Lifestyle

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

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. 

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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)

Outreach boat to run once a month with free hot food, health checks, food parcels and internet access

Friday, February 17th, 2017

The Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service will be running a monthly outreach boat with the Canal Ministries narrowboat Litania on the western K&A. STOP PRESS: ON TUESDAY 7TH MARCH THE OUTREACH BOAT WILL BE AT BATHAMPTON WHARF

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West Berkshire Food Bank open to boaters.

Monday, January 9th, 2017

church_collectionOne in five of the UK population live below the poverty line and, of course, this includes boaters. If you are experiencing hard times and could do with some help getting through it, help may be available.

West Berks Food Bank recently helped a boater in food crisis in Hungerford. It made them aware that there might be a greater need amongst boaters on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

In order to get help, ring the Crisis Help Line 01635 760560, open from 08.30 to 18.30. After answering a few questions about your situation you will then be given the information to access the nearest Foodbank and receive help.

They have 4 distribution centres on the Eastern end of the Kennet and Avon, opening hours are;
Thatcham Baptist Church – Monday 1-3pm, Thursday 1-3pm
Newbury Salvation Army Citadel – Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 1-3pm
Hungerford Methodist Church – Wednesday 1-3pm
Lambourn RC Church – Monday 1.30 – 3.30pm

Park_HouseMore information can be found on the West Berks Food Bank website: westberks.foodbank.org.uk

Of course, if you don’t need their service you may be able to help in some way, further details of how you can get involved are here; westberks.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/

Look out for Travelling Community Support Service outreach boat, tomorrow 13th December

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Tomorrow, Tuesday 13th December, Julian House Travelling Community Support Service will be out on the canal aboard the Canal Ministries narrowboat Litania. They are using the boat for an outreach trip on the canal rather than the usual minibus, as it is much easier to reach people.

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Traditional ropework

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

 

imageBeautiful and traditional ropework decorating the ellum of British Waterways’ Romsey, a ‘big Ricky’ butty, a six plank wooden-hulled boat, of which a considerable number were built for the GUCCCo. by Walkers at Rickmansworth in the 1930’s.

Tony Dunkley writes

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Gypsy, Traveller, Boater & Roma Community Support Service is on Facebook

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

The Gypsy, Traveller, Boater & Roma Community Support Service in BaNES, run by Julian House, is on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/GRTBSupport

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New Waterways Chaplain on the K&A

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Sue Stapleton on nb Eagle, who at present travels mainly between Hungerford and Devizes, has recently become a Waterways Chaplain with Workplace Matters.

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GP practice registers boater at surgery’s address following complaint

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

A boater recently tried to register as a permanent patient with a GP practice in Bradford on Avon by using the surgery’s own address. The GP initially refused to register the boater using the surgery’s address.

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