Repenting, only quite badly.

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So, today I got the call, the good call, from Jonathon at JLH. After our little teething problems (the alternator bracket broke on the way to Bristol and the alloys weren’t quite fitting right – presumably the minor they came off was ‘different’ to my minor) he’d very kindly taken the car straight back up on the trailer – and fixed her. And he rang today to say they’d found the cause of the problems, and thus I could have her back.

After the usual house-cleaning hiatus I made a sprint to the station which, after one slightly annoying change* got me to Leamington Spa. Leamington Spa is a very pretty 1930s, I would guess, station still sporting many of its awesomely deco features. It also sports a sign which lays out the Railway Byelaws which relate to parking, one of which is deeply unnerving**. But enough about that – Jonathon picked me up, fed me coffee, and I hoped into Rebecca to head home.

This time the journey went without a hitch… well, ish. There’s a couple of ‘creaks’ I’m putting down to everything being new (at the moment) and if I really *really* give her some unsuitably inappropriate quantities of ‘wellie’ then she suffers from what feels like fuel starvation after a prolonged run. Not that I’d do such a thing, obviously. I suspect there’s some crud in the carb, which will need looking at, but not today.

Other than that, she’s performed flawlessly, and while no-where near as quiet as our ‘modern’ beastie, she’s way quieter even without large chunks of trim (and with no underlay). She’s also unrepentantly a petrol consumer. She’s way more efficient than she was thanks to much more sensible gearing – the motorway is now something you can cruise down as opposed to screaming down (although she seems to *want* to go faster ;) ). But there is something delightful about the *WHSSSHHHHH* as you put your foot down and the carb desperately sucks air in trying to meet a demand far in advance of it’s abilities. And the *RAWR* from the engine as she goes ‘YES! FASTER!’ – the 1275cc engine is a way more industrial beast than the 1098cc engine (which is in turn, more industrial than the sweet and innocent 948cc). At tickover she sounds much less smooth, but out on the road she just… wants to go.

Which is bad.

But good.

Of course, this is largely my last hurrah in petrol terms. While the petrol engine is a thing of great cunning, it’s a Victorian invention which has largely had its day. EVs are coming and are improving vastly all the time – and by the time this 1275 with it’s fast road cam and 1.5″ carb has sucked in the last of it’s petroleum spirit distillate vapours, technology will have advanced vastly, again. And hopefully at that point I’ll be able to throw batteries and a nice big motor in, and Rebecca will enter a 3rd or 4th lease of life.

While I feel bad intellectually about the whole petrol thing – she’s bloody good fun to drive.

Of course, one of the things which interested me about this is that*** vehicle manufacturers are in for a shock in terms of product lifecycle. While they’re developing their cars around battery X and controller Y – in many arenas they’ll probably find the components are considered obsolete way before they expect them to be. The time taken to stick a new car through dev and testing is probably longer than the lifecycle of most consumer gadgets. I suspect that supporting their new EVs will be something that’ll be interesting for them. How many people have 5 year old phones? 5 year old laptops? And yet people will be expecting support for their 5 year old cars…

It’ll be interesting, anyway.

In other news, the new capacitors have been fitted to the plasma TV and I tried – for the first time – firing it up. The little red light goes to green when you turn it on, but that is the extent of the excitement. It seems likely that it does, in fact, require a new FMSD102A module. Unfortunately, there are two of these modules – and I’m not sure if one or both of them is dead.

The capacitors on both boards were clearly not well:

Vision Plasma with sucky soldering and failed caps

But the FMSD102a on the X-Sus board was suffering from absent solder. I don’t know if someone was thinking of replacing it and got bored – or if it was never well soldered and has stopped working…

Vision Plasma with sucky soldering and failed caps

I resoldered it anyhow, so it should be okay if it’s working. That board doesn’t look like it’s run as hot as the Y-Sus board which has gone that cheerfully manky brown that very hot PCBs go

Vision Plasma Screen's Fault Y-Sus board

So I’m inclined towards changing that one first, if that doesn’t work putting the removed one in to the other board. Before I do that, though, I need to get a new tip for my 30W soldering iron (or, frankly, a hotter iron), because the current tip looks like a toasting fork (seriously, it has a huge divot in it – which can be used with care to wrap around the pin that you’re trying to remove, but the poor sodding thing was seriously struggling with getting the capacitor pins hot enough to melt the solder. My dad’s 15W Antex one was just being mocked by them. It’d get one pin hot and then have to have a 5 minute rest to heat up again…

Ah well. Unfortunately, finances dictate that while I’d love to order a new module for the TV, because the idea of fixing it quite appeals. Not least because then that’s one less thing to move in the big move. But, at the moment, finances seriously suck here… so I’ll not be ordering it just yet. :-/

Anyhow. That’s enough rambling for today.

* While I made the scheduled change, the train arrived very slightly early and indeed just in time for me to walk up the stairs, read the sign which informed me that the next train to Leamington Spa was leaving at 1141, and was ‘on time’ but was also…still on Platform 7. I made a swift walk down to Platform 7 just in time to watch the train start pulling out of the station… So I got to sit around in Reading station for 20 minutes waiting for the next one :(

** They can move you car to facilitate more efficient use of space, if I read it correctly. So don’t park badly… they might hop in and move your car…!

*** And I’m sure this is something that other people have thought of much quicker than me.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at