Booster needs a Boost

Last year the pull cord on my SDMO Booster generator snapped and I replaced it with some tough para cord I found in B and Q.  Everything was fine although it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever taken apart.  I didn’t mind really as it’s lasted about 6 years before needing replacing.

However some time after that I noticed that when I started it up, after a minute or 3 the engine would cut out. I just started it again and it was fine. After some months, it cut out twice and each time I had to start it again. When I had changed the pull cord some oil had leaked from the sump into the air filter as I had it on it’s side. (Duh at me) So I put it in for a full service which cost me £60.  New filter, things cleaned, plug done, oil changed etc so when it started doing the same thing again I was bothered. I went back to the place that serviced it and explained and they shrugged and said they could do nothing as it must be the electrics. I can find nowhere that seems to repair generators which is odd.

Lately, it takes much longer to start. This morning I had to restart it 8 times before it ran. Each time it runs for about a minute, then about 10 seconds each time I restart, until it finally runs. It’s getting  a major drag now so I think it’s time I stripped it down and see what I can do. I can’t really make it much worse, and Clarke’s do a 2Kw suitcase gennie now for £450 so it’s not going to cost me the earth if I have to replace it. Obviously I don’t want to have to, but I want to see if I can fix something as it’s driving me bonkers.

I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Door delight

Well, you can get double length rivets. I bought some and they are reassuringly inexpensive too! I drilled the old ones out and used two on the door hinge and what a great difference. The hinge is still stiff as a nun in a whore hDoor rubberouse but at least the rivets don’t come out when I open and close it.

I also split the door rubber at the lock with a Stanley knife. I then pulled it off and reattached it right round the frame and it was been fab ever since. Odd thing is the gap that I cut is only about 1 cm wide. Yet that small amount was pulling the rubber off all the time. Even on very windy days there is no draught through there either, so cutting it by the lock was the right thing to do. Still, fixed now, ready for winter so I’m chuffed, another job out of the way.

While I’m on, I’ve tried out the blown air heating I fitted and it is magnificent! My toes get warm and everything! Even Jack got down on the floor at one point and laid in front of the blower ha! I think it’s time to start my winter clean. Check for things as I go so I don’t get any nasty surprises.

 

R.I.P. Aunty Doreen

Sadly we buried Aunty Doreen today in Durham. She died suddenly of a heart attack last week. She’d had a good life, what more can you ask? Had a great get together in Pity Me with family some of whom I haven’t seen for years so that was a bonus.

Now back to real life, 25,000 more photos to process and 2 more websites to do. My main one is going to be www.caramelphotography.co.uk but it’s blank at the moment. Keep checking back though as I will get round to it soon!

T Mobile going the way of Vodafone?

I don’t often use my T mobile dongle as 3 network is so reliable, however I keep it as a back up as T Mobile is usually 2nd best. 3 network are doing all kinds of strange things at the moment so I decided to use my T mobile dongle for a while and oh…what a palaver!

Because of the things going on here I’ve not used the internet as much anyway so I had not used the dongle for 6 months. It cost me about a fiver to find this out, as T mobile’s support line is an 0845 number, which as we all know costs on a mobile. With 3 network it’s 21p a minute on the tariff I’m on. So, 16 minutes on hold waiting to speak to someone, then another 9 minutes whilst they did their stuff means the call cost me £5.25p That’s some scam the companies have got going with these 0845 numbers eh? It’s funny that they proliferated just as mobiles were beginning to boom…

Anyway, so my dongle is live now and the next day I try to top up. Oh wait, it’s not live at all yet. What happened there? I happened to be near a T mobile shop so I called in. The staff were friendly and helpful however they can’t do a thing, I need to speak to CS. One of the staff kindly lent me their mobile to call on, I assume it was a works mobile. So the lady on CS was brisk and told me my dongle was cancelled. I said “no that was yesterday but now it’s reactivated.” She said “you can’t reactivate once it’s cancelled”, I replied “well it was only suspended, and would remain that way for 3 months unless I called and reactivated it, as I was doing.” She suddenly remembered that yes, that’s how it worked and we were able to move on to the next question.

The next one was verifying who I was and this was bizarre. She asked me for a password, which the guy yesterday did and although I don’t recall setting a password I said the second and third letters that he’d asked for and he accepted them. However when she asked for the word she said the one I gave her was incorrect. It turns out the password I thought it was had the same 2nd and 3rd letters as the correct password. How bizarre was that! Anyway, she wasn’t happy that I put her through the mill on that one but hey, every single thing now needs a password or pin. Bank, online forums, credit card and bank card, my internet, online banking, telephone banking, my WordPress account, my email accounts, for God’s sake even my bloody van radio needs a pin number! So it’s understandable that sometimes we’re going to get mixed up.

We got through that but because of the problems she wanted to verify my personal details. Se we went through that too and I failed that check. She can’t tell me why I failed, as that can offer a clue as to where I went wrong. Can you feel my frustration levels rising?

I take a wild guess and say hey, I changed my address a few weeks ago, I bet you didn’t update it despite my phone call giving the new address? Sure enough, I gave the old postcode and she had a smiley face on again.

So let’s take stock. So far I’ve paid over £5 of my money and half an hour of my time, then God knows how much on their bill and another 20 minutes so far of my time, and so far we’ve established my address, password, and the fact I have  a problem!! lol you have to laugh, really.

Anyway, I explain that I can’t top up or login to my account online so there must be an error. After some time of clicking keys she says ok that’s it, all sorted. I have no idea what she sorted but she said you can top up online now. We also registered a top up card so that I can use that. Excellent. Away I go a happy bunny.

Maybe.

Well sorry, but this story doesn’t have a happy ending yet. I try to top up the next day and…what a palaver. I can’t log in to my online account, and I can’t top up. One of the problems is that when I try to login, it says the page cannot be found. That’s 4 days that’s been off now. There was some weird way I managed to finally get at the top up screen and I honestly can’t remember how I did it, so I went to stick £2 for one day and guess what…it wouldn’t work lol

I gave up eventually and stuck £15 on which did work, then tried to select a one day out of that top up which will cost £2 out of my £15. Guess what? hahhahaha It didn’t work!! I even topped another £5 just to make sure but I tried and tried and it just wasn’t having it although when in my frustration I clicked on 7 days, it worked! Well I’m angry at that cos I don’t want 7 days but at least it worked so that’s something. I connected to the internet, worked well, no problems. Maybe I can put this all behind me….lol

So the next day I try to log in and guess what? Yup…you need to top up!!!

Stress levels through the roof now. Got onto Twitter, and rapped T mobile them for being useless, and someone actually replied! However all they did was ask for some details, and 24 hours later I got a reply asking me to verify my account with some numbers. I did that. Next day they replied sorry, some of that info is incorrect. Taking a stab in the dark I say maybe my postcode? Here’s my old one? Yep…now they’re happy lmao Believe it or not this went on for 4 days. Eventually they tweeted back that you could indeed top up one day now.  I replied that that was the lesser issue and the main one was that I’d paid for 7 days and only got 1. And the outcome? Take a deep breath….”Hi Gary, if you did not get full use of your MMB data, please call 08454122993 for MBB support. Thanks”

*sigh*

A little bird tells me that since merging with Orange and creating EE, they actually haven’t merged. They merged as companies, but the structures to administer accounts are apparently still separate and they are having massive problems trying to work between T mobile and EE, as Orange are having massive problems merging their Orange structures with EE. Clearly they suffer from the British company disease which infects almost every business I know. Don’t plan, just grow as quick as you can, and solve the problems later. It does remind me of Vodafone. When I had an account with them there were parts of their site which were broken for an unbelievable 2 years.

So now I have a choice. Use up a gallon of diesel to go to the T mobile shop and use their phone to sort this all out, or use my own phone and sort it all out spending the equivalent of a gallon of diesel on 0845 charges.

People still call 3 network to me and slate them as being rubbish, with foreign call centres, poor connectivity and cheap devices but hey, you all know how I live and 3 network rarely fail me all around this country. And when they do they usually fix it there and then, if not, really quickly. *touch wood* You don’t get attitude off their staff and contrary to popular belief I have never yet had a problem understanding them.

All hail 3 network, I hope 4g is up and running soon.

The door to hell

Stupid door hinge! A few years ago I bought a new hinge for the habitation door from Glossop caravans as one of them was sticking and was pulling the rivets away form the fly screen. It’s a double hinge, fly-screen and door combined. I did ask on a couple of forums if they could be lubricated but oddly no-one had a definitive answer. The thing is they have plastic caps which almost prevents access to the hinge pin, so I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Anyway it’s been sticking again for some time and it’s quite frustrating because the rivets have come out of the fly screen again. So I set about trying to lubricate it. After a feeble attempt I snapped the plastic cover but on the plus side, I got some WD 40 in lol now it’s moving lovely so I’m well chuffed. I got some double length rivets too as I noticed when the old ones came out, they weren’t really long enough to get proper purchase on the metal. I’ll do that tomorrow and hope that’s the end of my hinge problems.

I also rang the excellent Perthshire caravans who stock the netting used for the fly-screen. It’s torn cos silly Jack when he was young kept forgetting it was there and trying to barge out of the open door lol Relly funny to watch but the netting is hanging loose now and very unsightly.

Speaking of doors, I also note that every winter the rubber seal that goes all the way around tends to shrink which mean the corners come away and hang about an inch from the frame. I think I’m going to just make a cut near the lock and see if they allows me to put it back into place. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

inject some happiness

Took the van to Durham Auto Services at Beamish this morning to have the injectors checked. Apparently everything is fine there, but the mechanic reckoned when he drove it the clutch clipped slightly, and this could account for the extra fuel use. Hmmm. The clutch bite is right at the top of the pedal, but I can still wheel spin in 2nd gear. (Don’t ask!) Can you do that if your clutch is worn? He could be right I have no idea, it’s something worth thinking about.

Anyway he checked the diagnostic and it said Mass Air Flow fault. You may recall that debacle way back with the K and N filter. I finally slung that filter in the bin and since then I’ve not had a single problem. However, I knew the EMS has been cleared in the last 12 months so there must be a fault somewhere. He checked the air filter and whilst dirty, it wasn’t really bad. I did note that the rubber seal on the filter housing was missing. The mechanic said they don’t use one but they do, and the last time the air filter housing was disassembled was when Peugeot Newcastle had it. Say no more….I bought a new filter anyway, under £20 from Euro Car Parts on Team Valley. Out of curiosity I priced up the seal but you can’t get it, you have to buy the filter housing. £96!! hahaahahah

So, the conclusion is, the injectors are fine, the air filter is now replaced, brakes are fixed, (need to replace the load balancer) and there is still no clear indication of why I am getting almost 100 miles less per tank than I used to.