Another lunchtime photowalk, this time we found a dog sat waiting on the street while his owner was inside a shop.
In cat news, Penny is now home and seems to be eating twice as much as usual to make up for all that time she missed not eating. The FIV tests were negative (thankfully!) and we’re not really any closer to knowing why she’d stopped eating. I’m glad she’s started again though. It’s nice to have her around the house again.
I only managed an afternoon at the railway today because I spent all morning waiting for the Vet to phone me to say if Penny was ready to come home yet. I got the call at 1pm and between the two of us, the vet and I decided it was best if she stayed in for another 24 hours. It sounds like she’s picked up some sort of virus (they’re testing for FIV just in case. I *really* hope it’s not that, or she’ll be sick on and off for years.)
We had quite a productive day of it really. I tidied up a lot of the asterisk config in the morning, and we replaced a phone on one of the level crossings in the afternoon (That’s what Ian is doing in the picture above) That’s finally ticked a job off the list which we started back in November (I think) – we also made a successful end to end test of a signal post phone, so we’re confident that it’s OK to go into service.
Tonight, I’m supposed to be going to a B3ta bash. I’m not sure quite how long I’m going to stay for, but it’ll be better to be out of the house than wandering around it missing the cat.
There are bloody hundreds of these buggers in my garden, swarming all over everything.
I was a bit bored waiting for a train yesterday, so I took a photo of one of the raised beds on the station which are built out of old sleepers.
In other news, my cat seems to be ill. She’s stopped eating and just generally isn’t her self. So todays adventure is going to be a trip to her friend the vet!
Jonathan and I went for another lunchtime photowalk today. Glorious sunshine (although it wasn’t quite as warm as it looked when we left the office – I wish I’d taken a jumper) I’m really getting into this no-chimping idea. I’m aiming for “See the shot, frame the shot, take the shot. Move on, knowing you’ve got the shot.” and a lot of the time I’m getting close. I think it’s breeding a more thoughtful approach in me, but also a certain amount of confidence.
I shot just 15 frames at lunchtime today, and 4 of those made it through to post processing, with 3 being good enough to make it into this post. By my count, that’s a 20% hit rate, and in the past I’ve counted 8-10% as a good days shoot so I’m headed in the right direction. I’d be *stoked* to hit 50% given how picky I can get!
I’ve had a day of forgetting names and words for things. Within 10 minutes of being in the office, I’d forgotten the names of 3 people I’ve worked with on and off for over 5 years, and since then I’ve forgotten several other words. My current mental block is over the name of this tree. My parents have one in their front garden, and I *know* I know what it’s called really.
Please put me out of my misery in the comments!
Pandas and Pasta
It’s a Sunday, so I got up early went for a run, took in a car boot sale and a flea market then went to the zoo. I was done by lunchtime. Which sort of left a hole in my afternoon, which I filled by clearing a few faults on my phone exchange. I’ve now got two fully working final selectors, with tie lines to connect them to my asterisk box.
Talking of which, I’ve managed to get an old “BT Voyager 220V” adsl modem working as an ATA. I bought it last week at a car boot sale for a quid. As I’m just using it as an ATA and don’t need the ADSL functionality of it, I didn’t need to reflash it with a hacked firmware or anything. All the required configuration can be done with a combination of its web interface and an ssh or telnet connection.
It’s proving reasonably stable (much more so than the Zoom ATA I paid over £30 for!) and I’ll be writing up how to configure it in the near future. For now, it’s connected to the Asterisk box at the Dean Forrest Railway so I can make calls through their UAX13.
I fancied something new for dinner tonight, so made myself some pasta with purple sprouting broccoli, peppers and blue cheese. It was rather tasty. I might have to cook that one a bit more often.
Peanut Butter Cookies
2oz Peanut butter
2oz Caster sugar
2oz Soft light brown sugar
4oz Plain flour
Pinch of salt
Blend the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until creamy. Stir in the flour/salt. Form into walnut sized balls, place on a baking tray and slightly flatten with a fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4 until lightly browned.
Leave on the tray to cool for 5 minutes to set, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Try very hard not to eat them all in one go!
Another bloody squirrel
I really should find something else to take photos of this month.
For Sale/Disposal – Tannoy/Grampian PA system
The Dean Forrest Railway has recently replaced it’s PA system, and the old one is being disposed of.
All those involved hate the idea of this kit just going to the tip, so we’re looking for someone to rehome it. We believe this system came from British Rail (although I don’t have any details of which station) and the most modern parts of it were made in 1974 – much of it is earlier than that. See the below for what equipment is included. It would suit a collector, or someone looking for spares/repair. It’s not a complete working system (there are no pre-amps or speakers included) and it’s been in service for over 40 years so can be a little grumpy at times!
Note that this is a PA system designed for driving 100V line speakers, and each amp is single channel only. This is not suitable equipment for your mobile disco business!
We want shot of this in a bit of a hurry as it’s bulky and getting in the way. So these are the rules of the game:
- Collection Only - This equipment is *heavy* and would cost a fortune to crate up and ship by courier. We don’t have the time or inclination to do so!
- Location – Dean Forrest Railway, Lydney, Forrest of Dean, England. Directions here: http://www.deanforestrailway.co.uk/section.php?xSec=8
- Donations Welcome – We’re not asking a fixed price for any of this, but would expect some kind of donation to the Dean Forest Railway Telecoms Fund which we’ll use to keep our strowger exchanges going. We’ll leave the size of the donation up to you.
- Deadline – This kit will be taken to the tip on (or very shortly after) 2nd April 2012. Anything not collected by then will be lost.
- Collection Dates – We’ll be available to help you cart it all away on Saturdays: 17th March, 24th March, 31st March. If you would prefer to collect on any other day (Wednesdays and Sundays are probably the next easiest days for us) please just ask and we’ll see if we can arrange anything.
- Strictly No Warranty! – This is old kit, and this is a “sold as seen” thing. We don’t guarantee it will work, or that it won’t burn your house down/upset your wife/husband/cat.
How to claim your bounty!
Either email firstname.lastname@example.org
or leave a comment on this post and I’ll email you back (don’t worry, your email address won’t appear on the site at all!).
Say what you’re interested in, and when you’d be able to collect it (bearing in mind the above) While we’d prefer to send the whole lot to one home, if you only want some bits but not others that’s fine. If there are multiple people interested we’ll try and sort something out which is reasonably fair.
Grampian 7441 Power Amplifiers (3 of)
2 are believed to be working, 1 was in our spares store and is untested. Two are missing the power switch, VU meter, and control panel bezel (as seen in the pictures below) Note that none of the units have top/bottom panels on the cases, I don’t believe they were shipped with them. At this stage, I think we’ve lost track of which were working. You’d best take all three just in case!
Tannoy SPC/PS/5 DC Power Supplies (2 of)
These are of unknown condition, and are thought to be 24V power supplies. We did have a known working one, but we’ve kept that. These are untested. If nothing else, the copper in those enormous transformers has got to be worth a bit!
Tannoy SPC/TA/50L Power Amplifier (1 of)
This was in our spares store and is untested. Also pictured is a spare amplifier subchassis. This appears to have been modified somewhat (I think the octal base shown is for a relay rather than a valve – I think it’s probably a speaker protection relay) I think the spare subchassis is also missing the output power transistors.
Empty Tannoy SPV/TVA chassis (1 of)
This is a completely empty chassis, I think it used to be a pre-amp once upon a time.
The rack and associated metalwork
This is heavy, and is not a standard 19″ rack. It separates into 2 halves which makes it easier to transport. Included are a selection of blanking panels. As I understand it, the main chassis is about 21″ and the internal subchasis is about 19″. Certainly some of the equipment that was mounted in it appears to be standard 19″ rack mount. If split down into 2 halves, this would probably fit in a largeish car with the seats down.
Tannoy PA Monitoring Panel
This panel contains an on/off switch, a 100V line transformer, a speaker and a volume control. This is believed to be working (although the volume control is a little noisy. Being a wire wound pot, it’s nothing a good clean wouldn’t sort!)
We’ve got a folder full of documentation, including schematics for at least the Grampian amps (possibly the Tannoy as well, I only had a quick look) Also included is this rather fetching Grampian catalogue!
I think that just about covers everything. If you have any questions about the above, please ask them in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer all questions, but I live 30 miles away from this equipment on the other side of the Severn Bridge, so I can’t check much or take any additional photos!