The rooflights in the lounge and kitchen were installed in November 2013. http://www.haggleysfarm.co.uk/blog/?p=3398
Today, one of the panes in the lounge rooflights shattered. I only noticed it when I returned home. It can’t have happened long before I got it as it was still making a “tinkling” noise. It was the outer pane of a double glazed unit, so there was no mess inside the house.
We have had some really hot weather for the past couple of days, so I think it must have expanded it the heat.
We’ll have to work out how to get it replaced. But at least it isn’t about to fall inside the house as it is the outer pane that has gone.
Well, there isn’t much good news around at the moment, so it is important to make the best of things while you can! Jo has always wanted chickens, but being away 3 days a week in London has caused logistical problems in keeping chickens. Who is going to feed them? Who is going to let them out and then put them away at night?
Now that it looks as if we are going to be be working from home for the next 10-12 weeks, it seemed like a good idea to get some chickens! Why not?? We can sort the logistics out later!
The chicken coup arrived yesterday – I rather smart unit from Omlet. It is incredibly well thought through. It looks and feels fairly bomb-proof and as long as we remember to put them away at night, the foxes (and badgers) shouldn’t get to them. This coup can take up to 4 chickens, but we have only three.
The chickens arrived shortly afterwards. From a local supplier – Hinchcliffes. Two White stars and a black Nero.
No eggs yet. Plenty of poop!
I guess that it isn’t surprising after living in the house for five years that some pieces of kit need to be replaced.
This week I have had to replace one of the TV distribution amplifiers. Not surprising, but not the first one that I have had to replace since we have been here. The TV signal started to get a “bit blocky” on some of the HD channels. Eventually, I tracked it down to one of the amplifiers – there are two in the property (I wish I had labelled some of the cables better!). I suspect a recent thunder storm might have been the culprit.
Anyway, I have taken the opportunity to replace it with a slightly better unit. This Labgear amp looks and feels particularly well made. They aren’t expensive either – about £50 from Amazon.
We applied Belzona 5122 to a couple of areas on the property that were particularly susceptible to wet weather. We have only ever applied it once (in February 2014) and it seems to have done the trick – no more water ingress problems.
So the question is: Six years later, is it still working?
Well, we have had some really wet weather recently and I took the opportunity to rephotograph the areas where we had applied the Belzona. You can’t see it dry days, so you have to wait until it is wet before trying to photograph it. For reference, I have also included a photograph from October 2014 (six months after it was first applied) so that you can see the difference. If you search on Belzona on this blog, you will find the original posts.
So six years on and it is still doing it’s job! In fact, the photographs seem to show that there really hasn’t been that much of a degradation of it’s effect. And there has been no water ingress! The good news is that you can still get it (try www.belzona.co.uk) – you will often see it referred to as “Clear Cadding”. It seemed expensive at the time, but it has more than done it’s job. All in all, pretty impressive!
I have eventually managed to get our new weather station online this weekend.
To be fair, installing the new weather station was a breeze! It is a set up in terms of quality from the previous weather stations that we have had. Unfortunately, it was a step up in price too! It was made even more expensive since I bought two consoles – one for connection to the computer that uploads the data and one for general use inside the house.
The weather station is a Davis Vantage Vue and is aimed at the semi-professional and educational markets. It is installed in the top field with the outdoor sensors being attached to a newly acquired TV aerial mast and standoff bracket from Screwfix. I have attached the mast to one of the large stone gate posts using some threaded bar sunk and glued into a set of holes. This means that the mast can be unbolted and relocated if necessary. At the moment, we are using just one section of pole even though it came with two sections in the pack.
The main issue has been how to get the weather station to upload data to the Internet. The supplier that I used suggested that I needed to use the Davis Weatherlink software for this, but we are currently using the Cumulus software that can be freely downloaded from the Internet. It provides all the features that we need, plus it supports a wide variety of weather stations including our new one. What could have been simpler!
Well, the Cumulus software wants to communicate with the Davis weather station via a serial port and the data logger dongle on the weather station is USB. So there are two tricks to get this to work…..
Firstly, you need to map a serial port on your computer to map onto the USB port. You are going to need some software to enable this, but the good news is that you can download this for free. I used the UART bridge software from Silicon Labs. You will find it here. Download the correct version for your Operating System and then plug in the weather station via a USB port to activate the software (the COM port will not show up in Device Manager unless there is an active device connected to the COM port).
Secondly, you need to configure the correct port on Cumulus. This is relatively straightforward, but confused me for a while. Once you have the software installed above, plug in your weather station and go to device manager on your computer. If you look at the ports in the list, it will show which port number is being used for the USB. It is probably either port 3 or 4. Now go to the configuration page in the Cumulus software and enter the port number in the appropriate field. You will need to save the configuration and then restart the software. Bingo! It should now work.
We have just about finished the dry stone walls we started earlier in the summer. Just as well since we seemed to have used up all of the stone that we had left over. It is difficult to believe that the huge mountain of stone that was left over from the old barn and outbuildings has now been moved and forms the new dry stone walls. We moved all of the stone by hand with the aid of an old dumper. We just kept chipping away at it and eventually it was all gone.
We are now left with a new sheep pen (for housing the dumper and other stuff for now) and a new dry stone wall along the top field. Give it a year and it will have all blended in.