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. Nicholas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

23 Dec 2017

Happy Christmas

Here we are speeding towards another Christmas and a New Year. ours looks being exciting as we look towards moving, and the real possibility of entering some sort of early retirement. Unfortunately our year has been tinged with sadness, but that is the way and people leave us. They of course, live on in our hearts and minds. We are very lucky to have a mix of friends and family spread over various activities.

To our family, love you always.

To Christian friends may the Lord bless you and continue to unroll his plan in front of you. Thank you also for your prayers.

To our radio friends, good DX and maybe this year will be better (can it get any worse?)

To my biker friends, remember shiny side up! and a big biker nod to you all

To my work colleques. We work in a strange industry, but unlike any I have every worked in, we all help each other. Thank you for the banter, and a big bus driver wave to you all.

To everyone may we wish you are very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

19 Sep 2017

Clean motorcycle down pipes

One of the most difficult parts of a motorcycle to keep in respectable condition are the exhaust down pipes. They go through extreme punishment. Heated and cooled, have all manner of debris thrown at them and are difficult to get to. I had heard about toilet cleaner being the answer but was very dubious about it. Especially on a nine year old machine.
However I came across a YouTube video which convinced me to give it a go.
I applied the Harpic and left it for five minutes. Most of the stains and rubbish came off. I washed it off well but some stains remained. I gave it a second application and this time after drying I used chrome cleaner. The photos speak for themselves.

28 Aug 2017

SDR# Working

The world of Amateur Radio is changing. There is much talk about SDR (software defined radio). So what is SDR? 

Software-defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication system where components that have been typically implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detect ors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer or embedded system.

This has often meant spending lots of money. However, someone discovered that the cheap digital tv dongles can do some amazing stuff for almost no money.

I bought one of these and have to say I wasn't convinced. However, for the money I thought it was worth a go.
It all arrived but I was unable to get it to work. I followed all the 'easy fix' web sites but it still firmly refused to work.  

I made some time to finally get it work and after running one of the utilities I got a MSVCR160.dll not found error. I searched the error and found this.

MSVCR110.dll is the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable dll that is needed for projects built with Visual Studio 2011. The dll letters spell this out.
MS = Microsoft, V = Visual, C = C++, R = Redistributable
For Winroy to get started, this file is probably needed.
This error appears when you wish to run a software which require the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable 2012. The redistributable can easily be downloaded on the Microsoft website as x86 or x64 edition. Depending on the software you wish to install you need to install either the 32 bit or the 64 bit version. Refer the following link:

Ran this and, bingo. All working and I now have a ultra wide band all mode receiver, for under £10!
I am now having fun learning about what it can do.
2x USB DVB-T RTL-SDR Realtek RTL2832U& R820T Tuner Receiver Dongle PAL IEC Input

2 Aug 2017

New Wine 2017

So, here I am sitting at pink gate watching the weather sweeping across my view of Glastonbury Tor. This year has been good so far even with the weather situation. Last week I was beginning to wonder what the Lord had in store as I had not had any 'God' moments. This week was a bit different. I found I have a sense of complete peace, and a feeling that despite any concerns I have the Lord will provide. This is rather strange  as my concerns have not gone away.  Another theme that keeps recurring is about crossroads and that life is a series of jigsaw pieces that you fit together as you go through life's ups and downs. The weather now seems to have cleared so the next few days will not be spent sheltering from the rain.

10 Jun 2017

New aerial

Been after a quad band aerial to compliment my Yaesu FT-8900 for some time but been unable to find one. However, happened to be flicking through the adds in PW and came across the MEQBC 10/6/2/70 aerial. This had good reviews and as it it my Birthday this week my Wife purchased on for me. I purchased this from Mirfield Electronics. It arrived well packed and like a school boy I could not wait. It was easy to assemble with only three long radials. It is only just longer than my W-30 so it is up above the shack. First results are very good with good swr over all bands. Only slight problem is rf pick up from some computer equipment. Hopefully this will reduce when, given some better weather will be mounted slightly higher. 

14 Apr 2017

Stations of the Cross

Just back from 'Stations of the Cross' at St Peter and St Paul in Kilmersdon (where Jack and Jill went up the hill) This is the  story, in picture and prayer about the Crucifixion of Jesusvery thought provoking and even after all this time did put things in a different light. You can read more about this in the Bible book in the Gospel of  Matthew.  

21 Mar 2017

Training Day

Despite passing my test in 1980 I have never had any formal motorcycle training. I cannot remember where I bought my first moped or where I first rode it. 

These were the days you could ride a 50cc just on L plates and also this was only a few years after the helmet law came in. The same regulations allowed you to ride anything up to 250cc without passing a test. Despite only having a 200cc I choose to take my test September 1980.

Having passed my car test in 1981 I ditched bikes. Until 2008 when my car was used in a robbery attempted and written off. I took the opportunity and purchased a Chinese 125.

I had this for a few years until someone wiped me out at a junction and I moved on to a 500cc.

And then on to my current bike.

All this through no training. This is why I signed up for the training day with 1st Class Training in Cardiff. The idea is to cut the number of deaths in Wales by offering free training. The day starts with some classroom work, Looking at the correct way to approach hazards and talking about what can go wrong, such as overtaking at junctions. Much of this I have learned through common sense, taking to other bikers and of course the last few years what I have read on the internet. After this it was out on the road in pairs with an instructor. Using radio he talked us through various situations. I quickly found my confidence growing, even given the terrible weather conditions. We stopped for coffee and a chat before setting off again on all types of roads. The day was very useful and I learned a lot and has hopefully put me on the next step to taking my advanced.

15 Mar 2017

Action Cam

Since I got a bike I have always wanted to get a helmet cam. I bought a cheap one and never got it to work correctly or found anywhere to fit it. Last Christmas I found one on Ebay which was a Go-Pro clone. It had very good reviews so my Wife said she would buy it for me.

I was very impressed with it and took it out on a couple of rides but had problems with it not playing back the video's or saying they were corrupted. I did some digging and discovered the so called fast SD cards I had bought were not fast at all. few weeks ago Argos had a sale and I picked up a Scan Disk Ultra 32GB card. This has transformed the camera. It now records and plays back. Some of the footage is great but very long so can take time to upload. The software also allows snapshots to be taken. I have shared one on my Facebook page. With the better weather I hope to upload some of my rides through some of the most spectacular countryside.

7 Mar 2017

Flashing again

Despite my best effects I have been able to get the indicators to flash and had fitted a link to at least get static lights when turning. Have now found a work around and fitted a very cheap 2 pin flasher unit in the switch to light circuit. Hopefully when the weather and time allow will get the original unit back in.

25 Feb 2017

No flashing

Just coming to the end of a weeks holiday which unfortunately the weather rather put a dampener on. Anyway took the, clean bike, out on Thursday, fortunately not far as I discovered the indicators were not working. Got home using hand signals which is interesting when turning right. When I got home I had a look and checked the manual. Carried out the suggested tests and everything points to a faulty relay. I have ordered one from Ebay and hopefully get things sorted when it arrives. Fortunately can use the car or the bus this week to get to work and only have for days until I have another six off.

1 Feb 2017

Chain and sprockets

Finally got round to getting the chain and sprockets  replaced on the bike today. It had developed a couple of tight spots and also was getting to the end of it's adjustment range.  Had done 16000 miles and a couple of years with little mileage, so pretty good going. I was.also a little concerned about some play in the rear wheel. This, as I suspected was the wheel bearing. This has also been replaced. So, now have a bike ready for the road, just in need of a really good clean.

29 Jan 2017

New Church

Seems my search for a new place to worship is complete. I have returned to the first church we attended when we moved to this area back in 1998. It has a new vicar but unfortunately a small congregation. However, the teaching is good and a feeling of the presence of God. Time, of course will tell but a do feel a calling to worship here.

22 Jan 2017

Stuck in gear

Set off to church this morning on the bike. Got halfway down the road and realised it would not change above second gear. All sorts of thing crossed my mind as I stopped at the garage. I had a look and assumed it was ice as it seemed to have eased. I continued on to Church and it seemed to be fine. On the way back it started out OK but it became stuck in forth. I went the long way home to avoid any sharp turns and made it home. After a good look its seems as if the gear lever had become stuck due to either dirt of corrosion. Good application of oil and things seemed to be OK. Took on a short ride out with plenty of gear changes just to confirm it. Will have to keep an eye on this.

My weather data