Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

Post pictures and stories about your cars both present and past. Also post up "blogs" on your restoration projects - the more pictures the better! Note: blog-type threads often get few replies, but are often read by many members, and provide interest and motivation to other enthusiasts so don't be disappointed if you don't get many replies.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#611 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:52 am

Finally got the money refunded for the parts I ordered for the Xantia back in late February so a replacement replacement exhaust system has been ordered.

Of course since February I've lost the note of which bushes I need for the control arm now so will need to track that down later and get those reordered.


Nothing much to say really about today's work on the van other than "That's a lot of work for something nobody will ever see!"

Yesterday:

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Today:

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Didn't get a before shot of the other end but it looks like this now.

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I also did a bit of bodge undoing. For some reason I cannot for the life of me figure out, the slide out section of the bed had been cut in two. This meant that it was near impossible to deploy or stow it because the two sections would immediately get out of line with each other and wedge the whole lot in place. The rear section only sat in a runner at the one end too. The upshot of this was that when the locker was open, the rear section would random decide to detach itself and drop. Usually on my head. Aside from one occasion when it managed to land on my right pinkie. That was reassembled into one piece. It is now far less likely to fall on me and can actually be stowed and deployed by one person without major swearing.

Well it would have been if the second of the three hinges hadn't then snapped. Though not really surprising given these were what passed for hinges.

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Five actual hinges made of metal replace the original three bendy plastic things.

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This was when I realised that a lot of the internal support structure under there wasn't actually attached to anything, so what are essentially some legs for the bed. You can just about see those in the photos above.

The mains wiring needs a complete do-over at some point, though that's a job for another day.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#612 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:49 am

The state of the heater's fuel pump wiring was bugging me so I happened to it.

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Better, I don't want to cut it down in case I do wind up moving the pump at a future date as I've not discounted the idea of moving it outside the cabin in the future yet. So it's just been tidily bundled up for now.

Probably going to leave the van alone for a little while after today and turn my attention back to other things. Main immediate task will be getting the Invacar hub pulled so I can finally get a replacement Fiat one ordered and machined to suit. That should get the car back on the road with a bit of luck. Likewise it looks like I'll have bits on the way to get the Xantia through an MOT shortly.

One last bit of kit I want to get installed in the van is this.

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It's a good bit older than the van, but just happens to be floating around in the garage following a kerbside skip find, and it works perfectly and I don't know what else to do with it! I can't really see a situation where we're likely to need mains voltage power while off-grid but it's one of those things where should that wacky situation arise one day it's something that you could be very glad to have on board. I will probably wire this up so that it's in the same circuit as the DC feed to the fridge, so will be powered from the vehicle battery only when the engine is running and the charging circuit is active. As it isn't really intended to be for general use it will get its own socket probably tucked away around the front of the locker next to an isolator switch (there are no controls at all on the unit) rather than trying to hook it up to the main sockets and have to mess around with changeover switches and suchlike. I will install a prominent indicator light to alert me that it's on as well - not that it should really be possible to miss it given the racket that it makes!

Not wired up just now, but I have bolted it in place in the corner of the locker to be returned to at a later date.

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For now though I've put that whole area back together.

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I've done a bit of fiddling around in the config options for the Afterburner and found I could set it so that it defaults to the detailed view when the heater is powered up and the thermostat view when it's off before the display blanks after about ten minutes.

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The original mains socket that I removed seemed well worth saving. It's one of these Clipsal units.

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I don't think this has actually faded and yellowed, I think they were this cream colour from new.

I believe these were quite commonly used in campers and caravans from around this era. If anyone wants this one for their van so they have an extra which matches their existing sockets let me know. Happy to pass it on to someone who can make good use of it. The little blanking plugs for the screw holes are still present and are stored inside the body at the moment.

Last thing I wanted to do for the day was to make a bit of a tweak to the lighting over the bed. I had replaced the original 15W incandescent lamps in there with LED ones a little while ago simply to reduce the DC load and the amount of heat thrown into the fittings. However they're quite a cold white which isn't exactly pleasant. Plus given that we're generally using these only when reading in bed or watching a movie they were honestly too bright. I'd come up with a bit of a plan for this based on some lamps I had rolling around in the random parts box. These are also LED based, but are amber (they're meant to be indicator replacements). As they're phosphor based amber LEDs the colour is actually really quite pleasant, quite reminiscent of the colour of low pressure sodium lighting.

You can clearly see the contrast here!

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Much warmer.

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We'll give it a try and see how it works for us. I suspect I'll end up switching to some very warm white ones and a dimmer system, but this is a bit more pleasant for now I reckon.

I think this is likely to be the last real work that is done on this, certainly to the interior for a bit. I do have a few other jobs in mind for the near future, but they are mostly exterior based (I want to replace a good portion of the weatherproofing sealant for one thing...which I'm really not looking forward to as it's a horrible job!), so we'll be moving on to other things for a bit. Probably be some Invacar work next unless the exhaust for the Xantia arrives unexpectedly quickly...though we'll see how long I can ignore that for as I hate exhaust work!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#613 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:48 am

You remember me saying I wasn't planning to really do anything else with the van this week? Yeah...about that.

A question that you never want to end up asking yourself on any vehicle is "Wait...Where's that water coming from?" On a camper van though it brings double the feeling of dread as there's a whole extra plumbing system worth of potential trouble.

When I noticed a slow drip hitting the ground just behind the nearside rear wheel I had a horrible feeling that I was in for trouble.

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Standing on my head the area it's coming from is pretty easy to see.

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That's not a good answer. The precise area that drip is coming from is right under the shower tray. That is very thoroughly incorporated into the fabric of the bathroom now and cannot be removed without a huge amount of hassle.

A bit of thinking however suggested that something was odd about that as a location for a leak. There were only two pipes in this area: the suction line from the fresh water tank running to the pump (which lives pretty much directly above the wheel arch) and the pressure feed back to the kitchen (the bathroom one just goes straight through the wall from the service locker). I hadn't done any drilling or screwing of things anywhere vaguely near to this in the best part of a year and there are no connections there - it's all continuous hose. I had a nose around in the base of the service locker under the wardrobe where the water pump lives, bone dry. Unless something had rubbed through (unlikely, this hose is good quality stuff and seems pretty resilient) or I've got mice, it seems more likely that the water is running from somewhere else. Where though?

The only other thing in this neighbourhood is the toilet. It's not been used in months, but worth investigating. Cue much surprise when I pulled the cassette out I found the whole area beneath it swimming and mouldy. It was bone dry and spotlessly clean a couple of months ago when I last cleaned the cassette tank out. A few moments later I spotted a drip and my heart sank.

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I was really hoping that the hose connection you can see would be responsible...however I'm not that lucky. The water is dripping down out of the moulding up at the top. There's only two possible sources for a leak up there occurring when the unit hasn't been used...Either the hose connection onto the solenoid valve for the flush button or the solenoid valve itself. These both however are buried deep within the moulding so can't be checked in situ. I'll need to remove this from the van to investigate. This is...Sub optimal as it will require me to remove a metric ton of silicone, about three million screws and a bunch of tiling. I guess that's the chance you take when you reuse 30 year old equipment though. That's a job for another day. In the meantime I will cap this line off to stop the leak so I can still use the sink, which given I regularly use the van to take the dogs out it really useful so I can wash my hands before driving home.

When I was looking for the source of the leak it did give me a good chance to look better at the drain line routing and assess how hard it will be to upgrade. I don't reckon it will be too difficult at all to get rigid lines run back all the way to the tank. There are a few awkward things I'll need to work around obviously and I'll probably take a different route to the original flexible lines, but I may well do this sooner than later as it would be nice to just have it ticked off. The original convolute still leaks in several places too despite me having patched a bunch of it up.

While crawling around under the back of the van I did find something which *really* annoyed me though.

Long time readers of this blog may recall that I was quite surprised when at the last MOT the garage proclaimed that the entire rear braking system was basically scrap. The drums were worn oval and had bevelled the wearing surface, both wheel cylinders were leaking, the handbrake wasn't working to a satisfactory level, and apparently one of the brake shoe linings had detached. This surprised me rather a lot as the brakes were fine, I'd never detected the slightest bit of vibration through them, the handbrake was quite capable of stopping the rotation of the planet and it had never used a drop of brake fluid. However I needed the van sorted for a trip in less than a week so just told them to get on with the work. Ended up with a bill for pocket change short of £600 which was mostly the brakes.

Since that work was done, the brakes have been noticeably worse. The pedal is far more spongy and the handbrake really needs a good tug now on a gradient whereas it used to have a really good bite at what felt a more reasonable level of force. When I got the van back the brake fluid was massively overfilled to the extent that it had flooded all over the bulkhead on the drive back home from the garage. It's taken me the best part of a year to get the oil stain out of the driver's seat cover too as they never used slip covers.

In addition to the brake issues, failed the MOT initially for things so trivial as missing rear reflectors (which weren't missing...the tester was just blind - including missing the *additional* ones I fitted to satisfy them when I went back for the retest, and sticking MORE on themselves (squint too!) which wound up pulling the paint off when I removed them), and pulled up advisories for a very slightly frayed seatbelt and a tarnished headlight which I've since had apart and have been able to find absolutely nothing wrong with. They mainly do PCV and HGV testing though, so I wasn't sure if I was just being unreasonable in my expectations for them to be picky.

...If that were the case though, I might have expected them to at the very least flag up these rear brake hose ferrules up as an advisory.

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The top one there in particular really is quite crusty (there's no way my MOT tester back up north would have passed it)...I'm not thrilled by the state of the rigid line on it either in a couple of spots and the hoses are quite perished. It goes without saying that a full set has already been ordered.

I've crawled over the front of the van quite a few times (especially investigating an erroneous brake pad wear warning indicator) and things are fine up there...I'd never really looked in that much detail at the rear end though beyond changing the oil in the diff...which was done on a day when it was pouring with rain so I was rather mission focused at the time.

Absolutely a demonstration that an MOT should never be taken as a clear bill of health...you should always give your car a thorough check over yourself.

This discovery absolutely guarantees that I will never, ever be darkening the door of Egerton's Fleet Services ever again.

The realisation hit me this afternoon that I still had to finish up sealing up the the gas locker so I got that finished. It's not pretty, but it will do the job. I'll be installing some rubber floor matting and a proper gas bottle clamp in due course. I just want to leave the floor and the bottom of the rear wall open for the time being until I'm certain I've got to the bottom of a water ingress issue in that corner (down just above the bumper). For the time being I'm leaving it open so that any water that gets in can get back out again. I need to find a slightly smaller bracket for the waste pipe there too or pack it out a bit.

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There was a small gap at the top (because I can't measure for toffee) so this was sealed up and then taped for good measure.

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This foil tape sticks ridiculously well (it will remove your fingerprints if you're not careful) as it's basically intended for sealing joints on HVAC ductwork. It doesn't have much strength in terms of things poking through it, but it stick really well even to surfaces that aren't spotlessly clean - and can lay a really good foundation if you then layer something else over the top of it. I'll probably go over this lot with some good quality cloth tape just for belt and braces before throwing a bit of paint around in here. It's a bit "how ya doin'" but it will do the job. It's a cupboard at the end of the day rather than a Lamborghini showroom.

You can also spy one other thing I finally sorted today. I had been struggling ever since fitting the sink to get the hose running between the draining board and the sink drain itself to seal properly.

After what must have been ten attempts to get it to seal using three or four different pipes I lost patience with it today. I remembered that I had a bit of 19mm heater hose floating around in a box somewhere which according to my version 1.0 eyeball looked a close fit...turned out it was indeed a pretty much perfect snug fit.

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Job done! It should actually be better anyway as the smooth hose shouldn't be prone to trapping water the same way the convolute was. I'm actually tempted to do the same in our kitchen as we have a really long overflow line due to the way the waste disposal unit is attached and it's always been prone to getting smelly, and having to take the whole lot to bits every quarter to clean it is really annoying. I might swap it for a smooth hose like this and see if that helps now I've realised it's the same size.

The job I had actually set out with the intention of getting done today was to wire up the recently fitted inverter. The more I thought about it the more it seemed daft to me to have gone to the lengths of fitting it but not wiring it up.

As I am never planning the inverter to be used regularly I want it to be tucked away and not look like it's part of the main power system. As such it will have its own little control panel and I'll probably use a red socket faceplate. I had planned to get that done today, but with the above nonsense going on I never got any further than cobbling together the switch faceplate I'll use, tracking down a relay I'll use to switch the supply and find some wiring (just scavenged from the random bits box, so I need to pull out the bits I'm actually going to use from the bundle yet - the bit in the photo is just for reference!).

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I'll just use the originally removed mains socket for now. The switch panel has two indicators on it. The green one is a standard 12V automotive one which will show when the DC supply to the inverter is on, and the red one is a mains voltage neon to give visual confirmation that it's actually running. Figured this was a good idea as it can be a bit touchy about starting if there's no load (which is why I'm going to use an unswitched socket and have the procedure be to "insert plug, turn power on" to hopefully prevent that being a problem. The frequency meter...well...it's been rattling around for several years and I want to actually use it for something! The mains cable to run to the socket is just a random skinny one from a random bag of cables. It will be absolutely fine for this job bearing in mind that this inverter is only rated for a maximum load of 150W (so about 0.7A). There's no ground provision on the inverter so the socket will be labelled with a warning to that effect.

Hopefully time will allow me to actually screw this lot together tomorrow...Then we can report back once the new brake hose set arrives. I've ordered a full set for both front and rear axles as they're inexpensive and while they're not so visibly degraded as the rear ones the front ones are obviously still quite old and given she's not exactly a light vehicle it just makes sense to me to the the lot. Yes, I have made sure that I have rigid brake pipe in stock and will make double sure that I know where the flaring kit is before I start! I also hate doing brake work...so tend to work on the basis of "I hate it, so let's get as much as possible done in one shot" when I do need to tackle it. Will be a good opportunity to either fix or disable the brake pad wear warning light too as that playing up is really annoying.

An appointment with the most aggressive nozzle of my pressure washer, a few gallons of Vactan and the nation's entire stock of Dinitrol are also in the underbody's near future - though the underbody sealant isn't happening until AFTER I'm done crawling around under there sorting the brakes and routing plumbing lines. I did drown the underneath of the cab last year though as that was obviously in the most imminent danger of dissolving but the weather turned before I got to the rest of the chassis.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#614 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:17 am

Got the new lights in the van a proper after dark test run.

Up until these arrived I had never actually seen phosphor yellow/amber LEDs in person so it was an interesting technological experiment in itself.

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The colour definitely brings to mind old school low pressure sodium (SOX) lamps albeit with surprisingly good colour rendering for an amber light.

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The really heavy rain we had a couple of days ago revealed a couple of issues with the Jag. Firstly the somewhat embarrassing degree to which it leaks oil.

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The second leak wasn't entirely unexpected given their reputation for leaks here.

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We'll be getting some Capt. Tolley's on there soon - I'll also get the rear seat out again to make sure we don't have water pooling under there again. I did that earlier in the year given they have a reputation for leaks here rotting complicated box sections out from the inside where the water collects above the rear suspension mounts. It was bone dry back in January...Not so sure that will now be the case!

One fault that's been on the to do list to sort for the last few weeks has apparently decided to fix itself without requiring any manual intervention at least.

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The bulb check warning light decided to quit working a couple of weeks ago but randomly sprang back to life yesterday afternoon. Further confirming my suspicion that we've got a dodgy contact at the lamp holder. That'll be a rainy day project. There are a few traces on the back of the instrument cluster that I want to repair to prevent future issues - and to investigate to see if I can figure out why the oil pressure gauge is still playing up (it does register pressure changes, just has a huge positive offset on).

On the to do list also is properly sorting the trim above the driver's door.

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I keep wedging this back in place above the trim (or "crash pad" in Jaguar terminology) where it stays until the first time I drive above around 30mph with the window open. I need to get in there with some proper adhesive to see if I can get it to stay put.

I had been wanting to try to get a decent recording of how different the Jag sounds and behaves when just gentle bumbling around (and with how different the character of the sound is with windows open vs closed) for a while. So I just set the camera recording and went out for a wander...Then got lost in a housing estate. It is literally just me wandering around for about 20 minutes, so don't expect anything exciting. Sound and video are just straight off my phone stuck to the windscreen up next to the rear view mirror.

YouTube Link Here


In the van I've finally gone around most of the shelves, drawers and lockers with the non slip matting.

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This will hopefully do a bit to cut down on the clonks and rattles. It's definitely helped as it's noticeable how much less drumming there is just opening and closing the doors.

The inverter has now been mostly hooked up. The control panel and socket are now in place (note the red socket face to help highlight it's its own thing rather than part of the wider AC system).

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Bit irked I fouled up the alignment so the socket sits a bit too high.

The green DC on light was bugging me too. I'd hoped to be able to get it to fit better.

Knowing I had a spare one of the mains indicators floating around I decided to pull that to bits and convert it for 12V DC use.

Surprising how many bits is inside a simple mains indicator!

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I had a play around with a few LED options but couldn't find one that really gave a usable spread of light, so opted for a small incandescent lamp instead.

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In place...

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Then reassembled and tested out.

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I'll get that dropped in tomorrow hopefully. The only other inverter task I've got to do is to actually hook up the supply leads in the main vehicle battery box which should see that up and running. Oh, and get some labelled printed off so it's clear what it is.


The new exhaust has now arrived for the Xantia.

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Yay...The new exhaust is here so I can get that sorted.

Boo!...That means I need to fit the exhaust. Have I mentioned that I truly despise exhaust work? It's a big step towards the car being back in service though...I'm *hoping* that the spherical type joints used will at least make it a bit easier to get this pattern system in place without too many headaches. I do note that judging from the logos stamped on it that it's from the same makers as the one on the van...Let's see if it has any more baffles in than that system does!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#615 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:26 pm

A brief tangent here as some of you seem to find the occasional bits of obscure, ancient or otherwise noteworthy technology to be interesting.

In a moment of weakness a couple of days ago I caved and bought another old computer on eBay. This is something I've generally been trying to avoid doing...but I've a serious weakness where early portable machines are concerned, the odder the better.

This was a bit of a gamble...the listing was shall we say, minimalist, and had only a handful of photos most of which looked to have been taken with a late 90s webcam. Often these end predictably with the item not really being fit for anything aside from a complete restoration or to simply be a parts donor. Occasionally though the gamble does pay off. The price though was right so I put the order in...we'd just have to see what turned up.

Fast forward to this morning when a box turned up. This was an encouraging start as unlike the last two packages containing fragile technology it didn't look like it had been dropped from low earth orbit without a parachute.

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Compliments to the seller on that count, this was actually very well packed.

So...we were saying that sometimes this sort of buy can be a disaster or bargain. Initial signs seem to suggest this is the latter.

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The carry case was in all honesty a bit gross. Very dusty and in a few places mouldy...which I didn't reckon boded well at all for what was inside it.

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What emerged from the case though was quite a pleasant surprise.

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I've obviously given everything a wipe over given the current situation, but didn't remove anything visible aside from a bit of dust around the carry handle...

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Even the keyboard was pretty much spotless.

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Biggest surprise so far...the screen detent actually works! Can't remember the last time I came across one of these where something hadn't had to be improvised to hold the screen up.

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So far the only damage found is a tiny what looks like a cigarette burn on the carry handle and a missing foot on the one end.

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...Which I'm pretty sure has actually just been pushed into the case as there's something which sounds like that rattling around in there.

The extremely flimsy hinges on the port cover are all fine.

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Likewise the catches for the battery tray. No rechargeable tech here...if you want to take the off-grid you need to track down TEN C Cells...which will be good for an hour. Ish.

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I initially thought the badges on the case were peeling before realising that no...they still have their protective film on.

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The usually grubby area around the power switch tells a story of very little use I think.

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This was also in the box.

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Which includes the original software discs *and* sensibly, backups of them.

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Plus what looks to be a spreadsheet program.

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Remember when the manuals shipped with software were that big? The 640 page one for Windows 3.0 always sticks in my mind. Looks like this software shipped with both 3.5" and 5 1/4" discs...these have probably never been used.

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I was quite surprised by how heavy this thing isn't. It's hardly a MacBook Air, I'm guessing around 5kg...but by the standards of portable computers in the late 80s it's perfectly reasonable. An amusing "but" to that is that they have managed to make a reasonably light portable computer...and then shipped it with a transformer power supply that weighs over a kilogram itself!

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Of course anyone who knows computers of this age knows that looking tidy and being in working order are two very different things...so there were no guarantees that it would power up or the two double density floppy drives would work.

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Promising start...

Stuck the DOS system disc in there...

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We appear to be in business! ...Really quiet drives too.

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The display is hilariously bad. The actual LCD doesn't seem bad, but it desperately needs a backlight.

Only had a really quick poke around but all the main software I got seems to work fine.

Tasword.

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Which appears to be about as friendly for new users as VIM.

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Can I have a help file to help decipher the help file for Tasword please? Information overload much?

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Mirror II, which looks to be a file transfer/backup program with network support.

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PPC Organiser, which looks to be a combined diary, word processor, contact list type deal.

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I've got quite a few old DOS programs I've been waiting on finding a machine old enough to run them properly on...so looking forward to experimenting.

The carry case was emptied and unceremoniously dumped in the washing machine on a delecates cycle...I just didn't want to touch it otherwise.

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I was worried it might disintegrate...but it seemed a risk worth taking as it was unlikely to get used otherwise...

Came out unscathed though, looking (and smelling!) infinitely better.

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Have only had a chance to very briefly investigate it so far, but definitely pleased with it so far...and as someone with a soft spot for early portable machines it's definitely worth having.

World's away from the Toshibas though... they're built like tanks. This is very much creaky, squeaky, bendy plastic and obviously built down to and below a price. No less interesting though...and still has a surprisingly nice keyboard (which both looks and feels so similar to the Acorn A3000/3010/3020 ones that I'd be startled if they're not made by the same OEM).

So that's my one eBay gamble win for the year used up then!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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JPB
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#616 Post by JPB » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:37 am

Wow! That's an amazingly well preserved device, its survival being all the more remarkable in view of its bearing the then plain Mister Sugar's brand name.
Had Amstrad stayed out of the domestic audio market, then your portable computer and possibly more so its less portable equivalents from the era, would be the company's best remembered products, yet sadly, it's for their woefully poor audio "systems" that many of us remember the name. That, and His Lordship being the man responsible for providing a media presence to that bigoted monster of a woman who only very recently managed to get herself barred from Twitter.. :evil:
Seeing your new "toy" ;) reminds me that Amstrad did give their name to some genuinely good pieces of equipment. Just avoid their low-fi audio equipment unless you like disappointment. In fairness, the brand was instrumental in bringing personal computing to the masses and for that, I find myself admiring their efforts.
I've bought several similarly ancient bits of kit from eBay sellers but alas, I have yet to score so impressively as you've done with that incredible survivor.
I am now massively envious! :oops:
:geek:
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#617 Post by gazza82 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:18 am

Think there is a PC1512 in the loft (at least I think it is a 1512 .. it's a while since I looked at it closely) .. :geek:

Probably intact although I might have upgraded it with a CD player ... I know there is a set of disks 'cos they fell on my leg when I rummaging for something else ..
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#618 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:45 am

gazza82 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:18 am
Think there is a PC1512 in the loft (at least I think it is a 1512 .. it's a while since I looked at it closely) .. :geek:

Probably intact although I might have upgraded it with a CD player ... I know there is a set of disks 'cos they fell on my leg when I rummaging for something else ..
That must be a pretty rare beast these days too. Probably even more so than these which I'm sure many of which wound up forgotten about in lofts and in the back of cupboards.

-- -- --

Back to getting to the inverter installation in the van done.

It was brought to my attention that the green light being next to the red socket looked wrong...I couldn't argue with that logic so when the improved DC on indicator light was fitted I swapped them around.

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Better.

Time to start hooking things up. DC input control supply connected (via a 2.5A fuse - smallest I had on hand)...this gave us a happily clicking relay when the switch was operated and the "DC on" light working.

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Then added the main high power supply line. This was meant to be via a 20A fuse but I couldn't find another inline fuse holder to save my life, so I disconnected it again after testing everything worked, until I pick one up.

Yep...it still hums impressively.

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Borrowed a desk lamp to test it would deliver power under a load.

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This was tested both with a modern LED lamp and an old magnetically ballasted one just to see whether it would play nicely with an inductive load, it did.

You're not seeing the wiring as I've also run out of cable ties so it's a right mess. You can see it once I've restocked and tidied things up.


Had an hour or so to play around with the Amstrad PPC512 today.

Observations: While it's downright bizarre, it's actually not a bad form factor from the perspective of an early portable machine. It's not unpleasant to carry and the top of the case gives an ideally shaped space to put discs while you're using them. I also am a great fan of the keyboard - which I'm now convinced is mechanically identical to the Acorn Archimedes ones. The key action isn't like any other board I've ever used...and while not as tactile as the Model M, has a very progressive spring action which means you don't tend to wind up bottoming out the key travel. It seems to be a keyboard well suited to ridiculously fast typing...which suits me just fine. I could see this machine ending up on writing duties if I find a word processor I get along with (haven't had a proper look at Tasword yet).

What follows is basically a bunch of screenshots which hopefully will be interesting to folks like me who find things even familiar stuff working on different machines and display technology interesting.

This display isn't actually dire to use... it's not great but it does the job. It is however an absolute *swine* to photograph! I will have to experiment a bit and see if I can come up with a better solution.

I had a particular experiment in mind for today though, getting some software going that I've never actually had going on a physical machine running. Step one was a lot of this.

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Onwards to...

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Then (somewhat astonishingly on the first try) we were in business.

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Hello Windows 2.0.

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Let's have an aimless wander.

Calculator.

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It's easy to forget how huge the overhaul Paint got for Windows 3.0 was.

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Likewise how basic the control panel used to be.

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While it gained a digital mode and colour makeover in later years the clock looks quite similar.

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Reversi. Which I made a point of not getting sucked into. Especially as it's a pig to play without a mouse. Replaced by Minesweeper in 3.1.

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Write is probably the program which feels like it remained unchanged the most through to 3.11.

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As a quick test to see if Windows 2 would run on this system though it has been a resounding success.

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If anyone wants to see anything specific attempting to run on here let me know, or I'll probably drop back here to the car specific things on topic for this forum!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 526
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#619 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:04 pm

Right...for the best part of the last two years I have been trying to ignore this mess.

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I had already pruned quite a bit out of here by the time I took this photo.

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After a couple of hours of multimeter bingo I'd figured out where *almost* everything went. We've still got one mystery red wire. That has been left disconnected and safely terminated until I figure out what (if anything) isn't working. It's quite likely the answer is "nothing" as there has been a huge amount of bodgery going on in here. I've pretty much decided that this side of things will be gutted and rewired at some point down the line. Because everything disappears into (by this point in time very brittle) ducting the moment it appears under the floor it's nigh on impossible to follow anything without some pretty major destructive surgery.

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It's still hardly pretty...but everything is securely connected, is labelled and is sensibly fused.

I'd really like to know where all the ground wires come from as it seems utterly unnecessary...it wouldn't surprise me is 50% of the voltage drop we see when high power things like the water pump are used is because the ground lines run the full length of the van and are unreasonably skinny. I may well see if I can improve things in that department a bit.

While tracing the wiring out I did find continuity through to what appears to be the split charging relay in the other battery box.

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The split charging system has never worked since I've had the van. This far I've never really done much to investigate this as it seemed a bit of a lost cause given the state of the spaghetti surrounding the leisure battery. Having sorted that out though it was worth a look.

Turned out the 5A fuse in that white fuse holder, running to one of the coils in the relay had blown. Not sure how that could have happened...though given the degree of messing around I've seen it could have been hooked up wrong at some point. Replacing the fuse and starting the engine resulted in...

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Yep...the split charging system is now working again.

I need to route this lot under the floor to the battery box at some point or enclose it in a little duct to tidy things up. Once everything was back together and we'd gone over everything with the vacuum cleaner looked a bit tidier.

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While I had the vacuum out I gave the cab a going over as everything was covered in a fine layer of sawdust from the kitchen work.

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I also finally lost patience with that bit of trim over the door on the Jag coming loose and attacked it with some spray adhesive today.

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Hopefully it will stay stuck this time.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 526
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#620 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:12 pm

Abby has been suffering from blinding toothache for the last couple of weeks and was finally able to see her dentist today.

Given the Jag has no functioning A/C (yet), I opted to park in the shade and get out to wait outside (given the heat soak through the transmission tunnel is bad enough when it's not 29C outside).

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I made a discovery today in that the *back* of the car ends up nigh on too hot to touch after an hour on the motorway. That kind of puts in perspective how ridiculous the amount of heat that this engine chucks out!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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