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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #46  
Old 12th August 2019
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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So much for fail-safe design, that's appalling. It would never have happened in the BREL days . Maybe they used Raspberry Pi computers, you have to shut those down properly before removing power otherwise you risk data loss. But you can't have everything for thirty quid!
And these were built in Germany by Siemens. Vorsprung Durch Technik and all that.

The Pacer and HST were BREL designs and are still going strong, even though both were intended as stopgaps in the 1970's with a twenty year design life.
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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So much for fail-safe design, that's appalling. It would never have happened in the BREL days . Maybe they used Raspberry Pi computers, you have to shut those down properly before removing power otherwise you risk data loss. But you can't have everything for thirty quid!
The limited uses Iíve put mine to donít seem to have a way to power down gracefully so I always just hit the switch, never knowingly lost anything as far as I can tell. They are great little things and getting better with each iteration.
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Raspberry Pi is an amazing little computer. The latest version RPi-4 has more computing power than most low-end laptops for which you pay over £300. The Pi 4 starts at £36 and the top end one with 4GB of memory its £54.37. All you need to add is a mouse + keyboard and connect to your tele and away you go.
and then what? You make it sound so easy!
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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The Pacer and HST were BREL designs
Hard to believe they both came from the same organisation! The Pacer was and is an abomination (imho) whereas the HST pretty much saved British Rail, and still holds the world speed record for diesel-powered passenger trains. In my view the HST carriages (Mk.IV?) are still more comfortable than many of the more modern designs.
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Raspberry Pi is an amazing little computer. The latest version RPi-4 has more computing power than most low-end laptops for which you pay over £300. The Pi 4 starts at £36 and the top end one with 4GB of memory its £54.37. All you need to add is a mouse + keyboard and connect to your tele and away you go.
Assuming you know the basics of Linux . I have several, two of which form a network music player; one is a server which holds all (well most) of my CDs as lossless FLAC files, the other is a player controlled via a phone or pad using free software from http://moodeaudio.org/. It can play many internet radio stations and is a UPnP server into the bargain too so I can listen to the music anywhere I have an internt radio or similar. There's also a tiny Pi Zero which can do most of the things its big brothers can, albeit more slowly, but it's even cheaper at about £12. It has wi-fi built-in plus USB and HDMI interfaces.

Despite being fairly computer-literate I found the learning curve rather steep, although some of the Unix commands I learned almost 50 years ago are still handy. My biggest problem really has been keeping up with the development of the RPi, it's continuously improving with a vast amount of free software available online. Like so many things the documentation is always a step or two behind the product, and the OS is regularly updated - like Windows the changes can be frustrating at times! But in bang-for-the-buck terms the RPi is pretty much unbeatable.
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  #51  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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The limited uses I’ve put mine to don’t seem to have a way to power down gracefully so I always just hit the switch, never knowingly lost anything as far as I can tell. They are great little things and getting better with each iteration.

Like Windows, the "Start" button has a "Shut Down" option which stops the OS, after which you can remove the power. If you're running it from the command line, then type "shutdown -h now".

There are hardware solutions too but I haven't tried one of those as yet.
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  #52  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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and then what? You make it sound so easy!
It is easy. All you need as a minimum config is a 16Gb memory card to download the free Raspbian operating system onto, plus a 5V power supply. You put the card in the RPi and connect it up to your keyboard and mouse via USB and your TV via an HDMI cable Power on and it prompts you to enter your WiFi router password and thats it

They actually do a starter kit that gives you all you need for complete newbies.

Rasbian OS (Unix) comes with Firefox web browser, Thunderbird mail app and Libra office suite (compatible to Microsoft Office), plus lots of other goodies.
It also has an image viewer for basic stuff. But you can download a version of GIMP that has all the power of Photoshop to run on it for heavy duty editing.
You can add more storage via one of the USB ports, or use a larger memory stick.

As I said its amazing, many schools now use RPi as their main IT teaching platform.

Take a look

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products...-pi-4-model-b/

I have the previous version RPi3B+ and use it for lots of things. I actually run a free complete astrophotography package on mine called KStars which controls my telescope and camera.
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  #53  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Hard to believe they both came from the same organisation! The Pacer was and is an abomination (imho) whereas the HST pretty much saved British Rail, and still holds the world speed record for diesel-powered passenger trains. In my view the HST carriages (Mk.IV?) are still more comfortable than many of the more modern designs.
The Pacer is something of a 'Marmite' train. I would far rather travel on an HST myself but many will argue that the humble Pacer with its low running costs has kept many unprofitable rural lines open, which might not have been the case with newer rolling stock.

The HST uses Mk 3 carriages (the Class 91 electrics haul Mk 4's), but apparently the HST's Mk 3 carriages are incompatible with locomotive hauled Mk 3 stock, including sleepers, which use an 1,100 Volt DC supply for hotel services rather than the 415 Volt three phase AC supply used on HST's.
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  #54  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

The early Sprinters were pretty dreadful too. As it happens I was coming home on the train one day recently, and the formation was a 158 two-car Sprinter plus a single 150 car at the back. The two 158 carriages were close to full, but there wasn't a single passenger in the 150. That says a lot I think!

Thanks for the correction re the Mk3s and Mk4s Nigel - I personally find the HST more comfortable than the Mk4s used on the East Coast main line. Friends down south who use the Thameslink services say they preferred the older stock on that line too.
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  #55  
Old 13th August 2019
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

Update on the situation here.

https://www.theguardian.com/business...-national-grid

So their strategy certainly needs a review.

(Seems the CEO was not on holiday so corrected my earlier post).
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  #56  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
The early Sprinters were pretty dreadful too. As it happens I was coming home on the train one day recently, and the formation was a 158 two-car Sprinter plus a single 150 car at the back. The two 158 carriages were close to full, but there wasn't a single passenger in the 150. That says a lot I think!
The Pacer was basically a Leyland National bus body with bus seats and engines riding on two pairs of railway wheels. They don't even have proper bogies so ride comfort was never going to be good.

BR sold several of the original Class 141 Pacer units to Iran in the late 1990's which I am sure will have done wonders for east-west relations.

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Thanks for the correction re the Mk3s and Mk4s Nigel - I personally find the HST more comfortable than the Mk4s used on the East Coast main line. Friends down south who use the Thameslink services say they preferred the older stock on that line too.
Mk 3 and Mk 4 carriages are easily identified. Mk 3 carriages have a very square profile and provide more space inside whilst the Mk 4 have tapered sides to allow for tilting, although none were ever fitted with a tilting mechanism.

The HST was introduced as a stopgap when the APT project was abandoned in the 1970's. Remarkably, the HST not only saved but revolutionised Britain's railways but was designed almost entirely around existing Mk 3 carriages but with two linked locomotives to provide greater speed and reliability and to avoid having to run locomotives around trains at termini.
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  #57  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Originally Posted by wornish View Post
It is easy. All you need as a minimum config is a 16Gb memory card to download the free Raspbian operating system onto, plus a 5V power supply. You put the card in the RPi and connect it up to your keyboard and mouse via USB and your TV via an HDMI cable Power on and it prompts you to enter your WiFi router password and thats it

They actually do a starter kit that gives you all you need for complete newbies.

Rasbian OS (Unix) comes with Firefox web browser, Thunderbird mail app and Libra office suite (compatible to Microsoft Office), plus lots of other goodies.
It also has an image viewer for basic stuff. But you can download a version of GIMP that has all the power of Photoshop to run on it for heavy duty editing.
You can add more storage via one of the USB ports, or use a larger memory stick.

As I said its amazing, many schools now use RPi as their main IT teaching platform.

Take a look

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products...-pi-4-model-b/

I have the previous version RPi3B+ and use it for lots of things. I actually run a free complete astrophotography package on mine called KStars which controls my telescope and camera.
Thanks Dave. I do actually use one or two but havenít really used them much in recent months as other devices have kinda taken over their uses so Iím going to repurpose them when I get a chance. PiHole I need to revisit and maybe look at a music server of some sort.
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  #58  
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Originally Posted by wornish View Post
Update on the situation here.

https://www.theguardian.com/business...-national-grid

So their strategy certainly needs a review.

(Seems the CEO was not on holiday so corrected my earlier post).
There are at least two pumped water generators in the UK that I know of (one each in Scotland and Wales) that should have been able to make up the shortfall within a matter of seconds, but it seems they were not used. I wonder whether contractual considerations (i.e. price) got in the way?
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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There are at least two pumped water generators in the UK that I know of (one each in Scotland and Wales) that should have been able to make up the shortfall within a matter of seconds, but it seems they were not used. I wonder whether contractual considerations (i.e. price) got in the way?
Surely that sort of thing needs to be sorted in advance! When this happens you canít faff about making decisions. It should all be automagic and happen instantly surely. This is where (surely?) multiple battery installations would help. Wasnít there a scheme talked about a while ago where organisations could set up a load of batteries in shipping containers, connected up and ready for just this eventuality. I seem to recall it being talked about around local councils as they would make some money ones out of it.
(I know! Too much use of the word surely!!)
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Re: Do We Rely Too Much on Electricity?

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
There are at least two pumped water generators in the UK that I know of (one each in Scotland and Wales) that should have been able to make up the shortfall within a matter of seconds, but it seems they were not used. I wonder whether contractual considerations (i.e. price) got in the way?
Think you might be getting close to the underlying issue.
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