At last all of the ashlar is in place and all of the flagstones are down. There is still pointing to do, but that is going to have to wait a bit until the weather improves – it can’t be too wet or too cold when doing the pointing.
There was major relief today when the final set of stone steps were installed in the garden. Installing these steps has been a monumental effort on behalf of Paddy and Jonny. Most of the stones are well over safe working loads for two men, so that have had to use the ingenuity to get these in without any major incidents.
After 5 weeks of waiting, the ashlar finally arrived for the stone steps in the sunken garden. We need to get the steps into position so that we can flag up against them and get the flagging finished.
The weather this week hasn’t been great. And the weather today has been great either. The fog never really lifted at all. However, we are continuing to make progress in the sunken garden and it is starting to feel like we have turned a corner. The main thing that is holding us up now is the delivery of the stone steps from the quarry. This was meant to take 4-5 weeks, but we are now on week 6. I am guessing that by the middle of next week that we may run out of things to do if the stone doesn’t arrive.
With the lower terrace now flagged, our attention has moved to the upper terrace. This is considerably smaller, so will not take nearly as much time to get done. Two days in and probably 60-70% of the upper terrace has been flagged.
Tomorrow the holes are going to be drilled for the lights to be installed in the garden. While these are being drilled, Paddy and Jonny are going to flag the area under the front porch. We will see considerable progress by the end of the week.
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.
This blog entry covers the Loxone kit that has been installed in the newer part of the property. You will find a separate blog entry here for the Loxone kit in the older part of the house.
The main distribution board for the property is on the left. The electricity meter is just on the other side of this wall. The three distribution boxes house the Loxone kit. These are the same Hagar units that we used in the other part of the house.
The top distribution board has a Loxone Relay extension in it. This has no switch inputs, but has a number of switched outputs. This is required as there are so many lighting circuits in this part of the house (the kitchen alone has 7 lighting circuits). The next module is an 8V 1A Friedland door bell transformer which is used to operate the door latch release on the back door. This is activated using a key fob, fob reader and One Wire Loxone extender. Although the Loxone Extension units can output 10V, there is not enough current to operate a door latch. Lastly, in this top distribution board, there are a number of breakers that would not fit into the main distribution board.
The middle distribution board houses the TDK 24v power supply for the Loxone kit, a single Loxone Extension and a Loxone Dimmer. The dimmer will centrally dim up to 4 separate lighting circuits.
The bottom distribution board houses another 2 Loxone Extensions as well as a DMX controller and a One Wire Extension.
At the very top of the unit, is the receiver for the Owl Intuition smart meter. This connects wirelessly to the transmitter on the other side of the wall (connected to the electric meter) and is this connect to the Internet via out network. This posts up data on our electricity usage every 15-20 seconds. You will find more about this here or on the Owl Intuition website.
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.
The majority of the flagstones have been laid in the lower terrace. They still need to be pointed as well as the holes drilled for the lights and the ashlar steps installed. Things are being held up a little bit by the weather as well as the availability of the stone steps (the local quarry is very busy!).
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.