Community

Six days left to make a difference

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

A lot can happen in a week, hopefully one of those is that you will register to have your say. Here boater Sally tells you how and why;

For anyone that’s missed it, there’s a General Election coming up on 8th June.
Why bother? You may think your vote won’t make any difference, believe me this time it will.

Why should you vote?

Apart from this being the most important election of our generation, why aren’t you voting? You may want to consider how lucky you are to have the opportunity.

  • It took until 1928 for women to be given the right to vote in the UK after a long and bitter Suffragette battle.
  • In the US it took until 1965 to remove racial discrimination from voting rights allowing all US citizens the right to vote.
  • In Saudi Arabia women still do NOT have the right to vote.

If you think your vote won’t make a difference check out these statistics.

Just look around at what’s happening in this country. The Tories are bleeding public services dry. This Conservative government has borrowed more in the last 7 years than ALL Labour governments combined yet we’re still under the yoke of austerity. Under a Conservative led government homelessness has doubled. Over 2000 deaths have been linked to welfare sanctions. We’ve seen cuts to the NHS, welfare, education, housing, the police, the military, the justice system, everywhere you look. The rise of food banks and children in poverty are a direct result of the Tory Austerity programme.

This election there is an alternative to all of this. It’s time for everyone to have their chance to say ‘no more’. Whoever you chose to vote for make sure you make June the end of May.

But I’m a continuous cruiser, can I still vote?

Yes. It’s pretty easy. We once voted as ‘the boat in the harbour’ in Sheffield! Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501398/Register_to_vote__no_fixed_or_permanent_address__living_in_England_and_Wales.pdf … print the form, fill it out and send it to your local electoral services office. Your ‘local connection’ address can be the election office if you’ve no other address.

Can’t print it? Pop in to the electoral services office and ask for a local connection form. Your local library can help too.

Need a national insurance number – phone here 0300 200 3500

If you need any support to do this let us know and we’ll find someone to help.

You have only got until Monday 22nd May to get the form in. That’s six days!

Do not delay, get free beer NOW!

If you’re happy with the status quo do nothing. If not, your country and your community need your help. Oh and you can get free beer… votethisyeargetfreebeer.co.uk

Local Electoral Services offices

Bristol – B Bond, Smeaton Road, Bristol BS1 6XN

Keynsham & Bath – Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW

BOA, Trowbridge, Melksham, Devizes and the Long Pound – County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN

Karting tyres going free (or is it wheeee….?)

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

We’ve just had an email from Jack Wood-Pearce in Malmesbury offering a load of go-kart tyres for free.

He’s got about 40 and they’re in Malmesbury, he wants to offload them all at once he says he’ll drop them off if someone can take delivery and give them out?

If you’re interested, contact Jack on 01666 825 600

Wiltshire Police seek liveaboard boaters to join new Independent Advisory Group in East Wiltshire

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Wiltshire Police has approached the liveaboard boating community seeking people to participate in its new Independent Advisory Group (IAG) in East Wiltshire. The police are particularly looking for members of minority groups, or representatives of organisations that work with minorities or vulnerable people.

Read more…

Outreach boat to offer dental checks at Darlington Wharf, 2nd May

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

The Julian House Travelling Community Support Service outreach boat Litania will be at Darlington Wharf, Bath on Tuesday 2nd May from 12 noon until 4pm. 

Read more…

K&A boaters action group and voter registration session, 8th May, Devizes

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

The next meeting of the K&A boaters action group will be on Monday 8th May 2017 at 7.30pm at the Lamb Inn, 20 St.John’s Street, Devizes SN10 1BT. We will have voter registration forms for people without a fixed address for boaters to either complete on the spot, take away, or distribute to other boaters. If you have the time to deliver some forms to the boats around you, please come to the meeting!

Read more…

K&A boaters action group next meeting 10th April, Wilcot

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

The next meeting of the K&A boaters action group will be on Monday April 10th 2017 at 7.30pm at the Golden Swan, Wilcot SN9 5NN – a short walk across the green from the canal bridge. All are welcome.

Read more…

Cheap 10A and 20A MPPT controllers

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Now that Spring is poking her head out of the clouds, it’s absolutely the best time to invest in a bit of solar. And all solar installations need a controller which, if you want MPPT technology – and you may not know it but yes, you do, can be the most expensive part of the install.

There are two types of solar controller PWM, the standard, cheap offering, around £15 from Maplins in Bath, and MPPT, of which it is usually recommended to go for a Tracer, £65 from Bimble Solar. MPPT can offer a substantial increase in power harvested by matching the panels and batteries to the best voltage for maximum power (MPPT = Maximum Power Point Tracking )*. By contrast PWM simply switches off part of the time to avoid over-voltage. Going a bit techie, this means that the greater the difference between the VOC of the panel and the voltage of your battery (12V–14.8V) the more power is wasted whereas with MPPT you can string panels in series up to the maximum input voltage of the controller without losing power. The cheapest solar panels are those used for domestic arrays and are generally around 36V which either won’t work or waste most of their power with a PWM controller.

You have to be careful when looking for an MPPT controller, there are a lot of cheap solar controllers on eBay claiming to be MPPT which are, in fact PWM, but this model checks out as a genuine MPPT at around £20 to £25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05IcvuI7kJ8

Charge voltage is fixed at 14.7V which may be a little high for some, though not high enough to properly charge or equalise traction batts, but will give them more than a tickle. Max solar input is 50V.

A couple of links for these on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MPPT-Solar-Charger-Controller-12V-24VDC-10A-20A-Battery-Regulator-USB-5V-Output-/142188324794
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5A-10A-12V-24V-MPPT-Solar-Panel-Regulator-Charge-Controller-100V-Input-DC-USB-JS-/181861868553

Not as good as the latest Tracers and may be not as reliable, but possibly a good budget option for a small setup.

From Bimble Solar’s website

PWM vs MPPT charge controller test

We often get asked about the actual difference you get between an MPPT and a PWM controller so we setup a side by side test using our Yingli part used panels onto 2 separate 12V batteries, 1 with a PWM controller and one with our Tracer MPPT. Panels were set-up side by side angled south.

With early March sun the MPPT was giving 3.7A into the batteries while the PWM gave 2.5A which was 32% lower than the MPPT.

In cloudy conditions the MPPT was giving 1A when the PWM was giving 0.8A (20% lower with PWM)

Both charged the batteries well, but 20%-32% more power was gained by using the MPPT.

http://www.bimblesolar.com/beginnersguide#mpptpwm

 

(with thanks to Smiley Pete on CWDF for spotting it)

Boats Are Homes campaign stall in Bradford on Avon, Sat 18th March

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Liveaboard boaters on the K&A are to hold an information and campaign stall in Lamb Yard, Bradford on Avon BA15 1FG on Saturday 18th March 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

Read more…

Boat Fire Safety Talk, Pewsey Wharf, 14th March

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

There will be a boat fire safety talk by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service on Tuesday 14th March 2017 at 7.30pm at the Waterfront, Pewsey Wharf SN9 5NU.

Read more…

K&A boaters action group, 13th March, Bradford on Avon

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The next meeting of the K&A boaters’ action group will be on Monday March 13th 2017 at 7.30pm at the Canal Tavern, 49 Frome Rd, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1LE.

Read more…