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Spring now, please


#1

Went out for a walk at lunchtime round the fields by work. Came back looking like the abominable snowman. Pleeeese can we have spring now.

Somewhat frustrated, I’ve been trying to indulge in some SOTA-related activity and I have just finshed load-testing all my batteries. I was rather disturbed to see how much they have degraded in the twelve months since their last health check. Most are now down to around 60% and so are effectively scrap.

So, some good has come out of this relative inactivity as one of them would have caught me out this season for sure. It’s an ill blizzard - to mis-quote the English proverb.

73, Richard


#2

In reply to G4ERP:

Spring isn’t so very far away, hiding under drifts of dead leaves, lurking under hedges and walls. Snowdrops and early crocus are in flower, catkins hanging on the birches, a glimpse of sun and the birds start rehearsing their spring songs, the squirrels play chase up and down the naked trees and magpies fly trailing twigs longer than themselves. Male blackbirds chase each other round and round on the few inches of snow covering my lawn. This winter is starting to seem interminable, although my climbing friends give thanks for it as they race off to climb a few more gullies, but look carefully and you can see spring lurking in the wings and peering through the curtains, judging its audience and ready to leap into action.

But enough of that! How do you check your batteries, Richard?

73

Brian G8ADD


#3

In reply to G8ADD:

There’s scant all sign of spring around 56N! It was -8C this morning.

To put the WX into some context, we have a water feature/pond at the office building where I work. It’s probably 20ft by 70ft. Apart from 2 days earlier this month, the surface has been frozen over everyday since December 15th 2009.

OK, perhaps there is a sign of sping, I hear a woodpecker in the Scots Pines behind the office most mornings now. That always make me smile.

Andy
MM0FMF


#4

In reply to MM0FMF:

And another 8cms of snow this morning. Pah!

Andy
MM0FMF


#5

In reply to MM0FMF:

We keep trying to send you some rain Andy, but you won’t accept it! Have a word with your border reivers to get them talking and hopefully the hot air produced will push the snow line further north so at least you’ll be able to get out to activate a few GM/SS summits. :wink:

73, Gerald


#6

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi, Brian.

It’s slightly more spring-like here this morning even if there is still snow hanging around on the high points in the Cotswolds. The days are getting longer and the birds are getting more vocal. The snowdrops are about a fortnight behind but the first crocus are now in flower at home.

I have an electronic load that I use to test my batteries and I do a constant current discharge at a representative rate. Although it uses up a charge / discharge cycle it’s more accurate than the step test.

If you’re interested in the detail of the step test, I put some info in the Handbook.

73, Richard


#7

20ft by 70ft

You call that a freeze Andy? Down here in bleakest G-land the whole of Cow Green Reservoir (about 3km x 1km) was frozen over last week.

I suspect we’re worrying too readily about winter stuff now. There was supposed to be 15cm of snow overnight round here, but all that happened was a couple of flakes around tea-time yesterday. Problem was I had already driven 40 miles to deliver a radio club talk about SOTA, and I got a call at 5pm cancelling due to concerns about the snow.

Such is life.

Tom M1EYP


#8

In reply to G4ERP:

Perhaps I should add that the worst offenders are the highest capacity NiMH cells - be they Sub-C, AA or AAA. It’s noticable that the amazingly high capacity cells that were available a couple of years ago have disappeared from sale.

73, Richard


#9

In reply to MM0FMF:

Glad its my day off today and dont have to drive into Edinburgh ! Can hardly see the end of the road in Kirkcaldy and the snow is horizontal. Things to do outside and cant get them done so thought I would sit in the shack and have fun - bands are dead - typical !!

Roll on summer so we can complain about the heat - sorry forgot I live in Scotland whats heat!!!

Glyn
GM4CFS


#10

In reply to G4ERP:

In reply to G4ERP:

Perhaps I should add that the worst offenders are the highest capacity
NiMH cells - be they Sub-C, AA or AAA.

Hi Richard,

I have to totally agree with you there. About 18 months ago I bought some GP 2700mAh NiMH AA cells. I have a good charger with which I can set the charging current, monitor the degree of charge etc. Of the 12 cells, only 4 will give me around 2200mAh, none come remotely near their ‘nominal’ 2700mAh and most will only give around 1400mAh despite having gone through refresh cycles.

By contrast, the 1700mAh Sanyo AA NiMH cells that I bought 4 years ago still give me full capacity !!

Mike G4BLH


#11

In reply to G4BLH:

Some of the less honest vendors ( Chinese dudes on eBay, I’m talking about you ) were seen advertising 1700mAh 20hr rated cells as 2200mAh by using a 25 or 30hr discharge period. Technically and legally accurate but misleading all the same as you end up comparing apples to bananas.

I’ve bought essentially unbranded cells from Aldi or Lidl in the past and been quite pleased with them. But I think the quality is variable to say the least.

Andy
MM0FMF


#12

In reply to G8ADD, MM0FMF and G4BLH:

Hi, all.

Agreed on every count. What I couldn’t tell from the data I could find, of course, is how quickly they would deteriorate to the point of being useless.

I have some AA cells that, apart from never being anywhere near the stated capacity at any current, are now down to 45% compared with when I measured them when new less than two years ago. I use two in my Garmin and the poor performance is now very noticable.

Mike, what do you use to discharge and capacity check your cells? Charging is well catered by the RC chargers and most of them also have that capability but they won’t do the sort of current that simulates use on a trasceiver.

73, Richard


#13

In reply to M1EYP:

You call that a freeze Andy? Down here in bleakest G-land the whole of Cow
Green Reservoir (about 3km x 1km) was frozen over last week.

But it’s not been frozen consistently apart from two days for nearly 10 weeks Tom! We’ve still got snow in the car park from December and now there’s 6 new piles of snow that the nice man in his Kubota snow plow has made!

Andy
MM0FMF


#14

In reply to MM0FMF:

“We’ve still got snow in the car park from December”

You aint got the monopoly on that Andy - still small mountains of snow in Buxton car parks from Dec - we`re running a book on how long they last. Last years piles from February lasted well into May.


#15

Last years piles from February lasted well into May.

Thankfully I had got rid of mine by March.


#16

In reply to M1EYP:

This is beginning to sound like an 80m net…


#17

In reply to G3CWI:

In reply to M1EYP:

This is beginning to sound like an 80m net…

Apart from this is considerably easier to break into…

(Those who have ever tried to “crash” an 80m net to gain much needed qualification points will be nodding like a Churchill dog in agreement)…

Tim


#18

In reply to G4YTD:

Yes, and I’ve heard 80m nets discussing piles, too!

73

Brian G8ADD


#19

In reply to G8ADD:

Gentlemen, gentlemen. Please! I was going to add that we’ve still got a large pile (of snow) here in the car park in deepest Oxfordshire but I don’t think I’ll bother. :slight_smile:

73, Richard


#20

You great bunch of Jessies!
Over 500mm overnight here and still snowing (and blowing) hard. Had to dig ourselves out of the front door; and please don’t mention piles!

Summer in Tomintoul - this is it.

73

Barry GM4TOE