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Member postings for Peter G. Shaw

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

Thread: New-style cover finish
21/05/2022 11:18:10

Being away from home at the moment, I cannot comment on the new covers, however, for magazine storage, I use two large cereal boxes, remove one end and either the top or bottom, of each, fill one of the boxes with magazines, and use the other as a cover over the top. A sticky label on the outside showing issue numbers enclosed, and the job is done. I also have a homemade database system containing a brief description of each article that may be of interest and the issue(s) in which it may be found. Thus I can easily and readily find any article of interest.

Of course, if the new covers are too slippery, there may be some as yet unknown complications. We shall see!


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: UK DRIVING LICENCE [ 2022 issue ]
05/05/2022 10:29:05

Well now, isn't this silly!

I related on the 28 April how I had received my replacement licence four days after applying for it. So that's seven days ago, or 11 since I initially applied on-line and returned my cut up old licence.

This morning, I have received a complete set of forms inviting me to apply for my replacement licence, and, at the same time telling me that it's so much easier to do it all on-line.

So, what to do? Send it back? Paper re-cycling? Favourite seems to be to hold on to it for a while and take no action. But, I despair, I really do. How much has this cost? And if it's multiplied nationally, how much is DVLA wasting?

Shaking my head in disbelief,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Workshop warming
29/04/2022 10:32:35

Like you, Mick, I'm just on the right side of 80, and yes, I do shut down for the winter months which is when I delve into genealogy.

In respect of heating, my workshop is a garage, and has been left as such firstly because when I'm gone, it will still be a garage, and secondly, I don't think the expense of insulating it is justified at our age. I have therefore, an ancient 1kW convector heater, and a 3kW, with two settings, fan heater, so if necessary I can call upon 4kW of heat. Ok, it's expensive, but so what, I can't take it with me, and in reality, it's only a small amount compared to the really big power users in the house - six storage heaters if we use them all! Plus, of course, the electric hob and the electric double oven.

I should also point out that both the lathe and the milling machine are fitted with some small cabinet heaters to keep them slightly above air temperature thus avoiding condensation and the resultant rusting.

As I'm writing this, I have actually been in earlier this morning and switched on the 1kW convector heater in an attempt to remove some of the cold.

Well, those are my thoughts.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: UK DRIVING LICENCE [ 2022 issue ]
28/04/2022 12:54:41

I did actually lose a category some years ago, but as I was no longer interested in driving tractors, I didn't bother chasing it up, although having checked online, it seems that I, and I presume others as well, can indeed drive tractors. But it was nice to be able to say, "Yes, I've taken 3 tests & passed them all, and here's the proof." Mind you, the tractor test I took all those years ago (61) was a bit of a laugh. The examiner had a day out & came to see me. The first thing was the number plate reading test. He took me down the lane to read his car, and as he's marching on in front of me, I looked across some gardens and read it out. He commented that there was nothing wrong with my eyes. Then the emergency stop. He was trying to hide behind a telegraph pole so when he jumped out I thought "Shall I go up to him before stopping, or should I stop now" I chose the second option. Then, when I parked up, I had problems with getting it into reverse gear, and had to roll forward before I could engage it. Those of you who have ever driven a little grey Fergie will know the problems. He jumped back out of the way, so of course I had to explain what I was doing - poor locking device on the footbrake so we always, without exception, left in either forward or reverse as appropriate. Happy days back then, and life was so much simpler.

Otherwise the licence seems ok.

I did copy back & front of the old licence before cutting it up and sending it off, but this was more so that I had something to show if stopped.

Peter G. Shaw

28/04/2022 10:58:44

I've just renewed my licence, and received something of a shock. I did it on the internet, and submitted it on April 24, 2022, ie 4 days ago. The new licence arrived this morning and is dated to start 25 April 2022.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Recommendations for a suitable Book binding glues
20/04/2022 10:04:14

It's a long time since I saw it done, but my local library used to use Copydex to repair books with a flexible spine. I think it was applied to the spine and then the book held closed somehow.

FWIW, I think they were the so-called perfect-bound books.

Good luck,

Peter G. Shaw

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 20/04/2022 10:05:28

Thread: Annoying Anonymous Phone Calls
18/04/2022 13:54:41


FWIW, my GP surgery, 2 miles away, and some other places around here use a fixed telephone number with a prefix that indicates that the call has come from our nearest city, some 27 miles away. This number is NOT the local GP's number, but it does indicate that the call is NHS related. I do wonder if the local NHS commissioning group has set this up for the very reason that you are experiencing, ie so that you can answer the call whilst ignoring (barring?) others.

Quite how you can persuade your local people to adopt a similar system, I don't know. All I know is that our GP was anonymous, then they started using this number. It does mean that I can program my handsets such that they show "Drs Return No." when they call.

Apologies if that doesn't make much sense - I know what I'm trying to say, but can't really explain it!!!


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Redundancy, electrical
17/04/2022 20:56:53

I have a mains powered B&D 1/2 inch drill, about 400W, and about 30 years old. It has done, and is still capable of doing, some heavy work, and is a pleasure to use after the namby-pamby weakness of the cordless drills I have. Two of the battery drills use sub-C NiCads and have had their battery packs rebuilt using cells from RS Components. The other battery drill uses a lithium battery pack, of which I have four. I must admit that I don't use the portable drills much these days as my need for such drilling has more or less vanished. Instead I tend to use either the drill press, or occasionally the milling machine. But as Howard says, the two NiCad powered drills would be unusable had I not been able to rebuild the battery packs.

Incidently, the main use for the lithium powered drill is to raise and lower the caravan legs.

Peter G. Shaw

17/04/2022 10:41:30

Last week, I ordered two new cartridges (HP 45 & HP 78) for my HP Deskjet 6122 printer. After looking on my usual site, and failing to find them, I ended up on Amazon, and duly placed the order. Later that day, one of the associated firms, telephoned me to say that they were out of stock of the HP colour cartridge, so would I accept two after market cartidges. They then went on to explain that HP had stopped making cartridges for printers over 10 years old which perhaps explains my earlier difficulties. Of course I agreed, and no, I can't comment on the substitutes as they have gone into stock.

However, many years ago I had a HP 880C printer, and tried after market cartridges. It was a total failure. Going back to HP originals, and the printer worked fine. Hence, ever since I have been distinctly leary about after market stuff, but felt I had little option in the current situation. So, I now have a fully functioning printer, for which I can no longer obtain OEM cartridges. Is that right given the coming emphasis on repairability etc?

In a similar manner, I have had computers which whenever Microsoft have updated their OS, have run slower and slower until they became more or less unusable, and hence have been scrapped. Is that right? Personally, I have a deep objection to being forced by the likes of Microsoft to scrap otherwise fully working equipment: in part, this was why I changed to Linux on the demise of XP.

In a similar manner, a few years ago, I was forced into buying a new TV. Why? Well, my original set-top adaptor failed, so I bought a replacement - only to find that it would not work correctly with my 25 year old Mitsubishi 4:3 screen ratio TV. Since then I have bought another DVD recorder, only to find that it too does not work correctly with my 6 year old Samsung TV. Ok, it's usable, but why, why, cannot the manufacturers ensure that these new devices are fully compatible with slightly older equipment.

If the equipment is faulty, broken, or just plain worn out, then that's fair enough, but to be forced to change something just because manufacturers won't support it, or provide necessary software updates seems wrong to me. Yes, I'm well aware of the costs incurred, but given all the broohaha over the usage of oil, then perhaps we, or rather the manufacturers, need to think again.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Could you write for MEW?
15/04/2022 17:15:09

Thanks Dave, I'll have to have a go sometime. Maybe as a test file.

Peter G. Shaw

15/04/2022 15:14:11


It wasn't actually. It was the thread titled "NEW CONTACT EMAIL FOR MEW EDITOR". Not that it matters, just as long as everyone somehow gets to use the new address.

As a matter of interest, how does one set up the "recent thread" as Dave has above?


Peter G. Shaw

15/04/2022 13:19:10

Wasn't there an article very recently giving a new email address for Neil now that the magazine has a new owner??!!

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Before calculators
15/04/2022 12:39:37


I think that Sinclair's first calculator was the Science of Cambridge retailing at £39-95. When it came out, Practical Electronics was running a series on building your own calculator for £70-£80. PE admitted they could no longer compete, but they were going to complete the series for information whilst accepting that no-one would be building it.


That's easy: draw your base line, length immaterial. Erect a vertical from one end, then using a measuring device, tape measure, rule etc, draw an angled line from the other end point such that the point where the angled line crossed the vertical line was also the number of divisions required, eg, for say, 6 divisions, use 6 inches, or andeed any multiple of 6. Now drop verticals from the angled line at the appropriate points down to the base line, eg 1, 2, ...5, 6. Ergo, the base line is nicely divided. Similar triangles in geometry I believe?


Peter G. Shaw

15/04/2022 10:31:52

I was taught at secondary school to use 4-figure logs to base 10 which I found quite fascinating. I was never taught to use anti-logs, so worked it out for myself, then asked the maths teacher who effectively said,if it works for you, do it.

Slide rules, of which I still have three, were the province of Technical College maths. All three have the A, B, C & D scales which make square roots dead easy, but only the 5" Helix A50S has the K scale for cubes & cube roots. Simple means, simple devices, relatively coarse in precision, yet sufficiently good enough for most, if not all, practical purposes. The only problems are the requirement to be able to work out the multiples of 10 required (sorry, forgotten the correct term here), and the difficulty in learning how to use them.

As far as square roots are concerned, there is a method, which I've now forgotten, whereby they could be calculated using the old, original 4 function plus K constant calculator. I seem to think that the method could be done longhand. Plus, I have a recollection that an expansion to the key sequencing could be used to produce cube roots.

Ah, happy memories.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: condensation
13/04/2022 10:32:13

My workshop is a draughty cold single skin garage with absolutely no insulation, and depending on the wind and rain, can leak!

I use some self regulating heaters from RS Components, in my case Part No. 360-4059.

These are mounted, two on the underside of the lathe, and one on a large piece of thisk ali sheet and wedged in the bottom of the base of the milling machine. I also use a cover, not sure of the material other than it's woven, and a plastic sheet on top. This effectively keeps the two machines that bit slightly warmer than the ambient. Hey presto, no rust.

The downside is that although mine are rated at 10W, in fact they draw the equivalent of 19W: this appears to be correct according to the spec., hence the running costs may now-a-days be a bit two much. (As far as I am concerned, since it saves the lathe and milling machine from rusting, it's worth it, but your opinion may differ.)


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Microsoft Edge is overriding Google Chrome
09/04/2022 20:54:24

I have never used "home page". Instead, I use blank, and all the sites I may wish to view are listed under Bookmarks. Yes, it means that I may have two or theee extra clicks, but for me, the convenience of avoiding whatever the home page is set to, and having to wait, ok maybe microseconds, until it has loaded before selecting the page I really want far outways whatever benefit the homepage gives.

Peter G. Shaw

p.s. I'm on Linux and use Firefox.

09/04/2022 20:52:48




Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 09/04/2022 20:55:08

Thread: Is it really a joke
08/04/2022 15:55:46


I quite agree that there are people prioritising the wrong stuff, but that's their problem is it not? They will just have to learn to suck it up.

But, up to, I think about six or seven years ago, I too didn't bother too much about the cold. Unfortunately, I suffered what was described as a mild heart attack, and during the rehabilitation period a few weeks later, it was explained that one of the drugs I'm now on can cause the extremities to become/feel cold. And as already mentioned, I'm also now a cancer patient so I'm on yet another drug. Now I'm not too sure when it started, but if the room temperature in our dining room drops to 70 degrees F, I can immediately tell, and I do feel cold. I can, and do, put on an extra jumper. Sometimes I use a hot water bottle in bed. It has to be said that getting the bedroom temperature right is actually quite difficult - the storage heater can be too much, even on minimum, and I do sometimes have to open the window. I don't know for certain, but I suspect that my internal body temperature control isn't working as well as it might.

But, to use a much hackneyed, and horrible phrase, at the end of the day, I am not going to spend thousands of pounds on reducing heat loss when I almost certainly will not financially benefit from it.


Peter G. Shaw

08/04/2022 10:17:52

But just wait until your ev is permanently connected to the internet and can be switched off by the government whenever it feels like! 🤫🤣🫣

Been talked about for a long number of years. Indeed, there was once a serious proposal that all new cars would be fitted with such a device from a certain date, 2019 I believe. The idea was called Intelligent Speed Adaptor and would limit the car's maximum speed to the prevailing road speed limit. Or whatever someone remote decided!

Actually, I think it might have been an EU requirement.

Peter G. Shaw

07/04/2022 21:45:47


Agreed that I don't need to run everything at once, but, what you are forgetting is that Economy 7 switches on everything at the same time. Therefore the worst case would be an instantaneous load of about 80A. Fortunately, the washer is switched on when we remember, and we don't use our spare bedroom heater.

The immersion heater runs for, if I remember correctly, about 3/4 of an hour, so could be deferred with a delay switch of some description, but that costs money - see last paragraph.

Mileage. You have no idea about our mileage. Currently, we are averaging about 10K p.a which is actually less than the 13K p.a before Covid, however, a lot of those miles are anything up to 60m return. Plus, there are a few hills of varying steepness around here.

Solar power? Not unless I'm forced into it by government decree. And even then I would leave it as long as possible.

As already said, I'm on Economy 7, not Economy 10.

I accept that next door most likely will not be on the same phase, but what about the heating effect of taking large amounts of current albeit on two phases through the same cable. Stewart Smith 5 makes a good point about the cables.

Agreed that a 100A fuse will not fail at 100A. When I was studying these things, a goodly number of years ago, I, and others in the same course were told that the fuse should carry its rated current for ever, fail instantly at double its rated current, and fail at some indeterminate point between the two values. Now these were small fuses, 0.5A, 1.0A, 1.5A, that sort of order. Large 100A fuses may well be different, but that I do not know.

Final comment.

As I see it, from your post, you don’t really want to help yourself with your future energy needs?


As someone who is 3 months off 79, and has cancer, fitting solar panels, backup/storage batteries/fancy controllers or indeed anything else of that nature, frankly is not worthwhile for me as I will never get the money back and I'm simply not prepared to spend good money on something I will not get the benefit from - unless as is currently happening to my windows, I need to have some repairs done. I don't particularly care about the next owners of this property - what they do is up to them, they can spend as many thousands as they wish - I'm not. And before you say it, yes, the house won't fetch as much. And indeed there could be problems with the EPC. So be it.


Peter G. Shaw

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