Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Tixall Wide to Great Haywood

Beautiful overnight stay at the Wide. Then we gently cruised back to the marina, got cleaned up and came back to Bransgore.

1 mile, 0 locks, 1 engine hour

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Great Haywood to Tixall Wide

Needed to get a pump-out, so went over to the wharf about 2 p.m., though we had to wait for Shropshire Blue. Then decided to cruise down to Tixall Wide for the afternoon, and ended up staying the night since the weather is great – a good way to check that the electrical systems are functioning well in the wild.

Halsall came round the corner as we emerged from the marina, so we bought another bag of SuperTherm @ £9.25 for 20Kg.

2 miles, 0 locks, 1.5 engine hours

Monday, 8 May 2017

Great Haywood

Speedy reply from Prestolite confirmed the alternator has 12 poles. While fiddling with the iPhone tachometer app I realised I'd miscalculated the ratio of the pulleys. For some reason I'd been working all along with 1.33, but the crankshaft pulley is 5 inches and the alternator pulley 3 inches. So the calculation is 5/3*12/2 = 10 pulses per revolution. I'd used 8 first time around. Once that was in place I got an idling speed of about 800 rpm. That's a bit higher than the speed registered by the old tacho, of about 600, but it should be accurate, if my pulley measurement was correct.

At this point another problem arose. With the constant moving of the control panel, a lead had come adrift – a female spade connector on the red core of a thick 2-core cable running down into the engine compartment, and not part of the wiring loom as such. It was not obvious where it should be connected. The engine started, but now would not stop with the stop switch, so I had to locate the emergency stop lever on the engine itself. The warning buzzer was not coming on.

The cable was labelled in orange marker pen "supply to Q2". Q2 is shown on the Aqualine wiring diagram as a master RCB switch controlling the supply to the horn and headlight, and is located in the electrical cupboard. Its powered end is shown as connected to the "engine ignition switch". It transpired the other (blue) core was attached to the red one at the bottom terminal of Q2, so returning 12 volts back up to the control panel area. It is connected to two white leads which feed (a) the stop switch, and (b) the domestic alternator warning light. That explained why the stop switch did not work.

The engine manual shows which connectors on the ignition switch are active under which conditions, and from that it became clear that the lead should probably be attached to pin 54 (live under Run, Heat and Start). 58 (live under Run)was also a possibility, but seemed less likely, especially as it offers only 4 amps. Making that connection restored all functionality.

I used self-amalgamating tape to tidy up the wires on the tachometer adapter harness, and re-seated the tachometer with silicone grease. The rubber sealing ring doesn't fit very well, and we shall have to see whether the combination stops water ingress. I used the Sikaflex substitute from Kings Lock to seat and seal the panel back in place on the column.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Great Haywood

Wildwood church in the morning, and Robin and Helen invited us to lunch – a very good time.

Back at Erin Mae I soldered the new, crimped extension piece, covered it with self-amalgamating tape, fitted a new ring connector and attached it to the alternator. This time I got a reading on the tachometer, but it was showing 1000 rpm at tickover, which I didn't think could be right.

The calculation depends on the pulley diameters and the number of poles in the alternator. I put up a post on CanalWorld forums asking about the poles, and got a suggestion about an app that would turn a phone into a strobe tacho. Then it occurred to me to email Prestolite and ask them. In the meantime found an iPhone app that would run on the iPhone 4, but by now it was too late to test it.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Great Haywood

Completed the construction of the switch device for configuring the tacho. The procedure went well.
However, when I started the engine the reading stayed at 0 rpm. Traced the problem to a broken wire at the alternator W lug. Got down to Maplin in Stafford to get some stuff for repairing the link. That included a 40W soldering iron set.

The wire was difficult to work on because the engine coolant hoses were in the way, stopping me getting easy access with the crimper. Eventually I stripped down a connecter to its metal core, and was able to crimp it with the small electrical pliers. That enabled me to extend the wire with a short length of the red core from 18 amp ring mains cable.

Back was killing me by the time that was done!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Great Haywood

Arrived about 6 p.m. In the evening I fitted the audio isolator transformer between the AudioCast and the Lepy amp. This resolved the noise issue, so clearly had been an earth loop problem.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Great Haywood

Came up for a single night.

Fitted the AudioCast device, but found there was a lot of noise when both it and the amplifier were connected to the same 12v power socket. Assessing that took up a lot of time.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Great Haywood

Came up for a single night. De-winterised – all the water systems seemed fine. Fitted new filter cartridge. The new one is flowing slower, but possibly that means the old one was not seated properly.

Gas took a little while to get flowing to the burners at full rate. Perhaps we need to turn off the supply nearer to the cooker over winter.

Fitted the Lepy amplifier, connecting it to the front L & R speaker cables. It's clear that it would be straightforward to connect the sub-woofer, if we had an amp with a separate bass channel.

On Saturday we cleaned / polished the floor with the Osmo stuff.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Little Haywood to Great Haywood

Walked to the farm shop café for a birthday breakfast. Then back to the boat, one lock and home.

1 mile, 1 lock, 1 engine hour

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Ingestre to Little Haywood

Mostly cloudy and cold, some drizzle and then rain. Decided we could get back to Bransgore at the weekend, so came past the marina and down to the Taft for diesel. 63p now, as against the 55p it was when we left. 141 litres, with an allowance for the Webasto use, gives about 1.5 litres / hour – a bit less economical than the stretch to Norbury Junction. We've probably been going faster and using the Webasto more.

Coming back, tied up between Colwich and Great Haywood locks, leaving one for tomorrow.

9.3 miles, 4 locks, 4.7 engine hours

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Stone to Ingestre

Chilly day, with bright start and rain later on. Picked up a sweatshirt round the prop at Aston lock. All the moorings at Weston were taken so came on and tied up at Ingestre bridge in the rain.

7.5 miles, 3 locks, 3.7 engine hours

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Barlaston to Stone

Coming through Stone, got a woven nylon bag round the prop just as we were going into the second lock going down. Fortunately it was removed without much hassle – even kept the lock gates open while we did so.

Washed trainers again (dog dirt from Barlaston mooring) and took on water at the water point below the final lock in Stone.

4.6 miles, 8 locks, 4 engine hours

Monday, 10 October 2016

Westport Lake to Barlaston

Day alternated between sunny and warm (shall we go up the Caldon?) and chilly and overcast (make tracks for home). Bit of a to-do at Stoke top lock when the boater in front didn't appreciate my manoeuvring to both get in line and avoid the Viking coming up the lock. Tied up on the moorings above the Wedgwood Works Bridge, opposite the Alpaca farm.

8.1 miles, 6 locks, 4.3 engine hours

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Kidsgrove to Westport Lake

Church at St Thomas's, Kidsgrove. Found our way down to the entrance to Harecastle tunnel and walked back along the towpath. Sunny day at this point, but got gloomier through the afternoon as we came through the tunnel and tied up at Westport Lake.

3.7 miles, 0 locks, 2.5 engine hours

Friday, 7 October 2016

Buglawton to Kidsgrove

Winded before the Bosley locks. Found we had more dog mess on my shoes – probably picked up in the act of setting off. So we stopped at the "Secret Water" to clean it all up, and to re-fill the tank since we'd done a wash. Cloudy, cool and slightly damp day. Pump-out at Heritage Narrowboats (£17). Tried unsuccessfully to call on Roy and Audrey (NB Rosie). Tied up at the aqueduct moorings shortly before re-joining the T&M.

Taybrite fire took a long time to get going tonight – had to intervene before it properly caught.

9 miles, 0 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Rounds Nº2 Bridge 86 to Buglawton

Keith and Sue from NB Claddau were moored near by and came to chat before walking down to Little Moreton. They knew of a water point at Buglawton that's not on the Nicholson's map – a relief as it means we won't have to go all the way up the Bosley flight for water. A day of sun, cloud and cold wind – had the body warmer on for most of it. Tied up just round the corner from Buglawton, with a view across to the Cloud.

5.2 miles, 0 locks, 3 engine hours

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Rounds Nº2 Bridge (Bridge 86)

Ran the engine first thing with SG on 50. Went for a walk up Mow Cop via Bridge 85. Fine weather but very windy at the top. Expected to have a pub lunch, but one had closed, one was closed till the weekend, and the one down the hill doesn't open at lunch time. Lady gave us a lift back to Bridge 85, so we got back to Erin Mae at 1 p.m. Ran the engine again in the evening.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Moreton (Bridge 81) to Moreton (Bridge 86)

Winded and went back to Heritage Narrowboats for solid fuel (2 bags Taybrite), since none of the coal boats are passing immediately. Turned again in the marina entrance and came up to the 48 hour moorings at Bridge 86 (Rowndes Nº2 Bridge). Went for a walk to prospect the route up Mow Cop for tomorrow.

2.3 miles, 0 locks, 1.8 engine hours

Monday, 3 October 2016

Kidsgrove to Moreton (Bridge 81)

Sunny day meant we decided to turn aside and go up the Macclesfield Canal. Tried to tie up near Bridge 85 for a walk up to Mow Cop, but shallow water made mooring hard, and eventually tied up just beyond Bridge 81.

Realised too late we were running out of solid fuel. Will need to go back to Heritage Narrowboats tomorrow for a few bags.

4.4 miles, 2 locks, 3.1 engine hours

Sunday, 2 October 2016


Sunny day. Walked about a mile to St Thomas' church for an all-age service. Then caught the bus to the Toby carvery for lunch. Ran the engine morning and evening for charge and hot water.

0 miles, 3 engine hours