I suppose I’ve only myself to blame. If I didn’t advertise in my local paper I wouldn’t get the calls so I can expect people to call, even on a Sunday. Actually Sunday is the ideal time to call me if you would like to take advantage of my electrical services so that I may plan the week’s work. As my readers will now know it doesn’t always work like that. Around lunchtime on Sunday I received a call from a guy wanting to pick my brains regarding a perceived electrical problem he had. I have worked for this guy before but this time he simply wanted some information. He had asked if I could supply and fit a double-pole timer switch to control a battery charger in his garage. The battery charges two of his mobility vehicles, a wheelchair and a ‘scooter’, that is a four-wheeled street vehicle. Now get this, the guy who sold him the equipment told him not to use a timer to control the charger else the batteries could back-feed into the mains supply! It pays not to listen to people who are not qualified to give you the correct information, in this case a salesman who isn’t an electrician/technician/engineer. For my reader’s information a battery cannot back-feed into the electrical supply unless there is something drastically wrong with the charger. The mains supply is electrically isolated from the low-voltage secondary side through a transformer and then through a rectifier circuit. The rectifier itself by its design prevents current from flowing in the opposite direction, that is its function! Anyway I explained that if it were possible for current to back-feed in a charger we would need to sit with the unit whilst the battery was charging and then switch it off once the battery was fully charged. How ridiculous is that? Of course a timer can be used if required and in fact in this guy’s case it is, so he says! In fact he is severely incapacitated so doesn’t want to go to the garage to isolate the charger once the battery is charged, though it wouldn’t matter if it was simply left connected. I don’t mind the phone calls.
I got up quite early on the day and went for a bike ride for an hour. Although it was sunny it was also quite breezy. I found it hard work as I hadn’t been on the machine for quite some time and the wind didn’t help. The rest of the day was spent doing very little except play my guitar, read some and sit out on the patio in the sunshine though I had to sit where the wind wasn’t blowing too much. The wind does tend to blow between our house and our neighbour’s house over the garage and on to the patio. In the height of Summer that doesn’t matter so much but at other times the wind can be a nuisance and that is why I planted some Laurel bushes on the windward side of the patio. When I planted them two years ago they barely reached the top of the small patio surrounding wall but this year they are a half metre above it. They are still thinly distributed and need to fill out. It will be next year before we will see an appreciable difference. The plan is to allow them to grow a couple of metres above the wall to act as a backdrop to hide the vegetable plot and the garage from view and to act as a wind-breaker at the same time. It will also make the patio look more attractive. Whilst I was out there I got to thinking about the possibility of laying an artificial lawn on the patio concrete floor. I remember seeing some artificial lawn for sale in town some months ago and it was very reasonably priced so I may consider doing it. Before I do that though I will have to make some minor alterations on the floor. Perhaps I just need something to do!