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Member postings for Graham Stoppani

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

Thread: Look out, here comes a woodturner
03/01/2021 14:30:18

Hi Calum,

I am also a newbie to soldering an brazing. A book I've found very informative is "A Guide to Brazing and Soldering" by Keith Hale who set up the company CuP Alloys (useful supplier for the hobbyist).

Thread: In anticipation of the New Year ...
03/01/2021 08:11:25
I really wonder what the future holds in the development of technology especially with the introduction of Ai etc,

When people talk about AI they are normally thinking of it as operating in real time where the limiting factor is the speed of the underlying hardware.

For example, most phones etc. now have speech recognition. The underlying computational models for this such as hidden Markov modelling have been around over thirty years (I was referencing declassified DARPA papers on this from the late eighties when studying for my computing degree). At the time even Intel 486 processors or RISC based workstations did not have the speed to translate continuous speech in real time.

Although AI has undoubtedly moved on since my degree days, its progress cannot match the progress made in hardware. The results of two experiments announced last month illustrate beautifully the difference fast hardware can make.

1. A laser based quantum computer has completed a calculation in 4 minutes. Doesn't sound much until you compare it to the time a traditional computer would have taken of 2.56 billion years (that's roughly half the age of the planet Earth.)

Link to article explaining the paper Quantum device performs 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes

Link to original paper Quantum computational advantage using photons

2. An experiment has almost instantaneously transferred data over 44km using off the shelf hardware coupled with teleportation (and you thought Star Trek was just SciFi!).

Link to article explaining the paper long-distance 'quantum teleportation' for the first time

Link to the original paper Teleportation Systems Toward a Quantum Internet

Thread: Alternative to 365/office etc.
15/12/2020 06:32:26

There is an on-line version of MS Office available at no cost. At a glance, the features look okay for the average user (no sign of VBA or add-ins in Excel if that sort of thing floats your boat).

LINK to Free MS Office

As I'm not familiar with Libre Office, as mentioned favourably by others, I did a quick bit of research. I found the web site below useful as it goes into a lot of detail regarding the differences in functionality between the two products.

LINK to Libre and Office comparison

Each product has some features not supported by the other so it would be useful if you do use any advanced features in Office to check they are supported by Libre.

That said, just based on the functionality listing of Libre I can see why it has its fans. smiley

Thread: What am I?
27/11/2020 10:20:09

I am not an an Engineer in an sense of the word (even though I have a couple of computing degrees). However, I do like making and fixing things. From hence forth I shall refer to myself an artificer.

My dad was an artificer in the navy, however, I would like to think of myself as an artificer in the way Terry Pratchett described them. They worked in their various small workshops in the Street of Cunning Artificers and even had a Guild of Artificers - entrance criteria not known. The greatest of them was Leonard of Quirm but I am unfortunately more of a "Bloody Stupid" Johnson.

As an etymological aside, the words engineer and artificer both have their origins in the 14th century. An engineer coming via French from the Latin ingenium skill or talent. An artificer on the other hand is "one who makes by art or skill".

Thread: Cosworth V8 1:12 scale
02/11/2020 06:28:18

When I was a young lad working in a local motorcycle shop I took a phone call from a gentleman who wanted us to collect his son's field bike to sort out the non-running engine. Being an 'expert' I asked if he had checked if the petrol was turned on and if there was a spark - turned out I was talking to Keith Duckworth... Doh!


Thread: Memorable topics discussed on this forum
27/10/2020 06:15:44

Just wanted to say thank you. Really enjoying reading these old threads.

Thread: Hello from Birmingham
16/10/2020 13:56:00

I bought a second hand Warco Minor last year. Very happy with it but it did have one problem which I think may be something you might want to check, if you haven't already.

There are two ball bearings at the top of the quill and two taper roller bearings further down. Soon after buying the mill it started to screech when running. This was soon traced to the top bearing of the two taper roller bearings that had become completely dry. The lower bearing was in pristine condition as it had benefited from all the grease that had melted from the top bearing and landed on top of it!

Fortunately, the taper roller bearings are accessible to lubricate in situ.

Thread: Fluxes for silver soldering.
11/10/2020 06:43:30

Does anyone use killed spirits (zinc chloride) as a flux?

Thread: Cleaning metal for painting
04/10/2020 08:28:46

I have recently converted to using Ajax to prepare surfaces for painting. Not my idea but that of Dan Gelbart.

This is a link to his YouTube video on the subject and he mentions Ajax 11 minutes in but its worth watching the whole video. LINK

Thread: What cleaning solution?
04/10/2020 07:57:26

Just a word of warning to anyone using brake cleaner as a degreaser who doesn't already know this. It often contains either Toluene, Xylene or both. They are extremely flammable.

I was the MD of an industrial chemical company and stored both products on site in bulk storage tanks. Our agreed strategy with the local fire brigade in the event of a fire was to firstly ensure all staff were accounted for and then stand back and watch the place burn to the ground!

An alternative to using hydrocarbons for degreasing is to use a heated alkaline bath (such as caustic soda) followed by a thorough rinse. The bath can be as simple as a pan on a stove or electric ring - but not an aluminium pan!

This is frequently used for the cleaning of metals before plating. Specialist suppliers such as YouPlate and Gateros can supply the chemicals in powder form for home use. GP1 Cleaner

Edited By Graham Stoppani on 04/10/2020 07:58:12

Edited By Graham Stoppani on 04/10/2020 07:59:20

Thread: Use of 2 front wheeled motorcycles on the TdeF
14/09/2020 07:37:00
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 13/09/2020 20:47:19:

Must be nice being the competitors, gasping for every bit of oxygen with bikes and cars pumping out exhaust gasses just feet in front of them - crazy.

BMW have been providing electric scooters for the past couple of years for filming the Great North Run and other races in the UK.

Thread: Miracles do happen
28/08/2020 06:51:39

I lost a tiny black screw under the bench a while back. I hunted around for it crawling around with a torch until I finally found it lurking behind one of the rear bench legs. My joy was short lived. It was a DIFFERENT tiny black screw. Seems my resident gremlins have a warped sense of humour...

Thread: ultrasonic cleaning fluid ?
18/08/2020 17:29:28

I have just been experimenting over the last few days with an alternative way of using my ultrasonic bath based on some YouTube videos I have watched.

1. Fill the bath as normal with ordinary tap water at room temperature.

2. Get two or three small glass jars with lids and place the parts to be cleaned in them. (size of the part predicates the size of the jar).

3. Top up the jar with the solvent of your choice from white spirit to petrol so that the parts are fully immersed. (I have been using parafin)

4. Place the jars in the bath. It doesn't matter if they are floating or resting on the bottom of the wire basket.

5. Run the bath for about 15 minutes at a time and do not heat the bath. The water will warm up slightly with the ultrasonic action.

6. Remove the parts and inspect. Repeat the process again if further treatment is required.

SAFETY: The solvents used will not get much warmer than ambient temperature as long as the bath running times are kept short. They are in a sealed non-flammable container. There is a limited oxygen supply within the container. In the event of combustion the container is sat in a bath of water.

So far the results for me have been very good on mucky parts removed from a motorcycle.

Thread: Music in the Workshop
03/08/2020 09:37:36

I used to listen to Radio 6 in the workshop to break away from listening to what I already knew but found too many of the same songs repeating through the day. I now use a music streaming service on my phone with a bluetooth speaker.

I'm currently on a Frank Zappa marathon, listening to all his albums in chronological order. 62 albums release in his lifetime and another 50 posthumously...

Thread: Motorcycle racing - Mark and Sam in particular
19/07/2020 18:46:07
Posted by Barrie Lever on 18/07/2020 21:48:46:

Finally I will briefly describe the Ducati, it was a 500cc I think but it was a 'V' engine with the second cylinder only working in some kind of balancing capacity,

This is me grinning like a Ceshire cat having ridden one of the handful of road going Ducati Supermonos.

Ducati Supermono Strada

The bike has one cylinder but two con rods. The second con rod is connected to a counterbalance shaft to kid the engine that it is still a V twin. My good friend Alistair Wager of Britaliamoto builds these bikes.

Thread: Identifying the grade of silver solder.
15/07/2020 11:51:29

When I was gifted some solder of unknown provenance I used Archimedes Principle to work out the proportion of silver to lead. Fine for the more basic plumbers type solder but maybe not refined enough for a more sophisticated silver solders containing more than two types of metal.

Thread: Back issues & Flash plugin
10/07/2020 05:27:52


Thread: Spark plug lead
07/07/2020 05:17:58

In the motorcycle trade if we had a bike with a damaged HT lead that was bonded into the ignition coil we would use an in-line suppressor to connect the new cable to the old. (example below) This has an added benefit if not using a suppressed spark plug cap.



Thread: Ultrasonics and citric acid
30/06/2020 07:32:09
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 29/06/2020 20:19:47:

I've got some concentrated derusting fluid for my ultrasonic cleaner that I'm sure contains citric acid.

I usually use it at about 50C


I run my ultrasonic tank at 65C, so in the same ball park as Neil. As a side note, if you've put fresh liquid in your tank and are waiting for it to come up to temperature, its worth running the bath empty to degas it while it warms. This will increase the effectiveness of the bath.


Thread: Mild Steel Rod in Metric Sizes
15/06/2020 05:57:25


I've used these people recently to buy online and had a quick turnaround. They supply Imperial and Metric sizes and will cut lengths to order.

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