Davids PC – Restored backup on his Gamer desktop – Update

David had said that his games were failing – all running slow. I stopped in after work and disabled the On-board Gfx card. He also had to change a setting in a game ‘settings’ file back to the way it was previously,  as he had made a change to try and force the game to use the NVidia card – which obviously did not work.

Anyhow, all was well on leaving with a high frame rate and no jerking.

Davids PC – Restored backup on his Gamer desktop

David had asked me to reinstall Windows on his slowing pc.

!st off was to clean the dust – the side cover had been left off and I have never seen so much dust inside the boys PC cases. I had to remove from cover, open the psu remove the GFX cards cover housing the heatsink next to a fan.

Once all cleaned I managed to put on a back dated February 2015. I wasn’t sure if it was for that pc or his older build. Anyhow, it went on fine once I had copied from QNAP NAS to USB drive and used Acronis 2011, but I had to download and install an NVidia gamer application that would download and install the correct driver.

Updated appz like CCleaner, Teamviewer etc, and installed the newest PC Back software I am using called AOMEI Backupper. Let windows do some updates, then backuped up to QNAP NAS.

There was a slight clicking noise, too slow to be a fan. Most likely to be the water pump in the water cooled CPU cooler system. He will just need to monitor temperature and watch for it getting worse and replace at that time.


Late note: Will need to remove Acronis backup at his home as some services are still running.

Hardware Summary

Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.00GHz 31 °C, Haswell 22nm Technology
16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 666MHz (9-9-9-24)
MSI Z97 GAMING 3 (MS-7918) (SOCKET 0) 28 °C
BenQ G2410HD (1920×1080@60Hz)
Intel HD Graphics 4600 (MSI)
4095MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (NVIDIA) 28 °C
ForceWare version: 398.82
SLI Disabled
2794GB Seagate ST3000DM001-1ER166 ATA Device (SATA ) 19 °C
1863GB Seagate ST2000DX001-1NS164 ATA Device (SATA ) 26 °C
Optical Drives
ATAPI iHAS124 E ATA Device
Realtek High Definition Audio


Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Computer type: Desktop
Installation Date: 22/02/2015 18:31:42
Serial Number: 86BDP-MV2VY-8YJMQ-4HVFM-FXC9G

VB Snippet – Keep a MessageBox() OnTop

‘ MessageBoxOptions.ServiceNotification is the key to doing it

Dim result As DialogResult = MessageBox.Show(“The Previously Calibrated Value Is: ” & PreviouslyCalibratedValue & vbCrLf & “Do you want to overwrite?”, “Overwrite Confirm”, MessageBoxButtons.YesNo, MessageBoxIcon.Question, MessageBoxDefaultButton.Button1, MessageBoxOptions.ServiceNotification)

If result = DialogResult.Yes Then ‘ is ok to overwrite the existing calibration value in the file
IsOKToOverwrite = True
IsOKToOverwrite = False
End If

Cait’s Vintage Radio conversion – Part 2 – inside the Pye R31

The inside of case with valve chassis removed….

The fabric on the fascia was fully glue’d and no way to remove it. The brass-like trim wil be kept and refitted to the new fascia panel.

Using the old panel (5-6mm thick) as a template allowed me to cut a new panel from 9mm plywood. The oval loudspeaker will be removed and replaced by 2 x 3″ Faital Pro 3FE25 20W at 8Ω impedance.


New internal hardware


The new fascia cut from 9mm plywood…

9mm plywood fascia

The plywood baseplate – required for mounting any electrics etc to….

plywood baseplate


The speakers mounting holes, marked for the Faital Pro’s….

speakers mounting holes

The speaker holes cut with my Bosch 70mm hole cutter. T-nuts (M5x8mm) are used to mount the speakers to the fascia.

To fit the T-Nuts, it is better if they sit flush with the front panel when hammered-in. Start by drilling through a 1mm pilot hole, then on the ‘front‘ drill a 10mm recess, 1mm deep  with a 10mm Forstner bit. Finish by drilling through with a 5mm metal bit. Slightly widen with a round wood file before fitting an hammering home.

speaker holes
Faital Pro speaker
speaker fitted


The Baseplate

The plywood baseplate – required for mounting any electrics etc to….

plywood baseplate


How the fascia and baseplate sit inside the case…

fascia & baseplate inside the case













Cait’s Vintage Radio Conversion – Part 1 – The Concept

A Vintage Radio conversion for Cait’s birthday. Gail bought the case, I am buying the conversion bits and doing the labour.

The radio puchased was a PYE R31 Caprice valve radio, in turquoise. Looks like it’s hand-painted but quite nice and should fit-in with Caits cottage look.


A bit History….

Known as ‘Caprice’, the Pye Model R31 is a 5-valve AM/FM receiver in a Bakelite case that operates on AC/DC 200-250V, with MW/LW & VHF wavebands. The Caprice was made probably late 50’s to early 60’s.  A ‘1476’ Trader Publishing Co Ltd Service Sheet dated 1960 references differences between this version and earlier versions, thus giving an approx. date of manufacture.




The new amplifier – with Bluetooth…

I had previously bought a cheap all-singing, all-dancing Bluetooth Amplifier of Banggood (Mono Digital Amplifier Board 220V Car Bluetooth HiFi Bass AMP) for a sum of £8.28. This amp has 240v mains input (via a fig-8 connector), USB, SD card I/P, Aux I/P, DC 12-24V I/P, volume/treble/bass controls and small I.R. remote control. The stated impedance is 4Ω.


The Spec from Banggood…


Play MP3 music from TF card, U disk, bluetooth.
Remote control: Full function, with number key it can directly control.
Self-equipped with switch.
Fit for all vehicle.


Voltage: 220 V
D type amplifier
Output power: 30W
Maximum power: 50W
Impedance: 4(Ω)
Loudspeaker unit: 133(mm)
Sensitivity: 200 hv
Frequency response range: 20-20000

Package includes:

1 x Car bluetooth amplifier
1 x Remote control
1 x Power line
2 x Connecting line

The amp did not come with any docs and there is nothing available on the web, although the amp comes in a few flavours – Stereo, Woofer O/P, mine is the ‘Mono’ version.  Although it was stated to be Mono, it has two O/P’s on the rear panel. After testing for stereo, woofeer etc, it is indeed a Mono amp, but with two mono O/P’s. The problem is that the O/P’s MAY be parelled-up causing any connected speaker Impedance to be halved if two speakers are connected. If using two speakers, it may be better to use 2 x 8Ω giving 4Ω if they are parralled, else the 8Ω Impedance on each channel would be less of a load on the amplifier/s. Testing with the DMM tells me they are in parallel!

I did find a Youtube video on the BASS/(woofer) version where the author did a good tear-down showing the pcb’s etc. He did state that there was no real isolation gap between the Live AC and transform DC voltage parts, something that is a bit worrying in the event of a fault. It could though be powered from 12-24V DC, albeit the On/Off switch will then not work as in my own strip-down I did measure 240V across the ‘open’ switch.

I wil include pcb images of the Amp taking from my mobile in the next post.





1st time up St Arnold’s Seat

After around 8 months since my last hill walk, I thought since I had the May day off work that I should take advantage of the day off, the good weather and Gail been off to London.

Me an Jas headed of on what was to be a cloudy  day at 12 degrees C and actually turned out to be a sunny 19 deg.

Parked just after Horniehaugh Steading near an old cottage. Took 2nd track that was marked on OS 50K map (couldn’t find start of the 1st) and ended up in a field with the ruin at opposite corner, but had a high deer fence blocking access.  Following the fence to the RHS leads to a gate to bypass the ruin.  An obvious path skirted the trees and  I hugged the trees to the RHS which led to another gate that opened to the Northerly land rover track NNW from Midtown.


Approx duration: 3.5 hours

Height: 467m

Grid Ref: (Bing Maps)  NO 42719 64351, (Street Map) NO423654

Track , Naked Tam
View from the slightly higher ‘Naked Tam’

Cairn, St. Arnold's Seat 
The humungus cairn on St Arnold’s Seat.