characteristic' as defined by the Equality Act. He certainly has a case. If his argument is accepted your employer has committed an offence because their representative insisted on using the abbreviation and they are responsible for what their employees do.

Generally best not to get entangled in this kind of dispute whatever the rights and wrongs - it results in negative publicity, costs serious money, wastes time and causes ill-feeling. From the employers point of view it's safer to just dump anything that might cause offence.

Politeness costs nothing, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can get you anything from a punch on the nose to a prison sentence.

It's a shame that fear of causing offence can stifle healthy debate or worse. Racism is plain wrong, but fear of being accused of racism should not stop the authorities from acting vigorously against criminals who happen to be Black or Islamic. As always it's hard to strike a balance between tolerance and appeasement.

It's not all bad news. One of the benefits of being elderly-retired is getting away with a lot more rudeness!


Thread: My new lathe a Warco 918
15/07/2019 10:34:12
Posted by Ron Laden on 15/07/2019 06:57:16:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 15/07/2019 01:50:45:
Posted by Ron Laden on 10/07/2019 19:14:27:

Its my first time with ER collets, would I be right in thinking that the correct fitting procedure is to first fit the collet into the nut, (you can sort of feel it clip in) and then fit the nut to the chuck body, checking its correctly seated..


Tip: do them up as tight as you can with the supplied spanner. They 'like' being tight for accuracy and grip and won't be damaged if holding work in their capacity range, the standard torque is surprisingly high and hard to achieve by hand.


Thanks Neil, I didnt know that.


There's a posh version of the nut with a ball-bearing in it that's easier to tighten too: ArcEuro's page here.

Also, a good description of clicking the collet in.

Not essential, but ball-bearing collet nuts are definitely a step up.


Thread: Aldi bargain laser level
15/07/2019 10:01:40
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 15/07/2019 09:41:44:
Posted by RMA on 14/07/2019 07:30:22:

I wish posters would refrain from including a group of capital letters in their post which mean absolutely nothing to me! Am I the only one that doesn't understand these things. I'm assuming it's 'text speak', but this isn't texting is it?

I don't think it is "text speak". If I remember rightly many of these abbreviations started in the early days of Usenet discussion groups. The use of abbreviations helped when you were using a modem that operated at 1200 b/s downstream and 75 b/s upstream or even a 300 b/s audio coupler. Those were the days


Mention of 300 baud modems reminded me of a gross example from my guilty past. We did it as a joke, but my career in computing included a time where we would use ASCII control codes in normal conversation. For example:

Question. Fancy a coffee?
Answer. NAK, NAK, NAK

In American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), Hexadecimal 15 is the control code for 'Negative Acknowledge'. Only elite members of the inner sanctum know that!

For reasons not understood by us young nerds, management were displeased when customers complained. Quite hard for chaps who fought at Alamein asking if their job was finished to be told 'NAK NAK NAK' by a spotty long-haired youth with a failed Zapata moustache, loon pants, psychedelic nylon shirt, and a smelly Afghan coat.


Thread: Recent threads
15/07/2019 09:39:04
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 14/07/2019 21:07:46:

It's quite easy Dave. Look at what's been said or written and consider if it was sent in a manner designed to cause offence. It's usually very easy to tell.


"So, we all know what S.P.C stands for don't we?" I put my hand up and said "Stupid Political Correctness".

Not sure it is easy to spot what's offensive; IanSC quoted this example:

'anything refering to gentlemen reminds me of a famous speech to the military at the beginning of WW2 by a certain RAF Air Vice Marshal sent by London to set up our Air Force for war. He started the speech "men and boys of the army and navy, and gentle men of the air force". I think that is all of the speech that was remembered by anyone, and it caused a major rift in the forces for a number of years, here maybe more back then all were/are concidered equal, in fact NZ servicemen during the war ,when serving in UK often got a bit of stick, as the men and officers were sometimes a bit too "friendly".'

Early in World War 2, Britain was close to defeat and needed all the help she could get. At the time New Zealand was still a 'Dominion', which meant the country was self-governing in all but Defence. The UK declaring war on Germany meant New Zealand was also at war with Germany, but Dominions like Canada, Australia and New Zealand were under no obligation to do anything about it. The extent to which New Zealand committed blood and treasure was their decision, not London's. Goodwill is essential, especially when men are being asked to fight. Now it's unlikely the AVM was sent to put colonials in their place, rather the opposite. He caused offence by using the word 'gentlemen' in the wrong context. No excuses - although New Zealanders might be more sensitive than Brits about class distinctions, careless use of 'gentlemen' could and did cause offence in 1940 England. It was a gaffe, still remembered in New Zealand 80 years later! And Alan picked up on Martin innocently using the same word to start this thread.

Another way of understanding the need for care is to turn it on it's head. Why are Pete, Howard, and others so upset when told they cannot say what they like? Bandersnatch puts it well:

Seeking to impose, on others, one person's view of "correctness" in this respect is, well, wrong imo (in my opinion). That's mostly what's wrong with today's world already.

BUT, if you think it's OK to say what you think, then don't be offended when someone returns the complement. Pete made the remark about "Stupid Political Correctness" because he didn't like being on the receiving end. By banning 'SPIC' in the workplace, his employer was - in effect - telling Pete he was a rude ignoramus, not trusted to get on with colleagues without abusing them. That's pretty offensive! Same for anyone who picks up a newspaper and finds they are a social pariah. However, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined...

Odd I think, when chaps who see no harm delivering 'banter' are upset when they get bollocked for it!

As I'm such a loveable inoffensive chap, its hard to believe that SillyOldDuffer has a Personnel File that mentions 'arrogance' as a shortcoming. Clearly an injustice. Obviously I think I'm a workshop genius because I've read Madame Bovary and can work a computer but the truth is most of what I know about machining has been nicked off the forum. Respect to you all.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 15/07/2019 09:39:22

14/07/2019 20:43:59
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 14/07/2019 19:46:17:
Posted by Brian Sweeting on 14/07/2019 15:36:33:


Only because so many see offence where none is given. If a person's comments are not delivered in a manner designed to give offence, they should not worry about it being given unintentionally.


I think that one's on thin ice! How does a victim of accidental rudeness know it was accidental? Surely the onus is on the sender to be polite, not the recipient. Sooner or later someone has to tell offenders they are tactless, otherwise they carry on doing it.

Forums and email are dangerous though. It's easy to take offence because most of the normal clues that show the writer is joking are missing. Tone of voice, twinkle in the eye, tongue in cheek, or a smile can defuse the deadliest of face-to-face insults!

My mother-in-law is a classic if anyone needs lessons. She is both incredibly rude and incredibly sensitive, a very difficult and unhappy lady.

Apologies to everyone I've accidentally offended. It's been known to happen...



Thread: Aircraft radio scanner
14/07/2019 17:23:15
Posted by Joseph Noci 1 on 14/07/2019 16:57:13:

Just asking...what are the legalities in your part(s) of the world WRT listening on those frequencies? At least in Southern Africa it is not permitted, unless you hold a pilots license or sorts - actually not allowed to own a radio that receives on frequencies you are not licensed for...sort of the same as listening in the the VHF FM police bands, shipping bands, etc...



It's technically illegal in the UK to listen to anything outside the approved broadcast, amateur and citizen band frequencies but it's rarely enforced, if ever. The equipment needed is openly on sale, sometimes band restricted, often not. Digital phones, military and police etc are all encrypted so you can only listen to open content anyway.

Other countries are far, far stricter. There was a case a few years ago where a naive group of British airband enthusiasts spent a year in a Greek jail after assuming no-one would mind them photographing an airfield and listening to the planes. I know Thailand is very sensitive about ensuring ham radios can only work in the ham bands, and it is forbidden to import anything not on their list of approved equipment.


14/07/2019 16:48:08

Not really into listening to aircraft Bob but I don't think the Whistler 1010 is suitable; the spec suggests it's FM and - I think - most VHF aircraft chat is AM or USB on HF.

The most important part of the set-up is the antenna. If you visit an airport a whip on a cheap radio will pick up local radio traffic with few problems because the signals are strong. By the time you're 5 miles from the airport, you may only hear what's flying nearby, which may be good enough for you. If not, look for a radio with a socket so you can run coax to an antenna in the clear; a home-made bent-wire dipole will out-perform a whip especially if it's high on a pole. You can also get commercial antennas to fit to a chimney on the roof.

If you're intending to listen at home, and have a PC or laptop available, SDR is a good bet. I've listened to aircraft on HF and VHF with a FunCube Pro and - more flexible - a SDR Play RSP1A, reviewed here. As usual the more dosh the better the SDR, but you don't have to spend loads of money to get good performance.

Rather than scan and stop on active channels like the Whistler, SDR displays a slice of radio bandwidth (132kHz Funcube, up to 10MHz RSP) on screen. You can see visually when channels are active and click on them to listen. Depending on the software it may be possible to listen to more than one channel at a time, and some can scan as well.

A disadvantage of SDR is the computer side - not for everyone! You might prefer a conventional radio with buttons!

Air to ground conversations are extremely terse. When conditions are good I've found HF more interesting. In SW England I've listened to New York taking waypoint reports from aircraft mid-atlantic on about 5MHz ; they were a bit more chatty and quite busy. Another advantage of the SDRs and good aerials is they cover all the frequencies used by aviation from VLF Beacons to UHF military.

Not tried one myself, but upmarket scanners, including Whistler, for sale here. The expensive ones can scan more than aircraft but the extra features may not be needed.


Thread: Different ways of boring a hole
14/07/2019 15:25:32
Posted by Phil P on 14/07/2019 15:04:58:


With a between centres boring bar, granted it is fiddly to set up, but ...


Good tip Phil, I hadn't thought of that. Just shows, learn a few tricks and I think I've seen it all. Nope! Very educational this forum.


Thread: Recent threads
14/07/2019 13:54:49
Posted by Ian S C on 14/07/2019 11:32:11:

Bit OT, anything refering to gentlemen reminds me of a famous speech to the military at the beginning of WW2 by a certain RAF Air Vice Marshal sent by London to set up our Air Force for war. He started the speech "men and boys of the army and navy, and gentle men of the air force". I think that is all of the speech that was remembered by anyone, and it caused a major rift in the forces for a number of years, here maybe more back then all were/are concidered equal, in fact NZ servicemen during the war ,when serving in UK often got a bit of stick, as the men and officers were sometimes a bit too "friendly".


Ian S C

That's a running joke to this day in the UK. The military are found of pointing out that on deployment:

  • the Navy sleep in a steel box with only a sheet of tin between them and a watery grave.
  • the Army sleep in a muddy trench while the enemy tries to kill them
  • the RAF sleep in a Five Star Hotel near the airport.

'Gentlemen' doesn't signify class to me: it's a polite form of 'chap' and is most seen on public toilets. Martin was correct to exclude the ladies from his complaint; they never offend on the forum!


Thread: Different ways of boring a hole
14/07/2019 13:24:59

Worst choice is number 3, I'd only do that if there was no alternative. It works but is most fuss to set-up and it's not particularly rigid.

Usually mounting on a milling table is quicker and easier than mounting the same job sideways on a face-plate. But - and this may be wrong - I believe spinning the work is more accurate than spinning the tool because the heavy rigid work centres on the axis rather than the the lighter bendy boring tool. Milling machine easy, lathe more accurate. Not noticed any difference in practice though.

So, if a job fits easily into a chuck, I prefer to bore on the lathe. If it's awkward to hold, needing a vice, clamps, or a fixture, I bore on the mill.


Thread: Electric Cars
14/07/2019 10:30:45
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/07/2019 06:51:04:
Posted by pgk pgk on 14/07/2019 06:01:32:

I think the last few posters are missing the point of computer AI.

1) In the case of issues at the traffic lights the simplified options were to race ahead or to wait and take a gap behind. Racing ahead worked this time (and my EV could have beaten the lot off the lights if I'd wanted to) but was based in male agression and risked causing a road rage incident. Doubtless AI would have learned that it's statistically better to arrive later and less often undamaged than take those risks. Indeed AI might have learned that such extra lanes are better not used and just queued to being with... patiently


Apologies if I am 'missing the point' ... but I described briefly [and only from my perspective] a real incident, that occurred at a real, recently built, road junction.

  • If I had braked firmly to let the van have his way, someone may have piled into the back of me [there was no-one behind me when we left the lights, but ... who knows?]
  • Yes, I could [and probably should] have simply taken third position in an orderly queue; but that would have meant not using the road as it was clearly intended
  • I was in no hurry, and had nothing to 'prove' [I was driving my Wife to a meeting]
  • As for 'male aggression' ... I don't know: There was no aggression on my part, it was just a 'survival' choice, and I didn't have the time or inclination to check the gender of the other two drivers

In the future, roads may be designed so as to preclude such incidents; and the vehicles may all have appropriate algorithms to preserve themselves and their passengers ... but during the 'implementation period' things will remain complex on our roads.

I was trying to give an example for analysis and discussion; but evidently my first few words were the appropriate ones.




It's very useful to explore scenarios like this and score what humans do against the autonomous vehicle. In the example, I think autonomous has the advantage in this particular example:

  • It understands the rule of the road (merge) when real drivers may not, and would try to cooperate with other traffic.
  • It has no emotional response; it won't tailgate because it's busting for a pee, or behave aggressively due to what happened 5 minutes ago, or deliberately ram a police car.
  • It knows exactly what is in front, behind and to the sides with millisecond accuracy. It also knows where it is within a few metres, the temperature, risk of ice, and can detect almost instantly when the wheels slip for whatever cause. Humans are at least 0.2 seconds behind reality, and much worse if the check involves looking in a mirror, during which time they go blind in front. A sneeze loses about 2 seconds. Most drivers are bad on ice unless they've been trained, and even good ones react slowly.
  • In court, after the accident, the human driver has to explain himself. He is an unreliable witness compared with the scrupulously accurate record kept by the autonomous vehicle. Quite likely I think, the autonomous vehicle's data would normally prove the human driver was at fault, much as Black Box recorders show most air crashes to be caused by pilot error. I don't think pleading innocence because the car's AI system can't resolve marriage disputes or analyse Flaubert will impress judges or insurance companies!


Note that, apart from outright pilot error being number one, pilot error appears again in 'Pilot Error (Weather Related) and 'Pilot Error (Mechanical related)

Here's one where a human might do better. You're driving at speed up an empty road where temporary traffic lights are protecting the movements of a digger just out-of-sight round the corner. The lights have failed. A human might spot the hazard by recognising the in-position lights are not Red, Green or Amber. He should slow down. As the car's map is wrong it has to rely on its sensors and might be travelling too fast to stop in time. But, as I noted earlier, once a hazard is detected, the car will react much faster than a human. We can rely on them to do super-human emergency stops. Maybe even in this situation human and car might score about the same.

On the other hand, autonomous cars wouldn't deliberately or accidentally jump lights as most people do at one time or another. In my experience bad drivers are more common than broken traffic lights!

At root I think autonomous cars are an engineering problem with engineering answers. It's not essential for drivers to be human.


13/07/2019 22:06:09
Posted by Barnaby Wilde on 13/07/2019 18:06:17:
Posted by pgk pgk on 13/07/2019 14:58:14:
Posted by terry callaghan on 13/07/2019 12:19:00:



Fully autonomous vehicles can only exist if the possibility of "exception handling" is removed from the equation.

Back when I was young & beautiful I gave a very famous lecture to a bunch of egg headed computer nerds many of which went on to create what is now the present state of technology.

I invited a random member of the audience onto stage & we threw a tennis ball to each other. The math, the technology involved in having a robot play 'catch the ball' is phenomenal. Many people misunderstand just how difficult it would be to create such a robot, but it can be done.

I'm trying to explain what is involved as we toss the ball back & forth. Then I substitute the ball for a hand grenade & confirm that the random member is OK with tossing a live grenade

We tossed that grenade back & forth a few times before my finale . . . . Where I explain that given everything that is involved so far you can make a robot to accomplish this task.

Then I pull the pin from the grenade, let the handle fly away to stage left, count to four & toss it.

Have a good long think about what constitutes an exception to the rule, then have a good long think about sharing the road with a vehicle that cannot possibly ever comprehend one.

First, exception handling is well established in computer programming - many programming languages provide a mechanism whereby unexpected events can be handled. Not necessarily complicated, in an autonomous car a good strategy for dealing with the unexpected would usually be 'STOP'.

Secondly, if autonomous cars are forbidden by your logic then so are CNC machine tools because they cannot deal with exceptions like the operator falling under the cutter. Actually, with reasonable precautions, most of us are happy to take the risk.

Thirdly, although humans are good at learning from experience, it can't be assumed people will deal with an exception better than a machine. Most fast human reactions are reflexes rather than considered actions; you cannot learn to drive by studying the Highway Code, you have to train your primitive brain to perform stops, gear changes, and steering etc. Our actions are at least semi-automatic. An extended childhood is necessary for this and we never stop learning. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. However, the human process of learning by repetition can be emulated by a robot, or pre-programmed, and it may be good enough. Aircraft are capable of flying to a destination and landing without the pilot touching the controls.

People rarely have to decide ethical questions when driving, but if a autonomous vehicle had to deal with a multi-choice exception it could apply the principle of least harm. It might get the answer wrong but so do people - all the time. A poor response is possible whenever taken by surprise by a novel situation such as someone throwing a grenade at you. Pretty dangerous whatever happens, maybe it's safer not to catch it, maybe the correct response is save others by altruistically falling on it. Attacking the thrower is also a valid response to your demonstration - don't try it at Heathrow unless you want to attract gunfire.

There's a reason you weren't duffed up. It's because you didn't throw a live grenade. So there's no rule and no exception to the rule. It was a fake. The demonstration is faulty for another reason, even had it been a real grenade both machine and human are faced with a range of possibilities with no correct solution. There certainly isn't an answer that humans always get right and machines always get wrong. Airport guards are trained to shoot terrorists and a machine could be programmed to do the same. Both are capable of blundering into tragedy.

Nice bit of theatre, but your trick proved nothing. I wonder how many of the egg head nerds were fooled?


PS counting to four with a real grenade would have given you a tricky exception to deal with. Most modern grenades explode two or three seconds after the lever is released. It's done to stop the other guy throwing it back. Grenades are designed to maim whatever the recipient does.


13/07/2019 19:22:07
Posted by Barnaby Wilde on 13/07/2019 18:06:17:
Posted by pgk pgk on 13/07/2019 14:58:14:
Posted by terry callaghan on 13/07/2019 12:19:00:

Shared vehicles, will never work, insurance companies and lawyers would have a field day if said vehicle was in an RTC.

As part of their vertical strategy Tesla are reported to be actively looking at the insurance market for that very reason and have already claimed that owners will be able to place their own vehicles into the Robotaxis network when not needed by themselves (If/when they ever get autonomy working well enough). And with unique access to vehicle logs they will be able to quote premiums based on user data re speeds, road types, driving behavious etc.

Fully autonomous vehicles will never be allowed to share the road with human driven vehicles. I am willing to bet everything I have against everything anyone has who cares to take the bet.


Have a good long think about what constitutes an exception to the rule, then have a good long think about sharing the road with a vehicle that cannot possibly ever comprehend one.

Barnaby, no doubt you'll claim this video is 'Fake News' put out by 'Main Stream Media' only to befuddle half-wits and you're not going to fall for it. Actually you owe me your house.

Not to underestimate the difficulties, but I think autonomous vehicles are clearly possible today. Whether they're legal on the public highway or not depends only on our attitude to risk. I suggest autonomous vehicles should be accepted as soon as they achieve accident rates lower than humans. As computers don't get tired, drunk, go racing, show-off, misjudge distances, and aren't distracted by leggy blondes it may be sooner than expected!

You still haven't explained your earlier post about about electric cars being more expensive to insure than internal combustion. Possibly you are mistaken about that too!


PS is Barnaby Wilde really Mick Charity in disguise?

13/07/2019 10:12:56
Posted by Baz on 13/07/2019 08:31:45:

Replacing road fuel duty, probably by road tax on the car or a mileage tax and / or taxing electricity, maybe just for charging cars but who knows? They certainly cannot afford to loose the billions of pounds of revenue earned from petrol and diesel.

Or maybe they can. In 2016/2017 Fuel Tax (not just Petrol & Diesel), raised £27.9Bn whilst the 'Public Sector Gross Operating Surplus' at the same time was £47.2Bn. That could have been used to remove Fuel Tax entirely and also give every man, woman and child in the country £30 in cash.

£27.9Bn is a lot of money, but Fuel Tax is sixth in the UK league table of revenue sources raising over £2Bn each:

Income Tax - £185.6Bn
VAT - £135.4Bn
National Insurance - £125.9Bn
Corporation Tax - £55.9Bn
Council Tax - £30.4Bn
Fuel Tax - £27.9Bn
Business Rates - £26.8Bn

and so on down to £2.2Bn in 'Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Businesses'. The total tax revenue is £726Bn.

Fuel Tax could be replaced by increasing Income Tax. As that would be unpopular, unfair and take steam out of the economy, more likely it would be spread across several tax sources such that most people wouldn't notice the difference. And the door is open to taxing electricity supplied to vehicles, the technology needed to do that is straightforward.


12/07/2019 22:31:04
Posted by 34046 on 12/07/2019 20:51:20:


Quite how you would come up with an electric or something else replacement for the Boeing 747 or the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier I know not.



I think all the US Carriers are nuclear, and at least one features an electromagnetic catapult. Organic fuels including diesel can be made from cereal if need be. It's horribly expensive but that might not worry the military much.

The Queen Elizabeth's propellers are driven by electric motors, though not for green reasons - the electricity is diesel generated with gas turbine boosters.


12/07/2019 21:59:52
Posted by Baz on 12/07/2019 21:39:48:

What is MSM, google tells me it is a drug useful for Arthritis, must be doing something wrong, silly me.

Or even 'Men who have Sex with Men'...

12/07/2019 21:06:55
Posted by Barnaby Wilde on 11/07/2019 20:19:47:

Anyone who still has their 'wits' about them can work out that EV's do not yet win the economic argument over an ICE equivalent. If the environmental aspect cancels that out for you then I'm sorry to say that you probably misunderstand the true environmental impact of anything & choose to believe what you believe to be true.

I also listened to the recent radio 4 slot on EV's with great interest, it got very many things very horribly wrong.

Did you know that the EV equivalent of an ICE vehicle costs substantially more to insure??? Of course you did, after all you still have your 'wits' about you & you believe everything that the BBC says . . .

I have £100 to donate to the charity of your choice, to anyone who can come up with the real reason that the insurance underwriters consider an EV to be a greater risk than it's ICE equivalent . . . .

'Barnaby', where did you get the idea 'the EV equivalent of an ICE vehicle costs substantially more to insure?' Can we have some examples please?

And please don't leave us in suspense - what is the 'real reason' insurance underwriters consider an EV to be a greater risk than it's ICE equivalent . . . .


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