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Member postings for Simon0362

Here is a list of all the postings Simon0362 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Problems with RCB wiring - solved!
19/02/2019 22:20:32

(Part 2, posting too long...)


Part 1 – removed neutrals on by one from the bus bar in the consumer box. Equipment still causes a RCB fail but now ONLY the power RCB associated with one of the neutral wires (assumed to be that from the faulty sockets).

Part 2 – linked that neutral wire to the functioning power socket neutral – Bingo, all works perfectly.


The previous owner had installed the sockets or had rewired them for some reason and had failed to notice that he had used a neutral associated with the lighting circuit rather than that of the power circuit. The RCB balances current out on the Live with that returning on the Neutral so in the power RCB, since there was never anything returned on the neutral, it tripped the switch. Similarly on the lighting RCB, this suddenly saw a surge of current on the neutral side unbalanced by any outbound Live side and also tripped.


RCBs that have unknown wiring or that you have just installed and don’t work – ensure that the Live and Neutral are on the same circuit.

And there goes a Saturday afternoon…

19/02/2019 22:19:53

This is intended as an aid to others who may have similar problems and are looking for inspiration...I have an electronics background and a reasonable experience in house electrics, but no expert by a long way. To anyone who thought the solution was obvious, I admire your intellectual abilities, to those others, I hope it may help finding an obscure fault.


When we moved to our current house in France some 3 years ago, I had the garage packed to the brim with workshop stuff, piled in with no chance to sort on delivery. Once the moving dust had settled, I started attempting to sort things out in the garage and fairly early on, needed power and light from the sockets placed on both sides of the building. The pair that were situated directly under the garage distribution box worked perfectly. Not so those on the other side of the garage floor that instantly pulled the house RCB’s as soon as something was plugged in and turned on. Due to the requirements of time spent elsewhere it was only last weekend that I had a serious delve into the problems, having managed with a series of extension cables up until this point.


The source power for the garage is single phase and comes via a ‘power’ RCB and a ‘lighting’ RCB both placed in the main consumer box in the house. All of our circuits are either lighting or power and are entirely separate.

The garage lighting and power supplies come through a separate consumer box and have separate trips. There is a further lighting complication since the 3 way switching uses a relay in the box to turn the lights on and off, adding to the wiring.

The cabling is single core, Red, Black, Blue (N) and Green (E) inserted into plastic conduit which is concealed behind tongue and groove covering the roof insulation, so completely invisible…

All Earths and all Neutrals are ganged together in the garage consumer box except those on the 2 functioning sockets.


Plug any device into the socket and power up results in RCB trips going off. This is the case for both earthed and two pin equipment.


  • Removed socket earth – no change
  • Socket L-N = 230V
  • Socket L-E = 228V
  • E-N =2V at socket and all the way back to the main consumer unit
  • Disconnect power trip, socket L-N = 140V

No obvious other shorting faults.

Thread: new member in france
20/11/2018 17:10:02
Posted by michael smith 23 on 02/11/2018 17:09:44:

Hi, new to this site but have been reading Model engineer for the past 50 odd yearsI have lived in france for the past 16 years and have found very few people over here interested in model engineering..Just wondered if anybody on the forum lives over here or has knowledge of clubs etc?

Hi Michael,

I have lived over here since 2007, the last 8 years near Aix en Provence. There is a small club (VAP) run by one of the contributers to ME/MEW, Jacques Maurel based around the Aix/Marseille area. **LINK**



Thread: Never Throw Anything Away
04/09/2018 15:57:51
Posted by Mark Rand on 04/09/2018 02:03:40:

I'd like to work out a way to separate the tiny screws from the ally magnetically, when melting or pouring the HDDs. Having been an IT wallah for 20 years before taking the thirty pieces of silver, I've got a large collection of drives, with the aim of turning them into useful casting ingots. Trouble is it takes quite a while to disassemble a disk drive with the appropriate Torx bits. Crowbarring it apart and ripping out the larger unwanted bits would be far more efficient.

Mark, I think you may be unlucky trying to separate magnetically - I am pretty sure that all of the Torx screws that I have removed are both stainless and non-magnetic.

Dismantling them is both therapeutic and builds your collection of teeny tiny screws - reserve the ripping for the disks themselves and the drive motors - and be wary of the head assembly which I strongly suspect to be Mag alloy from their super-lightness.

Most of my drives came from friendly sys-admins happy to offload a load of dead drives.


03/09/2018 10:17:36
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 03/09/2018 08:01:23:

The only things I separated out were any documents that needed to go for secure shredding and a non-functional HDD I need to destroy.

Strip the HDD down - this produces a decent set of tiny Torx screws and some lovely aluminium for casting. Currently in the process of recycling about a dozen of them - the disks themselves are mostly glass based (they go bendy in the furnace rather than melting in with the rest of the Al) or more Al in which case I defy anyone to recover the data after 10 minutes at 700°C!


Thread: marking / layout blue
30/08/2018 14:58:16
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 30/08/2018 14:48:29:

Does anyone actually bother using marking out blue these days? I've got a bottle somewhere but can't remember the last time I used it. With a mill and DRO it's simply not needed. For complex large parts I might draw the basic ouline with a rule and marker pen as a sanity check, but that's rare. I mark out on sheet metal that's going to be drilled/filed by hand, but I don't bother with blue beforehand.


I asked about the spray on version on another thread - I used to use it (until I smashed the can nozzle) to spray onto items already in the chuck to help see where cuts were being made - for instance, down a hole to determine where and when the tool had hit a certain visible point. Similarly on the mill, a quick spray over a surface to see that a cleaning skim covered the entire area. Have to say I don't really miss it and with the cans running in at around €25 each, no intention of getting another one.

A marker pen is a good substitute but the spray had a higher chance of getting into hidden corners.

As for general marking out, I am with you - a sketch for a sanity check followed by careful use of the DROs.

Thread: 3D printing companies
29/08/2018 13:39:11

Michael, most 3D printing people use .stl files to generate the output G-code for printing.

PM to you as well.


Thread: Security bit identification and how to get it out
23/07/2018 11:59:40
Posted by Meunier on 22/07/2018 21:24:21:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 22/07/2018 20:53:36:

This is probably the most comprehensive and convenient reference list I have seen: **LINK**


Thank you for that MichaelG, an interesting run-down.



Thread: What depth concrete base for a workshop extension?
17/07/2018 17:10:35
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 17/07/2018 14:33:08:

Simon, I hope they don't float away. When they install septic tanks around here, they fill them with water to stop them floating in the ground water. Even swimming pools can float if they are empty - think concrete Thames barges! Good luck and I hope I am wrong.

Bob, I hope they don't float away either but given the local geology and our annual rainfall of less than 18", I don't expect a problem - and the builder has installed several others elsewhere too that are still firmly underground.

Watch this space though!

17/07/2018 11:48:28

Timely topic....

The builders are hard at work on my garage/workshop extension (4m x 6.5m) with a feature that might be of interest to others:

I am having two large (5000l) concrete septic tanks installed under the floor which will become part of the structure. They are roughly 1.9m high, 1.6m wide and 2.2m long with a manhole access. We intend to cut a proper trap door size hole in them and install a step ladder style access. Ventilation to be installed as well.

I think we can assume that they will be waterproof......smiley

Just large enough for a set of shelving for all of those things that like to be maintained at a near constant temperature - like paints, glues, etc, etc.

Number 1 will be for workshop use, number 2 will be the wine cave.....


The guys have just finished digging the hole - they got down to around 30cm above the desired depth and hit bed rock - this morning has seen the slow pneumatic hammering away, layer by layer.

Gravel to be laid under the tanks, then side filled and then the real workshop foundations dug around them. When the floor is laid the tanks will become part of the reinforcement.

Intending to get one of those super-smooth finishes on the concrete and then seal with 'something'!





(not sure how to twist this around......sorry!)



Edited By Simon0362 on 17/07/2018 11:50:38

Thread: Best beginners buy in 2018
20/06/2018 11:45:10
Posted by Robin on 20/06/2018 10:10:45:

ABS has a higher melting point and is prone to lifting from the print bed. However it is not biodegradeable. OTOH none of my PLA prints have degraded, yet.

ABS doesn't distort in a dishwasher, PLA definitely does.

I have a small PLA panel stuck onto our pool robot that has been theer for nearly 3 years with no signs of degrading, bio or otherwise and several other items permenantly outdoors that are not showing any signs of change either. Not sure what PLA's degrade period is but it looks to be quite long!


Thread: Best edge finder for oldie
09/03/2018 16:02:40
Posted by Muzzer on 09/03/2018 12:15:57:

Me too. Ashamed to say I had one for ages before realising how to use it like this. So quick and easy - and accurate.

Type C is less than £4 from Arc.


Funny, I thought that the use was obvious cheeky - but I own one like Journeyman with the pointed centre and I have never managed to work out how to use the pointed part for centre finding......


Is this equally obvious to all bar me?


Edited By Simon0362 on 09/03/2018 16:03:25

Thread: TDA2030A Audio Amp
16/02/2018 13:41:12
Posted by Martin 100 on 15/02/2018 10:40:12:

Absolutely, and just as well as one concert , maybe in the late 80's / early 90's caused me to curl up in a ball and hide behind the seat in front to try and avoid the painful bass that coincided with the resonant frequency of my chest cavity. I must have been around 30 rows from the front so who knows what they were feeling closer to the speakers. If could have moved without vomiting over everyone I would have walked out. P.S. No drink was involved!

I had exactly the same experience at the first le Mans 24 hours I visited in the mid 80's - I arrived about 1/2 hour before the start and saw the cars trickle around on the parade lap. The first lap when they were all going full tilt was just so uncomfortable thanks to the volume and frequency of sound from the engines and exhausts that I ended up moving a distance away - from the <10 feet on the inside edge of a corner.

Sorry to OT a bit though!

Edited By Simon0362 on 16/02/2018 13:42:07

Thread: 'What LatheXXXXX sorry 3D Printer should I buy'
21/12/2017 16:19:28
Posted by Russ B on 21/12/2017 14:07:18:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 13/11/2017 21:56:16:

PLA well suited to lost 'wax' casting aluminium crankcases, I would have thought.

For some reason I haven't tried casting aluminium, although it's much easier to melt than brass.


This is on my "to try" list for lost casting. I like that it has such a low print temperature (70°C) - I hope to be able to easily smooth the surface with flame.


Edited By Russ B on 21/12/2017 14:07:57

Has anybody tried using the PVA filement that they sell for support structures (e.g. **LINK**

My logic is that it could be washed out of a mould (assuming it wasn't too intricate) rather than going through a burn out exercise.

I have no experience of using it so not sure if it is capable of being used in this fashion.

Thread: What's the strangest project you've ever seen in an old ME or MEW?
19/12/2017 10:33:38

"How to make a Desk Telephone"...... april1899me.jpeg

Admittedly it was April 1899 and an article within refers to Signor Marconi's successful experiments and his claim that he should be able to transmit across the Channel to France!

I passed on the majority of my old MEs a few months back but wanted to retrain the two I had from 1899 - just for this sort of topic!

Thread: Scraping Blue?
18/12/2017 19:05:50

Andrew, sent you a PM


Thread: blistering suddenly appearing
26/09/2017 13:30:22
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 25/09/2017 21:11:48:

It looks a bit like 'pillowing' caused by too-thin a top layer or insufficient cooling fan, but doesn't look quite right.

Things to think about: First has your filament been exposed to humidity? Second, it could be a worn print nozzle. Is your printer running too cool? Any of these could cause poor adhesion.

The worn print nozzle, rather than letting too much filament out, causes symptoms of under-extrusion - you get short fat beads rather than long thin ones, so they periodically run out.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 25/09/2017 21:15:09


I don't think its that - it has been working well up until now, and nominally nothing has changed.


Humidity was a good call, we have had a couple of much more humid days here than normal - but when I changed to a virtually sealed different filament, the result was the same.

Cooling - again, if it was just layer #1 then I would think it likely but this was 2 hours into a print and its some 20mm above the base. And it only seems to happen when travelling in one direction (more difficult to confirm though).

No obvious reasons why the nozzle would be suddenly worn - but I tried a cleaning cycle that may be of use to others:

Nozzle removed and dropped into my old ultrasonic tank along which was loaded with a solution of caustic soda (all taking place out in the open air I hasten to add). A 5 minute run removed all traces of PLA from the externals and the thread. I then cleaned and dried the nozzle in clean water and turned the blowlamp on it for a few seconds which resulted in a blob of molten filament popping out the large end. Back into the ultrasonic then resulted in a visably very clean nozzle.

Had no effect on the problem however.


@Robin - it seems to happen at all levels - the photos I didn't upload show the same effects on layer #1.


I am starting to think its some alignment issue that has just happened, but nothing is obviously wrong.

Thanks for your thoughts though.


Edited By Simon0362 on 26/09/2017 13:32:28

25/09/2017 18:38:22

Hi All,

I guess I should address this to a dedicated 3D print forum but everyone is so knowledgable and helpful her, I thought I would try it first...

My 3D kossel has worked perfectly for ages, no issues at all until the last couple of days. Today I put out a print that had a flat bottom directly onto the print plate and a series of blisters appeared as per the photos. It appeared that the print was going down but not firmly attaching on the unsupported side and then lifting up and away as the head moved past. The end result was a series of ploughed furrows that instantly killed the print when the next layer started because the ripples interfered with the print head.

I tried several changes including bed temperature settings, nozzle temperature, print density, etc. Finally, needing the job done, I printed on a bed and the result was successful.

I put it down to a probable height control issue.

The next print has a flat surface some 12mm above the bed and exactly the same problem appeared...

Any thoughts?

The filament has not been changed, in fact nothing has changed over the last few weeks so I am rather bemused.

Hoping someone will take a look and recognise the problem.






Thread: 3D Printed Threads
09/09/2017 22:20:13
Posted by Bazyle on 09/09/2017 21:13:12:

We had a nice demo at EDMES on Friday evening using the old type printer pictured above. Perfectly functional for a bunch of fixtures, parts of a router and spark eroder and a cotton bobbin box he made for brownie points, including hinged lid. Even though he had transported it in the car 50 miles for the talk it didn't need recalibratone etc to print a nice bracket including hole and hex recess for bolt head.

He was using Fusion, then Slic3r then something like paradon? (well I remember it begins with P) to move the data to the printer. haven't seen that last piece of s/w mentioned before.


I use it to control my printer directly and to estimate print times.


Thread: The domestication of Laser Cutters
06/09/2017 13:46:36
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 05/09/2017 13:40:28:

...Acrylic smoke has all manner of nasty stuff and resin vapours in it. Some sort of vacuum extraction system as near as possible to the beam, exhausting outdoors, would probably relieve a lot of the gunge and would improve the quality of the air for breathing greatly. Probably an inexpensive shop vac could be adapted. ...

I might be wrong here (frequently the case!), but I would expect this task to be better suited to an air-con style high volume, low pressure extractor fan rather than something built around a shop vac geared up to pulling a significant vacuum.

Also, not sure about 'shop vacs' but I think most ordinary vacuums use the sucked air to help cool the motor, after the mechanical extraction of the dirt of course. However heavy vapours from acrylics etc. would presumably pass through the mechanical filters to be presented at the (often sparky-sparky brushed) motor - might reduce the need for breathing air but...

My 2c..



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