Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

4 Dec 2016

Struggling with church

Last few months I have been struggling with church. Not with God, although it can be hard to sometimes understand that you are part of a great plan and that your struggles are in fact preparation for a fight yet to come. So, back to church. Have found the last months at church a little hard and at times it seemed that the people were the centre rather than God. Few weeks ago decided to give a 'traditional' service a go again. I had forgotten how 'formal' the service is. However, I soon realised that this focuses the mind back to God, and after a busy week where God can be pushed to the side it puts him back to the centre and gives you back your purpose. I will see how it goes till after Christmas and then will make a final decision about where I want to carry out my formal worship.

14 Nov 2016

Bike service

Picked the bike up week last Friday. The bike wouldn't start so the dealer replace the plugs and it started. Not really sure if it could have been that but two weeks on and running like a dream. Even the fuel consumption has improved up to 60 mpg. I also had the oil and filter done at the same time so for the first time in a long time I have a vehicle with a fully up to date service. Time, of course will tell if the fault comes back but the signs and very positive.

3 Nov 2016

Poor old Bike

Well it let me down again. Same symptoms. Had it recovered home and as it was already booked for service today had it picked up. Have not heard it is ready yet , so in one way a good thing in that at least it was not something simple I had missed. Hopefully a phone call tomorrow to find out the cost.

28 Oct 2016

Bike service

Having done some major jobs on the CBF600 I am trusting a spark plug change and oil change to my local dealer. The reason behind this is spark plugs are located deep in the head and require various pipes to be moved to get at them. Also there is a risk of cross threading, so money well spent. As the dealer changes the oil at the same time, it's one labour charge and a lot less hassle. I am also hoping they will sort out the slight problem of rough running at low throttle.

16 Oct 2016

Intermittent Problem

For those on Facebook will have seen the ultra reliable Honda has let me down twice in the couple of weeks. I finally got round to having a look. It would not start but turned over fine. I replaced the battery as it only would crank for about 10 seconds before dying. After removing all the panels I had a poke around and it would fire then die. I set about taking all the connectors relating to ignition, apart and trying to start it, I managed to isolate  it down to one. I put everything back making sure all the connectors were firmly back on their mounts. I have test ridden it but have to say I am very cautious of using it in anger. I have to say I would have rather found a broken wire to confirm that was were the problem was.

25 Sep 2016

Brake pad change

Finally got round to looking at the CBF600 brake pads. Turns out that changing these is a very straightforward  job. Unlike some bikes the CBF has a 8mm screw in pad pin. This means that all is needed is to unbolt it and remove the old pads. The pad wear was surprisingly even over the front and rear and in fact they were not as low as I had expected. However given that winter is coming and I had the new pads I decided to replace them now. As I had removed some brake fluid to accommodate the new pads I bled them as well. Quick test ride showed things to be OK, will do a longer ride out when the showers have eased. Next job is an oil change at 16000 miles.

7 Sep 2016

Wells transfer

If you remember I worked for a few weeks at the Wells depot. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to stay but there were no vacancies at that time. However, things change and a chance conversation has resulted in me transferring. This has come at a great time as the depot has now taken on the work of the extended Mendip Explorer network. These are some great routes around the Mendips and taking in some breath taking scenery and making for some very enjoyable driving.  I also have a fantastic commute (maybe not in the winter) and a generally more peaceful life.

Two vehicles in the striking new livery.


28 Aug 2016

Weather Station Update

For those that might be interested, or use my weather data I have finally updated the location code. The new station ID is  INORTONR2. This means the station now appears when searching for Midsomer Norton and not showing as part of Bath.

17 Jul 2016

Weather Station

I have been ask by a few people where the weather data that appears on my Facebook time line comes from.
The  data comes from a W-8681 weather station located on a pole at the end of the garden. It has a solar panel to keep the batteries charge which saves getting it down if they go flat.                           The following list shows the main features of the unit.

  • Atomic Locked Day, Date & Time
  • Indoor / Outdoor Temperature °F / °C + Max / Min
  • Wind Speed & Direction
  • Rain Gauge (Self-Emptying)
  • Barometer with Trend date
  • Weather Forecaster
  • Historic Data Storage & Display
  • Indoor Air Pressure & History
  • Frequency 868MHz  (from the remote sensors)  
      
    This data is processed by Cumulus weather software which can be viewed on the laptop. The data is also sent to Weather Underground,,The Met Office and APRS/CWOP.

    The system is pretty reliable and gives an accurate report on the weather conditions at my location.

     

Enjoying the ride.

When I bought the CBF I never thought I would enjoy it so much. It has always been my dream to own and ride a bike like this and I do sometimes feel a little smug when I see someone looking at it. It passed the MOT with no problems and I am very pleased with myself in fixing the fork seals. I was planning to replace the brake pads, but on checking they are no where near the limit so will wait until latter in the summer and do the oil at the same time. I also managed to find a luggage rack and top box at a reasonable price and I have to say this has transformed my use and enjoyment of the bike. Also got a new pair of boots which again has made riding a little more comfortable.

4 May 2016

Fork seals replaced.

Finally got round to changing the fork seal on the CBF. A job I was not looking forward to, so spent a far amount of time planing for it and that seems to have paid off. The job is fairly straightforward. I removed all the fairing which made access easier and also prepared for the coolant change. Once the forks were off it was the case of separating the fork to gain access to the seal. The fluid that came out was a dark contaminated mess! One problem I had not planned for was the water pipe I had planned to use as a seal driver was not 2inch but 40mm, so didn't fit. I had to resort to using the old seal and hammer to drive the new seal in. I did use some tape to protect the fork tube. Once the new fluid was in and the fork reassembled it was just the case of refitting. At this stage I changed the coolant which seemed ok when drained another straightforward job, just took a while the bleed the system. I also had to change both tyres to Pirelli as the rear had a puncture and the front was a little low. Anyway road test has shown the bike handling a lot better and the forks seem to be retaining their fluid.

26 Apr 2016

Interference Cured

Over the last few years the man made noise across  the radio spectrum has increased due to solar panels, LCD TV's etc. I have had a high level of noise here for some time and although not a major issue has not put me 'off air'. However, tonight in the shack I was moving some radios about when the noise floor suddenly dropped to about S1 on 80m and I could hear stations on there. Looking around I realised the power lead to the THD-7 had been disconnected. Bit of testing confirmed this and a rummage in the junk box found a ferrite ring. Adding a few turns of the power cable to this has solved the problem and the lower bands have now become usable.

28 Mar 2016

Brake fluid change

Good weather on Friday, so decided to change the brake fluid on the CBF. Turned out easier than I thought. Used the bleed nipple to pump out the old fluid until the reservoir was empty than filled up with new. Then bled the brakes to ensure new brake fluid was through the system. Now have nice brakes. Was going to change the fork seals, which I thought I had fixed but are still leaking. These will have to wait for another long weekend. I also decided to leave the coolant until I did the forks as it will mean only having to remove the fairing once.

5 Mar 2016

Leaking forks.

Been using the bike a lot over the last few weeks, and performing well with fuel consumption around 60 mpg. It also has been starting, something my GS had issues with. Anyway waiting at lights yesterday looked down the forks and saw the dreaded sight of fluid. On my return home a more detailed look showed it had been leaking for some time but fortunately , even though it had run down towards the brake caliper it had not mad it on to the disc. I did panic a little and assumed it was going to be a visit to a dealer for replacement seals. However, after a look around it seemed the problem was common and could be solved simply by cleaning the seals to remove any dirt that would prevent a solid seal being maintained. This made sense given the amount of salt that has been put on the roads recently. I came across a thing called Seal Mate. This deemed to work and there are many videos showing how it works. I didn't want to wait so made one up from an old milk container. It was then a simple case of removing the dust seals, I then found it seemed a previous owner had had problems and just put a piece of cloth under the seal. I did worry a little but pressed on and cleaned round the seal. After pumping the forks a few time to resit the seals the tubes are now dry. Hopefully they will stay that way for a while.

My weather data