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Member postings for Samsaranda

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

Thread: Will the lights stay on this winter?
29/07/2022 18:45:09


A few years ago I had a generator that I was going to use to power my gas central heating during power cuts, I was able to isolate the electrical supply to the boiler and fed it via a 13 amp socket which meant that in the event of a power cut I could unplug the boiler supply from the mains and plug the boiler into the output from my small generator, the theory seemed so simple but it didn’t work because the output from my generator was too coarse, it needed a generator with an inverter output in order for the circuits in the boiler to work, I didn’t progress that idea any further. Your comment about sleeping in the workshop struck a cord with me, my workshop is infinitely better insulated than my house, although the house has cavity and roof insulation with all windows double glazed. Dave W

29/07/2022 14:51:07

In respect of Shell Energy, I am a customer of theirs for gas and electricity, their propaganda proudly displays that the electricity they supply to their customers is all 100% renewable, if that’s the case, as Emgee has stated, why has the price been jacked up alongside other suppliers who are sourcing their energy from non-sustainable sources, wind and solar are cost free except for the necessary infrastructure that’s used for collecting and distribution, their distribution costs have not suddenly gone through the roof. Dave W

29/07/2022 09:17:30

We consumers are being ripped off in a huge way, why has the cost of electricity and gas had to rise in this country to the levels it has and in so doing generated obscene profits for the energy companies, their excuse of market forces will not wash. There is a so called independent watchdog who is supposed to be overseeing the situation in respect of customers, but we are being fleeced by the energy companies, things have got to change, we the consumers have got to have a bigger say and a much stronger voice if this pantomime called “free enterprise” is to continue. The privatisation of energy supply was supposed to give the customers choice but we have ended up with a regulator, that’s Offgem, setting a retail price that generates the obscene profits for energy companies and leaves the customers now in dire financial circumstances. Now could be the right time for energy to come back under government control to stabilise the situation and bring the prices down to acceptable levels. Re Nationalising energy supply would rationalise the process and stabilise prices by removing the step in the process where our energy suppliers buy their “product” from a supplier then generate prices to sell on to us the consumer that give their shareholders the vast profits that we are seeing now. I am hoping that the moderators will not class this as political because it is looking at a commercial issue and a way in which it could be controlled. Dave W

Thread: Coincidences
28/07/2022 19:28:45


Thanks for the photo of Sharjah, needless to say I recognise the sand. Dave W. 🤪

28/07/2022 16:08:18

In the early 60’s I joined the Air Force and in 1967 was posted to Sharjah, a desert airfield in what has now become the UAE. I was at lunch in the airman’s mess one day and an army lance corporal sat down opposite me and when I looked up it was a school friend of mine that had been in my class and we hadn’t seen each other since leaving school five years previously, strange coincidence. Dave W

Thread: Will the lights stay on this winter?
28/07/2022 15:44:12

Bazyle have sent you a PM.

Dave W

28/07/2022 15:13:33

Nigel B ,

We have a woodburner that gives about 5 kw of heat located in our lounge and being more or less central in the house tends to warm the rooms above as well. My wife and I were only talking this morning about how we will manage if we have to reduce our gas and electricity consumption this winter, we came to the conclusion that if necessary we can shut down the gas central heating and rely on heat produced from the woodburner in the lounge, on reflection it is no different than what our parents did when we were younger, most houses heated only the one room, the living room, and the rest of the house had no heating, there were very few houses with central heating in the 50’s and 60’s and the coal fired back boiler was lit at least once a week for our weekly bath night, brings back memories of ice on the inside of the bedroom windows, we all survived, we wrapped up to keep warm, it looks as though we are going to have to alter out lifestyles if we are to remain comfortable. Dave W

Thread: Exactly
28/07/2022 12:07:53

I was in the Air Force and in 1967 we acquired Hercules transport aircraft from the US. All seemed to be going well until the mid 70’s when a lot of defects started to appear in the wings of the Hercules, not individual aircraft but the whole fleet. The defects were cracks emanating from countersunk fastener holes that ultimately held the outer skin on the wings, there were a serious amount of defects. At this time I was employed as an NDT Technician and we were tasked to monitor every aircraft and in critical areas on the wings to scan the fastener holes using Ultrasound, the technique we used was very sensitive and could detect cracks in the fasteners hole when they were only about a third of the way up the countersinks of the fastener holes. There were many areas that were scanned ultrasonically and I remember one area required the scanning of 2,000 underwing fastener holes, each hole required 6 scans from different points, a very demanding job. Once defects were identified then repair schemes were drawn up for individual aircraft, which mainly involved removing the fasteners and opening out the hole until the crack was eliminated and replacing with an oversize fastener.

The origins of these defects were the use of mass production, the aircraft were built in Lockheeds Georgia factory when they were at their peak output for the Vietnam war. This meant that they inducted a large amount of unskilled labour to build the aircraft on production lines, the workers were given instructions how to use power tools that set the fasteners used to hold the wing skins on the main planes. The theory was that everything had been produced on jigs that meant when it came to assembly all the holes lined up and the unskilled workers just fired the fasteners that held it all together, only the reality was that a lot of holes didn’t align correctly so the workers just got a drill and ran through the problem holes to line everything up.Being unskilled they did not realise the consequences of making the holes in some cases figure of eight, the stresses of the wings would be concentrated on these irregular shaped holes and hence the defects of cracks forming from these stress raisers. It was an extremely costly exercise to monitor and rectify all these man made defects, however a subsequent problem put this problem in the shade. It became apparent that inside the integral fuel tanks within the wings there was large amounts of corrosion eating away the structures. Apparently it was caused by the products of bacteria living in the fuel in the tanks, it was very corrosive and was eating away the structures. The story goes that that the Americans had warned the British of this problem and it could be avoided by using an additive in the fuel which inhibited the bacterial growth, the Air Force apparently disregarded this advice and used fuel without the additive, the saying goes we couldn’t afford the additive.

Subsequent repair of the wings was deemed not viable and each Hercules had to have new wings fitted at a civilian contractors, the wings were shipped over from the US and because of their size they travelled by ship as deck cargo suitably cocooned from the elements, a very very costly exercise.

At the time that the Hercules were built in the US using contract unskilled labour on their production lines, our aircraft industry was still using time served appropriately trained skilled tradesmen so in all probability the fastener hole problem would never have occurred in British made aircraft.

Mass production can save on labour costs but potentially at what cost eventually.

Dave W

Thread: Will the lights stay on this winter?
28/07/2022 10:44:45

In the news this morning, National Grid are stating that they are confident that they will be able to keep the lights on this winter in the UK. I am afraid that I don’t buy into their optimism, just recently, during the heatwave, we were in danger of running out of power so we were forced to purchase an amount of electricity from Belgium, via one of the cross channel cable links, the Belgians made us pay through the nose for the small amount that we used, the price paid per megawatt was an all time record high.

There doesn’t appear to be any policy for development of future power provision here in the UK, as usual everything appears to be a shambles. There is this vision put forward that renewables will save the day, if only that could be true. Europe is slowly being strangled by its gas supplies from Russia being gradually diminished, Europe relies heavily on gas to generate electricity, so with their supplies of gas being strangled I doubt that there will be any surplus electricity for the UK to use via the undersea cables this winter. Our power generation capabilities run at maximum quite often throughout the winter, our power generation frequently runs on a knife edge and we come close to serious power outages. If we cannot rely on surplus generation in Europe this winter we will be in serious trouble with power generation, I understand that the few remaining coal powered generators have been given more time before they are phased out, a contradiction of the recent energy statement made to the rest of world concerning our plans to combat climate change. I think the retention of the coal powered stations is certainly common sense in the times that we now find ourselves.

Looking forwards, which is something the energy industry should be doing, there is the headlong rush to bring in electric vehicles which will need a large increase in the ability to generate and distribute energy via an infrastructure that will by necessity need to be upgraded. Perhaps the need for more energy provision has become self limiting by price, the forecast is that an average household will be paying in the region of £500 for energy, that’s gas and electric, for the month of January which is of course one of the most expensive months energy wise. I fear that many families will struggle with those sort of increases, many of us are on pensions and such huge increases in costs we will struggle with.

I made the decision, about five years ago, to use some of our savings to invest in solar power, we had panels installed on our south facing roof that have the capacity to generate 4kwh. I subsequently made a decision to have batteries installed so that we could store the solar generated power that we didn’t use, we now have batteries that can store 12 kWh. On a sunny day such as those we enjoyed recently,we have generated on a good day, 26kwh which means that with the batteries we have enough stored energy to go through the night and we still have about a quarter of the batteries capacity left to start the next day. This means that for most of the days during June and July we have been self sufficient for electricity, during the month of June we drew only 19 kWh during the day time tariff and again coincidentally 19 kWh during the night time off peak tariff. Calculating the cost at the current day plus night rates we used £10.00 of electricity for the whole month, in fact our monthly standing charge was considerably more than the cost of our electricity used. Unfortunately this only works when the sun shines so winter means we will draw considerably more energy from the grid, I have the ability to charge the batteries using off peak electric, we are on an Economy 7 tariff, so throughout the dark days of winter I store 12 kWh of electricity which has cost exactly half that of the cost of daytime electricity, so every time the cost of electricity rises then the cost of installing my panels and batteries becomes even more cost effective.

At this point in time if there is a power cut then we cannot draw energy from our batteries so we are without power. The solar system has to be engineered such that in the event of a power cut the system is isolated so that power cannot be fed into the grid, a safety measure to prevent electrocution of any unsuspecting tradesman working on the grid, however it is possible with right equipment to isolate the house from the grid when there is a power outage and use the power stored in the batteries. There is a cost involved in this modification and I need to consider whether it is worth the cost for the amount of power cuts that we are likely to suffer. It looks as though we are all very likely to suffer power cuts this winter because when it gets cold it is doubtful whether National Grid will have the resources to hand to keep the lights on. Dave W

Thread: WD40 alternative - any good?
22/07/2022 13:46:47


Wet starts are not that uncommon and are spectacular at night, and as you say flames extend to the tail of the aircraft and beyond, very disconcerting the first time you see one. Dave W

Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?
22/07/2022 10:35:17


when I was in the US some years ago I visited the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology, a very impressive place. Among their exhibits were a complete German U-Boat captured during the Second World War and in the basement of the museum building they had reconstructed a working coal mine, extremely impressive. I would definitely put that museum on an equal footing with our Science Museum located in London. There are other museums in the US that I would like to visit, particularly your aerospace museums which are among the best in the world, my interest in aerospace is because I served as a technician in our Air Force. At the age of 75 I fear that there is little prospect of returning to visit more museums although my granddaughter who is cabin crew on British Airways has offered to come with me and we could fly there using her subsidised travel, she is always taking holidays in the US, driving down Route 66 or visiting the the Country Music Festivals in Nashville, well something to think about. Dave W

Thread: WD40 alternative - any good?
21/07/2022 20:55:57

When I was on Brittanias the engine tradesmen used to wash the compressors on the Proteus engines by using kerosene when the engine was dry run, one day there was an almighty flame out of the jet pipe as presumably static lit the kerosene vapour, aircraft was on jacks in the hangar at the time, not the best situation. Dave W

21/07/2022 20:09:45

Jon, I served in the Air Force from 64 till 86 and during that time I remember using from barrels clearly marked WD 40, my understanding was that the formula was first used in the 50’s on the Thor rockets which were located outside in all weathers and the WD40 was for protecting it from the effects of weather, I think I remember it was originally called Rocket WD 40 but the “Rocket” was dropped. There was of course the full range of PX’s in the Services used for protection, one that springs to mind was PX 3, if I remember rightly, and that was used on wire rope slings and made them really mucky to handle and was a red colour. Probably find that all the old formulations used were found to be carcinogenic, so many products that I came into contact with during my service turned out that way. Dave W

21/07/2022 18:03:51

The Armed Services use WD40 and purchase it in 50 gallon drums, one use is on helicopters which are literally drenched in it I presume to ward off moisture particularly sea water and inhibit corrosion. It must have proved it’s worth for the Armed Services to purchase so much. Dave W

Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?
20/07/2022 10:36:21

John, your comment about aircon in an outside shopping mall in Dubai doesn’t surprise me, I was out there 55 years ago, before it was the Emirates and was known as Trucial Oman, it was completely undeveloped at that time. Our accommodation on Sharjah airbase was air conditioned to 72F which when you have been working outside in temperatures well over 100F was like walking into deep freeze, it felt as though the sweat froze on your body. Our highest recorded temperature at that time was 128F, I can see where they are coming from with the air on at an outside mall, just think what that does to carbon levels, makes you think why we should sacrifice in our country when others are being so flippant about their carbon emissions. Dave W

Thread: Hearing aid batteries
20/07/2022 10:02:09

Peter, sorry to hear about your hearing problems, my comment about asymmetric hearing was somewhat flippant, to lose your hearing when you are a choir member must be extremely frustrating. My hearing loss is also somewhat asymmetric for two different causes, when I was 21 was posted to the Middle East and for 12 months worked with very noisy jet engined aircraft with no hearing protection provided, so from that time have had a moderate to severe loss of high frequency hearing, some years later a pressurisation accident further damaged the hearing in my left ear, since then further age deterioration has required ever stronger hearing aids.
My wife has lost all her hearing and is now profoundly deaf through having meningitis in her 20’s, this left her with epilepsy and progressively deteriorating hearing, she finally lost all her hearing about 12 years ago. She was referred to St. Thomas’s Hospital in London and was fitted with a cochlear implant which is so successful that she continually tells me to turn down the sound on our tv because I have it too loud for her. For those who are not familiar with cochlear implants it is inserted under the skin behind the ear and an electrode is routed to the inner workings of the ear and bypasses the cochlear and delivers electrical impulses directly to the auditory nerve and so to the hearing part of the brain. The sound is converted to electrical impulses by a microprocessor worn on the ear like a hearing aid and impulses are transmitted through the skin to the receiver that is accommodated by a recess formed in the bone of the skull. Cochlear implants are so expensive to the NHS that adults are only fitted with one whereas children will receive two, the implant for my wife was truly life changing.
To keep the theme of deafness in the family going we have a Turkish Angora cat, who is one of four cats that we have, who is totally deaf, he is always with me following me around like a dog, when I am in my workshop he comes and lays on the bench next to my lathe, he is perfectly content to just be with me, and he is intelligent enough to understand signs that we use when we need him to do things. Deafness can be a curse but it is a challenge that you just have to accept and get on with life. Dave W

19/07/2022 19:48:59

Peter, asymmetric hearing aids, new one for me. Dave W

19/07/2022 19:07:01

Clive the hearing aids that I have, made by Phonak but supplied by the NHS, the only way to switch them off is as you are doing and that is just open the battery case. I find that my new aids, had them a fortnight now, eat batteries, they last about a week and they are new to me they are 312 as against the old ones which were 13, differentiated by different colour. Dave W

19/07/2022 17:06:23

David, I have worn hearing aids for about 25 years now and I have never taken any notice of the instruction, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the batteries performance as the aid fires up as soon as you insert the battery. Never done any harm to my hearing aids. Dave W

Thread: Scorchio!
19/07/2022 16:49:50

Mike , thanks for posting your Dad’s photos of Sharjah, not many people have heard of it let alone been there, the mountains that are in the photos will be the high mountain range that divides Sharjah State from Oman. The mountains play a significant part in the climate of the area, the prevailing winds blow in from the Indian Ocean and consequently all their moisture falls as rain on the Omani side of the mountains, the Sharjah side is dry as a bone, in the twelve months that I spent in Sharjah it rained on one day only, fairly typical. Muharraq Island (Bahrain) although only 200 miles from Sharjah has a very different climate, in the winter months the Air Force there went into standard blue uniforms whereas at Sharjah we stayed in Kakhi uniforms all year round because it was much hotter. Out of the two stations I much preferred Sharjah to Muharraq but when I arrived in Sharjah there were only two hundred of us there and it was just a desert airfield, we used to get wild camels wandering along the runway and they had to be chased off sometimes when aircraft wanted to land. It was certainly an experience living on a desert airfield for twelve months. Dave W

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