We put the last of the concrete floors in to the outbuilding earlier in the month. We will use this middle shed as a workshop and have decided to dry line and plaster this shed. This will make it a little more free from dirt. Hopefully, we will get this plastered in the next couple of weeks. When we think about the amount of money been spent on these outbuildings, we might have been better off knocking them down and starting again. The upside is that the outbuildings which have probably been here 200-300 years have a new lease of life.
After the demise of our last weather station last week, we have installed a new one. It is remarkable similar to our previous weather station, however, this does have a solar meter which measures daylight. Our previous weatherstation was a Weathereye-WEA22. The new one is a Aercus WS3083.
This one simply plugged into the same PC (via USB) as the old station and it worked. I had to tell it that it now had a Solar meter, but that was about the only change. The data is uploaded to the website every 15 minutes and you can access the page from here: http://www.haggleysfarm.co.uk/weather.
Ever since we moved in, there has been a pallet for a step underneath the canopy by the front door. Fingers crossed, we will get this flagged next week – particularly if the weather is bad as this spot is somewhat sheltered from the elements. It was getting to a point where we had got used to the pallet! Time for a change. The old tarmac has now been taken up ready for the flagstones to be laid.
A couple of people have asked what the Loxone installation actually looks like and I realised that I hadn’t posted any photos since the installation had been completed.
The Loxone kit operates as two “stars” that are linked together. One of the stars is in the older part of the building and one of the stars is in the new extension. The main electricity feed comes into the new part of the building, but this then feeds a distribution board in the older part of the building. While it sounds complex, it is actually straightforward.
To make things a little easier to understand, I will go through the set up of each of the node separately. Let’s start with the node in the older part of the property. You will find Part 2 of this subject here that covers the newer part of the house.
The Loxone kit is house in two Hagar cabinets. While they are a little expensive, they fitted in the space that I had and will comply with building and electrical regulations. The top unit houses a TDK 24v supply, the Loxone miniserver and an extension. The bottom unit houses another extension, a dimmer unit and an RS-232 module (to connect to the burglar alarm).
The TDK power supply is feed by a switched fuse spur and the power to the Loxone kit is fed by two further switched fuse spurs. This means that all the Loxone kit can be power up, but the 240v power supplied to the mini-server, extension units and dimmer can be switched off separately.
We are using Cat5 cabling for all of the light switches. All of the cables from the light switches terminate in a Cat5 patch panel. It is then a simple case of making up a “fly lead” to go from the patch panel and connect it to the relevant Loxone unit. The cable at the light switch is terminated using a standard RJ-45 plug. This means that it is a straight connection from the plug at the light switch through to the patch panel. This makes it very easy to test and also means that we can easily change the switches at a later date by just making up a new fly lead to connect to the Loxone kit.
All of the network connections are terminated in one of two patch panels. There is one on top and one below the Netgear switch. The TP link router connects to the switch and then patch leads are used to connect the relevant network ports to the Netgear switch. We are using Schneider switches through the property and the stainless steel covers are a push fit. If you lift the plate off, there is a label on the inside that indicates which port in the patch panel it connects to.
There is a telephone panel underneath. This takes the incoming telephone line and splits it into 4 outgoing RJ-45 connections. It is a simple task to connect a network port in one of the rooms to a spare telephone port. You need an adapter at the telephone end to convert the Rj-45 socket into something you can plug a UK telephone into. This makes it very easy to more the telephone points around.
We had some particularly strong wind over the weekend and our weather station got blown down. Unfortunately, it smashed on the ground and I suspect that the plastic is too brittle to glue back together. We will replace it in the next week or so. Ho hum!
Back in February this year we applied a couple of coats of Belzona 5122 (otherwise known as “Clear Cladding”) to the south west gable and above one of the rear patio doors. These areas were particularly prone to the south westerly weather and we felt we needed to treat the stonework to prevent any water ingress. We put a couple of coats of Belzona on these areas, but I was never quite sure how effective it was going to be.
Well, today, with some very wet weather, we have the clearest indication ever that the Belzona is doing what it is meant to do. Just take a look at the photos below.
The doors to the outbuilding are finally finished (although they still probably need one more coat of paint). The lock arrived this morning and was fitted straight away. It is a van lock intended for use on the rear doors of vans (you have probably seen while waiting behind a van at traffic lights). The hasp is circular, as is the padlock itself, and this produces a neat looking solution. I wasn’t expecting the lock to be quite as big, but then that is one of the dangers of buying things online. At least it was quick to fit!
We are almost there in terms of finishing the new home for the mower. Over the weekend, we made some doors and got them installed. They made using 165mm wide tongue and groove floorboards. The original doors (which are probably more than 100 years old) were made the same way but using much bigger boards (some of them well over 300mm wide). You just can’t get these size boards anymore, so we decided to use the smaller equivalent. It is a shame as I would have loved to have kept the old doors, but there are just too far gone to go back on (plus they don’t fit the wider opening).
The boards in the new doors are held together using strips of 18mm plywood. This should resist any twisting and help the doors remain straight as the wooded boards dries.
They just need a bit more paint and a lock!