Wireless Light Switches ? Outside Lights ?

I have had several enquiries recently for people wanting “Outside Lights” – Sometime Automatic – but sometimes “manual” (or Automatic with an over-ride) so they can leave the lights on for security – or on for when they come home (20W LED only costs about £0.003 (yes, 3/10 of a penny!) an hour to run… (3 hours for 1 penny!)

This always poses the 2nd question – How to fit a switch where they want it without making a mess? (The first problem is where to get the power from for the light! – Usually a Fused Spur from a socket and then straight through the wall to outside).

I have NOW found the ANSWER to the 2nd problem – Wireless Light switches – No Alexa, Hive, Nest or other such “Technology” – just a simple rocker switch (same size as a normal light switch – looks like a “designer” light switch) – No batteries – uses the energy of the “Rocker-Click” to generate a 432 Mhz radio pulse which sends a message to the receiver unit (up to 40 Meters away) to turn on (or turn off) the lights. You can even have “multiple” switches (2-way. 3-way etc) operating the same light. You can have switches operating multiple lights simultaneously and you can have a single switch unit with up to 3 Gangs (3 x switches) in it.

Am *I* impressed!

No channelling light switch cables, no ugly trunking to the switch, no lifting floorboards to run the light switch cables.

Whats NOT to like !

Control box for light & two light switches

Automatic On-board Water Tank fill System (& Tracker) Part 3

If you don’t want to remove your tank / access your Tracker Device, then skip to Part – TBA

  1. Remove all the cushions from the on-board tank area of the van (front offside).
  2. Unscrew the brown plastic U section strip the runs the length of the locker.
  3. Unscrew the wooden batten the goes across the tank at the front. There are screws in either side, but maybe a little difficult to reach.
  4. Using a “Multi tool” cutter (or a junior hacksaw) cut through the long batten that runs the length of the locker (underneath the plastic U section removed earlier). Cut the bar in the middle of the batten underneath so that both pieces can be secured when you put it back together.
Cut the bar…

5. Persuade these three bars out (there is a vertical on in the far corner attached, that you can’t see!). You will find there are pins holding the batten where you cut it – Persuade these to release! You will find a vertical bar “stapled” to the horizontal piece… it may be reluctant to come out and play… but persuade it if it knows what’s good for it!

Battens removed (upside down)

6. Disconnect the Drain pipe hose from underneath the van (outside drain tube – held in place with a Jubilee clip. Remove this from the tank – otherwise you can’t pull the tank up inside the van!

7. Remove all three screws from the tank – and lift the tank out. Behind/under the tank at the front you will see an MDF panel with your Tracker & Alarm system mounted on it. The tank screws to this piece of MDF. In my case, it had pulled the MDF away from it’s mountings – and split the MDF where the tank screwed into it.

Secret Tracker Device – Battery on the right.
My battery was bulging – I’ve seen worse. The volts were measured at 2.3V having been “on charge” (Van connected to hook-up) for around 8 weeks!

8. Unplug the tracker / alarm unit where it connects to the Caravan harness. Pull the spade connectors off the battery and remove the four nuts holding it to the MDF. You can order a replacement battery from Ebay. 12v 7AH – Type: NP7-12

This cost me £13.50 on Ebay – Delivered

If you don’t want to cut your van up to replace the battery, I read somewhere that you can have a “man” visit you to replace the Tracker Battery – It cost around £180 – but that may have been written a few years ago. But, for this HE will cut your Van up for you!

To be Continued…. (27 Sept 2019)

Automatic On-board Water Tank fill System (& Tracker) Part 2

Ok, so you want an easier way to fill your onboard water tank?

Eez Simples:

Just cut a hole in the side of the caravan, install a Trumu Filter Water inlet panel with external pump connection as I did (or similar interface). Or install an onboard pump, with a water inlet of you choice.

I located mine as close to the tank as I could, so as to not infringe too much on the remaining locker space. I didn’t need to remove my tank, however, I wanted to because:

a) It was “loose” the screws holding it down (3 of them) had come adrift, I needed a little remedy. The hold down screw at the front of the tank was screwed into some sort of board. This board had completely come loose from the caravan and was floating. This board also contained some “electrical” equipment – What *could* it be ???

b) I wanted to locate the “hidden / Secret” Tracker / Intruder Alarm device to change the battery. My van is 10 years old and so I knew the battery would be shot! I don’t pay for the tracker service, but I do receive a discount from my Insurance because I have a installed alarm system, so I wanted to make sure it worked even if the van battery was removed. Also, I didn’t want a *shot* battery constantly draining my van battery.

This is what I did:

See part 3…

Hive Heating System

I fitted a Hive Heating System today for a friend of mine. I am very impressed. Plugged the Hub into router, removed the old time-clock and Thermostat, fitted the controller in place of the time-clock and installed the “app” on his phone… He has a portable” wireless thermostat that he can move from room to room (if desired) … Now he can control his heating with different temperatures at different times of the day automatically. Control the heating / hot water from his phone – whether in the house or out and about… control the heating from his computer or tablet – or just use the “manual” control box / thermostat.

Whats more – having installed this one, I know can install one for you too!

Automatic On-board Water Tank fill System (& Tracker) Part 1

This article is written around my 2009 Bailey Senator Arizona – but this could probably be done on many other caravans that already have an on-board tank (or you are fitting a tank).

On holiday in France recently, we had problems (yet again), with the O rings of the Whale water inlet (connection to the external barrel), such that I couldn’t even fill the onboard tank properly (which is a pain in itself – messing with manual change-over valves!).

It occurred to me then that if I *could* fill the onboard tank (even by pouring water in the top), I wouldn’t have to bleed the air every time the offboard tank ran out of water! (I have already fitted an Audible alarm to the low level warning light for the onboard tank -which you can’t see on the Bailey, unless you make a point of looking!).

I couldn’t find my spare O rings at the time, but I fixed the external filler using “gas grade” PTFE tape (thicker than the cheap water stuff), that I always keep in the van as part of my “first aid kit” (good to refit worn screws for example). I wrapped it around the damaged / missing O rings.

Anyway – I decided I wanted an “auto-fill” to my on-board tank – similar to a modification I made to my Lunar around 20 years ago.

I looked on the market – there is NOTHING, nothing on Ebay, Nothing on “The Web”, nothing on YouTube, nothing in the Forums on how to do this… No gadgets, no advice, no discussion – maybe I’m the only one that wants this ????

So here is how I did it on my Bailey Senator:

Oh – and BTW if you came here looking for “Tracker” – I will also tell you how to replace the battery in your On-board (hidden) Tracker device. (Bailey Senator Arizona only – Other Bailey’s may be similar!)

Continued in Part 2…

Truma Caravan Heater Problems

Carver Truma Operation Video

Are you having problems with your Truma Caravan Heater not heating up ?

See this link for a start: https://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=8&TopicID=305177&ThreadPage=1 

I was having problems with my heater. NO, I don’t fix caravan heaters – but to help you here is how I fixed mine. If you are lacking heat, by searching the Web, I found that there are several problems that seem to afflict these heaters 1) Relays not working: My model has settings at 500W, 1KW and 2KW. If the relays are faulty, this can reduce the power of the heater. In my case, I tested the power input to the caravan to confirm that all my relays were working correctly, with the caravan taking the correct amount of current for each heat setting. You can check this yourself if you are “handy”. Buy a cheap “clamp-on” current meter from Ebay (that can measure AC current) and place it around the LIVE wire only on the supply to the Caravan. (I modified an extension lead so that I could hook around the LIVE wire only to make current measurements safely. The currents should be: 0.5A, 4A and 8A respectively.

As my currents were all correct, this suggested that my problems lay with the Thermostats on the heating element. To fix this, firstly you need to buy a “repair kit” from Ebay (or supplier of your choice). In addition to BOTH thermostats (you can’t test them, besides by the time you have managed to get to them you will WANT to replace both so you don’t have to do it all again!). Where was I? Oh yes, in addition to BOTH thermostats, you MUST replace the Gasket Seal on the Gas Flue.

PLEASE NOTE: As you need to disconnect the Gas Supply and the Gas Flue – you will need to find a handy Gas Engineer or “phone a friend”….

There is a good Video on YouTube here:

Very good Guide to replacing Truma Thermostats, but I would have liked more detail….

If you want to see the original link with comments – It is published on YouTube by “Attic Treasures”. That takes you through the job, but I would have been happier with more detail, so after you have watched the video, you can follow my article below on how I did it…

These are the little Bu****’s ! – Located BEHIND the Gas Heater!

To Be Continued…..

Adverts that follow you on websites ?

Do you have a problem that when shopping on the internet that you keep getting “pop-ups” showing other shops offering the same or similar goods ? If this is so, you have MALWARE! – You didn’t ask for this software – and you can’t easily get rid of it!
 
Maybe you like it – I hope so – Because it won’t go away by itself! But it can be killed – but takes some doing.
 
This is not the same as “Adverts” when you are playing games on your Android – This is GOOGLE following you around because you “gave them permission” – Don’t you remember ? They offered to link your account between your PC Browser (Chrome) and your Android (also from Google)…. The small print said they can hound you as much as they like… You can “REMOVE your Google Account Login from your PC”… However, as long as your Google account is active on your phone (and removing it will limit the use of your phone – no access to “PlayStore” and may other “losses”) Google will STILL hound you on your phone!
 
Now you can see why Google “Gives away” the Android System to phone manufactures… It’s a major advertising platform for them… Google have blocked “Advert Blockers” from PlayStore and even if you can get one by other means – it won’t work unless you “Root” (Hack) your phone !

UK Total Maintenance…. What do YOU Think?

I received and email inviting me to apply for an exclusive 12 month “contract” to service 475 rented houses in TF postcode (It would cost me £2200 for this “guaranteed” work). I would be required to carry out PAT Tests, Legionella tests, and Smoke alarm tests. UK Total Maintenance have a fancy Website offering many support services to Landlords… Have a look for their website. “UK Total Maintenance ENG Ltd”

UK Total Maintenance Eng Ltd

I did this, I also found another website (Follow this link!:)
http://www.whosenumberisthis.co.uk/01412582192

Electrical Safety Certificates could become mandatory for all rented residential property !

Are you  a Landlord ?

Are you aware that the Government are considering introducing “Mandatory” Electrical Inspections for Rented Properties ?

You will be required to renew this every 5 years.  Currently it is only “Recommended” that you have an inspection every 5 years.  You will also be required to carry out a “Visual Inspection” of the electrical system each time you change Tenant!

More info:

5-Year Electrical Safety Checks Set for Buy to Let Homes

If you currently do NOT have an Electrical Certificate – maybe you should think about one anyway ?  What will you do if there is a fire, or someone is injured due to an electrical fault ?  What will you say to your Insurance Company ?  “The Law did NOT say I HAD to have one – so it’s not my fault”  – Do you think that will work ?

Get your property Inspected for your piece mind and the safety of your Tenants.  Call Tony Sparks Electrics.  I am registered and Insured to carry out Electrical Inspections on all Properties and issue appropriate Certificates.