I Have A Question - Volume 277 [Read Only] - PoloGirl

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Edited by Dynamic Dave on 27/02/2009 at 18:33

I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
Just noticed my boiler isn't actually firing up. I've looked up the code it's displaying in its manual and it looks a bit serious!

Flame Detection - short circuit error
Remove flame detection electrode terminal from PCB, and then gives a couple of options, either to replace that electrode or replace the PCB, depending on whether or not there is continuity between the two terminal pins.

None of that makes any sense to me, and I know I have to get someone to come and look at it, which I will (despite it being less than two years old - grrr!)


I know how to reset the boiler, because the it has failed to light before, and resetting it sorted it out. This is the first time I've seen this error, and I'm just wondering whether by trying to reset it I will blow it up, or whether it wont make any difference. I'm scared by the short circuit bit, and don't really want to burn my place down!

What do you reckon? Just put up with the cold until tomorrow or try and reset it on the off chance that it might just sort itself out and this is just a blip?
I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego
NO it wont blow up - It needs a new thermocouple / electrode.

It cant see if the flame is alight or not - so it resorts to turning off the gas valve

Its not serious and not expensive - just keep resetting it if it goes again till you get it fixed

what make and model boiler is it?

Edited by Altea Ego on 24/02/2009 at 20:24

I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
Really? How certain are you that it wont blow up?

It's an Ideal Icos, but I'm not sure exactly what model because it has no number on it. The book is for HE12, HE15, HE18, HE24 though so it's one of those. According to the certificate it is two years old on March 27, though it's only been in daily use since Sept 07. I thought boilers were meant to last longer than that.

Loads of people in the newbuilds around here have had boiler issues, and I was hoping I'd escaped.
I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego
A boiler can only blow up if it has

a: no water
b: no control over the temperature of the water
c: the burner stays on when it should turn off
d: no flame but the gas keeps running

you dont have error codes for a: or b:

it does however think d: is happening. So it shuts off the gas and the flame goes out.

but the flame is alight - it may think its gone out again, and shut off the gas later but as long as all you do is reset it - its failing in a "safe" way.

I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
Right... tried resetting it. Nothing happened.

Shall I try relighting it?
I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego
yes if you know how.

I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
The instruction manual does!

Right... if anyone in north hants hears a loud bang and sees a big fluffy cat go streaking through the sky, it's all gone horribly wrong!
I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego
Your workshop manual is here is you don't have one


I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego
I'll send my Labrador retriever out to recover the cat
I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
I'm alive!

Relighting it worked, and I have hot radiators again.

Thanks AE :)
I thought it was cold! - rtj70
And the cat...!! :-)
I thought it was cold! - Pugugly
Get a service care policy - wait a few days and call them out.
I thought it was cold! - jbif
Get a service care policy - wait a few days and call them out. >>

! IMO - Not very professional

< snip >

point taken, Jbif! Wouldn't do it anyway, but I think you'll find PU was tongue in cheek PG

Edited by PoloGirl on 24/02/2009 at 23:15

I thought it was cold! - madux
Did you re-set this thread so that your query would go to top of the list?
Clever girl.
I thought it was cold! - Pugugly
Mods' privilege that !
I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
>Did you re-set this thread so that your query would go to top of the list?

No, I actually just wanted to post my question and get an answer before my nose froze, but I knew Dave would tell me off if I posted a new question on the old thread when it had over 90 posts! :)

I thought it was cold! - Xtype
is it a 'Powermax' model? Ive had quite a few problems with mine. According to the gas engineer they are poorly built and only have a life of around 5 years.
Great to know your buying quality...
I thought it was cold! - rtj70
PG's was a new build and not very old. So if a problem I'd hope a warranty still covers it.

Mention of hard water but would it have had time to get a problem. I hope it's sorted for you soon PG.
I thought it was cold! - Kevin
If it's a new build in < snip > the thermocouple may not be your only problem PG.

Some residents were complaining that the boilers fitted by certain builders were not approved for hard water areas.


Edited by PoloGirl on 25/02/2009 at 00:26

I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
Spot on Kevin! Damn!

I've edited where I live out of your post - hope you don't mind me tweaking it.
I thought it was cold! - L'escargot
For the future, get a yearly service/maintenance contract.
I thought it was cold! - ifithelps
...I've edited where I live out of your post - hope you don't mind me tweaking it...

snip - no need to remind everyone so leave it please

Can we re-open the the geography thread?

Edited by Pugugly on 25/02/2009 at 12:41

I thought it was cold! - Altea Ego

North Hants is a special code. Its code for a large town but no-one wants to admit they live there so they always say "North Hants"
I thought it was cold! - ifithelps
Cripes, a special code, you've got me thinking now.

Well, if no one want to admit they live there, it must be Slough.
I thought it was cold! - madux
Or Swindon.
I thought it was cold! - Pugugly
Back onto PG's original question please.
I thought it was cold! - PoloGirl
It's Basingstoke, but Kevin almost named the actual street, so I took it out.
Now, do as you're told by PU and move along please :)
Replacement HIFI speakers - Rattle
I have quite a nice HIFI system consisting of a Cambridge Audio Azure 640A, Marantz CD6010 OSE LE cd player, cheapo DAB, Rotel 870BX preamp, Project Debut II turntable, a nice solid home made rack, decent cables and an M Audio Audiophile sound card etc. The problem is my speaker stands are home made and are now falling apart. The other day I was walking round my room and had a metal washer in my hand it must have some how became magnetised and I moved it near the tweeter and its now damaged. My speakers are Eltax Monitor IIIs, these are pretty decent speakers but have always been the weakest link in my setup.

I've looked out for new speakers but they all seem to be above £100 and as I am looking for a car it would be naughty to spend this on speakers. Does anybody know of any compact older designs I might be able to pick up cheap on ebay? or any discount HIFI outlets online?

Richersounds sadly no longer seem to have any real bargains.

I need a pair of solid speaker stands at 100m too (due to my high listening position).

Floor standers are out of the question because its a small room. I don't like boom, I like very open mid range, fast and tight bass but also with a bit of warmth, and smooth treble I don't like bright speakers much as I find them trhill, but I don't like them to be too smooth as it can suck the energy away. I listen to a varity of music from Simon and Garfunkel to the Clash.
Replacement HIFI speakers - rtj70
>>I need a pair of solid speaker stands at 100m too (due to my high listening position).

You sure you need stands at 100 metres :-)
Replacement HIFI speakers - Pugugly
I've got a pair of ancient but worthy Wahrfdales you can have (Before the brand was diluted) cost you the carriage. E-mail me if you want them.
Replacement HIFI speakers - Rattle
Rob I meant 100cm!! I have to sit on my bed :). Puguely I might be interested in them do you know how big they are? Size in an issue due to boom my room is quite small so it took me a while to sort out the accustics.

I am not sure who own the Wharfdale brand now, my parents have a TV made by them, its a cheap Argos job with a Samsung CRT tube. The new speakers are actually pretty good according to the press but made in China and probably now a chineese owned brand? Not much British speakers left now sadly :( B&W are still doing well and there is a lot of high end stuff still but the entire HIFI business has been slow for a long time. My current speakers are about 30cm tall, 18cm deep and 15cm wide.

The other issue is my amp was cutting out with the speakers connected the short circuit protection thing was activated so I need to check its not a fault with the amp and its just a wiring issue.
Replacement HIFI speakers - daveyjp
I also have a pair of 100w Wharfedale speakers languishing in the loft. They are about 15 years old, but excellent quality. Size approx 300mm x 150mm x 150mm deep.

I also have a Sherwood Amp, tape player, Dual CD player and a tuner if you want more clutter!
Replacement HIFI speakers - Stuartli
The Wharfedale brand name in quality speakers has no connection with the brown goods products.



The electronics products are generally produced in the Far East - some are good and some are very average.

Replacement HIFI speakers - Pugugly
These were hand made in Britain ! These are, sadly, full sized.
Replacement HIFI speakers - AlastairW
I picked up a very good pair of Tannoy's from Richer Sounds just before Christmas. They were about £100, and sound superb, IMO.
Replacement HIFI speakers - Jamesh266
The Tannoy F1 speakers are very good, though it is about a year since I heard them. Richer Sounds and Superfi both have them at under £100.

In my office I'm using Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 speakers. They are Chinese made, as all Wharfedale and Quad speakers are now (both companies are part of the same Chinese owned group). Sound quality is good for the price, and they disguise any weaknesses in the rest of the equipment better than other speakers I've heard.
Replacement HIFI speakers - mike hannon
Something a bit elderly but compact from Kef or Celestion would be good. You can see that sort of thing on Ebay these days for 30 quid or so.
I went through about five different Wharfedale types, years ago, from the Super Linton to the Teesdale and I still have on my bookshelf an original copy of the treatise on hi-fi and loudspeakers by Gilbert Briggs, the man who started the original (real) firm in Yorkshire about 70 years ago.
Replacement HIFI speakers - Focus {P}
Does anybody know of any compact older designs I might be able to pick
up cheap on ebay? or any discount HIFI outlets online?

I got a good pair on www.adtrader.co.uk for £25; they were less than a mile away. Worth a look. (I'm no hifi expert but I looked them up and they were about £100 new.)
tax and the self employed - wotspur
I've been self employed for a little while and this is more of a query, and a rant.

A person sets up business, gets paid, has expenses and at end of year 1 does the books and pays tax on their earnings -thats simple,fair and logical.

But no, they also have to pay tax for the next 6 months, on money not yet earned, that might not be paid, on the basis of the previous year.

What sort of jockey thinks this is fair, and for the privildge if you can't afford to pay the tax on unearned money -you get surcharged at 5% ,but if the earning go down you only get to pay less tax not the surcharge reduced or deducted.

How can this be logical and more importantly legal. I'd love to fight the legality of paying upfront -but can't afford it -rant over

What do other B.r's think
tax and the self employed - Rattle
I am in the same situation and with the recession I think Inland Revenue are going to suddenly have to find a lot of money for refunds. I have earnt less than the last 6 months than the previous only slightly less but still less yet I have had to pay a lot more tax.

I decided the best thing to do is just pay it and then seek a a refund the difference in the excess tax which I have paid. Its not fair but then Inland Revenue is not fair. They owed my parents £6 once in refunds, it was so difficult getting back of them. If we pay our tax just one day late we get fined.

I am just relying on the fact because I have paid too much tax in the April 07 to April 08 tax year I shall pay this year.
tax and the self employed - Mapmaker
I almost feel sorry for the tax man when faced with illogical abuse - as on this thread.
If we pay our tax just one day late we get fined.

No, you merely are charged interest, not fined. Similarly the tax man will pay you interest on overpaid tax.

Admittedly he charges interest at a higher rate than he pays it, but the difference is small.

No idea what Rattle's final paragraph means. AE, perhaps you would be kind enough to translate. What do they teach tehm at school these days? Clearly not literacy.
tax and the self employed - Altea Ego
No idea what Rattle's final paragraph means. AE perhaps you would be kind enough to
translate. What do they teach tehm at school these days? Clearly not literacy.

No you got me there Mappy. That one is tough to read.
tax and the self employed - AlastairW
The tax man doent pay interest on overpaid tax anymore, but still charges on underpayments.

Incidentally, the logic of the advance 'Payments on Account' is that by the time you make the 1st one (January), most people are 3/4 the way through the next tax year anyway. As an employee I have to pay my tax every month....
tax and the self employed - Mapmaker
>>The tax man doent pay interest on overpaid tax anymore,

Not strictly true.

He pays interest at the generous rate of 0%. Which is not the same as not paying interest anymore.

He is no less generous than plenty of banks.
tax and the self employed - Mapmaker
>>How can this be logical

It is perfectly logical.

You started working on 6 April 2007 and earned money between that date and 5 April 2008. As a first year incentive, you did not have to pay a penny of tax before 31 January 2009.

In the next year, you pay tax on 31 January 2009 representing (broadly speaking) the tax on your income from April 2008 to the end of September 2008 - so in fact your payment of tax on this income is delayed by 4 months.

>>and more importantly legal.

Because the law says so. You aren't paying money up front. You are paying in arrears.
tax and the self employed - Rattle
I am finding my tax inc NI is about 20% so as longs as I put this away as I go along its no problem. It just gets difficult when income goes down. I have an ISA and everytime I have a spare £20 I pay it in, it pretty much pays my tax bill without the frantic last minute panic.
Refund or not? - Xtype
I have started up a small IT business servicing local business's and homes.
Last week i went round to a ladys house and she asked me to supply a PC and set it up with a budget of around £300. I purchased a Pc for £220 and then removed her old files off her PC and installed them on the new one and set it up etc. I spent approx 4/5 hours doing these tasks and went round to install the pc which she was happy with.
I had a call yesterday saying she want to return it as ive made £80 profit on it?!
I have asked her why she wants to return it and all that she has said is that there is a £80 overcharge?

As she has used the computer Im unable to return it the the shop I brought it from soif i do take it back off her then il be out of pocket.

I have cashed the cheque she gave me for the work but she has not said on the phone that the cheque is cancelled. Ive tried to reason with her and said id evensplit the difference but I cant work for free.

Help please!
Refund or not? - rtj70
How did you bill her? Did you make it clear of the cost for the 4/5 hours work. If she'd bought the PC herself for £220 then she would not have been able to install it, transfer files etc. would she?

Edited by rtj70 on 25/02/2009 at 20:25

Refund or not? - rtj70
And the £80 is not profit is it?

How are you covering any warranty issues too? Rattle might offer an opinion on how to do that.
Refund or not? - Xtype
There is one year warranty on the unit which I stated on the invoice and I will deal with this direct should she need assistance.
She gave me a cheque for the amount when i delivered and set it up for her - which she seemed quite happy with.
Refund or not? - Rattle
I give the customer two options I do this a lot and I do not build PCs anymore due lack of profit margins.

I tell my clients I prefer it if they buy the system but I will happily do it for you providing the warranty is with the shop not me if I am doing other work I will usualy not charge for doing this but its rare anyway.

The second option is I will prodivde the PC and the warranty some of my richer customers prefer this, I make a bit of margin on the PC I supply but if it brakes I have to take it back to the shop (I usualy just fix it out of my own pocket as the only time has happened was a DVD drive which cost £15 was not worth the hassle).

I have had over 1000 customers now and what you're saying has never happened to me, so it sounds like your lack of experience in dealing with customers has caused it [having said that I will probably get a customer wanting a refund tomorrow!]. I remember a few years ago suppying a wireless network and it just kept cutting out (equipment was faulty) he demanded his money back he was a bit of an unreasonable idiot but as the equipment was faulty I just got my money back and refunded him the labour too. I just lost my labour.

In future you need to tell your clients that you will provide the PC for a small margin but any other work including copying and backing up files is charged at your usual labour rates.

In your case it sounds like your customer is just trying it on but I don't know what the legal situation is it has never happened to me I have never had to seek advice on it. I would say only 1% of my customers are bad ones e.g people you just cannot please or reason with. It is the computers which make this job stressful and not really worth bothering with rather than the customers.

I was not there when you did this job so I don't know how its gone wrong. I think you need to seek proper legal advice, most business lawyers offer a free session, I had to take legal action over one of my competitors who copied my website once, lawyer gave me free advice, I used it, a week later all my pics had been removed from the website in question.
Refund or not? - Rattle
ok from a legal prospective and I am not qualified to say this so its only advice and you need to get this confirmed.

She has agreed to the price by signing the cheque.

There is nothing wrong with it.

She has no come back.

You cannot say to a window fitter you have made £100 profit on this so I want my money back after its been fitted, it will be laughed out of court, this seems to be the same situation.
Refund or not? - rtj70
But how does the customer know the PC was £220. Did the invoice break down the cost as PC plus labour?
Refund or not? - Xtype
She has searched on the internet i guess and found the pc.
When i was round there setting her printer up etc she was on the phone complaining to her sister that the decorator had been round and that he had done 4 days work and that she was only goin to pay him for 3 as she thought he hadnt done that much work.
She seems difficult to me.

The only problem I have is if the cheque bounces then il have no money and be out of pocket and with a pc I dont want.
Refund or not? - Rattle
Xtype this what has gone wrong then.

You were not clear that the £300 including labour. However you could argue any reasonable person would expect it to you must be much clearer in the future exactly what you are charging for.

I now tend to not to make any or very little markup on parts (I used to) but I asborb the cost of buying them in the labour charges. I am now also very open about who my suppliers are and even recomend them to my customers.

Refund or not? - rtj70
Sounds like that woman will only be paying the decorator for paint. If that's how she thinks. He does not get paid for actually decorating I assume?

Try explaining that the extra is for labour and if you take the PC away she could buy another for £220 but will pay someone to install it.
Refund or not? - Xtype
im going to wait to see if the cheque clears I think first. And then take it from there if it doesnt.
In future il be getting people to sign something as well before I commit to buy.

Can i ask you Rattle what type of IT work are you in? Home or business or both?
Refund or not? - rtj70
I think I'd try to resolve it. it would only take bad word of mouth to affect your new business before it gets off the ground.

If the cheque does not clear and you get the PC back you're £220 out of pocket and did the work too. Try explaining why you made the £80. And tell them you will be paying income tax and national insurance on some of that too!

Maybe offering some sort of free service to check the PC over a couple of times might be a cheaper alternative?
Refund or not? - gordonbennet
XT, i have no answers for you but i symathise with you.

Customers, indeed people like that annoy the hell out of me, and get us all a bad name, my veritable MB indy is honourable decent and honest, very old school, very skilled and professional and i would be lost without him, but people still try to rip him off sometimes when he's put somethimng right and saved them hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds at the MB dealer.
Where do they think they're going to go when he's gone out of business?
He now gets the debt collectors in straight away, its not his way but they've forced him into it.

Your charges for the job sound most reasonable, i would be content with them, the best of luck with this woman, sounds like you're going to need it.
Couldn't you PC buffs keep a private list of customers to avoid like the plague between you? (if anyone could keep it private, you lot could)
Refund or not? - Rattle
I do both but I prefer to work on the domestic side but do have a very busineses which I love working for.

A list of bad customers would be ilegal and it would get leaked, just too risky.

I've had a bit of a bad customer this week but I've just put it down to her illness, she owes me money (very small amount) but I have decided just to write it off and next time she wants her router rewiring I will tell her to let BT do it at £90.
Refund or not? - Xtype
Il give her a call tomorrow and try to work it out, maybe split the difference or something. The pc does the job she asked for so there is little point in me having it back.
Refund or not? - Rattle
I would not worry too much, bad customers often have a bad reputation anyway. People that know may well know what she is like and take no notice.

You have done nothing wrong, you have earnt your money just try and explain your charges to here and like has been suggested suggest a free check up or something.
Refund or not? - deepwith
Give her a fully itemised account again, listing everything from time, your expertise in locating the fit-for-purpose computer and transferring files, as well as other costs ie transport, electricity, insurance etc. It may be worth ringing a few local/national companies to find out what their charge would be for the service and add a note with these quotes for her.

If the cheque bounces I would suggest you file a claim with the Small Claims Court for the amount of the bill plus any expenses this has cost you, which I believe will cost £10 to file. I am quite sure, from what you have said, that you would be awarded the full amount.
Refund or not? - 1400ted
Seems to me you've acted perfectly reasonably, a man is worth his labour, what was it , about £20 an hour ? ...not excessive by any standards. Don't know anything about computer business but assume same as automotive. I took an Almeira for an MOT for a new customer...it failed on something simple, rear shocks, i think. I just charged her the MOT fee and a fiver for taking it assuming I'd get the work. She cribbed about the cost of the fail and the fiver although I made her pay cash before I gave her the keys. I gave a quote for the work, which was very reasonable. She worked in the local shop and I heard nothing from her. When I saw her again she told me she had taken it to a friend to be done and he had replaced all the brakes as well cos they were dangerous !..... A week after a dead straight test ? Speaking to her boss, a friend of mine, it turned out the whole job had cost about 4 times my quote and she had to pay for a re-test as well....satisfaction or what ?

Refund or not? - Xtype
off the Citizen Advice website..

It's not against the law to stop a cheque. However, it is a criminal offence to hand over a cheque with the intention of stopping it later, although this can be difficult to prove. If you hand over a cheque knowing that the bank or building society won't pay the amount, that is, it will bounce the cheque, this is also a criminal offence.

If you buy something by cheque and then you stop the cheque, court action can be taken against you for the money owing.
Refund or not? - rtj70
But speak to them. A small win (£80 of which you have to pay tax and NI) might be better turned into an opportunity.

Offer a free PC health check or something. Their word of mouth might get you more customers. Their negative word of mouth....

In future make it clear what they are paying for and you won't have to repeat this mistake.
Refund or not? - Mapmaker
>>It's not against the law to stop a cheque. However, it is a criminal offence to hand
>>over a cheque with the intention of stopping it later, although this can be difficult to
>>prove. If you hand over a cheque knowing that the bank or building society won't
>>pay the amount, that is, it will bounce the cheque, this is also a criminal offence.


Under no circumstances "split the difference" or refund her the £80. Stick to your guns. She doesn't expect her window cleaner to work for free (total cost of items: hot water that she provides).

And if the cheque bounces, off to the small claims court you go. Your £80 profits will cover the court fees.

She sounds like a right cow.

Refund or not? - Rattle
Yep and although fallouts cause bad reputation this woman is probably hated anyway! I once did a quote for a laptop screen once, it was a 15" widescreen I told him I do not directly do it but I can give you sources who will do it for around £250 with a good warranty. He then said I was ripping him off, this was a couple of years ago when TFT screens were still expensive. He said a friend can do it for £50, I told him well go and use your friend then.

Some people are simply just nutters.
Refund or not? - Lud
Some people are simply just nutters.

And stupid and unpleasant with it.

The thing to do might be to send this annoying 'customer' another invoice detailing the cost of the computer and the cost of labour to transfer her files and set up the printer, etc. (which seems to have been modest in the extreme).

If she pretends not to understand it, tell her to sue you and leave. She won't, or if she does she'll lose. Don't give her a refund. She deserves a hefty kick.
Refund or not? - Rattle
And I am sure any court in the land would argue £80 is reasonable, its quite a boring job too as there is a lot of waiting around. I would much prefer to be actually fixing things in my tinme rather than just watch files copying.
Refund or not? - Xtype
The cheque has gone in today to my bank account. Am i safe - as in can banks still claw the money back? I have not heard off the customer. I guess she has realised that she was taking the P. I doubt she even cancelled the cheque in the first place to be honest.

Refund or not? - rtj70
Has it cleared yet though? Can take 5 working days for a cheque to properly clear but funds can show up.
Canon Ixus II APS. - maltrap
Ive just bought a Canon IxusII APS camera,second hand. Unfortunately there were no instructions with it. On the back of the camera next to the viewfinder there is a 3 position switch marked C H & P. Can anyone tell me what these stand for. Thanks in anticipation.

Edited by maltrap on 26/02/2009 at 10:59

Canon Ixus II APS. - jbif
Typed in to google: Canon Ixus II APS user manual guide




Edited by jbif on 26/02/2009 at 11:07

Canon Ixus II APS. - Xtype
CHP switch determines what size and shape the photograph will be when it is printed. Since it has no effect on the size of the negative it just crops some of the picture when it is blown up.
H= is full frame if i remember correctly
C = ?

Edited by Xtype on 26/02/2009 at 11:10

Canon Ixus II APS. - rtj70
It changes the print size - info coded onto film but it also changes how much of the film is exposed.

C = Classic
H = High Definition
P = Panorama

Beaten by X-Type :-) But I thought it changed how much is exposed too.

Edited by rtj70 on 26/02/2009 at 11:10

Canon Ixus II APS. - charlesb
If I recall correctly, it sets the size/shape of the picture being taken

C = Classic (3:2)
H = HDTV (16:9)
P = Panorama (21:9???)

Not sure about the aspect ratio for P.

Darn...I shouldn't get distracted by looking at the posts about the difficult customer Xtype has at the moment....beaten to it by numerous other back-roomers...

Edited by charlesb on 26/02/2009 at 11:19

Canon Ixus II APS. - daveyjp
If you look through the viewfinder and move the switch the framing will change to show you which section of the image will get printed.
Energy Monitors. - maltrap
Thanks to everyone who replied to my Canon post.
I've just bought an energy monitor, i was very suprised to find out that my Sky box uses 30 watts even when switched off (not at the plug). My modem also uses 30 watts even when not in use. I,m tempted to switch the modem off overnight & holidays etc will this cause me any problems when it's switched back on?
Energy Monitors. - daveyjp
Our TV, HI-fi, Cable box, modems etc are all powered from a double socket. Everytime we leave the house go to bed all of it is turned off at the socket and nothing has failed as a result. We don't plug the wireless until we need to use it. The modem just reboots.
Energy Monitors. - Xtype
i switch my modem off every night, but not the skybox as it takes an age to reboot and also any items I have planned to record will dissapear from the planner.
Energy Monitors. - rtj70
The Virgin Media V+ box we have stays on all the time because it's set to record things ;-) But if switched off it does not forget the programmes to be recorded.

... I've been wondering about these energy monitors too. Which sort have you got? I know there's one where you connect the monitor to the mains cable as it enters the house and you can remotely monitor total energy being used. You can also get ones that monitor what's plugged into them. The first type I mention would let you check on things like showers and ovens too.

To answer the question though, turning the modem off should not be a problem but it will take a few seconds to reconnect. My mother in law turns off the ADSL modem and PC off all the time when not used.
Energy Monitors. - maltrap
I bought my monitor through a special offer in the Daily Mail. It cost about £2. It would have been free if i was a British Gas customer. It is the sort that connects to the mains cable & transmits to a remote screen my wife thinks i'm obsessed but i'd rather spend my hard earned on holidays etc.
Energy Monitors. - SpamCan61 {P}
These devices are OK for general guidance, but I doubt if they sample the supply waveform quickly enough to be particularly accurate - I very much doubt if a Sky box or router would use more than 15W.
Energy Monitors. - billy25
I have a cheaper way of telling which items are the 'leccy' eaters! - it doesn't actually tell you how many watts or amps etc, but enough to let you know whether to "leave it on" or "turn it off"!
My meter is situated in the "Lobby" (for easy access!) and using the Stopwatch feature on my mobile phone, i have discovered that the kettle whips the meter- wheel around in 6.5 seconds (gulp!) T.v and computer both spin it at 20 seconds, sky box and fishtank 25secs, and (wait for it!) phone charger 35 secs when plugged in and turned on but NOT charging, 40 secs when charging!
At least my electric blanket only spins it at 2:15 on high setting, so at least i can sleep comfortably whilst having my nightmares about bills!

Energy Monitors. - SpamCan61 {P}
There's something weird going on there billy25 ... A typical electric kettle will be rated at about 2000 Watts, a TV / PC somewhere around 200 and a phone charger 10. So the kettle should be doing 200 times as many rpm as the phone charger. Or you have a very small kettle. So, with electricity at around 10p a unit ( to keep sums simple)

Kettle = 20p per hour

TV / PC = 2p per hour

Phone charger = 0.1p per hour
Energy Monitors. - Focus {P}
My meter is situated in the "Lobby"

While you're watching the meter in the lobby, how do you know that the fridge or freezer hasn't come on, or have you turned them off?

I tried doing this, and it was very difficult finding and turning off every single electric appliance in the house. So many things on standby, and not just the obvious TVs etc. but also things like bedside alarm clocks.
Energy Monitors. - JH
Don't forget the burglar alarm! And anything with a clock on it, including the clocks themselves - e.g. immersion heater.

Energy Monitors. - Stuartli
>>..phone charger 35 secs when plugged in and turned on but NOT charging, 40 secs when charging! >>

I thought it was quite well known that mains adapters/chargers consume electricity when plugged in, even though they may not be connected to a device.
Energy Monitors. - JH
I was thinking of buying one but I read somewhere that they're only accurate down to, I think it was about 40 watts. So anything below that it either doesn't notice or it tells you "40 watts".

Speaking of British Gas, in laws have now had 3 "energy saving" extension sockets. They don't save as much as getting up off your bum and switching off though, and a drawer full of low energy bulbs. How is that environmentally friendly then?

Energy Monitors. - Altea Ego
You can get some that are accurate to +/- 2%. I don't think any house is running at less than 40 watts standby - the c/h timer, the clock on the cooker and/or microwave, and the radio alarm clock will easily consume over 40 watts combined. I think therefore the 40 watts minimum is not an issue.

I wouldn't use one to estimate my electricity bill, but as a comparative device to reduce your consumption and tell you roughly how much you could save they have to be a good idea.
Energy Monitors. - SpamCan61 {P}
You can get some that are accurate to +/- 2%. I don't think any house
is running at less than 40 watts standby - the c/h timer the clock on
the cooker and/or microwave and the radio alarm clock will easily consume over 40 watts
combined. I think therefore the 40 watts minimum is not an issue.

I shudder to think what the standby consumption is in Spamcan towers, off the top of my head there's the following:-

4 PCs - Ok usually only two on 24/7
2 WiFi radios
1 ADSL modem / router / AP
CH timer
DAB mini system
DAB radio
various clock radios
2 VCRs
2 Freeview boxes
1 VCR / HDD / DVD thing
1 Sky Digibox

I wouldn't think that lot's untypical these days.

Energy Monitors. - jbif
The BBC Horizon slot last week had this
which calculated the number of power plants that would have to be built in 20 years [I think] if mankind all over the world equalised their consumption to that of the UK average, which I suppose includes SpamCan's contribution to the UK average! ;-)

Nokia with a decent battery life - Mike H
I've got a relatively old Nokia 6610i which is suffering from sticky keys, and is getting pretty tatty. Thought about replacing it, but the one good thing about it is its excellent battery life - an hours charge once a week is all it needs. I don't believe the advertising guff on the battery life of newer phones - our office 6300 is supposed to have a similar battery life but experience tells me it only lasts three-four days - and that's with it only being on 9 hours a day. Similarly, my wife's 6300 only lasts 2-3 days when its on all the time. Anyone recommend one from practical experience - I only need it make and receive phone calls and texts (shock horror).

Edited by Mike H on 27/02/2009 at 15:04

Nokia with a decent battery life - Xtype
I brought a brand new Nokia 6233 for the same reason off ebay for £30. I had a 'free' Sony phone with all the latest camera etc but the thing only lasted a day or two.
Id suggest buying a new or nearly older Nokia phone off ebay.
There are plenty of people who have had phones through work etc that have never used them and they are boxed and new but have just been sitting arund for a while.
Nokia with a decent battery life - charlesb

I got a Nokia 5000 for £40 including a free bluetooth headset (Samsung) from The Link before Xmas.

Battery life is dependent on usage and it wasn't good to start with, but after succesive charges, it lasts between 7-10 days with little use.

I had to buy another one last week as our 16month old killed my wife's old Sony with a bottle of CIF (don't ask!)

£40 from Argos for locked to T-mobile version. Asda sell it unlocked for I think either £58 or £68, but I think it's around £40 for other networks

It's simple, only dual band, has a reasonable camera, good screen, bluetooth (which was my main reason for getting it)

Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
Nokia e51 has excellent battery life for me. I have had a Nokia 6230, 6230i and and N70 (all use the same battery type) and all had poor battery life. The N70 not much worse than the other two and is a smartphone.

The e51 is also a slim smartphone (does play music, has radio, camera etc.) but the battery life is very good. It also has wifi - I even use it for VOIP calls. And still the battery life is very good.

If anyone remembers the 6310 you might remember what good battery life is.

My e51 gets charged in the car and that's all mostly. And often very short trips and that's enough.

Some pics... best phone I have had:


Very light weight too. Sync with my Outlook based diary for contacts and diary too.

Edited by rtj70 on 27/02/2009 at 16:10

Nokia with a decent battery life - charlesb
Nokia E Series are very good, although my first E60 was poorly constructed.
My current e65 also has excellent battery life, but the cost......£250 when I got i (thankful it's a Work phone)

I'm waiting on the Palm Pre before I upgrade. Now that looks like a blackberry/iPhone beater

Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
I got mine for about £2 as an upgrade on contract. It should have been free but the computer said £2.
Nokia with a decent battery life - Altea Ego
If anyone remembers the 6310 you might remember what good battery life is.

which is why 6310is still fetch good money on ebay second hand. you can still get covers and keypads for them to freshen them up, and they fit the excellent nokia cark91 car kit

I am now running a jailbroken Iphone on vodaphone. battery life is rubbish but its ergonomics as a phone are beyond compare.
Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
I should "lose" the works 6310i which I don't use and get a replacement and sell it then :-) I won't because it's illegal. I use the company SIM in my E51.
Nokia with a decent battery life - Stuartli
There are replacement compatible batteries available (a quick Google search will reveal them) that are reasonably priced, but which have an increased capacity.

For instance, my Nokia 3310 came with a 700mA battery, yet a replacement 1000mA battery is a tenner or less.
Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
Depending on phone it's not just the battery. But a significant factor too.

Battery in the 6230/6230i/N70: 700mAh and 3.7V
Battery in E51: 1050mAh and 3.7V
Battery on 6310i: 1100mAh 3.6V

The 6310i cleverly had the battery as the rear of the phone itself so actually quite a good size. You could get a bulkier battery that lasted much longer and it took seconds to swap batteries. And desk chargers often had a space for the extra battery.

The same shape batteries were used on the 5110, 6210, 6310 as well as the 6310i. Then we got new models all the time so the battery became something in the phone.

So I'd check battery capacity on any replacement phone.

Tried a new one on the Nokia N70 and it made no difference. The phone seems to be power inefficient. The Nokia E51 as an example is much better although it does have a higher capacity battery.
Nokia with a decent battery life - Altea Ego
As a plain "phone" I think the 6310i was the master of its type. Huge battery life, a receiver that hung onto the flimsiest signal with tenacity, good speech quality, and a usable keypad.
Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
AE I totally agree and still have one. But wanted more features. Take a look at the E51 it is the spiritual successor. But a bit smaller and lighter. But well space keys. And it's got WiFi. Oh I said that..... but did I say it has a built in VOIP client so really is a VOIP phone.

You can also get it without the camera (used to be more expensive than the camera one but not anymore). There's no flash and the camera is a very basic 2MPixel one.

But I could not take this phone into say one of our datacentres at all - it has a camera and can act as a USB mass storage device with a USB to mini USB cable.

Edited by rtj70 on 27/02/2009 at 18:30

Nokia with a decent battery life - Pugugly
My (just made redundant) N73 has been in daily use for the last 18 months - it needed re-charging every four or five days - bluetooth was constantly on - its been pretty good in that respect. It was unreliable though and switched itself off at random. Not good. Its too early to tell with its replacement (Blackberry Bold) but it seems to be 2 to 3 days (but Wi Fi is always on so I could switch that off I s'pose) The Blackberry 8800 I use in work is hammered by e-mails and voice calls - its first battery lasted 12 months before packing in, the replacement has just packed in but only after an exceptionally heavy use this last month. Not that I care its due for replacement in March and I'll probably get a Bold or Storm instead so its shiny kit and I'll forgive it anything for a while.
Nokia with a decent battery life - rtj70
Until I checked the batteries just now, I had not realised the one in the N70 was so much down on power. So the old 6310i had a lot more capacity in the battery and ran a basic operating system and no colour screen, no wifi, etc. No wonder it was better!

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